Issue #7 went online in early May. Need some great reading? Catch up here with vibrant mixed media of Toti O’Brien (Pasadena), as well as diverse essays from an array of talented creative nonfiction writers.

Following are previews of the essays via their original Facebook and Twitter posts. Links to each essay are in the tweets.

NOTE: Our mission results in our publishing uniquely sensitive narratives. Childhood experiences are formative, and tend to land in emotionally — and sometimes psychologically — difficult territory. While the writing is about childhood, these essays are not for children. Some essays contain adult language, explorations of sexuality, and instances of verbal or physical abuse. They also contain moments of light and love and humor. Thank you for reading and sharing responsibly. — EDG

Abby Burns (Indiana)

“As a kid, I often found myself yearning to embody others, especially in those moments when people left me alone to my thoughts. Call it escapism, but when I was nine years old, Xena Warrior Princess used to take over my body. She would save a busload of children after a catastrophic car accident, pulling them from windows just as fire hit the gas tank and the vehicle exploded in the background.”

In Uninvited Hauntings reflects on imagined ghosts, then unmasks the real ones.

Michael Chin (New York)

“But perhaps it’s because he couldn’t speak the language that my grandfather was drawn to professional wrestling. Ostensibly a sport (one with so few rules, and such clear lines between good guys to cheer and bad guys to jeer) that he didn’t need the English language to follow what was happening, just eyesight to see the fights and a sense of hearing to follow who the crowd was rallying for and against.

It was my grandfather who drew my father into wrestling, after which my father introduced it to me.”

.‘s epic The Bionic Elbow. Promise, challenge, , , and

Minna Dubin (Berkeley)

“Like those nights in the woods, every shoplifted t-shirt or skimpy pair of underwear was another thing I managed to get over on the adults, over on authority, over on the voices that said, You don’t know anything – you’re just a chubby kid. Walking out of a store without paying was a game, and if I won, then I didn’t just beat the big bad guy at the end of round one. I beat the cameras, the end-of-the-aisle mirrors, the check-out girls, the dressing room helpers, and the detectors at the store exits. Stealing meant beating the whole system. Though I didn’t know exactly what all ‘the system’ entailed, I knew for sure it was the homing ground for the voices I heard.”

. recounts mysteries of female identity, adolescent obsessions, the lure of shoplifting.

Susan Grant (Maine)

“She did not know what to do. She had been playing with a neighbor several doors down, and now, her friend had to leave to go with her mother to the store. The little girl decided that she ought to go home and maybe get a cookie. As she approached the gate into her yard, she reached her tiny hand to open the latch, and he turned on her. The little girl will never forget the sounds that came from his mouth. Her hands shook at the memory.”

Susan Grant writes of something menacing a child from behind a gate. She wants 2 pass. Will she enter?

Amanda Kay (Pittsburgh)

“Living there, we were immersed in smoke. Jack had a cigarette in his hand from the moment he woke up to the moment he went to bed. Smoke was his personal halo. His skin was yellow-gray, his thoughts distracted as though his brain had never quite learned how to be sober after so many years of alcoholism… I didn’t understand for some time what it truly cost my mother to live in the same house with him again.”

Amanda Kay’s mom went 2 juvie 4 pulling a knife on her stepdad. He had it coming. Was it nature or nurture?

Gleah Powers (Santa Monica)

“We’ve been having some talks,” he said. “Your father realizes he made some bad choices. He’s on morphine and pretty much incoherent but he wants to see you. I called your mother and sister. They don’t want anything to do with him.”

. The longing for my father began at 21 & Bcame chronic 3 months B4 I turned 21

Helen, Ruggieri (New York)

“Lefties know the name of their condition, but introverts usually don’t. They have to figure it out later on. They’ll read Hamlet, years after the fact and say, Wow. There’s a man after my own heart. He knows what lies below the surface of life.”

Helen Ruggieri conjures as , remembers chains, life as an

Gretchen Uhrinek (Pennsylvania)

“We met on a playground. I, the ever-tenacious six-year old, was leader, chief, head honcho, and ruling monarch of a little thing I called the Vampire Club. It was a scam, of course. A poor kid in a rich school, I never intended on doing anything with the club. But for just ten smackaroos, any kid on the playground could join. Any kid except for Dan. He didn’t have any friends, and I didn’t have any friends, and I wanted nothing to do with him.”

