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Dear Readers,

Writing is a soul-baring endeavor, but nothing feels so vulnerable to me as sharing and submitting my work. By submitting, I choose to send a little piece of myself—my time, energy, efforts—to a friend or an abject stranger and say, “What do you think?”

It’s horrifying, maybe, or it’s exciting, or both, and either way you wait until you are inevitably accepted or rejected. Just like that, they want it, or they don’t. And if they don’t, you keep submitting, sending your work to dozens of journals (I have a friend who just got a story accepted after sending it to thirty-seven separate places) until, hopefully, your work finds the perfect home. And if it doesn’t, maybe you put the work in a drawer or a graveyard folder, but you keep creating because to succeed in this business is to persist. So thank you to all those who submitted, who hoped for a yes and got a no, who hoped for a yes and got one.

This year we’ve been archiving old editions of Inscape—copies that go all the way back to 1982, and there’s something thrilling about publishing online what hasn’t been seen for maybe forty years. This archival project has made me think of the journal as an artifact, a slice of a moment in time. It is a memento of a unique staff’s artistic sensibilities; it is the work of editors, writers, and artists, and made with the express hope of being read.

The collaborative work of making a journal is intense. On our end, we solicit submissions, critically read said submissions, hold weekly discussions, design and layout the edition, and work on countless other tasks that keep our operation running. Yet absolutely none of that would mean a thing if not for the writers, sculptors, painters, photographers, poets, and essayists sharing their work with us. Inscape would not exist without the people vulnerable enough to submit, and would exist for no one without you to read it.

This is a love letter to all the people who shared their work with us, to any person who worked on this journal at some point between now and 1982, to our current staff who worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to create this edition, and to the readers of Inscape—wherever you are in space or time.

Thank you for writing, for reading, for creating. I hope you enjoy this edition of Inscape as much as we do.

Kath Richards
December 2021