Sparks

Ascension Garden

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Ascension Garden By Stacy Murison The first time, you drive by yourself. You have some idea you are going there, but are still surprised that you know the way, without her, through the turning and turning driveways. Left, left, left, left. Park near the rusted dripping spigot. The wind blows, unseasonably warm for November. You bring the candy bar, her favorite, the one from the specialty chocolate shop, the one with the dark chocolate and light green ribbon of mint. You try to eat yours, but instead, stare at hers, unopened, where you imagine the headstone will go and sob without sound while the wind French-braids your hair just as she would have, and that’s how you know she is here. She is still pushing cicada shells off white birch trunks with her toes, dancing around…

Places to submit

River Teeth, A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative

River Teeth is a biannual journal combining the best of creative nonfiction, including narrative reportage, essays and memoir, with critical essays that examine the emerging genre and that explore the impact of nonfiction narrative on the lives of its writers, subjects, and readers. River Teeth: An Introduction by David James Duncan When an ancient streamside tree finally falls into its bordering river, it drowns as would a human, and begins to disintegrate with surprising speed. On the Northwest streams I know best, the breakdown of even a five-or six-hundred-year-old tree takes only a few decades. Tough as logs are, the grinding of sand, water and ice are relentless; the wood turns punk, grows waterlogged, breaks into filaments, then gray mush; the mush becomes mud, washes downriver, comes to rest in side channels which fill and gradually close; new trees sprout from the fertile muck. There are, however, parts of every…

Just Write

How to Write a Personal Essay

We aren’t born knowing how to write personal essays. So, how does one learn to write personal essays? The following is inspired from “A Few Tips for Writing Personal Essays,” by Robert Lee Brewer, March/April 2021 Writer’s Digest. Read personal essays! Then write. You will discover your style as you write. ~ Start with action. Save backstory for later in the essay. The beginning should have a compelling scene that hooks readers and makes them want to continue reading. The following is an example of “start with action.” The hook compelled me to read the entire essay. “When he walked into a San Francisco barbershop after the war, he was told by the owner, ‘We don’t serve Japs here.’ The owner of the barbershop obviously didn’t know who the one-armed Japanese-American was – his name was Daniel Inouye. And, according to one website that honors heroes, he was one tough…

Places to submit

River Teeth

River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative was co-founded in 1999 by Joe Mackall and Dan Lehman, professors at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. The journal is recognized as a national leader in publishing quality essays, memoir, and literary journalism.  River Teeth has grown from a biennial journal edited by two professors with stacks of envelopes in their offices to a burgeoning organization that continues to publish, without bias, the best of today’s nonfiction.  From the very beginning, River Teeth has been dedicated to the simple premise that good writing counts and that facts matter. River Teeth invites submissions of creative nonfiction, including narrative reportage, essays, and memoirs, as well as critical essays that examine the emerging genre and that explore the impact of nonfiction narrative on the lives of its writers, subjects, and readers.