Stretch journal is committed to addressing the diverse perspectives and experiences of first-year writing students at Emerson College. Our overarching goal is to publish work that is meaningful to our authors and impactful to our readers. With a variety of genres ranging from research essays to deeply personal memoirs, audiences of various backgrounds will draw important connections from the work published in Stretch.
A Note from the Editor
Prof Mary Kovaleski Byrnes
It has been my immense pleasure to work with the writers of WR101-121-03 Enhanced as they create and launch issue seven of Stretch. When I first envisioned what this publication could be, back in 2014, I had the hope that finally, students would get to view their work as I did; all year long, I read student freewrites and drafts, revisions that are worked and reworked. I get to witness students’ satisfaction and pride (or sometimes, just relief) as they submit finished versions of their attempts in various genres. Throughout the year at any given time, I am given the joy of reading persistence with tough topics and stubborn prose, personal and academic research, and more. What if, I thought, the students could see not just the work they peer review and workshop, but all of their peers’ best work, to get a view of the class that I do? How could this happen in a way that was truly celebratory? How might submission of work to peers for publication change the work for the better? How might it require these young writers to make even further considerations of their work? Finally, what happens when a piece leaves the classroom and gets a life of its own, for the world of unknown online audiences?
This year, students grappled with these questions and more. They discussed the kind of writing and research they’ve done all year, and their shared theme, of reflection and resonance, speaks to the kind of shared introspection and investigation into their own liminal and beautiful and challenging lives as first-year students in college in 2022. The submission process is as anonymous and peer reviewed as we can make it, and most of the pieces here have been revised again before they found their way to publication. I’m amazed at these texts; they are fearless and fierce. They are inquisitive and smart. Their work gives critique, calls out injustice, and does research. They dive into the past and offer hope for the future.
Ever year, I learn so much by reading my students’ work, and because of their dedication to this final project, you get to read it, too. Enjoy. This is the work of seventeen determined writers. I can’t wait to see what they all do next. And of course, I already miss them so much.
-Prof Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, May 4, 2022.