Last Thursday night, Steve, my web wizard did whatever it is that web wizards do and made Thread: A Literary Publication go live.

He sent me an email that read, “Google and Bing have been notified. You’re in the big time now.”

I swallowed hard, let the reality of that sink in for a moment and decided I should get a good night sleep for a clear head before announcing.

The following morning, everything was clearer alright: I noticed that we needed more white space under the logo. Why hadn’t I seen that before? Ack! I emailed Amanda, my gifted graphic designer, and asked her to identify how much space we needed so we could get Steve to make the change and Steve, most likely rolling his eyes and harumphing because didn’t-I-understand-what-being-live-meant? had to reset and rejigger.

Moments later, one of my writers asked me to reconsider the photograph that accompanied her essay because it just didn’t help tell the story. I’d already been through three other photos for her piece so I was resistant at first. We’re live! But she was right. It didn’t do the job. And so into the archives I went in search of the right image.

Ah, literary publishing: An endeavor of words, images and heart that offers the suggestion of perfection but perfection in publishing, as in life, is an illusion.

And I just love that. The possibility of that.

But what’s even more amazing is, because Thread is online, how swiftly a circle is created. Fifteen minutes after I released the Mail Chimp announcement and began posting links on Facebook, the emails and likes began to trickle in. There’s been a steady stream since. A community of writers, readers and photographers was born, connected by electrical, and universally human, threads.

My deep gratitude to Steve Stern and Amanda Good who helped bring this site to life; the six writers who contributed their work before seeing what they were contributing to (Lee Reilly, Tom Wolferman, Anne Heaton, Timothy Parfitt, Robert Grubbs and Ann Fiegen), to Jen Clar and Curt Chandler for the beautiful photographs; my brother Adam and my friend Gail Conway for their thoughts on business and fundraising; my mother, Nancy Blum, for her proofreader’s eyes; my husband David for legal consult and being such a sound, sounding board; my daughter Emily for social media notes and a cool factor; and my daughter Jenny for her marketing savvy. A big shout out to Curt’s Cafe for giving me a space to work with writers and for hosting our readings and launch to my students at New Trier Extension for the inspiration. An effort like this one is a glorious patchwork of fabric with a multitude of textures.

Want to stay updated on Thread: A Literary Publication, the Thread Reading Series and writing workshops? Let me know at


Photo by Ellen Blum Barish