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Editors’ Commentary on the Five-Year Anniversary

Writing is a very solitary sport. We sit quietly in rooms never moving from our seat but walking a million miles through the landscape of imagination. And there we find stories that need to be told and we tell them the best we can. Over the four years of being fiction editor I was fortunate to be presented the fruits of exploration. From the shadows of thought where horror and the devil reside people brave enough ventured in and dragged out tall tales that sent shivers down my spine. In the winds that carry strange voices, people listened and transcribed for me. They offered up magic and light, and formed worlds much bigger than the rooms they never left, and for this I am humbled. Last year I was joined in the fiction department by Amanda Gowin, a wonderful writer with the same ability to rush the shadows and pull from them truly amazing stories. She now holds my hand and we walk together, traversing the maps of our writer's imagination never once drawing breath. Never once feeling the pain of journey. We walk together because in the five years Menacing Hedge has been alive the stories we see not only shape the landscape of fiction but also shape our own lives. Thank you, dear writer. Thank you for the lives you create. For every beat that pounds in the heart of your characters. Thank you for never once leaving that room. For being alone. For being wonderful.

- Craig Wallwork


I found my home here through a story, by accident, as I hope many have and will - an odd little thing that wouldn't fit through any of the traditional literary and genre-shaped holes. It was pretty and hopeful and sad, and I said "But what do I DO with it?" And my friend Craig, who often carried around odd little stories himself - blue and silver orphans with claws not long enough to be scary, and cheeks not pink enough to be realistic - said, "Send it to Menacing Hedge." Kelly gave my story home, mere months after taking in one of Craig's. Not long after, she took in Craig himself. And after that? They took me in.

This is where we live. On the edge of the swamp, not far from the ocean, our backs against the meadows and the forests. Here is our home, which we make a we keep, for the stories and the poems with the teeth and the fireflies.

This house is but five years old, yet it creaks and sings in the wind - and the hallways are endless.

Thank you for taking me in, and thank you for letting me help fill the rooms. Here's to five more years!

- Amanda Gowin


Menacing Hedge was initially conceived as a place in which I would want my own work to be published. A place which published the written equivalent of the artwork of pop-surrealism. Of course that was an unrealistic ideal; journals become independent creatures, which evolve in their own strange and pleasing ways. Initially I was both the poetry editor and the fiction editor, but along the way we were lucky enough to encounter Craig Wallwork, who, to our utter delight, was willing to take over the entire fiction department. Last year we were honored to take on a second fiction editor, Amanda Gowin, and a second poetry editor, Kiara McMorris, both of whom have added additional artistic layers to the journal. Throughout, Gio Guillemette has been the Webmaster, developer and designer of our website. He is responsible for the clean and simple look of the site. For the first three years we also had Martha Vallely as our proofreader and she is still missed. With respect to our print editions, Susan Yount gets credit for the design and layout and Jessica Dyer has been our marvelous line editor.

For me, the most important aspect of editing has been the evolution of the Menacing Hedge family. I have met a wonderful community of writers, whom I love and admire so much and whose work moves and astonishes me. And then there is the camaraderie amongst the editors, who dwell together in the imaginary old house that is Menacing Hedge. Thank you to all the writers who have contributed to Menacing Hedge and to all of the editors. You have made this place a magical home.

p.s. After these five years, I don’t think I could get my own work accepted by Menacing Hedge. But that’s okay.

- Kelly Boyker


Summer 2016 Edition

The Summer 2016 Five-Year Anniversary Edition includes short stories by Mileva Anastasiadou, Ryder Collins, Kathryn Michael McMahon, Marley Simmons Abril, Joe P. Squance and Mathew Slade and Kendall Steinle. It includes poetry by Sheila Dong, Chad Frame, Janna Layton, Ginna Luck, Catherine Moore, Lauren Page, Matt Schumacher, Elizabeth Vignali, Kami Westhoff, Camille-Yvette Welsch, and Lauren Yates. It also features an interview of Stacey Balkun and Jennifer Hanks in Conversation. Finally, do not forget to check out Scary Bush for our contributors’ early (we hope) writing efforts.

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