FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology of Short Stories, Published Digitally

by The Cowl Editor on December 6, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

by: Sara Conway ’21 A&E Staff

Foreshadow: to indicate a future event. 

Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, both New York Times bestselling authors, used this definition as inspiration to create their own online Young Adult (YA) literary magazine. 

Pan and Suma’s first connection occurred through Twitter, which possesses an active writing and bookish community. In an interview with School Library Journal, Suma states that the two authors were initially brought together because of writing; she was given a chance to read Pan’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Astonishing Color of After, early even before Pan signed with an agent.

On a train ride to Washington, D.C., the authors discovered that they both dreamed of creating an online literary magazine that centered around YA stories. It was here that the idea for FORESHADOW was born.  

FORESHADOW stands out among other anthologies and online literary magazines as it will have a finite publishing period (hence “serial anthology”). Pan and Suma decided to publish their anthology for one year with the publication of issues beginning in January 2019 and ending in December 2019.

Foreshadow YA anthology Screenshot

Each issue of the anthology will feature three YA short stories by well-known authors in YA literature, as well as a piece by a “New Voice.” This title is reserved for a writer who is emerging in the industry.

FORESHADOW demonstrates a “commitment to showcasing underrepresented voices, boosting emerging writers, and highlighting the beauty and power of YA fiction,” as the anthology’s main purpose. The team behind FORESHADOW, along with the anthology, hopes to “contribute to the changing landscape of young adult publishing to become more inclusive and diverse.” The creators are particularly dedicated to highlighting stories told by marginalized and underrepresented voices.

When asked about the significance of the title, “foreshadow,” Pan and Suma answer that they “hope that the new writers” discovered in the anthology “will be authors whose books [readers will] covet tomorrow.”

This theme of foreshadowing also manifests through the one word titles of the published stories. The anthology asks authors to choose their own title, musing over the question: If you could distill your story into one word, what would it be? Foreshadowing is all about leaving clues; the title of the story indicates to readers what can be discovered or expected when they read on. 

Doing some foreshadowing of their own, Pan and Suma released Issue 00 this past summer in order to give readers a taste of what is to come. Issue 00 features stories by Dhonielle Clayton, author of the New York Times bestseller The Belles, Samantha Mabry, author of All the Wind in the World, which is longlisted for the National Book Award, and the first “New Voice” of FORESHADOW, selected by Nicola Yoon. The #1 New York Times bestselling author writes of the “New Voice” piece: “In the space of just a few pages, ‘Solace’ takes us on the beautiful, hopeful journey of a young woman trying to find her way back to herself. It’s a lovely story of new love, recovery, and a magical garden.”

The subsequent issues of FORESHADOW will follow the example that Issue 00 provides: an established author like Nicola Yoon will “select, introduce, and hopefully elevate new writers.”

Most of all, Pan, Suma, and the rest of the FORESHADOW team want the stories in their anthology to be read; thus, they created the issues so that the pieces can be easily printed or read offline and accessible to everyone. 

Through this accessibility, FORESHADOW provides emerging writers the chance to become known to the world. Suma states that both she and Pan had their “first breaks publishing stories in literary journals.” She contemplates further that FORESHADOW could be the platform for other writers to jumpstart their own writing careers.