Thursday, May 13, 2021

Issue #1 of 105 Meadowlark Reader -- Beginnings!

 It's here! It's here! Beautifully printed by POD Print in Wichita, Kansas, the first copies of 105 Meadowlark Reader have been delivered to subscribers and/or are on the way to mailboxes across Kansas and beyond. You can pick up your copy from the Meadowlark online bookstore or by shopping with one of the following independent Kansas bookstores.

Update: 7/01/2021

105 Meadowlark Reader is available at the following Kansas Book Shops:

If your favorite independent bookshop does not yet have a copy, give us a shout and we will make sure to connect with them.

Listen to the interview on KPR Presents.

photo, woman with calf
The cover photo of Issue #1 is by Dave Leiker.
An extra special thank you to our cover subject, Piper Hayes.

Subscribe to 105: Meadowlark Reader



Subscriptions to 105 Meadowlark Reader 

  • Save by subscribing (2 issues) for $29+$4 shipping & applicable taxes 
  • Issues ship in the spring and fall (May & November)

    Purchase Individual Issues

    105 Meadowlark Reader: Issue #1 "Beginnings"


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    Tuesday, April 27, 2021

    Join Cheryl & Tracy (via Zoom) on Friday, April 30


    ESU Special Collections and Archives presents:

    105 Meadowlark Reader

    with Cheryl Unruh and Tracy Million Simmons

    Emporia authors Cheryl Unruh and Tracy Million Simmons have created a new literary publication for Kansas. Join us as Cheryl and Tracy discuss the inspiration behind 105 Meadowlark Reader: A Kansas Journal of Creative Nonfiction, the process of collecting submissions, writer response to the new project, and read excerpts from the essays that will be featured in Issue #1, with the theme of "Beginnings."

    April 30, 7:00pm

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021

    Where is Issue #1 of 105 Meadowlark Reader going to take you?


    Dear Reader,

    We have 35 authors in the "Beginnings" issue, aka Issue #1, of 105: Meadowlark Reader. Those authors and their stories represent 25 Kansas counties. That's almost 24% of the state! We're off to a good start.

    We know that you are as eager to get your eyes on this issue as we are to get it in the mail to you. Many thanks to our authors, our charter subscribers, and those who have supported our directory and advertising efforts. You have helped to make this project a reality.

    If you haven't found us until now, no worries! There is always time to subscribe and to be working on your contribution to 105: Meadowlark Reader. In May, we look forward to reading essays for Issue #2: Kansas Travel Stories

    Thank you coming along for the ride!



    Friday, March 5, 2021

    What's in it for You, Dear Reader?


    Our upcoming 105 journal is a fantastic way to highlight Kansas writers and to publish their work.

    However, this journal of true Kansas stories is primarily for readers. Readers like you. And like me.

    Today I’m thinking about what a reader might glean from the stories and

    essays in our first issue and in subsequent issues.

    You might take away…

    *A sense of place. Because these true stories are set in Kansas, you’ll

    recognize familiar settings. As you dig into a memoir piece, your own

    memories will awaken, perhaps you’ll remember the taste of dust in the

    wind, the fishy smell of a farm pond, the crunch of car tires driving

    slowly over a sand-covered dirt street.

    *You’ll come across storytelling that puts you in the scene with the

    writer - hearing a baseball (or tennis ball) smack a glove, or the almost

    silent whoosh of a kayak paddle in a Kansas river. When a writer tells

    about building a disaster boat with his father and brother, you might

    laugh along, but also may remember your own successful or

    unsuccessful childhood projects. 

    *Some of the essays show connection with our personal and public

    histories. Through these pieces we begin to see the threads that underlie

    various aspects of our lives, the unseen ties that connect us all. 

    Our first issue will have 35 stories by 35 writers. Thirty-five pieces that

    will make you feel at home. 

    Jump into this river of stories with us! Our introductory subscription rate is available only through March 12th. A year's subscription is your best deal. Click here to subscribe to 105: Meadowlark Reader today!


    Thursday, February 11, 2021

    Be a Charter Subscriber! Subscribe by March 12 for Reduced Subscription Rate

    Update: Charter Subscriber Rate extended to March 12!

    Brrrr! It's cold outside, and we are hard at work generating our own special brand of sunshine to share with our fellow Kansans in the pages of 105: Meadowlark Reader. We have more than 30 authors representing a wide range of Kansas faces and places set for our inaugural issue of 105: Meadowlark Reader. We can't wait to share. Take a moment to subscribe at our special, introductory rate. 

    Many Thanks,           

    Tracy & Cheryl         

    Subscribe to 105 today!

    Pre-publication Special Subscription Offer 

    • 1st issue for $13 + $4 shipping & applicable taxes (shipped April/May 2021)

    • 1st year (2 issues) for $25+$4 shipping & applicable taxes (Issue #1 shipped April/May 2021; Issue #2 shipped October/November 2021)

    Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Update: 105 Meadowlark Reader

     Our first deadline for submissions came and went, and Kansas writers came through for us. We were quite pleased by the number of entries received for our inaugural issue and we are busy reading and re-reading stories, working to put together the very first issue of 105 Meadowlark Reader

    What can you do while you anxiously await the first issue?

    • Subscribe! We are offering special, introductory pricing right now. You may purchase just the first issue, or save even more by purchasing issues #1 & #2 together. The price will go up, so don't delay. Subscribe today!

