Authors

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Fiction

Colonel Hammer glares, willing us to attention. A few pilots sit up.

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Masterpieces

I thought how she must thrash with savage agility when she made love.

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Features

We lived below the poverty level. I wasn’t allowed to desire objects.

Readers' Narratives

He handed us sticks of dynamite, rolled in wax paper like taffy.

Fiction

Karen was, in that moment, nothing, emptiness. She was oblivion.

Nonfiction

After days of torture in secret prisons, they were about to let him go.

Story of the Week

Most people come to Africa because they are drawn to its misery.

Features

It was the sixties, and I was in
college and incredibly restless.

Poetry

You know what you’ve come looking for you probably won’t find.

Poem of the Week

Sing so dogs bark, oxen bolt. Sing so a girl walks out on her lover.

Story of the Week

Barth looked after his students beyond anything expected of him.

Story of the Week

I was opposed to the taking of human life. I was opposed to all war.

Poem of the Week

Anchored off Biscayne Bay my father’s wooden skiff swings easy.

Poetry

Salt provokes, tenderizes. Your wounds, your dinner.

Fiction

They felt smarter and sexier, especially when together.

Fiction

She asked, “What’s the weirdest thing you can do with your body?”

Nonfiction

Advance planning was never Hank’s strong suit, he had to leave her.

Nonfiction

Any white man without a servant was presumed to be in need of help.

Nonfiction

Buster’s reasons for looking after Marco weren’t entirely altruistic.

Nonfiction

The hut was cluttered with the skulls and bones of small animals.

Nonfiction

I found it impossible not to imagine a radiant future for myself.

Nonfiction

Lust for power and money undermined their morality and common sense.

Nonfiction

I rented a house in the woods of East Hampton as a form of therapy.

Fiction

My father was at an awful disadvantage in a sport where cunning is a virtue.

Nonfiction

I was convinced she’d be back in the morning, like the sun.

Nonfiction

Trump reminded me of the guys I grew up with on Long Island.

Nonfiction

The clock kept ticking, and the investors bailed out one by one.

Nonfiction

These adventures taught me that writers are flawed human beings.

Nonfiction

That autumn, my first in San Francisco, I ran short of money.

Story of the Week

I felt awful about imposing on him, but I was desperate to see the Derby.

First & Second Looks

“He cared. I looked at him and I thought, I want to be like you.”

Nonfiction

What humanity needed was that gravity-defying miracle, the bird.

Poem of the Week

Charge the ground till it glitters. It was God’s pleading in that rink.

Poetry

My “lonelymaking.” Also known as my horrible secret, continent-wide.

Poem of the Week

The canary-yellow sweater she knit while pregnant with me thawed first.

Story of the Week

We were aiming for a complete transformation of society.

Poem of the Week

I shoved them one by one, easy as pie yet with care, just shy of mercy.

First & Second Looks

The moon and sun are eternal travelers. Even the years wander on.

Readers' Narratives

Voices chanted Allah’s call to worship, 3:30 a.m. in Palestine.

Poetry

Let’s rummage through each other’s bodies like a blowout sale.

iPoems

I’m tired of the song the rain sings in June, the chorus of hope.

Poem of the Week

She’s not the same, her body more naked in its aging, its disorder.

Poem of the Week

For even he and she are false. For it is tinged with the taste of metal.

Poetry

Break me like bread. Take me apart. Strip each rib down to light.

Poetry

I could feel the floor’s slight pitch. We were in for a long, long voyage.

Nonfiction

Your writing may need to be ruthless or amoral to be original.

Fiction

The blackness of her hair seemed to pull the color from her body.

Fiction

They caught those few of us left unclaimed by the one emotion, or the other.

Fiction

I don’t think I was very frightened. I was simply hungry for home.

Fiction

In exchange for our labor, we would each be given a new set of clothes.

Nonfiction

All my life, I’d been shy, and I wasn’t about to change that.

Nonfiction

I sometimes have to laugh because even now, as a middle-aged man.

