It would be easy to think that as we barrel along ever further into the 21st century, print magazines are a dying breed.
There is no denying that many magazines (and newspapers, too, for that matter) have seen a drastic decline in readership in recent years.
As a result, some have folded, others have scaled back the number of issues they put out each year, and others still have opted to exist in digital form only.
Of course, some of the big names appear to still be going strong. Yet even there, we have witnessed quite a few bow out in the last 5- 10 years or so.
For that and many other reasons, I am happy to see small, independent creators (aka, they aren’t under the control of a huge conglomerate such as Condé Nast) brave the potentially treacherous waters of the publishing world and bring a physical magazine into being.
It takes a lot of faith, determination, hard work, and passion to do just that.
Gaëna da Sylva, the founder of the bilingually published (English and French, respectively) independent magazine The Forget Me Not Chronicle has all of those things in heaping spades.
Presently on its fourth issue, The Forget Me Not Chronicle is a resplendently beautiful and enchantingly soulful publication that invites readers to step back in time for a spell and delve deep into the heart of the 19th and early 20th centuries (along with some older and newer eras as well).
To quote The Forget Me Not Chronicle’s official homepage, “The Forget Me Not Chronicle was born between the strange days of 2020, in this distraught time we are passing through. Between the pages of this publication, will be nestled treasures of delicacies. Words of today, written by sublime souls, words of yesterday from old articles collected between the covers of these magazines from the last centuries that are part of my collection gathered over the years, unearthed here and there in flea markets, online and sometimes donated by generous souls.”
The introduction to this magazine continues on that page and I encourage you to check it out – just as I do the current, past and future issues of The Forget Me Not Chronicle.
Amongst no shortage of life’s challenges and stresses last year, a lovely and uplifting offer landed in my inbox one day. 🥰
It came from Gaëna da Sylva herself, who was already familiar with my writing. She was curious to know if I would like to contribute an article to her magazine’s winter 2021 – 2022 edition.
My heart leapt with joy at this exciting out-of-the-blue opportunity. 😊
I was not previously acquainted with this Canadian publication, but all it took was a few moments of exploring “The Chronicle’s” website and YouTube channel to instantly fall head-over-heels in love with this beautiful magazine.
And, in turn, to eagerly and gratefully reply to Gaëna’s inquiry with a very resounding “yes”.
Gaëna shared more with me about the overall theme of this latest edition of the magazine (each edition has an overriding theme that runs through the various articles and images it houses) and suggested what type of general path she wanted my article to go down.
Namely, a connection, situated in days past, between the seasons of autumn and winter.
It took but a microsecond, as I read her specs, to hit on the topic that I knew I wanted to write about: the fact that between the 18th and early 20th centuries in particular, sharing ghost stories throughout the winter had been a long-standing and much-adored practice in some parts of the world.
Of course, the telling of ghost stories far predates that point and continues to the present. The heyday of this hauntingly charming activity – especially in the UK and ROI – was, however, the period mentioned above.
These days, the majority of us likely associate ghost stories with fall (especially Halloween and Samhain), campfires, and Hollywood productions.
And while books pertaining to wintertime and Christmas ghost stories continue to be published here and there (such as The Valancourt Book of Victorian Ghost Stories and Ghosts of Christmas Past: A Chilling Collection of Modern and Classic Christmas Ghost Stories), it is likely safe to say that most of us do not typically spend icy winter evenings regaling one another with hair-raising tales of otherworldly happenings.
To those in the 21st century, arguably the most famous and well-known exception to that statement would be Charles Dickens’s beloved classic, A Christmas Carol.
As I expanded on in my article, though, as wonderful a tale as A Christmas Carol is (indeed, it is my very favourite piece of Christmas-centered fictional writing), it is by no means the only wintertime or Christmas themed ghost story out there.
I loved getting a chance to delve into the topic further and to do so in such an elegant, yesteryear-focused setting, to boot.
