Letter sent on Feb 5 from Heath ዟ
Literally Literary — February 5, 2019
Dear Literally Literary Readers and Writers,
I usually try to keep these letters light. I realize this is potentially going into thousands of email inboxes and I try to be very respectful of that.
I ask that you indulge me a bit of personal reflection in this letter.
Something monumental is occurring with Literally Literary. For those of you who’ve been around since our subscribers only numbered in the double digits, you may share a bit of the emotional impact with me. For the rest of you, I want to tell you about a very special person: Jess Kaisk, the owner of Literally Literary.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a friend who you honestly can’t remember a single cross word from. A friend who was always supportive. A friend who was always kind and considerate. A friend who appreciated you and was always glad to hear from you. A friend who you adored.
That’s Jessica. She’s one of my very favorite people in the world.
One day, out of the blue, I was suddenly an editor for LL. That’s how sure she was that I’d want to do this with her and how sure she was that we’d work well together. I dare you to find two editors who clicked as well as we did.
Jessica put her complete trust in me to run this place. Think about that. How many times has someone trusted you completely with something so close to their heart? She’s an amazing person and we had a lot of fun here. We had a shared vision and I can’t put into words how beautiful it is to find that such an easy thing, something that just flows so naturally. There was such an organic quality to the way we worked.
I remember the first time I came across Jessica. I freely admit, I first clicked on her work because she had the cutest profile picture. It was the one where she had on a baseball cap and this infectiously sweet smile. I read her writing and felt a real kinship and connection with her. Thus started a really great friendship. :)
Sometimes, however, life requires more of you than it ever has before.This is where Jessica is at. I won’t go into her personal business, but if you can imagine being granted something you’ve wanted so badly, a wish, repeated over and over, a hope, frayed at the edge, but held onto. That’s Jessica, and I couldn’t have wished that on a sweeter, more beautiful, deserving, wonderful person.
There is a point to all of this: Jessica is turning ownership of Literally Literary over to me. This will happen as soon as Medium staff finishes making the change-over. This decision was made, with love, on both of our parts. There’s never been any pressure, from either of us, to make this change. We both realized it was time.
Jessica gave birth to this idea, she named it. I have had the absolute privilege to raise it with her from the start. While I’m so ridiculously happy with her and where she is in her life, I’m not understating things when I say that finally doing this has, in a way, broken my heart into pieces.
It’s all positive, though!
Still, it’s the end of an era, for me, and now that the decision is official, I feel like an emotional balloon has burst. I actually got a couple of tears writing this (the manly kind, of course). Jessica will always be a part of Literally Literary, in its heart, and in its soul. I refuse to let it ever be otherwise. This place is a combined piece of both our hearts and I couldn’t be more proud of that.
I’ve been dragging my feet, I think, because I knew, inside, that I’d have to deal with this. I apologize to you all for the slow down with things lately. I should have done something about it sooner. I had the irrational idea that I could do it all by myself because I didn’t want this to be anyone else’s place but ours. I know it’s kind of stupid, and, in the end, I knew it was unreasonable for me to risk the quality and community of Literally Literary, rather than do what needed to be done. That’s where my other news comes in.
BUT, before I go into that, I just want to say I love the crap out of you, Jessica. This would not have been worth doing without you. You are a star in my sky, girl.
The other big news is the announcement of two new editors at Literally Literary!
Please welcome Indira Reddy as your new Prose Editor and Anna Rozwadowska as your new Poetry Editor. It took a lot for me to share the responsibility for this place, but I know I’ve got two great people here who will make fantastic editors and help push Literally Literary into 2019 with a bang!
Just to clarify, I’m not going anywhere. I’m still the Managing Editor. I will still be closely involved in all things Literally Literary, I just won’t be running it solo. While I want Indira and Anna to feel an ownership for their sections, and LL itself, I’m sure they’ll let me play in their sandboxes from time to time. :)
What this means is writing will be published in a more timely manner. This is good for both writers and readers. This means that new writer submissions will be approved much more quickly. This means emails will actually get answered! (seriously, I apologize to anyone who has been waiting for a response… I swear to you it’s not because I don’t care).
I think Literally Literary is one of the best publications on Medium, but I think it can be more. My editors think it can be more. Jessica knew it could be more.
We’ll be divulging more information over the next few weeks as the staff discusses projects and ideas to make you folks glad you’re here. I don’t want to say too much yet, as this is something we’re going to do as a team, but I do want to tease you a bit with this: updated rule and submission guidelines, cross-publication collaborations, prompts, contests, prizes (for all, not just those in convenient places to ship, etc.), and print/e-book publishing opportunities for our writers!
So, please be patient with me a little longer during this transition and I promise you’ll be glad you did.
— With love,