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This summer, InkTears became 10 years old. We’ve published more than 120 stories (each going out to several thousand people per month), nearly a dozen books, and a bunch of fabulous flash, all from a dazzling array of authors. it has been an amazing journey, and now it’s time to bring it to a close. We have already shuttered the contests and issue 124 is our last newsletter.

Why? Because it’s time. When we started InkTears there were far fewer places for aspiring writers to send their short stories. It was hard for writer’s to build a publishing history and secure an agent or a publishing deal, and self-publishing was still ‘vanity’ - not something any self respecting author would choose. Today, there are many more options for writers, and a host of wonderful literary magazines and blogs. What’s more, these locations are far more accessible thanks to platforms like Submittable. Self-publishing has leapt forwards, and lost much of the stigma, thanks to the success of books like ‘the Fifty Shades’ series, and The Martian. It feels like the need that InkTears fulfilled is now adequately met by the market.

If I’m honest, I’d also like a little more free time. I have a full time job running an AI software startup, that is incredibly exciting, fulfilling, and time-consuming, too. For several years, I’ve been cobbling together a non-fiction book, plus a second collection of short stories, and I only get weekends and vacations for that - time which is often consumed by InkTears. I’d like to devote some of my free time to finishing those two projects.

InkTears has been a fabulous experience, for me, and I hope for you. Bringing the joy of short fiction to a wider group of readers, free of charge, monthly, supported just by contest entry fees and book sales has been a pleasure. I had originally hoped to bring more short stories directly to the attention of the film makers here in LA, but that is a job I will leave to someone else with more time on their hands. It seems to me that the short fiction market has never been stronger. I’d like to think InkTears was a tiny part of that resurgence. Thanks go to everyone who has been involved; our readers, writers, judges, editor (Sara-Mae, with her fabulous podcast career taking off!). The books we’ve published will still be available in the short term, but I’ll be transitioning the sales process to the authors.

Good reading, good writing, and good night!