You might have expected Issue 03 to be uploaded today. Where is it? Why have I changed the publication date to May 4th? There are two reasons for the delay:
I’m still flying solo. Behind the scenes, I’ve definitely improved at handling the workflow and deadlines. My hair used to be on fire about now, and now it’s just sort of warm to the touch with copper highlights. I could still be more on top of things, though; for example
It’s come to my attention that a few writers didn’t receive my acceptance email. The Submittable messaging system recently changed. It seems that some folks are not receiving email notifications, or perhaps the emails aren’t getting past Gmail’s filters. So, I’ve emailed these writers directly, or in one case DMed on Twitter.
The missing poets would really round out the issue in terms of style, substance, and representation, all of which are important to me and the success of our publication. In any case, the May 4th publication date won’t budge.
Because I now have a few days to publish the issue, here are some strategy updates. I’ll spare you the sprawling to do list.
Get some business bearings. One excellent thing about working for the library is the librarians. We have a series of business workshops, and folks specializing in nonprofit business planning, who can help me build the foundations Wards needs. I could just test the ideas I have, or I could bring them to the table for expert feedback. The latter will likely work better, so that’s what I’ll do. I’m attending the first workshop tomorrow.
Get some help. Librarians help, but also I’ve been pestering a contact to be a reader for Wards. It will be a load off me, and it will feel more like a democratic publication if multiple readers pitch in. And now that I’ve pestered one contact, I feel confident about pestering more.
Get some funding. Hi, I run this out of my pocket, which isn’t deep. I’m happy to do it, but I know it isn’t sustainable, especially if I want to fill more writers’ pockets (spoiler alert: I do). It is so heartwarming and helpful when writers donate on Submittable. It isn’t required, but you take the option, which tells me you understand the time and expense that goes into running a magazine. Some of you have been there. Others just drink with people who have been there. Either way, it’s appreciated. It can’t be the primary source of funding, though (well, actually, it’s the secondary source if you count my aforementioned pocket). So, I’m doing the writer thing and applying for prizes and fellowships, putting my own work out there. I’m also aware of some grants available for lit mags, for which Wards will soon become eligible (you need to be around for 2+ years and have a plan in order to apply; I’ve ticked off the first requirement and am working on the second).
Get out more. The “Meet Your Literary Community” event was just the thing. More of that, please; but also, I need to calendar in some time to saunter into local bookstores and literary events to meet folks and represent Wards while I’m at it. I know the literary landscape in Phoenix, and a bit of it in Tucson. My sprawling to-do list includes some conferences I’d like to afford and writing communities I’d like to infiltrate. I have built it. They will come; but also, I have to go to Them.
You’re all so very worth it. Your authenticity, artistry, vulnerability, gratitude, and support remind me why I do this. I am proud of Issue 03, and I hope you will be too. May the 4th be with you. Here’s a preview of the cover in glorious low-res: