The following is by no means easy to express. But after an enlightening, wildly fun, experimental, strenuous, rewarding seven-ish months, Qrewcial, its staff, and I are signing off and taking a much-needed break. As of last week, all publishing has ceased.
Fortunately, many of the goals I wanted to reach by the summer of this year were accomplished. We grew enough to attract advertising, subsequently bringing in more (although a still very modest amount) than the typical “nickel here and there” that many other sites unfortunately experience. In terms of readership, at our best, we were sustaining 10,000 readers per week from all across the globe. And in April, we partnered with colleges and universities across the country to give their student writers an outlet (and gig) to express their thoughts and flex their writing muscles.
The above accomplishments were important. But they were only a fraction of the satisfaction I experienced. What gave me the most satisfaction and what I was most proud of was working with talented writers from all around the world and from different walks of life. They showed up week-in-week-out to write stories for the site. And many of the articles we published were shining examples of what dogged writers could do when passion and craft meant more than pay and benefits.
I’m proud of so much of what we’ve published; stories that explained the crisis in Venezuela, advocated for diversity in Hollywood, called the Green New Deal into question, or explored one of the most obscure bands out of the UK.
The interviews we landed were another highlight. Houston-born and NYC rapper Fat Tony was a pleasure to spend an afternoon with, and both Michael Heimbaugh and Carson Aguilar were able to interview two of their favorite artists respectively: Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney and Danish star Oh Land.
These stories, among countless others, were highlights and I’m proud they’re out there for the world to read. I’m also proud of the writers behind them.
Nathan Osbourne couldn’t keep his finger off the pulse of the box office if he tried, and I have yet to meet anyone who can spot all the angles of Hollywood money-making and the studio system quite as well as he can.
Shumara Thomas spent every week discovering new music from every genre imaginable for our Best New Songs series, and also didn’t mind when I’d push to include some of my personal preferences.
Charley Ward could walk onto any news team as a political reporter. And he’s not quite old enough to order a beer yet.
I didn’t know conviction until I met Devon Rooks, whose 4,000-word stories were quite a task to edit at times, but always worthwhile. I’ll miss butting heads with him about word count. I’ll miss what I learned from reading his stories more.
George McGrady continuously impressed me with how much he understood music and all of its nuances. His three-part story examining the death of arena rock is unmissable. He then equally impressed me when he seamlessly pivoted to lifestyle articles covering the importance of sleep, digital minimalism, and more.
Carson Aguilar couldn’t stick with a pitch if he tried. It was a running joke that he had his own graveyard of them. But when he finally ran with one, it was always a pleasure to edit, read, and publish.
Maggie Mancini spotted the cultural themes in even the most seemingly simple television shows or films and advocated for much-needed changes in the industry.
Michael Heimbaugh is a music encyclopedia and critic, and may not even know it. Hire him, please.
Gentry Thurman had a wicked sense of humor and some of the oddest takes I’ve seen on the film industry. I will genuinely miss both.
Steve Reynolds’ Democratic rankings were a highlight of our work. I’m happy the West Coast-based activist spent some time here at Qrewcial. I’m also proud to call him a former high school classmate.
Vee de Cleyre married sports with culture in an incisive two-part story on racism in soccer. It was the first “serious” story we published and the first to turn heads.
We’ve also had many other writers spend some time at Qrewcial whose work elevated the organization; Samiya Green, Hamish Calvert, Carla Delgado, Ariba Bhuvad, Alex Rozenski, Amanda Steele, Liam Glen, David Kelly, Rachel Basela, and more. It was a pleasure working with each of them.
I also must thank Nathan Reynolds, our on-and-off again deputy editor. His practicality tempered my loftiness, he endured many of my long and fiery rants, and he bestowed some of the most critical insight on to me. I couldn’t have stayed sane through all of this without him. And in him, the writers found an exceptional teacher and guide.
Lastly, I’d like to thank the readers. Each and every one of you made it all worthwhile and I’m forever happy to have had you check out the work we did.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief