Nov. 30, 2011 - Pushcart Prize 2012 Nominees

Congratulations and best of luck to our nominees for the 2012 Pushcart Prize:

"The Last Stop" a story by Mark Conkling from issue #7, Winter 2011.
"Vespers" a poem by Jenna Le from issue #7, Winter 2011.
"Skin Tight" a story by Richard Schmitt from issue #7, Winter 2011.
"What They Wouldn't Give Me as a Child," a poem by Suellen Wedmore from issue #7, Winter 2011.
"Sought" non-fiction by J. E. Robinson from issue #7, Winter 2011.
"Auction" a story by Katherine Schaefer from issue #7, Winter 2011.


Pushcart Prize 2012

September 2, 2011 - Farewell - The Season Wanes

After just over five years and seven issues, Minnetonka Review is now closing. We do so with great pride and pleasure in what we've accomplished. We started from scratch, without the financial support of an institution, or a large student body of editorial volunteers and readers. We envisioned the world we wanted to create: the works we wanted to publish; the art we wanted to feature; the authors we wanted to make a home for, and the readers we wanted to entertain. We put our hearts and souls, and blood, sweat, and tears into it. With your help, our efforts paid off. We made Minnetonka happen the same way a novelist makes a world happen; we breathed life into something special and it walked away with a will of its own.

Five years and seven issues is a good run for a journal. Most independents fail after one or two issues... and even those journals deserve to be celebrated! Here we are, in this vast and variegated landscape of the literary world. This is a place that can be both bizarre and banal. There is room here for every seed to be planted and all kinds of strange fruits ripen on the vine. There's a lot of criticism and a lot of praise. Pardon my digression, but whenever a journal dies (which may be damn near every day, statistically), people speculate about "the health of the industry" or whether literary journals are a worthy endeavor. The argument is that there are too many journals and almost none of them make a profit. Every time I hear these discussions, I think it's time to forget the "big picture." Leave the "big picture" to the big publishers. Think about the writer whose work is finding a readership. Think about the reader who is getting to read something fresh and new and daring and different, rather than something formulaic and popular. Literary journals are the place where thousands of voices can be heard, rather than just a couple dozen voices with mass appeal. This is also a place where talent is developed, and authors come into their own, build an increasing audience, and eventually some of them will have mass appeal... But if you think about this... By definition, if a literary journal makes a profit or has tens of thousands of readers, it's failing to fulfill its purpose. If a journal only continues to publish the same small group of authors that have mass appeal, what good is it doing anybody? I hope you take a moment to ponder this irony:

Literary journals can only succeed if they are failing.

The other editors and myself have decided to lay Minnetonka Review to rest because our other commitments (professional, personal, family, and artistic) have made it increasingly difficult to focus on the journal. We decided we'd rather retire it now, at the top of our game, than see the quality suffer from our lack of focus. Our love for the literary field remains untarnished; we love what we've done with the journal and we will miss doing it.

Minnetonka has been everything we'd hoped it would be. We couldn't be more proud of our achievements (scroll down! They're impressive!). We've had so many great pleasures and surprises along the way, and such a fantastic collection of work has found a home in our pages. We hope you'll stick around, keep this website bookmarked, and enjoy reading our back issues online.

Thanks so much for reading Minnetonka Review!

Troy D. Ehlers

Minnetonka Season Wanes

April 14, 2011 - Best New Poets Nominations

Each year, Best New Poets invites editors to nominate works by poets who've not previously published a full-length collection of poetry. This year we've nominated Sarah Sweeney for "Love Poem" and Suellen Wedmore for "What They Wouldn't Give Me as a Child." Congratulations and Best Wishes to these poets.

March 28, 2011 - Additional Pushcart Prize Nomination

Congratulations to Susan Lilley! Her poem "Swing" (from Issue Five) has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Pushcart's contributing editors. This nomination is in addition to the six made by our own editors (listed farther down on this page).

