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 in Conway, Arkansas. One of the goals of Scintilla is to offer some feedback to writers if their work isn’t accepted, instead of a form letter. It’s harder to accomplish this goal as our submissions have increased, but we still try to do our best. Out of the submissions that poured in, I’m happy to present you with the best work we received.

In”Trials of Isaiah,” Neil Connelly, offers a moving story of a man coming to terms with the impending death of his father and the mutual disappointments both men feel. Emma Wortley’s “The Subtle Ghost” is a wry story about a woman haunted by more than her lack of employment.

Claire Scott imagines the life of a woman writing proverbs in “Fortune Cookies,” ¬†while Armin Tolentino searches for God “In the Dunkin Donuts Where the Virgin Mary Appeared on an Apple Fritter.” As winter winds down, “Pruning” by James Valvis is an eerie fit for the season.

Finally, turning to nonfiction, I hope you read “Chain-Link Fences and Barbed-Wire Regret” by Optimism One and “Girl on the Screen” by Claire Comeaux. “Chain-Link Fences and Barbed-Wire Regret” explores a friendship that’s been divided by prison. How does one sustain a friendship while in prison? What barriers are there beyond those we see? In “Girl on the Screen,” we see how the disappearance of a teenage girl affects a community and how people view one another.

There are many other fine poems and stories, both real and fictional, in this issue of Scintilla. Read them. Let them reside within your mind and enjoy.