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From The Editor

October 2001 Editorial

Never The Same Again

Deborah Ranchuk

In the time since the August issue appeared, we have entered a world different than ever before. In the aftermath of the tragedies of September 11, 2001, I hope you will join with me in a moment of contemplation. The forces that drive our society have been questioned and challenged. Writers especially have a priceless duty and responsibility in this day to record as fairly as possible the events that will shape this millennium. Writers help to shape the understanding of all society's members; the speeches, the news coverage, television, and eventually the films these days will spawn all have an emotional index. It cannot be helped. The shape and intensity of that emotional climate cannot be underestimated. It will drive our response as a society. I ask, as writers, that we all undertake that responsibility most carefully in the time ahead. We all have only this 'pale blue dot' to live upon; we all bleed red.

Word On The Street in Toronto was held on a perfect fall day September 30th. It was, as usual, entertaining and educational to see the wide variety of literary offerings. What we have available to us is taken for granted in our country. The marketing techniques employed were enlightening, to say the least. While we are not, say, marketing ourselves as the 'coolest' magazine in Canada; we are also not as ephemeral as 'cool' seems to be. We don't want to be. We are solid, deliver the straight writing goods six times a year, and are getting ready to start our nineteenth year of publication. I wouldn't want to trade that for 'cool' any day. I don't believe that our readers will want that either. All of our values and choices are coming into question, and the products that rely on 'flash' or trendy values rarely last. Even the more substantive magazines, like Write, find it hard to survive, and sadly we note its passing as of September 1, 2001.

Inserted into the middle of this issue is a special invitation to extend your subscription at the prevailing prices before the rate increase takes effect Jan 1, 2002. Gift subscriptions for those budding writers will be accompanied by a gift card with their December issue. The reasons for the price increase were covered in the editorial last issue. For those just joining us now, the CWJ has been priced at $4/issue since 1989. All costs have risen dramatically in those twelve years. While we gratefully acknowledge the Publications Assistance Program's help with mailing costs, we rely on subscriptions and advertising for our funding. It means we do not have the cushion that government grants would provide; it also means that we are not at the whim of bureaucrats for our continued existence.

We have decided to make this the writing magazine you can not live without, and turn to our readers to help extend the word of our existence. As the difficulties in keeping up with markets continue to grow, and there are fewer and fewer print resources to consult, we hope to help fill that gap. Most print resources have a difficult time keeping current because, by the time the research has been collated, turned into a respectable print form and published, the material quite often is out of date. As a bi-monthly magazine, we are finding it possible to alert you to more markets. If plans in place now are followed through, we will be in an even better position to provide more market information. Watch this space in the new year for announcements.

We thank you for your patience, and your support. If there are articles or news that you would like to see covered, please let us know.

Deborah Ranchuk.