Charleston Literary Panel + Reading


Juliet Escoria
Elle Nash
Elizabeth Ellen
Mesha Maren
Amanda McNeil

This event is put on by Boss Babes WV, and is open to all book lovers, not just babes! Bring your questions about the process of their writing and publishing. Featuring tables & merch by Travelin Appalachian Revue & Queer Appalachia!

We’re bringing FIVE extraordinary writers to Charleston for a reading and panel discussion in the MAKESHOP at MESH | Design and Development centered around process and sense of place, moderated by WV essayist and Marshall University professor Kristin Steele.

For those of us here in Appalachia, place is very much a part of our lives. Our cities are small and our communities, regardless of size, are subject to the whims and wants of an ancient topography. That’s a fancy way of saying we have to drive up and down a lot of old ass mountains and over and around a lot of old ass rivers.

But sense of place isn’t the jurisdiction of Appalachian folk alone, not even by a long shot. In the Midwest, the lives of the people there are built around the plains. Large sections of Miami are below sea-level. In the western bog lands of Ireland citizens burn peat turf, and that heavy lusty smoke permeates even the thickest of cable-knit sweaters.

In grade school we learn that animal life has four requirements: Food, Water, Space & Shelter. It’s only natural that we human beings would devote so much time and energy to writing about space and shelter – about place.

If you’ve ever even thought about writing about place, this event is for you. The five writers we’ve gathered are five of the most insightful, daring, and challenging writers in America. This event is one-of-a-kind and rare. Literally all of the credit goes to Kayla Wilson and Juliet Escoria for bringing these writers to our home. You don’t want to miss this.

This event is FREE & BYOB.


Elle Nash is the author of the novel Animals Eat Each Other (Dzanc Books, 2018), and the chapbooks AVOKA (Ghost City Press, 2017) and i can remember the meaning of every tarot card but i can’t remember what i texted you last night (Nostrovia Press, 2016). She is a founding editor at Witch Craft Magazine, a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp, and lives in the Ozarks with her husband and their dog.

Amanda MH lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her work has appeared in The Fix, Hobart, and Witch Craft Magazine. She can be found on twitter at @GingerMidwest.

Photo Mesha Maren
Mesha Maren‘s debut novel, Sugar Run, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in January 2019. She is currently the Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at the Beckley Federal Correctional Institution.

juliet pic
Juliet Escoria is the author of the novel Juliet the Maniac (Melville House 2019), the story collection Black Cloud (CCM/Emily Books 2014), and the poetry collection Witch Hunt (Lazy Fascist 2016). Her writing has been published in The Fader, VICE, Catapult, New York Tyrant, and other places online and in print. She was born in Australia, raised in San Diego, and currently lives in Beckley, WV.

Elizabeth Ellen’s stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous online and print journals, including Hobart, BOMBBLOG, McSweeney’s, The Guardian, Joyland, Catapult and Bennington Review. In 2012 she received a Pushcart Prize for her story, “Teen Culture,” originally published in American Short Fiction and included in her story collection, Saul Stories (SF/LD, 2017). She is also the author of the novel Person/a, the earlier story collection Fast Machine and her eponymous poetry collection Elizabeth Ellen.



So, I’m back at home now — tour is over for the summer. I have a lot of feelings about that, as I know everyone else involved does as well. But my heart is full to burst and my inspiration is at an all time high. This is a sad and difficult time to be alive, but the people we meet on tour, and the people we collaborate with and scheme with and plot with, and all the places we visit, pass through, and gaze upon keeps us strong. As this project grows, so does my love. Thank you so much to everyone for your support. We’ll keep ourselves afloat for another day, together.

Thank you so much to the core crew: Kelsie Cannon, Kevin Chesser, Jen Iskow, Keegan Lester, Sophia Rehak.

