When I started Newtown Literary with a handful of friends from the Queens literary community in the spring of 2012, I’m not really sure I know what I expected to happen. I certainly didn’t expect the literary journal to be working towards publishing its tenth issue, nor did I expect that we would publish more than 150 Queens writers (and counting). I didn’t expect that the number of people working on the journal would grow to include more than 25 volunteers nor that the organization would become large enough that I need to take bookkeeping lessons and spend so much time thinking about “income streams” and “semi-restricted grant funds.”
I’m happy the journal has gone beyond my or anyone else’s expectations. Because of the outpouring of support that journal has received, we’ve been able to branch out from publishing a literary journal to having a biennial kids’ writing contest and partnering with Queens Library to bring free writing classes for adults and kids to Queens—and there’s so much more to do.
Because our wish list for Newtown Literary Alliance, the organization, has grown and our desire to support the work of Queens writers has expanded from publishing their work to providing creative writing classes and other professional development (plus other projects that are in the works for the next 5 years), I’ve found myself not able to devote the time that each of these projects deserves—to say nothing of my own writing. So, it with great excitement—and, sure, a little sadness—that I announce that I’m turning over the position of editor of Newtown Literary to our current associate editor Jackie Sherbow effective issue #11.
I’ve never seen this as Tim Fredrick’s Newtown Literary, so it is a great honor that someone else believes in what we have created enough to take on this enormous responsibility. I will remain the executive director of the larger organization, Newtown Literary Alliance, and devote my time to finding additional funds for the organization to pay our staff and contributors, creating new opportunities for Queens writers, and . . . well, you’ll see.
You will hear a little from Jackie in the next couple of days. She is an incredible editor and believes strongly in the mission of the journal, and I have no doubt that she will take the journal in great directions.