"How to Smile" 

"But I’d rather be dark. I’d rather press a flame into a smooth, plutonic stone. I’d rather hold that stone inside me, so that upon my dissection, my hysteria can be classified, rolled around in the hand like a single tooth. I’d rather string the roots of my teeth around my neck, so that upon the request of a smile, I am nothing but tongue."

Read more of Raven Leilani's story here. 



"This is the worst thing about spiders: They show up and then you are expected to do something, to deal with it somehow. It being the situation of the spider."

Read more of Julie Lunde's story here.

"How To Knit Your Own Boyfriend and Other Easy Projects"

"In college I was only one class away from a minor in women’s studies, so I know I don’t need a man, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone around to block a draft on a cold night. I like that Ed's legs are extra-thick, just for this purpose."

Read more of Amy Emm's story here.

"Something Like Drowning"

Art of Prose Contest Honorable Mention

“Sevi lifted her green Irish Spring ear to show John. It was too small. She kept carving her ears until they were whittled to nothing, trying to make each one perfect."

Read more of Alexa Brahme's story here.

"Please Help Yourself"

Art of Prose Contest Honorable Mention

"I had to read the play three times before I realized she doesn’t die at the end. A few lines midway through and then she simply just leaves. Isn’t that the most tragic ending of them all, not having one?"

Read more of Lindsay Lynch's story here.

"Like Everyone Else"

The Art of Prose Contest Winner!

“Genevieve admittedly was not all that prepared to be a mother. She’d browsed What to Expect When You’re Expecting—though now she thought that the title was misleading. She had not been expecting a seal.”

Read more of Nicole Beckley's story here.