The Wave Within.jpg
 

'The Wave Within' by Suma Din

 

Issue One / April 2022

Download the PDF of issue one HERE or scroll to continue reading in your web browser

 

letter from the editors

Welcome to the first issue of Overtly Lit! This issue is filled with remarkable talent and an eclectic range in styles and genres, more than we could have hoped for. It’s a joy for us that Overtly is starting as we mean to go on: celebrating writing that touches on faith in all its forms.

We’re delighted to feature a mixture of established and new and emerging writers with six decades between the youngest and oldest writers featured. We’re also extremely proud of the international outlook, with contributors from several countries and continents, which we feel reflects the varied experiences and views of faith.

There is something for every reader, from writing style to genre and topics; these pieces will delight the many tastes out there. 

Unsurprisingly, angels appear a few times, but always in unique ways. There’s a demon to be found in Owolusi Lucky’s horror-esque short story, The Grace. For the science-fiction lovers there’s an exquisitely written space opera in Salonee Verma’s Moon Song as well as Mahmud El Sayed’s brilliantly detailed generation ship story. 

For the poetic prose lovers Kimberly Sewell’s The Formation of Birds and Natasha Bredle’s One Step is sure to whet your appetite for luscious prose. Those hungry for an analytical read, Regina Ivy’s essay, The Myth of Modern Mother Mary, will provide sustenance. 

It’s our pleasure to introduce the first of a regular feature: Salaam Dear Leila, an agony aunt column with Leila Aboulela. Leila is a celebrated Muslim author whose writing often explores spirituality and faith from an Islamic perspective and a major influence in our own writing. We’re so excited to share her advice for readers who we’re sure will find it as valuable as we do. As a Muslim woman herself, Leila’s advice may touch on Islam but we hope readers of all and any faiths will be able to relate to the faith-centric approach.

We’re so grateful to everyone who has submitted to Overtly Lit and for all the support for this new literary magazine. It’s shown us how worthwhile this venture is and how central faith is to so many writers, artists, and creatives like ourselves. This issue represents the vast spectrum of how faith can hold different spaces in peoples’ lives, from the subtle and implied to the overt. 

We hope you’ll love all of these pieces as much as we do.

love, Safiya & Madeehah

 

Salaam, dear Leila,

In the last year or so I’ve started taking writing more seriously and alhamdulilah I’ve had some small but meaningful achievements. As a mother of a young child, I plan carefully to set time aside for my writing. Sometimes I feel selfish for doing so. Writing is just for me. I’m aware it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever be able to make a steady income out of it, however small, and therefore contribute financially through writing. Sometimes I feel like I should stop writing, that it’s a waste of time because there’s no benefit to anyone. But then there are times when a reader will tell me something they loved or related to in something I wrote and that makes it all worthwhile for me. Am I selfish for prioritising my writing, should I spend the time on something more worthwhile if I can’t make a career out of it?


Jamila