Thursday, December 15, 2011


A huge thanks to the fine folk of Peanut Gallery for hosting our highly successful release reception last night! A mighty thanks too to those who attended and shared their writing! Issue IX is on store shelves starting today and at The submission deadline for Issue X is January 10! Submit to

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Release Reception for Issue IX: Winter 2012

Join us on Wednesday, December 14 for the release reception for Issue IX: Winter 2012.

The event will take place from 7 to 10 pm at Peanut Gallery in Humboldt Park. We support our neighbors! This reception takes place in a new sort of venue for The LSLR. We will be hosting live readings from the contributors of Issue IX, offering alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments for a menial donation, will have back issues of The LSLR for sale, and Peanut Gallery will have hanging art for sale as well.

This event features readings from the following contributors to Issue IX:

Theresa Boehl
Joshua Feinberg
John Gorman
Alicia Hilton
Erica Hunzinger
Bela Shayevich
Matt Tracey

From Peanut Gallery's website: 

"Peanut Gallery is a space for creative collaboration, experimentation, exhibition and good, old-fashioned mingling. Inspired by French Salons, Peanut Gallery hosts a weekly open house which we call “Art Night” (on Tuesday nights), and people come to draw, brainstorm, jam, drink, etc… with other artistically-inclined Chicagoans. We also put on more traditional, monthly exhibitions of work by local artists, which open every second Sunday of the month. Our goal is to connect creative people with one another and nurture a vibrant, inclusive community of artists and intellectuals. We believe that 10 minds are greater than one, and collaboration/communication/cooperation is the basis for progress."

This is a FREE event, NOT byob, but all-ages are welcome and don't forget to bring cash to buy issue IX, drinks, and art!

Per request of the owner, we will be checking ID at the door if you plan on drinking alcohol, so don't forget to bring your ID!

Below is the cover for Issue IX, hand-painted by the Issue IX featured artist: Rachael McHan.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Issue IX pre-sale!

Issue IX: Winter 2012 is now available for pre-sale on this website! Due to an increase in cost of materials, we are going to have to raise our newsstand prices ever so slightly, but until Issue IX's release day, you'll be able to purchase at the old price of $5 plus shipping! Order now and your copy will be mailed out the day Issue IX is released!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Join us on FRIDAY, October 28 for THE LSLR READS, A Night of Spooky Readings and Performances

At Quimby's Bookstore - 1854 W North Avenue

7 to 10 p.m.


Ben Spies
Cassandra Gillig
Alicia Hilton
Muyassar Kurdi
Lara Levitan
Michael McCauley
Josh Piotrowski
Chris Terry
John Thurgood

This is a FREE BYOB event, we will be supplying drinks and treats, come join us!

Costumes are not required but encouraged!

Thanks for submitting!

Thanks to everyone who submitted for Issue IX! The new deadline for submissions to be featured in Issue X is Tuesday, January 10.

Notices to those who are being published in Issue IX will be sent out soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Call for Live Readers! 
The Logan Square Literary Review  is hosting a LSLR Live Reading on October 28th at Quimby’s Bookstore and is looking for readers! Have a dark and/or spooky piece you're interested in reading? We're looking for six more writer/readers to present their work onstage at Quimby’s

If you're interested in participating, please send an e-mail to with a brief description of the piece you’d like to share, as well as a little bit of information about yourself. Each reader is given 6-8 minutes. Let us know ASAP if you're interested! There are only six slots, so hurry!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Issue VIII Now Available

Thanks to everyone who came to the release reception for Issue VIII: Autumn 2011! Issue VIII is now available through this website, and will be available at our retail vendors beginning Thursday, Sept. 29.

The submission deadline for Issue IX: Winter 2012 is Tuesday Oct. 11! Submit your work in the body of an email to Please include a brief (3-4 sentences) biography including your location of residence (neighborhood of Chicago). Submissions received without a biography will be disregarded!


Cover art for Issue VIII by Iris Iris Pasic.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The 2011 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

During this year’s Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest, The LSLR is excited to present its gallery exhibition Milwaukee Avenue: The Millennial Shift. The exhibit will be installed in the vacant storefront at 2634 N Milwaukee Avenue, and will be open for exhibition the entire weekend July 29 – 31.

The Exhibit

Milwaukee Avenue: The Millennial Shift is a map and printed media presentation that chronographs the shift of culture and arts up Milwaukee Avenue, into Logan Square, since the year 2000. Emerging galleries, theaters, studios and music venues, as well as neighborhood icons will be featured as continuing proof that Milwaukee Avenue remains the profound facilitator of commerce and community that it always has been. Milwaukee Avenue: The Millennial Shift provides a nostalgic look at the emerging and ever-changing arts culture on Milwaukee Avenue through an illustrated timeline composed of photographs, concert posters, and artist interviews.

