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.