Change: September ’16

We are so excited to share our very first digital issue with you! Our theme for September is Change; as kids, we always loved the way a new school year felt like it came with the possibility of becoming a new person, as if a new three-ring binder promised we’d fulfill our potential as an organized person, or a new school outfit could change our fortune (or, at the very least, our lunch table). As adults the idea of change isn’t as simplistic anymore, but can still happen lightning fast, though not always with happy—or intended—consequences.

For our premiere digital issue, we were gloriously swamped with amazing stories about change. The four we present to you complete our September issue, but so many more made us think deeply, argue over the conference table about what makes strong narrative, and take pause to be grateful that so many writers—so many incredibly talented writers!—shared their work with Windmill.

All four selections deal with change of some kind, and we wanted to take this opportunity to point out the amazing group of writers we are highlighting. Emma Bolden (“To Mourn Excessively”) is an incredibly accomplished poet whose nonfiction stopped us in our tracks; she is the Senior Reviews Editor at Tupelo Quarterly and received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Travis Klempan (“Trees Everywhere”) is a veteran who received his BS in English from the Naval Academy and his MFA from the Jack Kerouac School in Boulder. Anita Zachary (“Moochy”) is a mother of four from Southern California and recently graduated from San Diego State University’s MFA Program—her short story, Moochy, has already won the title of Fan Favorite. And finally, we have Karen Chen (“Glasses”), a high school student from New York City, who also enjoys fencing (!). As disparate as the writers on this list may be, they all share one thing: their work has a history of being supported by literary magazines.

As a new literary magazine, we at Windmill wanted this first digital issue to reflect the work and writers for which we hope to become known. We couldn’t have created a more perfect group if we tried. We have a mix of geography, gender, ethnicity, and writing experience; some of our writers are working on or have published books, while others are just starting their writing life.

We hope to continue to give space to emerging and accomplished voices and to run stories and essays that make us uncomfortable and ask difficult questions, give us beauty and complexity, and always, always focus on strong narrative. Thank you for trusting us.

With such hope,

Team Windmill


“Moochy” by Anita Zachary

“Trees Everywhere” by Travis Klempan


“To Mourn Excessively” by Emma Bolden

“Glasses” by Karen Chen

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