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Looking in a New Way

When I read Maria Kuznetsova’s story “Sandwoman,” I was immediately drawn to its offbeat tone and to the narrator’s voice, which is in turns playful, exuberant, dark, and funny. Though much of the story is fantastical, it speaks volumes about the real-life experiences of women who struggle with their physical and mental health postpartum. Maria’s imaginative and surprising perspective made me want to dig into the story’s origins when I got to talk to her.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • August 18, 2023

Removing the Mask

As someone who was a socially awkward kid — and remains a socially awkward adult — I find a lot to identify with in John Paul Scotto’s essays. He was recently diagnosed with autism, but for most of his life he knew only that he needed to hide his true self around other people if he wanted to fit in. . . . We’re pleased to have published some of his work in The Sun, including his essay in this month’s issue: “Coach’s Kid.”

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • August 15, 2023

Christian Girls

As someone who grew up in Southern Baptist and nondenominational churches, I felt seen when I read Virgie Townsend’s work. “Heavenly Bodies” is an excerpt from her debut short-story chapbook, Because We Were Christian Girls. . . . Virgie’s stories capture the complexities of growing up in a strict religious setting, while also showing the friendships and nostalgia that can come from those communities.

By Anna Gazmarian, Outreach Coordinator • July 3, 2023

What We Can Do

Chera Hammons’s hometown of Amarillo, Texas, is part of the region once known as the Great American Desert. . . . The landscape and wildlife around Chera’s home informs much of her writing, including her poem “Curve-Billed Thrasher” in our June 2023 issue. “It’s a strange place to live,” she told me. “I feel like it gets in your blood.”. . . We discussed donkey breeds, the challenges of gardening, and writing as a practice of forgiveness.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • June 8, 2023

A Curious Observer

Synne Borgen is the author of “Observations on Ice,” an essay featured in our June 2023 issue. . . . Synne bowled me over with her descriptions of the Arctic’s alien (and alienating) landscape — I think the piece works as both exciting travelogue and introspective memoir. We spoke recently about her essay and the Arctic Circle expeditionary residency program she recounts.

By Hank Stephenson, Manuscript Reader • June 7, 2023

An Inner State

When I first read the essay Kate Vieira sent us, “All-American” [May 2023], I fell in love with how she invites readers into a subculture that I previously knew nothing about. I’ve never been someone who cares for cheerleading, but the universality of this coming-of-age piece struck a chord with me. . . . During our interview, we bonded over the messiness of memoir and motherhood.

By Anna Gazmarian, Outreach Coordinator • May 22, 2023

Camille Guthrie on Writing Fiction

Camille Guthrie sent her short story “Dating Profile” to The Sun in response to a submission call for humorous writing. “Make us laugh,” we said, and she certainly did. I spoke with Camille about books, TV shows, and the challenges of writing humor, and she even offered a small preview of what’s next for the narrator of “Dating Profile.”

By Staci Kleinmaier, Assistant Editor • April 18, 2023

Rachel J. Elliott on Twenty-Five Years with The Sun

Rachel Elliott started at The Sun as an editorial office assistant in 1997, processing the mail and fulfilling book orders. Now, as editorial associate and photo editor, there is not much of the magazine production process that Rachel isn’t involved in.

By Staci Kleinmaier, Assistant Editor • January 18, 2023

Finding the Story

Elana Kupor is the author of “The Thistle Steps,” an essay featured in our October 2022 issue. Kupor has been hard of hearing since birth, and in her essay she interweaves her present-day experiences with scenes from her childhood. Sun Editorial Assistant Staci Kleinmaier recently spoke with Kupor about writing, identity, and disability.

By Staci Kleinmaier • October 18, 2022

One Who Really Writes

Author Becky Mandelbaum discusses “Emotional Morons,” a short story featured in our July 2022 issue, touching on the story’s distinctive setting at an artificial lake in Kansas, the main character’s profound insecurities, and more.

By Hank Stephenson • July 5, 2022
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