I had originally planned to write about something else this week, but then I read some surprising news from the editor-in-chief of a journal I really love: The upcoming issue may be the last.
Of course, my mouth dropped when I first read the statement. But as I read on, I understood why the EIC wanted to put the magazine on hiatus. Besides citing some personal reasons, she realized she was spending a lot of her free time on this journal (and although I’m not 100% sure about this, I believe she does it without getting any kind of payment). And there is a lot of work that needs to be done, especially with a journal that only has a really small staff of volunteers: reading submissions, making difficult decisions about which ones make the cut, answering queries, sending out rejections/acceptances, choosing art, laying the magazine out. And those are only some of the editorial and production duties – never mind the work needed to promote the journal once it’s published.
Like most editors I’ve had the opportunity to work with, the folks at this journal are very passionate about what they do and the type of product they release. But as the editor indicated, there is a cost: Whatever free time she has left in a day, she needs to dedicate it to putting out a quality journal. Also, since she and the other staff members are talented writers in their own right, it means not being able to devote time to their craft, which is another thing they’re all passionate about.
Of course, this is not the only publication with editors who are also writers. In fact, as I’m looking at the list of places where I have been published, I realize that many of them are run by people who also submit their works and anxiously wait for a response each time. They celebrate their acceptances and subsequent publications, but also feel the sting that come with rejections. Sometimes, though, they may not have time to finish that one poem or story they’ve been working on because maybe they’re too busy slogging through slush piles or trying to decide on a cover.
So the next time a journal you follow publishes an issue, tell the editors who worked on it know how awesome they are. Give them a shout-out in your social media posts. Let them know all the hard work was worth it. It doesn’t require much from us, and it’s the least we can do since they sometimes have to put their own writing on hold so ours gets out there.
Till next time,