The Celestial Teapot: A New Digital Magazine for Atheists

You could count on one hand the number of magazines geared toward atheists/skeptics that don’t come attached to a membership with a national organization. The team at The Celestial Teapot (an homage to Bertrand Russell‘s famous analogy) is trying to fill that void with their new digital publication:

We are a new magazine publication for the atheist community. We write about American History and politics, religion, science, the environment, sex, atheism, humanism and secularism. We strongly believe in the separation of church & state, rational thought and logical reasoning. but we also enjoy the lighter topics: art, comics, memes, and photography.

I spoke with editor-in-chief Irene Panchuk via email about the magazine and what it offers readers:

Is there really a market for this?

We’ve had a great response so far from the atheist/secular demographic because we are offering something new and unique. In the future we plan on moving into a broader transmedia strategy with video production, news, interactive content and more. These are all in the works now.

How have sales been going so far?

We just launched our first paid issue in July and, thanks in part to our friends at the Richard Dawkins Foundation & SecularWoman.org, we have been getting quite a few subscribers and sales in just the past two weeks.

What do your contributors bring to the table in terms of writing experience and editing?

Our hard-working editor Eddie Mumford is now a published author — he’s just released a book with Tekseditions and is starting a second one; Corinne Zimmerman is a board member of Secular Woman and is a professor of psychology at Illinois State University; Rachel Johnson is from The Pink Atheist podcast and a biologist-in-training, There’s also Steven Olsen, author of Unbelievable History and ex-president of Springfield Thinkers, and several up-and-coming bloggers. We even had Michael Shermer guest-star in Issue #2. I myself have a BA in English; art, philosophy and literature are a huge part of my life. Jeff Ridout — the magazine’s founder — has been involved in the evolution of the National Atheist Party & Support Atheism.

What does your magazine offer that people might really be drawn into?

We offer some of the more interesting (in my opinion) articles about science and biology, new discoveries and fascinating theories, politics, history, current events, things that feed the mind. We also offer topics that entertain or touch on a more emotional note: art, parenting, sex, editorials, comics, hilarious horoscopes. I try to make the magazine visually appealing as well — it’s kind of like a high end art magazine melded with a science and tech publication.

What do you hope to accomplish with this magazine?

We hope to fill a need that atheists, humanists, secularists and scientifically/logically-minded people have for a general interest publication that speaks to their beliefs and values. Atheists have such a rich history of literature — Mark Twain, Christopher Hitchens, Isaac Asimov, George Carlin, to name a few — I’d like to draw on that unique culture, keep it alive and perhaps try to contribute to it.

The magazine is available for $5 per individual issue or $10 for a full-year (four issue) subscription.

(Disclosure: A contributor to this site, Bridget Gaudette, also does PR for The Celestial Teapot. She played no part in the writing of this post.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Mario Strada

    OK, I subscribed. Do I get a gold star?

    By the way, is there a app for the iPad?

    • Qtip

      No star, but you do get a magazine.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Funny how we never see Joe Klein writing articles for The Celestial Teapot.

    • Jeff

      Give It time. Maybe he will. :p

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

        please, no. Joke Line needs to be cleaning toilets in prison.

        i hope they can all get enough subscriptions to make a decent living at it, as a little specialty magazine shop. $10 is a good pricing point, very smart. a staff of 30, not terribly well paid but with some grant money… that’s only a few thousand subscribers to get them where they need to be to survive as a for profit gig. i wish them luck.

  • Keyra

    New Atheists getting more desperate every day, now a magazine (homage to Bert Russell’s infamous faulty comparison)

    • ImRike

      If the number of their magazines shows how desperate any group is, let’s count the number of christian magazines…

    • qtip

      I don’t see how a magazine shows desperation. Can you clarify your point?

    • Pattrsn

      Keyra getting more desperate everyday, comments now completely nonsensical.

    • Psychotic Atheist

      Looks like New Atheist critics are getting more desperate every day. Now criticising mundane affairs and asserting faults without explanation.

    • Matt D

      I’m sure those with crazy in their hearts will agree with you.

    • Ryan Hite

      …… What?

    • Mario Strada

      This is really a very strange post. It makes me wonder about the sanity of the writer. What’s next? “New Atheist are getting desperate, they are now eating lunch in restaurants” or “New Atheists are getting desperate, they are taking elevators to their floor to go to work”?

      That’s pretty much as much sense as the original makes. The funny thing is that it is surely written in anger and/or disdain, but the net effect is one of hilarity and pity.

      Obviously this person has never heard the phrase “Pick your battles”.

      EDIT: Now I am wondering if “Keyra” is from Montreal. Any change there is an IP record?

      • allein

        “Keyra” has been dropping these drive-by comments for a few weeks now, at least. They always draw several responses and she(?) never comes back to respond…I think it’s time people just learned to ignore them.

  • CultOfReason

    How exactly is the magazine delivered (email, download, etc.? and in what format?) The website isn’t clear (or I’m missing it).

    • C Peterson

      Based on the above graphic, the format is PDF, so no special reading app is required (thankfully). Don’t know about delivery, but the subscription form asks for a valid email address, so I assume it is either mailed or a download notification is sent. Pretty standard.


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