Starting with this issue, we've added a little tidbit to The Summerset Review, something we are calling our Lit Pick of the Quarter. Yes, in addition to reading the submissions we receive, we make an effort to do our fair share of digging into current literary periodicals. We do this for more than just enjoyment; we do it for our own health. When completely taken by a piece, why not mention it and quote a short excerpt?

Our first Lit Pick of the Quarter is: "Besides the Body" — a short story by Sarah Clark, in Issue Fifteen (Spring 2004) of Red Rock Review:

"When I close my eyes I am taffeta, white and lace. I am skirts as full as June."

If you haven't noticed something unusual yet by looking at the Table of Contents and Contributors' Notes, we'll save you the trouble. All the stories this time were written by men. We spent several days in the bar while this issue was going into production, delving into the deepest crevices of our brains as we sat in dimly lit booths, analyzing our efforts over a few pints. Is it us, or is the situation entirely coincidental? How did we end up with only male authors this issue? We decided that, in response, we must dispatch a petition to all female writers: Come on, ladies! Send us your best! Let's see it, already! We dare you! We know you have great stories out there just waiting to be featured in our journal.

At any rate, we've lined up some wonderful pieces for you in our Winter 2005 issue, and hope you'll try them.

Mark Mazer starts us off by applying the "To thine own self be true" theme to the character of a young man in high school wanting to help and do what is right. His story, "Thou and Me," balances images of the Holocaust and slavery with the conditions he's encountered close to where he lives.

"Conjuration: A Fabliau," by Corey Mesler, is a refreshingly light story of a conjurer who makes a deal with a musician. The voice and characters in this little piece will put smiles on the faces of more than just those who have an appreciation for Memphis and knee-slappin' southern blues.

In "Getting It Together," by Terry Thomas, a house on the beach is for sale in New Zealand. As a conversation takes place on the phone inside, the land agent walks up the driveway with prospective buyers, and we can feel the home slowing fading away. But from whom?

Finally, reaching into the whimsy we have David McKinley Lowrey's "Pigs from the Moon," a story whose narrator has an addicting flair for giving us the play-by-play conversation with one Duncan Kilbride—a friend of all things moon.

We very much appreciate the nice words some of our readers have taken the time to write us. Among them, we've come to know that there is a bookbinder in Johannesburg (keep in mind we are based in New York), who binds our issues and keeps them on a shelf in his living room. Several readers with apparently strong organizational skills wrote that they mark their calendars on the four days of the year our issues are released. We are very grateful and fortunate to see that there are people who are clearly enjoying our magazine. What more can we ask for?

We also find that some of the stories here have spawned discussion in literary communities and events. If you have been involved with some of this, why not send a quick note to the author (or to us and we'll pass it on)? Writing is lonely work sometimes, and most authors would appreciate knowing their story raised a bit of local buzz.

Finally, we would like to thank all those who submitted material for consideration in this issue. Without you, this publication would not be possible.

The Summerset Review
Joseph Levens – Editor
Amy Leigh Owen – Assistant Editor
S. Malkah Cohen – Assistant Editor
A literary journal released quarterly on the 15th of March, June, September, and December. Founded in 2002, the journal is a not-for-profit, zero-revenue Internet magazine devoted to the review and publication of unsolicited short stories and essays. Member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP). All correspondence and submissions should be emailed to editor@summersetreview.org. Postal mailing address: 25 Summerset Drive, Smithtown, New York 11787, USA.

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