The Junction started in November 2016 as a complete vanity project of mine. I’d started writing and publishing short stories on Medium a few months earlier and wanted a personal home for my pieces with the idea of recruiting some of my other writer friends to occasionally contribute. I pitched it as a digital crossroads devoted to stories, culture, and ideas. The name came from a diner in DeKalb, Illinois, I used to frequent during my university years, a place where people from all walks of life came together over a coffee and could spill their minds and open their hearts.
Gradually, I began to seek out other talented writers on Medium, having read their work, admired it, and wanted The Junction to act as a kind of pedestal to champion them. We writers are an insecure bunch, and most of us write in obscurity, so as the publication grew, so did the opportunity for others to see their work. This curatorial approach worked until February 2018, when Medium made some changes to the way of reaching out to other writers and their already published pieces. In response, I finally buckled and decided to allow submissions.
Since then, a veritable flood of amazing stories, poems, and essays have poured in. Medium has a Partner Program where writers who publish stories behind their paywall can receive money for their work based on some opaque metrics. However, people who run publications such as The Junction receive no remuneration for the time and energy it takes to read submissions, offer editorial advice, and give these stories the platform they deserve. Considering the effort it takes to manage a publication that has grown to more than 12,000 followers, in addition to my day job as a teacher and nights spent working on my own stories, I’ve been thinking about a way for people who want to contribute to The Junction’s longevity and continued growth. Crowdfunding seemed the most logical solution.
I’ve never been comfortable asking people for things, especially when it comes to time and money. Many of you reading this are likely already paying members of Medium, and they take $5 per month. There are other crowdfunding sites like Patreon, which has become quite popular, but they’re a for-profit organization and urge creators to create contribution tiers for personalized perks. That didn’t much appeal to me, so I began to search for alternatives.
Hence, Liberapay. If you wish to donate money to The Junction, it comes with no strings attached. Your recurring donations can be weekly, monthly, or yearly, and you can stop at any time. Also, Liberapay does not take a cut since they’re a non-profit organization. I should note, however, there are processing fees. They care about internationalization and support multiple languages and currencies. How much you wish to donate I leave entirely up to you. I hope you’ll consider supporting The Junction.
All the best,
Stephen M. Tomic
Editor of The Junction
If you’re interested, here’s a link to the donation page. Thanks so much.