Foreword from the Editors (2018)

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November 2018

Dear Friends of MORIA,

My name is Tricia Lopez, and I am a third-year Writing major here at Woodbury University and the current Editor-in-Chief of MORIA, our student-run, online literary magazine for professional poets and writers. As we publish our second issue of the magazine, I want to thank everyone that helped us throughout the past months and look back at the incredible experiences we all gained throughout the process.

For this issue, we had a call for food-themed work. Yet we found that, along with the theme of food, we came across many other themes that we could organize into narrative threads. If a reader were to read in a linear direction, for example, we start our issue with the theme of leaving, followed by memory and loss, history, satire, faith, relationships, and, finally, we end with pieces that take up the themes of gun violence and abuse survivors. These two topics are extremely important in current discourse, and we are very excited to be able to give them a spotlight in our issue.

At MORIA, we are dedicated to publishing a diverse group of writers. Out of the 50 pieces we chose for Issue Two, 61% are women writers and 28% are writers-of-color. We would also like to note that about 10% of our writers in this issue identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, our overall acceptance rate was 12.4%, which means we’ve become more selective by half over our percentage from last year. We are also dedicated to publishing writers of different ages — 53% of our writers are under 40, while 42% of our writers are over 40 (these numbers represent the writers whose ages we could ascertain). This means we have writers that represent almost every adult decade of life, from 19 to 95 years old! We are committed to opening the conversation to everyone and welcome diverse voices and experiences to our pages.

We completed a change in our digital platform this year that couldn’t have been done without the generous help we received from Greg Houle, the Director of Marketing here at Woodbury University. Without Greg’s support, we wouldn’t have been able to move onto SquareSpace. We also want to thank Dominick Tamras for helping us with the technical side of digital publication. Dom worked countless hours on our website and even took time out of his schedule to come to our class and update us. From the very beginning of our journey, we have gotten tremendous support from the Dean of College of Liberal Arts, Douglas Cremer. We thank him for understanding our vision and for allowing us to take the creative direction we needed to make MORIA a dream come true. We also want to thank Reuben Ellis, the Chair of the Writing Department, for the support and help he’s given us from the very beginning. He has continually stood up for us and has fought to make sure that MORIA is a success. We thank Ofelia Huidor in the College of Liberal Arts for helping us with some of the finer details of pulling our events together; her support is invaluable.

One of the challenges we faced was having to review pieces during the summer without being able to meet in person. Last winter, we started a student club to help us span the time between semesters when we weren’t formally meeting as students in a course, and these club members from the very beginning showed so much passion and joy — we couldn’t have done it without them. We want to thank them for their hard work and dedication as we reviewed submissions and sweated through the hot L.A. summer over Skype. Their names are part of our masthead below.

This is my second year in MORIA, and I remember when we worked on the debut issue, we had no idea whether our efforts would make a difference or not. I have seen the growth in MORIA over the past year, and I am happy to say that we have evolved into such a wonderful and united team. We want to thank all the writers that believed in us enough to send us their work and to the contributors who found a home in our magazine. You’re part of the MORIA family now.

On behalf of our staff, I hope you are as excited to read our new issue as we have been to prepare it for you. We hope to continue the efforts we have made to make MORIA a safe space for writers to share their thoughts. We are eager for the issues-to-come, and we are excited to see where the future will lead us—our first big announcement is that we will become a bi-annual publication at the New Year! Our course here at the university will now be offered every semester, which means MORIA is expanding, too. Expect to see Issue Three in Spring 2019!

Best regards,

Tricia Lopez, Editor-in-Chief of MORIA

MASTHEAD (MORIA, Issue Two, 2018)

                              Tricia Lopez
Managing Editor                            Alyssa Pieprzyca
Design / Production Editor             Beka Kamemoto
Technical Editor     José Martinez
Program Manager                          David Newell
Events Coordinator                        Erik Alfaro
Social Media Curator                      Ayaka Takahashi
Submissions Editor                        Sara Castilleja
Literature Editor                           Maddison Taylor

Submissions Review Staff          Justin Bertolami
Ahdenae Khodaverdian
Jason Lee
Khan Muhammad
Evelyna Nazari

Faculty Editor                              Linda Dove, Ph.D.

Photo Credit: Staff