Gretchen Uhrinek’s “Dan” Edgy, raw, & real. Sex, drugs, enemies, frenemies, then .

Featured Artist

Toti O’Brien (Pasadena)

“I have been a dancer for my whole life. I have often hoped the motion inhabiting my body would spill into my visual work, giving it some of its energy, its lightness, its joy.”

 

*

Issue #5 went online in late October. Need some great reading? Catch up here with the moody photography of Christopher Woods (Texas), as well as outstanding essays from an array of talented creative nonfiction writers. For this round up we are trying something new, blogging the essays via their original Facebook and Twitter posts. Links to each essay are in the tweets. We hope you enjoy!

NOTE: Our mission results in our publishing uniquely sensitive narratives. Childhood experiences are formative, and tend to land in emotionally — and sometimes psychologically — difficult territory. As editor, I use my discretion to give readers a heads up on work that may resurrect trauma. In my experience, that is the ethical thing to do. While I cannot know what may do that in every case for every person, this issue includes an obvious “heads up” essay: Time Stops details the fall out of a sexual assault on a child. It is also one of the most powerful pieces of writing I have ever read. We have nominated it for a Pushcart Prize. Thank you. — EDG

Nancy Wick (Washington)

“I wish I could walk faster. Stupid suitcase is slowing me down. But it’s quiet now. The kids must have gotten tired of following me and gone on home. I need to go home, too, but then I stop. What if Miss Exley called my mother to tell her she caught me in a lie? I swallow hard.”

Nancy Wick Class skit. Wanting 2 B picked 4 a bigger role. Telling your mother you R in that role. Trouble.

*

Therése Halscheid (New Jersey)

“This is exactly what happened. During our walks that season, I gave in to dementia until my own eyes dulled. Whatever life force they carried just left, minus the soul. Even so there were moments I grew alert enough to see with clarity. This happened especially when you entered another time frame or could not recognize me. I could never accept I was Chotsie, the sister you often insisted I was. The one with golden locks who skipped about the dining room table, her dress swirling, a satin sash wrapped to the back, tied in a bow.”

Losing her identity as a daughter, struggles for control thru her father’s

*

Nadia Greasley (New York)

“The first time my mother slapped me in the face, it felt like she had abandoned me in deep, dark woods. I was calling her but she was moving on without me. For each mistake a slap, and with each slap, a betrayal. In between each sob, I would try to utter an answer. If it was the right one, my mother would give me a few words of encouragement, and I trusted she would not slap me anymore. But for every wrong answer, my mother was disappointed and I fell behind.”

Heartbreaker. confronts her mother’s mysterious violence at the tender age of 5.

*

Jan Charone-Sossin (New York)

“I caressed her blond curls as I stared out the window, watching the Chicago landscape. It seemed ginormous to me, shrinking as the pilot steered us up and away from the world I knew best. My doll had talked on the ground. Every time I had pulled out her cord, she had talked to me. And when I didn’t pull the cord, she was silent. I wished I had this kind of power over adults, who seemed to talk at me relentlessly, pounding at my ears with the pressure of their speech. Chatty Cathy knew better. She spoke in a kind, gentle tone, and she knew when to be quiet. At least, her being quiet was in my hands.”

Jan Charone-Sossin explores via her Chatty Cathy doll & the results dig deep.

*

Emma Bolden (Alabama)

“Michael and Meghan kept smiling their U smiles and looking from side to side until Mrs. Smitherman finally opened the thin line of her mouth to say, mostly to me, that she’d leave us alone as long as we promised to be good. Michael and Meghan promised in musical harmony and I promised, too. I watched the back of her sweater, which had a green series of leaves stitched onto it, as she left the room, and by the time she and her sweater were gone, Michael’s finger was in his nose and both Barbie and Ken were naked.”

