Editor’s Note

Fall 2021 WCR Editor’s Farewell

As our former Editor-in-Chief prepares to graduate, WCR wishes her every success.

Dear Washington College Review readers,

Two years later and I finally logged out of the WordPress. Unpinning the Outlook mailbox, uploading my desktop folder, and forwarding the final few emails addressed to “Editor-in-Chief of WCR,” it’s all so final. It’s all so formal. It’s all very strange.

Out of all the publications on campus, WCR was probably the last one I expected to work on. Mostly because I didn’t know it existed when I first arrived, but even then, it felt somewhat unapproachable due to assumed prestige. Reading through its archives and the few physical copies across campus, I found beautifully crafted conversations on everything from sea shanties to Our Lady of Guadalupe to poetry to photography to, to, to…

It was a journal to which I aspired, hoping to be included and uncertain of my chance. Afterall, one must be invited to take their seat at the table. So, when that invitation came during freshman year in the form of my first acceptance letter, the world blossomed.

Joining the editorial team a year later cemented the idea that maybe I belonged here. Maybe I could match my cohort in scholarship, maybe I could help cultivate an undergraduate journal, and—eventually—maybe I could lead the whole periodical into the future. Craft my own image of the liberal arts (whatever that was), tell stories through student scholarship, make a multimedia text that married music and art and writing to dissect the world around us and stitch it back together.

I was lucky enough to inherit a journal that could do just that. Without the hard work of my predecessors, the journal wouldn’t even be alive. The efforts of Caroline Harvey and Kylie Hargrave to revive WCR breathed new life into it, and the care of Justin Nash helped the journal find its roots. They helped it grow, watching it bud new positions (including Editor-in-Chief, which didn’t exist until Justin’s era), and fruit a new team which can further prevent its uprooting through institutional memory.

While I am the first generation of editors to only know the newly stabilized WCR, I know I won’t be the last. I’ve had the honor of watching the journal nestle into the community. Despite the challenges of online learning, the influx of submissions has grown and increased in diversity—papers rushing to us from all across campus. New genres slipped into our submission box and students who never thought to publish before expressed their desire to submit year after year.

Just as WCR made me feel more connected to the community when it published my first essay, I’m watching it connect to other students across classes and departments.

So, thank you, WCR, for offering me a seat at the table. And thank you, submitters, for joining me there.

And of course, the acknowledgements of those who’ve helped me along the way. To Justin Nash, who cultivated this journal into its current self and saw potential in both my writing and me. Without you, WCR would not be the institution it is, as beautiful as it is, as ready to grow as it is. Thank you for helping us thrive and supporting me even after the pass-off, despite our differences on the hyphenated title debate. To MacKenzie Brady, who worked tirelessly to prune this journal and provide feedback, despite both her double thesis and supporting of a certain newspaper—I’ll save real sappiness for later. To Percy Mohn, my editor, confidant, and advisor who supported me every step of the way, including to that first awkward launch party. To Dr. Sean Meehan, who has been a fantastic resource and fountain of ideas, helping to integrate WCR into the wider student population. To Sammy Segeda, who brings new life to this journal and a great care for language. And finally, to Michelle Henry, my successor and fellow title hyphenator: trust your gut. Cultivating a journal is not a science, and I know your spirit and thoughtfulness will help it blossom even further.

Farewell for now,

Erica Quinones ’22

Former Editor-in-Chief, Washington College Review

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