I hate getting lost. The feeling of not knowing where I am goes all through me. I get a strange feeling in my stomach and the anxiety increases to my head until I find my way. The interesting thing that I noticed about myself is that, although I hate getting lost, I never do much to keep from getting lost. I have one of the smartest phones available, but I hardly use it to find my way. I feel like I can do it on my own. I know; I am hardheaded.
In 2012, Written got lost. The newspaper industry got hit hard and our distribution was getting cut without notice. Our advertisers were looking for something, and I changed editorial direction to try to satisfy the advertisers. Our Written family was experiences challenges, some great like marriages and babies, and some uncomfortable like illness. I could have found other writers, designers, editors, but then it wouldn’t be Written. We are a family. The voices that explode through our pages are filled with friendship. I could do the publication without them, but I didn’t want to.
So in 2013, I spent four months with some of the most brilliant minds at Harvard. Taking a cue from the pit that was in my stomach, I asked for guidance and was told to take a literal “knee” with the company. The hope was that the landscape would look differently after a year. I took the advice. We tried things like publishing on-line only and printing to a smaller distribution. In addition, we waited on our family to settle in to new circumstances and for bodies and minds to heal. We took time to see who and what we wanted to be and not be directed by the economy or by industry standards. We are a family sharing our love for reading and the written word with our extended world family. This is how our world looks one year later.
Introducing Written--the four color, glossy publication that has 32 wonderful pages of entertainment and information. Filled with the same wonderful voices, this publication gives us an opportunity to be bigger and bolder. Natalia has creatively crafted a style that should look familiar yet refreshing, and the flow of the publication should entice you to read it from cover to cover and then share it with your friends and family.
In this issue, we celebrate our Past and our Present. I have a conversation with Congressman John Lewis about his role as a freedom fighter in the 1960s and get his advice for future fighters of the civil rights cause. Professor and author Dr. Daniel Black answers the “Post-racial” society questions for us in @Issue. Tamika Brown is our resident reviewer and has established a collection of reviews that has something for everybody. Editor Sheronda Gipson takes to the streets and explores the places of word performance in her new series, Write Around, Ma Harper is back with her love letter to you.
It feels so good to be found and headed in a new direction. We thank you, our readers, for your patience through this process and hope you are rewarded with a bigger and bolder publication that you are proud of. Lord knows, it has us giddy.
And so it is…