The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

This last weekend of July, Logan Square will host its annual Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival. Events will take place between California and Kimball Avenues, in the heart of Logan Square’s commercial district. Festivities run July 29th from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and continue throughout Saturday and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m.. This year’s festival features dozens of galleries, performing and musical artists, as well as food and drink brought to you by local eateries, food trucks and bars.

For more information on the Milwaukee Arts Festival visit,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


..... to tonight's readers and the accommodating staff at Cole's Bar. It was a great night for independent publishing and local literature!

Issue VII is now available in these fine stores:

2641 N. Kedzie Ave.

3131 W. Logan Blvd.

1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.

1854 W. North Ave.

3716 West Fullerton Ave.

2307 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Issue VII Release Reception

Your holiday weekend was just extended.

Join us on Tuesday, July 5th at COLE'S BAR to celebrate the release of our Summer issue, LSLR#7. The evening starts at 7PM.

It should be a time. We're working on a fantastic lineup of live readers who will grace the stage that night. Come by and congratulate the writers, meet the editors and talk the literary talk!

Don't miss it!

Friday, June 24, 2011


We need your work if we are going to put out a journal of quality. So, please be a sport and send us a piece of writing! Better yet, send us a number of pieces of writing. Get involved. Get published. Get compliments from an adoring public. It'll be good for you, we promise. We can't do it without you, the slaves-to-the-written-word who have the temerity to express their thoughts on paper and present them to total strangers.
July 26th.

Send your work to

Be as cool as this guy:

Friday, June 17, 2011

DIYCHI Poetry Workshop

Hey Everybody,

Our friends over at DIYCHI are launching a poetry workshop, and we're excited to be spreading the word. Matt Whispers, an LSLR contributor and Chicago Zinefest organizer, is among those spearheading the effort. Check it out:

This workshop will establish a diverse, supportive community of Chicago-based poets. We encourage our friends and contributors to join the fray.

E-mail diywritingworkshops@gmail.
com to sign up. Include your NAME, CONTACT INFORMATION, and 2 ORIGINAL WORKS with your e-mail. The first session will be held on TUESDAY, JUNE 14, from 8-10pm. Barring conflict, all subsequent workshops will be held at the same time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The LSLR Reads at Bucket O' Blood Books and Records

The Logan Square Literary Review is hosting another great evening of live readings featuring some excellent local talent!

The reading is at one of Logan Square's newest record and book shops, Bucket O' Blood Books and Records. We'll be shoving all the shelving out of the way and making room for all you beautfiul people to come relax and enjoy the literary stylings of:

Brad Brubaker
Amy L. Hayden
Georgi Johnston
Muyassar Kurdi
Jami Sailor
Pete Michael Smith

Readings begin at 7 p.m.

Issues of The LSLR will be available for purchase

This is a free event, and BYOB!!

We hope you'll join us in supporting local literature and Bucket O' Blood Books and Records. See you there!

If you would like to be a part of future readings, send an email to our events coordinator at with a brief description about yourself and a sample of material you'd like to read.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


For today, ready the nastiness embedded deep, deep down in your personality. Once you locate this hateful wasteland, use it to think of the worst possible, most damaging, wrathful and caustic thing (a single line) you could say to each of the following people:

- your mother
- your father
- your grandmother

- your sibling
- your own child
- Jim Carrey
- your current best friend
- Oprah
- your favorite teacher
- your current significant other

- yourself
- your doctor
- President Obama and his wife
- your first significant other
- your landlord
- George Clooney
- your dog
- Kim Jong-Il
- John Stewart

Send your list of devastating comments (which don't necessarily need to reflect your true beliefs) along with the targets' replies, as you imagine them, to

(If the whole operation leaves you feeling a bit empty or dirty inside, feel free to turn around and write the best possible, most uplifting thing you could say to each person on that same list.)

Friday, June 3, 2011


We're holding an LSLR Live Reading later this month, June 21st to be exact. Have a piece you're dying to share ? We're looking for six writer/readers to present their work onstage at Bucket O' Blood.
If you're interested in participating, please send send an e-mail to describing what genre you'd like to perform. Each speaker will be given 6-8 minutes. Please let us know ASAP if you're interested! There are only six slots, so hurry!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


For today, follow this link to meet your interview subject. You are profiling this figure for SEX HISTORY WEEKLY, an aptly named magazine.

He/She is an occasionally frustrating conversation partner, but try your best to discover his/her sexual history with penetrating questions. Copy and paste your conversation into a word processor frequently, because the website does not preserve it onscreen.

