Our gal Brenda Mills, managing editor at Fiction Collective 2, had some things to say in the most recent company newsletter (04.08) about changes at FC2. In sum, due to budget cuts at Florida State University (FC2’s home), Brenda’s job will be cut in August. Moreover, when Brenda leaves, she was told to take FC2 with her.
That sounds pretty bad.
However, in the literary world, when one falls, there is often someone else there holding the net. In this case, Jeffrey Di Leo, founder of symploke, editor of ABR, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at the U of Houston-Victoria, and long-time friend of FC2, offered to fund several positions at UHV to become the new Brendas (we knew it would take more than one to replace her!), and offered FC2 a home.
That sounds pretty good.
Additionally, UHV is planning to establish an endowment fund to provide for FC2’s future, kicking up promotional activities in their new home area, and will be joined by Matthew Kirkpatrick (of Barrellhouse fame) to add a vast expanse of knowledgeable experience to the work.
That sounds really good.
So far so good for FC2. I’d say a lucky break in the fall, but I know there had to be a lot of people doing a lot of negotiating and paper pushing to get this all to happen so quickly and, seemingly, so smoothly. No doubt, our gal Brenda was – and will be – workin’ it all the way to the end.
Oh, yeah, Brenda.
No, she will not be moving with FC2. With a family in Tallahassee, a move to Texas was not possible. Golly gee whiz, we’re going to miss Brenda. Her insatiable appetite for experimental fiction and unending enthusiasm for her work really made the public face of FC2. She was one of the first people I met at the very first AWP I attended oh so many years ago, and I still have the promotional Barbie Doll leg as a keepsake. Since then, she and her cadre of authors have been one of the greatest highlights of the conference for me, and so I’m sure, for many. What now? I suppose time will tell, but I hope for all her hard work and dedication, something good comes her way.