sarah StS Blog Editor: Sarah Batcheller is a Fiction writer in the MFA program at George Mason University. Her work has been published in Breakwater Review, in which she was selected as a finalist in the 2017 Breakwater Review Fiction Contest, and SubtleTea. She serves as the Social Media Manager of Phoebe Literary Journal, Marketing Intern of Mason’s annual Fall for the Book literary festival, and now she’s delighted to serve as Blog Editor of So to Speak.  She has taught Composition and Literature at Mason, and will be teaching Creative Writing. 

What I’m looking forward to as Blog Editor is engaging in real talk surrounding intersectional feminism (side note: as I type this, I get so fed up with the fact that “intersectional ” is  automatically spell-checked). It seems every which way women turn there is a new criticism. It seems that much of the time, when women are being defended, we’re referred to as “someone’s daughter,” or “someone’s girlfriend,” etc. It seems that women are defended most often when they are white, straight, and cisgender (that last item is also infuriatingly spell-checked). I want to read whatever “real talk” means for the writer, whether that be a hilarious true story, a sad true story, a review of an unforgettable piece of feminist literature, a thinkpiece,  travel writing, poetry, etc. Show me all your forms.

What I find so gorgeous about the literary community is the unwavering willingness as writers to constantly improve the ways in which we empathize with and portray fellow humans, and this blog is no exception. Being that literature touches all people, not just those who formally study and teach it, this blog is a place for everyone to engage with the empathy and imagination so beloved in all literary forms. Community helps us all evolve as individuals and allies, therefore Allie and I strive for this blog to be just that—a community.

Recently, someone told me I’d have an easier time getting published because I’m a Chinese woman, and whenever I tell friends/colleagues of this comment their reaction has been the same: “It’s not like someone will see the name ‘Sarah Batcheller’ and think, ‘We have to publish this Chinese woman.'” As women, don’t we all know what it’s like to be shoved into boxes? And once we’re out of one, we’re put into another one. I’ve laughed off these kinds of comments, but let me make clear: my goal for the Blog is to provide space to empower multiple identities, and for contributors to be the ones defining the Blog, not the other way around. So, tell me all about yourself in your cover letters, as much as you want, because I want to know you. In your submissions, startle me, make me uncomfortable, make me laugh, make me cry, make me clench my teeth and fists, make me force myself to try something new—whatever your feminism is, I want to read it.

 AR profile shot StS Assistant Blog Editor: Allie Ross is a native to Virginia and a newcomer to intense poetic literary criticism. She first attended the University of Mary Washington for her undergrad, and is currently enjoying her way through the George Mason MFA program for Creative Fiction. Ms. Ross’s deserted island novel is Watership Down, and if she could have dinner with any author dead or alive it would be Zelda Fitzgerald. 

 I’m really looking forward to working as an editor for So to Speak as a chance to read a great mix of feminist pieces. Gender equality is an umbrella of other social movements and a variety of subjects even if the ‘object,’ women, is the same. I’m interested in seeing what has progressed, or maybe what hasn’t progressed, since, for example, Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” in 1851. I’m also an unabashed genre lover, and I think the sci-fi/fantasy world is finally experiencing a expansion in works by and about women and people of color, so I’m happy to add to that!


Featured Image: Oranges from Pexels

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