• Taylor Elise

Steel Yourselves: Enter the Forge



“Writers are, for the most part, crazy people. We’re like Hephaestus of the forge. We’re gnarled. We’re curled over. We walk with a limp...” -Courtney Kemp Agboh, NYT, July 2014

Last October, we made a few updates to our webpage, including the addition of The Forge.


So what is The Forge?


Short Answer: It’s a blog.


But Hannah, J.D., and I (okay—mostly J.D.) hate that word and its associated “plebian, uncouth, lowbrow drivel.” I think he means connotation.


Everyone and their dog blogs, but no one reads them. Click to find a recipe and you find yourself stuck in a story about taking the kids to a birthday party at that beach down the road but then the car wouldn’t start again and... . Not everyone finds your Saturday antics as entertaining as you do, Karen.*


We want a home for our content without using the already overused word blog...starting now.


Cooler Answer: Before we started this journal, my fellow editors and I met in a writing workshop. It began in a bar where we drank cheap beer and eviscerated each other’s writing, for the better. We worked hard to produce both excellent writing and feedback. We beat on the writing, tossed it into the proverbial fires, bent and shaped it into something more refined.


Sometimes we wish we had the capacity to share a workshop with our fellow writers: the ones who submit to us, read our journal, or have no clue who we are. Especially the ones who may consider themselves to be only “aspiring writers.”


Since this would be a logistical impossibility (we already have a hard time coordinating three people’s schedules!), we’ve created a space online to sharpen each other’s work.


We want to provide writing resources for those who want them. We want to spark discussions and engender mutual learning together. We want to give a closer, more textured look at our journal and our editing process. We want to share our own struggles as writers and listen to yours, so we don’t have to struggle alone.


We want to forge lasting writing—together , because we’re writers too.



*SHR apologizes profusely to all Karens everywhere**


**Except J.D. J.D. never apologizes. I’ve yet to determine if this is a burden or a boon.


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