We are thrilled to announce the first formal issue of The Mean Journal, our Spring 2022 Issue.

For this inaugural issue, we are privileged to have an eclectic set of stories from eight powerful, diverse voices. The writers in this issue were incredible to work with, and we, the MPV team, have grown immensely through this intense collaborative journey of Spring 2022. We are grateful that writers trust us with their work, and trust our judgement through the editing and publishing process.

We also thank all the creatives who responded to our submission call. Thank you for believing in us. We hope to have the opportunity to work with you in our subsequent issues.

As most of you must be aware, running a literary journal is a labour of love, reliant almost wholly on the passion and determination of the people behind them. Literary journals come and go, and few sustain for longer periods; not for of lack of love or dedication, but mostly due to monetary and time constraints. However, their contribution to the literary landscape is immense. The journals that have come and gone, the ones that have sustained for long periods, and those that are new and evolving, have, and will continue to play a vital role in bringing new literary voices into the world. It is with this passion and conviction that we determinedly set forth on this journey, with a deep sense of kinship with our fellow editor friends, and those that we admire from afar.

Our fiction editor, Salini Vineeth was the main driving force behind putting together this issue. Her loving yet sharp, critical engagement with each story really set the tone for our editorial journey for Spring 2022. We both really took Susan Sontag’s sage advice, ‘Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world,’ to heart, and ran with it. We fussed over the structure, grammar, punctuation, syntax, choice of words etc of each accepted story; all the while taking care not to interfere with each writer’s voice. It was a fine line to tread at times, and there were numerous instances of 1 am mails and messages to agonize over words and sentences. And we had a ball through it all!

This has been a fascinating issue to compile, and we hope that the stories resonate with you, the readers. We also hope that you enjoy the accompanying visuals, chosen with much care, and in consultation with the writers themselves. The cover art, specially commissioned from Saranya S, is inspired by one of the stories that is published in this issue.

Happy reading.

Ruati Chhangte | Founder Editor, The Mean Journal