Hello loyal crime fiction readers, writers, and fans. I’ve got news. I wish it were better, but it is what it is, and I just need to rip the bandage off.
I want to say a special thank you to everyone who submitted for what would have been Issue 4 of the magazine. I read some really great stories and I have no doubt many more of those I have not yet read are publication worthy, as is always the case.
You can probably discern from the above tense what I’m about to tell you. Issue 4 is not going to happen, as much as it saddens me to say. I’m not calling this the end of Crime Syndicate, just the end of my tenure as the editor.
Many reasons and circumstances brought about this decision. I’ve outlined some of them in an interview with Issue 2 Guest Editor Dietrich Kalteis HERE, and in a recent podcast interview with Crime Syndicate alum (and one of my favorite short story writers) Nick Kolakowski on NOIR ON THE RADIO earlier this week.
I want to say that I’ve loved and cherished the opportunity to publish and support the AMAZING authors who have appeared in the magazine under my tenure. Goddamn I’m honored to edit and publish work of that caliber. It’s been an incredible experience, though one I need to step back from.
I’ve got too many irons in the fire, as they say. I have often referred to Crime Syndicate’s operations in the plural pronoun “we,” but that’s a bit misleading.
The majority of Crime Syndicate is me, alone, designing covers, or logos, editing stories, putting up the money for layouts and proofreading edits, paying writers, and reading hundreds of stories before distilling them down to a fraction of total submissions for the Guest Editor to consider.
As communal as the concept is, I’ve been a lone wolf to my own peril at times. It has caused me to burn the candle at both ends, and this particular candle has run out of wax for the moment.
Crime Syndicate has always been about contributing to the community and supporting other writers. These days I feel I can accomplish that mission better through the Crime Syndicate Podcast, which I hope you’ll consider subscribing and tuning in to.
I’m not ruling out more themed anthologies in the vein of our Fast Women and Neon Lights anthology, so take heart in that. It will be a while before and if that happens, however.
I AM ruling out me editing any more issues of the magazine in the near or distant future. Beyond all the reasons I’ve mentioned previously, I just want to focus on my own writing again. I realized recently that I don’t write short fiction anymore.
My focus has been on my novels, the first of which just dropped last month. Between promoting that, organizing Noir at the Bar events here in Dallas (and a recent one in Denver as well), and raising a family, all while working a full-time writing job, I just don’t have time to edit the magazine and get it distributed the right way.
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: I’m open to someone else taking the reins. It has to be the right person, and we have to come to the right understanding. I’m willing to guide someone through the transition into the editor role, if possible, so that the magazine can keep supporting other writers.
Stay tuned for more information. For those of you experienced editors or publishers who might be interested in taking over, hit me up, let’s have a conversation. I have no idea what that would look like.
Crime Syndicate has always been a community-sourced endeavor, focused on taking the tastes of other writers into consideration, so I believe it could work. Funding is the biggest hurdle I see.
I’d love to hear from the community on ways the brand and podcast can continue to help support the community and other writers. It’s important to me. I’m not just a writer, I’m also an avid reader, and I do not for a moment believe my own work exists in a vacuum. I WANT to support other writers. The question is more about HOW to do it most effectively.
Thank you for the support, those of you who bought the magazine. The past issues will remain in circulation. And as for the writers included in Issue Three, final payments are forthcoming, stay tuned. Thank you for your patience.