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a magazine of

true stories



Our 2016 double issue, "Maps & Legends," takes a tour around the hollow earth (see cover--yes, some people think the earth is shaped like a big napkin ring).   Explore samples of the essays, poetry, and artwork by clicking here:  







I'm proud to be one of the founding editors--and the official editorial director--of this nonfiction magazine of  reflective reporting, memoir, poetry, interview, and belles lettres.



We believe there are many ways of telling a true story--through a lyrical essay, a researched article, a narrative poem, a photo essay, an interview.  We feature them all and are particularly interested in work that rises above "Hey, this happened to me" into "This happened to me and it engages with the greater outside world because ..."

We have published themed issues titled "Dangerous Territory," "Hunt, Gather," "Bedeviled," "Maps & Legends," "Small Things, Partial Cures," "Rivals & Players," and "Birth, School, Work, Death."


International writers and artists in our pages have included


Robert Alter

Yehuda Amichai

Julie Anderson

Shalom Auslander

Kathleen de Azevedo

Ron Block

Roger Camp

Bea Chang

Alan Cheuse

Susann Cokal

Walter Cummins

Colleen Curran

Memye Curtis Tucker
Tyler Darden

TyRuben Ellingson

Josh George

Peter Grandbois

Marilyn Grigas

Michael Griffith

Katharine Haake

Valley Haggard

Lise Haines

Kristina Hakanson

Gunver Hasselbalch

Ramsey Hootman

Chad Hunt

Masami Inoue

Tama Janowitz

Deborah Jiang-Stein

Thomas E. Kennedy

Harry Kollatz, Jr.

Daniel M. Krause

D. J. Lee

Bryant Mangum

Lea Marshall

Stacey Mercado

Maggie Messitt


Terry Minchow-Proffitt

Carol Moldaw

Daniel Edward Moore

Jed Myers

Carol Moldaw

John Moser

Avital Oehler

Amie Oliver

Lisa Allen Ortiz

Richard Peabody

Amira Pierce

Joshua Poteat

James Prochnik

Mary Quade

Paisley Rekdal

Amy Sailer

Sherod Santos

Glenn Shephard, Jr.

Charlotte Simmonds

Leslie Stainton

Lee Strasburger

Sara Talpos

Dawn Whitmore

Jeanette Winterson 

Emily Woodworth

Paloma Young

Myles Zavelo

Kip Zegers

and more!


... addressing topics such as the poetry of passion, satellites, fear, Afghanistan, Fitzgerald's flappers and belles in the American imagination, China in revolutions both cultural and capitalistic, murder in Salt Lake City, relics in the tiny town at the top of Alaska, female friendship and Barbie's oft-forgotten bff, snuffing tobacco and drinking ayahuasca in the Amazon, things that make men mad, things that make words mean, death tolls in Africa, the language of texture in costume design, nature's fearful symmetry, and what it means to write a memoir--to write at all.

Photo by Chad Hunt, from a series on soldiers in Afghanistan and afterward--see "Dangerous Territories."

Jeanette Winterson​.  Read our interview with her here.

Barbie and her best friend, Midge, photographed by Tyler Darden.  Click the photo to read the article, specially formatted for the internet.

Cover image for issue 1.1--"Dangerous Territory." 

Photo by Chad Hunt.


to our 2014 Pushcart

Prize Special Mentions!

        Paisley Rekdal

          Susann Cokal

Paloma Young, costume designer, with her Tony Award.  Look for her interview in our issue "Hunt, Gather."  Or read it in full online by clicking the photo!

Yehuda Amichai

Preliminary proofs ... Fantastically true stories, poems, and images inside!

There's a Hole in Reality Through Which We Can Look If We Wish.  Lee Strasburger.

Images by Bradley Dicharry, from "Letters and Arts," a photo essay mapping America through its vernacular typography.

Other Issues

1.2, "Hunt, Gather," spring 2013
2.1, "Bedeviled," spring 2015.

"Rivals & Players" asks if we play the game or the game plays us. You can sample its offerings and read the whole issue by following this link here.


Summer 2018. Find it here.

BSWD cover red border small.jpeg

"Birth, School, Work Death"--the four stages of humankind. This issue is all online and free to read here.

Celebrating at our 2013 Launch Party

Richmond's glitterati turned out to discuss the latest in literature, art, and belles lettres.  At the open mic, everyone from undergrads to senior professors and deans took turns telling True Stories.

Bree Baker shares her truth at the microphone, emceed by founding grad student editor Chad Luibl.

Poet (and Pushcart nominee) Lea Marshall chats with Cristina Stanciu, Bill Edwards, and advisory board member artist Sterling Hundley.



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