bonfire(s) is a new digital anthology of original creative work, craft essays, book reviews, and teaching resources focused on a common theme. Volume 1, forthcoming in May 2018, will focus on place. Check out our call for submissions and our submission guidelines.

bonfire(s) is published by the Creative Writing program at Ball State University and is edited by the graduate students in ENG 614 (“Practicum in Literary Editing”), with Prof. Silas Hansen as faculty advisor/editor.


We chose the name bonfire(s) because we remember going to friends’ homes, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, and having our hoodies smell like smoke for days. We’ve felt the warmth of the flames and bounced from seat to seat to avoid the fickle smoke. We’ve sometimes felt welcome, and other times been sparked to leave and kneel in the dirt, blowing into dryer lint and splintered bits of maple and old copies of Farm World and The Indy Star to ignite our own.

We’ve shared beverages–of varying spiritualities–with friends, family, and strangers (some trustworthy, some not) while the fire pops and sap explodes. We’ve come face-to-face with each other, exchanged stories, burned workbooks at semester’s end, and let our secrets and fears disappear into the flames.

We recognize that not all literary communities are welcoming and see the need for a new gathering place. We hope to host a bonfire where people of all backgrounds can pull up a bale of straw, a lawn chair, a log, or simply sit cross-legged on the ground and feel welcome to push the conversation in new directions.