Origin Stories

If “Turnagain” was a bird, what kind would it be?

Jamey Bradbury responds to a few question about her story, which appears in the Fall 2011 issue.

How did this story come to be? When is its birthday?

This story’s honorary birthday is Thanksgiving because the idea for the story was born out of a real-life trip I took to Trout Lake (on the Resurrection Pass Trail in Alaska) over Thanksgiving Day weekend: Four days, a weekend-high temperature of -5 degrees, and an incident during which my co-campers nearly burned down our public-use cabin.

If this story was a bird, what kind would it be?

The state bird of Alaska: the ptarmigan. (A male ptarmigan’s mating call sounds like he’s laughing at a bad joke.)

What was the last thing you read that took the top of your head off?

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I did not expect to be swept away by this book, but it completely transported me.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to your younger writing self?

There’s never going to be enough time, so steal every minute you can.


Read an excerpt.

25 February 2012

Q & A

Kellie Wells says, “Why bleed for bupkis?”

"Lego House"It’s hard to disagree with that.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that this comment was yanked from the middle of  a detailed answer to a question regarding the writer’s compulsions that appeared in the fall 2011 feature, “Ten Questions for Kellie Wells.”

While we’re unsure how Kellie feels about Lego (a topic for another interview perhaps), she does have quite a bit to say about dogs, motifs, omniscience, and sentences.

Read the entire Q & A.


“Innovative Design”
Peter Trimming, used under CC BY-SA 2.0

25 February 2012


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18 June 2016

Just In

Facebook Promotion!

Click here to claim your free two-year subscription! Cheers!

18 June 2016

Just In

Rave Review!

The lovely people at New Pages reviewed last fall’s issue earlier this year. In addition to highlighting the work of Sean Singer, Erika Meitner, Leyna Krow, Doug Watson, Makalini Bandele, and Marc McKee , they concluded with these heart-warming words, “In sum, Sou’wester is a bright, energetic publication that can be read in pajamas or pantsuits—that is, on many different levels that all seem to work well and function cohesively. The writers in this journal are uniformly excellent and marry diverse styles and content in a triumphant read.”  Of course, you’ll want to read the entire review.

16 August 2012

Just In

Reading now for special issue!

Editors Stacey Lynn Brown and Valerie Vogrin are thrilled to announce a call for submissions for the spring 2013 special issue: A Celebration of Women Writers. We are seeking poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by female and female-identified writers in all stages of their careers. Valerie is particularly interested in innovative prose forms, work that examines the lives of women, and graphic narratives.  And Stacey is, as always, looking for poems that would take off the top of Emily Dickinson’s head.  We look forward to reading your work! Click here for more information.

10 November 2012

Strange Warnings

Reading labels, because that’s what writers do.

banana in a ziploc bag

Remove Plastic Before Eating

Last summer, at an editorial-ish meeting, we were delighted to see this on a certain beverage label: “Contains live yeast; a sediment may form.” Thus arose the inspiration for one aspect of our new cover look – the incorporation of the odd and/or absurd product warning.

We encourage you to send us your own odd finds, as text or image.

02 February 2012