Summer Reading from New Voices

June 25, 2015

 It’s officially summer. School is out, days are long, and temperatures are rising. It’s the perfect time to sit down and read a story. We have been revisiting our New Voices section, which consistently publishes fresh fiction and nonfiction from emerging authors online. We’ve compiled a list of five solid summer reads from the New Voices archives here.

“Tierkling” by Justine McNulty

A group of boys is out of school for the summer. They spend their days at an arcade, wondering about the lives of the animals in the adjacent exotic pet store. Don’t those creatures, too, deserve to be free?

Tierkling_3“We were certain it was the glass that confined them that lead to this lethargy, that the cages themselves somehow stifled the creature’s vigor. The wildness we knew was lying just beneath the surface—the wildness we felt in ourselves as we raced down the backstreets on our bikes, hooting and laughing, trying to stick our sneakers in between the flickering slats of each other’s tires, clanging sticks along mailboxes—yearned to be released.”

Read the story here.

“Someone To Listen” by Phil Quam

In Phil Quam’s essay, a summer trip to a cabin by the Shenandoah River serves as the backdrop for his moving meditation on two stories of loss.

someone_cabin“McNab’s cabin sat above the Shenandoah River, atop cut bank along the south fork that had been carved out over time by flood and drought. If everything was quiet enough on the porch, you heard the water making its run. But any noise made by man—conversation, a whirring hum of traffic on the bridge—and the river’s allegro was subsumed. It was here that my father and I found Doc Story, after we arrived at the cabin one afternoon in June, 1991, in the year after my brother, Jeff, drowned in the lake behind my childhood home, and ten years before Doc took his own life.”

Read the essay here.

“Shine” by Ron A. Austin

In this story, a boy sets out on his bike to bring his rebellious sister home. “Shine” is remarkable for its unique and energetic voice, full of character and heart.

Grunge summer background“I rode past dead zones, defunct storefronts and buildings like sick men with twisted bones. Weeds tangled through my spokes, honeysuckle exploded through chain-link fences, and wild chicory blazed ethereal blue. I turned onto Garrison and hit a filthy mess of kids playing freeze tag.”


Read the story here.

“The Mothers” by Amy Scharmann

In “The Mothers,” a woman who is the primary caretaker for her grandchildren embarks on a road trip to reach her only daughter, who is giving birth to another child. She is vexed by the presence of a small bird who will not leave her windshield as she drives hours to California. An unusual image to consider when you hit the road on that summer trip.

Gorrión de Logroño“I got in the car and turned on the windshield wipers. The bird swung back and forth over the dry glass. It looked like a leaf.

I drove for about a mile on the highway like that, listening to the bird move across the windshield, watched it begin to lose its feathers, its protection, all because I couldn’t stand the idea of something just being okay without needing a reason, an unfamiliar set of eyes watching me drive to repeat a life I’d already lived.”

Read the story here.

“Here on Out” by Jesse Hassenger

We think this post-apocalyptic story set in a Florida hotel would be a perfect addition to your summer reading list. In the world of this story, music = currency, and the landscape is all the stranger and more daunting because of it. Next time you check into a Best Western, consider how lucky you are that you don’t have to trade your Postal Service record to get extra toast with breakfast—and that you don’t potentially have violent hordes on your trail.

Here on Out“And I’m at the bottom of the shallow end, surrounded by cracked blue-green paint, listening to that chorus about getting together and then the next song, and the song after that, either you know them already or you don’t much care.”


Read the story here.

Or browse our full New Voices library here.

by Sadye Teiser


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.

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