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The editors of Rock & Sling believe that the act of writing and of reading literature is a way of witnessing to the truth of experience, drilling down to the core of language’s vitality, and accepting an understanding of artistic language as a kind of testimony. The word “Witness” means to testify: to tell the truth. The demands of the word are bracing in its charge to the writer to understand that his and her work matters not just as expressions of experiences and responses but as an active language engaged morally as well as aesthetically. To tell the truth is an act of responsibility as well as an expression of hope. To testify is an act of responsibility as well as an expression of faith.

Rock & Sling is a literary journal of witness, published twice a year at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Rock & Sling was founded in 2004 by Susan Cowger, and came to Whitworth in 2010. We are a member of the CLMP and distributed nationwide by Ubiquity Distribution.

Thom is an assistant professor in the English department at Whitworth and teaches a variety of creative writing, literature, and publishing/editing courses. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota, and his MFA from Eastern Washington University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers. His poems have appeared in Ascent, Smartish Pace, Sugar House Review, Redactions: Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere.

The work I prefer rarely takes a single form. It is often work that blurs traditional lines, either culturally or structurally. I want the magazine to embrace complexity, to be afraid of nothing, to push our understanding of ourselves and the ways we think about literature. I like art that takes risks, but still remembers to be good art. I realize this is vague, so let me provide a couple of my favorite lines:

“Suddenly I realize / that if I stepped out of my body I would break / into blossom” James Wright, “A Blessing.”

“The soul’s growlspeak / is strange- // prisoned / in foot-arch // in laurels” Carly Joy Miller, “apostle drives the coastline” (Rock & Sling issue 9.2, 2014).

“If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down, / we should give thanks that the end had magnitude” Jack Gilbert, “A Brief for the Defense.”

Laurie has lived in the Pacific Northwest and taught poetry workshops and literature seminars at Whitworth since 1985 (where she is associate professor of English). She received her doctorate from the University of Utah and her MFA from the University of Montana. Her poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture,Primavera, and Poetry Northwest. She is the recipient of a Washington State Artist Trust Award in 2005, a Graves Award in 2002, and a Pushcart Prize in 2001 for the poem “Pain Thinks of the Beautiful Table.” Her books include The Fork Without Hunger and Without Wings, both published by CavanKerry Press.

Julie is the senior writer for marketing and development at Whitworth University, and associate editor of Whitworth Today magazine. She holds a BA in American studies from Whitworth and an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. She also serves as the craft-essay editor for Brevity. Her memoir is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press’s American Lives Series. Her essay, “Shadow Animals,” appeared in The Georgia Review.

I love being part of the Rock & Sling crew as the journal’s creative-nonfiction editor. A great day on staff for me is when I read a submitted essay that surprises me with fresh language and an assured voice, and that seeks not to answer the question, but to deepen the question, and does so with honesty and authenticity.

Kate Reed lives, writes, and teaches in Spokane, WA. Her fiction has appeared in Copper Nickel Review, Trestle Creek, and Almost5 Quarterly.

  • Web Editor: Nicole Sheets
  • Reviews Editor: Holli Steinmetz
  • Managing Editor: Karly Bosma
  • Assistant Managing Editor: Alexis Paperman
  • Assistant Fiction Editor: Joshua Tuttle
  • Assistant Poetry Editor: Lauren Klepinger
  • Assistant Nonfiction Editor: Emily Church

For questions, email Karly at krasmussen [at] whitworth [dot] edu.

About Whitworth University

Since 1890, Whitworth has held fast to its founding mission of providing “an education of mind and heart” through rigorous intellectual inquiry guided by dedicated Christian scholars. Recognized as one of the top regional colleges and universities in the West, Whitworth University has an enrollment of 2,700 students and offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In recent years, Whitworth has enjoyed record levels of student enrollment and retention, the strongest financial position in the university’s history, and increased external visibility.

Whitworth University’s 200-acre campus of red-brick buildings and tall pines offers a beautiful, inviting and secure learning environment. More than $83 million in campus improvements have been made over the past decade, including a new center for the visual arts, a landmark general academic building, three new residence halls and several outdoor athletics facilities.

In all of these endeavors, the university seeks to advance its founder’s mission of equipping students to “honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.”


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Marinelli / Sep 1 2010 4:13 am

    Just a question: Would you accept reprints from older literary journals if acknowledgments were in order?

    • thomcaraway / Sep 2 2010 7:55 pm


      We are only accepting unpublished material at this time, sorry.


    • Jim Knisely, Seattle / Nov 24 2012 1:56 pm

      Hi. A month ago I subscribed to Rock And Sling. I’m so excited! I can hardly wait for my first copy! Will it come soon?

      • thomcaraway / Dec 1 2012 5:26 pm

        Should be in your hands a little after the first of the year. Thanks for subscribing!

  2. JOshua Michael Stewart / Oct 21 2010 5:27 am


    sorry, but i didn’t know how else to contact you.

    I must withdraw my poem TROY, NEW YORK

    I’m looking forward in hearing from you regarding the rest of my work.

    Have a good day,

    Joshua Michael Stewart

  3. Jim Tolan / Dec 20 2010 3:46 pm

    Wanted to let you know that one of the poems I submitted on November 11th, “Devil Born,” has been picked up elsewhere. The rest of the submission remains available.

