Author: Lyndsey Reese

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Creative Writing Instructor Evaluation Form” by April Wilder

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Creative Writing Instructor Evaluation Form” by April Wilder

Last week I came into the office where I work, sat down, ate an enormous bagel, and laughed so hard that the guy sitting behind me wheeled his chair over to my desk and said, “What’s so funny?” I pointed at my screen where April Wilder’s story “Creative Writing Instructor Evaluation Form” was up on…

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “We Are Here Because of a Horse” by Karin C. Davidson

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “We Are Here Because of a Horse” by Karin C. Davidson

In Issue 34 of Passages North, Karin C. Davidson introduces us to Tulsa, in her story “We Are Here Because of a Horse,” by writing that “Tulsa by night shines like a shattered gold watch.” I’ve arrived in Tulsa much the way her narrator and his wife approach the city here—late at night after traveling all…

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “The Operating System” by Carol LaHines

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “The Operating System” by Carol LaHines

This week after reading “The Operating System” by Carol LaHines, I tried to think of the last time I made a big mistake—or thought I did—and was forced to wait out the consequences. Our minds do strange work when we need an answer and aren’t allowed to have it. Our desire to know is so…

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Dream Scenes” by Renée K. Nicholson

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Dream Scenes” by Renée K. Nicholson

When I was a kid, I really wanted to be a dancer. Instead, I played softball and soccer—but that fascination with dance never really went away. So last week, when I found “Dream Scene” by Renée K. Nicholson in Issue 5 of Banago Street, my inner-ten-year-old was immediately hooked. “Dream Scene” is about a ballerina, Cassie, a…

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “The Man Who Couldn’t Give It Away” by Scott Bradfield

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “The Man Who Couldn’t Give It Away” by Scott Bradfield

When I used to teach intro fiction classes, I noticed that students often turned in stories that featured omniscient third-person narrators, and I can remember doing this when I started writing fiction, too. There’s something very alluring, especially when you first start writing, about being able to access the thoughts of multiple characters, since we’re…

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Spider Legs” by Danielle Lazarin

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Spider Legs” by Danielle Lazarin

Sometimes a story seems to find you at the right moment. Last week I was talking to a friend about our preferences in fiction. After writing this column for most of a year, I’m beginning to get a pretty solid grasp on what kind of stories I tend to like. (Second-person story that plays with…

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Devotion” by Dolly Laninga

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Devotion” by Dolly Laninga

I’ve been thinking a lot about history lately, and how the stories we tell ourselves about our lives shape who we are almost as much as actual events. What defines us? Where do we fit into a group? More importantly, how do we decide which stories to tell? Published in The Collagist, “Devotion” by Dolly…

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Helpful Products for Family Men: A User’s Guide” by Ryan Trattles

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Helpful Products for Family Men: A User’s Guide” by Ryan Trattles

You guys, I gotta tell you: I’m a sucker for any story that plays with form. Send me your recipes-as-failed-date stories, your museum-tours-as-conspiracy plots, your PowerPoint-homework-as-family narratives. I’m all in. So when I found Ryan Trattles’s story “Helpful Products for Family Men: A User’s Guide” published in Indiana Review, I was immediately hooked. Told in…

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Entity” by Mira Mattar

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Entity” by Mira Mattar

If I think back to the best people I’ve known—those who were my favorites, who were most alluring, engaging, and alive, the personalities that took up space in the world—there’s not necessarily a common thread between all of them. That’s not all that surprising. Humans take different shapes. What fits on one is a misshapen…