Monday, 26 May 2014

Farewell Dear Friend

I was sad to receive my latest copy of  The New Writer magazine and read the enclosed letter from the publisher that this would be the last issue. Unfortunately, the economics of running a magazine meant that despite the efforts of the new owner who took control just over a year ago, it was not financially viable to keep the publication going.

It’s sad for me, not just because I was a regular contributor to this publication, but because in the days when the magazine was known as Quartos (it became The New Writer when it merged with another publication) this was where I had one of my first articles published, way back in 1993. Spurred on by this success, I went on to have several more articles published in Quartos, and then I became a regular contributor to The New Writer.

It’s a fitting reminder that magazines come and magazines go. As writers we need to be prepared for such events, and look for new markets to replace those that have fallen by the wayside. Sometimes this can be beneficial because it encourages us to look for new markets, to stretch our boundaries and step out of our comfort zones. When I worked for a high street bank, we were rarely in the same role for more than three years - management liked to ‘shake us up a bit’ by moving us to a new position, or a new branch, just to keep us on our toes. Magazine closures have the same sort of effect.

So while I have a lot of history with The New Writer, and I’m proud to have been part of the team who contributed to its pages over the years, and I’m saddened to see it go, I also appreciate that this is a moment of discovery … of new opportunities. Who knows what may happen as a result of this? Although we may like to think that we control our writing careers, we are not always in control.


Good luck.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Simon, it is sad, The New Writer has been around a while. I do agree with you though, we need to keep things fresh, however, I think maybe writers, who after all are the readers of such magazines, aren't taking as many publications these days either. We had a quick poll amongst our writers group very recently, on who takes which writing magazines.

    The results were very different to what they had been five years ago, with several members ditching their monthly subscriptions to the big two, and just buying a copy as and when from the newsagent. I asked if it was for economic reasons, or something else? The reply that came back was, 'after a while, its all the same stuff being repeated' or 'there is nothing new' I found this a bit sad. I asked what they thought could be done? What did they want to see in their magazines?

    Some cited a face lift of the publications themselves, and some said articles from different writers, and I do think this has been happening more over the last year. Certainly in one of the BIG two, but I am not sure what more they can do for us as readers.

    Hopefully, a new magazine will rise from the ashes somewhere down the line? Both for contributors and readers.

    Personally, I take four subscriptions, one being an anthology, two being the printed magazines, and the other is a digital subscription, and honestly I can't afford to take any more. And I can't read any more, if I want to write!

    Here's to new opportunities, have a good week. :-)

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    1. Yes, I have that problems with reading - I subscribe to so many that I find it difficult to keep up with them all!

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