Friday, 06 November 2015
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Elder Storytelling Place Retires
You may have noticed that the addendum that is posted at the bottom of each story inviting readers to send in their own contributions has been missing this week. That is because The Elder Storytelling Place has arrived at the end of its run.
It's done pretty well for the past eight-and-a-half years. Over that time, about 300 individual writers have delighted, entertained and informed us with somewhere in the vicinity of 2200 stories.
ESP, as I refer to it in shorthand, began on 6 April 2007 (the day before my 66th birthday), with Norm Jenson's wonderfully funny story titled Curiosity. You can read it here.
The final story, Quandary, which appeared yesterday, belongs to Marc Leavitt.
In between, the stories and poems have been funny and silly and serious and enlightening and to a large part, reflective the kind of the world we have lived through for 50, 60 or 70 years and are still managing to navigate pretty well in our dotage.
The reasons for the shutdown are lack of interest - fewer submissions and declining readership over the past two to three years. Certainly, I take responsibility for that, in part, as I have never made the effort to promote ESP in places around the web where there might be interest.
Another, and I suspect bigger reason for the decline, is the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterist, Instagram and other social media websites where such little effort is required to participate. It is so much easier to post a link to a news item or upload a photo or a YouTube video than to write something longer than 140 characters.
(Frequently, these days, I despair for the the written word and the actual thought required to produce it in a world where the most important newspapers in the world are actively sussing out how to not only write shorter stories but to have robots do the work of it.)
The Elder Storytelling Place has had a good life. The site itself will remain available with a link from Time Goes By – there's no reason to take it down. Writers will be able to find their stories and others may want to dip in to the collection to see what they can find. I promise you will be well entertained.
Thank you all – every one of you who have contributed stories through all these years and the readers, too, who have made it a real community with your own thoughts in the comments.
You have all given me, personally, a great deal of pleasure.