THEMA literary journal was born in a Chinese restaurant in 1988 as the result of a conversation over how different writers would respond to a single quirky theme—specifically, stories involving the fortune cookies received that day. Our curiosity evolved into a mental exercise among friends—a challenge. What we didn’t expect was how much fun we would have.

As we wrote about fortune cookies, we began to ponder other topics. Soon, it was like eating peanuts—we couldn’t stop. Strange themes kept popping into our heads; how would various imaginations react to them? We had to know!

So now we had a list of quirky themes in one hand, a fistful of diverse but homeless fortune-cookie manuscripts in the other, and heads buzzing with potential theme-based plots. What should we do with the themes? What would we do with the resulting stories and poems? Start a literary journal and send the challenge across the country—of course! Why not??

Virginia Howard, Editor, THEMA

Note: Under the pseudonym H. O. Ward, the editors of THEMA wrote two murder mysteries, Death by Unches (Hilliard and Harris, 2003) and its sequel, Death by the Reel (Hilliard and Harris, 2005), both currently out of print. A picture book, Timothy Hubble and the King Cake Party (Pelican Publishing, 2009), written by Anita Prieto, was illustrated by Virginia Howard. She has two true, life-altering stories in the anthology, Serendipity, edited by Madonna Dries Christensen. The editor's latest adventure is having two short stories published in the middle-grade anthology, The Bayou Bogeyman Presents: Hoodoo and Voodoo. Just released, March 1, 2019: a picture book, The Wind Plays Tricks, written by Virginia Howard and illustrated by Charlene Chua.


On a personal note, Editor V. Howard moved home post-Katrina on January 20, 2007. Many thanks to all who expressed concern. And many thanks to the Andressens at Seven Oaks Plantation Bed & Breakfast for making her feel so at home while in exile.



home  |  issues  |  submissions  |  subscriptions  |  about