Spring has turned to fall. In New York’s Hudson Valley, a hopeful summer has wound down into a patient fall, still warm, though the sunflowers are bent and full of seeds. The yard outside is full of hot peppers that continue to ripen even as the nights turn cool, and so it goes with the fiction that appears in our our all-prose issue!

From the dollhouse to the courtyard of the jester to the playground to the graveyard, our contributors to Issue 12.5 kindle tales of angling, self-destruction, entanglements, justice, and more to warm your October nights. There is courage and unlikely love in these virtual pages, staunchness and self-discovery.

Special thanks to River River writer, thriller author, and design expert extraordinaire Emilya Naymark for her much-needed expertise in helping to get this issue online.

Thank you for charting a course with River River over the last several years. While we are not sure what the coming months will bring, we are very sure that it’s been an honor and a pleasure to publish the work of writers who seek and find beauty in the world, often in the unlikeliest places and seasons.

As an independent journal and community arts non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we are grateful for the support of many people. Our thanks especially to Ken Herndon and David e. Bell for web design and support. Thanks to our friends at Cuppa Pulp Writers’ Space, CSU’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, Manhattanville CollegeSeranam Literary Arts, Patisserie Didier Dumas, the Nyack Library, and the Nyack Chamber of Commerce for co-hosting literary events and writing salons. Much gratitude to ArtsWestchester and the New York State Council for the Arts, which awarded grant funding for our 2020 readings series. Thanks to our readers and editors for careful and smart selections from the submissions pile. Huge thanks to our board of directors and recent donors for your contributions to the literary arts. And to our members, for whom all this inspiration flows.

Find us on Twitter and Instagram (@riverriverlit) and Facebook (River River Writers Circle). Thanks for reading!

All best,

Donna Lee Miele

The Fine Art of Self-Destruction
Stephen Loiaconi
In the Courtyard of the Jester
Steven Ostrowski
the smallest of my memories
Abbie Hart
Irish Justice
Scott Pomfret
Playground Vigilante
Sarah Rodriguez
Mark Putzi
Bradon Matthews
Claire Robbins