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Fall 2016 Edition

The Fall 2016 Edition of Menacing Hedge is the last issue edited by our storied fiction editor, Craig Wallwork. We are sad that he is leaving, and wish him the best with his future writing endeavors. Amanda Gowin will take over as Chief Fiction Editor in his place, though Craig will still be around as counsel in a pinch. Craig wrote a lovely farewell piece which can be found below.

Without further ado, the Fall 2016 Edition has the following all-star line up:

Interview: Poet-on-poet interview between Jasmine An and Carlina Duan.

Prose: Kristen Figgins, Jennifer Fliss, L.S. Johnson, James McAdams, Erica Olsen, Sarah Read, and Wolfgang Rougle.

Poetry: Luci Brown, Jackson Burgess, Genelle Chaconas, Edward Clarke, Lisa M. Cole, Flower Conroy, Jenna Kelly, Courtney Leigh, Ashley Mares, Sheila Squillante, Billie R. Tadros, David Walker, Seann F. Weir, and Jessy Randall (image poems).

Farewell from Craig Wallwork

Too many things have happened for me to not to believe in fate. The list is extensive and too laborious to document here, but one thing I did that I truly believed happened for a reason was submitting a short story to an arts journal based in Seattle five years ago. The story was, in my humble opinion, twisted. By that I mean anyone willing to publish it would need to have a predilection towards the absurd and bizarre. I assumed it was a story whose home would be a casket, nailed shut with six-inch nails and buried among corpses and wild flowers. But there was no funeral for this story. There was no end, only a beginning. And it began at Menacing Hedge.

Menacing Hedge. It sounded like the title of a story written by Lewis Carroll or Roald Dahl. I remember liking how clean it looked. The pages were sparse - white with black text. The splash banner held captive a surreal band of insects rocking out on the stage. It was quirky, surreal, and on the periphery of the conventional. I submitted instantly. A day later (maybe it was less) I received a very gracious acceptance from the editor, Kelly Boyker. That one email marked the start of a beautiful friendship with one of the most creative, generous and wonderful souls I have ever known.

About a year later Kelly sent me another email. Somehow I had inadvertently convinced her I was worthy of a Fiction Editor position. I kindly pointed out that she must have sent the email to the wrong person. She hadn't. I asked her if she had been drinking. She hadn't. I could only conclude that it was a genuine offer. Taken aback, I accepted. I've been in the slush now for four years and in that time I've seen stories that have floored me, elevated me, tore at my heart, robbed me of breath and above all else, left me envious. In that time I've also been privileged to publish those I've admired and loved; Etgar Keret, Stephen Graham Jones, Aimee Bender, Andrew Kaufman, Vincent Louis Carrella, Monica Drake and Adam Marek to name a few. These are coveted writers who have gained the reputation to be published in the top tier of magazines around the world. And they chose Menacing Hedge.

But there was one writer who I truly wanted to publish, and though I veered at times toward having a restraining order put on me, I pursued her for a story. She was a kindred soul, a person whose words had ignited the powder trail to my heart many times. Her name was Amanda Gowin, and my constant harassing and kowtowing finally paid off in Spring 2012 when she submitted her story, Trotlines. My mission was complete. Almost. A year ago she joined me in the fiction department. Amanda's ability to sniff out beauty prose is awe inspiring, and over the past year she's snagged works by some amazingly talented individuals, some of whom have never been published before. This is why I know she'll continue foraging for stories that won't scratch the veneer of literature but etch a huge chasm through it.

In such a fickle and competitive industry I wondered (when I first submitted all those years ago) if Menacing Hedge would thrive among the many others jostling for attention. I feared it may end up the casualty of some literary topiary; cut down in its prime, trimmed to an inch of its life. I've had chest infections that have lasted longer than some magazines. But recently Menacing Hedge celebrated its fifth anniversary and I'm sure it has many more years ahead of it. Why? Combined with the ability to offer established and merging talent a stage, as well hosting various reading events at AWP, it is the writers who continue to breathe life into its lungs so they never fail, nor its heart falter. And that's what I'll miss the most. I will miss the writer's imagination, their pain and askew view of the world. So thank you, dear writer, for cupping your hands around the flame of creativity so it never goes out.

Yes, Fall will be my last edition, which seems fitting considering it was Fall I was first published in. I'm not saying goodbye because as J.M. Barrie once wrote, goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting. And I know that regardless of how many years pass I'll never forget my time at Menacing Hedge, nor will I forget the people who made my time there magical. Thank you Kelly, Gio, Amanda and Kiara. And to fate, for guiding me towards these beautiful people.

