Thoughts and feelings on Lines & Breaks Issue #3
In this powerful third issue of Lines & Breaks, our teens push back against expectations from family, friends and society in defining their identities. From tiny epiphanies while surveying bedside lamps, to questioning what it means to be a feminist, I’m inspired by all of the creative ways our teens are declaring ownership of their identities. Their writing will open your eyes to new perspectives and challenge you to reflect on the stories, values and passions that shape your own identity.
I thought about my younger self while reading through the pieces for the third issue of Lines & Breaks. As a teenager, there were so many things that were important to me – both the fun parts of youth, like family traditions and holiday celebrations, and the harder parts, like anger and grief. I carry these things, still, today. It’s so empowering and inspiring to see these teens write about their lives so fully. And it’s a good reminder that younger generations still have a lot to teach us about social causes, chosen family, speaking up and much, much more.
Thoughts and feelings on Lines & Breaks Issue #2
I am awed and humbled by the stories shared by WriteGirl teens and alums in the second issue of Lines & Breaks. Engaging the theme of “unity” and reflecting on the work by partner LA vs Hate, these young writers explore family history and cultural mores, the pain of intolerance and joy of identity, Popsicle sticks and papaya soap in a kaleidoscope of experiences in Los Angeles and across the globe. Some of their words will hurt. Others will make you smile. All to open the door a little wider to a diversity of perspectives with the power to unite.
Ushering in this second issue of Lines & Breaks has been both an honor and a privilege. While the inaugural issue was made from scratch, figuring out our identity, name and mission as an online journal for the WriteGirl community, Issue #2 has been about continuing what we’ve built for a new group of equally wonderful writers. Being a reader and writer myself, I’ve been spell-bound by the prose and poetry written by our teens, alums and special guests in response to the theme of “Unity” enclosed in these digital pages; inspired to envision the better world they wish for; and left hopeful that the future of storytelling is being passed down to tender, loving hands. I was particularly moved by Jane Han’s poem “Classic Koreatown” and her vivid, lush descriptions of her neighborhood, from the “ruby-red fermented cabbage” to “a slight tang of the sea.” The reoccurring couplet of “Koreatown, Los Angeles / Commonwealth Ave” slowly transformed from a repetition device into an anthem, an urgent love and search for home that grew more powerful with each stanza, and left me hungry for more. Every piece in this literary journal has made my journey with Lines & Breaks all the more worth it and rewarding. I feel humbled to have played a small but necessary part in bringing it to you. Welcome to Issue #2 of Lines & Breaks.
Thoughts and feelings on Lines & Breaks Issue #1
For this first issue, we asked our editors to share a little about how they are feeling right now, as we launch this new venture!
We have dreamed of this for many years – an online space to showcase creative voices from the WriteGirl community. Lines & Breaks describes how writing looks on the page, but it also describes what it feels like to be creating together, especially these past nearly two years while we have all been working remotely and gathering online for workshops, meetings and events. I’m so excited for this first issue. I keep looking at it and re-reading each of the pieces, rolling them over in my mind the way you examine a new discovery, seeing new details the closer you look. It’s been exhilarating to work on this project with the entire team, and I’m especially grateful for the calm and refreshing design from Sara Apelkvist, our longtime designer here at WriteGirl. The dream is real! Lines & Breaks is live!
Guiding and observing the creative development of WriteGirl’s teen writers is an enormous privilege. When they are in dialog with their readers on a topic as resonant as the hometown we all share, the pleasure is all the more deep and memorable. We have lived through an extraordinary period the last two years and the power of writing can only aid in our recovery and increase the pathways we can use to connect with one another. This inaugural issue, which will be the first of many to come, I’m certain, serves as a document of our resilience, our community and our extraordinary creativity. Bravo to all of our writers and to the team that brought this journal to fruition.
Even after being involved with WriteGirl for nearly a decade, I still get inspired and energized by our teens’ creativity and courage. They remind us that even in times of turbulence and uncertainty, a journal can be our safe place to unlock our determination, our passions, our sense of humor and our resiliency. From writing about a pandemic from the point of view of a vaccine, to exploring family identity through citrus trees, these bold voices remind us of the power of stories to connect us all. Congrats to all of the young authors featured in Lines & Breaks!
I’m so excited to see the work of WriteGirl expanding outward to reach readers and writers and lovers of language around the world. Beyond creating prompts and experiments that ignite creativity, I love looking at an early draft and adjusting my “zoom lens” – either to see the tiny spaces between words, or to see what will connect the writer and the reader in the landscape of human experience. Thank you to the entire team that brought this project to life, as I know there will be sparks of magic in every issue.
An avid reader and a professional writer, I’ve gotten to combine both passions as an editor at WriteGirl, first on the organization’s print anthologies This Moment and Sound Generation, and now on the dynamic online literary journal Lines & Breaks. There’s no greater pleasure than mining writing by WriteGirl teens and alums for the gems in each – some scattered on the surface, others buried deep within; polishing them into jewels; and placing them in a setting where they can sparkle and shine. Thank you, Keren and WriteGirl, for this inspiring opportunity, and to our inaugural authors for sharing your dazzling ideas and words with us.
WriteGirl readers, I am so excited that you’re finally able to read the inaugural issue of Lines & Breaks! Back in September when Keren asked me to hop onto the editorial team and spearhead the creation of WriteGirl’s first-ever lit journal from scratch, I truly didn’t know what was going to be in store. But I’m incredibly proud of all that the editorial team has accomplished these past few months, from compiling submissions to, after many, many weeks, deciding on a name for the journal. Lines & Breaks has been a challenging but most rewarding effort this year, and I’m excited for you to read the powerful words of our incredible teens, alums and special guests. Welcome to Lines & Breaks!