Editor's Update by Elizabeth Langosy
Why Supporting TW Matters
When I was a small child, books reflected fantastic worlds that surely existed somewhere.
My mother read me stories of a hidden garden, an emerald city, a mole who goes adventuring, and a girl who comes down from the mountains. These books were messages from alternate realities, sent—I was sure!—to give me insight into possibilities.
In school, the "adventures" of Dick and Jane were rote reading, but literary fiction for children snared my heart and imagination. And with the ability to recognize the names of authors on book covers came the understanding that these magical worlds and their colorful characters sprang from the minds of real people...people like me!
I've never stopped being that little girl who's astonished by the way writing brings imagined worlds to life. Here at TW—a fantastic world in itself—our submissions page includes a quote from Vladimir Nabokov, one of the writers who most inspires me:
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible."
I like to think that, were Nabokov still around, he'd appreciate Talking Writing.
For me, TW has been a lifeline during difficult times and a source of great inspiration. It has connected me to writers around the world who are as passionate as I am about breathing life onto blank pages and delving deep into conversation on literature, craft, and the meaning of life.
My first story, written at age eight in a bedroom shared with a younger sister, was "The Witch and the Geranium," the tale of a maligned old woman in a small town. Stories were bound into books, so I wrote this one on small pieces of paper stapled together. And because words were the important thing, only the cover bore an illustration.
I read at night, when I was meant to be asleep, with the hallway light streaking in the bedroom door and under my iron bedstead to illuminate the pages of the book that lay open on the floor. The books sparked more stories and an expanding collection of diaries filled with observations and ideas.
Time passed. I studied creative writing, married an artist, and talked craft and parenthood with other young writers. As I worked full time to support our family, my daughters grew into artists and writers themselves. Late in the evening, when the house was quiet, I read and wrote.
Martha brought me into a writers group that exists (in diminished size) to this day. In the group, we became intimately familiar with the landscapes of each other's childhoods and with the travails and triumphs that composed the present.
When we decided to launch Talking Writing in 2010, our goal was to establish a literary magazine that was much like a writers group, with a wide-open door and no membership fee. We wanted to publish outstanding stories, poems, and essays that spoke to the craft of writing and to the everyday lives of readers and writers.
At the heart of it all was our shared desire to provide a home for the honest, impassioned dialogue about writing that we'd found indispensable over the years.
We've been rewarded beyond our wildest dreams by the response to Talking Writing. In a little more than two years, we've achieved 100,000 annual views of the magazine. We have thousands of followers through Twitter, Facebook, and our email and RSS feeds. The work we've published has garnered nearly 2,200 thoughtful comments on how writing informs and fits into life.
You've shown us that our virtual writers group is a much-needed haven and support. The future is bright—but only with your help.
What began as a dream of inspiring other writers has evolved into a more-than-full-time job, kept alive by our personal donations of time and funds and by the boundless enthusiasm and volunteer efforts of our editors, writers, and artists. To keep going, we must raise funds to cover modest salaries for full-time editors and to ensure technical, production, and administrative support.
If you value what you find here, please support TW. Your contribution will keep Talking Writing going and sustain a unique writing community open to all.
Elizabeth Langosy is the executive editor of Talking Writing. She's still eight years old at heart.
“Byatt’s are the books that cause me to miss my bus stop because I’m so absorbed in the delicious intricacies of her language." — "A.S. Byatt's Plums"