The Slam: The Slam Master's Rant

The Slam Master's Personal Soapbox made from ones, zeroes, and a home-grown proclivity for pontification.

  • The Grand and Final Rant (The Slam Lives on -- Long Live The Slam!)

    August 29, 2013

    Dear Slammers,

    The time has come for your Slam Master to retire from The Slam.

    Since 2007, when I first came on board as Slam Master, I've seen The Slam go through multiple transformations. With the launch of the new CICADA website, The Slam took on an updated look and a fresh vibe. With new editorial priorities, The Slam became more inclusive and began highlighting a greater number of submissions. With a wider reach, The Slam expanded its audience from a core of CICADA readers to a network of thousands of aspiring young writers representing all 50 states and many other countries across five continents.

    Now The Slam is going through another transformation, as you may have noticed already with changes beginning to take place this summer. I am handing over my responsibilities to other members of the CICADA editorial team, who will be posting more frequently and sharing more content with followers on Facebook and tumblr. While there will no longer be a single Slam Master responding to each submission and writing monthly Rants, members of the editorial team will be contributing their own Critiques, and the annual Best of The Slam feature will continue to highlight standout submissions in CICADA magazine. We hope you will reach out at with questions or brainstorming suggestions to help The Slam change and evolve along with the magazines in the Cricket Magazine Group.

    The biggest change I've seen during my time as Slam Master hasn't been in the site's design, or in the number of submissions posted. The biggest change has been in YOU, our loyal Slammers. I've seen many of you grow tremendously as writers, daring to ask for criticism of your work for the first time, and daring to be honest with others about their work. I've seen you gain the confidence to submit your writing for publication, first in CICADA and then in other magazines and literary journals. I've seen you enter (and win!) prestigious national competitions such as the Scholastic Writing Awards.

    Best of all, I've seen some of you make a choice to build a life around writing. Many of you have chosen to study literature and creative writing in college, with the aim to make a career in the field. And one former Slammer (I knew her back when) recently saw the publication of her debut novel.

    Of course, not everyone needs to major in English or work in the publishing world to be changed by good writing. Some of you will no doubt go on to wow the boardroom with your brilliant business plans, publish your scientific breakthroughs in dazzling research reports, or guide young people in finding their own voices through the written word. Whatever your passion may be, good writing will help you get there. And The Slam will give you those tools.

    So as I sign off from The Slam to follow my own pursuits beyond the publishing world, I want to encourage each and every one of you to keep on Slamming -- here on the site, and wherever life may take you beyond that. The world needs good writers, and good critics, in every field. I've been proud to see you, our Slammers, grow into those roles -- and I can't wait to see what you will accomplish next.


    Ann Pedtke

    Slam Master