Menacing Hedge

Menacing Hedge is a quarterly journal of poetry, fiction and artwork, which is committed to fostering access to emerging and experimental poetry and prose. Ongoing publication is scheduled for the first weeks of July, October, January, and April. Menacing Hedge will carefully archive all its editions to ensure that an author's/artist's work will remain on the web for many, many years to come. Regrettably, Menacing Hedge cannot pay its contributors at this time.

Menacing Hedge accepts only original unpublished literary work; however, it will consider literary work on a case-by-case basis if it has appeared only in print but never on the web. In the case of art and photography, it is acceptable if the piece has appeared on the artist's website or elsewhere.

Upon acceptance of a literary piece, Menacing Hedge obtains first publishing rights and then all rights revert to the author. Menacing Hedge requests that if a published piece is later published elsewhere, that Menacing Hedge will be credited with first publication. Also, Menacing Hedge reserves the right to publish the piece in print.

Scary Bush

If we decide to accept your work, we will also invite you to submit one of your most cringeworthy efforts from the misty past to Menacing Hedge's evil twin, Scary Bush. Please see the Scary Bush page for examples.


Kelly Boyker

Kelly Boyker: Poetry Editor
Kelly Boyker is a founding editor of Menacing Hedge. She is most interested in visceral persona poetry with a dark underside. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and she has contributed to a number of anthologies. She is the author of Zoonosis (Hyacinth Girl Press 2014) and may or may not have a collection forthcoming in 2016. When she is not editing MH, she enjoys gaming with other poets and their spouses.

Craig Wallwork

Craig Wallwork: Fiction Editor
Since I joined Menacing Hedge as Fiction Editor in 2013, I have followed the belief that in a world where restrictions are imposed by science, physics and finance, the only limitations a writer has is their imagination. It's been a privilege to read and publish those who allow free rein to their imagination, and offer stories so unique they resonate long after I have read them. To this end I am always looking for new voices with the ability to shape characters and worlds beyond my comprehension. I particularly interested in stories that lean toward Magical Realism, where the absurd and surreal converge with contemporary life. Seek out collections by Etgar Keret, Aimee Bender and Adam Marek for great examples of this. Ambitious storytelling is a must, with strong characters and voice. For a broader understanding of what tickles my fancy, scoot over to our submission guidelines.

Craig Wallwork is author of two novels, a chapbook and short story collection. He is also the writer of over 50 published stories that have featured in anthologies and journals both in the UK and US. He lives in England with his wife and two children.

Kiara McMorris

Kiara McMorris: Poetry Editor
Kiara hails from the Emerald City and spends much of her time working out, eating, and being an overall badass. She is typically unimpressed with most, but is a non stop talking machine once she starts to discuss her passions like travel and social justice. She has been writing poetry off and on since childhood and does not shy away from abstract thought. You can find her drinking a beer at a dive bar or doing weird burlesque things on stage.

Amanda Gowin

Amanda Gowin: Fiction Editor
I like Anais Nin and Mary Gaitskill. Henry Miller, Poe, Kipling, Melville, Atwood, Marquez, Wallace, Caitlin Kiernan and Karen Russell. I'm the realist to to Craig's magician, though he's the Salinger to my Vonnegut. Send me Siamese twins, chimera cats, poison rings. I don't need supernatural, but I want magic all the same. I will read carefully with full understanding that you've handed me a piece of yourself to examine and evaluate, and I take that seriously. My story-handling gloves are soft and forgiving.

Amanda Gowin lives in the foothills of Appalachia with her husband and son. Her fiction has been published in magazines and anthologies ranging from Warmed and Bound (Velvet Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) to NAILED magazine. She co-edited the Cipher Sisters anthology, and her first collection, Radium Girls is currently available.

Gio Guillemette

Gio Guillemette: Technical Director
Technology and reading have always been magical to me, so it is an honor to put our editors' vision to the (virtual) page. My aim is to make the site feel as much like a simple piece of paper as I can. No distractions, just you and the writing. I hope you enjoy the result.

Award Nominations

2021 Best of the Net Nominations

2020 Best of the Net Nominations

2019 Best of the Net Nominations

2019 Pushcart Nominations

2018 Best of the Net Nominations

2018 Pushcart Prize Nominations

2017 Best of the Net Nominations

2017 Pushcart Prize Nominations

2016 Best of the Net Nominations

2015 Best of the Net Nominations

2015 Pushcart Prize Nominations

2014 Best of the Net Nominations

2014 Pushcart Prize Nominations

2013 Best of the Net Nominations

2013 Pushcart Prize Nominations

2012 Best of the Net Nominations

2012 Pushcart Prize Nominations

2011 Pushcart Prize Nominations