About storySouth

Our mission

See that pretty painting to the right? It’s so southern. Stick those flowers in a vase and you can almost taste the genteel old ladies sipping mint juleps on their antebellum back porches.

But truth: that ain’t the south today. And those flowers—they’re kudzu blooms. Just like kudzu, the 21st century south is a mix of traditional and new, regional and international. And even though kudzu is unfairly dismissed as a weed, it has a vitality and ability which far surpasses that of most plants native to America.

storySouth’s most important mission is to showcase the best fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry that writers from the new south have to offer. Special emphasis is given to finding and promoting the works of promising new writers.

In addition, storySouth aims to prove that the internet is not just a medium of flash and style; that excellent writing can attract attention without programming gimmicks and hard-to-read fonts. To this end, storySouth practices clean, simple web design.

And what storySouth is doing must be working, because over the last six years our magazine has been recognized for its unique look at southern writing. Stories, essays, and poetry published in storySouth have won a number of awards and have been reprinted in anthologies such as Best American Poetry 2008, Best of the Web 2008, and e2ink: The Best of the Online Journals. storySouth also runs the annual Million Writers Award, which honors the best online fiction of the year and was named a Hot Site by USA Today. To read about these honors and more, check out storySouth’s award-winning writings page.

Online fads can’t help but fade away; great writing endures. storySouth is all about the writing.


Editor TERRY KENNEDY is the author of the poetry collection New River Breakdown and the limited edition chapbook Until the Clouds Shatter the Light That Plates our Lives, selected by Thomas Lux for Jeanne Duval Editions. His work appears in variety of journals and magazines including Cave Wall, from the Fishouse, Waccamaw, and The Southern Review. He currently serves as the Director of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNC Greensboro Follow him on Twitter @terrylkennedy.
Fiction Editor DREW PERRY is the author of the novels Kids These Days and This Is Just Exactly Like You. He has published work in Atlanta Magazine, Black Warrior Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Nebraska Review, Willow Springs, and New Stories from the South, among other places, and is a regular contributor to Our State Magazine. He teaches in the undergraduate creative writing program at Elon University.
Poetry Editor LUKE JOHNSON is the author of After the Ark (New York Quarterly Books, 2011). His poems have appeared in The Greensboro Review, New England Review, The Southern Review, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. His work has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and has twice appeared in the Best New Poets anthology. He is a graduate of Elon University, and the M.F.A. program at Hollins University. He teaches English to high school students, and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
JASON McCALL holds an MFA from the University of Miami. His collections include Two-Face God; Dear Hero; Silver; I Can Explain; and Mother, Less Child. He and P.J. Williams are the editors of It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He is from the great state of Alabama, and he currently teaches at the University of North Alabama.
Creative Nonfiction Editor CYNTHIA NEARMAN has been the Writing Director at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, since 2004. She teaches first-year writing, creative nonfiction, travel writing, rhetoric & composition, and contemporary American literature. As a writer she works in various genres--academic scholarship, cultural commentary, and personal essays--focusing mostly on things like literacy, racism, and love. Her husband is a magician, and they live in a happy little cottage with their two yellow dogs & one bossy cat.
Million Writers Award Editor SHAWN DELGADO earned his B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture from Georgia Tech and his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he currently teaches. He is the author of the chapbook A Sky Half-Dismantled (Jeanne Duval Editions). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Courtland Review, Connotations, The Greensboro Review, Five Points, Ghost Ocean, Terminus Magazine, and elsewhere.
Associate Poetry Editor NATASHA OLADOKUN is a Cave Canem fellow, poet, and essayist. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, Pleiades, IMAGE Journal, Indie Film Minute, Bearings Online, and elsewhere. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Hollins University, her MFA alma mater.
Assistant Creative Nonfiction Editor KATHRYN WALKER’s family has been in North Carolina for a couple hundred years. She lives in her hometown of Greensboro, NC, with her husband and two dogs and two cats. In addition to writing things, she likes to read, listen to music, and make cards out of trash.
Web Editor ANDREW SAULTERS is a lecturer in the First Year Writing Program at Guilford College. Despite having what his father calls a “big city accent,” he’s from Phenix City, AL.

