Capsule Stories is a print literary magazine published once every season. Our first issue was published on March 1, 2019, and we accept submissions year-round.
We have a penchant for pretty words, an affinity to the melancholy, and an undeniably time-ful aura. We believe that stories exist in a specific moment, and that that moment is what makes those stories unique.
What we’re really looking for are stories that can touch the heart. Stories that come from the heart. Stories about love, identity, the self, the world, the human condition. Stories that show what living in this world as the human you are is like.
There’s so much noise out there, bombarding us constantly with an endless stream of information and it becomes harder and harder to hear ourselves think. This is a quiet place for you to sit, read, remember, and reflect.
We believe that words shape us as individuals. Words stay with us as we go through life, and the words we kept sacred yesterday may be different than the words we need today. Whatever you may be experiencing right at this time in your life, there are the right words for it. The right words comfort us in need. They breathe life into our beings. They show us how we feel. And we are here to give them to you.
Capsule Stories is owned and operated by two women, Natasha Lioe and Carolina VonKampen, and assisted by dedicated readers who assist with our submissions queue and editorial work.
Natasha Lioe, Founder and Publisher of Capsule Stories
Natasha Lioe graduated with a BA in narrative studies from University of Southern California. She’s always had an affinity for words and stories and emotions. Her work has appeared in Adsum Literary Magazine, and she won the Edward B. Moses Creative Writing Competition in 2016. Her greatest strength is finding and focusing the pathos in an otherwise cold world, and she hopes to help humans tell their unique, compelling stories.
Carolina VonKampen, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Capsule Stories
Carolina VonKampen has always had a love of reading and writing, and in high school and college, she realized that editing was a perfect combination of those interests. Since then, she’s been editing anything she can get her hands on: books, blog posts, content marketing, lit mags, magazines, and more. But by far the most fulfilling editorial work has been with Capsule Stories. She loves getting to read fresh, new, exciting pieces and help edit and polish them so readers will fall in love with them.
Carolina graduated with a BA in English and history and completed the University of Chicago’s editing certificate program. Her writing has appeared in HerStry, So to Speak’s blog, FIVE:2:ONE’s #thesideshow, Moonchild Magazine, and Déraciné Magazine. Her short story “Logan Paul Is Dead” was nominated by Dream Pop Journal for the 2018 Best of the Net.
Carolina is available for hire as a freelance editor and book designer and loves working with independent authors to help them publish their book or polish their manuscript for querying. For more information about her freelance editing work, visit carolinavonkampen.com. She tweets about editing, among other things, at @carolinamarie_v and talks about books she’s reading at @carolinamariereads on Instagram.
BEE LB, Reader
BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; they are a writer creating delicate connections. they have called any number of places home; currently, a single yellow wall in Michigan. they are currently working on two poetry manuscripts, HEART GROTESQUE and SWALLOW THE TRUTH, COUGH UP BOTH HALVES. they have been published in Revolute Lit, Red Weather, opia, Capsule Stories, Catchwater Magazine, and Ample Remains, among others. they joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2022. their portfolio can be found at twinbrights.carrd.co.
Aimee Brooks, Reader
Aimee Brooks is a writer, artist, and coffee lover living in West Texas. After completing an undergrad degree in ceramics, sculpture, and jewelry making, she set sail on a writing journey for personal development and has since found herself completely enamored with the written word. She is working toward acceptance to an MFA program where she can further hone her fiction skills. When she’s not writing, you can find her working on graphic design projects for her job, hanging out with her husband and cat, or going to the gym with friends. You can find more of Aimee’s work in Goats Milk Magazine, Embers literary magazine, and The Storytelling Project.
Stephanie Coley, Reader
Stephanie Coley is a country girl from Gering, Nebraska. She graduated in 2016 from Concordia University, Nebraska with a BA in English and a minor in art. She has been a journalism teacher, janitor, data technician, and more. Stephanie is a published poet, appearing in the National Creativity Series of 2009 and Mango Issue 3, Respeto, in 2017. She is also a winner of the 2020 Historic Posters Reimagined Project, which can be found at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. Stephanie currently works as the program manager at the West Nebraska Arts Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Stephanie joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2021.
Rhea Dhanbhoora, Reader
Rhea Dhanbhoora worked for close to a decade as an editor and writer before quitting her job and moving to New York to get her master’s degree and finally writing the stories everyone told her no one would ever read. Her debut poetry collection, Sandalwood-Scented Skeletons, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2022. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Sparkle & Blink, Awakened Voices, Five on the Fifth, Capsule Stories Autumn 2020 Edition, Fly on the Wall Press, HerStry, Artsy, Broccoli Mag, and JMWW. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays. She is currently on the board of directors for the literary organization Quiet Lightning and editor of RealBrownTalk. Rhea joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2021. She’s working on several projects, including a linked story collection about women based in the underrepresented Parsi Zoroastrian diaspora. You can read her work online at rheadhanbhoora.com.
Hannah Fortna, Reader
Hannah Fortna graduated in 2016 from Concordia University, Nebraska, combining her passion for the written word and her affinity for art making with a degree in English and a minor in photography. After a three-year career as a freelance copyeditor, she heard traveling calling her name and now works seasonal jobs in places connected to America’s national parks. When she’s not selling souvenirs to tourists in gift shops, she enjoys hiking, photographing natural spaces, and writing about the flora and fauna she saw while on the trail. She reads anything from poetry to middle-grade novels, but the nature-inspired creative nonfiction section is her haunt in any bookstore. Her poetry has previously appeared in Moonchild Magazine and Capsule Stories Spring 2019 Edition. Hannah joined Capsule Stories as a reader in November 2020.
