The Origins of Norwich Nights Magazine

People often comment to me than Norwich Nights Magazine is different from others available that’s because it was designed to be.

From its concept the magazine was born out of a desire to cover the areas of entertainment I was passionate about including areas that were underrepresented in mainstream media. Accessibility was a high priority from day 1.

I’d been writing for Cardiff Times Magazine for a little while and had visited Norwich on a few occasions and was always writing about local businesses, or my trip when I returned. So, when I was planning a move to Norwich, I started looking at how I would continue to write there, I looked at all the main publications, and for job vacancies within journalism. But essentially, I wanted to create something different.

A magazine centred around my core values of honesty, integrity and responsibility, a magazine that had the potential of being central to the local communities while focusing on celebrating and informing the public so they can make the most of there time in this amazing city. Let’s face it there’s no place on earth quite like Norwich, and I had fallen in love with the city (a love affair that never ends).

I decided that the only way to hold true to this vision was to create it myself, and so began the endless hours of research. As the core areas had been defined as food, theatre, and gaming. More than this, I wanted advertising that was both affordable and accessible to all, while not overwhelming the magazine as I wanted to keep the focus on the content. Also, as a small magazine it seemed crazy to invest in and have someone who basically just cold-called businesses all day long. Norwich Nights doesn’t cold call and never has. I advertise the advertising side of the magazine on social media and the website and occasionally sent out emails in the beginning. One of my dreams is to create a magazine with zero advertising, I would rather we did editorial on products and local companies. But the harsh reality is advertising is how magazines pay the bills. Next, I created the charity rates with advertising restricted to a quarter of the magazine and low advertising in general the charity rate was set 10% of the normal rate.

In October 2019 I started designing the logo’s, the colour scheme, and planning the social media and website in November 2019 they went live, the local support was fantastic straight from day 1.

Over the following months the first issue was planned and created, our colour scheme is our homage to Norwich City Football Club. On the first issue of Norwich Nights Magazine was released with a hope and prayer.

Hope you enjoyed my little recap of how the magazine got started and continue to support us for years to come.  

Introducing The Self-Care Box

March’s Self-Care Box

We are proud to finally be able to reveal The Self-Care Box, part of the new Membership Boxes Collection. The Self- Care Box contains items to enable you to both treat you’re self to a relaxing evening as well as some tools to promote Self – Care during the month. Each box will include 4 items to treat yourself to a relaxing night such as bath salts, candle, facemask, chocolate/Tea/coffee plus a workbook, journal or planner plus an activity sheet and positivity stickers and a copy of the magazine.

This months Self-Care box was a little different due to time restrictions and contains more smaller items and has our 28-Day Planner but no activity sheet or stickers. Follow us on social media as we will upload the images of every month, of the box.

As previously mentioned, The Self-Care Box is part of a collection currently in development for our new membership (subscription) service. 5 boxes in total are planned The Self Care Box, The Book Box, The Business Box, The Food Box, The Theatre and Film Box, and The Gamer’s Box. With subscriber’s being able to choose the box they want upon sign up; the boxes will also be available for purchase separately – All boxes will release the first Wednesday of the month in line with the magazine publication dates.

For the next five months we will be introduction a new box each month with exciting giveaway’s on social media.

The Self Care Box is priced at £25.00 inc postage.

Review: The Foodie Room, High Street, Swansea

By Melissa Compton.

We’ve been following The Foodie Room on Facebook for a few weeks now, finally got the chance to pop in, this great little bakery shop is exactly what the high street need, situated next to the Jobcentre, food options were limited there until this gem of home-baked goodness arrived. As you enter via the small slope there are two tables and chairs outside, expect a small wait and rightly so as the shop is small so it doesn’t take much to form a line, but the warm welcome that awaits it will be worth it. There is a variety of items on sale. On this occasion we had a steak bake, a sausage roll and two Jammie Dodger Cupcakes, the bill came to under £8.00. The sausage roll was large sized and encased inside the pastry was a large sausage, full of flavour and very filling. The steak bake which a friend ate, had golden flaky pastry, and I quote “better than Greggs – there is actually meat in there,” (sorry Greggs!) so apparently full of meaty goodness. Not surprisingly the cupcakes consisted of a light and fluffy golden sponge, topped with buttercream drizzled with strawberry sauce and topped a mini Jammie Dodger biscuit, perfection. This amazing shop is constantly adding to their collection – I can’t wait to try the cheesecake jars and salads.

The Foodie Room, High Street, Swansea


Magazine update August:

UPDATE: September’s issue will be distributed as normal. next month’s issue’s will only be available as a print copy by order from the website it’s free for all Norwich Residents just fill out the simple form here:

Norwich Nights Magazine Future Outline!

Norwich Nights Magazine – Future outline.

Since I launched the crowdfunding campaign to save the print version I thought it would be a good time to write the outline of where I would like the magazine to go what are the plans for the future of the magazine. Firstly it was never my intention to produce a magazine where I did the majority of the work, the plan was and still is to build a team, the money would need to be there to fund this, but my ideal team would be the following:

Editor – to oversee the components of the magazine and responsible for formatting/layout and proofreading the final copy.

Copywriter – would write the editorial for adverts (unless I took personal responsibility for the advert), writing sections like the 4 things to do this month (diary pages) etc – basically our standard pages.

I want four columnists: a food columnist, Gaming columnist, Sport – boxing or football columnist maybe both if budget ever allows, Theatre columnist.

2 additional writers in any of the following areas – football, boxing, gaming, food, or theatre.

They would have control of invites but also the direction of the content columnists are not required to pitch ideas in the same way a writer would need too, they are allocated a section of the magazine usually up to 0-6 pages, I like to give columnists free reign so they are free to create and have flexibility. The writers are required to pitch and contribute articles to the magazine to be approved by the editor.

PayScale’s: I have decided that instead of offering wages I will move to a payment scale per piece of work to be decided when the magazine has a budget to pay for such work, right now we are just surviving so this is a little way down the line.

All our writers will be freelancers, and I plan to support them in anyway, I can, I plan to develop a benefit package eventually.

Social Media and digital content manager: honestly for this role I would love to hire a student looking for their first role, basically they would manage digital content on the website and the various social media channels.

Advertising Manager – the person that everything else centres around, to pay for Norwich Nights Magazine, we need advertising sales and subscriptions, I am still developing the sales process.

That would be the team, I would want, and to outsource to an accountant and distribution services when needed.

All members of the team would be required to learn our mission statement which is simply: Great writing – Reduced Advertising – Accessible to all

Norwich Nights Magazine is currently 48 pages long I would like to increase that to 92 pages – we only started with 20 a few months ago, my plan is to keep the design service which designs adverts and office stationery there are no plans to expand it at this point. I would like to offer a monthly box subscription service, to be themed sport/food/film/theatre/gaming, also would like to host an annual party/picnic. The charity advertising rates will remain 10% of our regular rates, also I want to nominate a charity each year and donate 2% of our profits to them, as well as increasing video content. The final plan is to host an annual award ceremony with a focus on start-up businesses in Norfolk I also want to extent the magazine out to Norfolk and Suffolk with our circulation and advertising.

As you can see lots of plans nothing earth shattering but there are a lot of variables in the process none of this will be possible without the support of the local community and it all takes money and time. The dream is there now it’s just about working hard to make it happen.

I hope you will continue to support us in whatever way you can as we move into new times ahead. There is some brilliant talent in Norwich both in the business community and in terms of undiscovered writers and with your help I hope to be celebrating them all and this fine city for a long time to come.

 Melissa xx