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 from Concordia University, Nebraska and completed the University of Chicago’s editing certificate program. Her writing has appeared in 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.
April Bayer, Reader
April Bayer is an MA student in English literature at the University of South Dakota. She graduated with high distinction from Concordia University, Nebraska in 2019 with a BA in English and theology and a BS Ed in educational studies. When she isn’t busy teaching her students about literature and composition, she enjoys writing poetry, playing with cats, and researching the works of Willa Cather. Her work has previously appeared in Potpourri and Capsule Stories Isolation Edition. April joined Capsule Stories as a reader in November 2020.
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 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.
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 collection A Statistical Study of Randomness (Finishing Line Press, 2021). 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.
Claire Taylor, Reader
Claire Taylor is a writer in Baltimore, Maryland, where she lives with her husband, son, and a bossy old cat. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications and has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories. Claire’s first publication at age ten in Highlights Magazine was a poem about what it might feel like to be a leaf. Nowadays, her work focuses largely on themes of motherhood and mental illness. In addition to writing for adults, Claire is the creator of Little Thoughts, a monthly newsletter of stories and poetry for children, and she has written several picture books that are searching for publishing homes. A selection of Claire’s work is available online at clairemtaylor.com. Claire joined Capsule Stories as a reader in March 2021.
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.