Features

The slow-falling leaves contain the space of the story I’m pursuing.

Narrative Outloud

An owl, as large and incongruous in the night sky as a flying man.

Narrative Outloud

There’s this cool magazine online. They let people read it for free.

Narrative Outloud

An owl, as large
and incongruous in the night sky as a flying man.

Narrative Outloud

My own hunger was for a reduction in the vast space between people.

Narrative Outloud

My own hunger was for a reduction in the vast space between people.

Nonfiction

The danger was my own carelessness, and now I was waist deep in it.

Fiction

No matter how much money there is, it can always just drain away.

Story of the Week

People only see that side of him. He is still a boy, learning to be a man.

Fiction

The pain lithified to numbness, and she recalled the time of his courtship.

Fiction

The owl was a white that could not be compromised by any other color.

Fiction

The dope worked, though he felt ashamed using it, smoked in secret.

Story of the Week

I’m just wired hard for hunting, and not so much at all for fishing.

Story of the Week

There was one lease Homer Young wanted above all others.

Nonfiction

We pull up alongside the great body. The fin marks the spot.

Nonfiction

We loaded the packs and started down, into the bluing of dusk.

Nonfiction

An eye trained only for darkness makes for a lesser path, in art as in life.

Story of the Week

“Mom, don’t you think the fucking racism is worse than my profanity?”

Fall Contest Winners

I was creating art instead of counting beans like everyone else.

Story of the Week

Byron’s mother read things to him: Language is fun. Play. Let’s play.

Fiction

Perhaps he was not almost sixteen years old, but thirty-five and sick.

Fiction

They wrapped him in bandages from all three kits. The old man watched them.

Fiction

He sees the slight swelling of her breasts in the open collar of her blouse.

Fall Contest Winners

Her previous existence seemed unreal, now, a faint rumor.

First & Second Looks

He moved quickly, as if running from what he had just done.

Poetry

Richard Bausch

Fiction

Eight years, and she was ready to call it quits. They were both ready.

Fiction

Oh, how did people do it? How did they find some way to be happy?

Fiction

She’s innocent, guilty of nothing but the need to be admired.

Fiction

My wife fell in love with a dancer. A woman. I came here to get away.

Fiction

Divorced. Wife living with someone else. Pregnant with his child.

Fiction

The sense all along has been that there’s some madness in her.

Fiction

The man lifted his shirt just enough to show the handle of a pistol.

Fiction

At straight-up noon, the honeymoon was ruined, one day in.

Fiction

She was thinking about what she would say when the time came.

Fiction

Here they were, two surviving soldiers from opposite sides.

Fiction

“Can’t you see Hemingway's having breakfast with his grandson?”

Poetry

I could throw one of these rocks at the moon and watch it fall.

Fiction

I put my hand on my stomach and had an image of the melting snowman.

Fiction

She had a situation where she’d lost her driver’s license for speeding.

Interviews - Audio/Video

An in-depth audio interview with Ann Beattie on her writing.

Narrative Outloud

Ann Beattie in a wonderful reading of her story “Find and Replace."

Features

What can be done to interest a younger audience in fiction?

Fiction

This is not America! It is not the America I grew up in, it’s
a joke.

Narrative Outloud

He was just a bully, uncivilized, out of control, and wanting to lash out.

Narrative Outloud

He was just a bully, uncivilized, out of control, and wanting to lash out.

Narrative 10

I’m obsessed with finding a convertible that has enough room.

Fiction

He glowered even as a little child. Maybe because he has your bad eyes.

Fiction

Edward the Funny didn’t have much to laugh about in his midthirties.

Fiction

It was like a scene in a movie; it didn’t seem real. The man kicked her.

Nonfiction

Peter Taylor’s stories are jigsaw puzzles of nuance and suggestion.

Story of the Week

His mind was a glass vase shat-

tered into pieces across the floor.

Readers' Narratives

The lot was well maintained, with all the biodiversity of a golf course.

Photography & Art

Havana, Cuba, on the inevitable cusp of change. A photo gallery.

