Now Available! – The Masters Review Volume IV

October 2, 2015

Cover singleThe Masters Review Volume IV with Stories Selected by Kevin Brockmeier is now available. We received more submissions this year than in our publication’s history, and the ten writers you see here reflect a diverse and exciting group. Our mission is to publish authors we believe will continue to do great things, and this group certainly will: their voices, their unique sensibilities, and their extremely beautiful writing excite on every page, and it is easy to see that each of them is at the beginning of a strong and promising career. I’m so pleased to introduce the ten writers in this year’s anthology.

Table of Contents:

  • Courtney Bird, “The Tenshi Project”
  • Sarah Smith, “Someday Soon, You’ll Be On Fire”
  • Adam Gardner, “Theft”
  • Megan Clark, “Berserker”
  • Christina Milletti, “The Erratic”
  • CB Anderson, “Ghost”
  • H. L. Nelson, “A Creature Comes Home”
  • Joe Dornich, “The Continuing Controversy of the Snuggle Shack” 
  • Daniel Bullard-Bates, “Rituals”
  • Jennifer Stern, “Part and Counterpart”

Meet the Authors

Courtney Bird, “The Tenshi Project”

“It was true that when Annabelle laughed, the sound was richer than any other laugh; when she looked sad, her eyes were deeper than anyone else’s.”

Courtney Bird recently graduated from the University of Montana with an MFA in Fiction. Prior to heading west, she attended Princeton University and worked in New York City.  She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Sarah Smith, “Someday Soon, You’ll Be On Fire”

“The two trade bites from one another’s plates, the girl, some kind of Millie or Jenny, togged up in civic softball white and blue.”

Sarah Elaine Smith is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Michener Center for Writers. She is the author of I Live in a Hut, the 2011 winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s first book prize. Her poems and stories have appeared in Tin House, jubilat, FENCE, Gulf Coast, and others. She is one-sixth of Line Assembly, a poetry collective/documentary film/literary outreach project.

Adam Gardner, “Theft”

“People, when they cared, did things like that, he thought; they made leaps and became themselves.”

Raised in Michigan and Missouri, Adam Gardner currently lives in Athens, Georgia and works as a veterinary technician. He holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at UT-Austin.

Megan Clark, “Berserker”

“Churchwomen tittered over him, continually blessing his heart, while he hunkered behind pews, peering over the seats with his wide milky eyes, which were like two full moons with inviolable craters for pupils.”

Megan Clark recently graduated with an MFA in Fiction from the University of Arkansas, where she was a Carolyn F. Walton Cole Fellow in Fiction. Previously, her stories have appeared in Deep South Magazine and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Having grown up in north central Arkansas along the Ozark foothills, she believes that the South still has stories to tell and most of them are a bit weird. This fall she will be attending the PhD program in Creative Writing at Georgia State University as their Virginia Spenser Carr Fellow in Prose.

Christina Milletti, “The Erratic”

“A girl is a porous compaction of subcutaneous layers.”

Christina Milletti’s first book, a collection of short stories, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Her fiction has appeared most recently in The Denver Quarterly, American Letters & Commentary, The Cincinnati Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Chicago Review, Harcourt’s Best New American Voices, and Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshops (among other places). She teaches in the MA in English/Innovative Writing Program at the University at Buffalo where she founded the Exhibit X Fiction Series. Her novel, Choke Box, is currently circulating with publishers (an excerpt is forthcoming in the Akashic Books anthology Buffalo Noir) and she’s working on a new collection of stories called Erratics.

CB Anderson, “Ghost”

“She inhabited the feeling gingerly, as if it were a tent she’d pitched without instructions. It was standing. It could fall.”

Winner of the New Millennium Award and the Mark Twain Award for short fiction, CB Anderson is a cross-genre writer who has published work in in The Iowa Review, North American Review, Flash Fiction Forward (W.W. Norton & Co.), The Christian Science Monitor,, Redbook, Boston Magazine and elsewhere. Her debut collection of stories, River Talk, issued by C&R Press, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014 and received the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Short Stories. Anderson teaches writing at Boston University, from which she also holds an M.S. in Journalism. Visit her at

H. L. Nelson, “A Creature Comes Home”

“His mouth drew up, full of tannins, and he felt like he was chewing on aspirin and chalk, his tongue turning to fine sandpaper and rolling sideways out of his mouth like when you give a dog peanut butter, his cousins laughing at him.”

H.L. Nelson, a former sidewalk mannequin and stilt walker, heads the online magazine Cease, Cows. Her publications include Nightmare, The Big Click, [PANK], Hobart, Menacing Hedge, plus over 55 others in the last few years. The dark fiction anthology she co-edited, Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up to No Good (Upper Rubber Boot Books), is available now. It includes stories by Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Cook, Cat Rambo, Aimee Bender, Rachel Swirsky, and other badass women. H. L. lives in Dallas (and detests country music and football) with her musician husband, two small boys, and Annabel Lee, their skittish spitz.

Joe Dornich, “The Continuing Controversy of The Snuggle Shack”

“My Snuggle Summary Evaluation does not look promising.”

Joe Dornich is a PhD candidate in Texas Tech’s creative writing program where he also serves as Managing Editor for Iron Horse Literary Review. In addition to writing, Joe is also taking a mail-order course in veterinary medicine. His mailbox is often filled with sick kittens.

Daniel Bullard-Bates, “Rituals”

“If we had only found each other, only discovered our connection, only fucked and loved and talked and comforted each other, only bared our hearts and bodies to each other, we might still be together.”

Daniel Bullard-Bates is not an artificial intelligence. He has strange powers over animals. If he were in a post-apocalyptic wasteland gang, he would shave his head and grow out his beard.

Jennifer Stern, “Part and Counterpart”

“In that far-away cell, which nobody would ever find, I wrote: I am safe here.”

Jennifer Stern is an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College and a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers. Her short fiction has appeared in journals including Blue Mesa Review, Grist: The Journal for Writers, The Apple Valley Review, and Straylight. “Part and Counterpart” is part of a larger collection of linked stories.

Get your copy today!


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

Follow Us On Social

Masters Review, 2024 © All Rights Reserved