Hello everyone! It’s Matthew. Happy birthday to us, I suppose. I just want to announce here that we have been around for HALF A DECADE!!!
Thank you to everyone who keeps reading. I know that this is a small corner of the internet, but we’ve gotten enough submissions over the years to keep us going, and at least enough readers to keep the flow of submissions coming. 😛
For years, I didn’t feel like we were an actual part of the literary community, just imitators playing at it. It amazed me that being a “publisher” could be as simple as reading someone’s stuff, and then putting it up on a website that you host fairly inexpensively. This meant that I didn’t see what was happening as it happened. Only now, looking back after the fact, do I see us slowly growing and still doing so. I can say with absolute pride that we have put out more quality literary content in volume than many litmags and blogs put out over their entire existence, and we’re still going!
If you read our newsletter, you know that I, like a lot of people who haven’t “broken in” yet, am struggling with publication. This is a common problem (I think) because the ratio of talented writers to agents and publishers is disproportionate. With so many options and so few books that they can possibly put out, the publishing industry only says “yes” to anything that will clearly, obviously sell. Literary magazines like ours often shut down, no matter the quality of the content they put out, because print publication is expensive and choosing to publish what is “good,” instead of what is “popular,” is inherently a losing strategy. As publications that feature talented writers quit, the talented writers themselves inevitably do. My economist friend would tell me that the market naturally disincentivizes labor it doesn’t value.
I guess we’re really hard to disincentivize.
For the first four years we ran the Metaworker, we ran it at a loss. Thanks to our Patreon, this is the first year that that hasn’t happened(!) To be fair, part of what makes this possible is our digital model. But still we do the labor of running this with no expectation of compensation because we believe in it. Everything that you have seen on this site, and everything that you are going to see here, is art that we believe deserves to be shared and distributed and seen by people. Even though our audience is small (but slowly rising) the fact that we are putting it out there is what matters.
I’m happy to say that our goal has never been exclusivity. We have an attitude of wanting to accept the pieces that are sent our way. And when we reject them it’s because we believe that a better version of this piece could exist with more revision. We wish that the literary world could work this way everywhere. But until it does, we’ll make it for ourselves as best we can.