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Editor’s Note

This year, we began publishing nonfiction in the magazine. In this issue, I am excited to finally share the winners of the Personal Narrative Contest we ran with the Society of Young Inklings last fall. These three narratives give us a sense of the scope and range of narrative nonfiction. In “Locked Out of Kindergarten,” Kateri Escober Doran recounts a single, indelible memory from kindergarten, blending thoughtful reflection on the social world with detailed, poignant scenes. In “Swirling Arabesques,” Zoe Kyriakakis demonstrates the poetic possibilities of prose. And, finally, in “Gratitude,” Alicia Xin shares the lessons she learned after spending a summer immersed in a different culture. I hope by reading these narratives, and the ones we have been publishing in the magazine this year, that you are beginning to understand that nonfiction can be just as “literary”—as strange, as beautiful, as descriptive, as interesting—as fiction! And that it certainly need not end with a clear “lesson” or “moral.”

I also hope you will enjoy the art, poetry, and two very fictional stories in this issue—both of which, in contrast to the nonfictional narratives, focus on human-animal relationships.

Welcome to fall!