Omikuji Project On the Bubble (Mars Needs Subscribers)

Almost four years ago, I started a weird little thing called The Omikuji Project. Every month, I wrote a short story not published anywhere else, printed it on archival paper, signed and sealed them with wax, along with a personal letter. For four years they’ve gone out all over the world, every month, with wobbly, but stalwart, regularity. (October’s has gone out–delay caused by crazy novel deadline–so sorry!)

From the beginning, I said that if subscriptions dropped below a certain level, I couldn’t do it anymore. Remember that stack of Things I Wrote This Year? It did not include a new, original short story every single month. It’s a lot of work, even before the late nights folding, signing, and burning ourselves with sealing wax. It’s wonderful, but it’s work.

We’re circling that level now. With the economy and the ebook apocalypse, we’ve had a lot of cancellations and folks who didn’t renew their subscriptions. And I totally understand that. Something like this is a luxury purchase. Nevertheless, in order to keep the Project going, we need new subscribers. Especially given the increase in postage rates since we began years back, and the exponential increase in my workload since 2007-8.

So this is my way of saying that if you wanted to get someone a holiday gift, or miss your letters every month, or had been thinking about getting a subscription, now would be a wonderful time to sign up. The rates are $100 for the year or $10 a month for the paper edition, and $50 a year or $5 a month for the electronic. International subscriptions are $120 a year or $12 a month.

There is a community at omikuji_project where subscribers meet and discuss the stories, and we’ve had meetups at conventions. It has been one of my most rewarding creative endeavors–it’s just that, given my workload, I can’t keep going if enough people aren’t interested in getting it. I really want to keep going. I hope you do too! But if we do have to close the Project down, yearly subscribers will get stories through the end of their tenure, never fear.

But I hope it won’t come to that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of it–here’s hoping for four more years, at the least.

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