Our Story + Mission

Our mission is, and always has been, to heal, destigmatize, and empower through the arts, both literary and visual; to explore the diversity, complexity, and resilience of the human experience.

We hope to give dimension to voices that are commonly oversimplified and oppressed; we wish to highlight the beauty in what clings to the soft underbelly of a narrative polished for the mainstream media. We love the quotidian, and we love to question it.

As in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, time is an inevitable torrent — but we have the powerful ability to anchor ourselves in memory by living and reliving these experiences. COUNTERCLOCK is a platform to capture and uplift art so that these raw, authentic experiences can be considered, disseminated, and relived.

We’d like to be taught something we don’t know; we’re attracted to experimentation, innovation, and beauty. We would be honored to serve as a museum, gallery, and above all, home, for your story.

Such was the central idea present when the original team — Rachel Sucher, Claire S. Lee, and Sarah Feng — brought the journal to life in August of 2017. At the time, all three were students, young writers who each attended school in, respectively, Vermont, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The three met as mentees in the Glass Kite Anthology Young Writer’s Studio. When Rachel, a poetry mentee, proposed the idea of such a project in the all-mentee Facebook Messenger group chat, Claire, a cross-genre mentee, and Sarah, a prose mentee, were the first to respond.

From there on, the three began their own tiny group chat, soon to grow to accommodate a slew of fellow creatives. They messaged furiously through the next few months on submission decisions and various logistics, ensuring that the fledgling journal would survive the onslaught of the beginning of the school year. A website was quickly crafted, submissions began flowing in, and COUNTERCLOCK became an alive and pulsing being. A team formed, composed of a passionate, diverse band of artistic individuals who shared our passion for the arts. Issue 1 was published in November 2017. The editor-in-chiefship changed hands from Rachel to Claire and now currently resides with Sarah.

Throughout these past two years, while our team and look has changed and expanded, our core mission has remained the same, underpinned by the gorgeous gravity of the pieces we have had the privilege to feature in our past issues. We’ve grown greatly — from cheering over several hundred readers to celebrating several thousand, from combing through a couple of submissions to reviewing a couple hundred. Works featured in our journal have been recognized by the Pushart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology, and we have been lucky enough to feature literary and visual artists including Khaty Xiong, Darren C. Demaree, Erick Piller, Christina Im, Heather Laurel Jensen, Audrey Kim, Tyler Barton, Vakseen, Dane Hamann, Ira Joel Haber, and more.

Thank you for visiting us today. We are excited to see where the future takes us, and we hope you can join us on our journey.

– Sarah Feng