After much quiet, and after taking some time to consider not only our personal futures, but also that of Fairy Tale Review as a whole, it’s time for an update on where we stand.
In early 2017, we aimed to reinvent ourselves, in many ways. The journal had just been through a few difficult years, and by bringing on about a dozen new editors, the core staff began to feel like we could still keep this going in the long term. We split into three teams: two teams started reading poetry and prose submissions for The Charcoal Issue, and the third group began working a new project: publishing original work on our website. Everything seemed to be on track.
But 2017 became an extraordinarily challenging year for many of us. We started new jobs, or taken on more responsibility at existing ones; we graduated from graduate programs; we began graduate programs; we became parents for the first time. We also tried to work on our writing now and then.
As a collective, we didn’t predict the volume of work that it would be required just to keep the journal running smoothly through 2017, and many of us were spread too thin. Unfortunately, that left many submitters waiting to hear back far longer than we would ever want.
We failed to meet our own expectations, and the expectations others have for us, and for that we’re sorry. But let’s talk about the future.
1. Our next issue
As of now, plans for a fifteenth issue, after The Charcoal Issue, are in a holding pattern. We’re not on hiatus—in fact, we’re working hard to make a 2019 issue a reality—but we can’t give many more details right now.
If you’ve been wondering about why we’re not open for submissions now, here’s your answer. In the last few years, we’ve opened for print submissions on January 1, so I apologize to anyone who might have been waiting eagerly and patiently for the portal to open without a word from us. We just think it’s better to wait than take submissions for something that is still being worked out.
2. The Charcoal Issue
Production on The Charcoal Issue is moving along at an excellent pace. We’re working with authors on final edits to their pieces, and collaborating with our design and production partners at Wayne State University Press. The issue will debut at the AWP conference in Tampa, Florida, on March 8. We’re excited to show off this issue and brag about its beautiful work by brilliant writers.
If you would like to learn more about The Charcoal Issue now, you can now visit our page for the issue. We’ll update that page with links to let you preorder a copy as soon as they’re available to us.
As always, if you’re interested in supporting Fairy Tale Review and our mission, the best way is through a subscription.
3. Our digital side
As I mentioned before, 2017 was going to be the year we began publishing work online. That didn’t happen, but 2018 is going to be that year. I’ve bolstered the ranks, gotten additional help from some fantastic editors, and we’re just weeks away from publishing the first new work on February 7! Thus far, our lineup includes Elizabeth Chao, Inez Tan, Billie Tadros, Anne Valente, Avra Elliott, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Kiik Araki-Kawaguch, Julian K. Jarboe, with more coming soon. We’re thrilled to be featuring such incredible writers and their stellar work.
We’re going to celebrate the lead-up with a few of our favorites from the archives in the next two weeks, and digital submissions will reopen on February 1. Stay tuned to our Submittable page for that!
As the year continues, we’ll also be doing some special features, such as translations, interviews with authors, and perhaps teasing the release of The Charcoal Issue with a piece or two from its pages.
And as always, with love for fairyland in our hearts, we continue the work that Kate Bernheimer began many years ago: Carving out a steady place in the ever-changing literary landscape where it’s always normal to be weird.