With this issue, we close the books on DargonZine’s eighteenth year on the Internet. And as is customary, I’ll discuss a few of the year’s highlights in this final Editorial of 2002.
Naturally, the first item we look at each year is how much writing we did. This year we put out eleven issues, which is the slightly ambitious goal that we shoot for each year. We published 25 stories, which is a little fewer than expected, but that’s okay, because this year’s stories tended to be a little bit longer than usual. If you take it all into account, this was one of our five most productive years, in terms of how much new fiction we brought you.
And that’s almost entirely due to a small cadre of our veteran writers. We printed stories from just nine writers this year, which is considerably fewer than normal, but five of those writers deserve particular recognition for stepping up and printing multiple stories. Without three stories each from Rena Deutsch and new writer Dave Fallon, four more from Nick Wansbutter and five from Dafydd, and P. Atchley’s record eight stories, this would have been a very sparse year for us. I hope you echo my thanks to these writers, who poured many, many hours into crafting those works.
Although no yearly retrospective would be complete without discussing our annual writers’ summit, this year’s week in Scotland deserves particular mention. Stuart Whitby chauffeured us all around the land of heroes like William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and Scotland will remain a treasured memory that will add depth and vividness to our depictions of medieval life in future stories. But also, our time together forged the connections that have kept the DargonZine family strong, despite the fact that we recently slipped below two dozen writers for the first time in many years.
As an example of some of the other things we do, we ended the year with Rhonda Gomez giving a talk about writing to a class at Gonzalez Elementary School in south Texas. Her enthusiasm left the fourth graders eager to become “super cool writers”, and if DargonZine’s longevity continues another six or eight years, perhaps you’ll see a story in these pages from one of those kids!
Of course, in order to continue to thrive, we really need your help in getting the word out. We’re not some big corporation that saturates the Internet with animated banners and pop-unders and interstitial advertisements. DargonZine is just a handful of people like yourself, doing what we enjoy and thereby giving something to the Internet community, and we survive primarily through the buzz that you, our readers, generate. We’re always looking to find more readers and attract the best new writers around, and we could really use your help right now. So if you know of someone who might be interested in a communal writing project like DargonZine, or someone who simply might enjoy reading our stories, please pass the URL along, or forward them a copy of this issue.
And look for the first issue of DargonZine Volume 16, which will be coming your way in a month or so!