Tom Webb Creatively Tackles Environmental Issues, by Robert Lee Brewer

Stuart Woods knew at an early age that he wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until many years later that maturity provided him the necessary tools to be successful.”I went to work on the Mike Dukakis presidential campaign. Dukakis went all the way but lost in the final round,” remembers Tom Webb, editor of The Bear Deluxe Magazine.“It was a tremendous run however. And I gained experience in working with volunteers, public speaking, politicking, media relations, and project management.”

Webb, an economics graduate from Vassar College in New York, dipped his feet in many different waters that have helped him with being the editor of a nonprofit environmental magazine dedicated to artistic expression. “Prior to co-founding and becoming the editor of The Bear Deluxe Magazine, I had very little experience working directly on any sort of independent publication,” admits Webb. “In some ways, I see this as a blessing. I absorbed quickly, thinking like a sponge, and put my experiences in politics and community organizing to work on behalf of the publication and nonprofit organization.”

The magazine itself has done nothing but grow since its inception in 1993 as The Bear Essential. The circulation has reached 16,000, and the magazine sponsors an annual fiction contest, the Edward Abbey Fiction Award, which isn’t half bad for a self-proclaimed slacker/politico.

“At the time, I was also freelance writing,” muses Webb, “getting a few poems, fiction, and travel pieces published in regional markets, while working in various political capacities. When Orlo formed as a nonprofit in late 1992, I knew some of the founding folks as friends of friends. I approached them about starting a publication that would feature writing and art on environmental issues from a more creative standpoint than traditional mags. In many ways, the project combined my background in community organizing and environmental issues, along with a deep-seated interest in starting a publication.”

Here Webb talks about The Bear Deluxe, his duties as an editor, and what he likes to see from freelancers.


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