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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 »

Excerpt from The Wet Nose of Danger: A Rex Koko, Private Clown Mystery by James Finn Garner

Written on July 19, 2016

Winner of the 2015 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award for Non-traditional Fiction by James Finn Garner Back in my trailer, I busied myself removing wet lollipops and frosting smears from my overcoat. Hell, if I wanted spots on my clothes, I’d talk to a tailor and get it custom-made. The fewer reminders I  Continue Reading »

Excerpt from We Hope You Like This Song by Bree Housley

Written on July 5, 2016

Excerpt from We Hope You Like This Song – winner of the 2013 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award for Traditional Non-Fiction by Bree Housley Laverne and Shirley. Carrie and Miranda. Hillary, Whitney, and CC Bloom. Goose and Maverick? You bet your ass. Whether they’re sipping martinis or flying mother-freaking jets, these pop culture  Continue Reading »

Deer Story by Patricia Ann McNair

Written on June 19, 2016

“Deer Story,” from The Temple of Air – winner of the 2012 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award for Traditional Fiction by Patricia Ann McNair And when you see it there on the side of the road (above it, really) it’s already too late. You know. “Don’t,” you say. Out loud maybe. But it doesn’t  Continue Reading »

Homage by Bob Grove & Thoughts by Andrew Reynolds

Written on June 5, 2016

                 Homage by Bob Grove                                           Bleak skies hover over an old home                  standing in silence, awaiting final darkness.                  Once a proud family fortress                  Sanctuary for her loved ones.                              The bite of winter’s  Continue Reading »

Musings by Sharon Frame Gay

Written on May 27, 2016

Who knows what sets the neurons to chatter, these moments to freeze, then propel, back in time. I run my fingers lightly down the spine of memories, feeling the sloughing of breath, the tenseness and drawing away of skin, tracing scars . . . where even the bitter is sweetened by passing years. Long before  Continue Reading »