Writ in Water Issue #2

Today, I swung by HBU’s Author Celebration to pick up Issue #2 of Writ in Water.

(I’m the dude in the earflaps)

Writ in Water is the student literary magazine that I launched last year and subsequently passed on to Seth Grant (the lad to the left) when I graduated.

And Seth has done a remarkable job. Issue #2 is beautiful; the cover and interior as remarkable as the prose and poetry inside.

And speaking of remarkable prose, one of my pieces ‘somehow’ made it into the final print.

According to an editorial note, this year’s theme was “Community,” which comes from two Latin words that denote a group coming together in “oneness.”

Seth adds: “The pieces published here do not paint a picture of a perfect world because the world we live in is not perfect. It is not sanitized nor masked with false optimism. Life – yes, even the Christian life – is a struggle.”

Per tradition, Seth will graduate this spring and pass on the editor-in-chief position to the next aspiring bad ass.

Writ in Water Updates

Last year I launched my first magazine, Writ in Water, through HBU’s Academic Success Center. At the time I was the center’s Writing Coordinator, a position that involved mostly coordinating with staff and writing tutors to assist students with academic writing. That was, after all, the mission of the ASC—”to facilitate student academic success.” But I also wanted to promote student success through creative writing. All throughout Fall and Winter, I worked diligently with my Assistant Director, Samantha Bottoms, and a dedicated corps of tutors to set up a submission and reading period and finally a physical print of the magazine.

After I graduated from Houston Baptist University, I stepped down from my role as the Writing Coordinator and redevoted my full attention to my career as a high school teacher. Call it a year of rest where I no longer had to be a teacher by day, student by night, and writing coordinator in-between. Along with my ASC retirement, I passed on Writ in Water, a campus literary magazine that I founded, to an amazing dude named Seth Grant.

This semester I’ve been sneaking into a Roman History course (all right, fine, I’m not that cool—the professor lets me swing by), and just imagine my profound sense of place when I discovered that HBU will be continuing the Writ in Water series!


I’m excited. 

HBU’s premiere student literary journal is going to drop May 8th, 2017, and I’ll be posting it here after it’s available. As editor-in-chief, I didn’t think it proper to publish my own work in the journal, but I will admit to a little nepotism; my brother’s short story somehow made it in, although that’s more because it has actual merit as an absurdist dark comedy and less because he happens to be related to the guy in charge.

CONTENT

My Table of Contents mock-up for Writ in Water with fictional authors and titles. I’m excited to report my Editorial Board has reached the point where I can fill these slots with actual submissions, but I’m sad I have to lose these placeholders.

First post about Writ in Water

This past week I opened the submission period for Houston Baptist University’s debut literary journal Writ in Water. The submission period started on the 8th of November (i.e. on the same day as the US Presidential Election), will conclude on the 8th of February, 2017, and the journal will be published digitally on May 1st. Writ will be accepting short stories and poetry, and although the publication is affiliated with a Christian college, the submissions will not have to be religious in nature. Instead, Writ’s editorial board is seeking literature that combines good writing and the human experience.

Writ is the result of months of deliberate planning and meetings, but I have wanted to start a literary journal for a long time – since childhood, in fact, when I first read an issue of The New Yorker and wondered about the lives of editors-in-chief. When I began working as the Writing Coordinator of HBU’s Academic Success Center, I realized that my life goal could also benefit the college community, especially its emerging writers and artists. The Success Center, after all, doesn’t only serve struggling students with their grades – success comes in a variety of forms, including publication.

The Academic Success Center and HBU Administration were very supportive of the journal. My conflict was naming the thing. Trouvaille, which is French for a lucky find or discovery by chance, was considered, along with Numinous, a word that means a strong spiritual moment or the presence of divinity. But Writ in Water had three aspects which won out in the end:

Aspect One) On Mount Sinai, as recounted in the book of Exodus, Moses received two tablets of covenant law. These Laws were God-writ and therefore eternal. From this we have derived the idiom “nothing is written in stone” to signify that nothing else is permanent, perpetual, or predictable.

Aspect Two) The phrase “writ in water” comes from John Keats’ deathbed request to not include his name on his gravestone. Instead, the young feverish poet who “foresaw his death with brutal clarity” wanted only the mysterious line: “Here lies One Whose Name was Writ in Water.”

Aspect Three) The Bible, too, has a context for water, as God’s Word, as God’s Intervention, as the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 44:3 says that God will “pour out water on the thirsty lands and streams;” Corinthians 12:13 that “we were all baptized into one body… we were all made to drink of one Spirit;” and Jesus says in John 3:5 that “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” Appropriate metaphors for a Baptist institution.

From these wells I draw my inspiration.

References

Stacey, Michelle. “Writ in Water: The enduring mystery of Keats’s last words.” The Paris Review, 23 February 2016.