Issue 215 Contributors

Meet the contributors of upcoming Issue 215

Ron Riekki
Ron Riekki’s books include “U.P.: a novel” (Sewanee Writers Series and Great Michigan Read nominated), “The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works” (2014 Michigan Notable Book from the Library of Michigan and finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award/Grand Prize shortlist, Midwest Book Award, Foreword Book of the Year, and Next Generation Indie Book Award), “Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula” (2016 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal Great Lakes—Best Regional Fiction and Next Generation Indie Book Award—Short Story finalist), and “And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing,” 1917-2017 (Michigan State University Press, 2017).

Jeff Burt
Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, with his wife and a July abundance of plums. He has fiction in Per Contra, Amarillo Bay, Clare Literary Magazine, and won the Consequence Magazine 2016 Fiction prize.

Melissa Benton Barker
Melissa Benton Barker is an MFA candidate at Antioch University Los Angeles and serves as Lead Fiction Editor at Lunch Ticket. A writer of fiction and non-fiction as well as poetry, she lives in a small Midwestern town with her family.

Jessica Barksdale
Jessica Barksdale’s fourteenth novel, “The Burning Hour,” was published by Urban Farmhouse Press in April 2016. A Pushcart Prize and Best-of-the-Net nominee, her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming in the Waccamaw Journal, Salt Hill Journal, Little Patuxent Review, and So to Speak. She is a Professor of English at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California and teaches novel writing online for UCLA Extension. She holds an MA in English Literature from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the Rainier Writers Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

Nan Wigington
Nan Wigington’s recent fiction has appeared in Gravel, The Airgonaut,, and No Extra Words. She has work forthcoming in Fiction Attic Press and Spelk. Nan has worked as an unclaimed property clerk, an accounting analyst, an ensemble actress, and a paraprofessional in a K-2 Autism center classroom.

Mike Ekunno
Mike is in awe of beauty in sound, sight and smell and is engaged in the elusive alchemy to unite them. He is head of media at Nigeria’s film regulatory authority on working days. His writings have found outlets in The First Line, Carbon Culture Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, The Artist Unleashed, Gambling the Aisle, The African Roar Anthology 2013, Warscapes, bioStories, BRICKrhetoric, Dark Matter Journal, Thrice Fiction Magazine, Cigale Literary Magazine, Middle Gray Magazine, Miracle e-zine, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, The Muse, Bullet Pen and Storymoja, the last two coming with wins in continent-wide contests. He enjoys reading Old Testament stories.

Nick LaRocca
Nick LaRocca’s stories and essays have recently been featured in Valley Voices, the 3288 Review, Per Contra, The Flagler Review, Outside In Magazine, the Steel Toe Review, South85, and the Milo Review, as well as Rush Hour: Bad Boys (Delacorte Press), Mason’s Road, and the Beloit Fiction Journal. His short story “Gestures” (Lowestoft Chronicle) was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize for Fiction. He is currently at work on a novel, “Jersey Boys.” He is the recipient of the Robert Wright Prize for Writing Excellence, and an interview of him is upcoming in the 3288 Review.

Kelly Marages
Kelly Marages is a New York City-based writer and magazine editor whose fiction and humor writing have recently appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Bridge Eight, Coda Quarterly and Selfish. Marages holds an MFA from Bennington College and is the founder of the book recommendation website A former longtime editor at Us Weekly, she knows an alarmingly high number of facts about the Kardashians.

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