In this inaugural issue of the SFWP Annual Vol. 1, we take some of our favorite stories from the first issues of the SFWP Quarterly, the latest iteration of the SFWP Journal, which has been running since 2002. Inside, these twelve writers will grab hold of your imagination and transport it to intense, captivating places. Read heartbreaking fiction about finding companionship as the sun literally burns itself out, learn about the trauma young gay men in Iran often endure, hide from witches in Salem in the 1600s, and even make your way through a modern choose-your-own-adventure story. Our creative nonfiction pieces will hit home, with work by writers that range from life in a Mexican psychiatric ward to the social fallout of an abortion. These stories have a staying power that will keep you awake and bounce around your head for days.
Samantha Edmonds received her MA in creative writing from the University of Cincinnati in April 2017. She holds a BA in English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, The Indiana Review, Midwestern Gothic, Monkeybicycle, Phantom Drift, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. She has a lot of pets. Find her on Twitter @sam_edmonds122.
Kelli Jo Ford
Kelli Jo Ford’s fiction has appeared in publications such as Virginia Quarterly Review, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and New Delta Review. She’s been awarded a National Artist Fellowship by the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and a Dobie Paisano Fellowship. She’s a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives with her husband, Scott Weaver, and their daughter, Cypress, in Richmond, where she’s working on a book of stories titled Crooked Hallelujah. You can find her online at kellijoford.com.
Sadie Hoagland has a PhD in fiction from the University of Utah where she worked as an editor for Quarterly West. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UC Davis. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Slush Pile Magazine, The Black Herald, MOJO, Alice Blue Review, Oyez Review, Grist Journal, The South Dakota Review, Sakura Review, and Passages North. She currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. More about her can be found at sadiehoagland.com.
Randon Billings Noble
Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. Her work has appeared in the Modern Love column of The New York Times, The Georgia Review, The Rumpus, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and elsewhere. Her lyric essay chapbook Devotional is forthcoming from Red Bird in 2017, and the University of Nebraska Press will publish her full-length collection in 2019. A fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, she was named a 2013 Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow to attend a residency at The Millay Colony for the Arts. Currently she is a nonfiction editor at r.kv.r.y quarterly, Reviews Editor at Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and a reviewer for The A.V. Club.
Kerri Pierce is a writer, translator, and mother living in Rochester, NY. She has translated works from seven different languages spanning several genres. Her short translations have appeared in places such as Fiction and The New Yorker, and her longer translations include novels and works of philosophy. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Penn State.
Emily Rems is a feminist writer, editor, rock star, playwright, and occasional plus-size model living in New York’s East Village. Best known as managing editor of BUST Magazine and the co-host of BUST’s podcast “Poptarts,” Emily is also a music and film commentator for New York’s NPR affiliate WNYC, and is the drummer for the horror-punk band the Grasshoppers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the anthologies Cassette from my Ex and Zinester’s Guide to NYC, and her short stories have been published in Rum Punch Press, Lumen, Prose ‘N Cons Mystery Magazine, Writing Raw, PoemMemoirStory, The SFWP Quarterly, and The Borfski Press. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction in 2015 and is working on a novel. Follow her on Twitter @emilyrems.
N. R. Robinson
N. R. Robinson grew up in Junior Village, a Washington D.C. government-run orphanage that was the largest institution of its kind in the United States. A ninth-grade high school dropout, he went on to earn a general equivalency diploma, graduate from the University of the District of Columbia, and work in corporate America. In 2006, N. R. left his executive position at Microsoft to begin the ten-year journey of scribing his coming-of-age memoir, Our Family Walks, from which “Our Institutions” is excerpted. He is a 2009 graduate of Florida Atlantic University’s MFA in creative writing program, and a 2016 graduate of University of Missouri’s PhD in English Literature program. N. R. is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Claflin University. He has been published in Cactus Heart Press, The SFWP Journal and Quarterly, Bluestem Magazine, and New Ohio Review. N. R. was a contributor at the 2015 and 2016 Bread Loaf Summer Writer’s Conferences and the 2016 Tin House Summer Workshop. He can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/nickrobi.
June Sylvester Saraceno
June Sylvester Saraceno is author of the poetry collections Of Dirt and Tar and Altars of Ordinary Light, and a chapbook of prose poems, Mean Girl Trips. Her work has appeared in various journals including American Journal of Nursing, Southwestern American Literature, Steel Toe Review, Tar River Poetry, Worchester Review, and others. She is a professor and English Program Chair at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, where she teaches in the BFA and MFA programs. She is also founding editor of the Sierra Nevada Review and director of Writers in the Woods literary speaker series. For more information visit junesaraceno.com.
Atossa Shafaie received a BA in English literature from George Washington University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. She was fiction editor for So To Speak, Publications Assistant at AWP, and senior editor for Bartleby Snopes, A Literary Magazine. She is currently the managing editor of the UTC Journal, a publication of the Utilities Technology Council. Her work has been published by Scribes Valley, Dream Quest One, Coffee House Fiction, Fish, Savage Press, Winning Writers, The SFWP Quarterly, and Paycock Press. Her fiction was also part of Call and Response, an exhibit in George Mason’s Fall for the Book Festival. Her flash fiction earned honorable mention by Glimmer Train. She is currently working on her first novel.
Morgan Smith is a former member of the Colorado House of Representatives and Commissioner of Agriculture now living in New Mexico and working as a freelance writer and photographer. His major focus is on the Mexican border and his goal is to show that there is another side to the violence we read so much about. He has identified and writes about a number of individuals who provide aid to the needy, often at significant risk to themselves. His articles appear in a number of papers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.
Nancy Smith received her MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and her MA in Media Studies from The New School. Her work has been published in Paper, The Rumpus, McSweeney’s, Compose, Seattle Weekly, Your Impossible Voice, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction at Indiana University. More information can be found at her website, somequietfuture.com.
Kayleigh Wanzer is an English teacher in Boston. She completed her graduate work at Binghamton University, where she was also Managing Editor of Harpur Palate. You can follow her on Twitter @heyirony.