One year ago, Terror House Magazine was pulled into this world, midwifed by our hard work and the hysterical rage of our enemies. That latter part isn’t a joke; the day before we were set to launch, our intern managed to rile up the hordes on Twitter by making a joke Tweet about killing pitbulls, which caused our traffic to spike overnight. Since then, we’ve rocketed from success to success, an army of wailing #saferLIT hacks and crybaby Marxists desperately slamming their heads against a brick wall trying to stop us.

I founded Terror House Magazine as the first step in developing a publishing empire for outsider lit, inspired by the example of the dearly-departed Fluland, which took the literary world by storm during its short existence. I chose the name in homage to Budapest, where I was living at the time: the Terror Háza represents the two radical poles of ideology, communism and fascism, that tore Hungary and Europe apart during the 20th century.

To me, the name “Terror House,” beyond merely being catchy, symbolized the importance of judging art and literature on merit first and foremost, not on ideology or increasingly obscure metrics of identity politics. I remember seeing some new literary journal last summer that had to delay its first “issue” (that’s what they called it even though their journal was a website they could update whenever they wanted) because they only allowed submissions from queer black women and they didn’t have enough material. People like that are the cancer that is killing literature, and I’d decided it was time for chemotherapy.

Plenty of you are thinking the same thing, because thanks to you, Terror House can legitimately claim to be one of the most popular literary magazines in the world. While I knew the site would find a niche due to the lack of good outsider lit websites, the degree to which Terror House has taken off has shocked even me. As of this writing, Terror House is ranked at 546,002 on Alexa, placing it well above major competitors such as New York Tyrant, Protean Magazineand Soft Cartel (which folded last month following its convergence into #saferLIT). Terror House has not only surpassed Fluland at its peak, it has more readers than my own blog. We’ve also been joined by other great journals such as Expat Press, Surfacesand Re:Action Review that share our goal of promoting the best outsider lit.

That success has been fueled by our talented contributors. The mewling hacks of #saferLIT tried to starve out Terror House by boycotting us and threatening to blackball our writers; they backfired spectacularly because we now get enough submissions to publish two or three per day. As of this writing, we have published 525 submissions from 258 different authors, ranging from poetry to serialized novellas and everything in between. Our contributors run the gamut from more conventional writers to truly experimental weirdness (like the time we helped publicly humiliate a left-wing sex pest), from up-and-coming authors to big names like James Nulick, Marston Hefner, Jay Dyer, and Logo Daedalus. Our ongoing Best of the Month Contest and last month’s Easter Submission Contest have underscored our commitment to rewarding our writers financially whenever we can.

And while Terror House was my brainchild, I couldn’t have succeeded without the help of my two founding co-editors, Glahn and Calvin Westra. They greatly helped me behind the scenes with vetting submissions, helping shape Terror House’s aesthetic, promoting the best writers, and giving constructive feedback to authors whose work didn’t make the cut. Glahn in particular tirelessly labored for Terror House, promoting the site and soliciting submissions from writers big and small, acting as a bridge between me and Internet subcultures such as Frog Twitter and the ironybros that I didn’t have good relationships with when the site launched. He’s responsible for at least 30 percent of Terror House’s success, if not more, and I am heavily indebted to him for all the work he put into this site.

Unfortunately, Terror House has not met all of its goals. Terror House Magazine was never intended to be a standalone project, but the first prong of a publishing empire, Terror House Press. While I received the assistance necessary to launch the press some time ago, the launch has been continuously delayed due to a number of factors: issues in my personal life, e-stalking from jilted exes and cucks, freelance writing/editing clients screwing me out of money, and the fact that starting a publishing company—particularly when you’re the only employee—is far more work than I thought it would be.

Terror House has also in many ways become a victim of its own success. The sheer amount of quality work we receive means I have to spend more and more time editing website submissions, which leaves less time for editing and formatting the books that we will be publishing. Mind you, this isn’t a complaint: I’m humbled that so many talented writers want to entrust Terror House with their work. However, I only have two hands and there are only 24 hours in a day.

Finally, Terror House recently saw the departures of Glahn and Calvin Westra, whose work helped make the site what is it today. I remain friends with both of them, and our new editors Reagan Cox, Dione, Blaisewell, and Bryden Proctor have helped put their own stamp on Terror House, but these personnel changes have taken their toll on the site.

However, the wind is clearly at Terror House’s back. With growing traffic (last month came within less than 100 hits of being our best month ever), a constant flow of new submissions, a growing pile of quality manuscripts, and the dedication of our editors, we’re in this to win it.

If you’re a newcomer to Terror House Magazine, we invite you to check out our archive. With over 500 submissions published, it’s impossible that you won’t find something you like. Good places to start are our Best of Terror House list, our Easter Submission Contest winners, Glahn’s list of favorite submissions from 2018, and my list of favorite submissions from 2018.

Thank you to all of our editors, contributors, and readers, particularly those who have been here since the beginning. Stay tuned as Terror House pushes into year two with even greater things to come.