Volume One $10
Selected stories and essays from Fall 2002 through Winter 2007 online issues. 150 pages.
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The Summerset Review
25 Summerset Drive
Smithtown, NY 11787 USA.
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From this volume's Editor's Notes:
When The Summerset Review was launched on the Internet in 2002, I wrote an introductory note saying that the journal was being produced without a business model, without, in fact, revenue of any sort. This held true through 2004. Then a few disastrous things happened: We were awarded a grant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). We received stipends for speaking at several colleges about online literary magazines, and for reading at The New York Public Library. We could no longer call our effort a zero-revenue endeavor.
At a recent college event, the questions were asked: How much has the online magazine made and how many hours of work go into it? I had to think for a moment. I tallied in my head the income we received over the years. I estimated the time I, with the help of my assistant editor, typically spend on each quarterly issue, including the reading of submissions, editing, correspondence, decisions, artwork selection, web programming, copyediting, and whatever else.
At dinner that night, the English faculty member who asked the questions pulled out a small piece of paper.
"I've done some calculating," he said, referring to his note. "Based on what you reported, Joseph, you make slightly over seventy-one cents an hour."
"You can't figure it that way," said the English department head, also dining with us, waving his arms high in the air from across the table. He did not give me a chance to reply.
"Why not?" asked the man with the calculations.
"Because the man's a literary saint."
Well, I'm not quite sure I am up for martyrdom. And the last time I checked my inbox, there were no emails from God. Yet I think this little dinner conversation among friends who all share a love of the same thing needs no further expansion for those with an appreciation for literature.
This volume collects in print a representative sample of stories and essays appearing in The Summerset Review since 2002. They are set chronologically in the order in which they were published (though we've made one small exception and grouped together two short pieces from the same author). We strived for variety in our selections, tried to preserve that quality of timelessness, aspired to identify in each piece a strong element that might touch someone and bring that ever-sought magical connection about. As with all collections like this, the decisions were tough and we urge you to visit the online pages and read some of the pieces you do not see here. A comprehensive index of all work that was published in the magazine through the Winter 2007 issue is included.
Rather than provide a glimpse into each piece collected in these pages, as is common in editors' notes, we asked the authors to say a little about their work, and have included this wonderful insight in the Contributors' Notes section. We recommend, though, trying each selection first before reading what the writer added.
This print issue, and every issue online, could not have been possible without the help of my assistant editor, Leigh. Although I have worked with this woman in editing roles since 2001, and although she has had a hand in every story published in The Summerset Review, I have never met her in person. In return for her keen eye and good judgment, she's been the recipient of a meager holiday gift certificate the last several years. Another literary saint? I haven't asked her, but I'm sure she'd deny it as much as I have. Maybe we're just too modest.
I want to thank all those readers out there who were thoughtful enough to send us feedback. Your comments are what keeps us going. I also want to thank all those who submitted work to us, unsolicited; without you there would be no Summerset Review. For the person holding this book right now, thank you for your interest not only in us, but in literary magazines at large, both print and online.
Volume One cover graphic: Adia Millett, Passing Shadows (shoes), 2006, C-print, 20 x 24 inches. Image appears courtesy of the artist and Mixed Greens.