Send the completed interview to

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


For today, write a short story ten paragraphs in length. The first paragraph must contain a ten-digit number. The second paragraph must contain a nine-digit number..... and so on, until the final paragraph contains a single digit.

Send your story to

Monday, May 9, 2011


For today, imagine how different your life would have been if you had grown up with a father and eight different mothers, each of whom worked as circus-folk. Due to the occupational hazards of circus life, your (step-)mothers kept expiring, not unlike Spinal Tap drummers.

In the first five years of your life you had four different mothers, but your father made the odd, drunken choice of trying to convince you that they were each the same woman, who had merely gotten a makeover, a new haircut or put on some weight.

A circus fire destroyed most of the marriage records and family photos. You ran away from the circus at 15, and miraculously built a successful life for yourself.

Your task now is to cut through the haze of your father's misdirection and find out how many women raised you, how many mothers had a hand in shaping your habits and personality. If you must, interview retired performers, dig through city archives and revisit former circus venues. The truth might be out there.

Then, in order to gain closure, write each of these women a Mother's Day letter expressing your gratitude. Even if they are deceased, writing the letter should be a cathartic experience.

Send your letters to

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


A huge thanks to all the writers and artists who submitted their work for our summer issue. As we hunker down and prepare the issue, we're happy to announce the submission deadline for our Fall Issue, LSLR#8, which marks our second year of publication!

Please send your work as the body of an e-mail to by July 26th, 2011 in order for it to be considered for the Fall issue.

Thanks again and happy writing!

Friday, April 29, 2011


(Here we proudly present the work of the esteemed


... who contributed the following response to Writing Assignment #64):

The Final Interval Speech

Rumnif-Y! Today, is the day the stable boy from the Upper People's Republic of Shericksway-Latvia killed 25 men with his feet.

This game has evolved from men wearing shorts kicking a leather ball through a goal to men in suits of steel killing their opponents with a pink ball. I believe you, Rumnif-Y, are a diamond in the rough kind of talent. Your ancestors who grew up thriving in football passed down to you the superhuman leg power you need to be successful in this game. I believe you were born for this task. In 60 minutes, you will be holding the World Presidential Alliance Gobelkiball Cup.

Before you go out there, I have a few tips for you. I want you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself inside the arena kicking the Gobelkiball through the skull of each man. See each one fall to the turf in your mind. Hear their grunts as the ball shatters their craniums. Feel the ball strike from your instep and sail toward your target. Taste your own sweat on your lips as your chase after the ball. Smell their fear. You are going to win if you see yourself winning. See it now.

I’ve watched your practices leading up to this match. I’ve seen how you can kick a Gobelkiball through a wall. You are no stable boy. Once you get out there, begin running towards the strongest man. Kill him first. The other two dozen men will watch stunned, paralyzed. It will prove to them – and yourself – just how tough you really are. After the first man is killed, it will rain unshakeable fear upon the remaining two dozen men. Keep the ball in front of you at all times. Some will resort to cowardly tactics. If you are attacked from behind, use your legs to kick behind you and to each side to give yourself some space. These men can’t touch your incredible leg strength and you may find the need to kick in someone’s chest.

I’ve had a nebulizer installed in your helmet. You’ll have more than enough prednisone to last the entire match. Run with no fear that you might end up winded, gasping for breath. The nebulizer has been pre-programmed to ensure you have wide-open lungs, even at an accelerated heart beat. Imagine running after the Gobelkiball breathing freely, for the first time outdistancing your opponents to get there first without coughing.

Your competitor’s strength is to come at you riding their airboards. You are at your most vulnerable if you find yourself next to the stadium walls. Keep in the middle of the arena. If you end up on the sidelines with a man racing down the wall at you, shoot the Gobelkiball at the feet. You’ll either knock them off their machines or shatter their tibias. No one can out run you. On the ground, you are unbeatable and the best part is they have no idea what they’re in for.

They see you as the meek, mild stable boy who has asthma. They see you as the man who hasn’t killed anyone before. They see you as an easy kill. The men you are about to face are relieved they are facing you and not my son. They are relaxed. They are vulnerable. In a few minutes, you will show the world you are every bit as horrific as he was. They are about to die.

Derriq-Pir wanted so badly to be fighting this match. You may have seen the picture of him chained to a World Government employee hospital bed. He was a good boy. He was the greatest Gobelkiball player I had ever seen. I know the government is somehow involved in his murder but we don’t have time to talk about this now. Go out there and fight with all you have because there are shady men in this world who wanted to see us fail today. These people who want to jettison us to space or who want us to be killed. Today, we will get our revenge. You are going to kill and kill and kill.

