What a journey it’s been. I have been with The Washington Pastime for 14 months. And for all of that time, The Washington Pastime has been my literary home. This platform helped me to find my voice; and today, I’m proud to be welcoming all of you to our resurrection.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, things at The Washington Pastime haven’t exactly been easy over the past six months. In July, 2012, Paul Karaffa — The Washington Pastime’s founder and original Editor-in-Chief — was forced to resign due to personal issues.
I took over then, knowing full well the challenges and opportunities that lied ahead of me as the Pastime’s second Editor-in-Chief. I worked hard to reach out to the communities surrounding the DC Metro area, and began forging new relationships in New York.
Then, right when things were beginning to pick up, I faced an adversity I hadn’t anticipated. Our website was hacked by unknown assailants infected with malware, and appropriately blacklisted by Google. We couldn’t get into our e-mail servers, and we didn’t have the money to switch servers or cleanse our code.
It was a sad couple of months. From October to February, we were essentially defunct. But we had a heartbeat, because we had you.
Reader support was overwhelming. Some of you reached out on Facebook. Some of you found your way to my own personal website and wrote in to my blog Hacked: My Crippled Dream.And still more of you showed your dedication to what we do by donating a little money towards our resurrection.
And on February 11, 2013, we did it. With gifts, donations, and the little money we did have, The Washington Pastime made a move onto a new hosting site, and began using fresh backend code to ensure that the user experience was not compromised with malware, spyware, or adware.
Over the last month our staff, and myself in particular, have worked countless hours to prim and prep The Washington Pastime for its second first-impression. We’ve added new features, new content areas, eased navigation, and have tried to make the entire experience — from start to finish — a more pleasurable one for you.
To coincide with our relaunch, we are introducing We The People — a contributor driven and provider moderated discussion forum for current events. We’re also excited to offer contributors the ability to “skip the slush” for the very first time. Finally, we will be announcing our first literary contest of the year (but certainly not our last!) in the coming hours. It’s not a traditional contest — but then again, this isn’t a traditional month for us. Look for news around 10 a.m. EST!
In closing, I want to express how glad I am to have every one of you back, and to have the opportunity to re-establish The Washington Pastime as a place where artists can be heard. I hope the content and the website suit your liking, and I look forward to rolling out new features (like our mobile app!), as well as learning from and responding to your feedback in the coming weeks and months.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, there are literally hundreds of submissions I have to get around to reviewing. It’s been way too long.
The Washington Pastime