The 15th volume of the annual literary magazine, produced by the 2020 Young Emerging Writers Interns, featuring some of the best writing by writers under the age of 20 anywhere in the US.
If there's anything we’re all sick of hearing, it’s about how “challenging” these times are. To us, it’s just a trendy, empty phrase that encourages people to be content with an absence of change. We’ve decided that this sentiment makes an excellent muse for our work this year. We’ve taken a phrase so stagnantly neutral and converted it into a way for our voices to be heard.
This year, we held all of our meetings over Zoom—we never thought we’d be asking to be in the sweltering basement of the Rock Island library instead. But this didn’t stop us from getting as close to each other as we would have in person.
Because the meetings were virtual, we braved a lot of things we didn’t expect. This included (but was not limited to) sketchy WiFi, weird lighting, our computers shutting off our audio for seemingly no reason, the lack of the ability to share food, and getting headaches from staring too long at our screens to get a better view of someone’s cat. However, we persevered through all of these hardships. Despite being so far away from each other, we each produced a large amount of incredible, deep, insightful work.
These pieces, among other things, show how we’re trying our best to understand the crazy world we live in when it seems like the world itself is a lot farther behind than we are. During this internship, we’ve developed our own little garden of writers—cultivating each other’s creativity, feeding off of everyone’s individual personalities and experiences, and ultimately blossoming with our own unique styles. This year, returning and new interns alike have come together to deliver prose, poetry, visual art, and even music. The odd circumstances of the year haven’t stopped us from making something that we’re all truly proud of.
We would like to point out that, even though our cats collectively wrote a novel when walking across our keyboards, none of their writing made it into The ATLAS 15. This is unfortunate. Still, we hope you enjoy this edition as much as we do.
THE YOUNG EMERGING WRITERS 2020
THE ATLAS 15 / Young Emerging Writers 2020 Staff
YEW Program/Editorial Director: Ryan Collins
Assistant Program Director/Editor-in-Chief: Sarah Elgatian
Assistant Program Director/Managing Editor: Erica Eastland
Workshop Leaders/Assistant Editors:
Emily Lloyd Brown, Sam Bruner, Melissa Conway
KayLee Chie Kuehl, Abigail Morrow
Cover Image: “A Craving For Change” – Montana Hogan
Design: Skylar Alexander Moore
Our most sincere thanks to our sponsors/grantors for their generous support of the 2020 Young Emerging Writers Internship Program and The Atlas 15: Regional Development Authority; Scott County Regional Authority; Illinois
Humanities; Modern Woodmen of America; the Melvin McKay Charitable Trust; the CD Wiman Memorial; the Rausch Family Foundation I; the Moline Foundation; the Figge Art Museum; Rozz-Tox; and the Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
A collect of works by the Young Emerging Writers 2020:
SOPHIA BEST / JOE deBLOIS / SIOBHÁN DUNN / KRYSTINA FRANKS / McKENZIE GUYTON / CHARLY HEBER-SPATES / MONTANA HOGAN / GABRIELLA JOHNSON / JANEY LOCANDER / LARS MESEKE-WREN / AVA MILLER / SIOBHAN MORLEY / ALYSSA NEWTON / LARISSA POTHOVEN / MORGAN WEBB / WYNTIR WHITE