. on lusting 4 Ken, undressing Barbie, praying 2 Mary, & dodging the neighbor’s salvation

*

Melinda Renken (Washington)

“Do you remember that house, Daddy? It was the one with the tree house in the back yard. Do you remember that day? I do. It was spring. The sky was a vivid blue, so bright that it hurt my eyes to look at it. I wore the yellow dress that Mama had made for me, you told me I looked pretty. You were in a good mood that day. Your giant hand engulfed mine as we walked up the front path to the door. You smiled at me. And then you weren’t smiling anymore.” @Melynn1104

https://twitter.com/LongridgeReview/status/788784465086705664

 

Angela Lush (South Australia)

“Nobody cares. Nobody loves me. I could die and nobody would notice, whispered my inner voice. It sounded strong and loud despite its timbre being eclipsed by both wind and waves. I don’t think I understood what dying was when I was nine years old, but I was sure that I would become invisible and obsolete like the skills I’d been learning. I was certain of this, despite the legacy I’d been creating with my hands that day, despite the knowledge that my tightly sewn bags of feed would nourish our sheep in the years ahead. What if I hurt myself? What would happen then? Would the world stop? Would I be loved? Would I be missed?”

9 y.o. asks What would happen if I hurt myself? Poignant that lingers.

*

Mary Gustafson (Illinois)

Proud 2 make ‘s essay “Time Stops” our 1st ever nominee

Our readers can’t say enough about Mary Gustafson’s  “Time Stops.” Read for yourself: https://longridgereview.com/…/…/21/time-stops-readers-speak/

“Time Stops” — Readers Speak about

 

I just read Mary Gustafson’s “Time Stops.” Thank you for sharing this moving work.

The cycle of moving in and touching the wound and then retreating is very effective. It takes us down a stairway to a destination we may not ordinarily choose to reach. She reveals her heart and at the same time reveals her urge to obscure it.

Fine emotional writing with a big wow factor.

***

I just finished reading “Time Stops” by Mary Gustafson.

This compelling and important piece of writing fills the reader with raw emotion. You acutely feel the pain as she takes you along on a desperate roller coaster ride to snatch joy while dealing with the long term effects of deep trauma.

As one layer cracks to allow a moment of enlightenment, and perhaps freedom, paradoxically, another layer filled with tangled memories descends. The author illustrates a long, winding path of shame, guilt, and fear fed by a still-present societal stigma with regard to mental health. Yet what stands out more is the resilient spirit of human beings.

Thank you for publishing this beautiful essay.

***

Good evening. I wanted to write to let you know that I just finished reading a piece called “Time Stops” by Mary Gustafson. I found this piece to be an amazing, profound, raw depiction of sexual abuse and its far-reaching and long-lasting effects on a woman.

As the daughter of a woman who habitually was abused by her father, both mentally and sexually from the age of 3 through age 12, I believe if my mother was still alive, she would have benefited greatly from reading this particular essay.

I know it would have helped her to know she was not the only one. Thank you for choosing this piece to publish. It really is beautifully written and deeply moving.

***

I just finished reading Mary Gustafson’s “Time Stops”  and I wanted to thank you for providing a great space for such stories to be. I found her piece to be eloquently written. It stood out for me in its fierce vulnerability and told a personal tale that for many women, myself included, can relate to. Hard subject matter told with a deft touch.

Good for you Longridge  Review, I look forward to reading more of your picks.

***

I just finished reading Ms.Gustafson’s (essay) Time Stops. What a beautiful and heartfelt depiction of such a horrible experience. I was both touched and enraged at the same time! She is an incredibly strong individual and SURVIVOR.  Her story is both inspirational and heartbreaking, and I found her writing style unique and engaging.  I look forward to reading more from this talented writer.

Read Mary’s work for yourself on Longridge Review: Time Stops

Submissions are now open for the Winter issue.

9/1 – 12/31/16

We will consider one creative nonfiction piece (up to 6,500 words) per submission period. Please do not submit more than once during the reading period. Individual authors will not be published more than once per calendar year.

We accept only electronic submissions through our online submission manager, Submittable. There is no submission fee.

The title of your submission should be included with your name (e.g., Jane Doe “My Essay Title”). Include a short biography (five to seven sentences) with your submission.