March 16, 2011 - Join us in supporting the Relief Effort in Japan

Buy a copy of Issue 7 to support GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Minnetonka Review is donating copies of the current, new issue and selling them on ebay. 100% of the sales price will go to the charity via ebay's MissionFish program.
(auction ended)

Our charity auction has ended, but you can still support the relief effort at RedCross.Org or GlobalGiving.Org

February 2011 - Issue Seven Has Shipped!

(Update: Issue 7 shipped Feb. 9-10, 2011.) Issue Se7en will be rolling off the printers soon, tucked into plastic bubble-wrap mailers and will hit your mailbox in a couple weeks. This issue features 6 short stories, 3 essays, and 59 poems. We're also excited to feature a collection of sketches from David Jablow's do-it-yourself Doodler series. See the Issue Seven Preview Page for the issue contents, as well as a sampling of Jablow's sketches.

In the meantime, for your online reading pleasure, we've also posted the contents of Back Issue #4.

Oct. 30, 2010 - Issue Six Reviewed by NewPages

We're always happy when reviews one of our issues. They're a great resource for readers and writers alike, with a catalog of literary journals, reviews, lists of independent bookstores and creative writing programs around the country, and even a long list of literary and publishing blogs. Read the Review of Issue Six.

Minnetonka Review Issue 6

Nov. 30, 2010 - Pushcart Prize 2011 Nominees

Congratulations to our nominees for the 2011 Pushcart Prize:

"Hadamard’s Billiards" a story by Stephen Graf from issue #5, Winter 2010.
"The Flower of Summer" a story by Caitlin Militello from issue #5, Winter 2010.
"Egg Toss" a poem by B. J. Best from issue #5, Winter 2010.
"Second Skin" an essay by Liz Prato from issue #6, Fall 2010.
"Forgive Us Our Trespasses" a story by Stephanie Gayle from issue #6, Fall 2010.
"Normal" a poem by Susan Maurer from issue #6, Fall 2010.


Pushcart Prize 2011

Oct. 16, 2010 10am-5pm - Twin Cities Book Festival

We gave away free copies of Minnetonka Review Issue #3 to the first 200 people to visit our table, in celebration of making the Best American Essays Notable list a second time (see below). This was our third year at the event, and it has always been a great time, with lots of friendly faces, local & national authors, and tons of book vendors and publishers. The event is organized by Rain Taxi and held at the Minneapolis Community & Technical College off Hennepin Ave in downtown Minneapolis.

We were lucky to have a table next to Hell Yes Press, (a new poetry publisher that already has a few creative and original volumes for sale), staffed by poet Brad Liening who taught with me (Troy) at Concorida St. Paul. And adjacent to our table was John Gaterud of Blueroad Press, who was selling a beautiful anthology featuring some of our favorite poets, and a poem/prose jazz memoir that comes with a CD of original compositions inspired by the author.
It was great to see the Minneapolis-St. Paul literary world thriving!
Twin Cities Book Festival 2010

Oct. 5, 2010 - René Georg Vasicek's "Get a Grip" named Notable by The Best American Essays

In the 2010 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt anthology, Series Editor Robert Atwan has selected "Get a Grip" by René Georg Vasicek as one of the Notable Essays published in 2009. "Get a Grip" first appeared in Minnetonka Review Issue #3. We are proud to have been included on the Notable list two consecutive years; we're grateful to the authors who share their writing with our readers, and the editors who work so hard to bring attention to these literary works. The Best American Essays 2010 series editor is Robert Atwan and this volume is guest edited by Christopher Hitchens. It is available at bookstores everywhere.

To view Issue Three online and read Vasicek's full bio, click here.

Sept 25th, 2010 7:30pm - Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins to Speak in Bemidji, Minnesota

Marsh Muirhead, whose poetry will appear in our next issue, is chairing the event for Headwaters School of Music & The Arts, entitled "A Weekend with Billy Collins". Mr. Collins will also be giving a free craft lecture at the Paul Bunyan Theater at 10:30am entitled "Maneuvers for the Poem—Endings you never knew existed."

