To head upstream is to work against the current, fighting your way through an unrelenting flow that’s pushing you backwards. Struggles like that mark all of the stories in Crunchable’s new issue, from efforts to rediscover a childlike sense of wonder or a love of poetry from one’s youth; to untangle the mystery of an infant who won’t respond to sounds or of a young girl somewhere in the dark streets of a Mozambican night; to finally get fit or merely to overcome a lifelong fear of cows; to navigate a childhood spent shifting from home to home or one in which telling the truth meant fighting a strong current.
Of course, “Upstream” also represents a move toward the source: the origin of the river — so it’s appropriate that many of the stories here spin out of the writers’ experiences as children. And a few of the stories even involve actual streams, creeks, or rivers.
This issue is one of the most ambitious in Crunchable’s history, marking the most stories we’ve ever published at one time and the first time we’ve ever added six new contributors at once. I’m exceptionally grateful to all those new writers — Kathryn Dailey, Andrea Della Monica, Renita Ford-Collier, Jill Franz, Margaret Garcia, Marshall J. Pierce — for their patience, attentiveness, and good humor as we got them into the fold. Thanks also to returning writers Dennis Wilson and Rachel Wimer, and of course to assistant editors Melissa Reddish and Annie Woodall, whose perspective and enthusiasm were invaluable as always.
We will be turning around to do this all over again in less than a week, with a new call for submissions for our next issue, “Far and Away.” So please keep reading, keep writing, and we’ll have more for you soon.