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A fifty year partnership; a ten minute conversation that stays with you the rest of your life; the end of an old friendship; the beginning of a new romance; seeking your footing in the uneven limbo as a familiar bond twists and bends into something new. Being human is a jagged chain of bonds and breaks, old stories and new starts. Existence is a steady cycle of attempts to reach beyond the boundaries that make us “ourselves” and connect with one another, with wildly varying results.

Touch is a collection of poetry and short fiction about the need to connect with other human beings. We want your stories and poems about broken, bonded, and mended human connections—among friends, siblings, lovers, acquaintances and strangers. Write about the pain of separation or the joy of finding a “kindred spirit.” Write about being forced together. Explore the pain of being to close. Muse on the end of loneliness, or the realization that it is time to say goodbye. Show us what happens when you connect with the wrong person, or examine the experience of connecting with no one at all. The possibilities are as numerous as the ways that seven billion human beings can find to reach or repel one another. Any genre of short fiction is welcome and encouraged (from literary fiction to romance to historical to science fiction and beyond) as long as the story addresses the theme.

Send submissions as e-mail attachments to: Realloudfamily7@yahoo.com

*Please thoroughly edit and revise all submissions.

*Please limit fiction submissions to five (double spaced) pages per piece; poetry submissions to one (double spaced) page per submission.

Submission Deadline: October 31, 2012

We look forward to reading your work!