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 #6 is LIVE today!
  • Submissions for the Spring 2017 issue will be accepted from 02/01/01 to 04/01/17.
  • Featured artist Lorette C. Luzajic is offering Longridge Review readers a generous discount on her work. Visit our page dedicated to her for the details!
  • Creative Advisor  Suzanne Farrell Smith’s essay, “Another Version of Us,” will be included in Selected Memories, an anthology of true stories and the first-ever book title from Hippocampus Magazine and Books. Suzanne will read her essay at Hippocampus’s AWP event in February. You can pre-order Selected Memories here.
  • Contributing Editor Mary Heather Noble’s essay “Eulogy for an Owl” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the editors of Creative Nonfiction.
  • Editor Elizabeth Gaucher’s flash creative nonfiction, “Underneath,” was chosen by editors Valley Haggard and Sarah Allen Short for Life in 10 Minutes’ first print anthology.
  • Gaucher’s essay, “Allons, Enfants: A Young Appalachian in Paris,” was nominated by the editors of Still: The Journal for a Pushcart Prize.
  • Our editors are pleased to announce our first-ever Pushcart Prize nomination, Mary Gustafson’s “Time Stops.”
  • Please consider a dontation, large or small, to support Longridge ReviewPayPal.Me/LongridgeEditorsLLC. We do not charge a submission fee or accept commercial advertising. Our mission is supported entirely by volunteers.
  • We are on Twitter! Follow us to stay in the loop on all things Longridge: @LongridgeReview

December 1, 2016

The Editors
Pushcart Press
P.O. Box 380
Wainscott, NY 11975

Dear Editors:

As the lead editor for Longridge Review, I nominate our 2016 essay, “Time Stops,” by Mary Gustafson, for a Pushcart Prize.

The sheer human courage this essay represents cannot be overstated. Gustafson survives a rape at age 8, and goes on to struggle through a series of chronic dysfunctions leading to sense of personal failure. Through a commitment to therapy, she finds a woman who can help her parse the agonizing events of her life and discover pieces of who she was, and still hopes to be, before and since the attack.

This essay stirred responses from our readers like no other before it. Some of those comments are posted at the end of this letter.

As lead editor for this work, I believe Gustafson’s choices around white space, sentence fragments, indentation, and italics are masterful. She creates a sense of time stopping and starting, speeding up and slowing down. The reader participates in her trauma, in her thoughts and spoken words, and in her broken heart. This is literary intimacy at its finest.

Thank you for considering “Time Stops” for a Pushcart Prize. I believe it represents the best of the small presses.

Very truly yours,

Elizabeth Gaucher
Editor
Longridge Review

Time Stops: Readers Speak

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 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.

Longridge Review’s 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.

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

  • Letter from the Editor 
  • Submissions are now open for the Winter issue! We are accepting submissions from 9/1/16 to 12/31/16.
  • Contributing editor Mary Heather Noble was awarded won the Editor’s Prize for Creative Nonfiction Magazine‘s Learning From Nature issue. Huge congratulations to MHN! You can read her essay, “Eulogy for an Owl,” by pre-ordering the issue or subscribing to this well-respected craft resource.
  • Mary Heather will also participate as a panelist at the 2017 Moravian College Writers’ Conference: Writing and Sustainability, in Bethlehem, PA, from February 3-4, 2017. The panel discussion will focus on crossing boundaries between art and science, and how writing can enrich one’s personal and professional life.
  • Suzanne Farrell Smith’s essay, “Time of Death,” is forthcoming on Copper Nickel. As with Creative Nonfiction, you can subscribe or order issues online. Go for it!
  • Editor Elizabeth Gaucher’s short story, “Acts,” was chosen by editor Michael Knost as the opening story for his unique anthology, Between the Lines. “This writing is well outside of my usual creative nonfiction writing. It’s really a kind of ghost-story-meets-spirituality tale, surrounded by a lot of horror stories. Great for Halloween!” — EDG
  • Thank you to Gregory Fletcher, essayist from Issue #4, who after his work was published came back to us and asked how he could make a gift to Longridge Review to support our work. We were blown away by his generosity, and moved that he had such a positive experience with us. At Gregory’s advice, we have added a link where anyone so inspired can share the love: PayPal.Me/LongridgeEditorsLLC
  • We are on Twitter! Follow us to stay in the loop on all things Longridge: @LongridgeReview

Dear Reader:

A heads up, this issue is really heavy. There is recounting of a lot of trauma.

But this is part of our mission, I believe. To bring forth how serious childhood is to who we become. To offer empathy and compassion for adults who are still trying to find themselves whole after harm they suffered at a tender age. Absolutely, sometimes the formative event is love or humor. But often, it is not.

Sometimes the harm is callous disregard. Sometimes it is violent assault. Sometimes it is the betrayal of a friend. Sometimes, it is a parent’s love growing mysteriously cold.

And yet….each of these writers still seems to carry a small, unextinguished light. The search for resolution and healing is much of what these essays have in common.

Christopher Woods‘ photographs carry that same small light in darkness.

We hope you will read each essay with care, and with time. There is much to learn here.

Peace and write on,

Elizabeth Gaucher
Editor, Longridge Review

Some sobering and ethical advice on nonfiction writing from the one and only Allison K. Williams, social media editor for Brevity‘s blog.

“In a subsequent draft, make sure you are at least as harsh with yourself as you are with everyone else. How do you reconcile your own behavior with the situation or the end result? Is there anyone who deserves the benefit of the doubt? Self-hagiography is boring. Nobody wants to be told you’re the hero of your own story, and very few situations truly involve a wronged innocent.”

You can read all her thoughts here: It’s My Story (And I’ll Tell It If I Want To).

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 is here, and I am hustling through the last-minute finishing touches that seem to persist no matter how many months in advance we start putting things together for Longridge Review.

Is every bit of formatting perfect yet? Alas, no.

But I find myself soaking in the joy that comes from reading, re-reading, and working through questions with a wonderfully diverse cadre of writers; the quality of our journey far outweighs the frustrations of errant HTML code.

We don’t usually do much with unusual formatting of essays. So far we have allowed white space to inform the reader of paragraph breaks rather than indents. Indent more than one way? Add numerical or linear cues? Experiment with starting a line with a comma?

No.

Except that was all before I read Tom Lin’s Godzilla, 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. Lin gifts the reader with a woven vision of family, culture, and destruction. Ultimately, he asks the reader to consider the lost voices and languages of a people but also of their hearts.

I will write up my usual synopsis of each essay and blog those out soon. For now, I can’t hold these back another hour. They are each just too special, and they await your discovery. Visit our home page for links to:

  • Rebecca Chekouras (California), July 11
  • Ryan C. Dailey (Chicago), Home/Life
  • Janet Garber (New York), A Closet of One’s Own
  • Tom Lin (Ohio), Godzilla
  • Ana Christina Peters (South Korea), War
  • Emily Rems (New York), Extra Help
  • Allison Spector (North Dakota), The Bucket Boys
  • Margaret Redmond Whitehead (Brooklyn), Over the Limit

Happy Reading,

Elizabeth Gaucher, Founding Editor, Longridge Review