Exit, Stage Left... - Writer's Digest

Exit, Stage Left...

Publish date:

I don't know how many readers here are old enough to remember the old Snagglepuss cartoons (or maybe they've shown them on Cartoon Network or something). Anyhow, whenever Snagglepuss was poised to flee, he'd talk in stage directions: "Exit--stage left!" And off he'd shoot, accompanied by that little gunshot echo they love to use as sound effects in animation.

I'm too old and creaky to dash off in a blur, and I'm not that dramatic. So pardon me if my exit is a little more restrained.

As I mentioned in this post, I'm leaving my position as Poet's Market editor. Fortunately, it turns out I'm moving into another editor position in an area about which I'm extremely enthusiastic (although far outside the world of poetry and writing). That puts me in a better place, pragmatically and emotionally, than I thought I'd be today; but that's not to say I don't have regrets about leaving Poet's Market behind.

I tallied up, and Judson Jerome and I are tied for the most times our names appeared on the spine of Poet's Market as editor (seven). In addition, I came in toward the end of the production cycle for the 2001 edition, and I've already done considerable planning and hands-on work on the upcoming 2009 edition. So it's nice to think I was here long enough to leave my mark on the book.

I hope that mark was a positive one. I started right in trying to improve Poet's Market based on my own experiences using the book as a consumer. I tried to give equal consideration to readers and to the editors and publishers listing their activities in the book. I wanted Poet's Market to be valuable to as wide a range of poets as possible. I probably didn't always succeed, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

I have a farewell message in today's edition of the Poet's Market newsletter; I've decided to repeat it here because it does already say what I wanted to express in this last post:

A Few Lines from the (former) Editor...

"All good things must come to an end." I've never understood that saying. After all, everything comes to an end eventually.

However, for me, in this specific instance, something good is coming to an end: Today, January 25, marks my final day as editor of Poet's Market. Hence, this is my last newsletter as well.

This is one of those developments that took me by surprise, but I've been around awhile; things happen and nothing is forever. While I'm sorry to be leaving Poet's Market, I'm eagerly anticipating new opportunities.

For now, Poet's Market will continue. Look for the 2009 edition in stores this August. As for me, I'll still be lurking (literally and figuratively). As I've repeated many times recently, I'm still a poet; and I'm looking forward to trying to get my work out there more aggressively than I have in recent years.

I always loved the book title So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (part of Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series). What a great exit line. So, to all of you, so long, and thanks for all the fish--and for all the enjoyment and fulfillment I've had editing Poet's Market for nearly eight years. I valued my interaction with readers and editors/publishers alike. Now, I join all of you as a reader (and a fellow poet struggling to get her work into print).

Best of luck, and keep writing!

Nancy Breen
Former Editor
Poet's Market

Robert Brewer will, of course, continue his great posts on Poetic Asides (the blog is his brainchild, after all). And the Poet's Market newsletter will continue on a monthly basis. (Go to the Poet's Market website to sign up, if you're not already a subscriber.) You can still go here for information about listing in the 2009 edition (and to download listing questionnaires for each section of the book). Any questions about poetry, publishing, or Poet's Market? This e-mail will take your inquiry to the folks who can get you squared away.

And now--exit, stage left! (Hey, did you hear that little gunshot echo?)