In 1944, British soldiers in a German prison camp created a magazine. Made from old school books and whatever stolen or saved food and medical resources they could stow away to create inks and glues, they published one copy per issue and circulated it among themselves. This magazine was called The Flywheel. And though we can’t say that this story inspired our own magazine and name, we were naturally pretty pleased to discover the coincidence. This remarkable story about the persistence of art and the desire to create and share it in even these dire circumstances is what the idea of the “flywheel” is all about to us. Perhaps these soldiers had the same idea in naming their magazine: that the flywheel represents energy, movement, potential. That it represents transfer of that energy—a crucial sharing of creative and material resources. That it does and not just is.
Whatever those soldiers in Stalag IVB intended of their magazine, ours hopes to harness the creative powers of a community of writers—to not only produce but to inspire creation. We imagine that whether you read or contribute (or both), you will be able to see yourself as part of creative functioning that is more than mere sets of words in blocks defined and sanctioned by a small academic circle. You will transfer your energy to others, and be affected by their transfer, too.
This magazine comes about, then, out of the frustration of six creative minds, who grew weary of the same people responding to and judging our work. We came together to assert our own authority structure, on our own terms. We have inhabited that authoritative center and mobilized it towards what we hope will be a new kind of literary magazine, formed from the bottom up.
We anticipate a more radical reconceptualization in our future, where other voices in the community of writers and artists can come forward to sanction and support each others’ work on their own terms: a monumental deconstruction of what a literary journal has been. Trust us and stay tuned.
Until then, our magazine is the mechanism for storage of this potential energy.
The energy we harness belongs to you.