Our Editors

We know that submitting work requires magic.

We have heard the silence of not knowing if your submission was received or read or appreciated.

When you submit to Backchannels:

  • You will be thanked for submitting.
  • You will be notified of acceptance in 6-12 weeks of submitting.
  • When we can, we’ll send personalized feedback about your work (this is becoming less frequent as we grow)

The team:

Mary Bardsley Backchannels Journal

Mary Bardsley

Mary Elizabeth Bardsley is an avid reader, writer and local performer who believes everyone has a story worth telling and should have a platform to share their story. She teaches English and is a Drama director/Speech coach at Metro High School in Cedar Rapids. She writes primarily memoir and poetry, and loves to write scripts for her students. She is so excited to be involved with Backchannels as an editor.


Leslie Caton Frey

Leslie Caton Frey lives and writes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her work appears in Wapsipinicon Almanac, Pank, Tupelo Quarterly, and was a notable in Best American Essays.


Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson is a poet and short fiction writer who lives in Marion, Iowa. She is a creative writing instructor, as well as an award-winning performance poet and multimedia artist. Her work has appeared in Prompt Press, High Shelf Press, Rosebud, and Thimble Magazine among others. She is a Best of Net 2019 nominee.