Photographs by Rachel Anand

Vanderbilt Lives is an annual publication of creative nonfiction essays by Vanderbilt undergraduates. We accept submissions of nonfiction essays that discuss, demonstrate, or celebrate the diversity and breadth of experiences of students’ lives both before and during their years at Vanderbilt. These essays may be written for a class or outside of class. We welcome original nonfiction from any current Vanderbilt undergraduate. 

Congratulations to Jacqueline Meystedt whose essay "Little Things" won the 2019 Editors' Prize for the Best Essay! 

We are now accepting submissions for the Spring 2020 issue.

 

We would like to thank the authors for their brilliant ideas and stories. As editors, we have had the privilege of sharing the smiles, laughs, and sadness of so many different people, all from so many different worlds. Yet all the same, there are truths that unite us: learning, loss, incompleteness, fulfilment. An acceptance of life as it stands now, but a hope that we can better the world so that others will not have to hurt in the same way. Our main concern this issue has been with the personal truths that define our worlds, and how we grapple with the truths that cause pain or discouragement. All of the essays in this issue have this forward energy.

We both have been in contact with the journal since it started. In some stroke of luck (or fate, however you want to think about it), we both happened to be in Professor Covington’s sections of English 2200 when the journal was accepting submissions for its first issue. What’s more, one of our assignments in English 2200 was to write a nonfiction essay. The targets couldn’t have aligned more perfectly. In writing about our experiences, we learned things we would never have expected about ourselves. We became invested in the way writing about your life can teach you about yourself, and wanted to encourage others to undertake a similar journey of self-discovery through writing.

It’s been quite a month riding the whole gamut of emotions, humor to heartbreak. We are seriously impressed by the amount of raw storytelling talent on campus. Clichéd as it’s become, in a world full of so much misinformation, ignorance, and hate, we believe that stories are a unifying force. In the stories we read, we recognize where we differ, but more importantly we discover the often-unusual experiences we share. It’s been a joy to produce this issue of Vanderbilt Lives, and we look forward to the stories  to come.

Sincerely,

Asia Grant & Alex Camai || Co-Editors, Vanderbilt Lives



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