Dear Readers: On the Closing of Anansesem

UPDATE: We periodically continue to highlight the finest Caribbean books for young readers through our newsletter which you can subscribe to here.

Earlier this year, before people across the world were asked to shelter in place in their homes, Anansesem announced that we were switching to a new publicaton model. For 10 years, we put out submission calls and published issues based on responses to those calls. Starting in 2020, we'd decided to stop open-call submissions and instead rely on a team of correspondents from various Caribbean countries to produce content for the magazine. We also announced that Emily Aguiló-Pérez had joined us as the new editorial head, replacing Summer Edward. With a small but growing team of correspondents volunteering their time and talent, we'd hoped to usher Anansesem into a new era. These decisions were all made in the waning months of 2019, before any of us could know what lay ahead.

Since then, like almost everyone, we've been forced to reconsider our professional and personal priorities. Under normal circumstances, it's challenging running a small literary magazine when we receive such little funding and are unable to pay contributors and team members. In these drastically changing times, when jobs are on the line and the financial future is uncertain, it's become clear that running a magazine using volunteer staff, as we've done since our inception, is no longer feasible. There is also the simple fact that these are incredibly stressful times. Everyone is facing their own unique set of challenges. We'd planned to roll out new content by early May, and that has not happened. Our team members have simply had too much on their plates.

So it's with sadness and perhaps a bit of stoicism that we announce that Anansesem is joining the increasing number of publications either closing or going on hiatus indefinitely since the pandemic started. Right now, the magazine's future is uncertain, but everyone at Anansesem remains committed to championing good Caribbean books for young readers. Anansesem has been a safe, inclusive space for discussion and celebration of the Caribbean's youth literature and it's a space we hope to revisit in happier, stabler times. We hope those times will come soon enough.

Our website will remain online and our online bookstore will remain open. You can still purchase back copies here; issues published before 2017 remain freely accessible.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who submitted to us over the years and to everyone who has supported our work. We're grateful to past magazine staff for their part in creating a vital, versatile platform and for hosting important literary and cultural conversations over the past 10 years. It has been a remarkable run.

We send our deepest wishes for the health and safety of our community.


The Anansesem team

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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