Introducing VoiceCatcher’s web team for 2017

As an online community and journal, VoiceCatcher depends on the tremendous artistic and technical skills of our volunteers. Meet the two newest members of VoiceCatcher’s journal and community site team!  


Journal Designer Edee Lemonier 

Edee’s work has appeared in Nailed Magazine and VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, and she has a piece in the forthcoming 2017 winter edition of Gobshite Quarterly. A transplanted southerner, she has called Vancouver, Wash. home for 20 years. She can usually be found writing with a MacBook in her lap, her Yorkie at her hip and a whisky on the table. She considers herself lucky if her web-footed, polydactyl cat doesn’t walk across her keyboard and obliterate it all.   

Community Site Manager/Assistant Journal Designer Amy Provost 

Amy Provost is an undergrad student at Union College in Schenectady, NY.  She is majoring in Visual Arts, and focuses on block-print/lithography printmaking and digital media. She is currently working on her senior thesis, about feminism in Grimm fairytales. Born and raised in Vancouver Wash., she has a passion for hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest. As the Community Site Manager/Assistant Journal Designer, Amy looks forward to modernizing and enhancing the VoiceCatcher’s web presence.   

Open call for community site submissions 

VoiceCatcher is seeking blog posts for our community site. Submissions are open for book reviews, publication announcements from our past contributors, interviews and essays on craft and creativity. Have an idea you’d like to pitch to us? Contact 

Start the New Year Right: Submit Your Work

VoiceCatcher will open for submissions in early 2017, but until then, we encourage you to submit your work to these other journals who support the work of female writers and artists 

Bone Bouquet


Cordella Magazine

Damselfly Press

Dying Dahlia Review

Moonsick Magazine

Persimmon Tree

Quaint Magazine

Roar Magazine

Room Magazine

Yew Journal

Did we miss a publication, or have you been published in these journals? Leave a comment and a link below! 

Introducing VoiceCatcher’s incoming president, Jessica Mehta!

Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, born and raised in Oregon and a member of the Cherokee Nation, is the author of the forthcoming novel The Wrong Kind of Indian by Wyatt-MacKenzie Press. She’s also the author of three collections of poetry by Tayen Lane Publishing including Orygun, What Makes an Always (an Eric Hoffer Book Award honorable mention), and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo as well as the business book 100 Ways to Make 100k with Your English Degree, which has been featured on numerous podcasts including JenningsWire and World Outsourcing Solutions.


Jessica founded MehtaFor (, a writing services company, in 2012 which serves a variety of clients including Fortune 500 enterprises and major media outlets. MehtaFor received two national bronze awards for Startup of the Year in 2015. Jessica offers complimentary writing services to Native American students and non-profits based in the Pacific Northwest and/or serving Native communities. She also offers the MehtaFor Trainee program which teaches new writers how to pursue a lucrative writing career.


She received her master’s degree in writing from Portland State University in 2007, and established The Jessica Tyner Scholarship Fund in 2013. It’s the only scholarship exclusively for Native Americans pursuing an advanced degree in writing or a related field. Jessica was awarded a Writers in the Schools (WITS) residency from the Oregon Literary Arts Council in 2015-16.


An in-demand speaker, she has been featured at the Mt. Hood Cherokees summit, was the keynote speaker for Metro (Portland’s regional government organization) at the “Lunch & Lean with Jessica Mehta: Native American Heritage Month” event, has read at Wordstock, and taught workshops at the Oregon Writing Festival and International Guild of Women Writers summer conference series. She hosts Sauvignon Tongued Devils, a spoken word night at Devil’s Den Wine Bar in the Alberta Arts District. She’s served as the writer-in-residence for the Hosking Houses Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK and the poet-in-residence for the Stratford Poetry Festival. 


Jessica is also a registered yoga instructor and teaches power vinyasa and weight lifting at Balance 365 Fitness in Hillsboro, Oregon. She founded the Get it Ohm! karmic yoga and strength movement (, which offers free classes to groups that don’t have access to traditional yoga studios and/or don’t feel comfortable in such environments. 


