Astra Publishing House announced that its literary publication, Astra Magazine, is being shut down. The magazine published the first of its two issues in April, and the company said there will be no third issue. All operations, including web publication, will be closed by the end of the year.
The magazine was led by editor-in-chief Nadja Spiegelman, deputy editor Samuel Rutter, and managing editor Medaya Ocher. Its first two issues included prize-winning fiction, essays, poetry and comics from authors around the world. The magazine’s website featured criticism and personal essays, and promoted the work of emerging writers and artists. It had attracted 50,000 unique visitors each month.
"It always felt like a dream to be given the space to imagine a new, exciting and beautiful print magazine in these times,” Spiegelman said in a statement. “I’m disappointed to see it end, but I am so proud of what my colleagues and I have accomplished.”
The magazine was one component of Astra Publishing House, formed in early 2020 by Beijing-based publishing conglomerate Thinkingdom Media Group.
"We are disappointed not to be able to further fund the magazine,” Leying Jiang, president of APH, said in a statement. “In a very difficult year for publishing, we found that the format provided unexpected challenges and have decided to close the magazine in order to focus all of our efforts on our children's and adult imprints.” Those imprints include Astra House, the recently acquired DAW Books, and a number of children’s imprints including Astra Young Readers.