    Happy Holidays

  4. Art Levine / Jan 13 2011 7:42 am

    I believe you found my submission “Bottled Water” to be not a good match for your publication. However your automated submission manager fails to indicate same.

  5. Winn Pasq / Aug 27 2011 11:07 am

    I see you have a place to “subscribe,” but I’d really like to buy a couple of copies of the last journal. How do I go about ordering copies?

    • thomcaraway / Aug 29 2011 8:12 pm

      I can email you an order form, Winnona.

  6. Jenne / Nov 17 2011 5:46 pm

    Hi Thom: How do we go about changing addresses for current subscribers? I think I forgot to do that and may have missed the last issue…

  7. Bonnie Thurston / Apr 29 2012 7:32 am

    This is a question for the editors: do I have to be on Facebook to submit poetry? I don’t like Facebook. I’m old and private. Is the account I sign up for on the site just for you for submission purposes, or is it a sign in to the “f word?” thank, Bonnie Thurston

  8. Mia Brech / May 2 2012 5:57 am

    Hi. On April 1, 2012 I ordered and paid for a copy of Rock & Sling. I still haven’t gotten it. Sorry to post this publicly, but I didn’t know how else to contact you. Would really like to receive the journal!

  9. Sharron Singleton / May 17 2012 1:36 pm

    On 5/5/12 I submitted 5 poems for your consideration. I just heard this morning that “For All That Is” and “Elected Silence, Sing to Me” have been accepted for publication. The other three are still available. They are, “This Long Novitiate,” “The World Will Be Saved by Beauty,” and “Seed.”

    Thank you, Sharron Singleton

    • thomcaraway / May 31 2012 11:13 am


      I am not seeing any submissions from you on that or any other date. Please try resubmitting the poems that are still available.



  10. Sharron Singleton / May 31 2012 12:19 pm

    Oh, I went through your on-line submission manager but must have done something wrong. I’ll try again. Thanks for letting me know. Sharron Singleton

  11. David / Aug 19 2012 10:55 am

    I’ve written a blank-verse narrative poem of 189 lines–too long to submit for your consideration?


  12. stacy barton / Oct 2 2012 6:29 pm

    Hi Thom:

    I was just wondering about the status of my 5/1/12 short story submission – I accidentally submitted two, “In the Colony” and “The Coin,” and I wasn’t sure if that caused a problem.

    Thanks for your time,
    Stacy Barton

  13. Terry Wolverton / Jan 18 2013 12:09 pm

    Hi, I had a poem, “Ghost Soup,” accepted by you in 2011. Can you let me know when it might appear? Thanks, Terry Wolverton,

  14. Richard King Perkins II / Feb 7 2013 10:12 am

    My poems “Abstract Child,” “Harrowed in the Dusk” and “Splashdown” have been accepted elsewhere. The poems “Wasteland Ballad” and “Claim” are still available. Thank you.


    Richard King Perkins II

  15. Dennis R. Gillenwater / Feb 27 2013 10:31 am


    I just finished an essay written in the spirit of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” but with a decidedly contemporary subject matter. Would you be interested in reading it? If so, what genre should I send it under?


    “A Modest Proposal in This Post-Modern Age of Civility and Progressive Pragmatism for Preventing the Offspring Products of Rape and Incest from Destroying America”

    Dennis Gillenwater

  16. Beth Bates / Mar 8 2013 10:17 pm

    Most excellent to make contact with you this morning at AWP. I’ll swing by upstairs tomorrow to say hi.

  17. waltgannon / Jun 17 2013 5:49 pm

    What is your usual response time for fiction?

  18. Lori Vos / Nov 19 2016 12:43 pm

    Dear Laurie,

    I submitted five poems earlier this fall. However, recently I gave a public reading of two of them and realized that one needed some revision. Would you receive from me an edited version of “Near Pickering or An Ode to Lake Ontario”? If so, please let me know how I should send it to you.

    All the best,
    Lori Vos

  19. Daniel / Dec 6 2016 7:46 pm

    I subscribed to your quarterly last year for my son, and we only received an issue in April of 2016. Why not the others???
    Daniel Rice / Malcolm Rice

  20. Jennifer Chivington / Dec 7 2016 10:46 am

    Hi! I submitted a fiction piece the beginning of November. I haven’t received anything back on it. I was wondering how long it takes to get feedback?

  21. David Hall / Jan 3 2017 8:51 am

    Hello and Happy New Year. I understand this public forum isn’t the most professional way to inquire about a submission, but I couldn’t find another link or way to contact you. My poem “In Praise of the Black Ghostbuster” was submitted on 8/5/2016. and I wondering if it is still under consideration with your publication. Be blessed.

  22. Rm / Mar 18 2017 7:35 pm

    Hello. I don’t know how else to inquire about my submissions. I submitted two poems on 8.25.16. They were “Fourth of July, 1998” and “First Day Out.” Just wondering if you’ve made a decision. Thanks so much.

  23. Will McCabe / Apr 6 2017 10:41 am


    Sorry, I was not sure how else to make contact, but I noticed on Submittable that my piece “Philosophy on Ornithology” has been labeled “In-Progress” for several months now and have not yet heard back on it. My other works “Mixed Blessing” and “Apology” have also been “Received” for the same time as well. Just wanted to know about the current status of these poems.

    Thank you,

    Will McCabe


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