We look forward to having Jessica’s leadership and passion for our local writing community on the VoiceCatcher board. Stay tuned for more announcement about our 2017 leadership and editorial team. We hope to meet you at a VoiceCatcher event in 2017! 

Congratulations to VoiceCatcher’s Pushcart nominees

VoiceCatcher is proud to have nominated the following work, published in the Winter and Summer 2016 issues of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices and visions, for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. From the Winter 2016 issue: From the Summer 2016 issue: Congratulations to these local voices!
Kris Demien

Kris Demien

Burky Achilles

Burky Achilles

Joanna Rose

Joanna Rose

Suzanne Sigafoos

Suzanne Sigafoos

PLONK Reading Series f. VoiceCatcher, Wednesday October 5

All are invited to hear these contributors to VoiceCatcher: a journal of women's voices & visions. 

Plonk Reading Series

PLONK Reading Series

Wednesday October 5, 2016 7:00p.m.

Cork Screw Wine Bar 1665 SE Bybee Blvd. Portland, OR 97202

  Alex Behr, of Portland, OR, has taught creative writing to teens through Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools program. Her work has appeared in Nailed Magazine, Salon, Bitch, Tin House, Propeller, Lumina, Watershed Review, and elsewhere. Two of her stories were performed in July 2016 as part of the 5th Annual Northern Writes series in Los Angeles. Cathy Cain's honors include the Kay Snow Paulann Petersen Poetry Award from Willamette Writers; the Edwin Markham Prize for Poetry from Reed Magazine; and awards from the Oregon Poetry Association. Her work has appeared in VoiceCatcher, The Poeming Pigeon, and is forthcoming in Verseweavers. Cathy has previously served as poetry co-editor at VoiceCatcher. She is a two-year Poet’s Studio alumna and a 2014-2015 Atheneum Fellow, both at the Attic Institute. Additionally, she has studied with Portland’s Mountain Writers. Deborah Dombrowski is a writer and photographer who discovered Portland at the age of 22 and stayed. Deborah loves every form of water (except the endless winter rain) and can often be found next to a river, or at the foot of Neakhanie mountain. Her website brings words and images together to consider the passage of time, the surprising strength of our affections, and every kind of blossoming. ( Leanne Grabel, M.Ed., is a poet, memoirist, illustrator and semi-retired special ed and language arts teacher. Her books include Brontosaurus: A Memoir; Lonesome & Very Quarrelsome Heroes; Short Poems by a Short Poet; Badgirls, and most recently Assisted Living, a chapbook of graphic rectangular prose poems. Grabel is currently finishing an anthology of 30 years of graphic flash writing called The Circus of Anguish & Mirth. As seen adjusting her undergarments in public, writer,humorist, nut-job, Carisa Miller, lives in SW Portland with her exceptionally patient husband, two fireball daughters, an ill-tempered cat, a dog she’s allergic to, and horrendous PMS. Her published essays, one-liners, blog, and social media gobbledygook can be found at Elizabeth Scott is a writer and clinical psychologist who has lived in Portland for nearly 30 years. She studied with Tom Spanbauer for many years as well as with other accomplished local and national writers. She has had numerous stories published in literary journals and recently received honorable mention in a Glimmer Train contest. She served two terms on the board of Oregon Literary Arts. Suzanne Sigafoos is author of Held in the Weave, a collection of poems published by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in The Oregonian, in Windfall: a Journal of Poetry of Place, and the anthology The Knotted Bond: Oregon Poets Speak of Their Sisters. Her lyric essay, “Green,” published in Bellingham Review’s Issue 71, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sigafoos is co-founder of River Rock, a poetry critique group in Portland, Oregon, her home since 1999. VoiceCatcher thanks PLONK Reading Series and Cork Screw Wine Bar for hosting this event.

