Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Dear fellow reader,


My name is Ralph Lam, a high-school junior from Hong Kong. I would like to welcome you to The Qualia Review. I believe that all writers should have a platform or outlet to exercise and present their creative agency, allowing their imagination and mind to grow.


Qualia are defined as subjective and conscious individual experiences. For instance, if I run my hands over a piano in front of a large crowd, some may hear a nuanced and complex rhythm while many will most likely cover their ears in irritation. Regardless of the different subjective interpretations within a given situation, one still lives through the experience nonetheless. It is these reflections of the world, of one’s milieu, that this magazine invites you to share; we want your voices.


Over the past couple of years, I have been fortunate enough to work with talented writers from around the world in several workshops or casual conversations while sharing a meal; words and ideas were our currency in the great economy of creative writing. This network of exchange inspired me to found The Qualia Review, the foundation of a vibrant community of young writers whom our editorial staff is willing to mentor and support.


Whenever I write, I always find myself reflecting upon my childhood, wondering how I was even able to reach this point in my writing career. Such reflection conjures memories of the insurmountable frustration while attempting to produce an ‘engaging story,’ or the debilitating anxiety when asked to present my work in front of the class. As a young writer, I always felt insecure about my pieces; I was reluctant to share the vast collection of short stories scrawled into my small brown notebook. This hesitation largely stemmed from my fear of criticism and lack of confidence in writing, subsequently impeding my ability to improve. I would not wish this haunting experience upon a budding writer. Thus our editors and I are dedicated to providing nuanced and constructive feedback for all pieces so that the submission process also acts as an opportunity to learn and thrive for any writer.


Before I conclude, allow me to share a quote from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man:

“The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead.”


I believe that this line captures one of our core philosophies; this magazine is not necessarily the ultimate peak of a writer’s journey. However, we hope to educate young writers — instilling within them essential skills for both prose and poetry — and act as a launchpad into a fruitful and successful creative writing career.


With that being said, I hope The Qualia Review acts as a welcoming environment and platform that is conducive to the exchange of stories and ideas; we want to give a voice to the underrepresented and provide them with an opportunity to project said voice.


Best regards,


Ralph Lam

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Qualia Review