Visit www.longridgereview.com for more information. We look forward to reading your work.

The-Journey-of-Life-An-Open-Road.
“The Journey of Life, An Open Road” watercolor and ink — Sharon Lyn Stackpole

News:

  • Our next submission period will be in the Fall. Sign up to follow us (see the bottom middle area of our home page) to receive an email notification when submissions open.
  • We are thrilled that Mary Heather Noble has joined Longridge Review as a reader and contributing editor. She is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine.  She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from The Ohio State University, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  She lives with her husband and two daughters in Vermont after living in Oregon for nine years. Learn more about MHN on her website, Mary Heather Noble dot com
  • Mary Heather recently was named a finalist by Bellingham Review for the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction for her essay, “Eulogy for an Owl.”
  • Suzanne Farrell Smith’s essay on mothering twins in the NICU is forthcoming from Under the Gum Tree. UGT is a storytelling project, publishing creative nonfiction in the form of a micro-magazine. Tagline: Tell Stories without Shame
  • Editor Elizabeth Gaucher’s essay, “Allons, Enfants: A Young Appalachian in Paris,” appears now in the Summer 2016 issue of Still: The Journal.
  • We are on Twitter and Facebook! Follow us to stay in the loop on all things Longridge: @LongridgeReview and Longridge Editors LLC.

 

Issue #4, Meet Our Writers

  • manhood, /ˈmanˌho͝od/, noun

Gregory Fletcher (NYC) tells the tender yet complicated story behind his personal evolution into manhood. What does that word mean, anyway, manhood? And does it matter who defines it? Can a “real man” be provided for by his grandmother and come to believe in himself in an authentic way? Read this unique essay to broaden your understanding of identity, independence, and love.

  • Sink or Swim

Rich H. Kenney, Jr., (Nebraska) returns to a harrowing summer filled with perceived monsters, hostile adults, and an unavoidable life-and-death encounter with his own anxiety. Despite all of this, somehow, he weaves mild humor and courage toward a conclusion that will make you proud to be human. Read his essay and be reminded how strong people can be.

  • Doll Blanket

Karen McDermott (Los Angeles) There are times when the sheer breathtaking honesty of an essay leaves me very quiet for a long time. “Doll Blanket” is such a work. If you write, you will recognize how difficult it can be to disclose the events Karen describes here, but even more how so it is to disclose the feelings. If you are mostly a reader, you will recognize it as well. Few essays will lay it bare like this one does.

  • The Snake

Mariana McDonald (Georgia) reminds us that knowing guilt and even some concept of sin comes early in life. A child perceives danger, reports said danger, a life ends — but the child’s trouble is just beginning. This deceptively simple narrative has all the great themes of unforgettable tales like Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Crane’s The Blue Hotel, Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and the Garden of Eden myth. At the same, it avoids feeling derivative by staying true to one girl’s unique life-changing event. Don’t miss this one.

  • Heritage Pass

J. R. Tappenden (St. Louis) shines light on a hard reality, that some of our favorite childhood memories can sometimes be tied to an ugly truth. Gorgeous old airplanes open up the world of flight and freedom. But in the end, they once had a dark purpose. How do any of us balance the beautiful and the dreadful? Once we understand, can we pass on the things we love to those we love in a moral way?

  • That Good Hair

Bobby Wilson (China) writes about his hair. Or, well, does he? His hair is a part of everything, but as you roll through this fast-paced narrative, at some point you will start to realize that hair is the vehicle on which you travel, and from which you see the writer’s experience. Early lines like, “My brother and I embarked on eight long years of hair purgatory,” made this an essay one we couldn’t resist. Being “full Black” makes finding a barber a priority. Wave amplitudes. Cornrows. Hairlines. Tapers. Tweezers, razors, gel, doo rags. Good hair. More than anything else, Wilson explores what it means to relax and learn to love yourself.

Featured Artist

Sharon Lyn Stackpole (West Virginia) studied painting and art history at West Virginia University under the tutelage of the renowned professor and art historian Marian Hollinger. Her warm and delicate work glows on the pages of Issue 4.

