We’re taking things in a new direction:
Greetings to all our readers and authors, and Happy New Year!
It is with bittersweet but optimistic feelings that we have decided to change our approach to the Starward Shadows eZine.
Some of you may have already noticed that we’ve been phasing out the “Quarterly” part of SSQ on our website, and the implication of that change holds true: We will be taking a step back from our original plans to put out a new issue every quarter, since this has turned out to be a bit too fast-paced for us.
We are only human (or something like that), after all, and this year has held many personal trials for us. Our goal at Starward Shadows has always been to create an inspiring space for those who feel at odds with the world, and we’ve realized that we must extend that goodwill to ourselves as well. We cannot pour from empty cups, so we’ll be focused on refreshing and improving our approach to Starward Shadows moving forward.
We’re restructuring Starward Shadows into something new: We believe in quality over quantity, so although the Flash Menagerie will remain active, we will be taking an indefinite hiatus from putting out regular eZine issues each quarter.
Alongside recognizing the need to prioritize our family and mental health, we were also forced to address the very real financial struggles related to the magazine’s upkeep. We are firmly against underpaying writers for their work, and we don’t feel right about continuing to encourage people to send in their work if we don’t have the budget to pay them adequately for their creativity and efforts.
Again, please note: We aren’t at all saying that there will never be another issue of the Starward Shadows eZine–only that we don’t know when the next issue will be.
We’re weighing all our options and trying to figure out how we can keep the magazine running on a very limited budget. We’ve considered expanding to print issues, since these tend to be more lucrative—but this will be a difficult endeavor without a lot of help from our readers. We’re considering a spring Kickstarter or GoFundMe for this purpose, but . . .
If you would like to see more issues from Starward Shadows in the future, any donations would be a huge help and every cent will go towards supporting the magazine/menagerie and building up the funds to compensate our authors once again for another Starward Shadows eZine issue of incredible speculative fiction.
In the meantime, Starward Shadows will remain a place where anyone can read our first two issues online for free, along with our ever-expanding Flash Menagerie.
We’ve decided to keep the flash section of the website open for now, since it’s much more bite-sized and manageable. Please note that submissions are NOT open at the moment, and we aren’t yet sure when they will be again. It will take time for us to go through all the old, long-overdue pieces that we were too overwhelmed to address properly for all these months.
For anyone who has already paid for a yearly subscription that includes four eZine issues: We cannot thank you enough for your support, and if you don’t want to wait, we will refund you half of the subscription price that you paid us since we’ve only prepared two issues for you so far. If you’d like a refund for the two issues that haven’t been delivered yet, please reach out through email and let us know. Otherwise, we’ll send you the next two issues as soon as they’re available in eBook form. You can expect the eBook for issue 002 sometime this coming week.