Tickets for the evening event, held at the Bemidji High School Auditorium, can be purchased through Headwaters School of Music & The Arts by phone (218-444-5606) or by mail (PO Box 542, Bemidji, MN 56601), or from KAXE in Grand Rapids. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students.

The event is made possible by grants from The Neilson Foundation, Region 2 Arts Council, and Bemidji Area Arts Endowment.

Billy Collins in Bemidji Minnesota

Visit Headwaters School of Music & The Arts for more information

April 11, 2010 - Keith Demanche's story "Colors That No Longer Shine"
given Honorable Mention by Ellen Datlow for The Best Horror of the Year 2009

Ellen Datlow is world-reknowned as the preeminent editor of horror and dark fiction. Once the fiction editor of Omni magazine, she has gone on to win countless awards for her anthologies, including nine World Fantasy Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, and several Shirley Jackson Awards, just to name a few. The Best Horror of the Year is published by Night Shade Books and is available at fine bookstores everywhere.

Congratulations to Keith Demanche for this exceptional recognition! "Colors That No Longer Shine" was published in Minnetonka Review #3 and is now available to read in our on-line back issues.

Ellen Datlow's The Best Horror of the Year 2009

Read "Colors That No Longer Shine"

Visit Ellen Datlow's Blog

See the list of Honorable Mentions for Best Horror of the Year 2009

June 4, 2010 - Editor Troy Ehlers interviewed by Richard Hugo House's Ross McMeekin

Richard Hugo House is a literary center that hosts writing classes, workshops, and literary events in Seattle. Ross McMeekin's new blog series features articles and interviews with editors of literary presses. It's entitled—appropriately enough—Pub Crawl, and we're honored that he is kicking off the new series with a look into Minnetonka Review.

Richard Hugo House Pub Crawl Interview with Ross McMeekin

Richard Hugo House: Pub Crawl

April 14, 2010 - AWP Denver

Thanks to everybody who visited our table at AWP! We had a fantastic time in Denver. The AWP Conference is always a great chance to meet our readers and get to know fellow writers. Thousands of people attended the conference, held at the Colorado Convention Center. There were hundreds of readings, panels, lectures, receptions, and off-site events. This year the Minnetonka Review contingent consisted of Editor-in-Chief Troy Ehlers, Art Director Keith Demanche, and Advisory Editor Tim Salyers. We sold quite a few copies and we're happy to welcome aboard a host of new subscribers. This year we gave away "It's Time to Get Lit!" drink koozies, which were popular among bookfair attendees. A bunch of contributors to past and future issues stopped by the table and we got pictures of some of them. Among those not pictured were Liz Prato, Marci Rae Johnson, and Erin Keane.


Denver 2010 AWP Pictures
AWP 2010 Bookfair in Denver
Troy Ehlers chilling with a Sinclair gas station dinosaur
Burning dinosaur bones Stan Badgett and his wife with Troy Ehlers Mark Spitzer at right
Donna Trump and Tim Salyers
Author Gary L. McDowell
Author Lisa Siedlarz The Minnetonka Review gang with author Chip Cheek Author Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Author Robert Wood
Giant Bear Outside the Colrado Convention Center
Red Rock Red Rock Red Rock

AWP 2010 Bookfair in Denver

Editor Troy Ehlers and Art Director Keith Demanche at the Minnetonka Review Table.

April 7-10, 2010 - It's Time to Get Lit at the AWP in Denver!

If you're there, be sure to drop by our table. We're giving free drink coolies to the first 1,000 people. The drink coolie is part of our new theme: TIME TO GET LIT! We're thinking ahead to summer—imagine reading on the beach with Minnetonka Review drink coolies to keep your drinks cold so you're not making that goofy bad beer face.