Photography & Art

Hemingway’s Royal typewriter sat atop a volume of Who’s Who.

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Story of the Week

I hang there, upside down, watching Bronwyn, her face beatific.

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Fiction

She began to see the word, or traces of it, wherever she went.

Winter Contest Winners

I can see on him how things are changing for and against us.

Poem of the Week

You’re certain that they’re harmless, benign as a flock of founding fathers.

Poem of the Week

It’s a small deposit, but I’m putting my faith in reincarnation.

Poem of the Week

Once I took it in my mouth, I had to admit pity tastes like sandwiches.

Poetry

Little footage, this plot, where it thrived at first, then ghosted away.

Poem of the Week

Purple planets, dirt stars. Imagine the carom in the hall, how it sounded.

Poetry

There was a fish. And then there was the consciousness of robots.

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Poetry

It’s the roll-up-your-sleeves hour, when you have to make a living.

Poem of the Week

It’s life that is hard: sleeping, eating, loving, and dying are easy.

Poem of the Week

Watch out. That we thought him gone only proves his wily knowledge.

Story of the Week

I yell at the boys: “What are you doing! Are you out of your minds?”

Fall Contest Winners

She’s young and lovely in a mad, disheveled way, and hard to resist.

Story of the Week

How did I ever survive? Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I died back there.

Poem of the Week

Across sage flats, tundra, and bleeding hearts, she escapes.

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Classics

After her divorce she took up with a cowboy named Wicks.

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Fiction

Be honest. Writing is about honesty, and articulating that honesty.

Narrative Outloud

Be honest. Writing is about honesty, and articulating that honesty.

Story of the Week

Something is wrong with that place. Someone’s still there . . .

Story of the Week

It seemed that someone had died, but really it was part of us.

Fiction

The cat was looking at me with an intelligent expression. It knew.

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Fiction

On the small of my daughter’s back is a two-inch tattoo. MADE IN CHINA.

Six-Word Stories

Lovers, a new set of six-word stories from Elizabeth Benedict.

iStories

I love you to distraction, she would say. I love you beyond love.

Fiction

Now he was all out of dreams, out of rage, expectations, and money too.

Fall Contest Winners

“You see,” Sister Elba said, smiling, “you should never doubt him.”

Poem of the Week

Lunatics call it annihilation . . . Think of it as not doing a thing

Poem of the Week

Lean close and kiss each other: dig down as far as down goes.

Poem of the Week

Am I here without me just as I was before when stars spoke.

Spring Contest Winners

I looked out at the busy world, and I saw nothing but its ugly bones.

Story of the Week

Tobacco and dirty wool, rank alcoholic sweat. I liked him right away.

Story of the Week

There’s something about traveling by plane. People tell their secrets.

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Story of the Week

I reviewed the rules for myself, among them: stay in the moment.

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Classics

My mother and I remained apart. My father came late to the party.

First & Second Looks

What I have learned as a farmer, I have learned also as a writer.

Story of the Week

The survival of our world depends upon the cultivation of better language.

Poetry

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Poem of the Week

Desperately, children: I am in desperate need for desperate need.

Poetry Contest Winners

When I was a woman, I was all reason and my reason was unjust.

Poetry Contest Winners

I dream we ride together in a Subaru to the county fair.

Poetry

I know what it means to be born in one life and meant for another.

Poem of the Week

The fog’s sheen is a mirror: my mother sees the terrain of the future—

Story of the Week

Jane’s made it clear, this Renuka might not even become a doctor.

Fiction

“Aren’t you full of surprises,” Talinda would have said. If she had known.

Poem of the Week

Be glad the numbness in your legs isn’t reading on your face.

Poem of the Week

How do we get there, to where we can answer what the jingle is asking.

iPoems

let me fall through some small bore into your tiny breathing eden

iPoems

It’s raining concrete. I bite my grief wetly. Who will test these chains?

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Classics

The eyes looked into his own with a meaning, a malign significance.