Some of you are aware that during the years spanning 2009 to 2017, I ran a (humbly) rather popular vintage fashion and lifestyle blog.
Between the roughly 1,500 blog posts I penned for that site, some of both the professional freelance and ghostwriting I have done throughout my life, social media, and various other platforms, I have been writing about historical topics for a long time now.
Doing so usually comes easily to me, as history and vintage related topics are some of my all-time favourites to both learn and write about.
I have often greatly missed having a platform in which to do just that after my vintage blog retired.
Sure, I can – and sometimes do – inject a hearty dose of history into some of my posts here on Witchcrafted Life (for example, those in my Cemetery Journeys series). Just as I have frequently covered historical topics on my Instagram account.
Yet, neither of those spheres are quite the same as writing about history/vintage for an outlet that focuses primarily on such.
With joy in my heart, I penned my piece titled “Ghosts of Christmas Past: Exploring the 19th and Early 20th Century Passion for Holiday Season Spooky Stories” for the latest winter edition of The Forget Me Not Chronicle.
You can read my article in its entirety through the photos below. ❤️
I was (and remain!) ecstatic to have had the opportunity to contribute to such a lovely, passion-driven independent magazine.
Little did I know that Gaëna would be so pleased with my intitial contribution that she would invite me to be a regular contributor to her publication.
This offer – much like the one that preceded it – touched me deeply. 🙏
I did not have to contemplate her offer at all. Once again, I said yes in a heartbeat and will now be contributing to The Forget Me Not Chronicle on a regular basis.
My column in this publication is called “Witchy Musings”.
This, as some of you who follow me on Instagram may know, is a term and hashtag I have been using there for the past few years. As a result, it felt like a natural choice when Gaëna asked me what I might like the name of my column to be.
Excitingly, I recently penned and submitted my article for the spring 2022 issue, so it won’t be too much longer until my second article appears in this publication. 🌸
Gaëna aims, when possible, to release four issues of The Chronicle annually. In other words, one per season.
At present, The Forget Me Not Chronicle is available only in print (aka, not digital) form.
I would be hard-pressed to overstate what a fantastic publication this magazine is.
If you – or somebody that you know – has even a modicum of interest in anything to do with days gone by and/or living a creativity fuelled life, I cannot recommend highly enough that you consider picking up a copy of The Forget Me Not Chronicle.
Those who wish to do so can currently order copies – both of the Winter 2021 – 2022 edition and previous issues of this magazine – from Blurb.
At present, they retail there for around $18.00 USD.
Now, I am the first to acknowledge that $18.00 is a fair amount to pay for a magazine (though I have certainly seen plenty with far steeper price tags than that). However, it is important to keep a few points in mind. They include the following:
–This is not just any old magazine. It is a true work of art. Every page contains stunning vintage photos and/or illustrations, gorgeous typefaces, and well-researched + eloquently written content.
In addition, the quality of the paper that this publication is printed on far exceeds that of most magazines, be they mainstream or indie.
-The Forget Me Not Chronicle is currently run and produced by Gaëna herself, with fresh articles each issue from various writers who are kindred history-loving spirits.
As, what could arguably be called, a one-woman production, naturally, Gaëna needs to make enough to justify both her time + hard work and to cover the costs associated with printing a magazine through an on-demand publisher such as Blurb.
-Much as it is usually fair to expect to pay more for a handmade item, say at a craft fair or on Etsy, than a mass-produced one, so too is not unreasonable to pay a bit more for a wonderful indie magazine that has been, no two ways about it, handmade in its own right.
-By supporting independent and small-scale magazines, you not only help to keep someone’s (or multiple peoples’) dreams going strong, you contribute to the overall magazine industry and, in a tiny way help to keep that very industry afloat.
Just as many of us have continued to favour physical books over digital ones – or at least enjoy a mix of the two – so too do a fair number of us still delight in the tactile experience of holding a paper magazine in our hands.