Time to Get Lit

Minnetonka Review Drink Coolies

March 29, 2010 - Nominations for Best New Poets 2010

Congratulations to the following poets for their nominations:

Christy Ferrato for her poem "For" in Minnetonka Review #4

Brandon Krieg for his poem "Squaw Fish" in Minnetonka Review #5

Best New Poets 2010

Best New Poets is an annual print anthology of emerging writers published by Meridian,
edited by series editor James (Jeb) Livingood and this year's guest editor is Claudia Emerson.

March 16, 2010 - Pushcart Prize Nomination for Chip Cheek's "Potency"

In addition to the six nominations we made in November (see below), the contributing editors of Pushcart Press have nominated the short story "Potency" by Chip Cheek for The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses XXXV.

"Potency" was first published in Minnetonka Review #3.
One might say it revolves around the trials and tribulations of a well-endowed dragon.

Congratulations to Chip for the brilliant storytelling and well-deserved nomination!

March 15, 2010 - Minnetonka Review #5 blurbed at

Minnetonka Review #5 has shipped to subscribers. Click the image below for a preview and list of contributors, or visit to read the blurb.

Minnetonka Review #5

November 12, 2009 - Pushcart Prize Nominations

Minnetonka Review is proud to announce the following nominations for The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses XXXV:

"The Breezeway" a story by Gary Amdahl from issue #3, Winter 2009
"The Descent" a poem by Philip Dacey from issue #3, Winter 2009
"The Ballad of the Humpbacks" a story by Tim Keppel from issue #4, Summer 2009
"For" a poem by Christy Ferrato from issue #4, Summer 2009
"Five for New Orleans" creative nonfiction by Aubrey Hirsch from issue #4, Summer 2009
"The Iceman" a story by Fred Skolnik from issue #4, Summer 2009

Each small press literary journal has the opportunity to nominate six published works per year, and submit them to the Series Editor and Publisher, Bill Henderson. Final selections are made with the help of over 200 contributing editors. The resulting prize anthology is published the following fall by W.W. Norton, and it recognizes the most outstanding work published by the small presses.

Pushcart Prize 2010

To learn more visit

November 12, 2009 - New Stories from the Midwest Nominations

Minnetonka Review is proud to announce the following nominations for New Stories from the Midwest:

"The Breezeway" a story by Gary Amdahl from issue #3, Winter 2009
"Mustaches" a story by Scott Bloom from issue #4, Summer 2009

New Stories from the Midwest is an anthology set to debut next year. Edited by Jason Lee Brown of Eastern Illinois University, the anthology will present around 20 of the best stories written by Midwestern writers or about the Midwest.

October 10, 2009 - Twin Cities Book Festival

Rachel at the 2009 Twin Cities Book Festival

Rachel and Troy represented Minnetonka Review at the 2009 Twin Cities Book Festival. They gave away candy and Minnetonka Review magnets. A lot of friendly people stopped by to visit and check out the journal. More than one small child was scolded by their mother for taking too many Twix bars from our table!

The event is organized by Rain Taxi and is always a fantastic time. There are readings, autograph sessions, panels, and a huge exhibit room with publishers, literary magazines, and booksellers. Many great authors and artists attended, including: Nicholson Baker, Robert Olen Butler, Lorrie Moore, Diane Ackerman, David Allen Sibley, Adam Zagajewski, and Christian Bok, just to name a few!

The Twin Cities Book Festival ran from 10am to 5pm in downtown Minneapolis, at the Minneapolis Community & Technical College (1501 Hennepin Ave). For full details or to watch for next year's festival, keep your eye on Rain Taxi's website.

Amy Kolen's "Moenkopi Dance" named Notable by The Best American Essays

In the 2009 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt anthology, Series Editor Robert Atwan selected "Moenkopi Dance" by Amy Kolen as one of the Notable Essays of 2008. The work first appeared in our second issue.

To view the Issue Two Preview and Kolen's full bio, click here.

September 17th, 2009 - Issue Four Reviewed at

Sima Rabinowitz reviewed Minnetonka Review Issue Four for She writes:

"Prolific poet Philip Dacey’s poem “My Bill Holm Story,” which opens the Review is not atypical of the poetry that appears in this issue, approachable and narrative driven. ... The prose, too, is approachable – a kind of reading that makes it easy to engage."

