Archive for the ‘authors’ Category

New Voices – Fiction by New Writers

Our New Voices section is the best place to find stories from talented up-and-coming authors. Each month new pieces are added to our growing archive, which offers hundreds of online stories for free. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to new writers and to see the kind of work we publish. Below we’ve listed a few of our favorite stories from the archive.

To access our full New Voices library, follow the link.


wham teaser

life after teaserkimzey-teas

Seven Essayists We Wish Were Here Today

 Last week David Carr passed away, leaving behind a legacy of journalism and reporting. Along with Carr, we’ve listed six essayists whose vision and writing informed our lives and guided our thoughts. Their work encouraged us to live with more knowledge, curiosity, and integrity, and their voices are sorely missed in our contemporary moment.

carDavid Carr (1956 – 2015) – A recent New York Times article discusses Carr’s energy and enthusiasm for students, describing him as a “a supreme talent scout” and natural teacher. On the evening he died he moderated a panel on the film Citizenfour, a nod to his interests in pop culture and politics, which he also tackled in his weekly column “The Media Equation.” The Times‘ publisher and chairman Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. said, “David Carr was one of the most gifted journalists who has ever worked at The New York Times.” As many have expressed in recent days, his voice will be missed.

angelou3-sizedMaya Angelou (1928 – 2014) – Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist, director, playwright, actress, poet, author, teacher, and essayist. Her contributions span almost every aspect of the arts, and served as an inspiration to women and African Americans throughout her storied career. Her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” was read at President Bill Clinton’s  inauguration, making her the first poet to do so since Robert Frost for John F. Kennedy in 1961. The much-awarded Angelou was a talent and artist of the highest regard.

Adrienne-RichAdrienne Rich (1929 – 2012) – The Poetry Foundation calls Rich “one of America’s foremost public intellectuals.” Her poems and essays are highly political, and often explore issues of identity and sexuality. The Guardian writes that as a feminist her work helped move “the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse.” She declined the National Medal of Arts in 1997 in response to a House of Representatives vote to end the National Endowment for the Arts. Her bravery and voice paved the way for progressive thinking for years to come.

david-rakoff-giDavid Rakoff (1964 – 2012) – Rakoff’s writing has appeared in GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Details, Salon, Slate, Vogue, and Wired, and many others. He was also a contributor for This American Life, working closely with Ira Glass and David Sedaris to produce true stories about real people. The author of three bestselling essay collections, his writing is punctuated by sarcasm and humor and is often autobiographical. He wrote openly about LGBT issues, and is an advocate well known for his wit and candor.

Christopher_Hitchens_crop_2Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011) – Hitchens was a prolific writer and critic, with over thirty books including five collections of essays. A divisive figure, Hitchens loved to debate, with views that were as controversial as they were public. His opinions about politics, religion, and literature were well known, as was his support for the Iraq war, and criticism of public figures (Mother Teresa included). In 2009 Forbes listed Hitchens as “25 most influential liberals in the U.S. media” stating also that Hitchens would “likely be aghast to find himself on this list.” Hitchens pushed our culture to examine itself honestly, to value the debate, and live with an open mind.

sontag_130Susan Sontag (1933 – 2004) – If the recent documentary Regarding Susan Sontag is any indication, Sontag is a cultural icon. The New York Review of Books called her “one of the most influential critics of her generation.” She wrote extensively about culture and art, exploring film, photography, fiction, and nonfiction throughout her storied career. As President of the American PEN Center she advocated for freedom of expression and the advancement of literature, constantly pushing herself and her readers to think about the world critically. Her awards include a MacArthur Genius Fellowship, a National Book Award, the Malaparte Prize, and many others.

Author Interview – “A Language Translatable by No One” by Courtney Kersten

We’re so pleased to share our third volume, The Masters Review with Stories Selected by Lev Grossman. This annual compendium of stories reflects the best emerging writers in graduate-level creative writing programs, and continually impresses with a diverse range of content and style. To offer you a little more information on these authors and their stories, we’ve put together a series of interviews with the writers in the book. In a “A Language Translatable by No One,” Courtney Kersten writes about losing her mother. It is a beautiful piece and continues to be a favorite among readers. Enjoy!
language translate
“I arrange the boots, the dress, and the swimsuit so that we can powwow together: a triage support group. She left all of us! She was supposed to wear me! The Easter dress wails Irish wake style, her boots whimper, the swimsuit has retired to the far corner of the closet to weep.”


“A Language Translatable by No One” is such a personal piece. Rather than ask you about the motivation for the story, I’m curious how the process for writing this was. How did you approach the topic?

Initially, I was fascinated by the material aspects of mourning—the things we give, the things we keep, the material things left behind that loved ones must face. Yet, as I was writing, I realized that it was about something deeper than the things themselves. Ultimately, I was trying to figure out how to reconcile this dichotomy of my mother’s silence and the abundance of material things my family had. When, in reality, I longed for an abundance of her thoughts, her words, her final goodbyes, and would’ve asked for nothing else. So, when approaching the topic, I used the material goods as a starting point to access deeper emotional truths about my experience.

To me, there is a subtle and wry humor in this essay. Even the opening line: “Obviously when you are mourning you need cheese curds.” Was this a natural choice? Did it surprise you, or does your writing style often incorporate humor?

