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365 days go by quickly. Already, RPD has turned one year old! We've been through a lot in the past year. We've worked with so many talented contributors since December of 2013 and published amazing works. We're happy to see our readers enjoying the best of what our writers and poets have to offer. Who knew that when our Editor-in-Chief was sitting behind her desk on Long Island in the fall of 2013 she was dreaming up something that, one year later, would be this big? We're proud to say RP&D has become a family and we're happy to have you as a part of that!
The November issue features a lot of amazing works from a variety of contributors - some we've seen before, some we've not seen in a long time, and some completely new to RP&D. We welcome everyone, including regular contributor Adam Robinson who worked hard to edit the fiction works this issue. We think he (and his contributors) did a wonderful job! We hope you'll all enjoy Volume 1, Issue 12!
Besides being our final issue of Volume 1, November is also National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short). Feel free to submit pieces of what you write this month. Also, look for writing prompts and words of encouragement from our own editorial team via our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. If you're not following us already - get on that!
We still have a great deal we want to accomplish at RP&D, so don't think we've reached all of our goals yet. We have an announcement coming next month about how we are going to celebrate turning 1 year old, as well as some new ideas for Volume 2.
Don't forget that the submission period for our December 2014 issue opened up today. We look forward to your reflections on the year and any hopes and goals you've set for 2015. Make sure to get your piece in before November 15th!
We're one year old and STILL - Not For the Faint of Heart.
RP&D Turns 1 Your RP&D Staffers reflect on their first year running a litmag:
JORDAN: Human beings are amazing; we really have no idea what we are capable of. If you'd told me three years ago that I was going to take care of my ailing mother full time for the next 2.5 years, I would've looked at you like you were mad. If you'd told me I'd write an essay about being her caregiver and that my essay would be posted to a widely-read online blog, I would scoff. If you told me that the content published along side that essay would shock and appall me, I would be concerned. But I would have nothing to fret about, for all these things would be true. All of them I would survive. And all of them would lead me to this moment, sitting before my computer and reflecting on the first year of being Editor-in-Chief of The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society.
Running a litmag is no small feat. It involved bringing together a great deal of people, some I didn't even know before I said "hey, would you like to edit non-fiction?" But I have made new friends along the way. I have reconnected with old friends. I have felt deeply the beat of the hearts of strangers. I have stood up for what I believe in. I have not backed down. I have realized that we all are powerful, we all move mountains. This magazine is my Everest, and while I have not yet reached its summit, I know I am not alone. I am simply leading the pack.
JEN:Last year, my roommate, knowing that I had been looking for an editorial position, told me that his friend Jordan was looking for an editor to help her create a new online magazine. She and I exchanged e-mails about the project, and I knew right away that this was going to be a great experience. We worked together with the other editors to create submission guidelines and an effective way of keeping track of submissions, as well as work out all the tiny little details that a startup needs to establish that we had never thought of before. As time has gone on, we’ve altered our practices, keeping what works and discarding what doesn’t. One year later, this job is still exciting. Our staff has worked incredibly well together from the beginning, and our monthly meetings are actually enjoyable. I love what I do; helping people make their essays the best they can be is fun and rewarding. I’m thrilled that RPD is still going strong, and thank you to all our readers and contributors for keeping it that way.
BEE: Pretend this is a recording of an interview. Pretend the dial of your radio has lead you here, the pops and hisses making way for the interviewer to apologize as she adjusts the microphone. Pretend you hear me adjust my hips in an upholstered chair, and agree to begin. "For those of you just joining us, tonight we're with Bee Walsh, poetry editor at The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. It's a pleasure to have you with us. Why don't you tell us a bit of the birth of RP&D?" "Have you ever heard the phrase, 'if you love someone, let them go?' Well, in this case it ends simply with, 'if they return, start a literary magazine with them.' The magazine was first born in the heart and mind of Jordan Rizzieri, our Editor-at-Large, but then born again late one evening in my bedroom when I was living in Brooklyn. We had become so thoroughly let down by the publications printing our work and the turns they were taking, we had all but given up on writing. It was either start or own, or take up accounting." "It sounds like you two were made to work together." "Well, yes and no. I can't have seen myself doing anything but this after we started, but I have never been good at what I do. I apologize to all of the contributors over the years who received a late acceptance or had their work published on a day different than I told them. I have loved what I do, what we do, but I have the mind of a poet, all words, all thought, hardly any reality." "So, where is RP&D now? Is it where you had thought you'd land?" "The first part is simple, we have become an institution of writing. We took the conventions of literary publication and turned them on their heads. By having conversations with our contributors, we put as much thought into their work as they did. We never fancied ourselves experts in our field, but we were wholly confident in our ability to recognize potential, to recognize an idea, and help it become what it was intended to be. As for where we landed, I'm sure Jordan could dig up old lists of things she wanted to accomplish, and we could tick off most of them, but we never tried to force the magazine to be something it wasn't, and in that way, it lead us along with it to where it wanted us, not the other way around." "We're going to take a quick break and we'll be back after to speak more about the future of The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society."
ADAM:Disregarding an inherent sense of logic, and doing everything within my power to simply be difficult: I am now of the feigned opinion that seasons don't change, and that seasons don't exist. Of the opinion that one's life, in addition to earthly rotation, is one long autumn, and the weather simply varies because, well... it does. I don't need an explanation and I'd rather not hear one. The season is what the season is. And every month in retrospect of continual fall, for me, has been a month filled with words; and none recollects more vividly in terms of a mental colloquy with myself than this past September. It was a month spent writing, proof-reading what I'd solidified into text, and, eventually, banishing most of those documents from sight and into shoe-boxes, drawers and folders marked, “nothing important.” With October came change. A change not bearing more chill in the air, nor autumn additions to the menu of your local franchised coffee shop, but a change in words: what they represent, what they mean to me, and in which direction they guide my thinking. October brought with it my first month as fiction editor for the RPDS and a new perspective on words and ideas, and what they might mean outside of my own schema. October brought with it the notion that all words spoken, thought and solidified are important on some level, mean something to someone, and shouldn't be filed into a folder marked otherwise; but considered, scrutinized, and transfigured into something that makes the hair on your neck stand taller than the chill does. And so, it's my pleasure to be here as October has moved into the month that follows. I'll see you all when the snow falls, melts, et cetera, as it all tends to do in perpetual autumn.
ARCHIVES: ISSUES AND NEWSLETTERS
Archives of our past newsletters can be located on our site for your reading pleasure.
Be sure to also visit the archive of September's posts, neatly arranged in a digital "glossy" version.
Both can be found under the Archives tab at the top of the site.
Until next time,
Jordan, Jen, Bee, Adam, & Alecia
THE EDITORIAL STAFF