Posts By: Tim Lepczyk

Yousef Allouzi

Yousef Allouzi is a short story and public policy author who grew up in Texarkana, AR but currently lives in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a BS in Economics from Oregon State University and is currently working on his Master of Public Policy from the same institution. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter… Read more »

Some Things I Used To Remember

We never spoke of my father. Nobody did. Her first marriage was strictly off limits. When I finally did build up the nerve to ask about him, she abruptly told me that her current husband was my father.

Thank You

First, thank you to Sam Snoek-Brown and Chuck Rybak. Without the two of you as editors there wouldn’t have been an Issue 10. Also, thank you to our new editorial assistants who volunteered to read for the issue. Finally, thank you to the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation for supporting creative writing in the community.

Jessica Barksdale

Jessica Barksdale’s fourteenth novel, The Burning Hour, was published by Urban Farmhouse Press in April 2016. Her novels include the best-selling Her Daughter’s Eyes, The Matter of Grace, and When You Believe. 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… Read more »

Carter Vance

Carter Vance is a student and aspiring poet originally from Cobourg, Ontario, currently studying at Carleton University in Ottawa. His work has appeared in such publications as The Vehicle, (parenthetical) and F(r)iction, amongst others. He received an Honourable Mention from Contemporary Verse 2’s Young Buck Poetry Awards in 2015. His work also appears on his… Read more »

Michael Putnam

Michael Putnam grew up in Ohio and received his BA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has an MA from Cleveland State University and is currently in the MFA program at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He has been previously published in Fiction 365, Flyover Country Review, The Bookends Review, and New World Writing…. Read more »

Joey R. Poole

Joey R. Poole lives in Florence, South Carolina. His work has previously appeared in print and online in places like Bull: Men’s Fiction, Southeast Review, Molotov Cocktail Lit Zine, and Moon City Review. He has a collection of short stories, I Have Always Been Here Before, and a novel, Twenty Thousand Roads, ready for publication. He… Read more »

January Pearson

January Pearson lives in Southern California with her husband and two daughters. She teaches in the English department at Kaplan University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle Magazine, Timberline Review, The Lake, Four Chambers Press, Calliope, The Chiron, The Galway Review, Capstone Literary Journal, Modern Haiku, Haikuniverse, Darling Magazine, and Logia Theological Journal.

Jude Brewer

Jude Brewer is an author, actor, and emcee. He’s finishing a novel and a memoir while serving as an Executive Producer and Director for Productions Inc., a team of filmmakers in Portland, OR.

M V Montgomery

Dr. Michael Vincent Montgomery has been a professor at Life University in Atlanta for twenty-one years. He is the author of several collections of poetry and fiction and also writes screenplays. His author site is

Alan Montes

Alan Montes is a poet living in San Antonio TX. His poetry has appeared at bitterzoet magazine and at burnt pine magazine. He has more poetry forthcoming at bitterzoet magazine.

Claire Scott

Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Healing Muse and Vine Leaves Literary Journal among others. Her first book of poetry, Waiting to be Called, was published in 2015. She is the co-author of… Read more »


It’s been five years since Scintilla launched. What started out as a conversation on a sunporch in St. Louis continues as a thriving online literary magazine.

Fortune Cookies

Here’s a woman hired to write proverbs
Must be creative, inspired, concise
he who climbs a ladder begins at the first step

Claire Scott

Claire Scott is an award-winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize (2013 and 2014). She was also a semi-finalist for both the 2014 Pangaea Prize and the 2014 Atlantis Award. Claire was the grand prize winner of The Maine Review’s 2015 White Pine Writing Contest. Her first book of poetry, Waiting to be Called, was published in 2015. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.


Publisher and Managing Editor: Tim Lepczyk
Senior Fiction Editor: Daniel Grear
Fiction Editorial Assistant: Lyndy Wibking
Poetry Editorial Assistant: Adam Nick

Thank You

Special thanks to Hendrix College and the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation for their support of language and literature.

