Introducing “Crank” magazine!

If you’ve ever thought about writing a letter to the editor about something but baulked because you were worried people would think you were a crank, well have I got news for you! A magazine devoted entirely to such issues, in which you can embrace your inner crank with pride.

Do the faded posters in travel agents’ offices really annoy you? Do you think people need to be more mindful of how they leave their cutlery on the plate after they’ve finished eating? What about the way people use the word “decimate” inaccurately? So annoying. Write me 500 words (give or take—and shorter is fine, too) arguing your point. I’ll put it in a mag, send you a copy (probably no author fees for this one at present) and then you can sit back and shake your head sorrowfully at the ridiculous things other people get upset about.

Please note there will also be an actual letters to the editor section, giving you the chance to reply to those other cranks out there.

But before you get all riled up and dash off a profanity-laden rant against the injustices of the world, here are some points to consider:

  • Write something that could be found in the letters page of a reputable newspaper (albeit on a slow news day). In other words, mind your manners. I’m not looking for the sorts of things you find in unmoderated blog comments.
  • Having said that, sarcasm and snobby elitism is totally in. And I’m quite partial to passive aggressive language and the occasional use of phrases like “why oh why”.
  • You must have a very good reason for using swear words and even then I’ll asterisk out the middle letters—because I’m a fascist, baby.
  • You should have an argument of some kind, even if it’s fanciful, illogical and/or poorly constructed. It is not enough to say “you must stack the dishwasher according to points X, Y & Z” you must say WHY this regime is superior to all others.
  • I am the Chief and I may edit your work for reasons of space or clarity without asking you (for my other publications I send you proofs and attempt to engage in editorial discussion). But if you feel you’ve been wronged by my edit, you can write a politely outraged letter to the editor about it. (Which may also be edited).
  • There’ll be paper and digital versions, which will be for sale so I will totally be making heaps of cash* out of your blood, sweat and tears. I don’t think I’ll be posting them for free on the internets, though it would be fun to see what would happen in the comments section.

Have at it! Your mini-essays are due by December 24. (What else could you possibly be doing before then?). Send them to chiefnantucket at

* Please note this is extremely unlikely but if it does happen I will flee to Venezuela to escape your wrath