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The literary journal that aims to bring us back to Eden

EVER EDEN
Courtesy of Ever Eden
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The mission of Ever Eden Publishing is to offer beautiful, thoughtful content to Catholics.

These days you don’t have to go further than opening an app on your phone to find something to view. We’re constantly absorbing media, which has become so accessible and digestable.

But finding content that is true, good, and beautiful? That’s more of a challenge. Where can we find content that lifts our hearts and minds to God? A small publishing house called Ever Eden is dedicated to answering that need. Its founders wanted more than entertaining click-bait articles; they wanted quality literature that would nourish their souls and feed their desire for God.

EVER EDEN
Courtesy of Ever Eden

Ever Eden Publishing provides thought-provoking and faith-informed content for Catholics through their literary journals and publishing services. The Ever Eden Literary Journal is a quarterly print publication that includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that is meant to draw you into wonder and awe. It features the works of women, but is intended for the whole Church.

I asked Amy O’Connell, one of the co-founders of Ever Eden, about their mission:

Why did you start Ever Eden?

I saw an opportunity to make short form literature accessible to the everyday Catholic. In graduate school, I often wanted to read for pleasure. I’ve always been drawn to the creative written word, but as a stay-at-home mom to three children under two, and a graduate student, I was simply too busy to engage a full novel. Or if I happened to try, I could dedicate so little time to it, I’d spend most of my reading time just trying to figure out where I left off. I found myself reading shorter content like micro-blogs or Buzzfeed, but although at times I was entertained, I never felt moved or inspired like I had when reading a beautiful novel. In relaying my struggle to others, I realized I wasn’t alone. I thought of the old school literary journal, and how perfect short form literature like creative nonfiction, flash fiction, short stories, and poetry is for busy people like myself. I thought it would be great if I could support Catholic women writers and connect them with Catholics like myself who desired to read substantially, but felt their lives wouldn’t allow it. Ever Eden was born to meet this need.

EVER EDEN
Courtesy of Ever Eden

Where did the name come from?

When thinking and dreaming about what would become Ever Eden, I knew I was immediately drawn to “Eden” as it is the space in which God chose to place his creation. I know what a gift it is to be entrusted with people’s creations and Eden would be the most fitting and safe place for created works. “Ever” was originally suggested to me by my partner and co-founder Natalie Tansill. As I thought more and more about Eden as a place of original rest, I recalled that we are all called to enter into God’s eternal rest. I thought, “May we ever move toward it.” That’s how we settled on the name.

While the literary journal is intended for everyone, it contains the work and words of women. Why did you choose to specifically highlight women writers?

I think at times in the culture of Catholicism we can, without meaning to, make women’s voices seem as though they are only important for other women. For instance, we’ll have the woman speaker for the women’s session, but a man giving the keynote. Almost all ministries run by women are for women, which is objectively beautiful and good, but it does raise a question: Can a woman, in her feminine genius, have something to say that’s for the edification of the whole Church? I wanted to answer that question with a loud and resounding “YES!” I chose to highlight the voices of women because I think we have something important and beautiful to say that will edify us all, men and women.

Why do you think something like this is important for the Church as a whole?

Beauty has a unique ability to touch hearts and minds. The creative written word, as an art form, bends words to fit those times, emotions, or experiences where words should fall short. Movements like Ever Eden are important for the Church as a whole because it makes our witness resound in the hearts of men—that Christ is the answer to the perennial questions of the human heart.

You can follow Ever Eden on Instagram (@everedenpublishing) or visit their website.

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