The work of Saraba has remained fairly consistent for eight years—in the form of PDF issues of a magazine, poetry chapbooks, fiction supplements, special issues, and, in the last year, Saraba Weekly and the Manuscript Project—aimed at “creating unending voices,” by championing the earliest work of writers in Nigeria and elsewhere. That we have kept going all this time is, with the benefit of hindsight, quite remarkable. Considering the seismic (career, family) changes in the individual lives of our editors, the improbability of going on without compensation, and the increasing costs of our commitment to publishing new writing in its finest form (a slow, rigorous, and expensive process), there is much to commend, and much more to be done.
In one sense you can trace the digital footprint of our growth online. Restless and audacious, we have tinkered with the presentation of our magazine and chapbooks, yet retained the essential character of our editorial and publishing structure. A little change is needed: to sustain our efforts, and match intent with available resources.
Moving forward, we will publish (at least) one print publication each year—anthologizing new, commissioned and unsolicited writing, or standout pieces from our website—and publish new writing intermittently on our website (at an average rate of one new story, or essay, or poem, each month). Most, if not all, our contributors will be compensated, and we will keep working to secure funding to pay our editors.
To achieve this, we are reorganizing our editorial structure. A significant portion of the work we publish will be commissioned and solicited. This requires higher stakes for our editors. When Dami Ajayi and I founded the magazine, Ayobami Adebayo, Arthur Anyaduba, and Adebiyi Olusolape joined us soon after as editors. Five of us have, in the years since then, formed the central core of the editorial team, managed by Adaudo Anyiam-Osigwe. In moving forward, I will serve as editor of the magazine, while Dami, Ayobami, Arthur, and Adebiyi will be renamed senior editors. A number of trusted volunteers will continue to help as editorial assistants.
Unfortunately, to better manage our transition process, we are suspending open submissions until further notice. We will reopen submissions—with new guidelines—before the end of the year for the 2018 publishing cycle.
The change is here already. This week we released a new design of our website, reflecting the new direction. On the website you will find four new essays on the subject of time. And, early March, we will release our double issue—Power & Money—to bookend our time as a digital magazine and as a magazine published online and in print.
Thank you for your support, as always.