Writing is a mostly solitary activity. Writer spend hours with their own thoughts and feelings, making up stories and hoping they see things in a way no one else has before. That’s why a literary magazine is such an extraordinary commodity. We have the opportunity to reach out beyond our limited world and see that there are others like us. There are others who see the work put into a poem or story that, until now, has primarily lived in our minds, notebooks, and computers.

Everyone who works on this magazine is a student of writing. They have voluntarily given time to reading hundreds of works by others, then meet to fight it out for the pieces they love the most. And we do fight sometimes – although our fights are quiet and adult-like. They include phrases like “Why did you vote that way?” or “Change my mind about this story.” Our editors and readers have been proponents for the works they believe in, as well as open-minded listeners for those pieces they didn’t really see at first. It’s an effort that can truly change the way in which a writer sees and understands what’s read and, eventually, effects how we’ll all write in the future.

So, I would like to thank each member of our staff.

To begin with, I need to give a shout out and many thanks to our editorial advisor. Dawn Leas has many things on her plate, yet when the decision to reignite River & South Review was made she joined as advisor. She has led us through this process twice now, her support and guidance an invaluable asset to us all. Thank you, Dawn.

Susan Minsavage, our creative nonfiction editor, is the most careful and eloquent of readers. She can speak thoughtfully to every piece we’ve included here. Her insight and care have taught me great lessons in reading. Thank you, Susan.

Fiction editor Julie Yelen listens when others talk. It’s an art that gets lost in this environment of smart phones and constant overhead music. She is a force to be reckoned with, including an amazing eye for lines, structure, and story. She consistently impresses me. Thank you, Julie.

For the second time, we were lucky enough to have Samantha Stanich as our poetry editor. Her eye for form and lyricism is one of the best I’ve ever known. She can see meaning in a poem that completely eludes others. Thank you, Samantha.

Our production editor, Danah Lassiter, has one of the hardest jobs. After reading and voting with us, Danah had press pause so the rest of us editors could get everything to her in a coherent fashion and let her work her magic. She found every photo we’ve included, took some of them herself, and pushed herself right up into the holidays to get things together. We’d be lost without her energy, focus, and incredibly disposition. Thank you, Danah.

Judy Jones impressed me throughout this process – reading and voting and sharing her carefully considered insights about every work included here. I completely enjoyed her inclusion in our lively calls. Thank you, Judy.

Our technical guy is Justin Bodnar, and he has also been working away as the end of our school term (and 2018) approached. We rely on Justin so much, and he always pulls through. Too often the IT guy, the Techie in the room with all of the Creatives, gets lost in the shuffle because what he does is seemingly invisible. I want to say that we see you and all that you do for us. Thank you, Justin.

And our proofreader, Sara Pisak. She came through for us and powered through, finding our errors before we could display them to the world. Thank you, Sara.

I love editing and publishing. There is something entirely fulfilling about being one of the first to find a gem of a story or poem. Perfect lines of utter beauty come along in publishing that I might otherwise miss, because as a writer I’m too often lost in the world that is my work-in-progress. Also, as I read through submissions for the first issue and this issue, I began to see an energy develop, as though the people of the world have a bond they haven’t yet noticed. I hope that you, the reader, feels this connection throughout our magazine.

Thank you also to all of the writers for their submissions.

And thank you, readers, for your time.

Sally K. Lehman
Managing Editor
River & South Review