Notes From the Editors


When we last left off, Erin and Linsey had just published the inaugural issue of Spry Literary Journal, with some high hopes for the months to come. Come January, submissions for issue two were rolling in at full force. With a barrel full of new plans for the coming months, the ladies used the tools they learned through issue one, and cleaned slate—working with new and old staff alike to put together a plan for making issue two even better. Goal-setting was a priority in January, as was organization. Because Spry accepts submissions year-round, we spent time sorting and then assigning submissions to our readers. Of course, because they are compulsive procrastinators, these were huge steps for both of the ladies, who spent much time deliberating their plans via G-chat, their vice of choice.

Make sure to check back every day for the next four days to follow Erin and Linsey, and learn through pictures, chat logs, and interviews, of the next four months of their five-month Journey to Completion of Issue 2.



Come February, Spry’s new staff was neck-deep in a pool of fantastic submissions, dreams of events they could host, and of course the minutiae of day-to-day life. The ladies found themselves overwhelmed with possibility, and reading everything with dreams of the shape of issue #2 in mind proved to be both daunting and exciting. Toward the end of February, as their first AWP experience slithered ever closer, Erin and Linsey formed tentative plans of ways that they could meet with their contributors, introduce new writers and journals to Spry, design some new business cards, and, of course, clone themselves so they could attend every lecture.

Although cloning proved impossible (thus far—check back with us in a year from now and we might be singing a new song about that), Erin and Linsey were able to be remarkably productive. Armed with some strong submissions for Spry, a stack of misprinted business cards (don’t worry, we’ll be putting up pictures soon), and an AWP conference schedule, they prepared to take on the month of March.



March in New England, where the editors live, is usually wet and cold. But March of 2013 brought new meaning to the “in like a lion, out like a lamb” adage that New Englanders so often use to justify surviving the month. For our editors though, March meant more than just facing harsh weather conditions. It meant reading submissions, it meant defying personal life deadlines to create business cards and prepare to network, and it meant AWP.

Despite some initial anxiety, AWP was wonderful! One of the most exciting moments, aside from each of their encounters with fun, new literary friends, was meeting two of the contributors from issue one. This more than made up for one of the least exciting moments for the editors —forging way through the storm—specifically the more than a foot worth of sludge in the streets and sidewalks to get to the conference everyday.

Sludgey is a good word to describe the month of March. Submissions were flying in, as our submissions period ended for issue #2 on March 31, so after returning with a literature-buzz from AWP, Linsey, Erin, and crew buckled down and dove deep into the reader to begin to put together the current issue.



Marathon Monday, for those who aren’t familiar, is a day of celebration. Many people have the day off of work to celebrate Patriot’s Day, and people flock to Boston to witness the Boston Marathon or catch a Red Sox day game at Fenway Park. April 15, 2013 began like any other Marathon Monday in the city of Boston. The Red Sox won their early afternoon game, which pleased Erin, a die-hard fan, who—like Linsey—was unfortunately working.

And then, shortly after 3pm, bombs exploded at the Marathon’s finish line.

The rest of Marathon Monday, and the week that followed, was lithe with confusion and fear. Who could do something like this? Is everyone we know okay? Are they going to find the bombers? What do we do now? The editors knew that there had to be something they could do to try and bring some peace to the many who were affected.

Then, in one of their (continually critical) G-Chats, Erin and Linsey conceived Beanstalks: Artists Unite to Support Boston, a new section of Spry they would publish with the second issue. This would allow artists a chance to voice their emotions, and share them with people who might be seeking stability, and a place they could find some familiarity; something to which they could relate. They vowed to publish anything submitted, unedited, as long as it pertained to Boston and did not incite hatred or fear. Submissions rolled in, and the editors were excited by what they were reading. They were even happier after being contacted by an MFA student at Emerson College, who queried to find out if they’d be willing to publish the entire class’s written responses to the tragedy. Erin and Linsey were immensely grateful to the Boston Strong, talented writers who contributed their work to Beanstalks, and who continued to create in the midst of the chaotic unknown.

This issue of Spry Literary Journal is dedicated to the city of Boston and the runners, families, friends, and spirit of the Boston Marathon.



May arrived much sooner than expected. Erin and Linsey teamed up with the accepted writers to prepare the prose and poetry for publication. They also sat down with their graphic designer, Cisco, to prepare for the rebranding of issue #2.

Erin and Linsey were both so in love with the design of issue #1, that it was hard to give Cisco a design plan to run with, except by asking, “Can you do something equally as awesome as the first issue?” Led by Cisco’s creative genius, the group decided to continue to create a new look for each issue, while still paying some tribute to the issue that came before it. Themes were tossed around, and, finally, the trio decided to use their cover as a way to pay homage to Boston, as well as embodying Spry’s “Beanstalks” effort. Not long after that, Cisco had crafted the vision that would soon cover issue #2.

In designing issue #2, Erin and Linsey realized that there was something Spry might be missing: art!  While Spry is, first and foremost, a journal focused on short, powerful prose and agile poetry, art provides a fifth dimension of expression that lends itself to the strong, powerful work that Spry is so proud to feature. Cisco bravely accepted the position of Art Editor for issue #3, the first issue in which the journal will be calling for art submissions in addition to poetry and prose.

With the foundations of Spry paved by its first two issues, Erin and Linsey are looking ahead to the new challenges that issue #3 will bring, particularly with regard to its extended reading period and added submission category for art. While, like with anything, there’s no telling what kind of chaos will come next, the editors are certain that the network of talent they have come to love will push them to ever-wilder planes.