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An Exciting Note on the Future of McSweeney’s


[October 15, 2014.]

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Hello Readers,

We have very good news. Starting today, McSweeney’s Publishing will begin transitioning to a nonprofit.

For the last fifteen years, McSweeney’s has dedicated itself to publishing outstanding new writing in a wild variety of forms, and we’ll continue to do just that. The Quarterly Concern will still feature the groundbreaking short stories and eye-gratifying design that have won it two National Magazine Awards; the Believer will still publish great essays and interviews and special issues. Our books, we hope, will remain worthy of cherished placement on your shelves.

So why change now? We believe that becoming a nonprofit will allow McSweeney’s to sustain itself for many years to come, with the help of an expanded community of donors, writers, and readers. We want to continue to pursue a wide range of ambitious projects—projects that take risks, that support ideas beyond the mainstream marketplace, and that nurture emerging work. A nonprofit structure, with a board and members supporting our efforts alongside our staff and writers, will allow us to put new resources behind all our undertakings, and explore a number of exciting projects that, until now, were out of reach.

How can you help? There’s no way around it—this is a big transition for us. There has never been a time when your support mattered more to the future of McSweeney’s.

Starting today, you can contribute to McSweeney’s as a member. Better yet, most donations are partially tax deductible. We’re starting out as a fiscally sponsored project of a great San Francisco nonprofit incubator called SOMArts; next year, we’ll apply to be our own 501( c )(3).

Here are a few ways to support our work:

  • Visit our donations page, and become a member. Every dollar matters, whether it’s a one-time gift of $25 or something that would keep our lights on far longer. If you’re considering a year-end gift or simply want to stand behind our efforts, we hope you’ll take the time to sign up.
  • Do your holiday shopping, or non-holiday shopping, at Today and tomorrow, we’re discounting all our books.
  • Subscribe to our Quarterly, the Believer, the Book Release Club, or the Poetry Series.
  • Buy our books and magazines at your local independent bookseller. This helps us and helps them.
  • Spread the word. Share this message on Facebook, Twitter, or a tree in the park to let your friends and family know that they can now make a donation to support a fledgling literary nonprofit with a sixteen-year history of championing new writing.

We have some incredible books coming out in the months ahead—new poetry, new nonfiction from Cory Doctorow, new fiction from Alejandro Zambra and Miriam Toews and Michelle Tea. Your donations will allow us to push our projects still further—to invest in in-depth, on-the-ground reporting in the Believer and ambitious new forms for the quarterly, to expand our commitment to works in translation, and to take on the dream projects we’ve been waiting years to pursue. (More information about a few of our upcoming endeavors can be found here.)

To all those who have supported us in the past, we thank you and hope you’ll continue supporting independent publishing. To newcomers, we invite you to jump in and make more great books and periodicals possible.

We’re profoundly grateful for your help.

— All of us at McSweeney’s Publishing