I am overjoyed to announce that McSweeney’s, the award-winning, San Francisco-based independent publisher founded in 1998 by Dave Eggers, will take on Illustoria Magazine starting with our next issue! Please read our joint press release about this exciting news.
This is a dream come true for our indie magazine, to have the support of McSweeney’s under the leadership of Dave Eggers and executive director Amanda Uhle, and certainly feels like a match made in heaven as Illustoria and McSweeney’s both share an unwavering belief in the power of print, storytelling, art, creative expression, and youth voices. As a non-profit organization known for its award-winning literary journal, daily humor website, and courageous, design-minded publishing program, McSweeney’s champions ambitious and inspired new writing that pushes us to see beyond ourselves. I am delighted that McSweeney’s plans to expand circulation with a special focus on schools, libraries, and other organizations who serve under-resourced communities. In addition, you’ll see more opportunities for young writers and artists to be engaged.
This transition comes at an ideal juncture for me personally, as I find myself drawn to spending more time with my beautiful, growing family and on my own creative projects. It’s bittersweet for sure, but I couldn’t be more thrilled knowing that Illustoria will get to continue on in the good hands of an indie publishing house I have long admired and respected. It’s no surprise that when I was first developing Illustoria I found inspiration in indie mags such as Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and The Believer; activity books enjoyed by kids and grownups such as The Goods; and Dave’s breadth of written work for kids and adults have always resonated and continue to touch a chord in me as a lit lover and, simply, as a human being.
While as the publisher and editor-in-chief (former!) I will sorely miss curating and creating Illustoria, I’m thrilled to pass the torch to McSweeney’s knowing that the publication is supported by such passionate visionaries and that our small but incredibly talented team—without whom Illustoria would not be what it is today—will continue their beautiful work on the magazine. Special thanks to my partner-in-crime Mark Rogero; and to our creative director, Elizabeth Haidle, and publishing assistant, Claire Astrow, who have both been with me on this wildly fulfilling journey almost since Day 1 and who will continue to do amazing things with Illustoria and beyond. It makes my heart skip a beat knowing that Illustoria will grow richer and more enticing with each issue, and that the legacy of this publication will become something greater than I ever imagined thanks to the massive creative energy and support of our new, fierce independent publisher.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you readers, parents, subscribers, contributors, staff, interns, advisors, friends, stockists, educators, librarians, and supporters, who have cheered for us along the way. Collectively, Illustoria has become bigger than the sum of its parts. It has become more than a magazine, it has become a community that I am so proud to be a part of.
Here’s to our new publisher, McSweeney’s, for being a believer, for embracing our community and getting Illustoria into the hands of more young readers, and for keeping print alive and thriving.