Featured Writing

A pair of hands hold up a black book.

A Statement on Religion

By James Croal Jackson Perhaps divinity is in devotion– pages of textover thousands of years, eternal ramblingin the clockwork ticking the days to etch instone the wings I’d searched away, blindfaith in running water, erosion of the endlessnights I’d stay awake to eke out meaning.

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Nonfiction Posts

Tree in on hill in a field under the night sky

The Shot

by Nadja K. McGlinn The nurse in the cubicle where my husband and I got our second shots of the COVID-19 remarked that everyone she’d injected that day had the scar from a smallpox vaccination, meaning we were old—old enough to have still gotten them as children. She noted I…

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Woman standing under a cloudy sky

My Female Silent Hero

by Jessica Hensley Students at Southern New Hampshire University were invited to submit essays in celebration of women’s contributions to society, with a focus on a particular woman who inspired the writer to share her story. This essay was chosen to be published in The Penmen Review on International Women’s…

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An open notebook with blank pages

Rewiring During a Pandemic and Beyond

by Mark Howard In 2017, I left being a successful financial business owner to become a fifty-seven-year-old, first-year high school English teacher. I made that change because I wanted to. Now, countless thousands are being faced with a career change because of the pandemic. In my little town, there are…

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Person holding blank notebooks

How to Avoid Writing

by Marnie Lyn Adams Writing—or avoiding it—is a stressful business. The critical element to evade creative writing of any type—from a George R. R. Martin-length series to a haiku—is to maintain productive activity while neglecting your long-term writing goals. However, with practice and a focus on diversionary tactics, you too…

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Fresh grass in the sunlight

That Spot in the Lawn

by Susan Spadafora My mother’s sister and family came to visit. Since my cousin Marie was only a year older than me, she was invited to stay a bit longer so we could play together. There was a family get-together planned for the next Sunday, with relatives from my father’s…

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Trash bag for cleaning out the junk thoughts

How to Organize Your Thoughts

by Sue Allison If you haven’t thought it in a year, throw it out. Ditto if it is out of style, has holes in it, or doesn’t fit you. It may have never fit you in the first place, or you’ve outgrown it. Likewise, scrutinize thoughts that have, as a…

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Hebrew book on a shelf

Places of Worship

by Anthony Mohr In 1961, when I was fourteen, downtown Los Angeles was a gritty place to flee at sundown, full of drunks, addicts, and prostitutes. My pal Robbie wanted to take me there. He loved it. He’d walk down Main Street, wander through pawn shops, and meet what, many…

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Hands with latex gloves holding a masked world

Wrestling Heidegger

by Nina Schuyler I’m watching Woody Allen’s movie, The Purple Rose of Cairo, again. Tom Baxter has just stepped out of the film and waltzed right into the darkened, popcorn-infested theater. Picture gum under the seats, on the floor. Mia Farrow, who has been in a lovely trance watching Baxter…

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Neighbors US Postal mailbox

Midwestern Nice

by Khristy Knudtson The Midwest region of the United States garners a reputation that is unlike any other. Wisconsin, where I have lived all of my life, embodies airs of apologetic pleasantries in almost every interaction. This concept of “Midwestern nice” is a pervasive descriptor of the Midwestern people—it defines…

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Mother caring for her young child

A Mother’s Love

by Tara Conrad For International Women’s Day, we celebrated the daily impact women have on our lives. This essay honors a loving mother who kept her heart open for the world no matter the challenge. When I was young, we struggled financially, often not having money to pay the bills…

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