How We Lost an Entire Magazine Issue

Even though Lost Magazine publishes only online, it still takes quite a while to create each issue. Corralling writers, creating a design, and giving our webmaster time to lay it all out add up. So we like to plan ahead. No time to rest on our laurels here.

Our last issue, Wilderness, published in June. And right after it went live we sent out a call for submissions to the next issue. Our new theme would be scheduled for September. What better topic for that month than School? A return to pencils, books, teachers' dirty looks. It seemed a natural fit.

Only after we sent out our call for submissions and received pure silence in return did we realize how wrong we were. Nobody wants to write about school. The song is called "School's Out", not "School's In".

Once we accepted our failing marks, we decided to go for a topic that most people like to discuss at least three times a day: food.

This time around, we were flooded with so many responses we eventually had to close the gates on what will be one of our biggest issues ever.

Have we learned anything from the experience? I'm not so sure. Our goal is to take on a new theme with each issue. Until we put out the call for submissions, we won't know how much an idea resonates with writers out there. But at least I know of a stopgap option if we ever stumble again: who wants dessert?

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