Goodbyes Are Never Easy

Hello everyone, Marguerite here.

The new year and a new decade are around the corner, and with them comes change. Our last episode of 2019 — Effie Seiberg’s glorious The Tale of Descruptikn and the Product Launch Requirements Documentation — marks my last as Cast of Wonders’ editor.

The progression from volunteer and narrator to slush reader to editor is a goal many have when they work with a publication. And that’s part of why it’s time for me to step away. When a creative project only has space for a few at the most senior level, I strongly feel those at the top need to foster a culture of change and make opportunities for others. It’s a healthy, sustainable way to organize an endeavor that continues to rely on good will and volunteerism (despite our ongoing effort to the contrary). And it’s a culture I’m proud to say all the Escape Artists’ shows foster.

I have loved my seven years in this seat. I’m especially proud to have started our Banned Books Week episodes and see it spread as a fiercely brilliant celebration of the freedom to read. The Little Wonders flash fiction collections have thrived, and the Artemis Rising showcases have given more of our team the opportunity to practice editorial skills.

While there’s always more to learn or perfect in any role, time and energy remain stubbornly finite resources. 2019 has been the closest I’ve ever come to burnout. Having a full+ time legal career on top of co-running a publishing company AND editing a weekly publication, plus a fistful of genre volunteer roles and community memberships, isn’t sustainable. Cast of Wonders deserves more care and time and leadership than I can provide, and it’s time to live the values I advocate.

I’ve loved seeing new YA markets come into existence and older ones evolve. I got to vote for the Lodestar, a literally-in-all-but-name Hugo award, for YA novels. And even see Cast of Wonders (and myself – gulp) on the long lists a few times. Which is incredibly impressive for a “marketing category” that rarely celebrates its short fiction.

No creative endeavor is the result of a single person’s labor and I have SO MANY to thank. Barry and Graeme laid the foundations that Dani and Allen and Rikki and Alexis built on top of, soaring to the heights that Katherine, Karissa, Andrew, Jeremy, Tonya, Amy, Alicia, Trace, William, Shawn, Rey, Suzie, Emma and Chris have reached. Thank you all, especially Katherine. I’m so proud of our team and excited for what you’ll do next. I’ll continue to play whatever supporting roles you ask of me, including avid listener.

The past years give me hope that the work I’ve been a part of forms a flagstone in the foundation of yet higher achievements to come. The current and future generations of genre fiction are in fiercely inclusive, talented, courageous hands.

You all have such tales to tell. Go tell them.