    • If you are more than a reader, if you provide services to writers or have a business those in the literary community might need to know about, please enter your details in our free directory. Each issue of 105 Meadowlark Reader will include lists of resources for authors. What are we looking for? Editors and book doctors, artists and photographers who have an interest in working with authors, small presses and printers, bookstores and boutique shops that have a designated space for local writers in their stores, workshop leaders and writing clubs and organizations, publications of all shapes and sizes. We will provide paid advertising options, as well, but we won't contact you about that unless you express interest. It's safe. It's easy. We'd love to have you in our directory. Click here to enter your details now.  

    For those who entered essays and stories for our first call for submissions, we will be reaching out no later than March 1 to let you know where you are in the process. 

    Thank you for joining us on this journey. Tell your friends about 105 Meadowlark Reader. This is just the beginning!

    Cheryl & Tracy

    Monday, December 7, 2020

    Countdown to Submission Deadline

    It's December! You know what that means. You have a little over 3 weeks left to get your submission in to 105 Meadowlark Reader. Just think. YOU could be in the inaugural issue.  

    Prompt: friendship

    Tell us about the beginning of a friendship. Perhaps it is one that is lost but well remembered, or perhaps it is one that grows deeper year by year. We are looking for true stories. Theme for our first issue: Beginnings. Submit today

    Monday, November 30, 2020

    Pull us in; Make us feel something

    Are you still trying to decide what to write for 105 Meadowlark Reader? Over the next few weeks, we will be posting prompts to help you brainstorm ideas. 

    Prompt: quality time spent

    Share a memory of time spent with a special person in your life. Write about an unforgettable event, or perhaps just the way you carry that person with you still today. 

    You don't have to be a seasoned writer to submit to 105: Meadowlark Reader. We are looking forward to hearing your true Kansas stories. Spread the word. Share our website link; share our Facebook posts.

    Submit. (deadline = December 31)


    Add your details to our directory for writers.

    Monday, November 23, 2020

    Who's your momma?

     Are you still trying to decide what to write for 105 Meadowlark Reader? Over the next few weeks, we will be posting prompts to help you brainstorm ideas. 

    Prompt: parents and grandparents

    How did they meet? When did they come to Kansas and how did they arrive? What did they do when they got here?

    Share away! Make sure your county is represented in 105: Meadowlark Reader. We are counting on you to submit and subscribe!



    Add your details to our directory for writers.

    Monday, November 16, 2020

    Writing about Beginnings

    Are you still trying to decide what to write for 105 Meadowlark Reader? Over the next few weeks, we will be posting prompts to help you brainstorm ideas. 

    Prompt: quests and dreams

    That quest you are on, that dream that you are living--where did it start? Write about the origins of something that you are proud of or something you continue to work to improve upon.

    We are counting on you to help us get the word out. Share this post with your friends. Encourage your favorite storytellers to put pen to paper. 



    Add your details to our directory for writers.

    Friday, November 13, 2020

    Do you write true Kansas stories? If so, we want to read them!

    105Meadowlark Reader is a brand new literary print journal featuring true Kansas stories written by Kansas residents (past or present). We’ve chosen the name 105 because we hope to eventually publish pieces from each of the 105 counties. We also want this journal to reflect the diversity of backgrounds within our state. 

    We’re not looking for credentials here; you don’t have to have a college degree, you don’t have to have been published. 105 is simply in search of great writing, great storytelling by Kansans. We’ll select the true stories that move us, stories that we hope will move our readers as well.  

    And so, we invite you to submit your personal essays about any aspect of your Kansas experience. Or your creative nonfiction pieces set in Kansas. We want narratives that make us feel something whether it be joy or grief or triumph.

    Each submission should relate to the theme of our first issue: Beginnings. Submissions are accepted Nov. 1 - Dec. 31. View our Submission Guidelines

    Each issue will also feature a directory of resources for Kansas writers, such as writing groups, book printers, publishers, editing services, etc. Inclusion in our directory is free. Advertising space is also available. 

    Questions? Contact Cheryl Unruh

    We look forward to reading your submissions!

    Cheryl Unruh, editor

    Tracy Million Simmons, publisher 

    Monday, November 9, 2020

    What are you writing for us?

    Are you still trying to decide what to write for 105 Meadowlark Reader? Over the next few weeks, we will be posting prompts to help you brainstorm ideas. 

    Prompt: a Kansas road trip

    Write about a trip you took by yourself or with family or friends. What made that trip memorable? What did you see or do? How did that road trip change you?

    Help us spread the word! Our goal is to reach every corner of Kansas with 105 Meadowlark Reader. We invite you to share this prompt on social media or link to us from your website.



    Add your details to our directory for writers.

    Monday, August 31, 2020



    Excitement is building at Peter Pan Park in Emporia as we (Tracy Million Simmons & Cheryl Unruh) huddle in a proper, socially-distanced way on concrete picnic benches to sketch out plans for a captivating new journal. 

    105 Meadowlark Reader will publish stories about Kansas written by people who have lived within the bounds of this crinkle-cornered, mostly-rectangular state. 

    Yes! A journal of Kansas stories! By Kansas writers! 

    Why 105? Our goal is to share stories from writers who live or have lived in each of the 105 counties of Kansas. We plan to showcase the diversity of Kansas writers in this journal. 

    We want to hear from writers in Elbing and Elkhart. Brewster? Yes. As well as Weir, White Cloud, and Waverly. Not to mention Piqua, Pratt, and Paradise. 

    Whether you live in a city, a small town, or on two acres of timber along the Verdigris River, if you write true stories about your days and nights under this big Kansas sky, we want to read them. 

    The theme for our inaugural issue is: beginnings (whatever "beginnings" means to you). 

    Our submission period is: November 1-December 31, 2020.

    So there ya go, Kansas writers! Reach under your bed and dig out those personal Kansas essays you’ve already written. Or write something new. We look forward to hearing from you. 

    Cheryl & Tracy