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G-BizzBuzz™: TWO-LANE LIVIN’ CELEBRATES EIGHT YEARS

December 2015 Marks 100th Issue
The Gilmer Free Press

Stumptown, WV – For more than eight years, Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine has been entertaining and educating readers throughout central West Virginia. A creation of Stumptown Publishing LLC, the free magazine is circulated in 16 counties of the state into more than 16,000 regional households. Because it is free to the reader, the magazine is available at libraries, hospitals, hotels, offices, senior centers, rest areas and welcome centers – in addition to the traditional news and paper racks.

The December 2015 issue of Two-Lane Livin’ will be the 100th issue. With that issue, 1,573,000 copies of the magazine will have been circulated through the region since it launched in September 2007. Some regional readers still have a copy of every single issue, while others regularly pass their copy on to family or friends in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, California and even to active service members overseas.

Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine has been popular since the very first issue. “The first issue we printed 10,000 copies, and they were gone in three days,” said Frank Minney, co-owner and distribution manager. “So we increased to 12,000 copies, then 15,000, then 16,000 – and even now, we still can’t print enough.” Minney works every month to adjust the copies left in each community according to past numbers, local events, holidays and other traffic and population fluctuations. “We work diligently to make sure every possible copy is seen by someone. People are out there looking for it.”

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What’s behind the popularity of this humble tabloid magazine? Lisa Minney, Frank’s wife and the magazine’s managing editor, has no doubt. “We have great writers,” she says. “From the very beginning, our columnists have been people who are passionate. They are passionate about their topic, about our culture, about writing, education. They are passionate about stories and storytelling.” Most of the columns in the magazine are written by West Virginia volunteers.

What did the couple do to celebrate the benchmark of their magazine? “Every year, we try to reflect on what our readers have shown us, what our writers are showing us, what we see as needs in the region,” Lisa said. “There will always be a need for learning, laughing, for literacy and for life-long learning in central West Virginia,” she said. “There will always be a need for that moment when you sit down with a cup of tea to fill your mind with good, positive thoughts and further intelligence.”

What are the future plans for Two-Lane Livin’? “We’d like to print more copies,” Frank said, “and we’re looking for ways to increase revenue so we can try to meet demand.” Because the magazine is free, growth and expansion of the magazine is directly tied to the revenue provided by advertising and sponsorships. “We still have locations where copies are gone in three days,” Frank said. “We still have businesses, rest stops, welcome centers, libraries, wanting copies. We just don’t have any more copies to give them right now.”

The couple is also planning to launch another publication, a judged, annual literary journal featuring poetry, fiction and nonfiction works by West Virginia writers. They are currently seeking judges for each of the three genres. Lisa, who is currently working on her Master of Fine Arts, is also planning writer’s workshops in the central West Virginia region to help writers practice and develop their skills and to introduce more people to some of the features in the central part of the state.

For more information about Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine, Stumptown Publishing, the upcoming literary journal or writer’s workshops, feel free to call 304.354.9132 or visit www.twolanelivin.com.

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