. . . You gave me . . . What you did not have, and I gave you . . . What I had to give—together, we made . . . Something greater from the difference.


— Alberto Rios, Poet, “When Giving Is All We Have

The Journal of Expressive Writing is more than a publication. We aim to be an engaged and supportive community of writers and listeners. Giving our focused attention to each other’s voices, stories, and writing is a generous, necessary act of humanity, repair, and celebration.

Each month, the Journal OPEN MIC will open with a featured author, in addition to 15 reserved spots for writers to read their work. During the OPEN MIC, each writer will read for up to 3 minutes max. All events are FREE to attend and OPEN TO ALL, but you do need to Pre-Register. The Journal Open Mic is produced and hosted by Kelly DuMar.

Thursday, May 19, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Laura L. Engel

Laura L. Engel, originally from Mississippi, transplanted to San Diego’s East County over 50 years ago. In 2016, Laura retired from a 35-year career in the corporate world with plans to quietly catch up on hobbies and travels with her husband Gene. Instead, she found herself busier than ever taking writing classes, earning a certificate in Advanced Memoir, and discovering an extraordinary community of memoir writers in San Diego.


Today finds Laura fulfilling her dream of having written her first memoir, You’ll Forget This Ever Happened: Secrets, Shame, and Adoption in the 1960s (Publication date, May 10, 2022. Pre-order wherever books are sold). Since starting her book in 2017, Laura has had  scenes from her memoir published in three Shaking The Tree Anthologies (with a fourth due for publication in 2023) and  performed by professional actors at the North Coast Rep theatre in Solana Beach, California. In Spring of 2019, Laura was interviewed by the author Dani Shapiro for her Family Secrets Podcast. Her podcast interview has reached over 1 million listeners. 

Learn more at: www.lauralengel.com

REGISTER to attend

FULL to read for 3 min

Thursday, June 23, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

R.J. Lambert

Book Launch!

R.J. Lambert (he, him, his) grew up near Denver and survived the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado. He has since been interested in the healing power of writing as individuals and communities respond to crises such as relationship violence, environmental disasters, mental health, and HIV/AIDS.

R.J.’s debut poetry collection, Mind Lit in Neon, is newly available from Finishing Line Press. In these short lyric poems, R.J. brings together 80s music and fine art, celebrities and philosophers, nature and neon, all with a candid and curious sensibility. One poem, “Habits of Creature,” was chosen by Kaveh Akbar for the 2021 Patricia Cleary Miller Award for Poetry from New Letters, and The Worcester Review nominated the poem “Indelible in the Hippocampus” for a 2021 Pushcart Prize. Other poems in this collection were finalists for the Tupelo Quarterly Broadside Prize and the Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize. R.J.'s poetry appears widely, including recent publications such as Denver Quarterly, Superstition Review, and Temenos.

Having worked for many years in cancer research as a medical editor and grant writer, R.J. now teaches scientific and professional writing at the Medical University of South Carolina. Within the Office of Humanities, he regularly assists with course offerings, humanities events and outreach programs including MUSC’s annual statewide Septima P. Clark Student Poetry Competition.

Learn more at: rj-lambert.com

RJ-Lambert-Cover REV.jpeg
Thursday, August 25, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Riham Adly

Riham Adly is an award-winning fiction writer and editor from Giza, Egypt who is also a mother, ex-dentist, editor, and blogger. Riham is the first ever female from Africa and the Middle East to have a debut flash fiction collection published in English. Her collection of 61 flash fiction stories “Love is Make-Believe” was published in November, 2021 by Clarendon House publications in the U.K. View book trailer here.


In 2013, her story “The Darker Side of the Moon” won the MAKAN award.  In 2019 she was long-listed in Brilliant Flash Fiction’s food themed contest and in 2020 her story “How to Tell a Story from the Heart in Proper Time” was a winner and was included in the 2020 Best Micro-Fiction Anthology. In 2022 her story “Two Peas in a Pod” won second place in the Strand International Flash Fiction Contest. Riham was nominated for the Pushcart in 2019 and was nominated for Best of the Net in 2019, 2020, and 2021. 


Riham's flash fiction has appeared in over sixty journals such as Litro Magazine, Lost Balloon, The Flash Flood, Bending Genres, The Citron Review, The Sunlight Press, Flash Fiction Magazine, Menacing Hedge, Flash Frontier, Flash Back, Ellipsis Zine, Okay Donkey, and New Flash Fiction Review among others.

Learn more at: rihamadly.com

Thursday, October 27, 2022
7:-8:30pm EST

Megan McDermott

Megan McDermott is a poet and Episcopal priest living in Western Massachusetts. She was ordained a priest at age 26. In 2018, she graduated from Yale Divinity School where she earned both a Master’s of Divinity and a diploma in Anglican Studies. As an undergraduate at Susquehanna University in her home state of Pennsylvania, she discovered passions for both poetry and preaching. Those interests led her to the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, an interdisciplinary program dedicated to religion and the arts, which she also graduated from in 2018.


Megan is the author of two chapbooks, Prayer Book for Contemporary Dating (Ethel Micro-Press) and Woman as Communion, and a full-length collection Jesus Merch: A Catalog in Poems (Fernwood Press, forthcoming).

When Megan is not writing or ministering, you might find her enjoying tea, taking classes in comedy, hula hooping, live tweeting reality TV, or taking selfies.


Learn more at: meganmcdermottpoet.com or on Twitter @megmcdermott92.