1 – 7 – 2021
Epiphany of the American Voter, January 20, 2021
Jason / Medea
All These Rivers
In The Beginning
I See Winter
After Me The Flood (Nach mir die Flut)
Tony Van Witsen
Kolena Jones Kayembe
Emily Hessney Lynch
Small Arms Survey
Room 359, Special Delivery
The Mythology of Althea & Keegan
Every Memory Returns
Orange Blossom Song
As I write this letter, the sun is shining and people all around the United Kingdom are enjoying greater freedoms after such a long period of lockdown. With a significant proportion of the population having received their Covid-19 vaccination, it is clear that there is a strong atmosphere of hope. However, the situation is far from stable and there are many countries around the world who are still suffering a great deal from the virus. We hope that our Summer Issue can offer some brightness into the worlds of our readers, particularly for those who have and are still suffering from the widespread and catastrophic effects of the pandemic. We have some truly inspirational and skilfully crafted works to share with you in this issue which we hope you will enjoy.
I would like to start by thanking our dedicated nonfiction editor, Linda Arrighi, who has invested so much of her time into spreading the word about Spellbinder through our social media channels. Last month, we were thrilled to reach five hundred followers on Twitter. We celebrated this first milestone by giving away a free subscription to the digital version of our quarterly. Look out for more giveaways when we reach further milestones on Facebook and Instagram too.
In addition to having a strong social media presence, we are keen to engage with our readers, contributors and fellow publications through an ongoing outreach programme. We endeavour to develop and build our relationships with other literary and artistic communities as well as provide platforms through which writers and artists can network and share their work. We were amazed at the talent and enthusiasm that has been shown by our previous contributors based at Exeter University. During the winter to spring season, we have sought to establish a relationship with Exeter University, particularly as one of our editors is currently studying there. We could not have asked for a better group of literary enthusiasts to work alongside than the executive committees of Exeter University Creative Writing Society and their print journal ENIGMA. We began by collaborating tips from both of our editorial teams to produce an extensive blog post which is available to read on both of our websites.
Following the success of the blog post, we co-hosted a Spoken Word Showcase which was also in collaboration with Exeter International Student Theater Festival. A number of our contributors from our winter and spring issues joined the online Zoom event from England, Ireland, and the United States among others to perform their fantastic works of verse and prose. We had an amazing evening celebrating the work of both Spellbinder and ENIGMA contributors and it was truly inspiring to hear such a diverse range of texts from deeply personal creative nonfiction pieces to children’s stories to comedic playscripts. Collaborating with the brilliant students at Exeter was an incredible experience and it was lovely for us to see some of the other passionate writing communities on campus settings which is where our own friendship as editors originated too. We hope to connect with many more publications, groups and publishers in the near future, and look forward to inviting our contributors to participate in a number of exciting events, some of which may even be able to take place in person now that restrictions are slowly easing, at least in England.
Furthermore, the highlight of our summer submission window has been the introduction of our drama section. We are accepting monologues and extracts from scripts for the stage and screen. The works we have received so far have been really interesting to read and we are thrilled to be able to publish some of them in this bumper Summer Issue. We cannot wait to see this section thrive in our forthcoming issues and are very excited about developing relationships with groups from the performance arts industry.
Finally, we would like to thank all of our contributors for submitting their work and making this quarterly possible. Their enthusiasm and talent has been overwhelming and we are so excited to be able to publish their work every season. The release of our upcoming Autumn 2021 issue will be an extremely special moment for us because it will mark our one year anniversary. In order to celebrate this, we will be introducing our annual competition as well as reflecting on the year and looking back at a few of the many highlights we have had. Until then, don’t forget to stay tuned through our blog page on our website where we will be posting lots of tips and materials, as well as reading suggestions for your long summer days in the sun.
As we are currently celebrating the introduction of our drama section, it seems appropriate to conclude with a quotation from the highly regarded director of classics such as Mulholland Drive, David Lynch. In an interview with Killian Fox, available to read in The Guardian, Lynch concluded that ‘[y]ou can be a doctor, and you’re getting ready to go to sleep, and you lay your head on the pillow and some idea flies in, and you’re up the rest of your night writing this thing down. You’ve got a cure for some disease or something – fantastic! Ideas are out there for everything.’ The creative and imaginative capacities of the human brain are truly remarkable, and like Lynch, we believe that there are ideas for everything. We encourage you to read this issue and to feel inspired to keep on thinking, and to keep on creating.
By Amber Kennedy, Chief Editor