Peoria's Downstate Story literary magazine releases Vol. 30, featuring Midwestern authors

  • Laura McPherson

    Laura McPherson

Updated 12/15/2021 4:26 PM

Nine new short stories by Illinois and Midwestern writers are featured in the 2021 edition of Downstate Story, Peoria's only literary magazine for fiction.

Downstate Story is available free on the web at


Addison author Laura McPherson's story "Roger" is featured in Vol. 30. Her fiction has been longlisted by American Short Fiction and published in Night Picnic Journal.

Other writers contributing to this issue are:

• From Illinois: "If I Loved You" by Jim Wilhelm of Peoria, "Conversation with a Deer Mouse" by Pepper Bauer of Mapleton, "A Serpent in the Garden" by Jim Courter of Macomb, "Hex" by Jackson Courter of Urbana, and "Eve" by Jason Sibert of Maryville;

• From Michigan: "Graduation Ended Our Love" by Audrey Carli of Iron River;

• From Colorado: "Love is Blind" by Arlene Shovald of Salida;

• From New York: "The Crone" by Elise Warner of Jackson Heights

• From Oregon: "Love Divided" by Natalie Dale of Hillsboro.

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Most of these outstanding writers have long lists of publications in other literary magazines, and some have written books.

According to editor Elaine Hopkins, these stories and art are comparable to work in Harpers, Atlantic, The New Yorker and other prestige titles.

Published by Downstate Story Inc., an Illinois nonprofit corporation, the annual publication aims to present original fiction by Illinois writers and writers with ties to Illinois and the Midwest as a quality alternative to today's mass-market publishing.

Downstate Story has been publishing quality fiction featuring mostly writers from Illinois and Midwest, since 1991. The printed copies, which also contain original art, can be purchased through the magazine's pioneer website, or by paying through Democracy Engine.

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