For me, it was a natural choice. Not only did I find the gifts like the cheese curds to be sort of absurd and estranging in light of the severity of death, but I also did think it was funny. A woman is dying and you give us seven pounds of cheese curds? When it happened, of course, and we were given gifts, they were given in kindness and we accepted them so. And I’m sure that none of our friends and family gave us gifts to be funny—they were earnestly trying to help and show support. But, on the page, I think the humor is highlighted when you isolate the object apart from the person who gifted it.

One of my favorite parts in “A Language Translatable by No One” is when your mother’s inanimate object come to life. “She left all of us! She was supposed to wear me! The Easter dress wails Irish wake style, her boots whimper, the swimsuit has retired to the far corner of the closet to weep.” It offers such a lovely balance of, again humor, but it was also one of the saddest moments for me as a reader. When did this make its way into the essay. How does it elevate the piece for you?

For me, that particular part arose when I started to think about the “ripple-effect” of losing someone. In the months directly after my mother’s death (and still now), I was and am continually aware of the scale of grief and how far the loss of someone extends. Not only do you lose that person, but you lose their role and their effect in communities small and large. When tasked with the job of sorting through my mother’s belongings, her absence, for me, felt so absurd and overwhelming, that I felt it even extended to the objects and clothing she left behind. In a way, I connected to the abandoned clothing as though, somehow, we were all in this together—trying to figure out where we belonged after the woman who had taken care of us was gone. (more…)

Volume III Authors


We’re so proud to introduce the ten writers representing, The Masters Review Volume III with stories selected by Lev Grossman, out this fall. Here’s a chance for you to get to know them a little better. We cannot wait to make this collection available to readers. Stay tuned for details!











Look at Them!

author updateWe take promoting our authors seriously. Like, really seriously. Which is why from time to time we check in with writers of Masters Review past to see what they’ve been up to. Let’s take a look and collectively applaud a group of writers that is pretty damn fantastic. We’re serious when we say we publish only the best. These guys are besting their asses off.


SMKPhoto-CleanDrew Krepp – (Masters Review 2013) The Salt Marsh King is a modern reprisal of Shakespeare’s King Lear replete with a once powerful “king”– here the ailing founder of a fishing empire – and his bickering, dangerous kin. We were thrilled to publish Drew’s “The Brackish” last year and are quickly tearing through his debut new novel, which comes out in June from Bancroft Press. Check back soon for a full review of the book, and in the meantime get your pre-order on, stat.


Justice-Inc.-Front-Cover-260x390Dale Bridges – (Masters Review, New Voices) We had the incredible honor of publishing, “Life Without Men” earlier this year, a story which appears in Dale Bridges debut collection of short stories, Justice Inc. Dale writes with humor and wit about society’s grim future. He examines our moral compass with a keen eye, throwing zombies, clones, and robotics at an apathetic world that has lost its way. Stay tuned for our full review, but pre-order your copy from Monkey Puzzle Press, now.


Kimzey_cover-250x386-1Blake Kimzey – Blake is a two-time Masters Review shortlist author. In 2013, we recognized his short story “The Boy and The Bear” and this year we were pleased to include “Picketers” on our list of stories up for inclusion. Blake has a debut collection of short stories forthcoming with Black Lawrence Press, titled Families Among Us. It has already been reviewed by the likes of Roxane Gay, Matt Bell, and Ramona Ausubel, all to resounding applause. You can pre-order your copy here.



Read Out Loud – Davis Slater and NUT JUNCTION

Check out Masters Review author Davis Slater read his story NUT JUNCTION at Portland reading event, Backspace. Davis’ story appeared with us online last month, but his work really comes alive when read aloud. This is also a pretty creepy ghost story, so you know, October is flexing some muscle here.

If you want to read NUT JUNCTION for yourself, you can do so here.

Congrats, Davis!

Masters Review Author Highlight – Dustin M. Hoffman

Dustin M. Hoffman

Meet Dustin M. Hoffman. Dustin is a Masters Review author who recently has a lot to celebrate. Aside from the publication of his story “Almost Touching, Almost Free,” which publishes in The Masters Review this October, Dustin is the recent winner of the Burning River Chapbook Contest for his collection of connected stories titled, Secrets of the Wild. The book will be published by Burning River and will be out next year. Dustin’s recent accolades also include finalist for the Green Mountains Review Brattleboro Literary Festival Flash Fiction Contest and a story forthcoming in the Chicago Literary Magazine, Make.

The Masters Review is thrilled to congratulate Dustin on these incredible achievements. To read “Almost Touching, Almost Free” stay tuned for our publication date, October 1, 2013.

We certainly know how to pick ’em. Congratulations, Dustin!

The Masters Review 2013 Authors Are…


Congratulations to the following authors whose stories were selected for publication this year by AM Homes. These ten stories, along with an introduction from Ms. Homes, will publish later this year in the summer/fall of 2013. Stay tuned for more news, until then: APPLAUSE!

Laurie Ann Cedilnik, “Sunshiny Days and Mostly Clear Nights”; Western Michigan University, PhD

Traci Cox, “Missed”; George Mason University, MFA

Jennifer Dupree, “Dancing at the Zoo”; Stonecoast, MFA

Courtney Gillette, “How to Like Girls”; Lesley University, MFA

Drew Krepp, “The Brackish”; North Carolina Wilmington, MFA

Andrew Payton, “Potomac”; Iowa State University, MFA

Jane Summer, “Peaceful Village”; Goddard College, MFA

Zoe Vandeveer, “Coffee for Dead Children”; UC Irvine, MFA

Louise Ells, “Scraping”; Angila Ruskin University, PhD

Dustin M. Hoffman, “Almost Touching, Almost Free”; Western Michigan, PhD