This month, we honor the memory of Sara Birch, our Lead Web Editor, who left this world unexpectedly at 21, on October 2, 2020. Sara joined the plain china staff in Fall 2019 as a fiction editor, quickly taking on the additional role of web editor and rising to the position of Lead Web Editor in the Summer of 2020. Sara’s fellow editors remember her as a generous and discerning reader with a deep passion for a good story, a bright presence in the classroom and a kind and clever soul. Her dedication to plain china has shaped the literary and visual aesthetic of the anthology in ways that will continue to inform our work moving forward, and she is deeply missed.
Here, we highlight some of the work Sara selected and edited for the anthology. These stories are the ones for which Sara fought, the ones that made her eyes light up when she discussed them with her classmates. We hope that Sara’s family and friends can, through these readings, connect with her memory and experience some of that same passion we saw here at plain china every week.
By Jazon Lalljee, University of Chicago
By Natalie Orga, Gettysburg College
By Erika Riley, Knox College