I can think of few better examples of how elastic the concept of time can be than when I look back on the last nine years. It is not an inevitability for any publication to last this long. That timeframe becomes more fragile if they publish short fiction, and doubly so if they have the audacity to focus on a particular niche.
Of course even as I wrote that I bristled at the thought of women-identified writers being a “niche”. More than half the population of the world is hardly what I would call a minority. Perhaps one day that won’t feel so untrue.
But back to those nine years we’ve got tucked under our belts. They feel long, especially the last couple and yet, at the same time, they flew. One of the authors who’s story you will be reading shortly was too young to read the first issue when it came out and now she’s old enough to be sharing her own writing with you all. The early issues were wobbly things that required a fair bit of duct tape and peanut butter to hold them together and now they’re these flourishing creatures who stand strong on their own. Somewhere in there I got older and grayer, though I don’t feel much of it other than in the hard-won wisdom I carry with me. I replaced a lot of the fucks I used to give with wisdom. You can only carry so much and something had to go, ya know?
I started LSQ with a goal of supporting women-identified writers who were not getting a chance elsewhere. When I look at what we’ve done to support , that bears out. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of giving a number of folks their first publishing credits. Many of them have gone on to publish more stories and novels and are now making their living writing. A few have even joined the staff of this very magazine.
Along with looking back, we’re also looking forward, like any self-respecting speculative fiction magazine should. What are the possibilities yet before us? The next year will be exciting and interesting, a landmark year for us here at LSQ. Along with the wisdom we’ve gathered, there is confidence gained in reaching year ten. It’s not about getting comfortable though, in fact it’s the opposite. It’s about knowing where the edges of things are now, including some boundaries that are starting to feel a little snug. We’re old hands at this now, but that doesn’t mean our tasks are taken for granted.
Our first nine years have been about learning who we are, how we do the things we do, laying foundation that’s built to last. Year ten will be about reflecting a bit on all that has come before and then priming the rockets for the next leap. We’ll look back to see all the things that have worked and celebrate, and the things that didn’t and recalibrate.
I look forward to sharing this very special year with you all. I hope you join me as we give thanks for all that has happened to get us here. More importantly, I hope you stay and even pull your chair a little closer to the fire. We’re a thousand bright stars in a shared galaxy right now, I’d love to bring you all into our orbit so we can shine all the brighter.
“Spark joy” is a phrase that is on many people’s minds lately. The heart of that phrase is a guide for finding the things in your life that have meaning, and bring true value to your life and then being grateful for those things in an open, honest and authentic way.
I hope the stories we have been telling all these years spark joy for you. More than that, may the stories we have yet to share continue to delight, encourage, uplift, and make you feel things in deep, meaningful ways that enrich your life.
Thank you for the last nine years. I look forward to thanking you again a decade from now and can’t wait to see what the seeds we’re planting will yield. Together lets sow for prosperity, generosity, community, and wonderful stories.
Alright, year ten starts now!