As a leading, wicked internet encyclopaedia reliably tells us a blastocyst is the early stage of cell division. Comprised of 70 to 100 cells, it eventually forms an embryo and then a placenta. It’s a fairly fundamental collection of building blocks for creating a real, living person..
However, this is (wiki) science. What of the arts, the reason(s) we’re actually writing this?
Blastocyst.org.uk is a website which was set up in 2010. Since then it has had contributions from writers, illustrators and dramatists. The site is not a blog or a magazine as such but a media outlet that combines the restless leg syndrome of MTV with a diverse community of writers possessing varying but complementary interests.
The site was named Project: Blastocyst because the editorial team hopes that, just as a biological blastocyst grows from its century of cells to become one living organism, our cultural Blastocyst can gather 70 to 100 contributors to write columns and reviews about all manner of things to create a living, evolving view of culture.
After three years without a budget, Blastocyst.org.uk is paying writers and cultural enthusiasts to put across their opinion with vim and candour.
Regular features will include Screens, a column on anything you might find on any of your screens, essays on Sport and its oft-forgotten status as culture, a Pop Thought for the Day, guides to music people who ‘Broke Down the Door’, theatre reviews by those who love and are yet to love the stage, and record reviews by fans of all genres of music.
Site users can also subscribe to playlists full of new tunes that they might otherwise miss, if they’re signed up to the digital jukebox in the cloud that is Spotify.
Musicians, writers, illustrators, photographers, filmmakers and other creative types are all welcome to send in work to invite comment, or just to get their point across.
The Blastomail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) should be your first port of call if you want to be part of the team of 70 to 100 ‘cells’ writing regular or occasional features, or offering pieces of creative work.
Professional writers should suggest a rate for a piece, which will be negotiated dependent on calibre and experience. It is hoped that Blastocyst.org.uk can be a self-sustaining organisation, and a cultural portal for inquiring minds.
Blastocyst.org.uk: New media for a new decade! Launches June 2nd, 2013.