Dearest readers & members of the near-and-far Entropy community,
2014 is almost over, so first and foremost we want to express our utmost gratitude and enthusiasm to all of our readers and contributors for helping to make Entropy a supportive, genuine, exciting, and literary community and hub for literary and non-literary ideas.
Executive Editor Janice Lee on Entropy in 2014:
When Peter and I first launched Entropy in March, we didn’t know where it would lead us. Part of the inspiration behind Entropy’s inception was about trying to create this indie lit network that felt lacking. We were inspired by models like HTMLGIANT, which placed a kind of trust in contributors that didn’t really exist at other literary sites, and io9, which publishes some of the most diverse and exciting content on the internet. We wanted to represent the multi-faceted lives of writers, and reflect a diversity in thought, personality, aesthetic, geography, and background. More than just a magazine or a journal, but a supportive community where writers from various corners could come together to converse, share ideas, read, collaborate, and engage. It seems like just yesterday when Peter and I were both still walking around AWP waving our arms and trying to explain this concept to people. It’s now something that’s outgrown both of us and is something that we all share and have a stake in. The community that Entropy has vitalized is incredibly heartening for me, to see individuals from so many different contexts and backgrounds come together and support each other in a way I haven’t seen before. I used to feel like the literary community was very segregated, but now I see writers coming together that wouldn’t have come together before, having profound conversations about all sorts of topics and supporting each other in so many different ways. I’m really inspired to see our initial mission of community, openness, honesty, trust, support, and diversity manifest in so many ways.
Co-Founder Peter Tieryas Liu on Entropy’s Progress:
We’re so proud and excited to see the ways Entropy is growing and pushing the boundaries of even what we had hoped for when we started. The content is absolutely brilliant and diverse, and I’m excited everyday to see what’s new. It’s so rare to be able to find a group of people you not only really enjoy working with, but respect. I don’t agree with all the opinions expressed in the articles we publish. In fact, some, I’ll outright disagree. But that’s part of what makes the site so special is that it encompasses multiple views and creates a forum for divergent perspectives that get you thinking about issues from gaming to questions of identity. We’re constantly getting submissions from people who are like, I wrote this thing, don’t know if it would fit anywhere else, thought of Entropy and-yes yes yes. That’s exactly what Janice and I hoped for in our initial discussions and it’s been amazing seeing it actually happen. The Entropy crew is shifting, growing, expanding, sometimes contracting, but always on the move, and I think we both really enjoy interacting with all of them. While my role has changed a bit since starting the site, I’ll be supporting and filling in the gaps where I can. If there’s one area we talked a lot about and we really want to work on, it’s something Alex brought up with hard data and mentions in his update on book reviews- the gender gap in book reviews. That’s something that’s been on all our of our minds, and something we hope to take concrete steps to address, particularly in the Entrofeed which is our night wing of Entropy, focusing on shorter, bite-sized pieces. To the readers out there, keep us on our toes, challenge us when we need, and send us your best work. We revel in the Entropy of literary madness. Chaos has never been so sublime.
Entropy – A Broad Data Review:
Since Entropy launched on March 20, 2014, we’ve published over 600 articles on a diverse range of topics (including small press literature, science fiction, current events, video games, board games, film, music, essays, art, graphic novel & comics, travel and translation), we’ve had discussions, conversations, and community-driven lists (on themes such as books, epic poetry, trigger warnings, coping, donuts, childhood myths and the apocalypse); we’re currently in the middle of playing a D&D campaign; and have published articles on pressing social issues (such as police brutality and sexual assault).
Over this time period, we’ve had over 160,000 visitors and 250,000 page views. Plus, in just that short period our Alexa ranking has already risen to 115,000 in the US. We think that isn’t too shabby.
Reviews Editor Alex Kalamaroff on Book Reviews – Specific Data Review & Goals for 2015:
Looking specifically at our book reviews, we can see the range of content explored at Entropy. As of the end of November, we’ve reviewed 71 books—from 67 different publishers, the vast majority of which were small/indie presses. These reviews were written by 43 unique writers, with an average word count of 1,235 words, meaning that our reviews were substantive in length and in the depth and complexity of their analyses. Three out of every four reviews explored books published in 2014.
We have noticed, however, that the majority of our book reviews have been written by male writers and also have looked at works by male authors. In 2015, we will seek to expand our literary coverage, to include more voices, especially those of female writers, writers of colors, trans/queer writers, and other writers with unique perspectives and identities, so that no singular voice monopolizes the conversation. We will continue to reflect on our content and our mission to make sure that we are forever working to engender an inclusive community space and expand our conversations about the arts and the world.
Now, as 2015 begins, Entropy is incredibly excited to be merging with Civil Coping Mechanisms to form CCM-Entropy, a central indie lit community and hub that will include CCM, as it currently is: publishing and promoting kick-ass writing; Entropy, the magazine: continuing to publish diverse and exciting content; and, as many proper marriages begin, with a baby, we’ve got a new element, Enclave, a community blog that will feature regular contributions from some of the coolest people around (we think so anyway).
Plus, if you haven’t noticed already, we’ve started to publish short fiction (edited by Saehee Cho) and poetry (edited by Michelle Detorie). And, we’re working on an unmatched resource section with more regular submission roundups and a small press database (edited by Dennis James Sweeney). We’ve also added new editors and more regular sections & features.
Small Press Editor Dennis James Sweeney on Goals for 2015:
I’ve been looking at the world as a series of small miracles recently, and to me that’s exactly what Entropy is. It’s a web of connections between people, their creative work, their presses and projects. The more robust that web gets, the more alive we all feel.
