Editor in Chief
Martha Nichols is a longtime journalist and freelance writer. Her work has appeared in many publications, including Utne Reader; Brain, Child; Salon; and the Christian Science Monitor. A former editor at Harvard Business Review, she's currently a contributing editor at Women's Review of Books and teaches in the journalism program at the Harvard University Extension School.
She learns every day from her work at Talking Writing—the magazine she's always wanted to read—and is an enthusiastic proponent of first-person journalism.
The value of a first-person journalism perspective has as much to do with a writing approach as the final product. If you think your job is to talk about more than yourself, then the whole process—from conceptualizing the idea to doing research to interpreting what you discover—becomes richer, deeper, and more self-critical.
Jennifer Jean is the author of the poetry collection The Fool; her chapbooks include The Archivist, Fishwife, and In the War. Her work has been published in Drunken Boat, Caketrain, Denver Quarterly, Tidal Basin, Poets/Artists, North Dakota Quarterly, The Mom Egg Review, and more. She is codirector of the Morning Garden Artist Retreats, teaches Free2Write poetry workshops at Amirah—a safe house for sex-trafficking survivors—and is on the advisory board for the Mass Poetry Festival. For more about Jennifer, visit her website Fishwife Tales.
As a writer, no matter my fear and resistance, I can’t help but return to the moment, returning and returning and returning. I need to revise! And to fight for accuracy, which is a way of treating the experience with dignity.
Carol Dorf has published poems in Sin Fronteras, Spillway, Hip Mama: The Parenting Zine, The Mom Egg, In Posse Review, Moira, A Cappella Zoo, Naugatuck River Review, Feminist Studies, Heresies, Fringe, The Midway, Poemeleon, Runes, and 13th Moon. Her poems have been anthologized in Not a Muse, Boomer Girls, and elsewhere.
She's taught in many venues, including a science museum, a large urban high school, as a California-Poet-in-the-Schools, and at Berkeley City College. Her reviews appear in Sentence, Women = Books, and New Pages.
Time and space, what more is there to complain about, though a higher intellect would critique rather than settle for this whine. In a just world, you could flip time end over end, until you reached the place where you actually belonged.
David Cameron was thirteen years old when his eighth-grade English teacher, after reading a short story of his aloud to the class, declared, "I want to see you in print some day!" Thirty-two years later, he obliged her.
By day, David works in the communications office at Harvard Medical School, banging out press releases on molecular biology, while at night, typically between the hours of 9 and 11, he channels his inner demons into short fiction. Unfortunately, the material is endless. David, whose fiction has been published in Ploughshares (forthcoming, winter 2014), The Literary Review, Carve and Digital Americana, is a Pushcart Prize nominee.
During a year spent reading for Tin House, he learned that in the Darwinian world of literary publishing, few things are more vital than a story's opening paragraph. For an example of one of the most beautifully constructed openers ever, he suggests checking out "Rock Springs" by Richard Ford. You won't regret it.
Establishing space to write feels less like a regimented discipline and more like a search for illicit sex: Just get it when you can.
Karen J. Ohlson has been a stealth operative in the realm of public prose for decades. Earning a bachelor’s degree in math provided cover for her participation in numerous writing workshops and other literary activities in college. Later, having donned an identity as a successful Silicon Valley techie, she quietly set about acquiring a master’s in creative writing.
Her fiction and poetry have appeared in a few nondigital, under-the-radar literary magazines, but she’s produced a much larger body of work in the more anonymous and lucrative domain of software manuals, technical articles, PR pieces, and ghostwritten business books. Having honed her skills in the art of editing during her freelance career, as well as during five years at the computer magazine MacUser, she is exhilarated to be applying her expertise—and writing pieces she cares about, under her own name—in a venture as vibrant and personal as Talking Writing.
I slapped the books down on the desk—but playfully, like one of Blomkvist’s or Salander’s lady friends breaking out the leather toys for some healthy Swedish fun.
Lorraine Berry is a writing instructor at a small college in the Fingerlakes region of New York, where she teaches that "creative nonfiction" does not mean you just get to make stuff up. When not teaching, she writes work that has appeared in Salon, Diagram, Dame, and Bitch magazine, among many other literary journals.
Once upon a time, she was working on a doctorate in history, but left her program so that she could tell stories. When not writing, she can be found exploring the woods with her two dogs, hanging out with her daughters, or talking and taking on the world with her partner, Rob.
I knew what shell shock looked like now, how eyes go blank, empty of light. Hands flail at the air. A vacuum forms in a room of nineteen young students who have just realized they are mortal.
Wm. “Anthony” Connolly is the author of several books, including The Smallest Universe, a novel forthcoming from TS Poetry Press in 2015. He's on the faculty of the MFA in Writing program at Lindenwood University, where he teaches both fiction and nonfiction courses. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri. In 2012, Anthony was named one of the best nonfiction bloggers in America by the journal Creative Nonfiction. He lives in the Midwest with his wife and their three dogs.
