Hello Story Lovers!

I’m excited to announce that I’m the new Creative Nonfiction Editor at Philadelphia Stories, a role that my predecessor, Julia MacDonnell Chang, graciously recommended. Julia has been my teacher, my mentor, and my confidant for the past few years. Under her tutelage, I’ve been engrained with rigorous creative standards, compassion for other artists, and above all, a profound love for making art.

Julia’s goal has been to publish essay, memoir, and narrative nonfiction that offers new approaches to familiar and unfamiliar subjects. My goal is the same. I hope to continue Julia’s vision for Philadelphia Stories while remaining committed to propelling our community into a new era of literary, personal, and cultural enlightenment.

Here’s how you can help…

Please review the submission guidelines on our website and ensure your story adheres to our standards. In each submission, I’m looking for a story that is unique to your experience, free of clichéd subjects and content, but also has a larger cultural implication that will resonate with readers regardless of ethnicity, religion, geography, and the like. For example, the joy of baseball isn’t a unique story unless the narrative helps readers, who all may not enjoy the sport, understand something new about themselves.

Also, the narration should follow a though-line that somehow connects the last sentence back to the first. I want to trust the literary journey the writer is taking me on, and I need to be confident that every craft decision was made with the clear intent of illuminating each footstep on that journey.

There you have it: The path toward a successful submission. I look forward to taking the journey with you and the rest of the Philadelphia Stories staff. I hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Warmest Regards,

Susette N. Brooks, M.A.

Creative Nonfiction Editor


Susette is a graduate from William Paterson University, and Rowan University’s Master of Writing Arts Program where she received the 2016 Denise Gess Award for her Creative Nonfiction. She is now an MFA candidate at Goucher College and is working on a collection of essays that examine how race, class, and sociopolitical subcultures have affected how she has processed grief. Susette is also the new Creative Nonfiction Editor at Philadelphia Stories, a platform she uses to help the community better understand the complexities of the human condition.