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Jack Williams, a junior at Weber High School, said he always knew he wanted to pursue a future in journalism, but what he didn’t know is that his ambitions would be realized much sooner than he had expected.
Williams is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Blown Magazine, an independent online magazine that just released its fourth issue. The magazine was founded and is put together and published entirely by teens from Weber High.
“It’s crazy, because honestly, we’ve tried very little,” said Noah Wilcock, a writer and co-founder of Blown Magazine. “It’s crazy that people are liking this. This is just what we do for fun.”
The first issue of Blown Magazine was printed in June, and the staff is currently working with Only in Ogden to possibly begin a print edition of the magazine.
The magazine currently publishes a monthly issue, but the contributors are looking into the possibility of printing biweekly issues in response to the popularity they have seen the magazine gain.
The idea began when Williams and a few friends were discussing the possibility of putting together a book with their literary and artistic pieces. Amber Truett, who is now a photographer for Blown, suggested that a better outlet for these works would be a magazine.
“So we created Blown,” Williams said. “We do poetry and creative writing and photography, art, basically anything creativity-driven that people want to see.”
Presently, all of the material for Blown Magazine is created by a close-knit group of seven Weber High students. However, Williams said they are just now starting to open up spots in the magazine for anyone who has something to contribute.
“Everything is really in the works right now,” Williams said. “We’ve never really taken a very serious business approach to this, and so far it’s worked fairly well.”
Among the group, Wilcock is the one with a business mentality. Wilcock said he thinks the magazine has potential to eventually become a profitable business for those involved.
“You got the demographic there. This is new stuff written by young people for young people,” Wilcock said. “I knew it was going somewhere from a business standpoint; I just didn’t think it was going to go that fast.”
Ian Casey does all of the graphic design work for the magazine. Casey said his only previous experience in this area was working for his father as a photographer for Zoo Audio. Besides that, he’s learned most of what he knows from photography and graphic design classes.
“Blown gives me the motivation to go take photos and do my design work,” Casey said. “I like it because I know it has a purpose. I know it’s going to go somewhere.”
Wilcock said he feels the same way as Casey. He said one of his motivations for contributing to the magazine is that it gives him a sense of purpose.
“We are kind of the odd ones out at school,” Wilcock said. “Nobody looks at us and thinks, ‘Wow, these guys are going to do great things.’ But now we kind of already have.”
The name of the magazine originated from a comment that one of the co-founders made about society being blown. One of the goals for the magazine is to create an outlet for free expression, Williams said.
“We are all very anti-censorship,” Williams said. “A lot of it is about creative freedom and not censoring ourselves, and we can’t always do that at school.”
Updates about Blown Magazine and all of the issues can be accessed through its Facebook page.