An End of Sorts

As most of you may know by now, our venerable editor-in-chief Maria Schneider is leaving the magazine to pursue other options, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a few words about her. Maria was the one who–as an assistant editor– originally “discovered” me, reading my pathetic query for submission for “Writing a Literary Masterpiece” and inviting me to submit work. For years she worked as my editor, prodding and poking things in an appropriate direction and using her skills to help turn the somewhat pathetic into acceptably average, and the acceptably average into good.

As we both grew–she moving up the editorial ladder, and I in several directions at once– our relationship became strained, mostly because the burden of dealing with me became too much to bear, as I can be arrogant, lazy, and unabashedly random, and she could be (to me, at least) infuriatingly stubborn, and the combination boiled over like a pot of water you originally wanted to make Annie’s Shells in, but forgot to take off an extremely hot stove, because you passed out watching Reno 911. We moved apart as she reached the top editorial rung, taking over the editor position from our dear friend Kristin Godsey, and she smartly passed me off, which cooled our temperamental relationship and allowed us to work in a more fruitful and productive manner for the rest of our time. 

Despite our own head-butting, Maria will (and should) be missed by everyone involved with WD. She brought a deliciously wry sense of humor, a passion for books, a blunt, honest approach, and the open, intelligent mind to be welcoming to any and all new writers. She helped make and shape my writing career, and she ushered a fresher, newer, less self serious tone into the pages of the magazine. These are the pillars she has left behind, and she should feel good about them. Or–at the very least– she should bring them up alot.

And while we’re doing the farewell thing, this feels like a good time to also announce that this month’s WD contains my final column within the magazine, ending my streak of columns somewhere on the sunny side of 3 years. Now don’t pretend to freak out– I will still have the weekly blog, and will occasionally contribute to the magazine– but it just felt like a good time for us to wrap that part and for me to move on and pursue my first love– amateur back-up Hip Hop Dancing.

So we’ve got a lot of semi-goodbyes. Maria, you will truly be missed, and Kevin’s column, you will also be missed– but mostly in hindsight. Now don’t you all start leaving your jobs– it looks like I’m going to need a Sugar Mama:)

Comments will be judged by accuracy, landing, and overall performance during the high bar routine.  

See Me and Julio Down,
By the Schoolyard

Paul Simon

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About Ben Sobieck

Benjamin Sobieck is a Wattpad Star and 2016 Watty Award winner. He’s best known on Wattpad for Glass Eye: Confessions of a Fake Psychic Detective, the Watty Award–winning sequel Black Eye, and When the Black-Eyed Children Knock & Other Stories. Four of his titles have appeared on Wattpad Top 100 Hot Lists, all at the same time.

22 thoughts on “An End of Sorts

  1. Kathy

    Oh my God, oh my God. Oh no you dihd-hent. You did not just leave WD. I’ve read only two issues, count them again…two. Two of your columns were just enough to get me hooked. Just the right dose to develop a dependency. Your two columns gave me the (most likely false) courage to write my first query. It was as if you were there with me. Holding my hand—-making it difficult to type by the way—-telling me it would be okay. And now this. What’s a girl to do?

    Yes, clearly I have found your blog and this should be of some solace. But, alas, I still feel betrayed. So in retaliation I am commenting on a blog you posted over a week ago. Take that Mr. Confidence-Builder-Then-Taker-Away Guy. Take that.

    Oh, and good luck.

  2. Erin

    I just read through each and every one of these comments. Looks like you’re a little bit loved, Kevin (and perhaps a little stalked?)…

    Selfishly, I was really disappointed to read that there will be no more Kevin Alexander columns in WD, but I am relieved to know your dynamic, hilarious writing will continue online.

    Unselfishly, I hope you’re on the path you need/want to be on. Life’s short. (And yet I still continue to procrastinate…what’s up with that?!)

    Cheers and keep on writing!

  3. Corey

    I can remember the first time I happened upon your column in Writer’s Digest. My first thought was "This guy is reading ‘The Devil Wears Prada’? You have got to be kidding me!" I continued to read the rest of the entire Writer’s Digest, even the ads, avoiding yours as if it were liquid hot magma. When I was finished, the next magazine had not made its way into my mailbox yet. Like a crack head without a dealer, I decided, in an act of desperation, to read your column. I was completely taken by surprise. That was only a few months ago. Our relationship has only just started to bloom and here you are, leaving me scared and alone in this crazy world of the literary arts. I gave you my heart and you took a meat cleaver to it, and then stuck it in a blender on "liquefy". You left me with a heart smoothie. I keep it in this cup here so I can hold onto the old days for as long as possible. How can you live with yourself?!

    Really though, I loved your column and I am sad to see you go. You are an inspiration to struggling artists like myself (I would say starving but I really am not a starving artist. Truthfully, I could lose a few pounds.) Thank you for all you have given us.

