The 2017 Contest

Courtney Bambrick

The work submitted to Philadelphia Stories for this year’s Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry was ambitious and exciting.


Courtney Bambrick

By Emily Bludworth de Barrios (H_NGM_N BKS, 2015)* Emily Bludworth de Barrios’ poem “All Souls’” was selected as an editor’s choice in the 2013 Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry In her 2015 full-length poetry collection Splendor, Emily Bludworth de Barrios grapples with morality and virtue as qualities at odds with a contemporary, consumerist lifestyle. She […]

The Pep Talk

Aimee LaBrie

My mother bought tickets to a book luncheon the other day. I’d never heard of that, but it’s a place where a lot of women wearing Chico’s mix-and-match outfits spend $60 to eat chicken while listening to an author speak about his or her books. The author in this case was a very nice man […]

Robin Black Interview

Julia MacDonnell

Robin Black, this year’s final judge for the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction, and keynote speaker for Philadelphia Stories’ 2016 Push to Publish conference, seemed to burst, fully formed, upon the national literary scene with the publication of her story collection, If I loved You, I Would Tell You This. The book earned Black rave […]

On the Divine Lorraine and Falling in Love

Shannon Frost Greenstein

We lived in the ethereal shadow of the Divine Lorraine only for a year, but it stands out in my head, still as bright as the neon lights dancing underneath its towering signage. An abandoned, graffitied, majestic husk of a hotel, it dominated the skyline where we lived at 15th and Fairmount. In particular, I […]


Wilson Roberts

Sounds within a house change when the last of the dead are taken; echoes of dust settling air drying, cracking: emptiness has a resonance. That is why we point mutely at paintings, lamps, furniture, small things favored by memory; whisper when we must speak: the brass mortar and pestle, the painting, cows grazing, the cut […]

Why I Be Writin’ Stuff

Joseph Earl Thomas

Because I never learned a damn thing in school, since D.A.R.E. came long after truth. Because maps don’t work here, and there is oil, but “The Rainbow isn’t Enuf.” Because ain’t no nigga playing Spider-Man Or James Bond. Because it’s raining right now in Antigua, but North Philly is lovely this time of year. Because […]

When The Harpsichord of Watercolors

Paul Siegell

I hung them out of the location, but was worried about rain. Awareness on canvas, Monday in the South Philly kill zone. I’ll be on your arm, but these are not the only words we have in common. As easy as it is to get a slice of pizza, the sooner you know that the […]


Dan Elman

1. greasepaint buffalo twirling dishes  gravity creep children pull turtleneck wonder through the mad herd 2. the neighbor’s dog is barking invisibly it’s about to rain the trees are dropping their knots you remember yourself 3. kitchen sink full of cotton candy a lampshade sky the measured mind all the clown feet Dan Elman’s work […]