I’m out of my mind excited to be able to contribute to that web by bringing interviews with small presses, info on open reading periods, and new releases into a central location that showcases exactly how awesome and vibrant indie presses are. The level of inspiration I have gotten from our small press interviews so far has been a particular source of inspiration to me. Hearing from so many different people who working so hard to produce so many diverse and beautiful artifacts makes you want to be your best self, too. My (long-term, grandiose) goal is to help even more people tap into that energy, augment it in each other, and work together in the name of creation and wild optimism.
Statement from Michael J Seidlinger about CCM in 2014:
It’s really hard to believe that 2014 is nearly over. Time has that way about slipping from our grips, making me feel old, exhausted, and in need of a drink. But man, what a year. For every low point, there were definite “high watermarks” that proved to me (and I hope the entire indie community) that we’re all doing just fine. We’re coping, and coping well. In 2014, CCM published books by Shane Jones, Joseph Riippi, Bunny Rogers, Timothy Willis Sanders, Juliet Escoria, Andrew Duncan Worthington, Edward J Rathke, Soren Melville, Jordan Castro, Paul Curran, Robert Vaughan, Kyle Muntz, Nick Ripatrazone, and Ryan W. Bradley. Viewing 2014’s Catalogue as a whole, it really does put things into perspective. I’m proud of the diversity of content and subject material the press curated throughout the publication year. And 2015, it’s looking to be even brighter. Turn up that track. Blast it as loud as you can—I think this is worth a celebration. Let it all out in the mosh pit.
~extensive community participation across social media and word-of-mouth
~creativity across all aspects of publishing model
Goals (for upcoming year)–
~double the amount of new titles for the 2015 Catalogue year
~direct to consumer sales
~more creative and interactive community building
~new children’s book imprint (White Rabbit)
Other Entropy Editors on 2015 → 2015:
Games Editor Byron Campbell: In terms of personal successes, I’ve been excited to bring in a few new voices to the tabletop gaming section in the past couple of months. Chris Holly has a fantastic-sounding series he’s been spitballing with me, and I might have a roleplaying expert contributing soon, too. And of course the “merger” with CCM is very exciting news.
Roundup Editor Quincy Rhoads: I’m continually floored by how strong the Entropy community is. I’d like to think that I’ve made Internet friends through this whole process that would be great meat space friends if we ever ran into each other.
Editor Laura Vena: I’d like to acknowledge and even gush about the openness of the Entropy forum and the great support and camaraderie from other contributors. It provides an environment that is a much valued respite from the often competitive, sometimes cliquéy writing world at large. That also seems to equal super exciting, raw, vital expressions that explode up all over the site: diversity of voice, topic, obsession. Partnering / imploding with CCM is awesome news, too. I’d love to see more series like The Poetics of Spaces in 2015.
Editor Eddy Rathke: I think the collaborations have been the most successful and most interesting posts. From the weekly lists we used to do on Sundays to the roundtable discussions we’ve had. Those are, I think, what make Entropy really great and different from other places… Also, I’m really excited to continue the D&D game, which is definitely going to be a grand epic fantasy comedy.
Poetry Editor Michelle Detorie: In the next year I hope to share poetry that helps us wonder about the different things poems and language can do. I’m particularly interested in work that names the troubles and helps us learn about each other. What kind of poems make the world better?
& here is a swamp poem for 2015:
This year our swamp will grow green glitter, our guts
will clutter the gutters with the syntax of irregular lusts
for grotesque transparencies, debrided texts, unfettered
letters releasing teeth. Our claws
will howl through the marrow of those who dare
to call us crooks. We’ll know who’s lying. They’re the ones
hiding in the oiled clocks.
We’ll burn the clocks.
In 2015, both Entropy and CCM aim to continue being committed to the following:
- Publishing diverse and exciting content: CCM is known for publishing some of the most exciting stuff around so we’ll keep raising the bar. Entropy has been committed to publishing articles from different perspectives and about a plethora of subjects. We want to continue doing so and push ourselves to go further.
- Fostering a supportive and genuine literary community: We really want to support a positive and welcoming network for writers. Many individuals have thanked us for creating a literary home for those who didn’t feel like they had one.
- Advocating for writers and indie lit:
- Encourage collaboration, openness, insight and honesty:
- Include a variety of voices: In 2015 we hope to include contributions from and promote more writers from diverse backgrounds and with diverse voices. This means more female writers, writers of colors, trans/queer writers, and other writers with unique identities and perspectives. We want to strive towards not having our discussions and explorations bound by dominant narratives, perspectives, or aesthetics.
- Gaining a larger readership and growing our community with new contributors.
As we look to the new year, to 2015 and the future beyond, we want to first affirm our commitment to publishing a diverse array of innovative, engaging, and original content. For CCM, a publisher already known for its catalogue of fascinating fiction, this means continuing to feature new voices, visions, and aesthetics that enhance of our understanding what’s possible. For Entropy, this means continuing to put out daily content on a plethora of subjects that enriches and interrogates our understandings of the arts and the broader world.
Our goal here is to expand and enliven the conversations we’re having and to continue to be a safe, intellectually rigorous space where numerous perspectives intermingle, where all writers feel welcome. We have been deeply moved by the people who have thanked us and appreciated our efforts to create a literary home for those who feel like they did not have one before. More than that, we want to be an advocate for indie lit in all the multivarious ways it exists — in print and online, in poetry and prose, as an avant-garde, as an academic ally, as a community that is constantly exploring.
With all that, we invite you to join the community, to help us with our goal of more diversity in content and voices, and, well, we just really want to meet you.
Here’s to 2015 and beyond. Onward, and godspeed.