In the summer of 2010, I moved from New York City back to my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Having recently published a novel and a collection of short stories, I hoped to contribute something to the literary culture of Birmingham. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if there was a literary culture in Birmingham. When I had left seventeen years prior, there was not much.
Upon returning, I found that The University of Alabama-Birmingham had two journals that have shown longevity–Birmingham Poetry Review and PMS, (now Nelle). An organization called Desert Island Supply Company (DISCO) was showing great promise with creative writing workshops for youth based on the model of Dave Eggers’ 826 Valencia. I thought that if I could pull together an online journal that would focus on Southern writers, it might make an impact.
I have been thrilled with the response. After 27 online issues and 4 print issues, it’s time for me to move on. My teaching and writing responsibilities have made it too difficult to keep up the quality of work with STR that our readers have come to expect. I have had help from co-founders Mike and Matt, some of my colleagues at UAB, and an intern or two here and there, but all of us have a lot on our plate. It just isn’t possible right now for any of us to make STR our priority.
The website will remain active indefinitely, as long as I have the little bit of cash it takes to renew the domain every year. If my life looks a little different in the future, I would consider relaunching or rebranding the website. For right now, though, we are no longer accepting submissions.
It’s been a great run. Please enjoy this final (?) online issue.