Open your eyes. The time has come for you to fight the Final Interval. Go out there and show them who you really are…the new Gobelkiball champion. Remember what I told you. Can you see yourself holding the Cup? What does it feel like to kiss that trophy?

Rumnif-Y, listen. The crowd is booing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


(Here we proudly present the work of the esteemed

Mr. Bobby Evers

....who contributed the following response to Writing Assignment #59)

- embedding - v. Pounding a thing into the bed of another thing, as in

a rock or an internet post.

Used in a sentence: Charlie was embedding the html code for a music

video clip into the bed of rock located outside the plantation's
easternmost wall.

- embellish - v. to tell an teeny tiny lie, a lie so small it may as

well not even exist.

Used in a sentence: Charlie began to embellish Miranda's lesser points

for his own personal gains.

- embellishment - n. one tiny lie

Used in a sentence: Charlie's single worst embellishment was to tell

Miranda, "You don't even look fat in that pair of shoes, Miranda.

- ember - n. a tiny bit of burning matter that rises up from a larger

collection of burning bits of matter

Used in a sentence: a tiny ember rose up from the burning fire and

landed delicately on Miranda's shoulder, the pad of the shoulder
getting a little ashy about it.

- Ember day n. Christian holiday founded in 1666 to honor the burning

of the witches found practicing Black Magick underneath the windmill
as a sacrifice to Our Lord Jesus Christ

Used in a sentence: Amy and Becky were home from school, as the school

was closed in observance of Ember Day.

- emberizine - v. to polish a human organism until it shines and

glistens like chrome

Used in a sentence: Merrill sprayed the spray on the rag and wiped his

father's bald head to emberizine it like new.

- embezzle - v. to use subterfuge in order to siphen bits of money

from a pool of money that does not belong to you.

Used in a sentence: I was impeached as CEO of my Kid Detective Agency

I ran out of my own treehouse when I began to embezzle nickels from
the nickel jar.

- embiid n. the jewel you'll find in the forehead of a magic pony / centaur

Used in a sentence: Starla gallopped through the prairie, her embiid

glistening as if it had just been emberizined.

- embiotocid - n - the next largest thing after a zygote.

Used in a sentence: Kids, your mother and I have been separated ever

since you were nothing more than a couple a embiotocids floating
around a whiskey glass.

- embitter - v - to grow a callous layer of skin after being scorned somehow

Used in a sentence: Too many heartbreaks began to embitter him, thus

he quit preschool.

- Embla - n - the first ever emblem found on the first ever Newberry

Award Winning paperback

Used in a sentence: Shades of Grey is known for having the Embla, the

first ever emblem found on the first ever Newberry Award Winning
paperback, from which all emblems would then follow.

- emblaze - n. to burn a raging path through or upon

Used in a sentence: When Weezer released their 2010 album "Hurley"

countless followers decided to emblaze the face of Jorge Garcia on
their shoulders, backs, clavicles, and calves.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Here is the line-up of readers for our upcoming reception celebrating the publication of Issue VI!

The reception for Issue VI: Spring 2011 is THIS TUESDAY, April 26 at Cole's Bar! 2238 N Milwaukee Ave., 7 to 10 p.m.

Issues I-VI will be for sale, and the readings! OH, THE READINGS!

Starting at 8 o'clock, there will be live readings from Issue VI, and beyond.

FEATURING, in alphabetical order

Kristiana Colón
Larry O. Dean
Dr. Daniel Gajda
Chris Hefner
Ryan P. Kennedy
Muyassar Kurdi
John Thurgood

Don't miss this excellent celebration of the written word! See you all Tuesday!

Monday, April 18, 2011


For today, get a pen and an old white shirt that you don't really want anymore. It must have sleeves.

Now, listen to this song: and in the ten minutes it takes to do so, write a short story about a teenage dance party, but limit your writing to the left sleeve of the shirt.

Now, listen to the song again: and in the ten minutes it takes to do so, write a short story about a group of teenagers getting arrested for public intoxication after a teenage dance party, but limit your writing to the right sleeve of the shirt.

Now, listen to the song again: and in the ten minutes it takes to do so, write a short story about a teenager been driven home by his or her single father and he posted bail for them, but limit your writing to the back of the shirt.

Now, listen to the song a final time: and in the ten minutes it takes to do so, write a short story about returning to school the Monday after a riotous teenage dance party that ended in jail and awkward family dinners all weekend, but limit your writing to the front of the shirt.

Lastly, wear the shirt in public during your next run to the convenience store and then mail the shirt to

Logan Square Literary Review
3049 W. Diversey #2
Chicago, IL 60647

Thursday, April 14, 2011


For today, pretend you are an athletic coach in the far far far future. Space colonization has failed, and the Earth is dangerously overpopulated.