Special thanks to (in no particular order): Emeran Irby, Amy Johnson, Hannah Rego, Noah Prinsen, Justin Rabuck, Jocelyn Corvus, Mary Ruthless, Dan Carlisle, James Friley, J. Marinelli, L.J. Giuliani, Tori Vasquez, Lou Murrey, Betty Critch, Mamone, Molly Graham, Jess Spruill, Ashleigh Bryant Phillips, Evan Gray, Renee Nicholson, Brittany Javins, Mallory Richards, Mary Kelley, Tyler Cooper, Kayleigh Phillips, Jamie Morgan, Nicole Lawrence, Sarah C. Chavez, Nathan Thomas, Odana Chaney, Kristin Steele, Darrin Hacquard, Cassie Lopez, Joe Halstead, Raine Rue, Dylon Jones, Edie Bab, Vann G., Rebecca Gayle Howell, Rob Gipe, Glenn Taylor, Mesha Maren, Matt O’Wain, Spice Lo, Victoria Javier, Kathleen Scopis, Zakaria, Toki Tattoo, Claire Hopple, Charity Cimarron, Emily Blair, Joseph Bathanti, Angel Walsh, Crystal Good, Rachel Rinehart, Vince Trimboli, Susan & Michael Aloi, Zander Aloi, Joey Aloi, Hannah Aloi, Roxy Todd, Torli Bush, Doug Van Gundy, Josie Martin, Hillary Kay, Rose Anne Heater, Rayna Momen, William Matheny, Avery Williamson, Lou Richardson, Kayla McCormick, Mackenzie Rogers, Liz Urse AND ANYONE ELSE I’VE FORGOTTEN. That’s everyone who fed us, put us to sleep, connected us with people, booked shows, played with us, tabled with us. Thank you to everyone who submitted to the zine, you are far too many to list here but you know who you are!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

The Travelin Appalachians Revue is gently guided by Howard Parsons, Bryan Richards and Tyler Grady.


Hey friends- if you’re new here, welcome!

Got a couple things for ya. First off, our dear collaborator, Sophia Rehak, released her debut E.P. yesterday (June 13th 2018) called “Red House E.P,” because it was recorded, get this, in a red house. Kevin Chesser, Hannah Bell and John Jacob are responsible for helping this crystal harden. These are songs I’ve had the true pleasure of hearing in person for a handful of years now each summer and some winter days, too. These are fragile songs, if only because, among many many countless other things, Sophia is keenly able to sharply intuit and understand the ways in which things that appear fragile are in truth the strongest things of all. These songs will whisper you to about greatness and strength. These are songs about vulnerability, life’s most important pursuit. I’m a hyperbole beast, I know, but I mean it when I say this lil EP is a triumph.
I hope you take a listen, and I hope if you like what hear you toss Sophia some bucks – she’s only asking $5 and that’s a steal.

Here’s a little piece about us that Howard wrote that might let you know a little clearer just what we’re all about. Thanks for reading! Enjoy! See you on the road! ❤

The support network that keeps this project alive is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever encountered. I love these people, this place, and I love you. Oh, and for the record, I do love old-time; I just think some of the other narratives deserve a place on the stage, too. Speaking of, go on Instagram and check out our friends @queerappalachia—they’re doing the heaviest of the heavy lifting.

Fourth Annual TAR Summer Tour

TAR_Tour Poster_revised6.2 WEB
Here it is, everyone. The 2018 Travelin Appalachians Revue Mobile Festival Showcase Circuit Tour Extravaganza!
“Praying to God, But Rowing to Shore”
If you’re not familiar with The Travelin’ Appalachians Revue, we are an annual mobile arts and culture festival, featuring a showcase of wonderful Appalachian writers, musicians, and artists. This is our FOURTH ANNUAL year, can you believe that??
We celebrate West Virginia Day for 10 days this year.
June 19th through the 29th
Hope you can join us, we’d love to get to know you.
Here’s the official crew:
Kelsie Cannon Kevin Chesser Jen Iskow Keegan Lester Sophia Rehak Jonathan Tyler Grady Howard Parsons Bryan Richards

June 19 – Tour KICKOFF Fairmont, WV Joe N’ Throw 7pm
June 20 – WV DAY BLOWOUT EXTRAVAGANZA Morgantown, WV 123 Pleasant Street 7pm
June 21 – Philippi, WV Wanderlust Coffeehouse and Wine Lounge 6pm
June 22 – Charleston, WV FestivALL Matinee Taylor Books 4:30pm
June 23 – Boone, NC Foggy Pine Books 6pm
June 24 – Asheville, NC Fleetwood’s. SUNDAY MATINEE 3pm
June 25 – Asheville, NC HORSE + HERO 6pm
June 26 – we’re going swimming
June 27 – Blacksburg, VA XYZ Art Gallery
June 28 – Lexington, KY Al’s Bar of Lexington 8pm
June 29 – Huntington, WV Black Sheep Burrito & Brews 9pm

