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New Lit on the Block :: The Stirling Review

The Stirling Review Winter 2023 cover image

The Stirling Review is a new online quarterly of poetry, creative nonfiction, short fiction, opinion pieces, artwork, and photography. It was founded by a group of participants from the 2022 Sewanee Young Writers’ Workshop at the University of the South who started hanging out together, sharing their writing at a local breakfast hub called Stirling’s Coffee House. They enjoyed their time together so much, they “wanted to create a space like Stirling’s, where young writers and artists could exchange their ideas, and thus this magazine along with its name was born.”

The Stirling Review showcases creative work from writers aged 14-22. The editors’ mission is “to spread creativity that we believe shines effortlessly, and writing in which marginalized groups, or just everyday people, can find some sort of solace.” Together, the editorial team says, “we believe in the unique power of young writers to speak words that spark change and to craft pieces that shine like stars. We aim to amplify their light.”

The editorial team is solidly built with writers and artists whose experience and publication credits have both breadth and depth. Currently on staff are Michael Liu and Tane Kim – Co-founders; Ellie Tiwari, Adelia Crawford, Hayden Oh, Max Boyang, Ethan Park, Evy Muller, Mia Grace Davis, Haley Timmermann, and Holland Tait. “Every issue is a collective effort of our editorial team and the creative young minds across the world that make such wonderful writing possible.”

For writers seeking a home for their work, the editors say, “Our preferences are shorter pieces with resonating language” that highlight the publication’s mission. Once contributions have been received, “all the editors read a set of pieces and rank them on a rubric similar to Scholastic Art and Writing Awards’ rubric. Every piece is ranked on a scale of 1-10 on skill, theme, and originality and moves on to our second round of submissions if they average a number greater than or equal to 7 (our co-founders also read every piece in round 1 to make sure rankings are consistent). After round 2, our entire team votes on every piece to decide if we publish it or not.”

For readers stopping by The Stirling Review, the editors say, “expect to find the poetry, prose, and art written by young people with powerful voices.” Contributors to the first issue include Sam Luo, Blanka Pillár, Naomi Ling, Amber Zou, Willow Kang, Margaret Donovan, Winston Verdult, Michelle Zhou, and Luke Tan.

The editors also offer some insight on starting a new publication: “Some challenges have been working around each member’s schedule because we are all busy high schoolers, but positives include being able to read amazing work from young writers like us. Seeing our first issue completed was definitely a huge accomplishment every member of our team feels incredibly proud of.”

For those considering starting a publication, the editors encourage, “Just do it. Just start it. Even if you don’t know the exact specifics of what you are going to do or how it is going to get done, take that first step and figure things out along the way. That way, you don’t put it off forever.”

Moving forward, The Stirling Review hopes to host contests (“with sweet rewards”) later this year as well as publish an anthology by year’s end. Writers and readers alike are encouraged to visit The Stirling Review and see for themselves what this great new addition has to offer!

Spread the word!