Trials of Isaiah

The reality of his immediate circumstances was something he felt keenly aware of, and it came to him instantly. He was a middle-aged man, urgently summoned to a house he had not stepped into for six years.

Neil Connelly

Before returning to his home state of Pennsylvania, where he teaches writing at Shippensburg University, Neil Connelly directed the MFA program at McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He’s the author of over a dozen short stories and five novels, including The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible (LSU Press) and The Pocket Guide to Divorce: A Self-help Work of Fiction (Gorsky Press).

Optimism One

Optimism One’s work is forthcoming from In Fact Books and has been published in Crab Creek Review, The Blotter Magazine, Sassafras Literary Magazine, The Matador Network, I-Magazine, and In the Grove: California Poets and Writers. He earned his MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sierra Nevada College and teaches at Modesto Junior College. He’s currently working on a memoir called Goodbye, Suicide.


The storm didn’t knock out our power,
but left twigs and leaves scattered.

In Sickness and in Health

Floyd’s memory was like a hornet caught in a Mason jar. He stood in the hallway after lunch, still in his pajamas, staring at the residue of his former self.

Deanne Gertner

A Colorado native, Deanne Gertner is a graduate from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for Denver-based art consulting firm, NINE dot ARTS, where she helps companies tell their stories through art. Deanne also serves as a board member for Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop, Denver’s premiere literary center. Her fiction has appeared in Quaint Magazine and her art criticism has appeared in Daily Serving.

Girl on the Screen

In the summer of 2012, in my hometown in south Louisiana, I rolled burritos while waiting for college to begin. Just as my restaurant job neatly framed those three summer months, so did the search for Mickey Shunick, the big sister who never showed up to her brother’s high school graduation.

Claire Comeaux

Claire Comeaux is from Lafayette, LA, and is a senior at Hendrix College, where she serves as Poetry Genre Editor for the Aonian. Her poetry was published in the 2015 Southern Literary Festival anthology.

Brian Matthew Pietrus

Brian Matthew Pietrus is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s MFA program in Nonfiction, where he also taught in the First Year Writing program. He is currently living and working in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in Elm Leaves Journal and r.kv.r.y. Quarterly, and he is the Nonfiction Editor for The Sonder Review.

Funeral for a Childhood

I remember the moment it clicked: The realization that everything I thought I knew, all my memories, represented a fantasy interpretation of events; untrue.

Amanda Morris

Dr. Amanda Morris teaches writing and rhetoric at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and also teaches creative nonfiction workshops for Murphy Writing of Stockton University.

Gilmore Tamny

Gilmore Tamny is a writer, musician and artist living in Somerville, MA. She is a committed artist, feminist, rawker, lover of old paintings and audiobook junkie.


When I kissed
your clavicle, gooseflesh
popped like tiny
naked chicks peeping

Ted Millar

Ted Millar has been teaching English for fifteen years at middle and high school levels as well as at the college level, courses ranging from freshman composition to Shakespeare, poetry, and creative writing.


“Take your father home,”
says the gravedigger, holding out
a sack of bones. In Mexico City

Charles O’Hay

Charles O’Hay is the author of two poetry collections—Far from Luck (2011) and Smoking in Elevators (2014)—both from Lucky Bat Books. His work has appeared in over 125 literary publications, including New York Quarterly, Gargoyle, and Cortland Review.

Native Shapes

The tree detritus falls,
dry and oblique, into piles
on the road that from a distance
look like armadillos, possums, feral cats,

Jen Karetnick

Jen Karetnick is the author of four poetry chapbooks and three full-length collections, including American Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing, May 2016) and The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016). She has also edited two anthologies and authored several cookbooks, including the award-winning Mango (University Press of Florida, 2014).


coyote, Cooper’s hawk, flattened feathers
lifting in the breeze. But now, just ahead
in a loud gale of traffic at next tight turn,


I left, I was hunted.

I clung to comfort, I was hunted.

I returned and was eaten.