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Narrative Taste

Dining at Bocuse wasn’t about food, but about pleasure in all its forms.

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Short Shorts

“I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re the same person,” she says.

Poetry

They plant whispers where shouts incinerate into hisses.

Poem of the Week

The meeting hall of their bodies piled on lawns caked with dying birds.

Short Shorts

His eyes, dark brown and unwavering as he delivered the details.

Poem of the Week

We went flying without a map as naked astronauts often do.

Poetry

Isn’t it nice to think tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes yet?

Story of the Week

Derek was holding a gun. The barrel was pointed at his own temple.

Story of the Week

Writing at night just feels . . . sneaky. There’s an outlaw quality to it.

Fiction

Wake up drenched in sweat, with fatigue that reaches to your marrow.

Poem of the Week

Why don’t we just get drunk and walk down the middle of Fifth Avenue.

Poetry

You linger in the dimming aftermath, grayer and fainter than a breath.

Poem of the Week

Surrender me to shallows and the salt gallop of a rising surf.

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Fiction

All my life, I’d been shy, and I wasn’t about to change that.

Story of the Week

“Who you kiddin? There’s no middle class anymore, we’re all just poor.”

Poetry

How do we bury
the dead stacking up against our picture window?

Poem of the Week

Here is where you touch the world and here are the words to feel its heat.

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Poem of the Week

Severe knobs of head and tail: one a horn of venom, the other masked.

N30B Winners

do you asks pretty sue know what I love what pretty please tell us

Poem of the Week

Omens from the Lord, or Nature, the clouds, some darker silhouette.

Poetry

Love I know is the husk caught and throbbing under your gums.

Poem of the Week

You remind me of lizards birthed in an outhouse by an ogre or a loon.

Features

You can get anyone to sleep with you—if you want it bad enough.

Fiction

My father stood up, unable to choose which one of us to kill first.

Fiction

My daughter’s favorite game is Holocaust. She’s quite inventive.

Fiction

There were women everywhere, all naked or nearly naked.

Narrative 10

This is kind of a big, wet valentine, isn’t it? Shouldn’t you throw it out?

Fiction

I open the door and Eleanor is leaning against the wall, paper white.

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Nonfiction

Eating a raw oyster is like exchanging a soul kiss with the sea.

Poetry

What’s left is a thumbhouse, an inch of gristle inside skin walls.

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Story of the Week

I have given everything at the wrong time, to the wrong people.

Story of the Week

The blood gurgling sounded like water fighting its way down a drain.

Fiction

Suddenly, all of the past seemed now like the same endless race.

Fiction

Being with Kate was like a circuit connecting, lighting everything up.

Story of the Week

The band was amateur at best. It didn’t matter. People loved them.

Story of the Week

Mom often went to work on her days off. The library was her refuge.

Story of the Week

Mostly, 90 percent of the time, the big ones trigger the bad attacks.

Poem of the Week

Two surgeons vaulted over a counter to hold open my incisions.

Poem of the Week

The noiseless trees, the insentient breezes that are not there.

Poem of the Week

I have seen your ocean. I have heard your waves beside my bed.

Poem of the Week

I lost my pen, I lost my keys, and my hat somewhere on a table.

Poetry

Marianne Boruch

Poetry

But too much rain can translate anything to unspeakable.

Poetry

A simple line of raging wet nearby, how as a kid I pictured the Nile.

Poem of the Week

The past, you hear it, the small hours, sucked down the undertow.

Story of the Week

Children, this is what a bad dream looks like, our teacher said.

Poem of the Week

The rings of Saturn flash their nothing yellows, nothing blues beautiful.

Poetry

It’s the human genius of reproducing not quite exactly.

Nonfiction

Expulsion. He was out, his course set. One word can turn the key.

Story of the Week

The wind was like a girl sobbing out her story of betrayal to the stars.

Poetry

Two bikers, the bartender, me, and a skinny girl in skintight blue jeans.

Poetry

The coverage of the state funeral, black horse bearing an empty saddle.

