Almost all of the content you see in Sad Girl Review starts out as an anonymous email with a few attachments. I read each of these messages, spend time with the material, and then decide if it reflects the tone and theme of the issue. This is a lengthy process but it is incredibly rewarding to discover art that has not been publicly shared before and it allows me to get to know like minded people from around the world. This magazine exists due to the effort and dedication of all of the contributors as listed on the front page. It represents countless hours of conceptualization and production, but like all aspects of life there are some things one simply does not plan for.
You might have some questions about how Tess Majors came to be involved in Issue 5 and the process was exactly as I have described above. Tess must have seen the call for submissions online somewhere. She sent me an email with a brief bio, five photographs, and a related artist statement on November 19, 2019. She was murdered not long after on December 11, 2019.
Her work was one of several hundred emails that I received during that submission period. Due to a variety of personal problems I did not check my email for several months which resulted in a substantial backlog and a temporary hiatus. I didn’t discover Tess’s email until late July and I wasn’t aware of who she was or what happened to her until I tried to respond to her initial email. I had drafted her acceptance email, added her name to my spreadsheets, downloaded her work, and placed it alongside the others I had planned to include. It was at this point that I looked her up via the social media information she included and I realized the gravity of the situation. I deeply regret that I missed the opportunity to connect with Tess, to tell her that I found value in her artwork and to further encourage her artistic development.
This issue celebrates Tess Majors as our Featured Artist in order to honour her beautiful and thoughtful work. I have endeavored to present her as the living contributor she was when she submitted. She shared a moment of her life with us and we’re better for the experience, and because of this I want nothing more than to do right by someone that can no longer speak for herself. I have no agenda in presenting Tess’s work to you beyond what is stated here. Tess must have reached out because she believed that we shared an artistic sensibility and she was correct. From what I’ve read, Tess aligned herself with feminism, arts & culture, and the girly stuff we all love.
Sad Girl Review offers its heartfelt thanks to the Majors family. Tess’s photographs are shared with their consent. If you’re curious to learn more about the life and work of Tess Majors I encourage you to view her memorial website: www.tessmajors.com. The contributors of Issue 5 and I are honored to stand next to Tess as her work is released into the world.
Issue 5 will be released on Saturday, September 12 @ 12 PDT.
It is a free download and you will be able to find it on sadgirlreview.com & issuu.com.
One final statement:
In researching all of the news and related materials around the end of Tess’s life I have discovered many of the very distressing ways that Tess’s life has been wielded as a tool for hate. If, by chance, you arrive on this website with the hope of finding fuel for divisive or racist politics you will not find support here. SGR embraces the knowledge and experience of all people, including that of our BIPOC friends. As the editor, I strive to create a space that reflects my own personal values: I aim to disrupt assumptions around gender and sexuality, embrace racial diversity and equality, accept and represent all levels of physical and mental ability, fight against ageist beliefs, promote art and literature, and celebrate all things girly.