Subscriptions deadline for winter 2016
The Winter 2016 issue of Exponent II will be unlike any we’ve ever published. It contains our favorite submissions from our midrash short story contest. The extraordinary writing and art from this issue are not to be missed. To be guaranteed a copy of this issue, you must subscribe by February 7. You can subscribe here.
The following is my letter from the editor for the issue.
Last Mother’s Day, I heard an unusual Sacrament talk by a man named Bradley Kramer. He acknowledged the difficulty of speaking on Mother’s Day and said that he thought one of the best ways we can honor women is to give women in the scriptures more attention. The remainder of his talk was a fictional short story about Sariah, beginning with the visions she saw in childhood and continuing with her wedding to Lehi and life with her toddler sons, Laman and Lemuel. It was a touching story, and my heart ached with a desire to hear more from women in the scriptures, to have their perspective and their voices. By the end of the talk I was planning a Mormon feminist midrash short story contest for Exponent II.
After reading through the large number of submissions we received for this issue, I am convinced that examining scripture and writing fiction about the women found there is more than a literary exercise—it fulfills a spiritual hunger and a desire that so many of us have to connect more deeply. I hope that reading this issue will inspire the Exponent II community to attempt their own midrash writing. I believe that the study and thought required to do so will make us wiser and more confident. It will build love and respect for the women of the scriptures.
These pages contain stories of Sariah, Eve, Lilith, Abish, Jael, Deborah, Dorcas, Sarah, Hagar, Miriam, Zipporah, and Anna. Some writers used the new female perspective to completely change the scriptural narrative. Others provided insight to the characters by adding background. All of them, I believe, give new depth and understanding.
Recently I was speaking with Bethany Brady Spalding and McArthur Krishna, the authors of Girls Who Choose God, which is reviewed in this issue. They told me that the mantra in their work has been a quote from Socrates: “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Writing and reading Mormon feminist midrash is building up something new, something strong and significant. Midrash has the potential to expand Exponent II’s mission of “sharing Mormon women’s voices” by giving a voice to scriptural women. Telling women’s stories, even if fictionalized, can be a powerful feminist action.
I hope you will enjoy reading these stories. Even more, I hope they will prompt you to engage with women of the scriptures in a different way. These women are important. May their voices be heard.