A Magic Show, a Lecture, and an Escape

The Patreon campaign inches ever forward. I’m proud of what’s already been achieved, but perhaps I’d hoped to be further along by now. Come on folks, join the party by subscribing to the new essay series for as little as £1.

Maybe I should give you some more info about what the essays will look like. Generally speaking, they’ll follow this structure:

First third: Personal intro (anecdotal, entertaining, a set up to the problem)
Second third: Theory section (history, philosophy, precidents)
Third third: Practicalities (solution, how to apply this philosophy to escapological life)

It approximately follows the format of Houdini’s later shows. He’d stage three different acts in one night: a magic show, a lecture, and an escape.

Each will be something in the region of 2,000 words: more substantial than a mere column but a little more easy-going than an Aeon article or a Guardian long read.

I’ve not yet decided (sloppy, I know, as this is important) whether the essay should be, quite literally, a subscription series where only the patrons are given the essay in a simple pay-for-content transaction OR if the essay should be posted publicly, Raptitude-style, with an honor roll of patrons and maybe some extra content for them. Patrons would be funding the project for the good of everyone, but maybe this isn’t fair and if you’re paying then perhaps you have right to be in an exclusive club. Please let me know (by email or by leaving a comment below) if you have feelings in either direction.

I’m already working on the first essays and I’m very proud of what I’ve written so far. Entertaining, researched and practicable if I say so myself. It might be the best Escapological writing I’ve managed to date, possibly because it comes after useful feedback from the book and possibly because I’d be quite embarrassed not to give the patrons something for their money.

So, yes, I’m rattling the can again — by which I mean asking for money more than shaking my bottom, though if you’d like to see the latter it can probably be arranged, perhaps as an exclusive bonus for patrons. If the essay series sounds good to you, please join us at Patreon. If you know someone who you think might benefit from the essays or are simply into making things happen with the magic of crowdfunding, please let them know about the project too.

Together we will conquer the world! Or, you know, make it a little bit nicer.

The post-print phase of New Escapologist is just beginning. Go here to join in.
You can also buy all thirteen issues in print or PDF (in newly discounted £20 bargain bundles) at the shop.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at www.wringham.co.uk/about.

4 Responses to “A Magic Show, a Lecture, and an Escape”

  1. Nick says:

    Make them freely available!

    -a backer

  2. Drew says:

    Two options:

    1) Make some – but not all – essays available to the public, and do so with a suitable time lag between release to patrons and release to the public. That way, patrons won’t be inclined to say “why the hell am I doing this, I could just get it for free”.

    2) Make condensed versions available publicly, with a “to read the full article go to Patreon” type of thing. Don’t leave the public readers hanging, mind you…give them a proper read, but leave them wanting to read the more detailed version. In other words, give them some decent bait, but also make it worth it to be a supporter.

    I vote for #2.

  3. Hi Drew. I like the sensible compromise of Option 2. It also leads me to think about writing section 1 of each essay in a self-contained way that can feasibly be exported as the free/public sample.

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