Sima also singles out for praise the poetry of Christy Ferrato, fiction by Fred Skolnik, an essay by Mary Lou Anderson Simms, as well as photography by Karen Rosenow and Keith Demanche.

To read the full review, click here.

May 30th, 2009 - Issue Four is going to the printers!

We've collected another fantastic bunch of work from 34 authors. This issue contains 46 poems, 8 short stories, and 2 works of nonfiction. We'll be shipping in a couple weeks. We're continuing to give a free back issue to new subscribers, so if you haven't already subscribed, now's a chance to get some great bonus reading material.

For a list of Issue Four authors and their bios, click here.

April 7, 2009 - Nominations for Best New Poets 2009

Congratulations to the following poets for their nominations:

Julie Porter for her poem "Send it to the Renderer" in Minnetonka Review #3

Bart Galle for his poem "My Father's Hands, Like Birds Themselves" in Minnetonka Review #3

Best New Poets 2009

Best New Poets is an annual print anthology of emerging writers published by Meridian,
edited by series editor James (Jeb) Livingood and this year's guest editor is Kim Addonizio.

March 2009 - Editor Troy Ehlers Interviewed on Mediacom Newsleaders

The good folks at the regional Mediacom cable office recently invited our own Troy Ehlers to speak about the journal. The five-minute segment will be aired in the Minneapolis Metro region on CNN Headline News. Troy spoke briefly about the founding of the journal and the rapid growth it's been enjoying. For his second on-camera interview, we think he did pretty darn good. He even wore a tie--probably for the first time in ages. An editor in a tie. What's the world coming to?

Editor Troy Ehlers Interviewed on MediacomEditor Troy Ehlers Interviewed on Mediacom

Current Submissions and Postage Increase

If you have submitted by mail prior to May 11th and only included 42 cents on your SASE, we will add the 2 cent stamps to make up for the difference. We will be making editorial decisions on a couple batches of submissions in the next few weeks. We are generally about 3 months response time at the moment, but will likely catch up within 4-6 weeks after the reading period ends this Friday, May 15th. And let me take this opportunity also to thank everyone who has been submitting. We've received about 700 submissions online in just over 2 months, in addition to a couple hundred postal submissions. I understand these may seem like insurmountable odds to a writer trying to publish work, but I take it also as a sign of a thriving literary community and it's exciting to see so many people eager to share their artistic endeavors with the world. We may not be able to accept your work, but we do not take for granted the opportunity to read it. Thank you all!

March 2009 - Minnetonka Review and Editor Troy Ehlers in Lake Minnetonka Magazine

The March 2009 issue of Lake Minnetonka Magazine featured an article about the journal, its editorial process, and a personal look at our Editor-in-Chief, Troy Ehlers. It was written by local freelance writer Kelly Westhoff, with a photograph of Troy by Tate Carlson.

You can view a PDF of the article HERE. (1.15MB)

February 23, 2009 - Submission Manager Goes Online

As stated in the previous entry (below), we are now adopting the Submission Manager, developed by Devin Emke of One Story and made available to members of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (clmp). We will no longer be taking submissions by email. The Submission Manager will assist us in editing manuscripts, as our readers are dispersed throughout the country. It will also be a nice solution to responses occassionally being lost to spam filters or computer errors. PLEASE NOTE: We will still be taking United States postal submissions, if you prefer snail-mail. International authors should always use the Submission Manager. Also, if you have already submitted by email prior to this date, do not worry--we still have your submissions and you should expect our response within 3 months of your original submission date.