Here’s a partial list of all of our special guests this year:
Rose Anne
Half Batch
Joseph Bathanti
Emily Blair
Torli Bush
Odana Chaney
Elia Chaves
Sarah Chavez
Jocelyn Corvus
Crystal Good
Evan Gray
Joe Halstead
Claire Hopple
Victoria Javier
Dylon Jones
Cassie Lopez
William Matheny
Josie Martin
Mother Marrow
Kayla McCormick
Mettaforce Funk
Rayna Momen
Rebekah Morgan
Renee Nicholson
Ashleigh Bryant Phillips
Rachel Rinehart
Mackenzie Rogers
Kathleen Scopis
Spice Lo
Jessica Spruill
Kristin Steele
Toki Tattoo
Nathan Thomas
Vincent Trimboli
Doug Van Gundy
Angel Walsh
Avery Williamson
Tessa Withorn




Image designed by Jen Iskow

Halloo friends! TODAY this day of Tuesday, May 15th marks the beginning of the final days of 2018 TAR ZINE SUBMISSIONS, otherwise known as the TWO WEEK WARNING

~~Get your submissions to~~

Reminder: we are looking for your favorite work, your weirdest work, your experimental work, your traditional work. we’re looking for your writing, your scribbling, your drawing, your scratching, your collage-ing, your painting, your photographing; your lying, your sobbing, your laughing. this year we will focus on stories of resilience, determination, compassion, and radical empathy – which is to say, show us how you love.


See you soon.

We are closing in on finalized details for this summer’s tour! Stay tuned to this page or our social media accounts for updates. We can’t wait to see yall!!!

Editorial Services for Hire!

Have some pages you’re unsure about? What about a blog post that’s giving you hell? Starting today, I (Howard) am offering editorial services for a wide range of projects and needs. I’m offering editorial services from basic proofreading all the way through developmental editing for advanced projects. Some projects we can work on include, but are not limited to, school essays, cover letters, short stories, memoirs, blog posts, Facebook event description, novels, etc.

I’m always open to talking about pricing if your situation is unstable. Generally speaking though, basic proofreading is $2.50 a page, annotated line-reading is $4.20 a page and knee-deep, nitty-gritty, full-throttle developmental reading is $5 page. POC and immigrant writers receive a discounted rate.

The above prices are estimate, and generally speaking, I think in terms of Times New Roman 12-pt font and standard MLA margins. Before we move forward with your work, all clients will receive a quote. This is for transparency, and so we can avoid any funny business. Like I said above, I am open to talking about pricing with anyone – but I can’t guarantee a discount for everyone, because I have to pay rent too yknow.

What you get:

Basic Proofreading covers typos, grammatical errors, and visual aesthetics. If your piece is in dire straits, so to speak, we will discuss a plan to move forward with annotated line-editing.

Annotated Line-readings cover all the above + margin notes and style suggestions – all your general kind of 2-D craft based comments, up to and including…POSITIVE REMARKS! yay.

Developmental Readings cover all the above + thoughtful, in-depth 1-page responses, as well as e-mail correspondence and a FaceTime chat to talk real deal turkey about your work.

If you just like this idea, like me, or like TAR but don’t have anything to work on right now, uhhhhhhh maybe consider just tossing a couple bucks into this thing:
Buy Me a Coffee at



Howard Parsons is the founding coordinator, organizer, and editor-in-chief for the Travelin Appalachians Revu; editor and reader at drDOCTOR; and founding host of The Black Bear Club Reading Series. He is also Managing Producer and blogger for WOWTalks, A WV health and wellness podcast based in Morgantown. Howard lives in Pittsburgh, PA (let’s discuss in-person sessions if you are local to The Steel Apple).



CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS From Jessie Van Eerden:
Orison Books invites submissions of work that engages the life and writing of Simone Weil, 20th-century French mystic, social activist, and theologian, for a forthcoming anthology.
We are interested in literary work in all genres, including poetry, essay, drama, and hybrid-genre work. Authors or publishers may submit previously published or unpublished work. The anthology will be co-edited by George David Clark, Luke Hankins, Susan L. Miller, and Jessie van Eerden. Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology upon publication.
Send submissions as a Word, RTF, or PDF document along with author information to:
Deadline: August 1, 2018
Here’s a short essay on Weil by none other than Susan Sontag, to whet yer whistle.