Issue Nineteen - Winter 2012

Why Read a Literary Journal?

Why read a literary journal? What’s in it for you, really?

We’re literary geeks and love the chance to read almost anything crafted with care. So, in late night sessions, we greedily consume submissions which had voyaged through East Coast sloughs, paddled Pacific bays, and trickled down backwoods Alabama creeks and which came via internet from all over the U.S. and a few other countries besides. We love what writers do with words and will always want the first peek.

Whether you are also an admitted geek or a casual consumer of current culture, a great story affects you. It’s like hearing a voice paradoxically both known and stranger. There is something in the story that compels us, that affirms a resonant experience within, in our deepest place, in—dare we say it—our souls. We’ve known something like it, exactly like it, in fact, but we didn’t have the words at the time. But particular writers do find the words, and we are in awe because they defined something inside of us previously unnamed. A literary journal is a quest for your moments of awe. Collectively, this issue of SHARK REEF is a kaleidoscopic presentation of those moments.

As happens when a theme-less call for submissions is set forth, a common thread often emerges naturally. In these stories, you’ll be reminded of lessons learned, or refusal to learn them, as experienced by children of all ages. This is another tip of the hat to awe, as innocence lost is its most poignant habitat.

So here’s what’s in this edition of SHARK REEF for you. Moments of awe: experiences already living inside you that have magically come to reside here. This collection is a gift. Enjoy them. Share them. Revel in the awe of them.

And, as always, write on!