Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Timeless Tales Going on Hiatus (possibly looking for new ownership!)

(Written by Tahlia Kirk, founder of Timeless Tales Magazine)

I've been avoiding this announcement for months, but it's finally time. The TLDR is: I'm putting Timeless Tales into long term hibernation. I'm strongly considering shutting it down permanently or transferring ownership to someone new. 

The backstory

Hades and Persephone cover

This is what's been going on with me behind the scenes: Back in March 2020, I was woefully behind with responding to Hades & Persephone submissions. I'd just landed a promotion at work that exponentially increased my responsibilities. When the big Covid lockdown hit, I was relieved beyond words for an excuse to slough off my social engagements for a month or two and focus on the magazine. 

After Hades & Persephone published in Summer 2020, I gave myself permission to take a nice long break. We'd decided that 2021 would be the year we'd move from Austin, TX to Sacramento, California and I wanted my entire focus to be on moving. 

Confident that I'd return to magazine business after we moved, I announced our Arabian Nights issue and left the submission window open for 9 months, making it very clear I wouldn't respond until April 2021 at the earliest. It was good plan and theoretically should have worked. 


We bought a house and moved to California in February. In April, I received another promotion at work. Although, I needed to start reading Arabian Nights submissions, lockdown was finally ending and I was eager to get back into the world again. I was fully vaxxed and ready to PAR-TAY! Surely those submissions could wait a little longer?

We bought a house!

Tahlia Kirk

For a while, I thought I could compensate for the lost time by spending my extra income on expanding our staff. But there was only so much I could easily outsource and it takes time to find and train new people. 

Over the past 10 years, I've managed to keep TT running because my day jobs have historically been dull. Those jobs gave me large chunks of downtime that I filled with magazine work. However, the entry level tech writing job I accepted in 2019 has somehow blossomed into an actual career. I have a team full of nerdy coworkers. I've been managing a small group of technical writers. I'll soon be getting promoted AGAIN to become our writing team's first full-time trainer. Huzzah! 

My celebratory flowers in our freshly painted dining room

Celebratory flowers for my promotion

This is all wonderful news for me, but not great for the magazine. I needed to stop kidding myself and take a hard honest look at when I'd have time for the magazine again. I've already waited too long for that future day when I'll actually have free time again. The truth is that the magazine simply isn't compatible with my lifestyle anymore.

So while I'm sad to say goodbye to TT, at least it's not out of any personal tragedy. And who knows, I may find a way to either bring it back someday or stay involved after it finds a new owner. 

About Arabian Nights

If you submitted a piece to TT for our Arabian Nights issue, you should have received an email from me about a month ago, politely returning it to you unread. I did my best to email everyone who submitted, but if I somehow missed you, I apologize that you're just hearing this news now.

The future

Originally, I didn't want to announce my hiatus without a game plan for the future in place. But it's become clear that I'm not ready to make a final decision on anything yet. I'm currently in talks with a potential new owner that has a lot of potential, but I want to take time to explore my options

Right now, I'm open to fully transferring ownership to the right person/team, but I'm also not opposed to staying involved in a much more scaled-back capacity. 

If you have ideas or an interest in running Timeless Tales, send me an email at Do NOT leave a comment on this post. I don't get email notifications for comments, so I may never read it. 

Here are some of my basic qualifications for What I'm Looking For In a New Owner:
  1. Computer skills: 
    1. Google Suite: You need to be comfortable using Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, Google Drive, etc.
    2. Website updates. TT's website is run on Wix, so no coding knowledge necessary, but you must understand basic SEO concepts and generally be good at tinkering with tech.
    3. Social Media: Even if you hire someone else to handle the daily churn (which I highly recommend!), you should have an understanding of how to write content that boosts engagement. 
  2. Disposable income: TT's Patreon page doesn't bring in much money. Maybe you can change that someday, but you must be prepared to cover upkeep costs yourself. I want someone dedicated to continuing the site's quality and committed to paying our authors/graphic designers.
    • I'll talk nitty gritty budget details with serious candidates, but I currently pay approximately $2000/year in annual expenses + $1500 per issue. If you want to grow the magazine's reach, you'll want to budget even more for advertising.  
  3. Free time: It takes countless hours to publish each issue and maintain a thriving community between issues. I'd hate to hand the reins over to someone who's stretched too thin to devote large swaths of attention to this project.

The current state of the magazine:
  1. The website with the actual magazine hosted via a 3rd party service called Issuu. 
  2. 2600 Facebook followers
  3. 1050 Twitter followers
  4. 840 subscribers to our newsletter (and growing daily)
  5. A struggling Patreon account 
  6. A GoodReads account (it gets a surprising amount of engagement considering how new the account is and we haven't spent a ton of time growing it). 

Be prepared to wait a very long time for a response. Nothing magazine related will be happening in a timely manner and I apologize in advanced if you're stuck waiting for weeks or months.

On an unrelated, lighter note, here's a video of my 2020 birthday where I got to hit a pinata!

If you want to follow my next adventures online, here's my info:
  • Blog:
  • Instagram: @tahlia_mk 
  • Personal Twitter: @MissMystra