Winter 2020/2021

Letter from the Editor

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
– Dr. Maya Angelou 

One of my favorite things is to read the complete issue one more time after the editors’ letters are in place. It is usually done at the last possible moment with just enough time for Eric and JR to then review my letters. This gives me a sneak peak at how the parts make the whole of the issue and who we are as a team. There’s something really special about how the editors’ letters bring us closer, dissolving genres, editing roles, and the space between editor and reader until we are reading with new eyes alongside you. 

Brief literature gathers us for an unobtrusive amount of time to say what must be said in the most accessible way so that we might carve out a few minutes for a story that makes us feel less alone. As Dr. Angelou wrote, there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. We are grateful to the writers who shared their stories this year. As readers, witnessing the stories of others is one path to freeing our own. 

In 2020, stories kept us close when we could not be together. In the final issue of 2020, we bring you a longer issue, award nominations, and two author interviews in Zest. 

I am also excited to share that Managing Editor Eric Steineger has agreed to transition into a new leadership role as the Zest Editor. He will undoubtedly develop Zest in a way that increases our ability to support writers and their work. Rest assured, Eric will continue to serve as Senior Poetry Editor and as a member of the Editorial Team. Be sure to read his letter introducing Poetry and his letter about his vision for Zest to learn more about what you can expect in the new year.

In this issue we are honored to share with you our year end nominations for Best of the Net, The Pushcart Prize, and Best Microfiction, Best Small Fictions. Good luck to all of our nominees!

In case you have not heard it yet, we are looking to add new editors in Creative Nonfiction, a Social Media Coordinator, and Assistant Editors – or any possible combination of those roles. We have already begun reviewing applications. See our social media for more information.


Angela M. Brommel
Poetry Editor
Creative Nonfiction Editor
The Citron Review




Table of Contents


Notes on the selections by Eric Steineger

Adam Day Crooked Fever
Invisible Rhythm
James Kelly Quigley Ascent of the Blessed (c. 1505-1515)
C M Taylor Each house in twilight, its own
Creative Nonfiction

Notes on the selections by Angela M. Brommel

Ashley Lewin Summer Storm
Albert Abonado Punchline
Amanda Gaines And Just Like That
Ronit Plank 10 Tips for Walking Alone at Night
Carlo Rey Lacsamana The Archeologist
Katie Roseau Guide to Taking Care of My Dog Who Has Cancer and a Herniated Disc, But Whom I Brought to Paris Anyway
Flash Fiction

Notes on the selections by Elizabeth De Arcos

Carrie Etter The Fog
Lucy Wilde Dearest Timothy
A. M. Henry A Girl Walks Home in the Snow
Kim Parko Visitation 4
Niles Reddick Keeping Time

Notes on the selections by JR Walsh

Edvige Giunta Gigi La Pace
Dawn Terpstra The Reliability of Heat and Flowers
Talia Tucker
 Sheila Dong witness
Jessica Hudson Four riddles and a joke
from The Big Book of Fairy Tale Jokes for Grown Up Girls

Notes on this section by Eric Steineger.
This issue features new interviews with two of our favorite writers.

JR Walsh Q&A with Jules Archer,
author of Little Feasts
Charlotte Hamrick Q&A with Tara Isabel Zambrano, author of Death, Desire And Other Destinations
2020 Year End Nominations
Best of the Net
The Pushcart Prize
Best Microfiction
Best Small Fictions

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: