The Avalon Literary Review
Contributors Spring 2021:
Richard Atwood lives in Wichita, Kansas. He has published three books of poetry. He has also been published in several literary journals; authored 3 screenplays, 2 large stage plays; and an m/m erotic-romantic fantasy with a GOT ambiance (Chronicles of the Mighty and the Fallen, under Richard McHenry). Rick is retired from the health-care field and remains alone, with two more poetry manuscripts in progress.  

A lifelong stage, screen, voice, and now virtual actor, Melanie Chartoff's first book, Odd Woman Out: Exposure in Essays and Stories, is available in audio, narrated by the author, ebook, and paperback on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Amanda Felice Collier has been teaching both high school and college writing for ten years. She has published several pieces of work over the past few years and is most proud of the writing that she has created recently, which is about being a mother. 

Suzanne Cushman lives in Carmel, CA with her husband, Noel Barnhurst, and two cats, Violet and Buddy. She recently won the grand prize in the ThinkingFunny21 Humor & Comedy Writing Competition. 

Laura Gaddis is currently an MFA candidate studying creative nonfiction at Miami University (in Ohio). Her current project is a memoir-in-essay exploring themes of grief, loss, relationships, and religion on the path to motherhood. She has previously been published in Thin Air Magazine, Scary Mommy, Tiny Buddha, and The Mighty. She resides in Oxford, OH with her husband, daughter, and pug Rocky. She can be found on Twitter @Sophia_Story.

Kirtida Gautam (they/them) have a Post-Graduation in Clinical Psychology, a Diploma in Dramatic Arts from M.S. University of Baroda, India, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Screenplay Writing from FTII, Pune. They have pursued multiple creative writing courses at Stanford University. Their work is forthcoming in Louisiana Literature. Born and raised in India, they have been living in California since 2015.

Robert Gunn is a native of southern Indiana with a passion for hiking, traveling, large, furry dogs and chilled martinis. He has had several short stories published in journals such as the Eureka Literary Magazine, Amarillo Bay and the Chaffin Journal. He currently works for the United States Postal Service as a rural carrier associate (RCA) to support his creative writing addiction.

Robert K. Johnson, a now retired English Professor, taught at Suffolk University in Boston for many years.  He has been writing poetry for even more years than that.  He has had several collections of poems published.  He enjoys writing poems about writing poems and writing love poems.

Thomas Kearnes graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an MA in film writing. His fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Berkeley Fiction Review, Timber, Foglifter, Hobart, Gertrude, Adroit Journal, Split Lip Magazine, Cutthroat, Litro, PANK, BULL: Men's Fiction, Gulf Stream Magazine, and elsewhere. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and three-time Best of the Net nominee. Originally from East Texas, he now lives in Houston and works as an English tutor at a local community college. His Lambda Literary Award-nominated debut collection of short fiction, Texas Crude, is now available from Lethe Press at numerous online booksellers.

Laura Mahal is a copy editor who poets on the side. (She’s supposed to be writing fiction, but poetry is a siren song, as well as a sustaining pastime during pandemics.) Her poetry appears in Encore 2020, Veteran’s Voices, Sunrise Summits, Charlie Mike, DoveTales, and Chiaroscuro. She is currently working on a novel for the Book Project—you can find more of her work at

Sharon Lopez Mooney is a mid-westerner by birth and words are her heartland. Her intention is to put her shoulder to the wheel of change and hope with all she writes. She is a retired Interfaith Chaplain and lives in Sonora Mexico. She regularly visits her family in California where she spent 40 years and where she began her writing life. She believes poetry is our essential communication and is grateful to have publications that make that possible. Her website is:

Jane O'Keeffe holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The Sylvan Echo, The Sun, The High Desert Journal, Thickjam and Word Riot. She lives on a cattle ranch in Adel Oregon on the edge of the Great Basin with her husband, her son and his wife, two perfect grandchildren, dogs, cats, horses, lots of cattle and for some reason, two mules.  

Stories by David Perlstein have appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Reed, pacificReview, Summerset Review and Oyez Review. His new novel 2084 will appear later this spring. David lives in San Francisco. More at

Bob Phillips is a freelance writer living in North Texas. He started reading and writing poetry later in life and was quickly published internationally. Bob enjoys a quiet life with his wife and Doberman puppy. He has three children and two grandchildren.

Cathy Porter’s poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Homestead Review, California Quarterly, Hubbub, Cottonwood, Comstock Review, and various other journals. She has published several chapbooks. Her latest collection, The Skin of Uncertainty, is now available from Maverick Duck Press. Cathy is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and serves as a special editor for the journal Fine Lines. She lives in Omaha, NE with her husband Lenny, their dog Marley, and cats Cody and Mini. 

Arianna Sebo is a poet and writer living in Southern Alberta with her husband, pug, and five cats. Her poetry can be found in Kissing Dynamite, The Coachella Review, Capsule Stories, and Lucky Jefferson. Follow her at and @AriannaSebo on Twitter and Instagram.

Corina S has not officially studied creative writing but she has written from a very young age. She’s a psychotherapist and recently won the first prize in LISP’s (London Independent Short Story Prize) 4th Quarter 2020 Competition for her short story Parents’ Evening. Currently, she is working on a short story collection with the title Positive Symptoms. 

Paul Smith writes poetry & fiction.  He lives in Skokie, Illinois with his wife Flavia.  Sometimes he performs poetry at an open mic in Chicago.  He believes that brevity is the soul of something he read about once, and whatever that something is or was, it should be cut in half immediately.

Mark Smith-Soto’s books include Time Pieces (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2015).  Fever Season: Selected Poetry of Ana Istarú (2010) and Berkeley Prelude: A Lyrical Memoir (2013) published by Unicorn Press. Awarded a 2006 NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing, he’s had work in Kenyon Review, Literary Review, Nimrod, Rattle, The Sun, among others.

Marc Swan’s fifth collection, all it would take, was published in 2020 by tall-lighthouse (UK) Poems are forthcoming in Concho River Review, Gargoyle, Coal City Review, among others. He lives in coastal Maine with his wife Dd, a maker and yoga teacher.

Wendy Swift is a graduate of Syracuse University. She teaches creative writing at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. Recent publications include Adelaide Literary Magazine, Grub Street Literary Magazine, Barely South Review. Wendy can be followed on Instagram: @wjayne and LinkedIn: @WendySwift4

Alan D. Tucker lives, works, and writes in Nashville. He holds a Master of Arts in English from Belmont University, where he studied English literature and creative writing. In addition to short stories, he has written one-and-a-half novels.

J.P. Whitney is an aspiring author from Wisconsin. She is currently working on a fantasy trilogy where Death and Life are closer than you think.

Since retiring from the practice of law, Renee C. Winter has traded billable hours for more writing time. Her personal essays have appeared in such literary journals as Catamaran, Exposition Review, Qu, Coachella, The London Reader, Star 82 Review, 34th Parallel, as well as in the anthology, Tales of our Lives (2016, ed. by Matilda Butler). Renee currently lives in Santa Cruz with her husband, and is a volunteer writing teacher at the local jails, an experience that has shown her talented writers are found everywhere.