EDITOR’S NOTEPAD may31.2020: Introductions

GREETINGS. As you can see, the Village of Westvirginiaville is still being built. A few readers may recall this web address as my personal blog and curated guide to noteworthy stories set in and about West Virginia. I’ve since moved to TheStoryIsTheThing for my ‘portfolio’ site. (We need another word than ‘blog,’ which sounds like something a barking seal says.)

That left Westvirginiaville open to fill a chasm in the current denuded state of West Virginia media. The Charleston Gazette-Mail, where I was a feature writer, editor, and multimedia producer for three decades, is a shadow of its former self and publishes only a handful of features anymore. (Just one of several concerns about its journalistic health.)

My friend, David Sibray, editor of the lively feature news and travel guide, West Virginia Explorer, is about the only online site regularly (as in, weekly) publishing inquisitive features about the state.

THE AIM OF WESTVIRGINIAVILLE is to feature work on “life & other stuff” with some connection to the state. This will include some of my work, plus collaborations with seriously creative folk in and outside the state. I’m also on the hunt for suggestions of notable, excellent, offbeat and worthy work.

  • Stories‘ means text, images, video, manifestos, poems (except for bad ones), oral histories—or whatever way a compelling narrative may best be told.
  • This may be stories about the state. Or rooted in the state. Or which reference West Virginia, either as a friend or frenemy. Or that have some element of the state as part of its reason-to-be. But they have to be good, a word I define akin to the U.S. Supreme’s famous definition of porn: “I know it when I see it.”
  • Such work may be by West Virginians. By Mountain State sympathizers. By ex-pat West Virginians, from the Bronx to Ulan Bator. By folk who may not be West Virginian, but whose work includes the state as a character or setting.

The goal is to create, curate and comment on narratives with some connection to the village life of West Virginia. No, I can’t pay you. Yet. So, send links and suggestions, not hopes and freelance dreams.

I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SHUT DOWN the Village of Westvirginiaville and close off its borders, at will. This is not so much a labor of love as a labor of craft. I do hope to create revenue rivulets at some point. And backers, sugar daddies and mommas, angels and archangels, are most welcome to contact me—and, eventually, us—to support the cause.

Be well and stay safe. Wear a mask in public like a super-heroine or superhero.

Douglas John Imbrogno | CONTACT

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