Going On Hiatus....
Well, here it is. The Harrow's last issue before we go on a year's hiatus!
The Harrow began in 1998, so we've been publishing nonstop for 11 and a half years. I started The Harrow in my year's break between graduate school and my first teaching job, while I was working at a trade magazine and just learning HTML, and ever since then we've been putting out this zine regularly with an all-volunteer, incredibly hard-working and dedicated staff of editors and reviewers.
My goal for The Harrow was to provide a place for beginning writers to get their work reviewed, mentored, and ultimately published, and we've stayed true to that mission since the beginning. Thanks to a staff of devoted editors and reviewers, The Harrow has never rejected a submission with a "thank you, but this work doesn't suit our needs at this time" form letter. We've always provided feedback sometimes just from the editor, sometimes from one or two reviewers and the editor. True, at times authors have taken umbrage at our criticism, but far more often we've received sincere thanks from writers surprised to finally get a personal and constructive note from an editor. It's a pity, I think, that more editors don't take the time to provide thoughtful feedback with their rejections ... but it does take time, there's no doubt about that. However, as a professor, I can't help but think that providing constructive criticism is always worth the effort.
So how have we changed over the years?
The Harrow started as a purely HTML, "for the love" zine publishing fiction, poetry, and horror and fantasy art. In 2001, the art galleries became "Dark Art," and in 2002 we decided to restrict ourselves to fiction and poetry, as it was becoming more difficult to find high-quality artists willing to share their works with us when so many other art galleries had opened up on the web.
2005 was a landmark year for us in many ways.
In 2005 we made our switch from a purely HTML site to a database-driven site, adopting Open Journal Systems software. We were one of the first, if not the first, fiction zines to do so, and I have to say that it simplified the job a lot. If you're a zine/journal editor or thinking about becoming one, I can't recommend this system highly enough. A special thanks to Jason Nolan, who's been with us since our second year and whose talented webmastery in the last few years has kept the site up and running.
In 2005 we also started paying for stories and poems not much, but it felt good to finally offer something, no matter how little back to the authors and poets who had been working with us for so long.
Finally, in 2005 we put out Fear of the Unknown, an illustrated collection of horror stories published through Echelon Press.
In 2007, we published our second illustrated collection, Midnight Lullabies, through The Harrow Press in 2007.
Many staff members and associates worked on those anthologies, but I need to take a moment to give special thanks to Kfir Luzzatto, without whose spearheading efforts neither the anthologies nor The Harrow Press would have ever seen the light.
So, why are we going on hiatus in the middle of 2009?
Despite the recession, we're not suspending operations for financial reasons. It's exhaustion, really. Working on The Harrow has been incredibly fun and rewarding, but it takes a lot of time and effort, and by the end of 2008 many of the editors felt ready to take a break. We decided to close the zine to submissions, run through what was left in our queue, and then treat ourselves to a 12-month break.
We'll post updates about The Harrow in the Announcements section during the hiatus, do take a moment to check back here occasionally for an update.
I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who's worked on The Harrow in its 11.5 years of existence. I've had a number of editors who've dedicated a huge portion of their lives to this webzine, some of them working themselves to the point of collapse, and many reviewers who've taken the time to provide extensive criticism and advice to authors. The Harrow would never have lasted this long without everyone's help.
In 1998, my editorial board consisted of Janet Berkman, Jo Gerrard, Kate Hynes, Catherine Munro, W. Scott Snyder, Christie Syphrit, and Rebecca Donovan-Tifft. Thank you for being the pioneers!
In 1999, Rebecca Donovan-Tifft, Jo Gerrard, Maria Grimsgaard, Leah Jakusovszky, Robbie Laliberte, Lloyd Michael Lohr, Catherine Munro, D. Jason Nolan, Monica O'Rourke, M. S. Raper, W. Scott Snyder, Jeremy Tripp.
In 2000, Jason Nolan (poetry editor) and Catherine Munro (art editor); Rebecca Donovan-Tifft, Jo Gerrard, Maria Grimsgaard, Leah Jakusovszky, Robbie Laliberte, Teri Lucia, Monica O'Rourke, Melissa Pinol, Lucy Piotrowski, M. S. Raper, David Schumann, Jeremy Tripp.
In 2001, Leah Jakusovszky & Catherine Munro (art editors), Sandra Kustari (poetry editor), Teri Lucia (columns editor), and Monica O'Rourke (contest editor). And Sarah Dobbs, Jo Gerrard, Robbie Laliberte, Andrew Lawson, Benjamin P. Lefebvre, D. Jason Nolan, Melissa Pinol, Lucy Piotrowski, Mark Rudolph, and Sammi Rutherford.
In 2002, Jason Nolan (poetry editor), Teri Lucia (columns editor), and Monica O'Rourke (contest editor). And Richard Dysinger, Jo Gerrard, Robbie Laliberte, Andrew Lawson, Melissa Pinol, Lucy Piotrowski, Sammi Rutherford, Julian Smith and Frank Thayer.
In 2003, Ilya Davidovich (fiction editor), Michelle Tercha (poetry editor), Kfir Luzzatto & Monica O'Rourke (anthology editors), and Jason Nolan (editor-at-large). And Chris Brown, Richard Dysinger, Jo Gerrard, Robbie Laliberte, Teri Lucia, Sammi Rutherford, and Frank Thayer.
In 2004, Jason Nolan (poetry), Kfir Luzzatto (anthology). And Chris Brown, Ilya Davidovich, Richard Dysinger, Jo Gerrard, Robbie Laliberte, Teri Lucia, Frank Thayer, Michelle Tercha and Sarah Smiles.
In 2005-2009, we moved to the OJS database, and my year-to-year records ceased. However, our editorial staff has consisted of Michael Colangelo (fiction), Tyra Twomey (poetry), Kfir Luzzatto (anthology), and Jason Nolan (editor-at-large). Our reviewers have included Jeff Appleton, Lucy Baum, Jo Gerrard, Garvan M. Giltinan, Mario Guslandi, Travis Lee Heerman, Robbie LaLibertie, Paul Lewthwaite, Andersen Prunty, and Frank Thayer. If you reviewed for us and were left off this list, please email me at editor --- at --- theharrow (dot) com, and I'll add your name.
Thank you, as well, to the many authors, poets, and artists who've worked with us, some over and over through the years. I've appreciated your giving us the opportunity to review and publish your works, and I wish you the best in your careers!