Thursday, May 15, 2014

My Helium Balloon has Popped

This may not matter much to most of you, but it is a sad day for me: Helium, the online venue for writers to work on their stuff and get feedback, plus the joy of being published and even making a few pennies in the bargain, has ended its eight year run. As of May 21, it will no longer accept new submissions. As of December 15, I believe it is, it will not be available at all even for read-only viewing. What makes this so sad is that its existence was a boon for new and aspiring writers, a place to go and try. I believe that every one of us has stories to tell. Some choose writing -- poems, essays, articles, short stories. Helium was there. But times change. Helium tried to change with them, expanding its scope over the past year. Perhaps it was too much; the warm friendly feeling of the old system of submitting was slipping away. Mostly, though, I suspect that there just is too much competition for online viewers -- and writers. Still, Helium was a safe place to work, to try, to experiment. Especially for poets, who struggle in the best of conditions to find an audience, Helium had a built-in support system of fellow poets. I found these fellow artists to be open and caring and helpful. Fortunately. some of those poets are establishing a new forum, and I plan to be there. So, again, a sad day. But when a door slams shut, usually a window jimmies open. I like windows.

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