Poem of the Week

A family altar stuffed with dead family hanging now above the TV.

Poetry

I have to wait till day to tell you that you’ve sunk down below sea level.

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Poem of the Week

Surely a million mothers and school teachers can’t be entirely wrong.

Poem of the Week

With your hands in the air you held an infant tightly, trying to save it.

Classics

The ideal way of presenting character is to invite perception.

First & Second Looks

A smell of shut-up apples and soap filled the room. There was nothing.

Story of the Week

She wondered if tomorrow would fill her with so strange a stirring.

Poetry

All over the planet people try to end pain: striptease, bee stings.

Story of the Week

Young people have a gift for reviving freshness of language.

Classics

As far as I was concerned you need never have been my father.

Story of the Week

I was thinking sex, she was thinking sex, but neither of us made a move.

Fiction

The most arcane sexual practices could arouse me from my torpor.

Features

Not a single environmentalist holds out much hope for the future.

Fiction

She leaned back to accommodate the sweet delirium of his hands.

Fiction

Today was the first day of her new life, and she was on an adventure.

Story of the Week

“Hey, babe,” he said, breathing into the phone like a sex maniac.

Fiction

We began to obsess over water, where it came from, where it was going.

Fiction

Of the sixteen candidates only eight would make the final cut.

Fiction

This is the worst moment of her life, maybe of anybody’s life, ever.

Fiction

He’s not the skinny hippie all the paintings make Him out to be.

Narrative Outloud

The girl marched directly up to me, glaring, and said, “You hit my dog.”

Story of the Week

“You’re going somewhere now,” he said. “Up to the big smoke.”

Winter Contest Winners

They drink hard liquor and growl about which musicians are hot.

Fiction

Her cheek was like a plum about to burst and you had to close your eyes.

Fiction

He spoke of the river’s origins as though telling of the birth of a god.

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Nonfiction

The onus is on you, because you care about your car and your life.

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Poetry

And the starved heart starts over, writing one line at a time.

N30B Winners

I keep waking up on the edge of the black lake. He’s on the other side.

Poetry Contest Winners

On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain dissolves like a Eucharist wafer.

Poem of the Week

The mirror will flow and the heart will set like glass in the frame of his bones.

Story of the Week

“Dorm whores” his roommate calls them. They come for the booze.

First-Person Winners

I stepped down painfully on my cracked ankle and nearly fell.

Fiction

Clayton always imagined getting laid in the rooms of his dad’s motel.

Fall Contest Winners

She had boyfriends before she met him. Well, not really boyfriends.

Fiction

Dad doesn’t believe I’m beauty queen material. I believe in myself.

Story of the Week

He cannot imagine the shape his life would take without her.

Story of the Week

If someone looked into his eyes they would see how ugly his mind was.

Story of the Week

When and why had I begun to think about Ingrid Stoltz? She was a bitch.

iStories

“Jesus Christ,” Dad said, after the counselor spelled it out for him.

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Poem of the Week

I walk and I rest while the eyes of my dead look through my own.

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Short Shorts

All night the insects’ grinding jaws chewed through the darkness.

N30B Winners

He probably had an order. Ludes, Dexis, Black Birds—who knew.

Story of the Week

The nights she and Wade have sex she can’t do so without feeling guilty.

Story of the Week

He thought about kissing her. Then he decided that she was just lonely.

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Fiction

How much simpler and more satisfying was the company of men.

Fiction

Takis brought down the demons that would pursue him the rest of his life.

Poem of the Week

Ajax killed men
and then animals
thinking they were men.

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Fiction

He never stopped reminding me that I was born in Harmony, Georgia.

iPoems

No, you may not walk there. No, you may not stand on that. He is not here.

Fall Contest Winners

Louise watched from the shadow. She was looking for somewhere to land.

Poem of the Week

I’m the shrunken dead like them, here, greening the sky’s bluer potion.

Poem of the Week

You must not be afraid of what waits after death, my past self says.

Profiles

Lee has taken on several of the great novelists of the past century.

