“I knew I wanted to write ever since I was a little kid. I studied journalism in college and I’ve come at the magazine from the writer’s perspective. I’ve always felt that if you make the writing and photography strong enough the rest of it will kind of take care of itself. And that’s been ther M.O. for 20 years.” -Tom Bie on founding The Drake Magazine, which celebrates it’s 20th birthday this Summer. In this episode we hear Tom tell the tale of how the magazine started, chat about the Summer 2018 issue, and hear a dramatic reading from a featured contributor.
This episode of the DrakeCast is made possible by our longtime sponsors Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures and Scott Fly Rods. We couldn’t do this without them. We’re also supported by Deli Fresh Design, an apparel company that specializes in creating fishing gear out of recycled materials. This week they’re doing a special giveaway on their Instagram so make sure to check ’em out @DeliFreshDesign.
While we strongly encourage you to listen to the episode in it’s entirety, we’ve posted a few choice quotes from our interview with Tom Bie below.
“When I started The Drake I didn’t have a mission statement. I didn’t have a budget I didn’t have a business plan. I didn’t do any of those things that anybody starting a business now would tell you to do. If I had bothered to go through all of that I probably wouldn’t have started the magazine because it wouldn’t have made sense.”
What are you most proud of when it comes to The Drake?
“Probably just the standard at I’ve tried to uphold with the writing. It’s cost me a lot. There are a lot of days that you just want to say it’s good enough and get it out the door. I remember when I became editor at Powder and it was like the third night of closing and were all tired. And one of the other editors said this comment, ‘It’s better than good, it’s done.’ And I know he was joking and it’s a great line but I was just pissed. I never want The Drake to be that. Don’t put it out the door. People are paying money for this. I’ve been able to get some really great writers in the magazine. Sometimes it’s my relationships with those writers but it’s usually someone reading the magazine and thinking, ‘Hey, this is something I’d like to be part of.’ I’m certainly as proud of that as any other aspect.”
What do you see as your goal for the next five years?
“I think I have about five or ten more years of this in me. And in that time what I would like is to do more of the writing and editing and less of the other stuff. And that’s really hard because that’s what it takes to run a small business and the writing and editing is maybe 10% of what I do. I love the back-and-forth editing process with writers. [And while the essays are great] I’m most drawn to reporting, to journalism. I love the New Yorker but I usually don’t read the fiction.”