FOUR YEARS AND A NEW MILLENNIUM
This issue marks our fourth anniversary of owning and publishing the Canadian Writer's Journal. I remember being in awe during a telephone conversation with CWJ's former owner Gordon Smart when he told me that he had done seven years -twenty-eight issues. I couldn't think that far ahead. I was trying to live through the first issue, and the concept of many more after that was not something I could easily wrap my mind around. Four years -sixteen issues later- it seems easier. The idea of four, seven or twenty years no longer seems so overwhelming. At the same time it remains more challenging.
Our challenges include staying fresh and relevant for all our readers without the flash and pretension I see in many other publications. We strive for a solid, useful little magazine that's read cover to cover. From the comments we receive by phone, fax and email, we succeed in this. Our readership remains loyal, and it is growing. Expanding our subscriber and advertising database will give us the budget to increase our payments to contributors. Better pay attracts better articles to make it a more valuable magazine, and so the cycle continues.
Finding and encouraging new writers remains a top priority. Many of our acceptances net us replies of "This is the first piece I have had accepted ..." And so we hope they are encouraged to go on and write even more. Many submit again and again, gaining the courage to submit to other places. This is a special role we fill, and take very seriously.
The web site [www.cwj.ca] launched in December of 1996 has been a large factor in our growth. We experiment with different styles and try to keep everything up to date. Some features work better than others and we try to respond to the feedback we receive. With 11,781 visitors to the page since the counter was re-installed January 2000, the importance of regular updates and reference postings has been impressed upon us. To that end we add Travis Willard to our growing staff, and hope you will let us know what is working best for you on this web page.
We have an exciting line up starting in February with a new cover design. The Short Fiction Contest runs twice a year so pencil in the new deadline of March 31st as well as the existing deadline of September 30th. As a general trend, submissions for CWJ articles, poetry and short fiction are showing a higher level of quality from more and more areas of this country and others. As usual we try to pack in as much as we can to help all levels of writing experience and give exposure to those writing areas not covered in many other places.
As we truly go into the new millennium, another new year full of promise, we will continue to give thanks for the great opportunities we have all been given, thanks for the freedom of speech we enjoy in this country. And pray for the wisdom to use it wisely and responsibly, never taking it for granted.
Wishing all of you and yours the very best of the holiday season.