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Being funny

I’m always on the lookout for work that makes me swoon with a finely tuned combination of intellect and emotion.

Alicia_25I’m always on the lookout for work that makes me swoon with a finely tuned combination of intellect and emotion.

It can be a concise work, such as Jaime Joyce’s short essay “Picnic in the Yard,” which I read in last year’s food issue of The New Yorker magazine. (Turn to page 30 to read the conversation Joyce and I had about the piece, which is also reprinted in this issue.) And then, sometimes we’re captivated by longer works, such as Ulysses (which takes place on only one day in June), written by another Joyce.

But whether it’s 800 words or 800 pages, good writing draws on the same elements, all of which we explore each month in these pages. We hope you find the directions and discussions herewith to support your work. That’s our mission.

This particular month has a running theme of comedy writing. We don’t devote the entire issue to that, but you’ll notice several stories and departments that address the topic of being funny, whether you’re writing a comedy sketch or environmental nonfiction.

Additionally, you’ll find two stories that address religion – one about the important steps necessary to write about religion (a hot-button subject of our times) and another about what it means to be true to yourself in the style of creativity guru Julia Cameron, who famously wrote The Artist’s Way.

Our June issue has something for everyone.

Speaking of June, on the 16th, many of us celebrate Bloomsday, which is devoted to Ulysses’ leading man Leopold Bloom. For me, it also kicks off summer reading habits. I was thinking of this recently when I had a free day, and I spent the entire time reading. Soon it will be summer, I thought, and every stolen moment in the sun will look this way. My goal this season is to indulge my reading habits at the beach, but I’m also determined to take time for daily writing, whether in a journal or for publication.

We wish you a warm and relaxing reading and writing season.

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Alicia Anstead


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