Midwestern Gothic (ISSN 2159-8827) is a quarterly print literary journal out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, dedicated to featuring work about or inspired by the Midwest, by writers who live or have lived here. Midwestern Gothic aims to collect the very best in Midwestern writing in a way that has never been done before, cataloging the oeuvre of an often-overlooked region of the United States ripe with its own mythologies and tall tales.

Don’t be fooled by our name. Gothic fiction is often defined as the inclusion of deeply flawed, often “grotesque” characters in realistic (and, oftentimes unpleasant) settings/situations. At Midwestern Gothic, we take to heart the realistic aspects of Gothic fiction. Not every piece needs to be dark or twisted or full of despair, but we are looking for real life, inspired by the region, good, bad, or ugly.

Ultimately, we’re striving to catalog the best of Midwestern writers, and whether it be pieces physically set in the Midwest, or work inspired by your time living here, we want it.


Jeff Pfaller’sshort fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in James Gunn’s Ad Astra, Jupiter, North Chicago Review, and Fiction on the Web. His short story, “The Cellar Door,” earned an honorable mention from L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest. He can be found online at http://jeffpfaller.com

Robert James Russell is the author of the novels Mesilla (2015, Dock Street Press) and Sea of Trees (2012, Winter Goose Publishing), and the chapbook Don’t Ask Me to Spell It Out (WhiskeyPaper Press, 2015). He was awarded an artist residency with the University Musical Society for the 2014-2015 performance season. Find him online at http://robertjamesrussell.com.


Christina Olson is the author of Terminal Human Velocity, Before I Came Home Naked, and Rook & The M.E.: A Law & Order-Inspired Narrative. Her poetry and nonfiction has appeared in journals including The Southern Review, RHINO, Gulf Coast, Mid-American Review, Puerto del Sol, The Normal School, Anti-, Gastronomica, Passages North, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Brevity, Black Warrior Review, and Quarterly West. Born in Ohio and raised in Western New York, she lives in Georgia and online at http://www.thedrevlow-olsonshow.com.


Allison Reck is a graduate of the University of Michigan with degrees in English and French & Francophone studies. In her free time, she can be found in museums or opera houses, following her passion for art history and opera. She was born and raised in Michigan.


Lauren Crawford is an Ann Arbor-based writer and editor with a penchant for telling jokes poorly and a passion for writing in the margins. Her first published poem was about a unicorn, and it was written exclusively in rhyming couplets (she was ten at the time). She loves science fiction novels, Suprematism, and survival horror video games, and has begun to run out of places to properly store her books. She still writes about unicorns. Find her at www.lauren-crawford.com.

Giuliana Eggleston is a junior at the University of Michigan, majoring in Creative Writing and Literature through the Residential College. She is also pursuing a Minor in Business through the Ross School of Business. Grand Rapids born and raised, she loves the Midwest, but tragically hates the cold.

Rachel Hurwitz is overjoyed to be back with Midwestern Gothic after being an intern and reader last year. She is a junior in the Residential College at the University of Michigan and is jointly from Kalamazoo, Michigan and Buffalo, New York. When not doing school work, Rachel can normally be found drinking coffee or going on late night strolls in Ann Arbor taking photos. Her two true loves are studying human development and anatomy, as well as writing poetry. She hopes to publish a chapbook in the coming year.


J. Joseph Kane is a poet and fiction writer from Michigan. His work has appeared in The Newer York, Clapboard House, Elimae, RHINO, Cricket Online Review, Psychic Meatloaf, Right Hand Pointing, The Splinter Generation, and others. He grew up on Lake Huron and loves the smell of water.

Mackenzie Meter is a born-and-raised Michigander with a love for running, hammocking, and homemade soups. She currently works as the marketing manager for an Ann Arbor brewery, where she gets to write about (and enjoy) excellent beer. A lifelong reader, writer, and lover of words, she couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of Midwestern Gothic.

Kaitlyn Teer grew up 60 miles due west of Chicago. Her favorite t-shirt is a terrible pun: “Born to be wILd.” She recently graduated with an M.F.A. in creative writing from Western Washington University, where she received the “Outstanding Graduate Student Award” and served as managing editor of Bellingham Review. Her essay “Ossification” was a finalist in the Passages North essay contest and winner of Fourth Genre‘s 2015 Michael Steinberg Essay Contest. Other work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Midwestern Gothic, Camas, Sweet, and Prairie Schooner. She can be found online at kaitlynteer.com

Sara Moore Wagner is a poet, a mother, and a part-time instructor at various universities in the Cincinnati area. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in many journals, including Reservoir, The Wide Shore, The Pittsburgh Review, The San Pedro River Review, Illuminations, Vine Leaves, and The Yellow Medicine Review. She has also been nominated for a Pushcart prize. She has a deep love for folklore, cheap antiques, and Tori Amos. She’s so excited to join Midwestern Gothic!


Meghan Chou is a senior at Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding school in New Hampshire. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, she avidly attended football tailgates for the Michigan Wolverines and returns every year for the big rivalry game against the Buckeyes. She loves to explore the outdoors through mountaineering, hiking, and running cross country year round. She intends to pursue all facets of writing from screenplays to novels to poetry and even comedy sketches. Besides writing, she enjoys filmmaking and plays the piano, ukulele, and guitar. Her favorite quotation, from Cheryl Strayed’s novel, Wild, illustrates her willingness to learn, fail, and experiment, all for the sake of adventure and a good story: “How wild it was, to let it be.”

Kathleen Janeschek is a junior at the University of Michigan studying Mathematics and Creative Writing. She was born and raised in a tourist trap on the west coast of Michigan. In between writing mathematical proofs and writing poems about writing mathematical proofs, she likes to browse used bookstores, drink overpriced mint mochas, and sleep. Mostly sleep, honestly. For some time now, she has been stuck in a library and sees little chance of escape.

Audrey Meyers is a senior at The University of Michigan pursuing degrees in Creative Writing and Communication Studies. Having been born and raised in the same Kalamazoo house for the first 18 years of her life, she has semi-recently uplifted her roots to dig into the resourceful soil of Ann Arbor. Hoping to grow stronger as a writer, her xylem have rejoiced with finding this Midwestern oasis that appeared as a literary journal. Besides inventing metaphors to explain her life, Audrey enjoys nature, music, and their combined form–music and camping festivals, and above all, ice cream.


Carla Barger
Jon Michael Darga
Graham Dethmers
Taylor Grandinetti
Rachel Horn
Rachel Hurwitz
Randy Magnuson
Rebecca McKanna
Stina Perkins
Brian Rocha
Ben Rosenstock
Marilyn Schotland
Nellie Stansbury