In 2010, a little idea for sharing essays on childhood got a big boost when Anne Clinard Barnhill submitted “Winter Solstice” to an unknown fellow West Virginian. I wanted to pursue the idea there is a lot to say about how our early experiences shape the world. Anne later sent “Melungeons and Mystery,” as well as […]
In the latest issue of Longridge Review (Fall 2017):
Victims or Others?
Gina Ferrara (New Orleans) remembers a colorful crew of men who play cards at her grandfather’s bar and clubhouse in the French Quarter. “Chicago Mike” always seems to have an assortment of random gifts on him. One day, Gina and her sister are the recipients of some of those gifts, and she finds herself asking herself questions about what it means to be involved in something you’re not even sure you understand.
How to Be on Time
Andy Harper (Illinois) weaves a narrative that goes to an unexpected place. When he finds his young adult self beset by unexpected anxiety, he is determined to follow the bread crumbs to its origin. The conclusion is shocking. This essay broke a couple of hearts at our editorial table, and is an excellent example of why we publish Longridge Review.
Anne Muccino (Kansas City) reflects on the first time she repeated a term spoken inside her family and realized it wasn’t something said aloud to others, most importantly not to the people being labeled with that word. This is a poignant snapshot of a child’s dawning awareness that not everything said casually or even said warmly has a causal or warm effect on others.
Jonathan Sonnenberg (New York City) deftly tells us something about himself by writing about an influential teacher. Mr. Bell likes to ask his students prickly questions. Have they ever been drunk? Tried pot? Cocaine? The class is pretty used to his provocations, until one afternoon a question sucks the air out of room. Mr. Bell is after more than discomfort. He has something he needs them to know.
A Bowl Full of Jelly
Victoria Waddle (Claremont) is devastated by her grandmother’s death, but learns how to conjure her presence in dreams. These visits help, some, but become increasingly dissatisfying as her grandmother never comes fully back to who she was in life. Eventually, the dream woman sends a message that makes it plain her visits are over. But will she ever truly not be there, somewhere?
Teige Weidner (Oregon) has a story about his childhood that will ring familiar to too many readers. He is bullied, a lot, and the abuse is taking a toll. No one seems to appreciate how bad things are for young Teige, but they are about to find out. After all, we all only have so much fuse, and his is about to burn down.
Five years ago, with the prompt and inspiration of my friend Jason Keeling, I started a project called Essays on Childhood.
What happened next far exceeded my expectations.
The first call for “Essays on a West Virginia Childhood” led to subsequent calls for submission and new essays on place, wild things, male experience, and reflections on memory and loss.
Something bigger than a one-time, one-angle exploration was born.
When I began my Master of Fine Arts (MFA) studies in Creative Nonfiction, I started to explore literary journals and the publishing opportunities they offer. Today’s online publishing can outpace printed work in terms of benefits to writers: social media sharing is fast, inclusion in the literary/writing community eases isolation, and networking opportunities for professional work can spread far and wide.
I wanted to offer more than a call to a project or an idea. I wanted to offer a place where the impetus behind Essays on Childhood could grow and cultivate the best execution around the idea of a “bridge” between our younger and older selves.
Today, it is my great pleasure to introduce Longridge Review.
Our mission is to present the finest essays on the mysteries of childhood experience, the wonder of adult reflection, and how the two connect over a lifespan.
We are committed to publishing narratives steeped in reverence for childhood perceptions, but we seek essays that stretch beyond the clichés of childhood as simple, angelic, or easy. We feature writing that layers the events of the writer’s early years with learning or wisdom accumulated in adult life.
We welcome diverse creative nonfiction pieces that depict revealing moments about the human condition.
Please visit our website, share the opportunities, and consider sending us your writing.
We look forward to reading your work!
Founder and Editor: Elizabeth Gaucher, Middlebury, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributing Editors: Laurel Gladden, Sante Fe, and Beth Newman, Asheville
Creative Advisor and Muse: Suzanne Farrell Smith, NYC
The new online literary publication, Longridge Review, is coming together!
LR will be somewhat similar to Essays on Childhood, but more formal. We will have a reading period, an editorial review of submissions for potential publication, and an accept or decline response system.
In addition to Creative Nonfiction Essays, we will feature occasional guest columns on craft and visual artists.
As we close in our mission statement, your feedback is appreciated. What are your feelings about the mission statement as it is now drafted? Is there something you think we missed, or anything that seems out-of-place?
Please post your comments below, and thank you for your support!
Our mission is to provide a free website that offers the finest essays on the mysteries of childhood experience, the wonder of adult reflection, and how the two connect over the lifespan.
We are committed to publishing narratives steeped in reverence for childhood experience and perceptions, but we seek essays that stretch beyond the clichés of childhood as simple, angelic, or easy. We want to feature writing that layers the events of the writer’s early years with a sense of wisdom or learning accumulated in adult life.
We welcome diverse creative nonfiction pieces that demonstrate a strong perception of nuanced and revealing elements of the human condition.