Natural Bridge, a journal of contemporary literature, began publishing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and works in translation by award winning writers just prior to the new millennium, and its national and international subscriptions, and thus its reach, have grown yearly. Each issue contains approximately four new stories, twenty-five new poems, and two essays, all of which are selected from unsolicited submissions sent from writers throughout the world. Natural Bridge accepts work year round, the editors and assistant editors sifting through approximately 1200 submissions each year.  New, emerging, and mid-career writers whose work has been published in Natural Bridge have been anthologized and have gone on to win The Flannery O’Connor, the Drue Heinz, the John Ciardi prizes, and more. Additionally, we publish a special feature, a three part interview with an emerging writer, her publisher, and a reader which explores the aesthetic and literary connection between the three.

Natural Bridge, connected the University of Missouri-St. Louis, is published twice yearly, April and November, and uses a sophisticated Editor/Guest Editor system. The Editor is novelist and short story writer, Mary Troy, but novelist John Dalton and poets Steven Schreiner, Shane Seely, and Drucilla Wall periodically serve as Guest Editors.

Fiction writer Dusty Freund is the new and current Managing Editor, and in that position, works with the outgoing Managing Editor, the poet Jennifer Goldring. Fiction writers Daniel Musgrave and John Fournie serve as Associate Managing Editors. The Production Editor is Pierre Davis, a professor of business and technical writing who does the final proofreading.

Advanced MFA students, many already publishing their own work, serve as assistant editors/ first readers of all work submitted.

On this website, you will find newscalls for submissionssubscription information, as well as samples of our past issues.

Natural Bridge is a non-profit literary journal supported by the English Department at UM-St. Louis, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, and the Missouri Arts Council.



Mary Troy-

Editor and Professor of English, she is the author of the novel Beauties, winner of the USA Book Award, and finalist for Forewords Book of the Year Award. Her previous three books are collections of short stories: Cookie Lily (winner of the Devil’s Kitchen Award); The Alibi Café and other stories; and Joe Baker Is Dead. Her stories and essays have appeared in many anthologies, and among her awards is a Nelson Algren.




Guest Editor- Issue #36 (Issue under consideration)

John Dalton-

Is the author of the novel Heaven Lake, winner of the Barnes and Noble 2004 Discover Award in fiction and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second novel, The Inverted Forest, was published in 2011 and selected as a best book of the year by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Wall Street Journal – Book Lover. John is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has held fellowships at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and The MacDowell Colony.





Managing Editor

Dusty Freund-

Is an aging young person who holds a BS in Personal Financial Planning from the University of Missouri. While still capable of doing his own taxes, he now writes short stories for a limited audience of his peers. He resides in St. Louis and is currently hard at work on an unpublishable essay about homemade pizza.





Associate Managing Editors

Dan Musgrave-

Is an ape who writes stories. He holds an MA in Biological Anthropology from Iowa State University for research with captive bonobos. He is drawn to work that is scientifically aware, humorous, and genuine, in the same vein as Seth Fried, Karen Russell, Andrea Barrett, and George Saunders.




John NB picJohn Fournie-







Production Editor

Pierre Davis-

Has more than forty years experience as a writer, grammarian, proofreader, illustrator, and painter. He teaches business and technical writing for the University of Missouri-St. Louis.






Current Masthead Issue #35

EDITOR Mary Troy
GUEST EDITOR Steve Schreiner

John Fournie

Steven Schreiner
Mary Troy
Ross Gay
Ruth Ellen Kocher
C.M. Mayo
Katherine Min
Naomi Shihab Nye
Tyrone Williams