Story of the Week

I was bold, even reckless, in what I wrote, and in how I wrote it.

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Story of the Week

They are glorious pumpkin-skinned messengers. I hate them.

iStories

In Ovid’s tale, the virgin Philomela was raped by her brother-in-law.

iStories

The mortician who painted our girl was not a somber-suited officiant.

Poem of the Week

Someone seems to have made an excellent age-specific insight.

Poem of the Week

What a good time we could have if we were happy to be who we are.

Poem of the Week

Yang Wan-li said, There’s enough to eat. Who needs a lot of money?

Poem of the Week

I stop and look at the sky. Suddenly: orange, red, pink, blue, green, purple.

Fiction

Craig Bueltel

Readers' Narratives

We’d read the rules about what can get your kid suspended from school.

Story of the Week

I didn’t trust her. Relationships like ours aren’t built on trust.

Poem of the Week

Snows piling in his crying mouth. Cold gave him a light complexion.

Story of the Week

In a way she enjoyed the slow, sad feeling of letting it go.

Story of the Week

Until now the man had not really lived, but simply existed, to be sure.

Story of the Week

The wild-eyed horse was more a figure of nightmare than dream.

N30B Winners

Something has to be what this is, old and primitive, and it sounds like this.

Narrative “Tell Me A Story” High School Contest

Grief is a rude houseguest. She stays up late. She leaves messes.

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First & Second Looks
Fiction

I’ve got my hands around the man’s legs when I notice the blood.

Story of the Week

Janet Burroway

Love Story Contest

She has wings of rouge on her cheekbones, her beak blood red.

Features

Writing is a subversive activity that exempts you from the rules.

Story of the Week

Try to make order in one direction, and things shoot off in another.

Winter Contest Winners

We can be naked in black light, the smell of unwash and old pot.

Six-Word Stories

Despair: Janet Burroway’s first Narrative Magazine six-word story.

One-Act Plays

It wasn’t me he was aiming at; he was using me to make my mom unhappy.

Winter Contest Winners

It dawned on me my passion was not for her but for the making-up.

Story of the Week

The people flocked to witness the execution of Ja’afar and his kinsmen.

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Fiction

The waitress looked us over, wondering, I guess, if we were famous.

Spring Contest Winners

Men came over carrying lanterns and pulled away the chunks of ice.

Story of the Week

He can’t remember the last time they made love. It has become a game.

Story of the Week

He was living like a coyote, out on the margins. But then a letter came.

Story of the Week

The cottage stood as a metaphor for what she wanted out of life.

Short Shorts

Mama would say beware of the little flaws that make one homely.

Fiction

“Leaving for war, Hayes wept. He didn’t just cry; he wept...”

Nonfiction

Fiction, no matter how short or long, is the art form of human yearning.

Fiction

The stupider the president the more power you arrange for him.

Features

Revision is not a sanction to get the head and the will involved.

Story of the Week

With a world full of foolishly dangerous men, what’s a mother to do?

Narrative Outloud

Here I am, king of the gods, making a fool of myself just to get under your gown.

Six-Word Stories

"In County":
A new six-word story by
Robert Olen Butler.

Classics

I was the man in her life. I know I’m different now. Now I’m a bird.

Fiction

The allure of Mardi Gras is to feel this way: unseen and unseeable.

Narrative By Hand

The handwritten first draft pages of Robert Olen Butler's first novel.

Fiction

El Presidente was no longer in a mood to see the American press.

Fiction

A coldness bumped a last kiss upon my cheek, a good-bye kiss sliding across.

Fiction

We looked at each other beneath a London sky, on a Zeppelin night.

Fiction

Darla has come to the monument to fight against her mind.

Fiction

He does not dare to ask the question flaring in his head. Will she stay.

Fiction

The clown has taken a seat at our veranda table in absolute silence.

Story of the Week

When the doctors’ voices started turning to noise, I didn’t fight it.

Story of the Week

“And if you ever tell anybody what I’m about to tell you, I’ll deny it.”