Elbow bump denoting social distancing, and a desire to stay engaged with others
Elbow bump denoting social distancing, and a desire to stay engaged with others Photo by Noah on Unsplash Note from the Editors


We express our gratitude, first, to the many talented faculty who nominated their students’ essays for publication, without whom this issue would not have been possible. Instructors whose students’ work is featured in this volume include Brett Beasley, Beth Capdevielle, Hades Chavonne, Patrick Clauss, John Duffy, Kyriana Lynch, Laura MacGowan, Nicholas Mainieri, Erin McLaughlin, Nathaniel Myers, Jessica Shumake, Caitlin Smith, Elyse Speaks, Aldo Tagliabue, and Joanna Lin Want.

Special thanks are due to members of the editorial board, a team of volunteers who devoted considerable time and energy to the task of choosing the very best essays from over eighty submissions.

We are especially grateful to a number of people whose contributions can be felt across this volume. Assistant Editor Oliver Ortega was invaluable for his work in reading essays, compiling materials, and, most importantly, sharing his thoughtful and judicious insights during the selection process. Erin Seeley, former Staff Assistant in the University Writing Program, helped advise us on some of the primary communications protocols for the issue. Previous co-editors of Fresh Writing Nicole MacLaughlin, Patrick Clauss, and Erin McLaughlin all offered their help and wisdom at crucial junctures. We are thankful for their continued support.

Much thanks additionally goes to Bridget Hoyt, Curator of Education at the Snite Museum, to our library liaison, Melissa Harden, to the members of the web and resource teams in Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library—in particular Dan Wolfe for his help with our images and videos—and to Tim Flanagan in the General Counsel’s Office. We turned to all of them for their guidance, support, and wisdom at various stages of the issue’s development, and Volume 21 would not exist without them.

We wish to thank the many students whose work was submitted for publication this year. It truly was a year of many challenges, and your writerly output—even those essays not featured in this issue—is a testament to the achievements of the mind and spirit that you brought to bear in spite of, and a result of, those challenges.

Finally, to the authors included in this volume, thank you for sharing your arguments, insights and wisdom in these pages. You have demonstrated to us that you engage boldly, unsparingly, and ethically with the world you live in; you have our ears, now and in the future.

As always, thanks for your support of Fresh Writing.

Joanna Lin Want and Nathaniel Myers, Co-Editor