When I launched wards, my biggest fear was that no one would find us. Who wants to man a lighthouse no one can find?
Thankfully, the powers of Google search, Facebook Advertising, Duotrope's fabulous listing, some writer forums, and probably magic combined to summon seven writers. Seven is more than zero!
The presence of seven ships in the harbor means the lighthouse attendant has to get off her butt and work, so that's what I'm doing. I've updated the website to improve user experience. I've read and re-read the submissions, and am responding to the writers today.
One outcome I didn't expect: that this Arizona-based literary pet project would reach all the way across the Atlantic! I should have known, what with the lighthouse imagery, that literature crosses oceans. (Also, the world wide web. That helped a bit.) Through opening this website, I connected with Rosie Canning, a doctoral researcher in the U.K. who specializes in orphans and foster care in literature. She advocates for youth who are leaving the care system; a transition she experienced herself.
Unlike Rosie, and unlike millions of youth stateside, I have not been in foster care. I could drone on about how one of my childhood best friends was adopted, or how my current best friend is the bio-mom of an adopted son, or how one of my clients is a foster mom and high-profile advocate for children in Arizona, or how I know a guy who knows a guy etc., but those aren't my stories to tell. I would rather hear directly from folks who have been in care, and provide a platform for their stories and poems if they are inclined to write.
Submissions are now closed for the first issue of Foster. Perhaps as the wards community grows, we will revisit this theme in future issues.