From the weight to the scent of the paper to the way that some of us feel we absorb/connect with written material more in physical form, there is a great deal to love and benefit from when it comes to printed magazines and books.
The Forget Me Not Chronicle is a million miles away from your everyday magazine. It is, in a lot of respects, more akin to a stunningly illustrated book covering historical topics.
Indeed, one could easily frame and display many of the pages in each issue on their wall, if so desired. This magazine really is that breathtakingly beautiful.
I am grateful from the bottom of my heart to have the opportunity to contribute on an ongoing basis to The Chronicle.
Not only does doing so allow me to write more on history/vintage related topics again, but Gaëna’s initial request led me to discover her breathtaking magazine (which, again, is available in both English and French editions over on Blurb) and in turn to share about it here will all of you.
I can hardly wait to see what themes Gaëna will propose for future editions of The Forget Me Not Chronicle and, likewise, am champing at the bit to contribute more content to this deeply special and immensely inspiring magazine.
To cap off this post, I will leave you with another quote from The Chronicle’s homepage, “The magazine is a work in progress and will evolve through time, hoping [for] it to be an inspiration, a little treasure to enlighten the days.”.
That, let me assure you, sweet friends, it does to the highest and most delightful of calibre. 💗
Have you heard of The Forget Me Not Chronicle before? Do you enjoy reading indie and small-scale magazines? 👻📜🌹
That magazine does indeed look very special and many congratulations on being invited to be a regular contributor. I can see it is a real honour for you and it sounds like a perfect match xx
Thank you mightily, my sweet friend. How right you are on every count. I have a very old soul and have always been drawn to history, so a magazine that taps into both of those things is a match made in heaven for me.
Warmest hugs from (freshly) snowy BC,
Yay! What a fabulous honor to have your writing published my friend! Huge congrats and I’m not surprised about you being approached for that! You’re so great with the written word and I’ve enjoyed your entries here! Thanks for sharing your exciting news and that you get to enjoy what you’re writing!
You have me blushing more than the arctic chill that continues to engulf our area at the moment (fresh snow is tumbling down as I type these words). Thank you tremendously for your wonderful support and for always being such a sweet + kind person, dearest Vicki.
How nice! Kudos to you on getting recognized and recruited. I love print magazines and have no hesitation to pay for them. I like holding something physical in my hands when I read and artwork looks better in print.
Thank you deeply, my dear friend. As always you epitomize kindness.
Absolutely!!! I have never owned an e-reader and have no plans of adding one to my life anytime soon. Nothing against them, of course, like yourself, I simply prefer the tactile experience of holding a book or magazine in my own hands.
And still (well, pre-pandemic at least) thrill at visiting bricks and mortar libraries. Being able to safely do so again is something I wholeheartedly look forward to when this very dark chapter in our collective history has finally (hopefully!!!) come to an end.
Wishing you & Robin a fantastic tail end of February,
I’ve never taken to online magazines, much as I’ve not taken to e-books or digital music. The Forget Me Not Chronicle looks absolutely magical and I loved reading your contribution penned in your usual lyrical style. Well done on having been given the opportunity to become a regular contributor to this magazine! xxx
We are two physical reading material adoring peas in a pod, dear Ann. Like yourself, I have never personally clicked with e-books or magazines and doubt that is likely to change anytime soon.
Thank you so much for your immensely kind words of congratulations about my new writing gig. To say that I am elated about it would be a hefty understatement!
Having an outlet beyond this site and SM to delve into historical topics again is a welcome slice of heaven for me.
Oodles of hugs,
Congratulations on being invited to contribute to this special magazine,I love reading an actual physical book/ magazine.Your posts are always eloquently written and a joy to read
Sweet Meg, you flatter me something fierce. Thank you wholeheartedly for each kind, supportive word you shared.
Absolutely! There is something so special about holding a book or magazine in one’s own hands. It is an experience that I would genuinely be loath (and very sad) to give up for any reason and hope dearly that I/we never have to.