Among many other population-control measures, most forms of athletic competition have been refashioned into last-man-standing games, in which the winning team is the one that successfully slaughters all members of the other team without disobeying the rules of the game.

Imagine yourself as the coach of the Mozambique Tarp Plendor-Kilnetz (this is the far future), the year's Cinderella team in the World Presidential Alliance Gobelkiball tournament. Your team, originally composed of 27 players, is down to one final man after completing 78 Intervals. The game ends after 79 Intervals or until one team has lost every one of its players to death, whichever occurs first. At the end of the 79th Interval, the surviving players on the losing team are jettisoned into space. The coaches are spared, as they are World Government Employees.

You have one player remaining in the game, nicknamed Rumnif-Y. Your opponents have retained all but two of their players throughout the course of the game. Rumnif-Y is an asthmatic stable boy from the Upper People's Republic of Shericksway-Latvia. This is his first tournament and has yet to make a kill. He may have a special skill that has just come to light.

For some reason, you've become attached to the kid, even though he hasn't done much for your squad (your compensation depends on team stastics). He reminds you of your own son, Derriq-Pir, recently killed under mysterious circumstances. He's got something inside of him that convinces you completely, almost irrationally, that he can single-handedly win this game, killing the remaining 25 on the opposing team. You've just discovered this light inside of him.

For today, write a speech that will convince him that he is going to win, and suggest to him the best strategies for victories. Incorporate as many rules of the game as possible. And discourage Rumnif-Y from giving in to despair and resignation. Make him fight! Convince him, as you've convinced yourself, of the possibility that this might work out for him.

Send your pep talk to

Some elements of the game, to give you a better feel for the rules:

Friday, April 8, 2011


For today, head to a nearby thrift store. Search through the garments manufactured for the opposite sex. Find one you like. Study it for a while and isolate what it is you like about it and how it makes you feel. Better yet, if you have the scratch, go ahead and purchase it.

Think of the previous owner with as much depth as you like. Imagine the circumstances under which they relinquished the article.

Next, fast-forward through your ownership and use of the garment and imagine its next owner with as much detail as you like.

Your mission is to write a short story wherein the two owners of this item immediately before and after you must join forces and track you down. The reasons for this are yours to decide. If the former owner is deceased, then feel free to get metaphysical. Create some sort of rationale that makes their search for you absolutely imperative. They must search for the figure (you) that connects them. If it helps, involve warlords, C-4 detonators, dreams, time travel, secret pockets, Gods and Goddesses, space things, the FBI, mental instability, Fox News, alligators, Rube Goldberg machines or whatever else gets you through the assignment. It can't be any worse than
Sucker Punch. (zing.)

The epilogue to this story should concern the three of you being interviewed for a New Yorker piece based on this strange, eventually infamous, story. You are exempt from this if you end the entire world somewhere earlier in the story.

Send the story to

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


For today, fashion a blindfold out of an old rag or necktie. Use it to cover your eyes. Now go to your window, preferably one facing the street.

For ten minutes or so, scribble down the phonetic spelling -- like they do in comic books -- that corresponds to the various sounds you hear. Try not to think of the objects making these sounds. Describe the noises as best you can using language. Come up with twenty or thirty.

Next take the sequence of your new words and use each of them as verbs in a short story about children playing G.I. Joe, as narrated by one of the children recently "killed" during an imaginary battle.

Get as poetic, nonsensical or political as you like. A combination of all three would be grand!

Send your story to

Monday, March 21, 2011


For today, call or text your best friend and ask them about the last dream they remember having. Next, do the same with a sibling, cousin or parent. (If you don't have any of those, then another friend will do.)

Consider these dreams alongside your own most recent dream.

Now, think of a real figure that is mutually known to you and both of these people.

Finally, rewrite each dream with the addition of this mutually known person. Try to obey the logic and rhythm of each respective dream, but include this new figure and try to situate them within these worlds.

If you'd like to go further, you could unite all three dreams into a master narrative starring your inserted figure. Your call.

Whatever the result, send it to We sincerely hope (for your sake) that it's less horrifying than this:

Sunday, March 13, 2011


For today, please consider helping us out. You just might end up helping yourself.

See, we pride ourselves on being a writer-friendly publication. We love our writers and admire the tenacity and dedication their work requires.

Because of this sentiment, rejecting work is often painful and always uncomfortable. This is why we need a one-size-fits-all rejection letter that gives the author of each rejected piece a sense of closure. Yes, we could forgo the gesture altogether. Yes, we could certainly write it ourselves; it might be sufficiently sympathetic and encouraging. But wouldn't you rather hear from one of your own?

