Unleash Creatives’ for writers/by writers publication is designed to do it all. Unleash Lit highlights some of the best contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. We are always looking for bold new submissions as well as essays that focus on encouraging writers and also telling truths about Writing and The Writing Life.

Writing can be rewarding and draining in equal measure, and our goal is to share it all. We will publish a variety of voices and perspectives, and if you subscribe, you’ll also get private invites to events and submission opportunities, along with occasional subscriber-only posts.

Submit here.

Who we are:

Our mission as a holistic arts organization is to support authentic storytellers and unleash the power of creativity across diverse communities.

As authors ourselves, it is important to us to create a sense of community in all of our efforts because, as we all know, no creative work is written, completed, and shared alone. To usher one's writing or visual art into the world means to be a part of a larger process that includes editors, publishers, and readers. The creative dance of expression and communication has been historically largely limited to a specific gender, race, and/or wealth status, which has limited the artistic landscape. We believe all voices are valuable, and our mission is to add to the larger discussion and to put our limited resources to work to share voices and stories that may not otherwise be heard. Our vision is to bring the joy of creativity to a wider audience through workshops, publications, and experiences. 

We are not the venue for dogma or proselytizing in any form (there are plenty of venues for that).

We believe all voices are valuable, and it is our mission to add to the larger discussion and to put our limited resources to work in order to share voices and stories that may not otherwise be heard. If you publish with Unleash Lit, our blog, or Unleash Press, we consider you family.

How to submit:

We are currently reading for our WIP contest, which asks for 25 sample pages (double-spaced) and a personal statement that discusses your aims as a writer. Unlike other competitions, entries are rated based on the clarity of vision and potential of the project, not how polished the work is. The winner will receive $500 and a mentoring package. Unleash Lit recently reopened to submissions. Find all updates and guidelines here.

Board of Directors:

Jen Knox, Executive Director

Jen Knox is an award-winning writer. Her debut novel, We Arrive Uninvited, was the winner of the Steel Toe Books Award winner and her forthcoming reissued ecological story collection, The Glass City, won the Press Americana Award. Jen edited and co-wrote the writing resource books Create & Curate and Living Art with her writing partner, Ashley Holloway. She blogs at Here we are and her creative work has been published in Ireland, Turkey, India, Canada, the UK, and the US. Along with her work at Unleash, she is an educator at OSU, Insight Timer, Thurber House, and Aura. Her writing website is jenknox.com.

Chris Shanahan, Artistic Director

Chris Shanahan is an economist and artist who specializes in portraits, murals, infographics, data visualization, multimedia painting, typography (or *legal* graffiti), acrylic, oil, and illustrations for children's books as well as book cover design. Chris's customized portraits range from amusing to realistic. He is also an Excel wizard. His book covers include Ubulembu (J. Eric Smith), Man Wanted in Cheyenne (Richard McPherson), and Telling You Everything (Cindy Hochman), among others.

Ashley Holloway, Editorial Director & Book Reviewer

Self-proclaimed logophile and devourer of books, Ashley Holloway teaches writing classes and healthcare leadership in Calgary, AB, Canada. She writes in a variety of genres, including fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, and poetry, with work appearing across Canada and the US. Ashley has co-authored three books (with Jen Knox!) and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Richard C. McPherson, Special Projects Chair


Richard C. McPherson's short stories have been called "beautifully honest," appearing in Black Fox Literary Magazine, Unleash Press, and The Write Launch. “Man Wanted in Cheyenne,” his short story, received an award in Living Springs Publishing's international short fiction contest and appeared in their 2017 anthology, Stories Through the Ages. The rich backstory of Its iconic protagonist, Jake, is now the subject of a new novel, Man Wanted in Cheyenne, available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Unleash Creatives. After the publication of his book, Richard was invited to be a part of the Unleash board and graciously agreed.

Prior to his writing career, Dick advised leading nonprofits on messaging and digital strategy, including NPR and PBS stations, the New York Public Library, and women's rights organizations in the US, Europe, and Hong Kong. His 2007 book Digital Giving: How Technology is Changing Charity, was called a "must-read" in the US and UK, considered a seminal work on the rapidly approaching impact of the internet. He advised Stand for Rights, a pioneering live stream fundraiser for the ACLU, produced by Tina Fey and hosted by Tom Hanks, and which earned Facebook its first Emmy nomination.

He taught digital communications at NYU, Columbia, and UCLA, and led workshops across the US and in London, Amsterdam, Geneva, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dick lives on the California Central Coast with his wife, Heidi. He loves to hear from readers and writers and may be reached at richardcmcpherson.com

Sascha Ealey, Marketing and Communications Chair

Sascha Ealey was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she still resides with her two children. She wanted to become a writer ever since the age of seven.

She obtained a bachelor’s degree in English at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. One of her dreams was to use her life experiences to help young women feel understood in a world where society wants them to sweep things under the rug. Sascha wants to challenge and encourage women to step into their truths despite the opinions of others. It is her hope that young girls and women break those generational curses that were left by their ancestors. Her first book, Dry Bones, is available here

Carol Fischbach, Publications Co-Chair

Carol Fischbach sat at the actual Pinewood Table for nearly five years and is now a Pinewood Squares OG. She is a retired RN, Reiki master, and a student archetype with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction along with several other degrees, but her favorite classroom is everyday life and listening to and reading others’ stories. Writing is the portal through which she enters her life, seeks insight and reframes her stories. At 74 she is still trying to figure it all out. She is currently working on a memoir that feels a lot like herding cats. She has been published in Khora, Propeller, Nailed Magazine, Oregon East, Tide Pools, the Port Townsend Leader and won 2nd place in the 2020 Women’s National Book Foundation for her essay, Butterflies, Berries, and Beef.

Christina Valentine Larsen, Publications Co-Chair

Christina Valentine Larsen lives in Vancouver WA. Tina loves to be in nature walking and hugging trees, spending time with family and friends and reading. She is a teacher, retired nurse, Reiki master and author. Her first book My Own Darling: A Love Story for the Ages from the Greatest Generation was published in 2017. She is currently working on a memoir An Uneven Life: Grief and Other Shenanigans.

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Our mission as a holistic arts organization is to support storytellers. We bring the joy of creativity to a diverse and inclusive audience of artists, writers, and readers through workshops, publications, and experiences.


We are a holistic arts organization with the mission to encourage creativity and connection. We also host a literary journal that features courageous writing. This blog is new and will be up and running by summer.