When she created “For the Punks” in August of 2019, Karalyn Hope wanted to make a publication for music fans and artists that fit her own editorial vision.
Named after the Casualties song, “For the Punks” is an online magazine that publishes music reviews, artist interviews, and photo galleries. The publication also serves as a resource for fans and artists to connect with one another, look for careers, and hire individuals in the music industry.
Hope was able to offer her insight and explain how she started “For the Punks”, what the magazine hopes to achieve, and how “For the Punks” is providing accessible content for readers.
Fever Dream Zine: What made you decide to start For The Punks?
Karalyn Hope: I started brainstorming For The Punks in early 2019 when I left another publication I used to be part of. I was doing a lot of admin stuff at this other publication and it didn’t feel right anymore. I wanted a publication of my own that was built from my own beliefs, goals, etc. So, in August 2019 I launched For The Punks with myself as the only contributor. A month or two later I brought on my friend Dan. It was the two of us for a while until I decided that I wanted to give others the opportunity to learn and grow. We have just over 30 team members right now.
Fever Dream Zine: What is the magazine’s mission?
Karalyn Hope: I’ve always said that our website goal is to be “a resource and publication for fans and artists to connect, learn, and grow with each other.” We aim to cover up and coming artists in a variety of genres as much as possible. My team is majority non-male too, which is great as I’m able to give opportunities to those who might not be able to get these chances in other spaces.
For The Punks is a site by artists and by fans for artists and fans. It is not just for songs of the punk genre or for people who consider themselves a punk.
Fever Dream Zine: What kind of content can readers find on For The Punks?
Karalyn Hope: We focus on highlighting musicians, artists, and more through in depth reviews, interviews, Instagram takeovers, Spotify playlists, photo galleries, etc. I am always trying to create ideas in new ways that will encourage, uplift, and inspire others.
Three really cool projects we have done/created:
Our Spotify Biweekly playlist which just hit 400 likes this past week
Our sponsorship/coverage collaboration with the Tulsa Flyover Festival
Our Women’s History Month celebration/features throughout the month of March
Fever Dream Zine: What is your editorial vision for the magazine?
Karalyn Hope: My vision has always been sharing new music and art in new ways that other sites may not be doing. One of my favorite pieces that has gone up on the site recently is an interview with hairstylist Jessica Ruby. We have never featured a hair stylist on our website before so this is such exciting news and I feel like a lot of other publications in our “genre” have not done this before. It’s an awesome thing and I’m honored to share and uplift the voices of those who might not get the chance with other publications.
I’ve been really busy with some other personal things so some of this motivation for creativity has gone away but I’m hoping in 2024 we can be back with some fresh and new ideas that will be able to uplift people in the industry.
Fever Dream Zine: What is your (editing) role for the magazine?
Karalyn Hope: I do a lot for the website. Not only do I help out with social media, making posts on our website, bring on new team members, etc., I also help out with looking/scouting for new artists to feature on our website. I pitch ideas to our writers and photographers for coverage and if they have an idea for the website, they pitch to me. We are always working on making sure we give the best coverage possible while staying consistent and on theme with our brand.
Fever Dream Zine: What advice do you have for music journalists, whether they hope to pursue writing, editing, or even if they want to do as you did and start their own magazine?
Karalyn Hope: There are a lot of things I would say, honestly.
If someone is interested in pursuing writing, I would say start a personal portfolio. That is one of the biggest tips. Always be writing and coming up with creative ideas to pitch. Be scouting and looking on social media for cool up and coming artists that you want to write about, too. When I was starting writing in 2015/2016, I looked on Bandcamp constantly. I found artists like Soccer Mommy, Goalkeeper, Big Thief, etc., just because of Bandcamp.
There are a lot of inspiring writers that send us emails about joining our team and they don’t have a writing portfolio to share. Many people who join my team start off with little experience so it's understandable that someone may not have published pieces. It is very “easy,” in a way, to write up a few album reviews in Google, Microsoft, whatever platform you use, save them as a PDF, and then have pieces of your style to share. You don’t need to have them published when just inquiring to join a team.
I would also say that if you are looking to start your own magazine that you should consider being on the team with others first to get that experience. Don’t start a magazine without some goals and planning. It is a lot of work, probably more than you think. There are so many things that are easy to miss. Even myself, I am still learning. In 2019, I never expected my website to grow as much as it has & it just keeps growing. I’m thankful but almost always swamped with emails and things to do.
Fever Dream Zine: What does For The Punks do to edit their content so that their content is accessible, inclusive, and fair for all readers?
Karalyn Hope: This is a great question. I haven’t really been asked this before and going into 2024, it’s something I want to look at and focus on more. I feel like one of the things I always do my best to do is be descriptive in captions and using keywords, just in case someone has to do a search, use a screen reader, etc. An example that I can think of right now is our Biweekly Playlist. Not only do we just keep it updated on our Spotify account, I have a page on our website that shares all of the cover artists we have ever had for the playlist so people can look back.
As I shared earlier, a lot of my team is non-male. I would say we have a diverse team and I never turn away anyone because of how they look. We are always doing our best to post about a variety of things on our website too, no matter what the person looks like.
We also have a slowly growing resources page on our website that shares some places people in music/art can go to learn, explore, etc., outside of our website. We want to make sure we are connecting people with resources that aren't just our words and thoughts. In the next few months, this is something I need to work on more so it is even more accessible and includes more resources.