Hope Index, Vol 13: Three Months & Counting
Three months. A trimester, if you will. That’s how long this little mag of ours has been up and running, and man, we’re both pretty astonished and very thankful. To celebrate Upwrite’s short (but rich!) life, we’re excited to highlight five writers who, in graciously lending us their voices, have reminded us what Upwrite is all about, and why we’re here peddling an online magazine to begin with.
The stories below have cultivated community and stirred empathy. They’ve made us think, and they’ve made us laugh. They’ve impressed us and disarmed us. They’ve challenged us in our craft and strengthened our mission. Most of all, they’ve given us hope. So without further ado, here are five of our favorite articles from contributors.
In addition to being a supremely gifted designer at her day job, Primavera Studio, Erin also writes with a clean, elegant simplicity. It would kinda make us jealous, except she's maddeningly humble about her bevy of talents. We love the case she makes for why beauty is important -- on the web, and everywhere -- as well as the clear, actionable steps she presents for novice designers in this spot on (and also hilarious) piece.
This piece started as a writing prompt, inspired by the mission at the very heart of Upwrite. As a result, we were introduced us to Ashly's richly described and visceral writing style. The strength of metaphor in this mini-manifesto is what hooks us, but the substance that runs through the piece is what makes it worth a revisit in this roundup.
- Gandhi, the Laundry Room, & Me: Breaking the Barrier Between Sacred and Secular by Christy Krumm-Richard
The first piece we ever published, way back in July, is still one our our absolute favorites. Christy's tone manages to strike a balance between self-reflection and an inclusive, visual narrative that draws us in and leaves us evaluating our own faith experiences. It set the bar high for the kind of work we're looking to publish and made us feel like actual magazine editors on our first day on the Upwrite grind.
- In Defense of Small Talk by Jon Robinson
When Jon writes for us, it is such a joy. His enthusiasm level for any assignment is contagious, and his care for craft is obvious. This piece puts us eye-rolling introverts (of which Kate is one) right in their place with a defense of small talk that encompasses human connection, community, and our essential need for each other in this life. Avoids the heavy-handed and lands just right, too. Worth a re-read.
- In Defense of Poetry by Amy Orazio
If you haven’t noticed, this column has been our biggest hit with contributors. Everyone loves to stand on a soapbox, but very few writers handle theirs with as much grace and guts as Amy did. When she emailed us her pitch on poetry, we couldn’t say no. Then we read her draft, and wow. We love good writing, but we especially love good writing about writing, and Amy nailed it. She illuminates a very literary topic in a whimsical and accessible way, not just making a case for something but winsomely inviting us into it.
We (we being Kate and Ashley, ICYMI) have felt honored, overwhelmed, and damn giddy as we've watched this magazine take its first wobbly steps into the world over the past three months. Readers, we are awed by the kindness and enthusiasm you have and continue to demonstrate for the vision of Upwrite. Going into the autumn season (pumpkin spice lattes in hand, discount bin fall-scented candles ablaze), we are more positive than ever that the work of this little site isn't just fun for us, it's maybe a little bit important to other people, too.
Thanks y'all, for being anything but basic. Keep reading, keep pitching, keep leaving us feedback because we never want to stop doing this and we have great hope for the future of this site. If you have a favorite piece from our first quarter of existence, share it with us in the comments, below!
We leave you with this relic, because 1) it is the essence of nostalgia and 2) it never gets old. (Sorry in advance for the meager F-bombs. Big whoop.)