Welcome to Our Blank Slate

by Rachel Lauren Bean

Here we are – the first Causeway Lit blog post. First off, thanks for coming to Causeway Lit, and welcome to our online literary space. We are a group of graduate students writing our way through Fairfield University’s MFA program. We are happy to meet you.

Enders Island, where Causeway Lit began (2016)

The first blog post of any website, let alone an online journal, comes with some pressure, like it has so much to live up to. Maybe that’s why it’s so difficult to actually get something down. Causeway Literary Magazine isn’t technically a thing yet. We’re accepting submissions and our readers are diligently reading but, for now, we’re a blank slate, a tabula rasa. I like that phrase, but I don’t. People see it as an intimidating open space of nothingness. But, to recall what a tabula rasa was from Roman times, it was wax that was heated until it became “blank” for note-taking. I like that image better: a slick, waxy surface that slowly warms, emanates heat, and erases the previous notes into something almost blank.

It’s incredibly fitting for Causeway Lit, considering we’re the second online literary magazine offshoot from Dogwood, Fairfield University’s literary magazine. Mason’s Road came first, and was swept away to have Causeway Lit built in its place, which is as unintentionally symbolic as names go. We’re comprised of many faces with diverse backgrounds who bring a slew of talents, from Haiku to fiction novels, from memoir to journalism. We are grateful to the students who came before us, who offered advice, and for the Fairfield MFA professors who are always more than happy to let us bounce our ideas off them.

Seen on Ender's Island

Seen on Enders Island (2016)

With all of that so readily within reach, we will hold contests once a month, alternatively for Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry. Each winner, as well as 2nd and 3rd place winners and potential honorable mentions, will be announced on the 25th of the following month. Our first Fiction contest winners will be posted on August 25th and, currently, we’re open for non-fiction submissions, with a winner to be announced on October 25th. Words of advice: follow the guidelines presented under the submit tab, avoid pesky problems like typos, and be fearless.

Our tabula rasa is tinged with the soft yellow leftovers of the ink that’s been here before, but we’re a bright-eyed bunch, with a world of words in a certain order left to experience. And that’s what we’re all about: creating a causeway between the artists we present in our online magazine and readers who will truly appreciate their work. Whether you’ve landed on this page out of mild curiosity, because you’re looking for somewhere to submit to add to your CV, or because you truly just love words and everything that comes with them, every visitor is such an integral cog in the machinery we’re trying to jolt to life.

Finally, the causeway

Finally, the causeway (2016)

Twice a year we meet on Enders Island; a small island off the coast of Mystic, CT. In order to get to the island, one must drive over a one-way causeway surrounded by the calm blue of the Long Island Sound. This causeway has become symbolic to us. We’re excited to begin this long, swaying journey across the waters, and we hope that you’ll join us as we find our footing, and, of course, begin the laborious journey of making our very first marks on our tabula rasa.

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