Dear Jean-Paul Sartre (Jon Wesick)

Pillbottle, Shaker, and Christmas123 45th Street, 6th floorNew York, NY Dear Jean-Paul Sartre: Thank you for submitting No Exit to our agency. We receive many manuscripts and cannot represent them all. Unfortunately, yours does not meet our needs. It’s hard to place in a specific genre although I suppose you could call it a fantasy. […]

A Rejection Letter for the Inevitable Rejection (Kirsten Reneau)

Dear [name], Thank you so much for considering rejecting me. I am pleased to tell you that I will not be accepting this rejection of me or my work, the two of which are so tied to each other that to say no to one is to say no to it all.  In some ways, […]

The Cover Letter for My Submitted Story (Michael Fowler)

Dear Editor, Thank you for allowing me to submit my short story “Zed’s Crisis” for possible inclusion in Forlorn Magazine’s themed issue The Buds of Spring, to be published online this April or May. You may recall that I, Nash Briggs, previously submitted a story called “Zed’s Decision” for your themed issue The Cusp of […]

Hearts in Jars (Aaron Leyshon)

Dearest departed potential contributor,  I forgot to send the ransom note, but we have your piece and a reading fee and a dozen other fingers and toes we’ve claimed in tribute over the years. You get it, we’re a small publisher (like you care) and we don’t and can’t and won’t pay our staff even […]

How I Lost My Library Privileges (Damhnait Monaghan & Ellen Goldstein)

Dear “Writer”, When I left the library on Friday afternoon, my inbox was clear. This morning, I returned to find fourteen emails from you describing craft workshops you’d like to present for our Friday morning Beginning Writers series. For the sake of brevity and clarity (concepts with which I fear you are unfamiliar) I will […]

Consider this my Resignation (Salena Casha)

To the Acting Director of Pacific Northwestern Weather Patterns, I am writing to resign from my post as Head Fog of North Bend, effective immediately. I cannot work in the conditions in which I find myself and while I have been a loyal employee of twenty years, I have identified a disturbing trend that I […]

Formal Request for Mercy (Beth Mulcahy)

Re: Formal Request for Mercy Dear Universe, I am writing in follow up to recent events within the scope of your realm and provide you with some comments and questions related thereto. I represent humans on earth. I know that you encompass all of space and time and their contents, including, but not limited to, […]

snakeskin boots (Isaac Akanmu)

dear valued creature: it has come to our attention that the following species, “serpent”, has breached our standards of service and submission. cunning in nature, the “serpent” curries favor only to attack at a convenient opening. please be aware, the “serpent” is a predator and its principal prey is: the “mind”. to be clear, the […]

Do What I Say (wamboala)

I am the master of poetry. You are my slave. You will award me this prize or face serious consequences. I will harm you if you disobey me. You will do what I say. Do not anger me. Great harm will come to you. I have already begun probing your writing for potential kompromat in […]

Indelible (Melody Greenfield)

“I want to worship your body,” he says now— nearly seven years later— and you’re whooshed back in time to the night that you met. When, with its creases and folds  and intricate design  like a fingerprint, your vagina was first deemed “exquisite.” She—the most secret part of you— left an indelible mark, and you left […]

A Rejection Letter for my father (Amber Beck)

Dear Father, Thank you so much for your dedication to my life. It was truly touching that you felt so strongly that you wrote me a seven-page letter detailing my faults and flaws. Your observations were beautifully conducted, and I only noticed a few spelling errors. I felt your two handwritten pages were an especially […]

Your Spotify Wrapped Playlist is Fucked Up, Dude (Elaine Cary)

Dear Listener,  Hello! 2021 was one hell of a year, and judging by the looks of the data-driven Spotify wrapped playlist we curated especially for you, this is probably an understatement. I mean, truly, what a shit show. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of your top songs played this year, let’s check out […]

Re: Application: Hot Gals Summer Rep (Inez Santiago)

Dear Inez, Thank you for your application as a Hot Gals Summer representative. However, we are sad to say you did not meet the qualifications. But because you asked for feedback on your application our editors have included some comments. A Look in the Closet: Your wardrobe choices were cute but not Hot Gals Summer […]

sometimes I take Xanax (a letter to my abuser) by Phoenix Leigh

I’m fucked up, again. Not on Xanax this time, so I consider that a bonus. The last time I texted you I was on Xanax, and a bunch of other stuff, and it was from a Google Voice number you probably didn’t recognize, and I texted you to “square up, bitch.” You didn’t reply. When […]

Brief 3rd Person Bio (Kelle Schillaci Clarke)

Award-winning author, memoirist and cultural critic Amanda Elizabeth Swanson has an MFA from —– and is currently pursuing her Creative Writing PhD from ——-. She was a recipient of the prestigious ——- fellowship, a runner-up in ——- Review’s —— ——-Memorial contest, and has recently been signed by —– Literary Agency. Her work has appeared or […]

Crush (Vera Hadzic)

Fuck you. Fuck you and your fucking poetry. It’s so fucking easy to lie when you do it in verse, isn’t it? How’d you turn lust into love? Some sort of writer’s alchemy, changing each particle of dust you shed into gold? With a thesaurus? Did you replace “spare” with “love of my life”? Does […]

The First Fish Who Walked Out of the Sea (Mary Colussi)

I sat on a rock by the shore and waited for the first fish to walk out of the sea, and when it did I stood on my own two feet, which may have been insensitive to the poor critter, whose own feet were in need of some improvement, and I took off my hat […]


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Dear alcohol, I almost died for you. An incomplete list of things I lost through loving you includes many years, feeling in my left arm, a fully functional liver, a burning slew of codependent lovers, the trust and admiration of my parents, my wallet (countless times), a thousand meals unmatched by the stomach-settling powers of […]