Volume 6, Issue 1 is here!

The issue is available here as a PDF.

The optional theme is A Day That Changed Me.

Contributors: Stephen Barry, Susan P. Blevins, Heather M. Browne, JW Burns, R. J. Cardullo, Samantha Chasse, Ranjabali Chaudhuri, Susan Taylor Chehak, Jenny Coates, Mirana Comstock, Heather Cook, Margo Davis, Leslie Dianne, Kristin Kowalski Ferragut, MacGregor Frank, Tom Franken, Carolyn Geduld, Kathleen Gemmell, Brian Glaser, John Grey, Andrey Gritsman, Deborah Guzzi, Benjamin Harnett, Jack D. Harvey, Julia Hatch, Kevin Hogg, Zebulon Huset, Anthony Koranda, Lori Lipsky, Jeanne Lutz, Sean Lynch, Jennifer Makowsky, Delvon T. Mattingly, K. McGee, Bob McNeil, Rachel Medina, Cameron Morse, Louisa Muniz, Marianthi Papadim, Melanie Petrandis, Jenna Pini, John Raffetto, Robin Ray, Marguerite Maria Rivas, David Anthony Sam, Becca Saul, Joe Seale, John Sheirer, Adrian Slonaker, John L. Stanizzi, Wylie Strout, The Rotten Poets, Richard Weaver, Julie Weiss, Thomas Wells, and Bill Wolak.

Reviews: Kind Chemist Wife: Musings at 3 AM by Sarah Bigham, Slide to Unlock: Poems by Julie E. Bloemeke, Skeleton Parade by Mela Blust, a broken exit by Goirick Brahmachari, Escaped Housewife Tries Hard to Blend In by Karen Craigo, Emily as Sometimes the Forest Wants the Fire by Darren C. Demaree, Here, We Bury the Hearts by Dom Fonce, Boys by Daniel Edward Moore, Verses of Realness by Bob McNeil, Love_Is_Love: An Anthology for LGBTQIA+ Teens edited by Emma Eden Ramos, and Ghosts of You by Cathy Ulrich.

The Magnolia Review Ink Award: Becca Saul, “Lines of Me,” chosen by David Anthony Sam.

Jennifer Makowsky–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I usually write at home in a chair that’s situated in front of a row of windows that go from floor to ceiling. It’s an odd place to write since it’s in the living room and there is foot traffic around, but I can’t resist the light coming in.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I write on my laptop. Once upon a time, I wrote in notebooks, but I have become a slave to the keyboard over the years.

What is your routine for writing?

I get up at 5:30 every morning to write before I go to work. The early hour is my opportunity to write before anyone else is up, before the bad news of the world has had a chance to seep in, and I still feel somewhat connected to a dream state. But none of this happens until I get my coffee, of course.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing? 

I started writing as a kid. My first story was about my dog.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I guess I would say anyone who has wrestled with feeling like they’re misunderstood, an outsider, or aren’t good enough.  

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

Nature, music, and books inspire me most. Also people. The world is chock full of so many characters.

If I’m blocked I just vomit words on the page and take it from there. I think the most important part of creating anything is not being afraid of making a mess before making it into something palatable. I’d say I embrace my shitty first drafts.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I have a piano I toy with. I’m also a teacher, which allows for a lot of creativity.

What is your favorite part of the creative process? 

Watching something take shape after the initial word vomit–that point when you realize there’s something coming together in that mess you’ve just made.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Keep at it. I meet so many people who say they used to write. You don’t have to be good at first. You just have to do it and do it a lot.

Check out Jennifer‘s work in Volume 6, Issue 1.

Jennifer Makowsky

Jennifer Makowsky received her MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Arizona. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Portland Review, Gargoyle, 2 Bridges Review, Pamplemousse, The Matador Review, and others. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she teaches English to adult refugees at Pima Community College. 

Tiny Rescues, What I Can’t Touch, and Bodies of Water, Volume 6, Issue 1