April 2013

By Shelah Miner

I’m sitting here writing this editorial with my toddler (who woke up from his nap too early), snacking on grapes in his high chair beside me. I have yogurt, Goldfish, and chocolate chip cookies at the ready, because surely it will take me longer to pound out my thoughts than his attention span will last. With any luck, the words will come quickly and I’ll be done before his sister wakes up from her nap.

Why do I share these details? Not so you’ll feel sorry for me, but so you’ll see that inspiration can come in small things, in the details of the crushed Goldfish at my feet, joining the crushed Cheerios from breakfast, melding with my guilt over writing this editorial now and that blog post then and ignoring my little guy. I’ve come to consider myself a writer over the last decade, and I’ve also been in the trenches of motherhood for those years, so it’s no surprise that most of the things I write deal in some way with my experiences as a mother.

This month, I’m delighted to announce the 2013 Segullah Essay and Poetry Contest winners. We are thrilled to have such fantastic work to print this month, and gratified that the quality of our submissions and our editorial process has been maintained as we’ve moved to our digital format.

But a curious thing struck me as I read the winning essays and poems– in five of the six winning essays and poems, the author comes to see something important about herself through the lens of motherhood. In the sixth, it’s marriage that provides the lens. We’ve got topics as diverse as drowning, growing older, adult children, helicopter parenting, eye patches, eating disorders, car theft, cystic fibrosis, and pregnancy, and the authors come to conclusions about their lives and experiences that are just as wide-ranging, but I find it curious that we come back to the everyday domestic experiences to frame those conclusions. Writing about the Goldfish helps me process the guilt. But the Goldfish are gone, and so I’ll leave you to your reading.

Shelah Mastny Miner

Managing Editor

Essay Contest:

Larceny and Longsuffering: A Love Story” by Denise Jamsa, Essay Contest Winner

Choosing Motherhood” by Cindy Baldwin, Essay Contest Honorable Mention

Hungry Storms” by Rachel Lewis, Essay Contest Honorable Mention

Poetry Contest:

I Tell My Children” by Melody Newey, Poetry Contest Winner

Lazy Eye” by Dayna Patterson, Poetry Contest Honorable Mention

On Keeping Daughters from Drowning” by Dayna Patterson, Poetry Contest Honorable Mention


About Shelah Miner

(Co-Editor-in-Chief) teaches English at BYU and French at a Salt Lake City middle school. She has an addiction to her Audible account, hates making dinner, and embraces the chaos of life with a husband, six kids, a dog, a lizard and four rabbits.

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