You can find it all and more right here: Longridge Review #4, Spring 2016.

p.s. Want to write for us? See submission guidelines here: Longridge Review SUBMIT

We are committed to not charging fees to submit work. At the same time, we welcome your support!

It costs $200 a year to use our submissions manager, and all of our editorial talent is volunteer. If you would like to help us out, you may make a contribution here: PayPal.Me/LongridgeEditorsLLC.

All support will be recognized in future issues of LR with donor permission. Thank you!

Issue #3 went online last week. Did you miss it? Catch up here with the vibrant murals of artist Carlos Culbertson, as well as these wonderful essays from an array of talented creative nonfiction writers:

  • July 11

Rebecca Chekouras (California) writes with the hard light of truth about her brother’s life and death. Discovering a photograph of the two of them together as very young children sparks a cascade of memories about who he was, and of who he became. This is not exactly a ghost story, but it haunts all the same.

  •  Home/Life

Ryan C. Daily (Chicago) wants a home. It sounds simple enough, but is finding your place ever an easy thing? Ryan finds herself compelled to map her childhood living spaces and tries to connect them. When she ends up where she started, the clarity of the last lines took our collective breath away.

  • A Closet of One’s Own

Janet Garber (New York) shares a beautiful memory of where she first discovered the eternal gifts of imagination. This is a delightful and poignant reflection on how much a child craves her own space, or as Janet calls it, “my own true home.”

  • Godzilla

Tom Lin (Ohio)  presents a narrative with visual structure that not only  informs us how to read it but also seems to subtly mimic the loneliness and staggered footsteps of the title creature itself. This is a powerful, complex essay that lingers. By examining his childhood impressions of Godzilla, Lin also opens the door to his memories of his grandfather, of the island of Taiwan’s history, and the legacy of the atomic bomb.

  •  War

Ana Christina Peters (South Korea) has never forgotten one of her father’s most powerful pieces of advice: Always walk away from a fight. Can a child of the Vietnam era grow into an adult who can follow this advice? Can anyone? Ana writes about witnessing a brutal fight between two fathers in the neighborhood, and its reverberation in the bodies and minds of the children who witnessed it.

  •  Extra Help

Emily Rems (New York) turns her considerable writing talent to one of childhood’s most insidious experiences: being repeatedly molested by someone who should be helping you. At the tender age of 11, Emily finds herself regularly alone with a perpetrator hiding in plain sight. Readers must confront with the writer the discomfort, disbelief, and distress of realizing she’s not sure why it started or how to stop it.

  •  The Bucket Boys

Allison Spector (North Dakota) tells a true tale of childhood peril — “but not too much” — in this rollicking and occasionally unnerving recounting of two young girls determined to challenge the boys on their turf. This pitch-perfect narrative will have you thinking about what it means for any of us to stand up to a threat, be it real or simply perceived. Who’s playing whom?

  • Over the Limit

Margaret Redmond Whitehead (Brooklyn) ponders a question we all ask sooner or later: When we have to move on, what stays with us, and what do we leave behind? This is exactly as simple and straightforward and complicated and murky as it sounds, and Margaret writes with compassion and depth about it all. Her experience with refugees, her literary reading background, and her personal family history all inform this empathetic and very real essay.

You can find it all and more right here: Longridge Review #3, Spring 2016.

p.s. Want to write for us? See submission guidelines here: Longridge Review SUBMIT

Longridge Review: Who We Are and What We Do

Our mission is to present the finest essays on the mysteries of childhood experience, the wonder of adult reflection, and how the two connect over a lifespan.

We are committed to publishing narratives steeped in reverence for childhood perceptions, but we seek essays that stretch beyond the clichés of childhood as simple, angelic, or easy. We feature writing that layers the events of the writer’s early years with learning or wisdom accumulated in adult life.

We welcome diverse creative nonfiction pieces that depict revealing moments about the human condition.

We are excited to read your work! Visit the menu tab above to learn how to submit your creative nonfiction essays to Longridge Review.

