I don’t really know how to write a summary about this past year.
It has been a year painted thickly with grief and confusion. A seemingly endless day between two Winters without pause. Creating this magazine with you all has been a chance to leave the everyday and live within your art. I hope that with it now online, this can become a space carved into something quieting for you all.
Neutral Spaces has been slow-moving since last Spring. I want to use this space to say thank you to everyone for their understanding and patience. By the summer, personal pressures and the overwhelming growth of the site meant I paused making any new pages. I was concerned that this might kill Neutral Spaces, and so when I began work on the second magazine I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I am touched by the response from so many of you at the excitement of issue two of our magazine. Spending the last month reading everyone’s writing and typesetting each piece has been a meditation for me. A chance to sit quietly with new pieces from old friends and writing from new names. As Neutral Spaces isn’t currently making new pages, I allowed the submissions to be totally open and the result is I have discovered new writers whose writing I deeply respect.
Like last year, the resulting magazine is bursting with content, so I have kept the lucky dip button to help readers explore new writers. Up in the corner, you’ll see the button, which will take you to a random page of the magazine. If you’ve already had enough of this letter, feel free to click here and dive straight in.
The internet has new writing every day. On Twitter, a lot of us follow dozens of sites which all champion work from different people every day. It can be overwhelming. I’ve been thinking more and more about spaces for literature online and how we can work together to create something which is exciting for readers. Ten years ago, I discovered a love for poetry from writing which was shared online. Screenshots and punk-lit sites which gave a voice to people I wasn’t meeting in my day-to-day. I feel like there’s a space for us to create that encorages new people to the art being made. I am interested in talking with people about how to do this.
Every single piece in the list above is a product of someone’s love and attention. Something totally special to them. If I could ask anything of you as a reader, I encourage you to reach out to the writers who you connect with. Send them a tweet or an email. Tell them you read their work. Talk about how it made you feel. We’re all doing our best, and we’re all still learning. I think the internet’s ability to facilitate these kinds of conversations is a good and genuine reason for this state of permanent connection.
Thank you to everyone who has worked with me this year, and especially to those who trusted me with their work when submitting to the magazine. I am touched by the kindness and generosity of the community. Thank you for making Neutral Spaces a vibrant and interesting website and for being part of this project. Feels so odd that this has only been part of my life for two years, I can’t really imagine not doing this.
With all my love,
Thank you to everyone who has become part of Neutral Spaces over the past two years. The love and care you all pour into your work is what makes Neutral Spaces such a diverse and beautiful website.