  4. Ann Luongo

    Kevin, the second I opened my most recent edition of Writers’ Digest and saw your title, "My Final Column" I shouted a surprisingly whiny "Nooooo!" to an empty room.

    I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your writing, both in WD and in Boston Magazine (when I’m not too lazy too pick it up).

    Well, man, from one columnist-who-wants-to-be-a-novelist to another, best wishes. Good luck with the book. And thanks for the laughs.

    Plymouth, MA

  5. Tom

    Okay, now that the depression has lifted (coffee does wonders for the mood), I can offer a few more thoughts.

    I’m not all crazy about change much of the time. Somehow I’d missed the murmurs that Maria was leaving, and I’ve always enjoyed her work much as I do yours. I’ll miss the contributions you have both made. I will look forward to you contributions when they appear.

    Your column came at a great time for me. Though I’m older than yourself, I was/am at the same stage of just getting (back) into things, so a lot of your thoughts fit right along with what I was experiencing, if not in the same manner.

    I do recall wondering in the past, "This column seems like it’s following the rise of someone. What happens when this guy gets to where he’s going?" Apparently, you’re there. We have seen you progress from young and grass-green, to still-young (envy here) with some real world experience and accomplishments. Thanks for sharing all of it with us. Best of luck in your other endeavors.


  6. Joanne

    The ONLY reason I read that magazine is because of your column, it was the only thing I enjoyed (and my sister gave me the subscription). The rest of the magazine felt too much like work. I truly, truly enjoy your crazy ideas and thoughts, and will need to somehow get a Kevin fix on a semi-regular basis. (And truth be told, I also need to see the comments from Genevieve and Tom and others, it makes me take things not so seriously).
    Kevin, you will succeed, you ARE succeeding, and you don’t need any Sugar Momma. But if you want a few of us to ride on your coattails, be invited to hip literary soirees, come up with the latest in wording, trends, and happenings, just ask!

  7. Julie

    It’s been said by a few others, but dang, I’ll miss the WD column. I too would flip to that first and read it, even if I barely read the rest of the magazine. So what’re you going to do with your extra time? Any news on what schmuck they’re going to fill that page with?

  8. Jeanne

    Since I’m new to WD, both the magazine and the website, and you were the best thing it had goin’ for it (to date for me) except for the lure of monetary contest prizes, NOW I’M MIFFED!!

    Aside:… Hey Muffy! Is ‘miffed’ really the best word to use here?

    Kevin, the cat’s speechless, too. One word of advice about the Sugar Mama… don’t shop for one on the ‘free’ dating sites.

    Luv ya.

  9. Barbara Martin

    Whenever I received my next issue of WD I always searched out your column before reading anything else. You provided a fresh outlook to writing with your humour and wry wit (at least that’s what I saw), your stumbling to write when the columns began, followed by an ever increasing ability that began to shine.

    Thank goodness there is still the blog, and of course, you will tell your faithful readers what you will be doing next. So we can follow your progress.

    I wish you well on your future endeavours.

  10. Pat

    Going to miss you column, but will see you when you guest. Of course, I’ll stay with the blog, after all Casey is still out there trying to find you a blind date or is it the other way around? And of course,the cats are loose.

    I wish you the best with the hip hop thing. Does this mean we will see you on Dance with the Stars? They haven’t had any writers on, I think you mine want to look into that.

  11. Christine

    Well, WD won’t be the same without your wisdom, but onward and upward, right? Always better than sideways and backward, unless you’re on an insane roller coaster…

    Good luck with the dancing. If you can figure out even one line of what they are saying in those hip hop songs, let me know. It’s still a mystery to me. Once a heavy metal girl, always a heavy metal girl. Headbanging is better than hip-hopping.

  12. Genevieve

    Dude, that stinks. You do have a lot of work on your plate, if I’m remembering correctly so maybe that will free up some time for you. Backup dancing (hip hop or regular) takes lots of practice. I’m glad you’ll still have the blog.

  13. Anthony

    Don’t forget to tip your waiters and your proofreaders. "Alot" is two words. Like, I will miss you a little and I will miss Maria a lot. Or vice versa. I will miss your playful whining and sense of humor (that’s what it was?) in the mag, but will steal away to this blog for my Kevin dose.

    All the best. Make us, your readers, proud!

  14. Stephanie Allen

    "I could be your bodyguard. I could be your long-lost pal." Sorry, I thought we were doing a Paul Simon thing. I wish you the best of luck with the Hip Hop dancing. I tried it myself and ended up throwing out my hip. Sorry to see your column will no longer be…"To be or not to be…" I have had WAY too much coffee this morning…mourning…mourning the losses. *crying now*

    "See you" on the blog!

  15. Alicia

    Your column was often my favorite part of the magazine. I enjoy your sense of humor and cute picture. I’ve also wanted to pursue amateur back-up Hip Hop Dancing so I look forward to seeing how that goes for you. Good luck with the Sugar Mama thing.


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