How We Are Taking Care of Our Readers and Artists through Change

Dear Readers and Artists,

As Raymond and I put together this month’s themed issue, we noticed two things:

First, the art submitted across all genres is high impact. We have both had to take time and space from each piece due to the continually rising quality of accepted work, as well as the profundity of how neglect, abuse and violence are managed. The pieces this month are thought-provoking to say the least.

Second, We have well over 20 solid submissions on the topics of child abuse, neglect and violence. What is amazing about this is the outpouring of voices for de-stigmatizing these issues which are still trying to be denied and silenced. There will be no silence here. Instead, we throw our full support behind each voice.

These topics deserve due space. We want to honor artists by allowing their work to breathe. We want to honor readers by allowing them space to digest the work presented. For that reason, Raymond and I put our heads together and decided to slow down our publication output through March 2018. We don’t want our readership (or staff) to experience compassion fatigue.

This will also give TRB a chance to regroup as we enter a new year. Lots is happening here and we are so excited!

What does “slowed publication output” mean?

Our pay rates aren’t changing. Instead of choosing up to 20 pieces per month for the $200 opt-in pot, we will choose up to 10 pieces per month for a $100 opt-in pot. We will also continue sharing guest articles, especially those which offer relief from the harder topics we are so proud to place in the light.

Columnists—if you have more than one piece accepted for December, we request that you bear with us. Our intention is not to decrease your monthly payout. However, we will be publishing only one piece maximum per columnist this month, next month and in February to more fully explore the issues surrounding violence in our homes. Because you are our highest priority, if you would like to shop any of your pieces elsewhere up to one week before their pub dates, we ask that you alert us.

Readers—if you want more on these topics, please write in, comment, share posts as you’ve been doing, and make your voices heard. Readers are the heart of any publication. You are the witness. You are necessary.

Our growth hasn’t slowed!

Readership is up and so are staff numbers. We want to make you aware that Raymond and I are no longer a two-person team. Which is to say, in fact, we have grown. Joining us as Copy Editor is Melissa Banigan, and as Marketing Director, Amelia Easten. Both are brilliant additions we are incredibly grateful to have working with us to make TRB the engaging, stigma-dismantling platform we know it will be.

Remember that The Relationship Blogger is still very new as a publication. We are within our first year yet have enormous submissions, a growing array of powerful, diverse voices, and are still working on growing our income as a publication so we can better reward our artists.

In the spirit of the season, we are offering you two opportunities to give.

During December, TRB is fundraising for Great Yarmouth Community Trust, a group for which Raymond used to work, and which has been an inspiration for creating and broadening this platform into what it is becoming.

Raymond says, “[Great Yarmouth Community Trust is] the best thing that ever happened to me. They brought me out of my shell, they taught me responsibility, accountability, confidence, reliability, trust in friendship, trust in management, [etc.]. They even healed a lot of issues with my wife and I indirectly. I developed a spine working at that place, and I also learned to watch people, form proper boundaries.

“The core message [for The Relationship Blogger] was one that I developed from there. I had never even considered progression through collaboration until I went there, never even knew it was possible. I still believed the world was a game to be played; I win or I lose. [Great Yarmouth Community Trust] taught me we could all win eventually.”

Donating to Great Yarmouth Community Trust supports access to services for mental, physical and sexual health, resources for at-risk families with children, education, progression, and wellbeing. We hope you will join us in supporting this amazing group and the families local to TRB headquarters.

With that said, if you would like to support the artists here, you can increase the monthly opt-in pot by donating. We will publish the total of the pot in next month’s editor’s letter. You will be invited to do this every month in place of a subscription. We want you to have access to these topics regardless of your ability to donate. 

Thank you for your support.

We hope you will give what you are able in the spirit of compassion. We believe deeply in both of these healing causes. Artists are so often not rewarded for their efforts, and the topics covered on TRB require heavy emotional lifting, as does the community work done by the Great Yarmouth Community Trust.

To donate to either (or both) causes, use this button:

Please specify what amount is meant for Great Yarmouth Community Trust and what is meant for artists* here on The Relationship Blogger. 

Warmly,

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie

TRB Editor-in-Chief

Raymond Baxter

TRB Publisher and Owner

*Staff members are not eligible for pay from the artist opt-in pot.

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie is a mental wellness advocate and writing coach in Bloomington, IN. She teaches writing through trauma for release and recovery to survivors and veterans through the Center for Creative Writing, Ivy Tech Community College, and Survive Your Story. Shawna is also The Relationship Blogger's Editor-in-Chief.

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