<%@ Language=VBScript %> Letter From the Publisher - Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review Magazine
BellaOnline Literary Review
Mountains by William Gibbons

Letter From the Publisher
Lisa Shea
Dear Mused Readers,

With the Fall Equinox 2008 issue, Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Magazine has just completed a full cycle of seasons. We began with Winter Solstice 2007, and as the seasons turned around on their measured, regular rotation, Mused has grown, improved, aged, matured, and flowered as a fully developed, intricately balanced offering of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, artwork and plays.

As the publisher of Mused, I wanted to take this opportunity to do something that the Editor could not in good faith perform - that is, to thank the fantastic staff who made this all possible. Every member of the Mused team works as a volunteer. We all donate countless hours to this project - from reviewing incoming submissions, participating in numerous chats about the items we are reading through, discussing the merits of piece X vs piece Y, and the final, arduous decision process where we determine what to include in our final creation. Every decision is full of angst as we try to determine exactly what is best suited for a given issue. It might be that a particular piece would have been perfect for spring, but for our fall issue we were aiming for items with more of an autumnal theme. There are always hard choices to make, difficult lines to draw, and long conversations about the meanings behind pieces we choose to include. Every issue of Mused is a labor of love. It is a testament to the high quality of our submissions that these decisions get more and more difficult as we progress through our cycles.

Two names in particular which should be brought to the fore are Jill Florio and Diane Cipollo.

Jill is our Editor in Chief, and she has traditionally written this front piece to introduce each issue. Jill is the mastermind behind our organization, keeping our system flowing smoothly, ensuring our items meet our high standards, tracking how our teams are doing and how the issue is flowing. It is due to Jill's meticulous attention that our issues are released on time and contain such high quality output.

Diane is our Art Director, which means Diane handles everything you see visually. She creates every HTML page you view online. She designs the gorgeous PDF version which has become such a magnificent work of art. It is due to her incredible talents that we now have a printed version available, in full color. Diane has routinely gone above and beyond the call of duty in taking in last minute changes and handling everything with calm acceptance. Remember, she is a volunteer. These are countless hours of her own life she is dedicating, for free, to the enjoyment of all of our millions of readers. When you enjoy what you see, it is because Diane took the time to get those files and PDFs ready for you.

The rest of the team of course deserves kudos as well. Each team member takes the time to read through countless entries, commenting in depth on every one, adding their voice in the voting process. We receive far more submissions each quarter than we can use, and often it is exceptionally hard to draw the line between what we accept and what we have to put aside. Those detailed comments by our reviewers help us to make those difficult decisions.

As we head into our second year of Mused, we have learned a lot and we have grown a great deal. The decisions only become more difficult as we receive an even higher volume of wonderful quality submissions, and our pride grows in equal measure as we create a truly world class collection of artistic endeavors. We are always avidly interested in hearing your feedback and comments on what we are running. Please click on the link below and let us know what your favorite pieces are in this issue. That will help us to determine what to include going forward. We all very much look forward to our second year of providing you with Mused, and we are eager to see what the new year's worth of submissions will bring us to enjoy!

Lisa Shea
Publisher, Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review

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