Stability and change — the effort to balance both is one of our founding principles
. That’s made it easier for us to accept several changes at The New Territory this summer, even though a few pivots were large and unplanned.
Things happened so fast that it’s been hard to process, let alone let subscribers and contributors know what has been up. Now we can finally reflect and share what’s been going on.
Let’s get this out of the way — the changes coming for The New Territory are positive, we still plan to print, and everyone’s still friends.
Here are the first big announcements!
Katerina Hazell passes torch as Creative Director
Katerina Hazell | Photo by MadExposure Photography
As our founding creative director, Katerina Hazell is the reason people open their first copy of the magazine and say, oh, wow. Now that she is pursuing her studies in book arts more intensively, her role is changing to that of founder and advisor.
Three years ago, just a few weeks after a road trip together, I showed Katerina my plans for The New Territory.
I told her how her own artistic pursuits had inspired me. I said I wanted to make a magazine for people like the two of us — creative women and men who appreciate global lessons and experiences, and also honor the power of our Midwest provenance, place and personal stories.
I asked her if she’d like to be our art director. I paced the floor of my living room waiting for an answer.
She asked, fairly, “What does being an art director involve?”
“Ah, good question.”
We have spent the last three years trying to answer that.
First, we changed the title to creative director. Katerina‘s role has never been confined to choosing art and laying out the book. She has shaped this magazine from the start, sometimes as confidante and cheerleader, other times as a voice of reason and our most honest critic. She has interacted with hundreds of photographers and artists, designed more than 600 pages across six issues, ran events and influenced top-level decisions on the character of the whole company.
So thank you, Katerina, for your loyalty to this magazine and to showing the Lower Midwest in its complicated, meaningful and beautiful light.
Sara Strong passes torch as Literature Editor
Sara Strong | Photo by MadExposure Photography
Literature editing was always a mystery to me. Other than one semester reading for Epic, Mizzou’s undergraduate literary magazine, and a couple creative nonfiction classes, I had no background in it. But since The New Territory exists to deepen our regional understanding, we see literature as a vital door to exploring ideas and creativity.
We needed someone to help set the tone for our literature section–someone who was both passionate about the region and who could be set loose to start something from nothing. I first encountered Sara Strong’s name on a masthead when she edited Epic. Since then, I admired her work from afar, through shared friends and experiences. We never worked together until 2015, when she returned to Missouri after getting an MFA from Vanderbilt.
To talk about starting with The New Territory, Sara and I met up at a Missouri Life party, where we nibbled on Farm to Table appetizers and a Mark Twain impersonator wandered from table to table. Mark Twain was a good omen. Sara started working on the language and outreach we would do to recruit regional writers to submit their best work. Without the prestige of a long-standing title, it has been an uphill climb to get the word out and earn the trust of writers.
It takes real skill, vision and patience to start something new that will last into the future. Sara’s impeccable taste and discerning eye for poetry, fiction and nonfiction has established a literature section that is strong, yet sensitive, imaginative yet accessible. I am incredibly proud of the collection of Midwestern voices we have begun building, and grateful for Sara’s editorial leadership that has established a standard of quality for the magazine.
Like Katerina, Sara’s heart and love for the Ozarks and plains is also imbued into the character of The New Territory. She helped shape our founding principles, articulate the vision for the people we are trying to reach, and, most recently, helped design our summer fellowship program. Sara, thank you for sharing your time with us these three years, and we’re excited to see what happens next in your future.
Katie Foster takes both torches!
We could not be pausing this relationship on a higher note. Because of the publication’s growing history and our recent fellowship program, The New Territory feels more vibrant and full of promise than ever. Katerina and Sara will remain as an advising Founders, available as mentors to those in the New Territory family.
And the magazine’s design is landing softly and safely in the hands of editor and NT contributor Katie Young Foster, who will take on both design and literature responsibilities. We also have a small team of fellows and past editors who will read submissions.
Katie most recently served as an editorial fellow
working on literature. Hersurreal short story, “We Can Surely No Longer Pretend” (Issue 04
) was a bold addition to our literature section, proving that literature by people from the Midwest need not be specifically based in the Midwest–or even in reality! Her hometown of Valentine in the Sandhills of Nebraska, and the wider geography of the region, remain the part of the country she cares about the most, though she now resides in the Panhandle of Texas.
What does this mean for contributors?
If you have any words for Katerina or Sara, they can still be reached at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have submitted art or photography or otherwise expressed interest in working with The New Territory‘s artistic side, you may want to reintroduce yourself to Katie Foster at email@example.com.
If you have submitted literature via Submittable in the past year or so and not heard back from us, we apologize for the wait, but can assure you your submission is still in the system. If you have submitted literature via email, we ask that you re-submit on Submittable as that is the only way to guarantee your piece survives the transition.
And if you have recently had pitches accepted (or are otherwise waiting to hear from our editorial team), please hang tight. The leadership switch and other changes have set us back several weeks, but we are working to restore some order and organization to the magazine. The editorial team is now very streamlined, which is both good and bad — the bad being there are fewer folks to field inquiries, so our already slow response rate may be slower. (None of us are anywhere close to full-time working on this.) Thank you all for your patience.
We’re excited about the direction of The New Territory, and we look forward to sharing more progress with you.