It’s Here! Check out our Summer 2016 Journal

We are pleased to announce the release of the Summer 2016 issue of VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions. In this, our ninth issue of our online journal, you'll discover:
  • A sampling of poetry from the powerful female creative force thriving in our region.
  • Fiction and nonfiction from six women who dazzle us with both their honesty and humor.
  • Stunning imagery from four artists who use layering and process as metaphors for life beyond art.
Featured Artwork "Beyond Sea' by Jeni Lee

Featured Artwork "Beyond Sea' by Jeni Lee

Many thanks to our hard-working editorial team: Managing editors Michelle Fredette and Jennifer Kemnitz, art editor Sarah Fagan; prose editors Desiree Wright, Nikki Schulak and Tanya Jarvik; poetry editors Juleen Johnson, Sarah Brenner and Emily Ransdell; and journal designer Shawn Aveningo. We are excited about the authors and artists represented in these pages and hope you will come out to meet them in person by attending a VoiceCatcher event in the future. Happy reading!    

We’re Extending the Submission Deadline!

Let's face it!  As women, we lead busy lives.  And sometimes that means we put other's needs before our own desires — like sitting down to focus on our own writing.  We get it! We've all been there.  That's why we decided to extend the deadline for submissions to our upcoming Summer issue of VoiceCatcher:  a journal of women's voices and visions. Ladies, you have until Sunday, May 22 to submit up to three poems, one prose piece or artwork for consideration.  You can click HERE for all the details. Happy writing!  We can't wait to read your work. VoiceCatcherFacebookCoverWithSummer2015Artwork

Peregrine Literary Series f. VoiceCatcher, Sunday May 15

All are invited to hear these contributors to VoiceCatcher: a journal of women's voices & visions. 

May Peregrine flyer

Peregrine Literary Series

Sunday, May 15, 2016 3:00p.m. Holynames Heritage Center 17425 Holy Names Drive Lake Oswego, OR 97034

    erin iwata photoErin Iwata calls Ridgefield, Washington her little home on the prairie, where she is a doula, writer, mother to men, and teacher on hiatus. She loves how writing connects us and thrives on the bright edges of human experience. ​ Erin is active in the literary community of the Pacific NorthWest. Her work recently appeared on 33 public buses, local literary magazines, newspapers, and featured at Show and Tell Gallery Assembly.  You can find where Erin will next appear by following her website   joan maiers photo   Joan Maiers, works with writers of all ages, and serves on the boards for Friends of William Stafford, and the Clackamas Cultural Coalition. She hosts the Peregrine Literary Series. Her work appears in numerous journals, anthologies and collections. She is preparing her poetry manuscript, Specific Gravity, for publication.     stacy vallas photo   Stacey Vallas holds a Ph.D. in English and has taught at Reed College and Portland State University. She has published essays in Arizona Quarterly and The Oregonian and is currently a member of the Poets Studio at the Attic Institute. She lives and works as a teacher and tutor in Portland.     VoiceCatcher thanks Peregrine Literary Series and Holynames Heritage Center for hosting this event.

