Recently, I had another opportunity to read from The Summerset Review in the wonderful DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room at The New York Public Library. Prior to getting into the content, I was asked to say a few words about our magazine, particularly anything having to do with initial start-up and the making of its first issue.

Coincidentally, I had just seen a documentary on Hugh Hefner, where he was talking about the very same thing. While I make no comparison of his magazine to Summerset, nor him to me, there was a striking similarity in the approach that was settled upon.

In 1953, Hefner's original plan called for the featuring of a well-known idol to grace his new magazine's pages. The first issue of Playboy ran with none other than Marilyn Monroe on its cover. Shortly after launch, though, the plan changed. The idea was, from then on, to feature what Hefner called, "The Girl Next Door." When he was asked why, he said, "Because beauty is everywhere."

The similarity of Hefner's idea to the mission of this magazine is simply this: We believe that a great many beautiful works of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been written by the girl—or the boy—next door. And in these times where the lines of communication are many and varied, this "next door" could really be anywhere.

The Summerset Review is proud to say that from its inception in 2002, there has never been a slush pile of writers' work stacked up and sitting in our in-box, waiting to be given half a glance. All submissions are read enthusiastically and objectively, and no solicitations of well-known literati are ever made. Aside from the maximum length and quantity of work writers can submit, we have only one requirement, and we regret it terribly: All pieces must be written in English.

We hope that our judgment in what is put before you each quarter is appreciated and highly-regarded. And so, with that, here we give you our Winter 2012 line up, written by the girls and boys next door to us all. Enjoy.

JL


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