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From the Editor's Desk

While we were eating our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sitting around watching the last episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond," passing around the onion dip and crackers, something happened. Suddenly, Ducts.org was inundated with submissions. We are now receiving as many as 10 every week and from people all around the country (and, on occasion, from around the world). We're not quite sure how this happened, although we suspect you had a lot to do with it. We receive letters every week from our readers thanking us for what we do, so let me take this opportunity to put aside my half-eaten sandwich and thank all of you for your enthusiasm. Besides our private jets, million dollar salaries and personal chefs, your unflagging love for reading the best personal stories on the web is what keeps us going.

It seems like this increase in submissions happened overnight, but of course we've been growing steadily since September, 1999 when our first issue appeared. It's hard for most of us here on staff to believe almost six years has passed since our launch, but that's only because we refuse to accept that we're getting really old. If you look at the issues from 1st to last (and please, do visit our archives), you'll see how much we've grown over the years.

Because of this increase in submissions, we are instituting a reading period, effective immediately. Thus, Ducts.org editors will read submissions only from January through August of every year. Material received between September 1st and December 31st will be returned, although we'll encourage writers to resubmit their material during the reading period.

All this attention has helped us to begin paying writers! We are paying $5 per submission, although we hope to increase this fee in the coming year as our funding grows. If you enjoy the thought-provoking essays and memoirs in Ducts.org, if you are captivated by our fiction, poetry and art, I urge you to donate whatever amount you can. Every little bit helps and you'll be supporting writers who vary widely in age, race, style and theme. What they all have in common is having an important story to tell.

Other goings on:

--We haven't officially announced it, but we're planning a follow-up to our first-ever writing contest, I Found it at the Movies. The new contest will be entitled I Found it in My Attic. This time, we'll ask writers to think about how some artifact — something discovered cleaning the attic, the garage, the basement, maybe a childhood diary — affected and changed their lives. If you have an idea, start writing now!

--We're planning to have a special Asia duct in our next issue, which will feature personal stories written by Asian writers. If you're interested in finding out more about this, please contact our fiction editor, Tim Tomlinson, who will be planning this feature: Tim@ducts.org.

--Our reading series, Trumpet Fiction, recently concluded its 6th successful year at KGB Bar in New York City (www.kgbbar.com). Our readers came from as far away as North Carolina and as near as a few blocks from the bar!

--Our publishing wing, Greenpoint Press, is planning another book, to be launched this fall. It's a memoir written by Genie Kraig called "The Sentence." The book depicts Genie and her family's struggles after her husband, Jerry Kraig, was arrested for representing Cleveland porn king, Reuben Sturman. I'll be sending out a notice when the book arrives, so please look for that! And we still have a few copies of our Best of Ducts anthology, How Not to Greet Famous People, so if you're interested in buying a copy to help support what we do, please click here.

Several of you have requested an official Ducts.org online archive. We empathize with you and would like to create an archive, but currently do not have the resources. Until we do, I encourage you to explore our back issues section or to use Google.com (search by author and include the word "Ducts.org") to find what you're looking for.

If you have any questions about Ducts.org, feel free to write me at editor@ducts.org. In the meantime, please enjoy the writing and art you'll find here. I'd urge you to tell your friends, but it seems you're doing that anyway. So I'll leave you with another hearty thanks. Now, I hope you'll excuse me, but my sandwich is getting soggy and my stomach is growling...


--Jonathan Kravetz, Editor-in-Chief, Ducts.org

This issue of Ducts is made possible with a regrant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.