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Eaten by Sharks by Isabell McAren

Written on December 11, 2016

     The man in line ahead of me is probably in his sixties, wearing a greasy baseball cap with unruly gray hair poking out from underneath. A wrinkled, button-up shirt is only half tucked into his baggy jeans. When he turns to the side, I can see he’s unshaven. I take an involuntary step  Continue Reading »

Next Door by Behlor Santi

Written on November 27, 2016

I just ate a burrito with your boyfriend wearing Gucci flipflops. Grammar.   I could mention your boyfriend again. I just did.   My grammar is correct and powerful, blindfully powerful.   Gucci flipflops are nice. Seeing you cry, over your boyfriend, is nicer.   I prefer words when they get me something I want.  Continue Reading »

Poetry by Len Kuntz

Written on November 14, 2016

Radicalized There is a bonfire in your eyes Barbwire for a brow Spiked teeth With blue-black saliva Dripping off your chin Anger and residue are your Closest companions Each day finds you hating more Wanting nothing but destruction I’ve seen what you’re up to– Pipes and pressure cooker bombs– And so it’s time I burned  Continue Reading »

Excerpt from Whiskey Breakfast: My Swedish Family My American Life, Winner of the Chicago Writers Association 2012 Book of the Year Award for Traditionally Published Non-fiction By Richard C. Lindberg

Written on October 31, 2016

Excerpt from Whiskey Breakfast: My Swedish Family My American Life, Winner of the Chicago Writers Association 2012 Book of the Year Award for Traditionally Published Non-fiction By Richard C. Lindberg Chapter 13 excerpt – “Slam Books and Second Chances”      In the lunchroom at Onahan School, teachers exchanged “useful” information with one another about certain  Continue Reading »

Excerpt from Old Heart, Winner of the Chicago Writers Association 2015 Book of the Year Award for Traditionally Published Fiction By Peter Ferry

Written on October 15, 2016

  Frenchman’s Lake, July 4, 2007                                                        People began to line up at the pig, at the keg, and at the picnic tables to spoon out salads and to  Continue Reading »

Excerpt from Famous Hills in Wisconsin, Winner of the Chicago Writers Association 2014 Book of the Year Award for Non-traditionally Published Non-fiction by Scott Jacobs

Written on September 30, 2016

Downhill Sledder             The only problem with our sledding hill was that it wasn’t long enough. In an eight-year-old’s complicated equation of thrill versus effort, the long walks in the cold to the top of our hill were never quite justified by the disappointingly gentle ride down –– especially if your sled happened to tip  Continue Reading »

Excerpt from Carpe Diem, Illinois – Winner of the CWA 2014 Book of the Year Award for Non-traditionally Published Fiction by Kristin A. Oakley

Written on September 14, 2016

     At the corner of Tiger Whip Road and Highway 20, Patrick Holden slumped over the handle bars of his idling Harley. The motorcycle’s black leather seat and saddle bags were creased with age, the twenty-year-old fenders dusty but barely scarred. Patrick hadn’t aged as well as his bike. Years of fighting school administrators,  Continue Reading »

Excerpt from Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation – Winner of the Chicago Writers Association 2015 Book of the Year Award for Traditionally Published Nonfiction by Dean Jobb

Written on August 30, 2016

       The bold type at the top of page one screamed for Chicago’s attention.      LAUNCH WORLD-WIDE HUNT FOR KORETZ, WHO SWINDLED CHICAGO BUSINESS MEN OUT OF MILLIONS.      Within hours of the announcement that Cook County State’s Attorney Robert Crowe was investigating Leo Koretz’s Panamanian oil fraud – an eighteen-year  Continue Reading »

Excerpt from Coming Out Can Be Murder – Winner of the Chicago Writers Association 2012 Book of the Year Award for Non-traditionally Published Fiction by Renee James

Written on August 16, 2016

  This isn’t how you are supposed to come out at work. In fact, it’s exactly how they tell you not to do it. I’m just too outraged to play by the rules. They wouldn’t work for me anyway. You’re supposed to let everyone know what’s happening, face to face, but in your male persona.  Continue Reading »

Excerpt from Any Road Will Take You There: A journey of fathers and sons by David W. Berner

Written on August 2, 2016

From Chapter 2: Here’s how I imagined it: a loosely planned 5000-mile road trip, beginning in Chicago, heading to Denver, San Francisco, L.A., Santa Fe, back to Denver and then home to Chicago. And we would travel through some of the places and on the roads Kerouac wrote about. We wouldn’t necessarily use On the  Continue Reading »