In mid-April 2005, Beth Wodzinski began having "vague thoughts" about starting an on-line, downloadable zine. While worried that she wouldn't have much time to devote to such a project, she wanted to support authors who wrote the kind of stories she liked, and to reject authors who wrote "alright" instead of "all right." About a month later, Beth came up with the ideal name for her zine: "Shimmer."
Beth then recruited a few on-line friends to help develop the magazine. J.L. Radley, Jon Willesen, and Chris Hansen came on board, and Shimmer moved from its conception phase to its development and business model phase. Rather quickly, it became evident that more help would be needed, and Mary Robinette Kowal joined the Shimmery Staff as Art Director. Beth, Mary Robinette, and J.L. Radley all met on-line at Orson Scott Card's Hatrack River Writers Workshop forum.
Barely a few weeks into development, a conversation on an on-line message board for writers precipitated a major discussion among the Shimmery Staff that changed how Shimmer would be delivered to its readers. Shimmer, Beth decided, would be a printed magazine. Though risky and requiring some more capital than initially planned for, Shimmer debuted as a digest-sized printed magazine with a perfect-bound glossy, color cover. Shimmer has since been well received by readers and critics; and esteemed Editor Ellen Datlow (whose interview appears in the Winter 2006 issue) wrote that Shimmer is "worthwhile" in the summary section of 2005 Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthology.