The New Midwesterner

Come on over!

Morning, Midwesterners!

A few months ago, I told you that I was going to transition this newsletter to a custom website. It’s time! As of this morning, we’re live at After sending this, I’m going to shut down our year-old Substack.

What’s new:

  • A fresh look, courtesy of Amy Jahnke of Chicago’s Seam Studios, who has worked overtime on this project since we started brainstorming ideas last June.

  • An easy-to-navigate archive, courtesy of William Swartwood of Swartwerk Media Design, who has brought this site to life from computers in Illinois and Wisconsin.

  • Merch! Click here to see our first stickers, hats, and t-shirts. We’re starting small, as always, so order now to guarantee that you’ll get what you want. We have more products coming, including our first print publication, available around July 4.

What this means for you:

  • If you’re a paying subscriber, you will be refunded for the remainder of your subscription, starting when I paused billing at the beginning of this month.

  • You’ll have to re-subscribe on the new website. I’m sorry it has to be that way. I delayed this launch in part because I wanted to find a way to transition your subscriptions for you. Turns out, we can’t do that with the resources we have. The good news is that we won’t be migrating again anytime soon. Settle in!

  • We will no longer be sending stories directly to your inbox. You’ll read them on our website, like stories from your other favorite publications.

  • We will, however, send a free weekly e-mail—starting next Wednesday—summarizing what we’ve published, revisiting past articles, and sharing stories from other outlets around the Midwest. To keep up with us the rest of the week, follow us on Twitter.

  • Your costs will be going down. I should probably be raising our rates right now, following similar publications, but accessibility is one of our core values, and I want to make the decision to subscribe as easy as possible. We’re going from $5/month to $3, and $30/year to $20.

  • To thank you for signing up early, and to apologize for the inconvenience of this transition, I’m offering you all an even better deal. For the next week, you can take 25% off your subscription price (that gets you to $2.25 per month or $15 per year) with the code MIDWESTOPIA. Feel free to share it with friends and family.

Transitions are messy. You’ll probably see parts of the website evolving in the coming hours, days, weeks, and months. Bear with us. Don’t hesitate to let me know if anything isn’t working the way it should. This website is for you. We want you to love it. If we were just trying to take your money, we wouldn’t be halving our rates.

I should say that we do need funding more than ever, though. We’ve paid heartland creatives more than fifty thousand dollars since we launched a year ago, and we need to be prepared to do that again. This is a reader-supported project, and it won’t survive until the end of the year without a significant cash infusion. I know money is tight for many of us right now. We don’t expect you to empty your pockets for us. But if you’ll spread the word, we’ll have a better chance of surviving on two-dollar subscriptions.

Thank you!