Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Interview
The Fog Horn - Issue 4 Cover

Each monthly issue contains four stories.

The Fog Horn, published by Quinn Emmett, features captivating fictional short stories by an international team of writers whose work has previously been featured in publications such as McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, and Huffington Post. Each issue is limited to four original short stories. This helps on-the-go readers absorb each complete issue without experiencing reader’s guilt.

TypeEngine is proud to help make The Fog Horn available on Newsstand. We caught up with Quinn Emmett, to find out more about The Fog Horn.

What motivated you to start this magazine?

I’m thankful to have been raised in a family where reading was a true contact sport — my brothers and I wrestled Patrick O’Brian novels from each other, and threw punches and kicks over the Flashman series. Meanwhile, my sister stayed out of the fight and just wandered off with the book in question. She’s smarter than us.

After spending a few years doing digital product development, and then becoming a working screenwriter, I wanted to find a way to merge the two worlds. I worked at ESPN for a number of years and they do a great job of hiring folks within their demographic. They’re the first to use the product, and that’s part of what makes it so great. So I looked at the hoard of New Yorker mags in my newborn’s nursery and decided to build a reading experience I would use: curated, consumable, no murdering of the rain forest.

Describe your average reader.

Our biggest cities are New York, London, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Washington D.C., Melbourne and Seattle. iPad leads the iPhone by a slim margin. We’re really focused on people with small pockets of time: commuters, professionals, parents, and we think that’s what we’re seeing. We’re lucky to have a pretty international crowd, and I think that’s due in part to publishing stories from around the world.

How do you plan on reaching new readers?

We’ve got a very limited budget. We treat our business like a true tech start-up — all of our money goes into the product. In our case, that’s the content. So we have to be very careful and strategic about where we spend advertising money. We’ve sponsored a few podcasts and done some targeted Facebook advertising. We’ve also been lucky to have some awesome organic PR features. That’s the bread and butter.

How do you see your magazine evolving over the next few months and years?

I’ve got a lot of friends who exclusively “read” through books-on-tape, so we’re working on adding high-quality audio versions of our stories. Aside from that, we’re in the business of saying no to extraneous features. We want to offer a great reading experience, and everything else comes second.

How long have you been publishing? Is this your first magazine?
Quinn Emmett, Publisher of The Fog Horn

Quinn Emmett

I ran a political editorial at Colgate University, and after graduation I worked at the Financial Times in London and helped build their paywall (you’re welcome). I moved to New York and got coffee at Conde Nast before working at ESPN The Magazine for a few wonderful years. I learned a lot there.

How do you define the success of your magazine?

We’d love to become a beacon for quality short fiction — for writers and readers, the same. We offer great money for your story ($1000!), and in turn, readers know they’re getting the best of the best from public submissions and Hollywood writers.

And obviously we’d love to get into the black, so we can keep doing this. We’re funded entirely by subscriptions, so we have a number of subscribers we need to hit, and after that, we’re golden.

What other magazines do you like? Digital/Print?

I’m a big fan of WIRED, Fast Company, The Magazine, Popular Science and ESPN The Magazine. The Newer York Press is doing some crazy cool experimental publishing. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of time to read, so I’ve got to keep the list small. I’d love to take a vacation and just be alone and read. But I think my wife would kill me.


A monthly subscription to The Fog Horn is $3.99 and includes a 7 day free trial and access to all back issues. Subscribe today!

App Store Link for The Fog Horn