Please send us a brief rejection letter template. If we receive a real Blue Ribbon piece in response to this assignment, we'll adopt it as our Official Bearer of Bad News, giving the winner credit if she so desires.

This is your chance to craft the rejection letter you never received. What would you have wanted to hear?

Send it to

Lastly, a look at the finest creation of John Kennedy Toole, our patron saint of rejected literature:

Friday, March 11, 2011


For today, let's a revisit an old LSLRWA favorite.

Consider the following twelve words, listed consecutively on page 635 of Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary:

- embedding
- embellish
- embellishment
- ember
- Ember day
- emberizine
- embezzle
- embiid
- embiotocid
- embitter
- Embla
- emblaze

Your task is to create, without consulting any reference material other than your own mind, a definition for each word.

If you're feeling especially ambitious, go ahead and complete a short story or poem in which each of these words is used as you've defined it.

Send your definition and your work of literature to

Sunday, March 6, 2011


For today, help us salute Jessie Winslow.

Fantastically talented photographer, gifted poet and all around nice person, Ms. Winslow graciously assisted us during our recent fund-raising drive. To express our gratitude, we are dedicating today's writing assignment to her work, which makes its home at

--- Fun facts: Her great-grandmother played an essential role in inventing Kodachrome film, and was consequently listed in the liner notes for the single version of Paul Simon's song of the same name. Her great-grandfather was a magician who moonlighted as a writer of educational childrens songs, including the original tune for "The Alphabet Song" (though his publishing company deleted several delightful passages during the revision process. But he was not an artist to dwell bitterly on such things.) Quite a creative pedigree. Winslow and her sister, Rachel, previously published a photograph in LSLR #4. -----

So, for today, slowly and carefully take in the following sequence of images, all brilliantly captured by Ms. Winslow's camera:

(our ability to reproduce these splendid images is hampered by our reliance on the blog's templates and capacities. The gorgeous originals can be found here. We apologize to Jessie for the crummy reproductions.)

Now, your job is to construct a short story or poem based on this sequence. Start with the elderly gentleman against the mountains and end your tale at the empty backyard table at sunset. In between, use each image to its fullest narrative potential, and pay careful attention to the emotional shifts (color, distance, texture, etc.) occuring between the photographs. Come up with something magical; something that these pictures deserve.

Send the result to


For today, imagine your name is J. Whitney and you are an MD who has done extensive research on the state of American well-being. You've been commissioned to write a 2,000-word editorial (to be published in the New York Times) about the federal policies regarding childhood obesity. The catch: your piece has been clandestinely sponsored by British Petroleum, who have been supporting you financially and underwriting your education since you were a toddler. They own you.... as well as the 200 other young professionals they've "sponsored" since the 1970s.

Now, BP is giving you $500,000 to subtly insert their propaganda in your piece without arousing suspicion. This has been their most aggressive demand on you thus far. Be as cunning and evil as possible without blowing your cover.

Send your editorial to

Thursday, March 3, 2011


For today, we're going to cast off the shackles of propriety and immerse ourselves in the world of surrealist pop culture.

As many of you may have heard, the actor Charlie Sheen (the 5'10" star of Major League 2 and Terminal Velocity) has himself recently cast off the shackles of propriety in a most public fashion. In this media-saturated climate, he's going to need all of the help he can get. And so he is now looking to hire, to the tune of $180,000 per year (plus expenses), a personal Entertainment Czar. You are free to interpret the position however you like.

We are asking you to prepare a resume and cover letter that will convince Mr. Sheen that you are the right person for this job.

Send your materials to

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


The submission deadline for ISSUE VI is TODAY. After 11:59 (CST) tonight we will no longer be accepting submissions for LSLR #6: Spring, 2011. Everything received thereafter will be considered for our summer issue.

So finish that last polish and get your work in before midnight:

Monday, February 28, 2011

ISSUE V on sale now!

Just a reminder, LSLR #5 is currently on sale. Featuring full color images from outstanding local artists. Inside the journal, you'll find a stories of innocence lost, cinematic chicanery, surreal encounters with strangers. Also featuring fantastic local poetry, a personal culinary guide to the neighborhood and an uncomfortably intimate recipe for brownies. And that's not all!

You can pick it up at any of the fine local retailers listed to right of this page as well as through us directly (inquiries to


Thursday, February 24, 2011


For today, imagine that reincarnation is very real. Also, imagine we live in a futuristic society in which time travel is possible.

Through a combination of experimental miscalculation and scheduling error, you find yourself in a small, windowless conference room with your five most recent selves. Each self was born the day that the previous incarnation died. You clearly have much to discuss. All of you are informed of this connection prior to entering the room.

The fifteen minute (the technology has yet to be perfected) group exchange culminates in a group hug.