Assistant Fiction Editors

MATT FIANDER is a graduate of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro, where he served as the assistant fiction editor for The Greensboro Review. He is a fiction writer, and has had work appear in The Yalobusha Review. He is also a music critic for PopMatters, and a contributor to Prefix Magazine. He currently lives in Boston and spends his days fruitlessly explaining to people up there the difference between “cookout” and “barbeque.”
STEPHANIE WHETSTONE is a lecturer in the English Department when she’s at UNC Greensboro and a fiction writer when she’s in Durham, NC. She has lost track of all the hats she is supposed to wear, but they’re around here somewhere. She went to Duke for the basketball and UNC Greensboro for the writing program. She was also a fiction editor for The Greensboro Review. Stephanie is from Kentucky, which is why she talks like that.

Assistant Poetry Editors

EMILY A. BENTON is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro, where she also edited poetry for The Greensboro Review. Her work has appeared in Kestrel, Cellpoems, and Marco Polo, among other journals, and was a finalist in Yemassee’s 2012 Pocataligo Poetry Contest. A native of Tennessee and a longtime resident of North Carolina, she now lives and writes on the Big Island of Hawai’i. She keeps telling herself, “poi is the new grits.”
CORY MAC PHERSON recently graduated from UNC Greensboro with an MFA in poetry, where she served as Poetry Editor for The Greensboro Review and Programs Coordinator for Write On! Greensboro. Since she left North Carolina, she has continued working in the community programs, as a teaching artist for Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. She is currently working on her first manuscript of poems, which focuses on the Korean-American adopteee experience.
JENNIFER WHITAKER is a lecturer in English and assistant director of the University Writing Center at UNC Greensboro. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Mid-American Review, New England Review, New Orleans Review, Drunken Boat, and Pebble Lake Review. She has won an Academy of American Poets prize and two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prizes.
PJ WILLIAMS teaches in North Carolina. A recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, his poems have appeared in Cincinnati Review, The Adroit Journal, Ninth Letter, The Pinch, Salt Hill, and others. New work appears in Frontier Poetry. He is co-editor of the anthology It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop (Minor Arcana Press). He holds degrees from Elon University and the University of Alabama.

Editors Emeriti

Contributing Editor JULIE FUNDERBURK is a native North Carolinian. Her full-length collection of poetry "The Door that Always Opens" will be published by LSU Press in the fall of 2016. Her work appears in literary journals such as 32 Poems, Best New Poets, Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, and Ploughshares, and her chapbook "Thoughts to Fold into Birds" is available from Unicorn Press. For her poetry, she has been awarded a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship and scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences. She serves as a Board of Trustees member for the North Carolina Writers’ Network and teaches at Queens University of Charlotte in NC.
Founding Editor JASON SANFORD is the author of a number of short stories, essays, and articles. He is the winner of a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and his stories have been published in magazines such as The Mississippi Review, Diagram, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Analog: Science Fiction and Fact, Interzone, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Pindeldyboz, and other places. He’s also published critical essays and book reviews in places like The New York Review of Science Fiction, The Pedestal Magazine, and The Fix Short Fiction Review. His website is www.jasonsanford.com.
Founding Editor JAKE ADAM YORK, originally from Alabama, was a resident of Denver, Colorado, and an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center where he directed the undergraduate Creative Writing program and edited Copper Nickel with his students. His first book of poems, Murder Ballads, was published in 2005 by Elixir Press. His poems appeared in Southern Review, New Orleans Review, Greensboro Review, Quarterly West, Gulf Coast, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Octopus, H_NGM_N, and other journals. Jake was also a contributing editor for Shenandoah. He passed away in 2012.