Rock Salt and Rabbit
Karin Davidson   Colorado Review  Nelligan Prize Finalist   Fall 2016


There it is again. The sound of the mortars, fired overhead, hitting the target, this time a nearby village, sending red earth, fire, and smoke into the air. We are too far away to hear the cries. vc meet there at night, though intel is not always exact on these things. Especially when most of our information comes from the children—surveillance in return for sweets. I wake to the sounds, small-weapons fire marking the silence between blasts. A tracer sighs and I breathe in red dust and I’m up and out of my bunk and through the door, and only then do I realize where I am. In the backyard of the Florida lake house that once belonged to my grandfather, and now to me.

The air is not as heavy here. The scent is not thick with the nascent trace of powder that lies everywhere in Nam. And there are no cries, except my own. I wake myself now. There’s no one else to wake me


Select the headline or "Read More"  to read Karin's whole story at the Colorado Review.

Go Tell Messiah
Jason Manganaro     Alaska Quarterly Review    Vol. 33, No. 1 & 2, Spring/Summer 2016

If there was one day that cold-cocked your life – that turned down to up and up to East Bellevue – it was that Saturday at Cipriano’s Sub Shop. You were standing by the counter, waiting on a sandwich, wondering if your two wastoid buddies, Eddie Mueller and Darren Fitzpatrick, were doing any work at all while you were away. Outside was textbook January in New England, frigid but sunny. Inside was toasty warm, with the smell of baking bread and sizzling meat. And you – I remember it like this morning – you were the old you, all neat tucks and crisp corners. Latin Club member,

cross-country track captain, never-been- laid (former) altar boy. Partial to coasting, sure, but marked by your teachers and neighbors as hardworking – which, in Hale, Massachusetts circa 1987, meant more than any grade point average or SAT score.

The door opened, announced by a tinkling bell, and you glanced towards it. As you turned back to the counter, you spotted – on a café table by the plate glass window – an abandoned pocketbook.

Maroon, cheap leather, worn beyond repair. Something your mother would’ve thrown out, or handed down to your kid sister Lindsey.

Select the headline or "Read More"  to read Jason's whole story at Alaska Quarterly Review.

Me, Jodie Lynn Malone

Juliet Williams     Narrative Magazine  Story of the Week 2015-16


After the second EPT stick showed me another plus sign, I paced all over the apartment. Me, Jodie Lynn Malone, pregnant? I was twenty-two and I worked the counter at a dry cleaner’s. I could barely keep myself in Honey Nut Cheerios. The milk in the fridge went sour faster than I could drink it. And to have some kid looking up at me, asking me what to do and why is the sky blue and what’s for dinner, and meanwhile, there goes my life? Thinking like this, I got an awful suffocating feeling and I had to shove up the courtyard window and stick my head out of it and breathe.


I went to Planned Parenthood—just for information. I hoped they’d tell me the EPT sticks were wrong. Nope. They gave me a lot of pamphlets, and I made an appointment, but for two weeks away. Maybe in the meantime I’d hit on some other plan.

Select the headline or "Read More"  to read Juliet's whole story at Narrative.

The Peterson's Field guide to the Birds

Karin Davidson Fall 2014


Alan was a good boy. He grew up when things were easy in the world, and he kept up his end of that easiness. Good grades, chores done, friends that stayed friends. Up to the very end. Up until the day he died.


He wasn’t so different from most boys back in the 50’s. Tall, lanky, with dark brown hair like his father’s and light brown eyes like mine, and a grin that lit him up. Like the Walbright men before him, he liked to follow the rules, not for lack of curiosity, but out of respect for those who had already paved the way. He didn’t cheat; he didn’t lie; he didn’t steal. 


Select the headline or "Read More"  to read Karin's whole story at StorySouth.

New Journal Takes Readers Experiments in Travel and Telling
Laurie Hovell McMillin Fall 2014


The idea for Away came on a walk. My longtime friend and fellow writer Jessica Grim and I had stepped away from our desks and computers to take our weekly jaunt around Oberlin. I was bragging about how good my students’ writing was in my course “Writing About Travel.” I was complaining about the lack of good venues for interesting travel writing, writing about travel with a critical consciousness, writing about travel that pushed the conventions, travel writing more compelling or daring than that anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing Series (80% men, magazine writing of a particular taste) or The Best Women’s Travel Writing. ..


Select the headline or "Read More"  to read Laurie's Introductory essay at away.


Before Jenna blew in, I was sitting with two of the new Dirt Girls, hoping if I played my cards right I’d be getting some action by last call. It was midOctober, a football party night, and the apartment was half-full with a new crop of regulars. I never much went for pro football—over the years, even college sports have lost their luster—but back then, the game offered a ready excuse to tap a keg on a Monday. Most of our guests were still in school—too young to buy, too poor to score real enough IDs for the downtown Boston bar scene. So in that sense, we also saw our parties as a form of public service.

That season’s Dirt Girls were sophomores. Every Monday, they descended on the apartment in a swarm of six or seven to claim their seats. The term— which, at the time, we all thought was funny—had been coined our junior year. Our female friends had labeled the original gaggle, each ditzier and looser than the next, Those Dumb as Dirt Girls. Then Mezdog had caught a nasty rash from one of them and they’d become The Dirty Girls. But somehow, Dirt Girls had stuck—an ever-changing, age-capped lineup, like Menudo.

Select the headline or "Read More"  to read Jason's whole story at Alaska Quarterly Review.

Other Writers to Read