2023 Year-End Recap: A Look Back & A Look Ahead

As we settle into the new year, we’re taking a moment to reflect on 2023. We’re so proud of the work our volunteer team has done to produce six amazing issues and lots of content in between. We’re grateful for our contributors and guest writers for making what we do possible.

We’re also incredibly thankful for the Friends of Hippocampus Magazine (our monthly membership program) and for attendees of our new online event series, both of which help sustain the production of our magazine.

The past few years have not been without challenges, and many of our small, indie lit colleagues are feeling the same way. Many of us have been hit hard, as organizations and as humans. We bid farewell to some mags, and see and support others who must make hard decisions and implement changes, big and small, to survive this ever-evolving world. While our in-person conference HippoCamp is on indefinite hiatus and small press division is taking a pause from submissions, we’re hopeful for our future, inspired by this community, and excited about what’s to come. Thank you for being part of our journey.

Now, let’s reflect:

stats for year-end include 57 stories/writers, including 27 essays and 30 flash pieces; 41 reviews, 41 interviews, 13 events, 234,481 views, and 11 revise and resubmits accepted

Words from Our Team

Steph Auteri, essays editor, especially wanted to point out how many “revise and resubmits” we publish. These are stories that our reading panel felt were *almost there* and for which those writers were sent a decline note with personal, detailed feedback on what we, in our opinion, could make the story really sing — and were invited to submit a revision. We admire the writers who persisted. Of the pieces resubmitted this way, we accepted 11 of them (some are still forthcoming in 2024 issues). On a personal note, with her writer hat on, Steph “had pieces come out in oranges journal and Romper, and I found out an under the gum tree piece was listed as a Notable essay in Best American Essays.”

On the flash CNF side, Jenn Hall is ever grateful to have spent her first full year as assistant flash editor and “to have read and shared ideas with such a brilliant team of thoughtful, engaged writers who love flash as much as I do. It’s an honor to play our small role in helping to usher amazing work into the world.”

Wendy Fontaine, also an assistant flash editor, shares that their team of 19 read 675 pieces this year. She adds, “One highlight from 2023 is our How-To Tuesday flash session and the number of submissions we received after the session that specifically mentioned the webinar and what they liked about it. It showed me that people want to learn more about flash and are eager to submit their work to a literary magazine that supports the form.”

Lara Lillibridge and her interviews team produced 41 interviews and expanded our conversations to include industry professionals as well as authors thanks to an influx of new interviewers. She says, “I hate to pick just one, but if you’re headed to AWP in February, you might want to revisit Dorothy Rice’s interview with Janna Marlies Maron, founding editor of Under the Gum Tree, on coordinating AWP offsite events to get you in the mood!”

Vicki Mayk’s reviews team also produced 41 pieces of content, and she’s especially proud that the Hippocampus Magazine reviews section continues to be a place where as many first-time authors as established writers receive attention for their work.

In 2023, we also saw interviews editor Carina Sitkus and writing life editor Kristen Paulson-Nguyen end their terms after many years each of dedicated service to the literary community. We wish both of them luck (and they’ll continue to be involved behind the scenes in other ways!)

That’s a wrap! We can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store.

–Donna Talarico, publisher

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