The written word has miraculously evolved from pictures and hieroglyphics to modern alphabets, from charred sticks to pen and ink, typewriters, and the word processor used to write this. The creative process follows a similar progression. A poem, a book, a play, or a work of art first begins with inspiration, then the struggle to capture it on paper or canvas or film, going through countless edits and revisions. Art never stops evolving. There are too many ideas to be explored and things to be invented.
Like writing, Touchstone has undergone several changes this year. Our staff has been expanded to include art editors, which has greatly improved our number of submissions in that genre. We have also switched to a more economical and environmentally-friendly printing option. Previously, we've estimated the number of copies needed, and then sold and shipped them ourselves, and stored extra copies in the Editor-in-Chief's office. This year, Touchstone has negotiated a print-on-demand service, which allows our readers to purchase copies themselves, reduces surplus printing, and allows us to use our funds more efficiently. Also, Touchstone is now available to read online. My good friend Aaron Jones has completed a major overhaul of our site, creating a much more user-friendly and professional virtual edition. As Editor-in-Chief of this year's Touchstone, I've been honored and privileged to take part in these changes.
I would like to thank everyone who helped bring this year's edition from inspiration to print and virtual publication. The editors, staff, and advisors have fearlessly navigated these changes to Touchstone and their hard work and fresh ideas have created an issue that tests new innovations and yet reflects our traditions. Touchstone's faculty advisor, Kim Smith, has my profound appreciation for his endless support and wisdom, as does Elizabeth Dodd for her sound advice and cheerful optimism. The editors and staff have been amazing. Not only did they assist with advertising, reading submissions, copy-editing, and a myriad of other tasks, they also patiently and diligently handled all of the changes regarding publication and submissions management as well. I wish to thank Philipp Meyer for taking time away from the draft of his latest novel to talk about his own experiences with the innovation of writing. Special thanks also go to Touchstone's previous Editor-in-Chief, Kim Peek, whose exhaustive documentation of last year's edition has been an invaluable resource, to Aaron Jones, who lent his expertise to the renovation of our website, and to Cheryl Rauh, unofficial copy-editor and personal sounding board for all of my ideas.
Lindsey L. Givens