February 16, 2009 - AWP Chicago

The 2009 AWP Conference in Chicago was a great success for Minnetonka Review, and a lot of fun besides! The conference was attended by more than 5,000 writers, with hundreds of panels and readings, as well as hundreds of tables in the bookfair. We had a great time hosting a table in the bookfair and we want to thank all of you who took the time to stop by and visit! We met a number of the authors we have or will be publishing, including: Lisa L. Siedlarz, Chip Cheek, Verna Austen, Darien Cavanaugh, Joanne Lowery, and Wendy Brown-Baez. One of our founding editors, Liz Nethery, was working at the Spalding table nearby. We took a demo tour of the Submission Manager developed by One Story, and we're proud to say we are implementing it immediately--give it a try! We also met some of our subscribers and people who've submitted work in the past. We sold about 50 copies and swapped some copies with other great journals. Thanks so much to all of you who made the AWP such a fantastic trip for us!!! After the conference ended, we went to the top of the Sears Tower and ate at Gino's Pizza, where a piece of graffitti over the table read "Heartburn Hurts." Too true, too true.

Chicago 2009 AWP Pictures
AWP 2009

AWP 2009

Editor Troy Ehlers and Art Director Keith Demanche at the Minnetonka Review Table.

December 2008 - Stan Badgett's "Rock Dust" to appear in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3

Our congratulations to Stan Badgett! His piece "Rock Dust" from Issue Two was one of several nominations we made last year, and we've just been informed that it will be included in the The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3. The anthology, edited by Lee Gutkind of Creative Nonfiction, will be published summer of 2009 by W.W. Norton.

October 15, 2008 - Editor Troy Ehlers Interviewed on Camera

During the Twin Cities Book Festival (see previous entry), Minnetonka Review Editor-in-Chief Troy Ehlers and author David J. Schwartz were interviewed on camera by Matt Peiken, producer of 3-minute egg. This is an eggsellent, well-produced and -edited video news blog about arts and culture in the Twin Cities. You can catch Troy and David in their interview in the October 15th entry. WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE.

Editor Troy Ehlers Interviewed on 3-minute egg

October 11, 2008 - The Twin Cities Book Festival

Minnetonka Review co-hosted a table the Twin Cities Book Festival in downtown Minneapolis. The event is sponsored annually by Rain Taxi and is a fantastic place to meet local writers, publishers, editors, and readers. We had a great time, sold a couple dozen copies, and met a lot of great people! Thanks to everybody who stopped by! We shared our table with the local writer David J. Schwartz, author of the blod Mumble Herder. Schwartz signed copies of his latest books:

Superpowers by David J. Schwartz
The Sun Inside by David J. Schwartz

Summer 2008 - M.R. reviewed in Literary Magazine Review

Vol. 26, Nos. 1 & 2 of Literary Magazine Review included a 5-page review of our second issue. Reviewer Alan Catlin gave an in-depth study of the journal's poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. In his concluding paragraph, he wrote:

"While not having seen the first issue, I can unreservedly say that I am impressed by the second issue. There is an excellent, wide range of well-written material skillfully selected and professionally presented. Given the current economic difficulties, the editors should be commended for their courage undertaking a mission to produce a quality journal. Without new independents such as these, the future of writing would be bleak indeed. I look forward to issue number three of the Minnetonka Review."

July 2008 - Check out some of the artwork from our first issues!

For your enjoyment, we've posted an art gallery featuring work from the first issues by Keith Demanche.

January 23, 2008 - The Tonka Fiction Contest Winners

Congratulations to Susan Chiavelli! Her story "Girls Life: A How-to Manual" has been chosen as the winner of the $1,000 Grand Prize in the Tonka Fiction Contest. To see the other finalists and read the contest rules, click here.

October 8, 2007 - M.R. reviewed online at NewPages, the premiere website indexing and reviewing literary journals posted a review of Minnetonka Review's first issue. Anne Wolfe excerpted a poem by Allan Douglass Coleman and wrote about a number of the pieces (by Robin Lippincott, Jae Newman, Bev Jafek, and Carol Severino). She also praised the cover art by Keith Demanche. She wrote: "The maiden voyage of Minnetonka Review is a ride you must catch." Read the full review HERE.