If you live on the Northeast, you may not know much about Garden & Gun, which won a National Magazine Award this year, after host Katie Couric declared it a favorite of hers at the ceremony. But according to a WWD profile, the bimonthly magazine attracts a readership “so avid that many of them pay an extra $500 a year just to be a part of its ‘secret society.’” And this is what those members receive:
A weekend tote bag, a decal and, like an invitation to the lavish wedding of a distant but admired relative, the opportunity to spend another $5,000 to attend an annual weekend retreat with the magazine’s writers, editors and contributors at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.
So, where do we sign up? And some other details: the magazine’s name comes from the old Garden & Gun nightclub in Charleston, SC, apparently the “Southern-style Studio 54.” “You knew it was the place to be without being able to pinpoint why,” said contributing editor Julia Reed. “The magazine captures that.”
So what exactly does the magazine cover? It attracts the sort of readers “who appreciate the perfect mint julep, a new pecan pie recipe, deer and duck hunting in Mississippi and reading lots and lots of dog stories.” Which, apparently, is a growing number of people, even well outside the South. “I can’t remember whether it was my wife or Karl Rove who told me about it first. Now there’s a sentence,” said ex-Newsweek editor and current Random House executive editor Jon Meacham.