[I sent this email out in March 2008 to the Unpleasant Event Schedule eGroups list as well as some 100-plus people who had submitted in the final six months of the journal. I’m posting it online as well.]
Dear Unpleasant Event Schedule Reader:
After five years of publishing many Events, I have decided to shut down Unpleasant EventSchedule.
There are many explanations for this. The journal is a one-person show, with valued help from a few other people. But after moving away for a teaching job, then having our first child, along with many other responsibilities, I have had no time to put into Unpleasant Event. As the submissions piled up over these past months, I had hoped I would be able to find some help, and although people did volunteer, things never got it together to make it happen.
A few other events happened in my life–a couple of family illnesses, for example–that took up whatever spare weekends I had to read subs and put UES pages together.
I’ve also been frustrated by technical problems–our publishing software does not work on Windows Vista, for example–all of which reinforced the notion I had to make a decision and tell everyone as soon as I can.
This announcement comes as very late to many of you, but I do hope you understand what I am saying, and that you will nonetheless keep in touch. I have thought about starting yet another journal someday, perhaps through my college, which would give me lots of interns and support that I did not have Unpleasant Event Schedule; a future project would definitely include a team of people who can help each other.
What made Unpleasant Event Schedule special to me at least, however, was that it was homespun, a one-person show. When that one person’s life takes over, that’s when the show has to end.
Thank you for hearing me out, and for being such great readers and contributors of Unpleasant Event Schedule. It’s been a great conversation.
Editor, Unpleasant Event Schedule
UPDATE 4/9/08: An informal straw poll of contributors indicated a few would want some kind of archive housed on my own site, although that would take a lot of re-coding and a lot of permissions from writers.
UPDATE 5/3/08: I think shutting down the site entirely–without paying for hosting its archives and further maintenance–is more in the spirit of Unpleasant Event. If someone else wants to host the entire back run in some Online Literary Journal Graveyard, if such a thing exists, then perhaps that’s an option. I think it’s more intellectually and artistically honest, however, to let the whole thing disappear. I think of the late Can We Have Our Ball Back? or Surgery of Modern Warfare–both one-person shows that existed for a time, then went away. That said, any writer who wants his or her own galley can write and put up a virtual xerox on their own site.