Untitled ©Emily Sunderman

Creative Nonfiction, #26, Spring 2023

Gravel, Alan Caldwell
Colored Pencils, Melissa Greenwood
Pulling Away, Summer Hammond
Imaginary Friend, Linda Petrucelli
Five, Ryan Walker
Games of Chance, Melissent Zumwalt

Featured Artist


Alan Caldwell discloses the domestic violence in his childhood home in a straightforward just-the-facts manner that’s chilling in its detachment. Gravel reveals an unsettling portrait of a child adapting his existence to survive a predictable cycle of misery.

Melissa Greenwood is relatable to any oldest child in this scene of teasing and tormenting her younger brother. It seems like her father is intent on teaching her a lesson about bullying, and he does. Just not the lesson he thinks it is.

Summer Hammond‘s brief ode to loss will stay with you long after the last line. I wrote this to Summer, “Dear heavens. I’m struggling not to just weep doing the final read throughs on this issue. Every piece does a unique job of pulling me back into those feelings, those fears, the weirdness of knowing and not knowing what this experience portends for your adult life. Then you grow up and maybe find the words, which you have done so beautifully here.”

Linda Petrucelli remembers her reunion with a favorite doll while she and her sister share the unenviable task of cleaning out their childhood home after a parent dies. Her capacity to return to old emotions is astonishing (I had this same doll), as is her clarity about letting things go.

Ryan Walker puts us in the room with him and his seriously ill brother. If I told you he tried to make contact with Sesame Street’s Big Bird when no one else is around, you might think this is going to be funny. You would be wrong. The loneliness of this narrative haunts me.

Melissent Zumwalt crafts a delightful reflection on her father’s gambling addiction; what I love most about this piece is how it surprised me. She is clear-eyed about the problems embedded in the behavior, but she also brings a generous spin to betting on oneself and the concept of hope.

This issue features one new image, one of my favorite pieces by Emily Sunderman of Middlebury, Vermont. Emily is a personal friend, and I am deeply indebted to her for sharing her various arts forms with me over the last decade. In addition, we pause to remember pieces of visual art from the first 25 issues of Longridge Review.

Submissions for our 2023 #BarnhillPrize issue open June 11 and close August 12 . Thank you for reading and for sharing the online literary landscape with us.


Ghost Leaves © Colleen Anderson

Creative Nonfiction, #25, Winter 2022-23

My Short and Tragic Tap Dancing Career, John Backman  
Help, Please!, Melissa Greenwood  
Descended into the Carnage, James Morena  
Asthma, Rina Palumbo
My Bike, Mike Wilson  

Featured Artist 
Colleen Anderson

John Backman has a difficult memory of disappointing his mother; except he doesn’t remember it. He remembers the feeling of something he may have invented himself. What, if anything, actually is real about what he feels, and can he give his three-year-old self a way out after 60 years?

Melissa Greenwood‘s narrative is less than 400 words and still may leave a reader out of breath. She brings us into a chaotic home and tells us, “at a precocious 10, I’m the only adult in this house.” This is a difficult but important reminder of the heavy burdens children bear in domestic violence situations, and how profoundly aware they are of being trapped on all sides.

James Morena. I don’t even know how to begin to give you a heads up (pun intended) on this wild, weird, funny, and a little heartbreaking narrative of a little boy who opened the door to a big surprise. When you’re home with no one but your dog, and someone insists you open the door and you do and…..well, you just have to read it and find out.

Rina Palumbo crafts a frightening scene, sharing a bedroom with her asthmatic sister. Nights would start out well, and but morph quickly into distress. This piece really got to me. Rina brings us into that room, into that fear, and into the desperation of self-harm to escape emotions.

Mike Wilson writes about his bicycle, and so much more. Boy meets bike, boy bonds with bike, boy loses then is reunited with bike. But something has changed. This is a beautiful narrative about love, loss, and growing up.

Finally, I am delighted to share the nature art photography of Colleen Anderson. Colleen is a writer, songwriter, and graphic designer in my hometown of Charleston, West Virginia. I always enjoy her textured imagery and I hope you will, too.

We will be back on February 1, 2023, to open submissions for our Spring issue. Thank you for reading and for sharing the online literary landscape with us.