Dear writers and readers of The Post Calvin,
We made it! One year is in the bag. And from our perspective, it has been a major success. Read on for a few words of gratitude, some fascinating numbers, and several exciting announcements.
Writers, thank you for your words and your photos. Thank you for your adventures, your sorrows, your celebrations, your jokes, your musings on faith and career and family and friends. Thank you for submitting on-time, well-edited, and professional essays (almost always!)
Readers, thank you for staying with us. Thank you for reading our writing and responding with your own comments. Thank you for sharing our posts, for telling your friends, and for making this work worthwhile.
And to everyone involved—thank you for joining this project and making it better than we ever imagined. When we (Abby and Josh) first planned this with Debra and Sarina, we hoped to create a post-Calvin writing community, and thanks to you, we have that community. And we have more than that, too.
A few words about the past year
Writing online can be an exercise in humility. The internet is such a vast and fast-moving place that sometimes it’s hard to feel heard. You’re certainly not alone if you’ve ever sent us an essay, seen it appear on the homepage, move down one spot each day, and then disappear into the archives–all the while wondering, “Did anyone even read that?”
In an effort to abate some of those feelings, we’d like to hit you with a few interesting highlights and statistics from this past year:
We received 40,373 unique visits from 18,871 unique visitors. The data junkies among us will already know that that’s a mean of about 100 unique visits every day. The median is about the same. Every post you wrote, on average, had about 100 different readers.
Here are our top-performing posts from the past year:
- A Eulogy for my Grandfather (Bethany Tap) 915 unique views
- This Is the Way, Walk In It (Bart Tocci) 600 unique views
- Let’s Go Exploring (Josh deLacy) 548 unique views
- Holy Matrimony, Batman! (Lauren Boersma) 532 unique views
- Hymns and Church and Me (Mary Margaret Healy) 514 unique views
- I Am Lord Voldemort (Josh deLacy) 451 unique views
- An Open Letter to People Who Write Open Letters (Will Montei) 444 unique views
- Hunger Games 2: Catching Mediocrity (Bart Tocci) 440 unique views
- A Most Gracious Reprieve (Will Montei) 420 unique views
- Solitude (Will Montei) 410 unique views
Half of our views came from social media, so keep sharing. Facebook alone was responsible for 18,184 views.
As our first year comes to a close, we must say goodbye to several writers who are moving on to new projects (grad school, a new job, their 30th year of life, etc.) Here’s the list of those leaving us, along with some of their most memorable posts.
- Nard Choi (retired in April) — Koreans in Tanzania
- Melissa Dykhuis — Mom I Am
- David Greendonner — Pathfinding
- Jenn Langefeld — How to Go, and How to Stay
- Stephen Mulder — Nala
- Calah Schlabach — On Why I Hate Church
- Libby Stille — Playing the Piano
- Sarah (Vander Molen) Sundt — Newlyweds
- Bethany Tap — Silver and Gold
Thank you, writers! Best wishes for your futures. Stay in touch, and, of course, if you feel the urge to submit a guest post, let us know. We have loved working with you all.
While these voices can never be replaced, we are excited about the new writers coming on board. We have a few spots left to fill as of right now, but you can expect a full roster of newbies for August. For now, please welcome:
- Gabe Gunnink
- Michael Kelly
- Catherine Kramer
- Andrew Orlebeke
- Paul Menn (started in April)
- Katie Van Zanen
- Cassie Westrate
You can expect some great writing from these newcomers. Each of their names above is a link to a guest post they’ve written for us so far. You can also expect a few more themed months this year, as well as more guest posts from other alumni. It’ll be an exciting time, and with any luck, next year will be even better than this one. Keep writing, keep reading, and keep sharing.
And one more time, in case you didn’t hear it up in the cheap seats: thank you!
All the best,
Abby Zwart and Josh deLacy
Abby Zwart (’13) teaches high school English in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She spends her free time making lists of books she should read, cooking, and managing the post calvin.