Dear friends,

I first wrote a draft of this letter the day that went live. I was in a creative fever, powered into the night by the excitement of my new project and enthralled by all its potential. It was a blissful, beautiful state, like the beginning of any project. In all my eagerness, I think I was a bit naïve, though, and I decided to open things up with the idea that beginnings are magical. It’s certain that they are, but it’s even more certain that that was an oversimplification of things. They are beautiful in all their possibility, but they are full of unexpected challenges and of success only through struggle.

This particular beginning has had unique challenges as I worked to make my magazine all I dreamed of while simultaneously learning what it really meant to be an editor. I have had to delay the publication, to pivot, reroute, and redraft multiple times over. Things have not always worked out as I planned them to. Yet, I am still thrilled to be building Spitfire Literary Magazine in every moment I give it. My struggles have only made my belief in this project stronger.

I created Spitfire because I wanted to see a space for the outspoken, the blunt, the funny, the honest to speak clearly. I hoped that contributors would feel free to be themselves when, working for a school publication, I saw that student voices especially were often somewhat sanitized. With frank and authentic work, I thought, Spitfire could be both a little more lighthearted and a little more serious: it could get people thinking from new perspectives just as often as it could get them laughing so hard they vomit. It was my greatest hope, though, that others would be inspired by Spitfire, just as I have been inspired by the writings and publications of my peers.

We are only at the start, and it’s true that the future is unknown. The fate of Spitfire depends on submissions that haven’t rolled in yet, so how can I say for sure what will become of it? I can’t. Wherever its path may lead, though, I’m confident that Spitfire will be full of strong, young voices ready to impress themselves on the world. I am thrilled to be able to share those voices with a broader audience. And so, I will continue striving to make Spitfire the best it can be with every step I take on this path. If you have any comments or concerns about the publication or this first issue, I’d be happy to hear them at

I want to thank you wholeheartedly for being with me on this journey. I am so looking forward to seeing all that we can create together in the future!


Kirsten Garino

Founder & Editor-in-Chief


Kirsten Garino is the founder and editor-in-chief of Spitfire Literary Magazine. She is a senior in high school. 

[back to September 2018 issue]

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