Scores of hugs coming your way,
Congratulations to you Autumn!!! I love that you are covering ghost stories of winter/Christmas!
Thank you sweetly, dear Celeste. This was a fa-boo-lously enjoyable topic to write about. As was my second submission, which will be a part of the spring 2022 edition of this exquisitely beautiful publication (naturally, it focuses on a different subject entirely).
Warm hugs from snowy BC (where winter is very much still out in full force),
Congratulations Autumn, what an honor and from your posts they are lucky to have you as a writer!
You are exceedingly kind, Donna. Thank you immensely for your heart-touchingly supportive words.
I definitely feel very lucky as well and still pinch myself at times over being offered this marvellous opportunity.
Big hugs & the happiest of wishes for a great tail end of the month,
Congratulations on this wonderful opportunity to have your writings published, and on a subject that’s near and dear to your heart! The art work is wonderful and so is your article as well as your photographs. It sounds like a perfect match and I wish you continued success always! I miss having a good magazine or newspaper in my hands to read – I just stopped buying them years ago when I stopped working.
What a splendidly supportive comment, dear Carol. Thank you tremendously across the board.
I hear you regarding buying far fewer physical magazines. Between many of my favourites folding and others often costing $10 – $30 per issue here in Canada (not all, but plenty for sure), I have been forced to scale back there in recent years as well.
Receiving my copy of this magazine was a tactile and visual joy alike, and had I discovered it prior to becoming a contributor, this is the kind of magazine I would sincerely make an exception to the statement above for. It is a work of art and, in many ways, more akin to a book than a magazine.
Many heartfelt thanks again, sweet lady!
I read your piece and I found it very interesting. And it truly looks to be a beauty of a magazine. So refreshing to have a magazine with other topics than keeping fit, loosing weight and fashion. Congratulations on being invited to be part of this adventure and good luck!
Excellent point, dear Pia. I could not agree more! It is totally fine to have publications of that nature, but there are countless other diverse, interesting, inspiring and informative topics out there to cover in magazines as well and I truly commend this one for doing just that superbly.
Thank you very much for your wonderfully supportive words. You are so kind!
Scores of hugs,
Well done, congratulations and a loud squee of “WOOOO!” for you, Autumn! I greatly enjoyed your article and to be offered a regular column is so exciting! That is a gorgeous magazine – I love that it’s an indie and I don’t think ~$20 is too much to spend (that’s less than a week of S’bucks coffee!!).
So proud of you!
Thank you immensely, my very dear friend. Your congratulatory “woooo” brought a milewide smile my way (which, for an array of reasons, I sincerely needed today).
I too feel that $20 is a fair price for a publication of this calibre, scope, and level of artistic beauty. Honestly, each edition is akin to a book and I will indeed be storing mine on a bookshelf (once I’m done displaying them prominently through their respective seasons, that is).
Many heartfelt thanks again & the biggest of hugs,
wow well done, awesome and congrats. xxx
Aww, thank you so MUCH, dear Ann. Your kindness and congratulations are deeply appreciated.
Oodles of hugs coming your way,
Congratulations on your article and becoming a regular contributor to the magazine, Autumn! And thank you for giving us the opportunity to read it through the photos here. 🙂 Although I enjoy blogs, I also still like print magazines. The Forget Me Not Chronicle sounds like a good one.
I’m a fan of ghost stories, particularly Victorian/Edwardian ones. I like reading them anytime but they do especially suit the autumn and winter seasons! One of my favourite ghost story authors is MR James.
I hope your February has started off well. I read in your Hey, Ghoul Friend post that your sister has/had Covid. Hope she’s recovering ok or at least on the road to it? Best wishes to you and your family. 🙂
Hello lovely ZM, thank you so much for your splendidly kind comment – including your concern regarding my sister. That touched my heart through and through.
While she is not over the impact of Covid fully yet, thankfully, she is making gradual progress and we remain wholly optimistic that, in time, she will make a complete recovery.
