Better Late Than Neverby Sarah Miles • 06.26.2013
Fringe published its last issue on Monday, June 24. Today, founding editor Sarah Miles reflects on her time with the magazine.
Past editors were supposed to have this in last week. I kept starting this goodbye, either in an email reply to the original request, or in my head. Drafts are littered all over my computer. I’m busy, I told myself. I have a new job, a new boyfriend, a new apartment, a new life. I leave for a two-week trip to Europe in six days. It’s okay if I don’t get this last piece in for Fringe.
But it’s not okay. Fringe means a lot to me, and I need to give it a proper goodbye.
Every day I come into my office and see a Fringe magnet, one of our giveaways at an AWP, clipped to a random file drawer. People ask me about it sometimes. Sometimes I point it out. And I am proud to tell them about it, to say I was a founder and the first fiction editor.
I am proud that we founders made something from nothing. I am proud that we made something good enough, exciting enough, progressive enough, that others wanted to help us continue it. I am proud of the amazing contributors without whom there would be no magazine.
And I have a lot of gratitude to bestow.
I am truly grateful to the long line of fiction editors who came after me. It is arduous work going through the slush pile, but it is ever so satisfying to find that gem hidden in the inbox. I am grateful to the fiction readers, some of whom I recruited in sessions in the WLP lounge area, and who still signed up anyway, even after I told them there would be lots of labor for no pay.
I am also grateful to all the friends who helped make our Fringe Binges successful fundraisers and a hell of a lot of fun. I know there are a lot of you out there who remember them—or most of them, anyway.
And mostly, I am grateful for the amazing women, my fellow editors-in-arms, who I count as some of the best friends I have.
It was a hard decision to leave Fringe when I did, in June 2009. I’d switched to Managing Editor, and it was a lot like my day job—organizing, hounding members for dues, filling out forms to maintain our non-profit status. It wasn’t fun the way it had been. So I left. And it was heart-rending, but I learned to live with it. I learned to watch the magazine grow through the eyes of my ladies—Lizzie, Janell, Julia, Anna Lena, Heather.
But now, years later, reading the words of my dear friends making their goodbyes, that rift in my heart is re-opened. The heady days of creation are fresh in my mind, and we are all eight years younger, unable to foresee the paths our lives would take, and eager to make our mark in the literary field.
Congratulations, Fringe Team. Look what we’ve done. Be proud.
And let me know when it’s time for Fringe Binge: the Reunion.