VoiceCatcher is open for submissions until May 15

VoiceCatcher is seeking submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art for our summer 2016 issue. Visit the journal site for full submission guidelines, and read the most recent issue to get a sense of what we look for. Below, meet the editorial team that will be working on the upcoming issue! The Summer 2016 Issue Editorial Team Sara-Bednark Young Voices editor Sara Bednark has been writing off and on since a hastily written play she wrote in 9th grade received these words of encouragement, "How wonderfully absurd!" For twenty-five years writing has confounded, delighted and been her connection to voice. Sara has written and self-published two picture books; owned, edited and wrote for a tabloid newspaper; and is currently working on a middle grade novel. Her pieces can be read in Elohi Gadugii Journal and Typehouse Literary Magazine.   Sarah-Brenner Poetry editor Sarah Brenner writes poetry and hybrid essays in and around Portland, Ore., while battling a crippling book addiction. A graduate of Bennington College, she has studied with April Bernard, Mark Wunderlich and Peter Sears. Her day job allows her to promote and facilitate community arts programs, and in her spare time she obsessively follows her favorite podcasts and makes friends with other animals. SarahFaganReturning art editor Sarah Fagan received a bachelor’s in Fine Arts and English Literature from Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts. She worked as an editor for a New England arts magazine before relocating to Portland, Oregon in 2009. Here she decided to concentrate on making her own artwork by attending a certificate program at the Oregon College of Art and Craft where she studied bookbinding and painting. In Portland, Sarah developed a curriculum of arts classes that she taught to children at schools, libraries and other venues. When not teaching, she is painting – her forté is the contemporary still life. For 2015-16, Sarah will be the Umbrella Institute’s Artist-in-Residence in Concord, Mass. Michelle-updated Managing editor Michelle Fredette has served as a past prose editor with VoiceCatcher and is a current member of the board of directors. She fell in love with literary journals during high school, sitting on the floor of her mom’s cube at Writer’s Digest. Since then, she’s been able to indulge this love as a reader for Ploughshares and Black Warrior Review, and as fiction editor for Oxford Magazine and New Orleans Review. Her writing includes short stories and the occasional non-fiction piece. She's currently chipping away at a novel about roller derby. Tanya-Jarvik Prose editor Tanya Jarvik has worked as a freelance editor for the past fifteen years. She has also taught composition, poetry, fiction, and memoir writing. Tanya's poetry and prose have appeared in VoiceCatcher, The Manifest-Station, The Open Face Sandwich, the Enter at Your Own Risk anthology series and elsewhere. One of her favorite gigs is writing a pseudonymous advice column for people in alternative relationships   Juleen-Johnson-croppedforweb Poetry editor Juleen Johnson is a co-founder of Soundings: An Evening of Word and Sound. Johnson has been invited to read at: BuzzPoems, Ink Noise Review, Open Door Enjambment, Penduline Poetry Series and Word Warriors. She won first place in the Voices Poetics Poetry Contest. Her poems have been published in printed publications, including Cirque: A Literary Journal, Nervous Breakdown, The Rio Grande Review, Rust and Moth, The Round and other journals. Johnson currently writes and creates art in Portland, Ore.   VoicecatcherAssistant managing editor Jennifer Kemnitz is an herbalist-poet who lives and writes in Portland. Her work has most recently appeared in Rain, the Kerf, Medical Literary Messenger, and We'Moon and has been anthologized by Poetry on the Lake, The Poetry Box and VoiceCatcher. Jennifer's poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and translated into German. Emily-Ransdell   Poetry editor Emily Ransdell holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Montana.  Her poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Tar River Poetry, Whitefish Review, Hamilton Stone Review0 and elsewhere. Emily divides her time between Camas, Wash. and the North Oregon Coast, where she is a coordinator of the Manzanita Writers’ Series annual PoetryFest.     _NewHat First appearing in the Summer 2014 issue of VoiceCatcher, journal designer and administrator Shawn Aveningo Sanders is an award-winning, globally published poet whose work has appeared in over 90 literary journals and anthologies, including LA’s poeticdiversity – which recently nominated her poetry for a Pushcart Prize. She is co-founder of The Poetry Box® and managing editor of The Poeming Pigeon. Shawn is a proud mother of three who shares in the creative life with her husband in Beaverton, Oregon. Nikki-Schulak-VC   Prose editor Nikki Schulak writes and performs comedy about bodies and relationships. Her work has been published in numerous journals and websites, most recently at Full Grown People. She had essays included in VoiceCatcher 3 and VoiceCatcher 5 and served as an assistant prose co-editor for Voice Catcher 6. Her essay “On Not Seeing Whales” (Bellevue Literary Review) was chosen as a Notable Selection in Best American Essays 2013. Her most recent tattoo is an ampersand. Desiree-Wright Prose editor Desiree Wright started writing at age 6: handmade books of horse names, rhyming poetry and short stories. She paused her storytelling to entertain locals in Tonga with her bad accent and refusal to do karaoke. She is mother to two super-cool humans, two dogs, a flock of chickens and one naughty cat. She never finished her graduate degree and has no regrets. She recently renewed her vow to say “I am a writer” without any explanation.  

Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit – Limitless Possibilities

The Five-Minute Experiment by Kari Pederson This time of year makes me feel tired. Perhaps my circadian rhythms are adjusting to less daylight or my body is preparing for cold weather hibernation. Or maybe I feel weary because of a seemingly endless to-do list. For many of us, late autumn can be a hectic season. Nonetheless, my tempo has shifted, and my body and spirit definitely want to move more slowly. As I was attempting another internal pep talk to feel energized, two intriguing questions popped out of my subconscious. Why not embrace this new rhythm and allow myself to slow down? And, how could I use this slower pace to my advantage? The practice of mindfulness has been around for eons and is often considered a type of meditation. Instead of traditional meditation where you try to quiet your mind, the goal of mindfulness is to put your complete focus on whatever is happening in the present moment. Think of it as immersing yourself in a situation and getting everything you can out of the experience. Pay close attention to anything you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, feel – experience. If your focus wanders, gently bring your awareness back to the present moment. Mindfulness has been linked to improvements in health, working memory, creativity, cognitive flexibility, insight and productivity. My inner writer and artist could sure use more of those enhancements! However, my biggest perk from experimenting with mindfulness has been how much more I enjoy previously mundane activities. My daily walk to the streetcar stop has transformed from a chore into a satisfying journey. I ignored the potential benefits of mindfulness for a long time because I feared the process might be complicated or time-consuming. In reality, I have discovered endless opportunities to practice mindfulness and just five minutes is enough to reap positive benefits. Every moment in your day is right for mindfulness, including ordinary experiences or special events. For those of you who already have a full schedule, I am not suggesting you quit your job, stop parenting, or throw your responsibilities out the window. Although right now, three weeks in the French Riviera sounds pretty good to me. I am suggesting you take five minutes every day to practice mindfulness, whenever or wherever it feels good to you. Let your creativity go wild and design your own mindfulness moments, or try some of the options listed below. Remember you cannot do this practice incorrectly, and your goal is simply to focus on the present moment as much as you can. Need help getting started? Practice mindfulness by doing any of these activities:
  • Color a page of an adult coloring book with colored pencils.
  • Ask a friend to share a favorite story and listen more than you talk.
  • Nibble on your favorite mini-candy bar for at least five minutes.
  • Play music that makes you tap your toes or sway with the beat.
  • Make the perfect cup of coffee or tea and pay attention to every sip.
  • Cuddle with a loved one or a furry friend. Repeat often.
  • Browse at Powell’s Books, Blick Art Materials, or another favorite store.
  • Watch the last few minutes of a sunset or sunrise.
  • Use sidewalk chalk to create a masterpiece in an unexpected place.
  • Pick your clothing or accessories with care.
  • Explore new products at the grocery store. Bring one home.
  • Build a creation out of Legos, paper clips or coins.
  • Smile at the next ten people who make eye contact.
  • Walk a labyrinth or a favorite trail. Walk slowly.
  • Take a little extra time with a hot bath or shower.
  • Count the raindrops you can hear or feel.
  • Repeat a tongue twister to yourself or practice an impression.
  • Stand up and stretch. Feel each muscle expand or contract.
  • Chop veggies or mix up a cake by hand.
  • Thank someone for his or her help or inspiration.
In addition to all the benefits already touched on, mindfulness is effective and efficient self-care. Artists give a lot of themselves by creating their art and sharing it with others. Sometimes we need to recharge our physical and emotional batteries. Mindfulness gives us a great excuse to focus on ourselves for a few minutes and enjoy whatever task is at hand. ** If anyone is willing to post a reply to this article, we would love to hear about the results of your mindfulness experiment.
Kari Pederson Age 6

Kari Pederson
Age 6

Kari Pederson, MSW, LCSW, is a writer, clinical social worker and wellness coach who has worked with children and adults for over 25 years. An avid student of positive psychology, she loves helping people live their best lives. Kari is a new writer to VoiceCatcher’s community website and thrilled to be part of its mission. This is the ninth installment in her series, Healthy Spirit – Limitless Possibilities.