For years, I’ve looked forward to the arrival of The Writer magazine in my mailbox every month. I was a subscriber long before I became a contributor (my first article, “Surviving MFA Critiques,” appeared in the January 2004 issue). It’s fair and accurate to say that I’ve continued to learn at least as much from the magazine as a reader as I’ve given back as a writer and, since 2007, as a contributing editor. But the arrival of the September issue a few days ago was bittersweet, because–at least for now–it’s the last issue that I’ll be writing for.
As many of you know, The Writer has been around for 125 years. But, as GalleyCat reported on July 26, the magazine will be going on hiatus after the October issue. The company that owns the magazine, Kalmbach Publishing, is looking for a buyer for it.
I’m going to miss The Writer for many reasons. I’ve already mentioned my long-term commitment to it as a reader. But there’s much more to this particular good-bye.
I’ve loved working with the magazine’s editors and staff, who have always treated me like the professional writer I’ve aimed to be, and I’ve especially appreciated their enthusiasm for my ideas. It will be odd to attend a conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) without heading straight toward The Writer‘s table at the Bookfair to catch up with everyone there. And I’ll miss the team’s sheer good-will and thoughtfulness, exemplified by the group get-well card they mailed after I suffered a major injury in 2009.
My byline appears three final times in this September issue: for an article on book promotion, for a review of Janet Groth’s The Receptionist, and for a collaborative piece on must-read classic novels. I’m grateful to have the chance to sign off this way, and truly honored to have been part of The Writer‘s history.