Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
writer editor born-again horse girl

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Welcome Back, WRB

July 15, 2005

When feminist journals "suspend publication," it seems they rarely return. Sojourner, the long-running monthly newspaper out of Boston, didn't. I feared the worst for the Women's Review of Books, another monthly with a long history. This time, however, the news is good: WRB will be back as a bimonthly in January 2006. Editor-in-chief Amy Hoffman told me so in an e-mail, and the comeback was confirmed the next day in the latest issue of Books to Watch Out For.

Amy also asked me to contribute a review to the January issue. She didn't have to twist my arm, so I'll be reviewing two vampire novels: Octavia Butler's Fledgling and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. Come watch me sweat blood around deadline time in late August!

WRB, which was previously published by the Center for Research on Women at Wellesley College, returns as a joint project of Wellesley's Centers for Women and Old City Publishing. Old City, the Philadelphia-based publisher of a dozen academic and scientific journals, will handle production, distribution, and subscriptions; Wellesley's Centers for Women will maintain editorial responsibility, and Amy Hoffman is returning to the helm.

BtWOF reports that Old City became interested in WRB last fall, when ad reps at Rutgers University Press bemoaned the impending loss of a publication that has been so important in promoting their women's titles. Even more inspiring, Old City publishing director Ian Mellerby told BtWOF editor-publisher Carol Seajay that at last month's National Women's Studies Association conference in Orlando he was "overwhelmed by the number of publishers and subscribers who’ve come up to the booth to tell me that the news of the relaunch has made their day."

A year's subscription costs $33 (US & Canada); €42 euro, or ¥5,700 yen, and subs should be sent to Old City Publishing, 628 North 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19123.

I also heartily recommend Books to Watch Out For, which "covers both lesbian books and the whole range of books lesbians like to read." It's also the best source for what's happening in the women in print movement, and for developments in mainstream publishing of interest to feminists. BtWOF also publishes a gay men's edition, edited by Richard Labonté. More at


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