Everywhere You Don’t Belong

Claude McKay Love isn’t sure what he’s doing in Columbia, Missouri. The protagonist of Gabriel Bump’s gut-punch of a debut novel, Everywhere You Don’t Belong, Claude knows nothing of Missouri. His world revolves around Chicago’s South Side — specifically Euclid Avenue, where Bump himself once spent his mornings walking to the Jeffrey Local bus stop, […]

Story Support

You’re a writer in Columbia. You’re still waiting on that six-figure advance, but you’ve been writing, so that makes you a writer, right? Yet no matter your experience level, chances are you’re doing the bulk of this writing at a desk in the corner, alone. You probably like it this way. You want room to […]

Phong Nguyen’s Roundabout

You might not notice at first. But screw up your vision, then peer a little closer at the cover of Phong Nguyen’s new novel, Roundabout. You’ll see it: The letter “e” in his last name is a faint, hazy gray, just a few shades darker than the white font that sandwiches it. Seems a simple […]

Nothing More Dangerous

In 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. finished the final sermons that would become Strength to Love, a literary masterpiece in its own right, but also the first book of sermons by an African-American preacher to be widely distributed to a white audience. Written in part while King served time in a jail cell […]

The Immortal Force

Stephen Paul Sayers became a bestselling author on the dare of a teenager — specifically, the prodding of his own daughter. An associate professor of physical therapy in the School of Health Professions at MU, Sayers didn’t seem a natural candidate for the role of supernatural thriller writer. But something about the look in his […]

Cracking the College Conundrum

Melanie Prather Studer was sick of what she didn’t know. The Columbia native and mother of three sons had just successfully shuttled her eldest into his first year of high school, and already she could feel the pressures of college, ever-present but impossible to pinpoint so early on. What would be the smartest career move […]

Writing Changed My Life

After losing her job in software development more than 10 years ago, Laura McHugh turned to her background in writing. “My husband was like, ‘You’ve always wanted to write a book,’” she says. “It seemed insane at the time, but it changed my life.” Now an award-winning mystery writer, McHugh is releasing her third book, […]

Iconic Eats

Kerri Linder, author of the recently released Iconic Restaurants of Columbia, Missouri, never would have seen herself becoming an author of a culinary book back when she was working as an accountant for State Farm Insurance. She realized one day that she needed a job that provided flexibility in her schedule to accommodate the busy […]

Ghost Grappling

For those not familiar with Donald Quist’s work, his stories are warmhearted, sensitive and unapologetically honest. Growing up, Quist was raised in two homes; he lived part time with his father in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and with his mother in Silver Spring, Maryland. From a young age, Quist knew he wanted to write. Still, it wasn’t […]

The Ultimate Book for Tigers

Former Columbia Daily Tribune sports reporter Dave Matter, who now covers University of Missouri athletics for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has given Mizzou fans a new reason to cheer. In “100 Things Missouri Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die,” released in September, Matter puts his expertise as a Mizzou Tigers connoisseur at front […]

An Attachment to Animals

From outer space to family secrets, Orly Konig has been writing all of her professional life — albeit about different things. Some things have remained constant, however, like her love for coffee, animals, writing and Columbia. Konig moved from Israel to Columbia with her parents when she was 10. After graduating from Rock Bridge High […]

A Taker of Morrows

Stephen Paul Sayers never thought he would be an author. Fiction writing seemed the furthest thing from what this research scientist and University of Missouri professor knew, but his profession was the cornerstone on which the protagonist in his first novel, “A Taker of Morrows” (June 2018), was built. “I read something my daughter wrote […]

“The Bad Break”

The path to literary success rarely follows a straight line. That was the case for mystery novelist Jill Orr. After getting her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Missouri, Orr worked in advertising. Eventually she went back to school and got her masters in social work, but after the birth of her son, […]

A Writer’s Passion

By nature, Gladys Swan is an explorer and a creator. In both painting and writing, Swan patiently waits for her work to evolve and explain itself. “What comes to me and through me, I play with,” says Swan. “What happens after that or how people respond to it, I can’t judge.” Along with a straightforward […]



Photo courtesy of L.G. Patterson Anand Prahlad, the director of creative writing at the University of Missouri–Columbia, is known for his engaging teaching style, work in folklore, mbira music and poetry. Recently, Prahlad diverged from art and academia with the publication of his memoir, “The Secret Life of a Black Aspie.” In the book, Prahlad […]


Poetic License

Photo courtesy of L.G. Patterson In 2008, Governor Matt Blunt appointed Ashland resident Walter Bargen as Missouri’s first Poet Laureate. The position allowed the prolific poet to interact with Missourians in a unique way, as media coverage and public poetry events filled his days. Indeed, the intent of the position was to allow Missouri to […]


Little Stories, Big Journey

With “Mongolian Interior: An Expatriate Experience,” a collection of creative nonfiction stories, Lori Younker has joined Columbia’s growing list of published authors. As an educator specializing in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), Younker is invested in both the English language and cultural exchange. Her writing has benefited from her involvement with the Columbia […]


Words and Silence

Columbia’s William (Bill) Claassen encapsulates a unique paradox of silence and volume. He speaks gently of yoga, meditation, monastic retreats and the therapeutic benefits of movement and dance. “I prefer silence,” says Claassen. Yet, energy and excitement shimmer on his face — even his silence is not so quiet. Perhaps the volume of Claassen’s quietude […]


The Art of Truth

When studying the rich tapestry of Columbia’s writing community, Steve Weinberg is a repeating pattern. His threads are integral, colorful and diverse. With over four decades of journalism experience, Weinberg has created a solid foundation in the field. Weinberg obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University […]


“The Call of Chaos”

Columbia is filled with many residents who have an idea for a book. What makes Columbia unique is the percentage of people who invest in their idea all the way through to publication. Sean Frazier is a new addition to that ever-growing statistic with his first title, “The Call of Chaos (The Forgotten Years: Book […]