Same here! Blogs and blogging are, naturally, a huge passion of mine, but I still greatly enjoy reading physical material as well and can’t imagine that ever changing.
M.R. James’s work is top-notch! One could argue that he lead the charge when it came to moving ghost stories from their Georgian/Victorian style into a more modern approach to writing about phantoms.
His is a great name to float (like a ghostie :D) in the context of this post, sweet dear. Thank you very much for bringing it up. (Fun side note: H.P. Lovecraft adored James’s work.)
And a huge thank you again across the board for everything.
Scores of hugs coming your way,
Hi Autumn, you are very welcome! Glad to hear your sister is making progress in her recovery. 🙂
Yes, I’m glad to have access to both blogs and magazines. And books are my “first love”!
It is interesting to see how ghost stories changed during the Georgian and Victorian period. I find that M.R. James’ stories are quite “cosy” to read, despite being about ghosts, lol. Henry James was good as well (The Turn of the Screw in particular) but I do find his stories harder to read. I think his way of writing was a bit more long winded (at least for me!).
That’s interesting that H.P. Lovecraft was a fan of M.R. James. Good to learn something new!
You’re welcome. And thanks a lot for taking the time to visit my blog and leave comments. It’s very appreciated! 🙂
Sendings hugs to you too,
Congrats!!!!! I LOVE small print magazines and I will have to look more into this one! How suiting for you! I’m celebrating you today!!
Thank you deeply and completely, sweet Kmarie. Your wonderfully supportive comment made my heart smile.
I have been thinking of you often over the past few months and truly hope that this winter is going as positively as it realistically can for you and your loved ones.
Warm hugs from snowy BC (are you getting fresh flakes in AB this week, too?),
You have been published! Awesome! And what a beautiful magazine.
Have a lovely day, dear. ♥
Thank you deeply, my very sweet friend. It has been a serious minute since I was last involved with a magazine (be it as a contributor or as part of someone else’s article about me/vintage) and would be hard-pressed to find another anywhere that is a better fit for my interests + writing style than this sublimely gorgeous publication.
I’m already champing at the bit to pen my summer article and can hardly wait to hear what the theme for that edition will be so that I can begin work on it right away.
Scores of hugs & cheerful wishes for these final weeks of winter,
Autumn, this makes my heart so happy for you!! What a wonderful surprise to find and invitation to write for this beautiful publication in your inbox. You must be absolutely bursting with well-deserved pride. I’m proud of you, my dear friend!!
Thank you mightly, dear Kate. I wholeheartedly appreciate your kindness and support.
You are spot on! Even now, a few months on, I still pinch myself in disbelief that this awesome writing opportunity came my way. It is a position I cherish and could not be more grateful for.
Huge hugs coming your way,
What a wonderful opportunity! Congratulations!!! What a beautiful publications!
I love independent publications too, they have such a delightful charm about them. I subscribe to one of my friend’s zines that she puts together and, as you mentioned, they are a joy in your mailbox.
Thank you deeply, my very dear friend. It is an over-the-moon joy to be a part of this resplendent publication, as well as to have an additional outlet in which to delve into historical topics.
I really cannot overemphasize just how much I have missed writing on a regular basis about such and love that I will now have multiple opportunities (beyond those here on my blog and on SM, that is) to do so.
That’s awesome! I was soooo into zines back in the 1990s and early 2000s. Your comment reminds me that I should really look into what is currently out there on that front when it comes to some of my favourite topics.
Huge thanks again & a bevy of hugs coming your way,
This is so cool! I am so excited for you! Your article is beautiful. I know your summer article will be amazing. hugs!
Congratulations, what a lovely, and certainly well suited to you, looking magazine to be a writer for! I’m so excited for you and thoroughly enjoyed your beautiful article. I definitely wish the tradition of telling ghost stories in the winter was still common and am certainly glad there’s such a large amount still in print (or being reprinted in Valencourt Books case) to cuddle up with in chillier weather.