Aims & Scope

Dear Reader,

In a 1958 interview with The Paris Review, Ernest Hemingway explained that he rewrote the ending of A Farewell to Arms 39 times. When the interviewer asked Hemingway what problem he was experiencing that he had to revise so many times, Hemingway famously responded: "Getting the words right."

As we've learned from famous writers, our professors, and our own writing experiences, revision is an essential part of the writing process. It was the importance of the revision process that influenced the formation of Inklings.

After my semester abroad in England, I was inspired by C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the other writers who hosted the original Inklings, a casual literary discussion group at Oxford University. My goal was to create an active community of writers on Colby's campus comprising students who are eager to engage in creative writing. We've met in workshops focused on fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry throughout the semester; we've attended lunches with and readings by published authors, as well as shared our own work in student readings on campus. Seeking advice about the craft of writing, we've interviewed writers from our Creative Writing Department's Visiting Writers Series and our own Colby professors. Most of all, we've been writing and revising. And revising. And revising.

The pieces you'll read in this magazine are the result of an entire semester's worth of work. They are by students who are passionate about creative writing. Some of these students have taken every Creative Writing course offered at Colby; some had never shared their work in a group setting before. Our workshops are author driven: a writer brings a draft to workshop, poses questions about the piece, and revises based on feedback from his or her peers. We've also been maintaining a blog throughout the semester, with writing samples and interviews with published authors.

In this magazine, we have poems, personal essays, short stories, and selections from longer works-in-progress. Some of the authors have written a note to accompany their work, explaining where their inspiration came from, their writing process, and how the workshop helped them revise. The authors whose writing appears in the magazine have all been through the workshop process. We wanted to represent as many of these writers as possible, so some of the selections in this print edition are shortened versions of longer pieces. An extended edition of this issue is available on our blog.

I'd like to thank everyone who helped with Inklings throughout the semester. Specifically, thank you to our advisor Professor Debra Spark, the members of Colby's Creative Writing Department, Student Government Association, and Colby Libraries and Digital Collections. Thank you to Maurice Manning, Debra Spark, and Jennifer Finney Boylan for sharing thoughtful advice in interviews. Finally, to all the students who participated in the workshops and contributed their work to this magazine: Thank you for being part of this community and for your endless effort in revising your work. I hope you feel that you've finally gotten the words right. Enjoy!

Laura Rosenthal
Inklings Founder and Editor-In-Chief