Fickle Muses to close at the end of the year

After a 10-year run, Fickle Muses will close at the end of 2016. We will continue considering submissions in all categories through September 30 September 4. Updated 8/28: Due to a strong submission response, Fickle Muses will close our final reading period early. The last day to submit is Sunday, Sept. 4, by 11:59 p.m. GMT. We’ll also extend the publication timeline as needed to ensure that all work receives full consideration, probably into early 2017.

I began publishing Fickle Muses in January 2007, a few months after finishing a master’s degree at the University of New Mexico. I had been submitting my poetry (then evenly divided between autobiography and mythology) for a couple of years, and while I was seeing some mythological poetry in literary magazines, most were dominated by contemporary realism. When I looked for magazines specializing in mythological writing, I found only one, and that one took submissions by solicitation only. Writers of mythological fiction might find homes for their work in fantasy and related genres, but they might have a harder time if their stories carried the myth too far from more recent genre tropes.

So I decided to create a venue dedicated to mythological writing. Though the work published in Fickle Muses has not represented the plurality of mythic traditions so well as I’d intended, I hope it has inspired new ways of thinking about the traditional world views expressed in mythology and how they shape our contemporary worlds.

The same year that I began publishing Fickle Muses, I was diagnosed with major depression, which I’ve been living with in some degree since adolescence. After my current depressive episode began in 2011, it became evident that I would have to turn the editing reins over to others. I’m grateful to all the editors who’ve kept Fickle Muses alive. They and the contributing writers and artists are responsible for the most important work in publishing: the content. In recent months, however, I have found that I’m no longer able to handle even my more limited behind-the-scenes role, leading to the difficult decision to close Fickle Muses at the end of this year.

I don’t want the content to be lost. It will be preserved in some degree through the Wayback Machine, but I mean to keep as much of it as possible available in a more reader-friendly format as well. I’ll begin contacting contributors later in the year about plans for preservation. Most of the site will remain available until June 2017.

Though it’s sad to be closing Fickle Muses, I’m glad it’s happening at a time when there are more opportunities for publishing contemporary mythic writing. I’ve stumbled on two active publications that specialize in it, Parabola and Mythology Magazine, and have seen a number of calls for myth-focused anthologies in recent years.

Thank you, dear readers, writers and artists for sharing this journey. I hope it’s been good for you, too.