News:

  • Our submission period for the Spring 2016 issue is now open.
  • We’ve added the following language to our submission page:
    • Editing: Longridge Review reserves the right to edit manuscripts for grammar or clarity issues without notification if necessary. If a manuscript requires a substantial amount of editing, we will notify the author of such changes for review before publication.
  • Editor Elizabeth Gaucher has an essay published on Mud Season Review: “Where It Ends“. She is also serving as the fiction editor for the anthology “The Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop 2016.”
  • Jeremy Paden, whose essay “Doubt Matters” is featured on Longridge Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his poetry in Border Crossing. Read his haunting poem, Cesium 137. Another poem, wreck: a noun, was nominated for a Best of the Net award by Accents Publishing.
  • We are on Twitter! Follow us to stay in the loop on all things Longridge: @LongridgeReview

Issue #2 is here, and it’s special. dski design will show you the most beautiful handmade books, and a diverse group of essayists offer up their strangest, darkest, and most contemplative moments from their crossings out of childhood into adulthood. Much shadow in this issue, but also rays of light:

  • Listen

Daniel Blokh (Alabama) didn’t tell us when he submitted his work that he was only 14 years old, and his writing is so sophisticated and complex we never thought to ask. When he turned in his bio, we had a conundrum. Our mission is to work with the writings of adults only reflecting on childhood. But Daniel is that rare old soul who makes you want to break the rules for art. Using song lyrics, book quotes, and his own poetry, Daniel addresses an unidentified “Y” in a series of short letters about life, family, identity, loss, and finding your way to yourself. Take your time with this, it’s a beauty.

  •  Thanksgiving Mourning

Vincent J. Fitzgerald  (New Jersey) is willing to do that thing that is so painful, he is willing to unmask a father who seems to only know how to hurt his family. No excuses, no defense. Not for his father, nor for himself years later when he begins to live out the same pattern. This is what courage looks like, facing fear rather than denying it.

  • A Steady Application

Trista Hurley-Waxali (California) weaves a masterful, mysterious narrative about her mother. Why does her mother “wear the red lips” at night as she creeps down the hallway, leaving Trista to peer through the dark and pray for her mother’s safe return? A Steady Application chills like a thriller, but it was one woman’s childhood experience. This is why we do what we do.

  •  The Mark I Left

Kara Knickerbocker (Pennsylvania) offers something touching and unaffected in her first piece of creative nonfiction. On one level, it’s a simple story about a little girl and a new pet. But Kara offers just enough allusion to heavier truths to let the reader know nothing is simple on this day, at this house, with these people. Read her essay sitting down. It almost knocked us over more than once.

  •  The Egg

Jane Rosenberg LaForge (New York) is an accomplished writer who turns her pen to her childhood obsession with an egg sculpture in her mother’s closet. Jane follows her musings, as those threads lead her to her individual parents’ identities and insecurities, as well as her own. The conclusion is a tour-de-force surprise of personal, indefatigable power.

You can find it all and more right here: Longridge Review #2, Winter 2015-16.

p.s. Want to write for us? See submission guidelines here: Longridge Review SUBMIT

Anymore, people seem to think they don’t have time to read for pleasure.

Longridge Review is here to help you fix that.

Grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable with the gorgeous visual tones of artist Michael Teel, then peruse these terrific new essays:

  • Within an Inch of My Life
    Faith Gong (Vermont) reflects on chasing perfection after the grades stop, and in the process reveals a lifelong struggle that is both chilling and inspiring.
  • Temple Bar
    Patricia Hopper (West Virginia) takes the reader to her childhood Ireland, complete with sights, smells, sounds, and people.
  • Marybelle
    Connie Kinsey (West Virginia) is haunted by the ghost of a little girl in her elementary school decades ago.
  • The Space in Between
    Susan Krakoff (Ireland) grapples with slivers of memories about her father.
  • Doubt Matters
    Jeremy Paden (Kentucky) explores the dark fires of doubt, losing faith, and an emerging new concept of God.
  • Beauty Walks a Razor’s Edge
    Amy Sprague (Wisconsin) remembers the last enchantments of childhood with an adored cousin as his chronic illness advances.

You can find it all and more right here: Longridge Review #1, Fall 2015.

p.s. Want to write for us? See submission guidelines here: Longridge Review SUBMIT