Your job is to transcribe the conversation as best you can.

Send it to

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Hey everybody,

Just a reminder that this coming
Tuesday (Feb. 22) we'll be holding our Reception for Issue V at Cole's Bar (2338 N. Milwaukee) from 7-10PM. Come out and commiserate with an impressive collection of writers and artists who contributed to making this our best issue thus far. Check out the latest issue and unwind with an assembly of talented and enthusiastic supporters of community-based publishing!

.... and added to this, a bit of fun and unexpected news: We will be sharing Cole's that evening with 35th Ward Alderman Rey Colon's Election Day Party that night. We wish Ald. Colon the best and encourage all Chicagoans to take part in the future of our city and VOTE.

Friday, February 11, 2011


For today, imagine you've won an AVN award for "Best Gonzo Release". Your career began as a performer, but you've recently completed a string of increasingly ambitious films as director. You are 32 years old.

Write your acceptance speech in iambic pentameter. Don't leave any of your crew members out of your statement. Make sure it's from the heart, and announce at the end you are going to retire from the industry to join the military.

Send it to

Thursday, February 3, 2011


For today, imagine the emotional pull of a significant event in your life. Forget about the words and the images. Instead, focus on the inner sensations. Run through the event a few times in your mind.

Now, commit the event to paper using an idiosyncratic asemic writing style. This entails your approximating the general form of letters and words as you write, but the whole piece should be illegible in any language.

For example:

Send the result to:

Monday, January 31, 2011


For today, pretend that a man named Christopher Jensen approaches you in your darkest hour.

Three hours earlier, the government shut down the avant-garde restaurant to which you had dedicated the past decade of your life. After months of surprisingly good attendance rates and a slow climb out of debt, you had just made a name for yourself in the burgeoning Chicago food scene with an eclectic menu, superlative customer service and charmingly warm ambiance. Yet your ex-spouse has a new squeeze, and this venal, ill-tempered person works for the Health Department. Strings are pulled, petty vengeance is swiftly wrought and your place is shut down indefinitely via the ice-cold machinations of a spurned lover and a corrupt wonk.

You mull your deadened future over a case of Natural Light on the front steps outside your mortgaged home. You've just come straight from the restaurant and you can't bear to ascend the stairs and face your significant other with the devastating news.

Enter Christopher Jensen. He is riding a bicycle and has apparently been riding for days nonstop to reach you. He gently asks for some water and a comfortable place to sit before he tells you something important.

After the two of you have settled, he nonchalantly agrees to help you solve your problem(s). You are humbled and a little embarrassed, but eternally grateful. What luck!

Decades pass, and your reopened restaurant has become an international sensation. George Clooney eats there alongside Turkish diplomats and the lady who invented chalkboard paint. They film a bunch of movies there; it's always very difficult to get a table. The whole thing is a dream. The current President of the United States, John Martinez, got his first summer job there as a server while in high school.

All along, one dish stands above the others: The Jensen Special. This is what George Clooney and the Turkish diplomats split after a Blackhawks game. It's a five-course array of culinary delights, exceedingly simple yet unquestionably brilliant in its confluence of flavors and consistencies. It inspires the fifth red star on the Chicago Flag after U.S. and Chinese officials broker a deal for total nuclear disarmament while splitting a Jensen Special.

As your restaurant prepares to serve its millionth Jensen Special, you decide to organize a special appearance by the man himself, but he has pursued a monastic path since your last encounter and is skeptical of making public appearances, especially after his legend has traveled to each corner of the world in light of this most famous meal.

For today, write Christopher Jensen a letter of extreme gratitude. Include reports from several dignitaries, celebrities and regular Chicagoans who have for years enjoyed the wonder that is the Jensen Special. Earnestly plead with him to attend the festivities. Describe the Jensen Special to him, and then elaborate on how this particular combination of foods represents an appropriate salute to the man himself. Ultimately, persuade him to cycle down from his secluded hill on a distant horizon to your restaurant in order to enjoy the millionth dish that bears his name.

Send it to

Saturday, January 29, 2011


For today, write a three-page rambling monologue, the would-be centerpiece for a prize-winning novel. The scene takes place during a foreclosure auction held to liquidate the assets of a failed commune.

Your character should hit the following targets:

- foods that smell better than they taste
- your character's recent divorce
- a possibly forged manuscript detailing the private fears and fantasies of a North Korean nuclear scientist
- a recurring dream
- a Joan Jett b-side so obscure that your character is the only living person to have heard it
- the election of Barack Obama

Punctuation is optional.

As always, send the results to

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hello All,

As you probably know, we are well into the process of creating Issue V (Winter 2011).

