Dec 10, 2020 | announcement

About our Print Edition

Since I took over as interim editorial director last week, I’ve been working hard to get up to speed on the various changes Fireside has undergone since my tenure ended in 2017, and to examine what reforms are needed.

In order to address the organizational issues that led to publisher Pablo Defendini’s publication of a racist audio recording of an essay, it’s clear to me that Fireside needs to reduce the complexity of its internal operations and free up funds for additional staff. With that in mind, Pablo and I have decided that we need to immediately discontinue Fireside Quarterly, the print version of Fireside Magazine. (This means the Autumn 2020 issue, which shipped out in September, will be the last.) The Quarterly — which is hand-packed and mailed to subscribers by Pablo after printing — eats up a significant portion of Fireside’s production budget and requires a huge amount of time and attention.

This was a difficult decision; the quarterly print edition is a beautiful thing that we’re really proud of. We also know this is likely a major disappointment to authors who were looking forward to seeing their stories in print, but we believe it’s still the right call to make. Print added a lot of complexity, almost all of which was shouldered by Pablo. (As I said last week, concentration of too much work was a major contributor to the recording debacle.) Making this change now will get Fireside on a more solid footing, financially and operationally. We will use those freed-up resources to improve our editorial review process, to add staff to spread out the core editorial work and oversight, and to enact other reforms as we identify them. (It’s even possible that we’ll be able to look at some on-demand or annual print editions down the road, though at the moment it’s too early to say.)

We have already reached out to all of our print subscribers to facilitate refunds, convert print subscriptions to digital subscriptions, and answer any other concerns they may have. If you are a print subscriber and did not receive an email about this, please contact us at [email protected].

One of my goals during this transition period is to be as transparent as I can about what we’re changing and why we’re changing it, because I think Fireside owes that to the people who were harmed by that recording and to all the people who have supported us over the years. I’ll continue to post updates like these as I make decisions and figure out the way forward.

Thank you.

Brian J. White

Interim Editorial Director

© 2020 Brian J. White

About the author

Brian J. White

Brian started Fireside Fiction Company in 2012 as an experiment in crowdfunding and paying speculative fiction writers well above the accepted professional rate at the time. It worked! Thanks, have a great day!

Brian has been informed he has to write more in his bio. Fine! Brian took that experiment through five Kickstarters (and did not die!) and into a subscription model. During his tenure, Fireside published 150 stories, five novels, and one novella, and also published the first #BlackSpecFic report, which examined the massive under-representation of Black short-story writers in the field, prompting conversation, reflection, and change in the speculative fiction community. It remains one of the most important things he has worked on in his adult life. Brian was a 2017 World Fantasy Award finalist in the Special Award, Non-Professional category for Fireside, and Fireside has been nominated for multiple Hugo Awards.

Facing the burnout that is all too common among people who work at small presses, Brian stepped down as editor and publisher in 2017 to regroup and recharge mentally. He returned as interim editorial director in 2020 and resumed full ownership of the company in June 2021 with a great team you can read about below.

In the wider world, Brian is a former journalist who worked as an editor at The Courier-Journal in Louisville from 2006–2010 and at the Boston Globe from 2010–2018, where he was part of the staff that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2014 for the newspaper’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2014. He still lives around Boston, where he works as an editor for a private company and takes photographs, paints miniatures, and spends time with his amazing wife and various cats.