Teya Hollier, Reader
Teya Hollier is a graduate of York University with a BA in creative writing. At York, she won both the Babs Burggraf Award and the Judith Eve Gewurtz award for her poetry and prose. Her work has previously appeared in Room magazine, Verses Magazine, OyeDrum Magazine, and Capsule Stories Second Isolation Edition, where she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Teya joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2022. When she is not writing, she is reading and reviewing books, watching horror movies, drinking copious amounts of tea, and binging The Great British Bake Off. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and a ghostly novella.
Mel Lake, Reader
Mel (Melodie) Lake is a writer and editor who lives in Denver with her partner and a very good dog. She received an English BA from Northern Arizona University and an MS in technical communication from Northeastern University. Her essays have been published in The Mark Literary Review and Capsule Stories and her fiction in various places including Stratum Press and Land Beyond the World. The full list of her publications can be found at mel-lake.com. She’s working on a novel, is a comics nerd, and always forgets to tweet at @melofsometrades. Mel joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2022.
Kendra Nuttall, Reader
Kendra Nuttall is a copywriter by day and poet by night. She has a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Utah Valley University. Her work has previously appeared in Spectrum, Capsule Stories, Chiron Review, and What Rough Beast, as well as various other journals and anthologies. She is the author of the poetry collections A Statistical Study of Randomness (Finishing Line Press, 2021) and Our Bones Ache Together (FlowerSong Press, forthcoming). Kendra lives in Utah with her husband and poodle. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, watching reality TV, or attempting to pet every animal she sees. You can find out more about her work at kendranuttall.com. Kendra joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2021.
Rachel Skelton, Reader
Rachel Skelton graduated from William Woods University with a BA in English, a concentration in writing, and a secondary major in business administration, a concentration in management. She has interned for Dzanc Books and now works as a freelance fiction editor specializing in speculative fiction. You can find more information about her work at theeditingskeleton.com. She occasionally tweets about editing at @EditingSkeleton and talks about books she’s reading at @TheReadingSkeleton on Instagram. When she’s not doing anything reading-related, she’s hanging out with her cats, collecting houseplants, and attempting to learn how to crochet. Rachel joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2021.
Deanne Sleet, Reader
Deanne Sleet is a graduate of Saint Louis University with a BA in English, a concentration in creative writing, and minors in African American studies and women’s and gender studies. She has interned for River Styx and Midwest Artist Project Services, where she gained experience with grant writing, editing, and writing copy. She is currently the leasing and marketing manager at City Lofts on Laclede and holds the secretary position for SLU’s Black Alumni Association. She writes short fiction and poetry, and a novel is in the making. In her spare time, she hangs out with her cat and roller-skates. Deanne joined Capsule Stories as a reader in February 2021.
Annie Powell Stone
Annie Powell Stone (she/her) is a fan of peanut butter toast. Poetry recently came back to her after many years away and has absolutely saved her sanity during lockdown. Her work has appeared in Door Is a Jar, among others. Her published poetry can be found in her online portfolio. She joined Capsule Stories as a reader in March 2022. Annie got her BA in English from the University of Maryland and her MS in education from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing accreditation from the Orton-Gillingham Academy for her work as a reading specialist with kids. She lives on the ancestral land of the Piscataway people with her husband and two kiddos in Baltimore City, Maryland, where she proudly holds the post of Front Desk Lady at a small K–8 school. Read more of her poetry on Instagram at @anniepowellstone.
Claire Taylor, Reader
Claire Taylor is a writer in Baltimore, Maryland, where she lives with her husband, son, a bossy old cat, and an anxious dog who longs to be the cat’s best friend. Claire’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications, and she was a finalist for the 2020 Lascaux Prize in Poetry and winner of the 2021 Serotonin New Year’s Day poetry competition. Her micro-chapbook, A History of Rats, is available from Ghost City Press. Claire is the founder and editor in chief of Little Thoughts Press, a print literary magazine of writing for and by kids. Claire joined Capsule Stories as a reader in March 2021. A selection of Claire’s work is available online at clairemtaylor.com.
Emily Uduwana, Reader
Emily Uduwana (she/her) is a poet and short fiction author based in California. She received her BA in history from CSU Northridge and her MA in history from UC Riverside, where she focused on queerness, gender, and sexuality in early California. Her work can be found on her website and in publications like FUNGI Magazine, Stonecoast Review, and Capsule Stories Autumn 2021 Edition. Her debut poetry chapbooks, Knotted and An Expedition to the Desert of Andromeda, were released in 2020 by orangeapplepress and Roaring Junior Press. Her next chapbook and first collection are forthcoming from Louisiana Literature Press and Nightingale & Sparrow Press in 2022. Emily joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2022.
Amy Wang, Reader
Amy Wang is a student from California. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the YoungArts Foundation, and Columbia College Chicago, among others. In her free time, you can find her crying over fanfiction or translating Chinese literature. Amy joined Capsule Stories as a reader in January 2022.
Black Lives Matter
Black lives matter. We encourage our readers and contributors to support the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement. Here are ways you can help. You can also check out this antiracist reading list and support organizations that help Black trans people here.