Dear Readers,

I am so pleased to present the fifty-second volume of Red Cedar Review. This year has been both challenging and very successful in establishing our undergraduate-run literary magazine, and I believe the end result is indicative of the growth we have experienced.

Our goal this year was to do what we have always done—produce a strong magazine featuring undergraduates from all over the country. Additionally, we wanted to focus on growing our organization and creating a stable base on which RCR could continue to flourish.

Our energetic and eager staff made progress easy. At the start of the year, we only had forty-five submissions to read through, a simple website, and unorganized archive files. Due to increased interest in our organization, our staff grew from fifteen to twenty-seven active members. This greatly increased the amount of work we were able to accomplish, including the projects that have needed to be tackled for several years.

Through an email and social media campaign, we more than doubled our submissions to ninety-five in all (some with multiple pieces each), which drastically increased the amount of meetings we needed to have in order to read through them. These power-reading sessions served as bonding time for our entire staff and laid the groundwork for the year ahead. Since fall, we have redesigned our website and added a blog. The blog posts written by RCR staff, ranging from book reviews to career advice to literary criticism, continue to blow me away. Lastly, our archived files, which have become a little messy over the years since our founding in 1963, are being organized for an archive project supported by a grant from the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University.

All of this work would not be possible without our wonderful staff. Thank you to our submission readers, our website and social media team, and our typesetters. A special thank you to my lead copyeditor, Emily Orlando, who edited every single word in this magazine, and to my assistant managing editor, Alexandria Drzazgowski, who always replied to my frantic texts about deadlines and worked tirelessly alongside me every step of the way. They all went above and beyond to ensure the quality of our magazine was something to be proud of.

Thank you to Julie Taylor, the Espresso Book Machine coordinator at MSU Libraries, who helped us make this magazine beautiful, and to the MSU Department of English for their monetary support. Of course, we also need to extend our thanks to our faculty advisor, Robin Silbergleid, who answered every question and always assured us that we had the time and means to make RCR what we wanted.

Last but not least, thank you to our very talented authors. In this magazine, we have thirty-two pieces by twenty-two authors from sixteen universities in eleven states. I am honored they have chosen RCR as a home for their work and I am certain it is not the last time the world will see their names.

Sincerely,

Erin Merlo
Red Cedar Review Managing Editor

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