Today's post is one we've been DYING to share for some time, mainly because the clever crew behind The Good Copy are good pals of ours – they include Penny Modra (previously editor of Three Thousand) and Frunch Nazzari (jack of many trades but most notably, previous co-owner of Right Angle Studio which publishes The Thousands, and current co-founder/managing director of The Rooftop Cinema).
Essentially combining a creative and copywriting agency with a supportive hub for local writers and publishers, The Good Copy is such a tremendous idea! It was, for a long time, a pipe dream in the minds of co-founders Penny and Frunch – a kind of utopian workplace where clever writers could take on commercial writing jobs that pay the bills, while also having the time and support to work on their own independent writing projects.
As Creative Director Max explains below, 'The Good Copy is a writing studio, a publisher, a shop and a school'. After two years in development, The Good Copy creative agency finally hit its stride earlier this year, moving into a studio space, expanding their team, and taking on a stable of clients for whom they produce custom written content. TODAY they're launching the next phase of their business – The Good Copy Shop!
The Good Copy Shop is a shop for people who write. It stocks dictionaries, style guides, books about writing and writers, and a carefully considered edit of magazines, books, journals and zines of note, both local and international. They also stock a range of stationery – the essential four-colour pens (The Good Copy brand identity is based around the four-colour pen!), rulers, 'Freelancer' slippers, and custom TGC merchandise including reporter style notebooks, hand-bound composition notebooks, and mugs designed by local designers Rob Cordiner of Smalltime Projects and Stuart Geddes.
With a versatile fit out by local interior designer Rosie Scott, all of the shop furniture either folds up on itself, rolls around on castors, or can be used for several purposes. This means the space can also function as an event space, which is handy, because soon The Good Copy Shop will also launch their very own WRITING SCHOOL, with workshops to be held on site in their light-filled studio space on Johnston St, Collingwood! We are particularly excited about Penny and Max's grammar class for grown ups called 'Stop. Grammar Time', which promises to be as entertaining as it is informative! Keep your eyes firmly glued to The Good Copy website for their first semester timetable, which will be out very soon!
Given that they are a bunch of Melbourne's cleverest WRITERS, I'm feeling more than a little freaked about writing this post. After all, I do tend to create my own unique grammar rules here in TDF-land. With this in mind, it seems that the best way forward is to hand over to team Good Copy themselves, to tell us what they're all about! –
Max Olijnyk: The Good Copy is a writing studio, a publisher, a shop and a school. Our writers work on commercial jobs across a variety of subjects and styles, and we balance that by supporting their independent projects.
Penny Modra: Basically we wanted to create a business that allows writers to take on commercial jobs in a team environment (i.e., with the support of other writers, project managers and editors). As a writer I think the key to life is avoiding mojo-sapping. So, finding a way to work on well-paying jobs without those jobs swamping your brain seven days a week. I hope TGC will help with that, and give our writers mental/financial breathing space to work on their own projects. You can't live on feature articles any more. If you could eat a feature article that would be a different story. But even so, not tasty. Our main emphasis in the shop and the school will be on writing as a trade (rather than a magical, literary skill). So it’s pretty hands-on. It’s about the everydayness of writing, getting it done and improving through effort.
Max: The school is for everyone – from working writers who want to brush up on their skills, to designers, zookeepers and politicians who want to feel more confident in their written communication. Basically The Good Copy is our idea of how things should be for writers and writing in general.
Max: Penny Modra and Frunch Nazzari are partners in The Good Copy, then we have a crack team of writers and organisey-types, as well as another dude named Max who comes in and does our accounts. He’s the best. Our writing team includes Brodie Lancaster, who edits her own zine Filmme Fatales on top of working on things for us.
Penny: Our other in-house writers are Kane Daniel (who also works at Smith Journal and writes for Vice, and Noisey) and Meredith Forrester, who's in charge of our grammar school curriculum and also copy edits Monster Children, and her own blog Lady Style Guide. We work with some great writers on a freelance basis, too (code for ‘they don't have to come in to the office and put up with us’) — Mel Campbell, Sarah Booth and Toby Fehily.
Max: Oh, and me! I am in charge of the shop and all the fun stuff, but I also write for quite a few different magazines, newspapers and websites.
Max: The idea of the shop is to sell the kind of stuff that people who work as writers will be interested in. We stock dictionaries, style guides, books about writing and writers, and a range of publications from around the world that feature great writing.
There is a library section of the shop, which is stocked with an ever-evolving selection of titles from our own collections — things that might not be easy to find these days, but that we think are awesome. For starters, we have copies of Interview magazine from the '70s, skate magazines from the '90s and our own old zines from the '00s. People are welcome to come in and browse at any time.
We also stock a range of stationery: four-colour pens (our brand identity is based around the four-colour pen), rulers, Palomino Blackwing pencils and Staedler erasers. We’re selling these awesome slippers called Cheesy Flops, but we call them ‘The Freelancer’. They’re house shoes from Iran and we love them—and we’ll be extending our range of writers' hardware as our empire expands.
Penny: One of my favourite things in the shop is our 'Yes' flag. It's an artwork by Oslo Davis, based on an artwork by Jon Campbell. Oslo took Jon's famous 'Yeah' flag and made a grammatically correct version of it. Oh Oslo.
Max: We’ll be rolling out our first series of classes in the next few months. The classes will be a refresher course on basic grammar and spelling for people who work with words—which, let’s face it, is everyone. They’ll also be funny and there will be free coffee.
We'll be holding regular launches for our own publications and ventures, as well as for people who we feel are doing good things. We've hosted a few great book and zine launches already!
Penny: We'll be hosting one-off talks and panel discussions, too. Oh, and movie nights. But we're only showing movies about writers. All The President's Men, Broadcast News, Harriet The Spy, Press Gang. You know, the greats.
Max: We’re looking forward to opening the shop and launching our website! The next event we’re hosting is the launch of Witu’s new range on Friday. We’re also working on a special collaborative piece with Witu for our hardware department, which is really exciting. We're working on a proper launch party for the shop, some more publications, and, you know, loads of other stuff!
Penny: I'm looking forward to meeting more writers. I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE PEOPLE. Exit your homes. And sending out our first edition of The Good Copy Gazette, AKA The Gaz. A mix of helpful writing inspiration, neighbourhood news and unhelpful distraction.
The Good Copy Shop
27-29 Johnston Street (aka Magic Johnston)
Collingwood VIC 3066
Opening hours this week –
Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm
The Good Copy Shop is open every day THIS WEEK ONLY! GET AMONGST IT, people. From next week their opening hours will be scaled back a bit – keep your eye on their website for details.