Dear Rag Queens,
I hope you’re all doing okay and taking care of yourselves. You are so important.
I’ve drafted a version of this letter about ten different times now, and I think it’s best to just come out and say it: Rag Queen Periodical’s third issue (coming in January) will be our last.
This decision, while it still saddens me, is one I’ve thought about for several months now. I’d consulted with RQP’s co-founder, Mauve, and we decided that it is time to end this beautiful project with one final issue. In 2015, we founded this project as a sister-pub to Mauve’s existing publication Lehigh Valley Vanguard. We noticed that there were many voices in our community that were not being heard, and we wanted to do something to give the feminists of the Lehigh Valley a platform, a safe space, and a community. Very quickly that community grew far beyond our little LV, and suddenly we were working with hundreds of beautiful writers and readers — you — and that has and always will be an incredible joy to us. I want to thank you all — our readers, editors, contributors — for giving RQP its power. I am so grateful for you, and so excited to witness and support your success for years and years to come.
I’m sure it’s no secret that running a lit mag can be hard work. We have always been a team of volunteers, putting in the labor of editing and creating simply because we believe in our mission, and we believe in our community. As our community grew, naturally so did our labor. Our team grew and shrunk and evolved, and life offered new and exciting projects for all of us — projects that allow us to take the mission of RQP and apply it elsewhere, all over. I began to think about myself, my philosophy of editing, and how I was measuring up as the editor-in-chief according to that philosophy. Ultimately, professional and personal obligations have kept me from being the EIC I want to be, and the EIC RQP deserves. In short, I’ve been quieter than I like to be, slower at responding to emails, and ultimately not as available as I have been in the past. I didn’t want RQP to fizzle out because of this; I wanted it to end with the same starbursts of energy it had when it began. That’s what we hope to do with Issue 3.
I will always be so proud of what Mauve & I have created, and how our staff and contributors have made it even brighter than we could have hoped for. When we started Rag Queen, I didn’t know of many other publications that were opening up these conversations in an accessible way to both readers and contributors. Now, gratefully, I can name dozens and dozens of beautiful mags with missions to provide a platform for women and non-binary writers. We will be sharing these on our social media in our final months, so please let us know your favorites. Logistically speaking, I will be keeping RQP running for at least a year after our final issue, so you can revisit your favorite pieces whenever you'd like. After this, I hope to look into archival options, but I will cross that bridge when the times comes.
Issue Three is coming along beautifully, and we are so excited to share this with all of you.
Kailey Tedesco, Co-Founder & EIC