Sadly, Jo Derrick has decided to bring to an end her literary short story magazine for women, The Yellow Room. The magazine had been in difficulty for a while, with Jo fighting against rising printing and postage costs, but recently there had been a boost from several well-supported competitions, and the future had looked a little more hopeful.
Jo says the final decision is in part owing to increased competition from online magazines. On a Facebook post announcing the closure of The Yellow Room, Jo says, “There simply isn’t the customer base for print magazines these days. Times have changed. Self-funded small press journals may soon be a thing of the past.”
I fear she may be right, though I rather hope she isn’t entirely. I love writing websites, and I think online platforms are a great way for the short story writer to get their work read by a large audience. But for all the advantages of the whizzy interactive website, there is something special about holding a physical copy of a magazine – and something special about seeing your work on the printed page as opposed to a virtual one.
I wish Jo well concentrating on her own writing now, and thank her for all her hard work on The Yellow Room since 2008. And if you’re a writer, in particular a short story writer, I urge you to support a wide range of magazines – both of the ‘e’ and print variety. Unsupported, they will die – and with each death, our range of possible outlets becomes a little smaller.