Thursday, May 09, 2013

Chess Horizons Under New Management

Chess Horizons is an award-winning, decades-long MA chess publication. It has been beleaguered of late. Its largest problem has been staying on any sort of schedule. This was because the former editor was Bob Messenger, whom I like to call "The Hardest Working Man in New England Chess." Putting "Editor" into the mix just proved too much. Sometimes there are are just not enough hours.

And so, Chess Horizons was put under new management last month. No committees. No searches. Just one person (or hopefully as you'll see, a small group of persons) in our community taking the reigns and moving forward.  "Decisions are made by those who show up," as President Jed Bartlett once said.

Let me introduce you to the new Chess Horizons team.  We'll start at the top just to get the tension out of the way.

Editor - Doc Kinne. Yea, that's me. Why me? What experience do I have? Well, I've worked as a semiprofessional magazine writer before, largely in the writing and computer technology fields. About 20 years ago, for two years, I was editor and publisher for a small newsletter/magazine, doing both the editing and the layout. Yes, there has been a good bit of water under the bridge, but I've done something like this before. I'm also a member of the Chess Journalist of America, not that that means much right now.

Layout & Photography Editor - Max Sewell. Max has been integral in making Chess Horizons the award-winning publication it has been. In a visual medium like a magazine the layout is every bit as crucial as anything else. I'd be dumb not to retain him, and I look forward to working with him!

Publications Consultant - Bob Messenger. Wait? Wasn't the entire point to separate Chess Horizons and Bob?  Well, not quite. As Publications Consultant Bob will be there to answer procedural questions and be able to supply a bridge from the old to the new as the new team gets going. I'm going to try to keep him from doing a lot, honestly, but I expect his role will be more important than even I can imagine right now.

Copy & Games Editor - Nathan Smolensky. Nathan is one of those competent people who showed up with ideas and an interest. His rating is now high enough (I actually entertained fantasies that I could beat Nathan a year ago!) that I very much trust him on games editing.

So, that's the team as it now stands. There is room, I think, for one or two more Copy Editors, and I'll entertain applications. I'd be looking for someone who has a strong computer and internet presence, can work with either Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer, and is prepared to give me deliverables. I'd like to see an Advertising Manager for Chess Horizons in the future, but first we need to get back on a regular schedule and hold that so that advertisers will want to advertise with us.

Oh! I was wrong! That's not the whole team. I left out, frankly, the most important person  - hopefully you! You as writer! A magazine cannot exist without it getting input and this nicely ties in with my editorial philosophy - Chess Horizons, I hope, will be very much a grassroots publication. Your publication, in fact. The team above is just the assemblers. I need you and your news, views, and opinions.

Chess Horizons will be accepting and looking for completed articles submitted as ASCII text, Rich Text Format .rtf files, Microsoft Word .doc files, and LibreOffice Writer .odt files. Game scores will be solicited either in .txt or .pgn formats. Photographs can be submitted as .jpg, .pgn, or .gif formats.

I can see trying to organize a stable of writers, and will be contacting some of you with regard to this soon. Would you want to put Stringer for Chess Horizons on your resume? Maybe!

Finally, the schedule. Chess Horizons over the last several years has been so erratic in this department that I hope this will be its greatest change and improvement. The magazine will be going back to a quarterly schedule and will roughly be maintaining the same page count, based on submissions. I'm an astronomer in my real life, so in my mind a quarterly schedule means the Solstices and Equinoxes. Instead of a May-September (or whatever) issue, we'll be having Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter issues with release dates falling on our about the seasonal starting dates. Deadlines for submissions will be the first of the appropriate months: 1 March, 1 June, 1 September, 1 December.

So, that's our big news for now. Questions, comments, and submissions can come to "kinnerc @".  I look forward to hearing from each of you!

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