As we contemplated this inaugural issue of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, we were uncertain about a number of things.
First of all, we wondered if we could create a new online format that would attract the kind of creative women writers and artists who had submitted to our last six print anthologies. Like Emily Trinkaus, the editor of the first VoiceCatcher (2006), we didn’t know if anyone would respond to our call for submissions – particularly since it came with a short window during the late summer months.
But what a response we had! Over 150 pieces of poetry, prose and art from 82 women. The credentials of the submitters and the quality of the submissions were extraordinary. We were impressed with the diversity of voices and visions that spoke to our minds, hearts and souls. Even submissions we couldn’t use this time revealed a level of craft and commitment that was inspiring and encouraging for future issues.
Secondly, we were all new to our positions as co-editors. Suddenly, we were creating new electronic processes to receive, document and review submissions as well as to communicate with one another. The miracle of this trial-and-error process was that it worked! With only two meetings, we were able to make selections, engage in the editing process with authors, and send feedback letters in a comparatively short time. We’ll get better at this process for the next issue, but we were delighted with the results for this one.
Finally, as new editors, we had to learn how to trust each other’s ability to read and respond to each submission. Some of us already knew one another; others were new to VoiceCatcher. In either case, we gradually came to respect each other’s insights into what worked well – or not – in any given piece.
Thanks to all our published authors for your openness during our email editing conversations. You helped us become better editors as we hope we helped you produce more effective writing.
To those readers who know VoiceCatcher as a print anthology and to those who are finding us for the first time online, welcome to our inaugural issue. We are pleased to share these greater Portland/Vancouver voices and visions with you.
Ginger Duncan, Lisa Maier, Helen Puciloski and Celina Wigle