The online gritty gay male magazine Velvet Mafia (home of 'dangerous fiction') has closed its doors. A friend passed on the following message from managing editor Sean Meriwether, posted on the magazine's Facebook page:
"Velvet Mafia was launched in the fall of 2001 to publish gay and queer fiction and poetry that refused to be assimilated. We mashed up a lot of diverse elements into a heady literary brew that broke new ground and offered a platform for work that was not being published anywhere, online or in print. The stories that ran with us were regularly picked up by print anthologies and a hunting ground for readers who wanted a little something extra. Above all, VelvetMafia.com was formed as a community and the site has introduced many of us to one another, first digitally, then in person. I have gained a number of friends and acquaintances through the site, to which I will always be eternally grateful.
After a decade online it is time to put down the reigns and focus on new projects. Although the site is coming down, we wish to extend our thanks to the writers who volunteered their work to our forum, to the readers who made it all worth the effort. A special thanks goes out to those who helped keep the ball rolling: Greg Wharton, Jameson Currier, Philip Clark, Michael Graves and also to Jack Slomovits for his photography which defined the style of the magazine.
The site will stay up for until the end of May, 2011, and then will step off the stage, having accomplished its mission."
It's always sad to see a market close and this one in particular since it was one of the few gay male magazines where contributions from women writers were accepted with every bit as much enthusiasm and charm as those from gay men. And Sean was a sweetie to work with. It's not entirely surprising, though, since everything has its day and the magazine's website hadn't been updated since last summer. I shall miss it, as a reader and a contributor.