An end of year letter to the readers of Film Stories

End of year letter
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As 2023 draws to a close, a few words from us to you, as well as an update on the website over the coming week or two.

To the fine readers of Film Stories,

As is traditional, we wanted to pen an end of year letter to you fine people. This starts with a thank you. It has to start with a thank you. 2023 has been a brutally, brutally difficult year in the world of independent publishing and yet so many of you have stuck with us. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that, and on some of our most difficult days here, it’s very much kept us going.

This has been A Bit Of A Year.

Print publishing is difficult. The changes at whatever Twitter’s called now have made it much harder to get the word out about stuff. Google seems to prioritise AI-written stuff. We’re trying here, and will continue to try, to stick to some core beliefs. We still don’t do clickbait, ChatGPT and their ilk haven’t been near our articles, and we’re determined to plough on with everything we do.

In the midst of all of this, and this is very much on brand, I forgot to celebrate Film Stories’ fifth birthday too. Yet there’s so much work going on.

On the website front, it’s been a delight to be reunited with my old chum Ryan Lambie. He’s been steering the ship online since September, as we’ve ventured into television and gaming too. Not at the expense of film coverage, just trying to add a little more on top. Hopefully you like what we’ve been up to.

Print-wise, we gambled, and now Film Stories is the biggest film magazine in the UK. Really proud of that: 168 pages of stuff to wade through, printed on nice paper too. Like most of what we do, it’s a real labour of love. As is Film Junior, which I’ve got to polish off the latest issue of as soon as I’ve finished writing this.

Events? Crikey. Just the other week, Kenneth Branagh did an event with us, and that’s been a long time in the making. But I’m thrilled we were able to do that, and big thanks to Tamar Thomas and Emma Turner for their magic in making it happen.

Podcast? I’ve crossed 350 episodes now, and this year Hugh Jackman (!) popped along for episode 300. That was a moment.

But we’ve had a few of those moments, and are very grateful for them.

Personally, I’m mostly grateful for all who support Film Stories, and all who have been involved in it in some way. The Film Stories project has now given over 300 people their first paid writing work, and that’s something that remains at our core. But to do that involves the many heroes who put in the graft.

Thus, my thanks go to Lauren, Maria, Ryan, James H, Emma, Laura, John, Phil, Jake, Dan, Brendon, the Webscribe team, David at the Mac, Finn, Aneta, Gabriel, the many overworked PR reps I annoy, the people who run the coffee shop nearby, and whoever invented wine.

And then the biggest of thanks to you all for supporting us. Hopefully you’ll continue to do so.

We’re taking – as you may have seen coming – a little bit of downtime over the coming week or so. We’ll have a few things going on the site, but we won’t be fully operational again until early 2024. Hope that’s okay.

And on behalf of everyone here, here’s hoping your festive season is a nice one, and your new year is brilliant.

Thanks everyone. You continue to make an old nerd very happy.


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