Issue #4 ~ Summer 2021
Dear Friends and Lovers of Fine Literature and Art,
At long last, we are pleased to present our 4th issue of The Good Life Review. This release is significant for us as it marks the end of our first full year as a budding literary journal. With any new endeavor, you never know quite what to expect until you are in the thick of it. That has certainly been true for this journey thus far and as we look back over the past year and a half, we can’t help but feel fortunate, proud, and grateful.
When we initially began, we were hopeful that we would have twenty submissions in the first month, worried that we might not have enough to provide readers with full issues, and concerned that our editors would tire of volunteering their time. Instead, we came to realize that the love of sharing between artists in the world is limitless. We have received thousands of submissions with letters from writers who have a desire to share their passion and the fruits of their labor with us.
All the editors on our team are artists just like those who send their work to us, and we understand that each submission, be it writing, painting, photography, etc., is much more than just a name, letter, and manuscript to consider. It is a reflection and exploration of the deeper parts of ourselves. These reflections are raw and vulnerable which can make sharing them scary and difficult. It is a risk, but the desire for human connection is a powerful one and when we put our hearts on display for the world to see, the reward can be equally great.
In this issue, we are excited to feature the winners of our first contests in poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Congratulations to Pamela Sumners for her poem, “April is the Cruelest Month;” Sarah Lass for her nonfiction essay, “Here, Gone, Again;” and Koree Schueler for her fiction story, “Inspection Checklist.” Brava to these incredible pieces, and thank you for being a part of our inaugural Honey Bee Prize.
We also want to express gratitude to our guest judges: Marco Wilkinson, Douglas Manuel, and Kate Gale who not only volunteered their time and expertise but were also wonderful to work with and provided insight and direction when we needed it. Thanks also to the editors who did double duty reading both issue and contest submissions—Annie Barker, Mike Keller-Wilson, Tacheny Perry, Allison Guenette, and Stepha Vesper,
As it has been for our previous three issues, we are still feeling our way through the ins and outs of this business. As such, we continue to make changes to improve how we operate and take steps toward being a more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming space. One of the changes in this issue is the presentation of submitted artwork alongside the scripts, poems, stories, and essays that were selected.
Our decision to accept artwork and photography via our submission platform was actually one of the easier ones, and we were blown away by the sheer number of pieces to consider. Those selected were chosen because of their thoughtfulness and the ways in which they visually complement the writing in the issue. Special thanks to Michelle Kimberly who urged us in this direction and whose talents and eye for design and detail are incredible. She has worked tirelessly on our web platform and all of the pdf versions of our issues and is truly an invaluable member of our team. ❤️
Lastly, to everyone who contributed in some way to the successful release of this issue, thank you. We appreciate the love and support we’ve received and could not have come this far in such a short time or continue without it. We hope you enjoy all of what this issue has to offer and that you will return again and again!
That’s it for Issue #4, Summer 2021.
Cheers to Celebrating Together for Years to Come,
~Shyla and Ed