Issue 35, Final Fringe

This Isn't Goodbye

by Heather MacNeill Falconer 06.24.2013

Fringe published its last issue on Monday, June 24. Today, (de)Classified and Criticism editor Heather MacNeil Falconer bids goodbye to the magazine.

I’ve decided to write my goodbye to Fringe while riding the Metro North home from work. The rationale, here, is that if I am writing in a rather confined, public venue, the chances of me bursting into tears is significantly reduced. No one here wants to sit next to a blubbering idiot, and I suspect many will give me that same icy glare normally reserved for those with their phones not on vibrate. (In fact, I just gave that glare to the guy to my left whose phone has rung for the fifth time in the last ten minutes with what I think is the call of a wood thrush.)

It is a great deterrent, in theory.

Already, though, I’m questioning my decision because each time I try to write something that gets to the heart of what Fringe has meant, and will continue to mean to me, that familiar tightness in my temples grows and the seat-back in front of me gets blurry.

When I think of Fringe, it’s hard not to see Lizzie and George’s old apartment and the tattered sofa I sat on, eating crisps, while our small cohort of ambitious ladies talked about the sort of magazine that was missing from the world. Or Julia’s place in Malden, camped on the floor for hours trying to decide on whether we should include cartoons as a genre and getting into animated discussions over the focus of the magazine. I see the conference space at Emerson College where, in the midst of whiteboard scribbles, we hit upon The Noun That Verbs Your World – a tagline that, to this day, I think trumps all. And AWP… Need I say more?

In my head, the magazine isn’t a collection of literature, it’s a collection of memories shared with the co-founders, editors, authors, readers… It’s babies born, careers launched, hardships endured… People pushing the boundaries of words and life.

I feel an overwhelming obligation to be poetic, to do our magazine justice, and I can see already that I am failing miserably. So, rather than say goodbye, I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you.

Thank you Ladies of Fringe (and the Gents who joined later) for seeing an opportunity and taking it – and for allowing me to be part of it.

To all the authors, published and not, who submitted to (de)Classified and Criticism over the years – thank you for trusting me with your work. I hope that you feel I gave it the importance and respect it deserved and that your time submitting was well spent.

To our supporters, new and veteran – thank you for having our back. Whether it was to read and honor the work of our contributors, or to donate dollars to help us keep going, I want you to know that I personally appreciate every bit of it. Without a reader, with whom does the writer interact? And without your financial support we couldn’t have kept the site up and running for what is just shy of a decade.

I’ve decided to see closing our doors not as a sad occasion, but as anopportunity. It’s an opportunity for us on this side to transition into our other roles. (For me, that’s focusing on being a mom, writer, artisan cheese-maker, and about 100 other things). Even more, it’s an opportunity for the next crew of forward-thinking individuals to step up and work their magic.

To those out there who have enjoyed what we’ve done over the last decade and who have been inspired – now is your time to shine. Take the baton we pass along to you and do something great with it. Remember that the Universe always rewards new approaches to old ideas. You just have to try.

Heather MacNeill Falconer

Heather MacNeill Falconer

(de)Classified Editor

Heather MacNeill Falconer holds an MLitt from the University of Glasgow in Postmodernity/Modernity, an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, and a BS in Ecology from Unity College. In addition to working on two novels, Heather spends time painting and training for marathons. She currently resides in New York City. Heather is a founding editor of Fringe.

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