Despite unprecedentedly high sales for Issue IV, we recently experienced an unforeseen financial setback that has made the printing of Issue V precarious, to say the least.

Community-minded folks that we are, we have established a project page with the hope of generating enough funds to cover the printing for Issue V.

This should be a one-time operation, as our sales have traditionally been able to subsidize the entire cost of publication. If we raise enough funds to print this issue, the journal's financial state should reach a stabilized point of long-term self-sustainability.

We remain an ardently not-for-profit venture, so you may rest assured that every dime of assistance we receive is committed to putting the best, handsomest publication possible.

We have always relied on you, dear readers, to supply the journal's content. Now, we must rely on you, momentarily, for a different type of support.

ch-ch-ch-check it out:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011



For today, write a playlet about twin sisters turning 50 on February 25, 1950. Each sister will be given 50 lines; each will line consist of 50 syllables.

One sister, however, did not survive the birth. The living twin, in this playlet, is driving along the majority of US Route 50, completing her annual visit to the other sister's gravesite.

She has always felt a cosmic connection with her deceased twin, occasionally lapsing into "inhabitations" during which she assumes the spectral (clairvoyant) identity of her sister.

During these spells, the channeled sister has often spoken of an " indescribably beautiful occurrence that I've seen that will visit you on our fiftieth birthday."

Your playlet will culminate with this event.

Send your work to

Saturday, January 22, 2011


For today, write a short story that could be appropriately titled "Our Conceptions Were Recorded".

Sunday, January 16, 2011


For today, invent a robotics-themed replacement for each of the following American idioms:

  • "making a mountain out of a molehill"
  • "useless as tits on a bull"
  • "dead as a doornail"
  • "the grass is always greener"
  • "put the cart before the horse"

Send them to

Saturday, January 15, 2011


[This piece was submitted in a response to Writing Assignment #47]




By John Wilmes


- soapy: the bubbly sensation covering my washing hands daily and sometimes multi-hourly, germs a fear of the still-running mind when i awake unwarranted in the 3 AM winter, making sure that i'm okay and getting my paws all wet and warm.

- soar: high and winged, the sky blue and almost empty, the occasional white around there, too.

- Soares, Raphael: responsible for the invention of the monocle.

- soaring: like when I've told a girl I like her---regardless of whether she likes me back.

- soave: to cut in half, if food, and of a pale hue.

- sob: to be hurt and not realize it until weeks later, the guitar loud through the speakers in your room, your friends having just left, your limbs trembly and your face-skin renewing as the wet stuff pours over it.

- S.O.B.: a red-faced father, trying to make his son red-faced, too.

- sobeit: the shrug of acceptance when a necessary bad happens, like every day if you don't me doing saying so.

- sober: a typing-mooded condition, not for everyone.

- sober-headed: like how i am when i make myself a grilled cheese, cutting the tomatoes and peppers nicely, squarely and slice-like to put them strategically onto the melting dairy nourishment, the bread browning and my head looking to forward to un-bogging as i feel more fibrous and right, fed.

- suberize: to bloat into big, concrete-and-steel something with bodies running circadian through, green flying stacked from their hands into drawers and leather pouches.

Friday, January 14, 2011


For today, consider the following group of words, which are listed consecutively on page 1,810 of Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (Random House, 1996):

- soapy

- soar

- Soares

- soaring

- soave

- sob

- S.O.B.

- sobeit

- sober

- sober-headed

- suberize

Now, WITHOUT consulting a single reference source, craft a thoughtful definition for each word. Please use only your mind, we're not grading for accuracy.

Send it to:

Saturday, January 8, 2011


[We hope that this project will become a standard feature on the blog and readers will regularly contribute interviews conducted according to these guidelines.]

Instructions [to be followed carefully]: Choose a cooperative person in your life. Present each of the following questions/prompts to your subject without elaboration. Record the full extent of their response. Upon completion, preface the interview with as much biographical detail (name/age/occupation/etc.) as your subject desires.

Send it to

  • When and why did you come to Chicago?
  • At what age did you first fall in love?
  • What do you read for pleasure?
  • Name your most essential "only in Chicago" moment/place/person/phenomenon
  • Are there secrets you have yet to share with another person?
  • What has been your biggest regret?
  • Where do you get your news?
  • What, if any, electronic device would you subtract from modern life?
  • Would you want to live in an alternate world in which both men and women could naturally bear children?
  • Describe your single most profound moment of creative inspiration.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?


For today, in honor of Georges Perec write a short story about the most important object in your life without using any words that contain the letter "e".

If you feel compelled to whine about the assignment's difficulty, remember that Perec composed an entire book using this strategy. Check it out.

We don't have anything against the letter, but it is the most-used in the English language.

Send your story to


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