Letter From the Editor

Philadelphia Stories Editors and Board Members

As one of the many voices of this great city, Philadelphia Stories stands in solidarity with those in our community who’ve expressed their anger and sorrow about the continued violence committed against Black people and communities of color. Now is the time to end systemic racism in our country.

Letter from the Poetry Editor

Courtney Bambrick

Each year, Philadelphia Stories celebrates the memory of poet Sandy Crimmins whose poem “Spring” appeared in our first issue.

Community & Tradition in There, There

Brittanie Sterner

The annual collaboration between Philadelphia Stories and One Book, One Philadelphia celebrates the symbiotic relationship between reading and creating. When we read we gain grist for the mill that produces new work. We find connections between our experiences and those of another.

Philadelphia Stories celebrates its 15th anniversary with a live auction, art exhibit, and book release


PHILADELPHIA,  September 9, 2019—Philadelphia Stories celebrates its 15th anniversary with a gala event at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts (439 Ashbourne Road, Cheltenham, PA) on Saturday, November 16, 2019, from 7-10pm. The festivities will include a cocktail reception, live auction, art opening, and the release of The Best of Philadelphia Stories, 15th Anniversary Edition […]

Sing, Philadelphia, Sing

Brittanie Sterner

Hello! This gorgeous issue marks the second collaboration between Philadelphia Stories and the Free Library’s annual One Book, One Philadelphia program.

Some Thoughts on the Fickleness of Publishing

Carla Spataro

Every year I have the honor of choosing the finalists for the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction. I’ve been doing this as long as we’ve been running the contest, and despite the fact that it always seems to fall during my vacation, it’s something that I always look forward to. If nothing else, it is a purposeful reminder of how capricious the publishing process is.

The Writing Prompt

Aimee LaBrie

A little known fact, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina was inspired by a writing prompt suggested during his Thursday evening writing group at the Moscow library. The prompt: “write a story that ends with a suicide via railway. Make vocab twelfth grade reading level and use numerous flashbacks, a minimum of one blizzard, and two characters with names ending in ‘nina.'”

A Letter to the Philadelphia Stories Readers

Adriana Lecuona

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining the Philadelphia Stories team as the new Creative Nonfiction Editor. Susette Brooks, my predecessor, has moved to Baltimore for a job opportunity.

George Saunders: My Imaginary Boyfriend

Aimee LaBrie

George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo and several excellent short story collections, visited Rutgers the other day to do a reading. I went to his master class, which was an informal-ish discussion and Q&A for students and rabid Saunders fans like me.  He showed up, this ordinary man in jeans and a button […]

The Challenge of Choosing a Winner

 Carla Spataro

Since we launched the Marguerite McGlinn Fiction Contest in 2008, I am tasked each year with two duties. First, I must find a judge who is also willing to come to Philadelphia and deliver the keynote address at our Push to Publish conference, as well as offer a master class the day before. I start […]