This is really disappointing. I’ve benefited greatly from the discussion and relationships built in the SE forum and I believe the smaller active community as well as the broad range of experience levels represented among the authors on SE have both been great assets in fostering those discussions and building diverse relationships.
While I understand and respect the desire to focus the main team’s energy elsewhere, I wonder if seeking volunteer moderators from among the more active members of the forum might be a beneficial step before closing down entirely. Beyond the task of moderation, volunteers would be excited/passionate about keeping the forums alive and could, as a result, also be more active about prompting conversations if placed in that role.
Moving to other Christian writing communities might be beneficial for building cohesion of the Christian writing community as a whole–which is something I would advocate for–but 1) given the fact that there are still so many options, there’s also a high likelihood of simply scattering SE’s members to the four winds and 2) I think SE has a lot of unique qualities that add to its value vs. other communities (not making it “better,” per se, but making it a valuable option in the mix). Namely, it is a little smaller and therefore relationships are easier to build; it attracts authors with particular shared values, which fosters lots of important conversations where the end goal of all authors involved is the same; and at the same time it attracts authors of a variety of experience levels, which fosters lots of growth in the writing craft as younger/less experienced authors can find more experienced authors to answer their questions and older/more experienced authors can step in to answer those questions, building mentorship relationships and encouraging writing growth on both sides.
To mention other communities as requested, I can recommend the Kingdom Pen forums and–for the discussion of media and literature, though not writing itself–the Lorehaven Guild on Discord.
Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.