Remembering is a leap of faith, just as writing is. I write to create myself, then, to assemble myself from my past or, at least, from what I remember of my past.
Contributing Poetry Editor
Athena Kildegaard teaches at the University of Minnesota, Morris. She's the author of four books of poetry, most recently Ventriloquy (Tinderbox Editions, 2016). Her poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, Grist, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Zone 3, Tar River Poetry, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and elsewhere.
She grows cucumbers and beets and turns them into pickles to enjoy on a cold Minnesota winter day when despair creeps in.
Poetry grows from the spark created when the finger of the brain touches the finger of the body.
— from "On Plunging," originally posted on
the Lake Region Writers Network website
Autumn Stephens is a freelance journalist and essayist, as well as a poet and flash fiction writer. She is the author of the Wild Women book series and editor of two anthologies of women's first-person essays: The Secret Lives of Lawfully Wedded Wives and Roar Softly and Carry a Great Lipstick: 28 Women Writers on Life, Sex, and Survival. A former co-editor of the East Bay Monthly (a regional general interest magazine), she reviewed fiction for several years for the San Francisco Chronicle and was the second “Modern Love” columnist published by the New York Times.
Currently, she writes in a variety of genres for a variety of publications (including Talking Writing). She also teaches private writing classes, leads writing groups for cancer survivors, and publishes an annual quotation calendar titled Wild Words from Wild Women. A graduate of Stanford University's creative writing program, Autumn lives in Berkeley, California.
My survival skill: arranging words, bouquets of words, to fill the empty vase. But my velvety ideals do not apply in a fluorescent conference room where doctors PowerPoint about disease vectors and the Tumor Board meets on Tuesdays.
After graduating with a B.A. in print journalism from Penn State, John Vogel held a few editorial positions for underground magazines while doing linguistic annotation to pay the bills. Currently, he works as a video engineer for the archival digitization company George Blood Audio/Video/LP. He also plays in the band Grandchildren and goes solo under the name Eddie Sids.
When not engaged in any of these activities, he spends time renovating his Philadelphia home that he shares with his wife.
I’ve often wondered what keeps other musicians, writers, and visual artists going, especially those who aren’t out to make a hit record or write a bestseller. Even eleven years out of college, I couldn’t trade in my creative life; it’s often the carrot on the stick at the end of my day, my personal reward for fulfilling other obligations.
Hadley Langosy is the product of an artist and a writer. She holds a BFA in photography from MassArt and spends her days disguised as a freelance web designer. By night, she embraces her true identity as a Renaissance woman—writing, drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, and plotting.
Hadley is also the full-time mother of two children who keep her precariously on her toes. A close friend has suggested she sort her marbles by color as it might help her to determine which are still missing. To date, she has not found time to do this.
I cornered the school librarian to discuss plot issues. My laptop accompanied me as I cooked dinner. More than once, I had to clean food out of the keyboard with a toothpick.
Social Media Manager
Topher Levín is a freelance content writer and social media professional based in Kansas City. He blogs about social media and creativity at Whiskey Banjo and freelance writing at Last Chance Writer. In a previous life, he studied music composition and theory, performing across the U.S. and during summer studies in Paris. Music led to local arts journalism and nonprofit communications. Now, Topher enjoys the challenge of growing a freelance business to help creative small businesses and adventurous nonprofits reach their goals.
Alyson Conover has been working in business and financial operations services since the age of fourteen, when she started spending her summers in an automotive brake-linings factory picking and packing orders and taking inventory counts. From that early start in “smokestack” industry, she's gone on to inventory management, procurement services, financial administration, and import/export services for both profit and nonprofit organizations—including Harvard University; Arghand, a maker and seller of all-natural soaps and skincare products from Kandahar, Afghanistan; and Dharma Voyage, a mind, body, nature education organization offering instructional programs in Tai Chi and open-water rowing.
When not keeping the books for her clients, Alyson enjoys family time with her partner and their teenage daughter; walking, training, and playing with her dog, Bruin; practicing yoga daily; running; and surfing when the wind, waves, weather, and time all manage to align just right.
Imaani Cain graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in English in 2014. Imaani is interested in evocative fiction, feminism, and poetry about the diaspora. In her spare time, she studies French.
Editor at Large
Elizabeth Langosy cofounded Talking Writing with Martha Nichols in 2010. She served as the magazine’s executive editor and managed TW’s nonprofit infrastructure for its initial four years.
She's a fiction writer and freelance editor in the Boston area, as well as a former puppeteer, computer game designer, and university communications manager. Her opinion pieces, profiles, articles, and essays have appeared in numerous publications. She is currently working on a book of linked short stories.
If the heroines whose bereft lives seemed so similar to mine were able to reach their full potential in such a dramatic way, I could, too.