Creative Writing

The Guest House

Hannah Paige

University of Maine Farmington

I have lived a long life. A simple life, but a good one at that. I have seen people live. While they may not have been perfect, in fact most of them were far from it, they were real, true people, and each one of them had a story.

I Owe You An Apology You Will Never Receive

April Bannister

University of Iowa

Soccer tryouts had an unspoken rule: if someone didn’t know what team they were making by the end of a grueling four days, they hadn’t been paying attention. I was working my way up to the varsity level, but crumbled under the pressure when Coach Griffin had hissed in my ear, “You’re on the bubble. They’re going to be watching you.” I knew with near certainty that I had made JV, just as you would have. You were going to be a junior, after all, and no junior was ever placed on the C-team.


What did you sound like?

Lucas Thompson

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

I wrote this poem to commemorate an exclusively long distance relationship. The memories were made of only sight and sound. When it ended, all I had left in the radio silence were the echoes of his voice through a speaker, and after a while even those faded away. Now, though every artificial sight or sound from that past still rings behind my screen, the person that made them does not.

Daddy's Little Girl

Elena Nourabadi

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Growing up a child of divorce and trying to understand what influences have created my image of my parents and my image of myself, I explore the methods and environments that have shaped me. Analyzing the combination of life as an immigrant in a broken family, sprinkled with gender roles, income disparity, and individual definitions of love, I try to create an inside look in an intimate familial relationship, not yet fully defined itself.

The Geneticist's Daughter

Emily Woods

Illinois College

Year: 2076

Rhode Island, USA

The jaw opened.

“At last,” Dr. Malthuse Viscerate breathed, stumbling away from the surgical table as the assembled fossil took its second breath of life.

Underneath the Leather Jackets and Chrome Pipes: Research into the Community of Local Bikers

Alberta Negri

University of Cincinnati

After repeatedly witnessing the nightly gathering of a biker group outside my kitchen window, I worked to dive into the secret life of these motorcyclists of the community I live in. In this piece, I investigate this specific discourse community and attempt to begin to dispel the popular stereotype that bikers are up to no good.

Asking Advice Across Time

Cam Kelley

St. Mary's College of Maryland

The Venus of Willendorf, also known as Venus de Willendorf, is a stone figurine discovered in the early 1900’s and created around 30,000 BCE. The statue herself is a matter of significant historical debate. While she was originally believed by historians and archaeologists to be a symbol of sex or fertility, that theory is no longer in vogue. In fact, the long-held belief that any depiction of a naked woman must have been created for sex is the inspiration for this series of poems. By exploring female sexuality and physicality these poems comment on both the legacy of the Venus and the way cultures understanding of femininity can change or impact the meanings of womanhood.

Highlights from previous editions


Cassandra Zimmerman

Young Harris College

Playing with the neighbor’s boy Sam wasn’t always Eliza’s favorite pastime. Each Saturday they’d sit in front of his house, searching for caterpillars between the slick, green blades and dried husks of weeds. The sun watched them as intently as they did the grass, or perhaps it was looking for caterpillars too. The real fun, however, didn’t start until Sam brought out the toys: a combat jeep, as small and shiny as a beetle; a plastic shooter that was always slick with bubble soap; fistfuls of dinosaurs, some forever frozen in a hungry roar, others in a panicked stare; and, finally, the Green Camper. It was like holding a green, sub sandwich with wheels and windows. With a click, the roof swung open like a treasure chest. Bed, bathroom, sink, dinner table—everything a house had but with a driver’s seat. Unlike the blue squares on the sides, the inside windows had stickers: at the table, the sun peeked over black mountains in an orange sky, but it was also bright and yellow above the sink, while the moon hung by the bed.

Northern Spy

Anne Livingston

Grand Valley State University

“Northern Spy”

Quite susceptible to many of the usual range of diseases, particularly mildew and fireblight. Northern Spy also takes its time to come into bearing.

Lyrics for Magnolia, too

Sreyash Sarkar


As the beats of summer

Went down

Went down in Sorbonne

We were together

We were together

In the shades

Of perplexity

And magnolia too.

Talking of death

What would

What would indeed

Happen after that

Tears of a Jester

Anjali Chacko

The University of Illinois at Chicago

As I stared at my former doctor in her casket, I felt my throat tighten and the stomach acid climb up. Mary looked so different from the pictures her family had placed near her body. Her skin seemed thicker in death. She appeared much paler, almost sallow, and her body sagged in all the wrong ways. I joined the procession of mourners and thought about how poorly the makeup artist had done their job. I mean, it was bad—it looked as if someone had just slapped some lipstick all over her face and called it a day. I almost laughed at the thought, but I stopped myself. It’s impolite to laugh at wakes.