We’re ceaselessly amazed at some of the pieces we receive for consideration in The Summerset Review. Although we can’t publish everything we fall in love with, we take pride in the fact that writers continually submit beautiful work to us, unsolicited.

Time and again, after reading an emotionally moving piece, we feel there is no greater praise that could be bestowed upon us than the simple decision of the writer to send that particular story or essay. Often, it’s clearly evident that the author admires the work in our journal—this strange, inexplicable but undeniable correlation of a submitted piece and material we have already published.

In our previous issue, we spoke of the overwhelming skew of submissions-to-reader comments, a ratio on the order of several hundred-to-one. We’ve received proportionally more comments this quarter, perhaps as a result of increasing the reading incentive to $150, and though we still feel this ratio is indicative of discouraging conditions, we want to express heartfelt gratitude to those who sent us their wonderful work. We take their initiative as a compliment of the highest magnitude.

To add a little humor, and with hope of conveying more quirky affection and appreciation to submitters than disrespect, we include a few cover notes recently received which have accompanied stories. Here’s one -

"Please consider this short piece for  publication. The New Yorker hasn't gotten back to me yet on it, but it's been over a year. WTF?"

Several weeks after receiving the submission, the author withdrew the story. Congratulations are in order, apparently. Here's another -

"Attached is a short fictional piece for your rejection."

We are sorry, but the piece did not meet our needs. And here's one more -

"I have a lot of time on my hands now to write, thanks in part to you I guess. Got fired from my job because I surfed too much, incl[uding] literary sites among other things."

We don't have any job openings at the moment, but if something frees up, we'll reach out.

Our Lit Pick of the Quarter is from the literary magazine Sou'wester. In the Fall 2007 issue, a story by John Vanderslice titled, "A Study of Morning," brings to us a painter and his struggle to find his muse, to create the right painting. Wrestling with colors and pulling inspiration from a young girl, he buys tubes of lapis lazuli, aquamarine, verdigris, burnt ochre. Here is an excerpt -

He's given up on yellow. He tried and retried it in his sketchpad, then on nearly a dozen miniature sections of canvas: higher, lower, whiter, more citrine, more mustardy. But it never provided the background he needed, it never almost broke through. Either it did or it didn't. And when it did it was not the daylight he wanted. It was daylight from some other hour: ten a.m., or two p.m. That fat and that hot. Yellow is not what he needs.

If you are like us and have concerns about the 2007 report "To Read or Not To Read," released by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), why not join us at the national conference held by the Association for Literary Scholars and Critics and express your opinion? We feel that this important report provides genuine and alarming facts on the state of reading in this country, but at the same time has missed several critical data collection points and attention to all facets of the matter. The debate kicks off in Philadelphia, October 24-26, and more information is available on the ALSC web site at www.bu.edu/literary/conferences/. The writers of the report will be there to take critique.

The Summerset Review has been honored to have a paper accepted and scheduled for discussion at this conference. But we, and the literary community, need your help in setting clear paths for the future, bringing literature into a more prominent place in our lives. If you have suggestions on this topic, please register and attend. Or at the very least, let us know, and we will do our best to carry your thoughts forward.

The Summerset Review
Joseph Levens - Editor
Amy Leigh Owen – Assistant Editor
A literary journal released quarterly on the 15th of March, June, September, and December on the Internet, and periodically in print form. Founded in 2002, the journal is devoted to the review and publication of unsolicited short stories and essays.

All correspondence and submissions should be emailed to editor@summersetreview.org. Postal mailing address: 25 Summerset Drive, Smithtown, New York 11787, USA.

This publication is made possible, in part, with grants from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), a state agency. We are very thankful for the support and encouragement these organizations have given our journal and the literary community.

The Summerset Review is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in New York State.

ISSN 1933-7175

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