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Jeff and I don’t often reach out via the blog here—we always said, when we started Midwestern Gothic, that we wanted to disappear as much as we could behind it—so we’d like to think that when we do, it’s for something meaningful.
In April 2016, we released Issue 21, which was our 5th anniversary issue. We were—and still are—ecstatic. We created Midwestern Gothic, first and foremost, as a love letter to the Midwest, our home, a place we felt, at the time, was woefully misunderstood and overlooked. Where are we at today, five years later? I think we’re still misunderstood and overlooked, but not nearly as much so—regionalism has taken root, and we’re seeing more and more people proud of where it is they’ve come from, celebrating these diverse cultures, which is an amazing thing.
Five years, however, gets you thinking: How can we best serve our cause, our mission? After a great deal of soul searching, Jeff and I have decides on a few changes to the Midwestern Gothic brand. We’re extraordinarily excited about these, and feel this is the best way for us to move forward. We hope you’ll all agree, and celebrate along with us.
– First, starting in 2017 we’ll be moving Midwestern Gothic to a bi-annual publication: Winter and Summer. Issue 23 (Fall 2016) will be our last quarterly issue. For bi-annual issues (2017 issues going forward), we’ll be accepting fiction, poetry, and nonfiction for each issue.
– Submissions for each bi-annual issue will be open longer than they currently are (going from one month to two months) to account for only having two submissions periods per year.
– This will allow us to focus even more on our MG Press titles, which is something we are so excited about. MG Press titles will be published Spring and Fall of each year.
– There will be a brand refresh with the journal, its look and format, and while we’re not ready to share that yet, we’re can’t wait to share it.
We’re excited for these changes. Undoubtedly, some will be disappointed that the quarterly publication schedule is going away, but the heart of Midwestern Gothic is not changing. Our focus remains on telling the best stories of, or inspired by, the Midwest, by the regions finest writers. Period. This new publication schedule will allow us more flexibility in our projects, more ability to market to a larger audience, and really—ideally—show even more people why the Midwest is a powerhouse of literary goodness.
Submissions for The Lake Prize will be opening July 1—winners will be published in the 2017 Winter issue. General submissions (fiction, poetry, nonfiction) for that same issue will be opening up in July as well (more details to come).
You’ll be noticing a few website design changes in the coming months as well, so thank you for bearing with us for any technical issues that may arise.
Ultimately, though, just a big thank you. Jeff and I are so appreciative of all of the support over the years, the sheer number of people who have submitted and continue to submit to us—who believe in what we’re doing. We couldn’t be happier, and are so excited for everything coming up. We really, truly, could not have done all that we have—and continue to do—without each of you writers and readers and supporters and family members and friends being there. Thank you.
—Robert James Russell, June 2016