The new issue of Brittle Star is speeding its way to all our subscribers. It’s a special double issue over-brimming with poems, stories, interviews and articles that should hopefully keep you satisfied through the summer months.
A lot has been happening in the Brittle Star universe over the last year. One of the most important things is that Louisa and David have both stood down as editors. These are wonderfully talented writers who deserve to have more of their own work published and I’m looking forward to the books and collections that hopefully will appear soon. It was a real privilege to work with them and they are already hugely missed.
If Oscar Wilde had worked for Brittle Star (oh, the image!) he might have said, To lose one editor may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two… but the fact is that the magazine almost lost four. After more than ten years working voluntarily to give new writers a place for their voices to be heard (in what at times can feel like a thankless job), you get tired. Add to that a long-term, painful illness and you might be forgiven for thinking: no more. Even before Louisa and David left we talked about passing the magazine on to a university or other editors. We also considered refunding subscriptions and folding Brittle Star – many projects have a natural shelf life, maybe this was one. Ten+ years is a long time in literary magazine dog-years.
But I’m stubborn and optimistic, (and Martin more so!), and to be honest I just don’t want to let the magazine go yet. We believe that what we do helps people – even if it’s just to give them that bit of confidence that what they write has a place in the world – and what we produce in the form of Brittle Star enriches our readers’ lives, as it enriches ours. But it is hard work, especially in these difficult economic times when it cuts into our freelance paid work and creative time. But to continue is a choice we’ve made and it’s one we’re happy with. The pleasure comes from reading excellent submissions and finding exciting new writers!
Brittle Star has been quieter than usual this last year and that’s partly to do with me being quite ill (various trips to the hospital and surgery and procedures and other medical gubbins – it’s all very boring and I won’t regale you with it). But hopefully, this year will be easier. We’ve finally settled in following the move out of London. We’re redesigning the magazine with issue 33, which will be launched in November, and we’ve redesigned our website, added a Pinterest gallery, re-enlivened our blog and Twitter account, added aXmag features and created a monthly writing prompt. I keep thinking in terms of a Phoenix rising from the ashes, but that’s not quite right because nothing’s burned out yet! – though, I do feel like a fire’s been lit under our backsides! This is a good thing. Watch this space.