Spooniehacker, a new independent online magazine by and for chronically ill and disabled people, is launching its first call for contributors.
The magazine is looking for writers and artists for the site, who will all be paid.
While initial rates will be low at £30 per contribution, the site aims to increase this as soon as money starts coming in.
The site is also looking to build a pool of reviewers to test everything from books to pleasure products to mobility aids to compression tights.
Editor Aly said: “Unlike some much bigger and richer sites who should know better, Spooniehacker intends to pay chronically ill and disabled people for their work.
“We live in a society that treats chronically ill people extremely badly – denying them treatment and benefits in many cases, excluding them and even gaslighting them about their conditions. It’s no surprise that many ill people are desperate to tell their stories and be heard. But we think that sites exploiting that by taking their work for free in order to make money are adding to the problem.
“At present Spooniehacker has a very limited budget, but as that increases we will increase our rates and commission more pieces. Any money that comes in via donations or ads will only be used to pay more chronically ill people for their work.
“We hope to build a platform that will celebrate the resilience and ingenuity of chronically ill and disabled people, who are the world’s greatest ‘lifehackers’.”
Aly came up with the idea for Spooniehacker after 20 years of chronic illness and disability. They said: “I spent many years fighting for tests, diagnosis, treatment and benefits for health conditions that for most of my adult life I was told were all in my head. For a long time I thought my disability was my own fault and that I was alone in my experiences.
“I now know, after discovering the online chronic illness community a few years ago, that there are millions of others like me. There is a huge community of us online building solidarity, sharing information and fighting for change in the way the world views and treats us. We hope that Spooniehacker can be part of that movement, even if, due to low spoons and budgets, it can only be in a small way.”
Aly and editor-at-large Emily met over a decade ago when they worked on Scarlet, a British alternative women’s magazine. Both now work part-time from home due to their health conditions. With Spooniehacker they wanted to create a magazine that spoke to their lives and experiences as chronically ill people, that they could produce around their symptoms and from their beds.
To contribute to Spooniehacker, check out their guidelines.