What an exhilarating time this is for Papercuts. We are about to enter a definitive phase in our journey towards creating a sustainable, professional literary magazine.
After the Spring 2015 issue, ‘Home is Not a Place’, I will step down from the post of Editor. This is a carefully planned move that has been in the offing for over a year, and it is largely meant to benefit the magazine that I have laboured over and nurtured for nearly five years.
Recall a familiar scene from your childhood. Building a paper boat was always exciting, but nothing beat the feeling of finally putting it on the water and giving it that one, gentle push to send it on its way. This is how I feel right now. As Editor, it was my job to build this boat right. Now it’s time to test how well it’ll float without me holding it up.
From the beginning, the real challenge was to set up systems that would work in the long term – to not fall into the trap of making the project dependent on one person. Putting together a dynamic and self-sufficient team was of paramount importance. Today, we have that team: a group of talented, competent, motivated individuals who care deeply for the magazine. Today, Papercuts is the kind of publication that will have a Man Asian Prize shortlisted author editing it, followed by other amazing writers. This is our moment, and we are grateful for it. I am grateful for it.
As German mystic Meister Eckhart is quoted as saying, “Trust the magic of beginnings.” I have many things to look forward to over the coming months (years?). I will be giving strategic support to the magazine, with particular focus on building a sales and distribution network. I will also be assisting Waqas Naeem, Director of Desi Writers’ Lounge (DWL), in pushing forward a more ambitious agenda for DWL.
There are also some pesky stories lying unfinished on my laptop that have been clamouring for my attention for years. With the permission and blessings of our team, it’s time I got back to those stories.
— Afia Aslam