1 – 4 – 2021
Song for the Sage no. VIII.
The Tooth Fairy
A Long Drive
Instructions Left For
The Yellow Hill
437 Wilton Street (A Brick Story)
The Girl Who Threatened to Swallow Me Whole
Ham and Asparagus, and Stamps
A.M. Mac Habee
Edward Michael Supranowicz
A Shadow Of My Former Self
The Mad Red Queen
“Spring drew on… and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.” – Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.
As Bronte wrote in Jane Eyre, spring is the season of hope. The success of the vaccine programme in the United Kingdom in recent months is giving people hope that it may not be long now until we can return to normal. However, the pandemic has also tested and reconfigured people’s values. For example, you may have discovered a newfound appreciation for the small things and the little moments in life that make you happy, or you may have benefited from time off work to realise that you actually want to pursue a different career path. Covid-19 has given people the chance to re-evaluate their lives in this way, but also to consider their relationship to the natural world. The reduction in pollution levels as a result of lockdown, and the increase in people interacting with the great outdoors on daily walks may have stimulated more consciousness about our human responsibility to the planet and the need to respect our environment. As a result of these renewed and altered perspectives, I hope that we can look forward to greater freedom, but also greater appreciation of the people and nature surrounding us. With this positive attitude in mind, we welcome our contributors and readers to another season of literary and artistic creativity at Spellbinder.
We have been extremely pleased with the positive reception to our first issue, published at the start of this year. Establishing our first publication was a huge project and we were very nervous about publishing it in paperback and digital form. Fortunately, the first issue has been successful and far-reaching which makes us even more excited for a future in which our project continues to grow and in which we can work to develop a supportive literary and artistic community.
Spring is also a season associated with birth and growth. This parallels this moment in the evolution of Spellbinder as we are working on expanding our community and making our service even more user-friendly, engaging and inspiring. For example, since January, we have been very proud to launch the Spellbinder Blog. This has four sections; the first of which is our Editor’s Picks, which showcases and reviews some of the best extracts from the works published in our back issues. Then we have our Tips platform, which helps and advises writers and artists about how to improve the quality of their work. We also have a Resources department, which provides a series of writing and art group activities to help people learn about, as well as experiment within their preferred creative medium. Finally, we have Prompts posts, which expand upon the initial ideas we post through our Instagram channel. These posts have been really fun to write and it has been interesting initiating a conversation with our readers, whose voices we are keen to hear and interact with. This opportunity to support, inspire and celebrate our contributors has also been one that is very close to our hearts.
For our Spring Issue we also decided to accept works of Flash as a new category within the Fiction section of our quarterly along with Short Stories. We received many submissions within this genre, which made it an enjoyable but challenging process selecting the best ones to go into this Spring Issue. Moreover, the third and final change for this season was the introduction of our Featured section, which you will find on the next page. Although we are keen to publish the works of both emerging and established writers and artists, we wanted a section specifically dedicated to celebrating more well-known individuals within these fields. For this reason, we have decided to reach out to those who would not usually consider submitting their work to publications which predominantly promote the work of new writers and artists. We believe that having a Featured section gives our newer creatives something to aspire to, and also creates an inclusive and supportive community in which emerging, established and well-known writers and artists can all benefit from and support each other. We are very grateful to have Paul Lyalls, former Poet-in-Residence at the Roald Dahl Museum, on board for our Spring Issue. We are looking forward to reaching out to more big names in the industry very soon.
We have many exciting plans for developing and expanding the Spellbinder publication and online interactive community further in the coming months. We hope that you enjoy the great works we have on offer for you in this issue and that you continue to support our community. We would love to hear your voices, so we encourage you to submit your work, to follow us on social media, and to comment on our blog posts and let us know what you would like to see in these spaces in the near future.
By Amber Kennedy, Chief Editor