Sarah Shields

Sarah Shields lives in Surf City, USA. Her written work has appeared or is forthcoming in Berfrois, Cheap Pop, Hermeneutic Chaos, Commonthought, and Spider.

The Subtle Ghost

But the haunting continued to be steadfastly understated, the ghost unerringly subtle. A polite poltergeist. A polterguest.

Emma Wortley

Emma Wortley is based in Sydney and has a PhD in English from The University of New South Wales. Her reviews, fiction and poetry have appeared in Voiceworks, Southerly, Going Down Swinging, Paper Crown Magazine and text Litmag.

Sweet Cheeks

“I’m lovely,” she says and pulls a jewelry box from under the coffee table. From the box she takes out a needle, a spoon, and a baggie filled with a dull white powder.

Robot Prom

The kids nowadays spend twelve hundred easy
dressing their robots for the senior prom.
All May and June, ballrooms shake as these lumbering
robots dance and cavort, flirt, sneak booze, and,

Armin Tolentino

Armin Tolentino received his MFA at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Bear Deluxe, Blue Earth Review, and New Millennium Writings.


Do we really need
another Liam, Noah, or Mason?
Emma, Charlotte, or Harper?
(I could go on…)

Larry O. Dean

Larry O. Dean was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. His numerous books include Activities of Daily Living (forthcoming, 2017), Brief Nudity (2013), Basic Cable Couplets (2012), abbrev (2011), About the Author (2011), and I Am Spam (2004).

Ace Boggess

Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003).

Thank You

First, thank you, Daniel, for taking on the issue, owning it, and creating something with your own editorial sense.

On Writing with Chekhov

Finally, after our successful crowdfunding campaign to keep Scintilla going another year, I’ve sat down with Anton Chekhov and we’ve written two zombie mashups.

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov, as you should know, was a famous writer. So famous he has a Wikipedia page. He’d probably wouldn’t be happy that his story, “At Christmas Time” was invaded by zombies and in the public domain.


I am becoming immune to body-counts, to the number of people who have been maimed or killed by bombings and drone attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen.


This issue of Scintilla reminds me of a cactus. Not because of the writing, though Chuck Rybak’s poem Blackbox may give one prickly sensations along the back of the neck. No, it reminds me of a cactus, because cacti are hardy plants. I did not give this issue the care and attention it deserved, the care and attention your writing deserved.


Tim Lepczyk: Publisher and Editor
Mark Barr: Fiction Editor
Zoe Calhoun: Editorial Assistant
Daniel Grear: Editorial Assistant

Inside a Whisper

How to find a home inside a whisper and take up residence there like a monk in an earthen corner with his tin cup of rose water and his hands scraped raw from gardening…

Robert Vivian

Robert Vivian has published four novels and two books of meditative essays. He’s currently working on a collection of dervish essays.


Sitting in the hoped-for warmth of a spring eve,
unseen jays screech from neighbouring garden trees.

Bethany Rivers

Bethany Rivers has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Cardiff University. Previous poems published in Cinnamon Press anthologies, The Lampeter Review, English Chicago Review, and Bare Fiction.

SAT Sestina

The students’ attention span is 3 feet,

a narrow beam 3 feet less than their dreams.

Black Box

evening fare to paris this poem departed years ago nosed
north over rio#s dark lagoon leaving home and coming home

Frederick Pollack

Author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness, both published by Story Line Press. Has appeared in Hudson Review, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Die Gazette (Munich), The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Representations, Magma (UK), Bateau, Chiron Review, etc.

Dennis Thompson

Dennis Thompson teaches writing and film at Des Moines Area Community College. His work has appeared in Mississippi Review, Colere Literary Review, Out of Line: Writings on Peace and Social Justice, and Wabash Review. His fiction “Jesus in the Eighth Race,” was nominated for a 2007 Pushcart Prize.

Saliba Sarsar

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, born and raised in Jerusalem, is Professor of Political Science and Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives at Monmouth University. He is the author and editor of several works on the Middle East, as well as two books of poetry.