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Valiant Scribe Literary Journal 

Issue 3 | Winter 2022

Peace Like A River


Waking on Earth, Waking in Heaven

Stephanie Nikolopoulos (co-author of Burning Furiously Beautiful: The
True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.”) encourages readers and
writers alike to “take a moment to find peace like a river. To breathe
in and out, like the tide coming to and from the shore. To release the
weight of the day, the anchors sitting on your shoulders. 

Find rest in Scripture; in God’s promises to you.”


In Isaiah 66:12, the
Bible says that God “will extend peace to her like a river,”

encouraging you to let go of your
warring emotions and latch on to that which brings you peace.

A Navajo proverb says, “Be still, and the earth will speak to you.” In
moments of stillness, we hear not only the earth but also the heavens.
The world is loud and distracting at times. It is easy to carry the heavy
lessons we learn on earth with us long after we should have set them
down. But we must set them down. Each morning, we must awake to
a new start and welcome what new lessons the earth has for us. And if
we are lucky, we also catch glimpses of the heavens in our days, if we
pay attention and allow ourselves to see them.

The contributors to this anthology share their stories, their words, from
the moments when they are most awake and in moments when they
find peace. They are speaking of both heaven and earth. Will you be
still enough to listen?

Editors: Debra Ayis and Jaime Grookett

Peace Like A River - Issue 3 - Valiant Scribe Literary Journal

Meet our fabulous authors!

Blickley, Mark 
Mark Blickley grew up within walking distance of New York’s Bronx Zoo and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and PEN American Center. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Scholarship Award for Drama. Blickley is the author of the story collection Sacred Misfits (Red Hen Press, Los Angeles). His multi-genre collaborations with artist Amy Bassin include Weathered Reports: Trump Surrogate Quotes from the Underground (Moira Books, Chicago) and the text-based art book Dream Streams (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York).  His latest book is the flash fiction collection Hunger Pains (Buttonhook Press).

Dailey, Mike

Mike Dailey is a fairly unknown poet in southeast North Carolina. He lives near Sunset Beach with his wife of 50 years and the occasional visits with his daughter and two grandkids. His poems have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. He has published three books: one based on cancer treatments he underwent, one based on his 30 years working as a civilian analyst for the US Army, and a book of spiritual poems. He is always putting together several collections and looking for publishers. Mike Dailey’s poetry can be serious, topical, or very moving but he is known more for his rhythm and rhyme poetry with a twist of humor.  

DeBraal, Dawn 

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband - Red, two rescue dogs, and a stray cat. She has published over 500 drabbles, short stories, and poems in online ezines and anthologies, such as Black Hare Press, Black Ink Press, Blood Song Books, Zimbel House Publishing, Terror House Magazine, CafeLit UK, Potato Soup Journal, Impspired Magazine, Commuter Lit, The World of Myth, Dastaan World Magazines and many more. She co-wrote a novel under the pen name of Garrison McKnight, nominated for 2019 Push Cart Award by Falling Star Magazine.

Deraa, Chi
Udochukwu Chidera also known as Chi Deraa is a Nigerian award-winning writer, pharmacist, and model. She won the 2022 Movement of the People Poetry Contest, the 2022 Shuzia Songs of Zion Poetry Contest, the 2022 May/June edition of the Shuzia Prose Contest, the 2022 May edition of the D’Lit Review poetry contest. She won the 2021 Deborah Itohan Poetry Prize and the 2021 School of Pharmacy UNIZIK Poetry Contest. She is also a contributor at Mystery Publishers Ltd and has forthcoming work in their Our Stories Defined Anthology. She is a contributor at Tush Magazine. She emerged as a finalist at the short story contest organized by Arts Lounge Literary Magazine and contributed to the Marked Anthology. She is also a contributor in the UK-based magazine, Aayo and her poems appear on their website.


Eirich, Stacie 

Stacie Eirich is a poet, singer & library associate. A former English instructor, she holds a Masters in English Studies from Illinois State University. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Grand Little Things, Last Leaves, Synkroniciti Magazine and The Bluebird Word, among others. She has also written and published short fiction, non-fiction and a children's fantasy series: The Dream Chronicles. She lives near New Orleans with three cats, two kids and one fish:

Ellsworth-Moran, Nadine 
Nadine Ellsworth-Moran lives in Georgia where she works in full-time ministry while pursuing her love of writing. She is fascinated by the stories unfolding all around her and seeks to bring everyone into conversation around a common table. Her essays and poems have appeared in Interpretation, Rust + Moth, Thimble, Sonic Boom, Emrys, Kakalak, and The Wild Word, among others. She hopes to continue listening closely and writing about the shared experience of life in these times, with particular interest in the joys and struggles of coming to understand the history, identity, faith, and culture of the modern South.

George, Amy L. 

Amy L. George is the author of The Stopping Places (Finishing Line Press), Desideratum (Finishing Line Press), and The Fragrance of Memory (Amsterdam Press). Her poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and has appeared in anthologies including The Working Poet: 75 Writing Exercises and a Poetry Anthology, First Water: The Best of Pirene’s Fountain, Sing Now, America! and Not Yet Christmas: An Advent Reader.  She holds an MFA and Ph.D. and teaches at Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

Gotthardt, Katherine M.
Award-winning poet Katherine M. Gotthardt, M.Ed., hails from Northern Virginia and has been widely published online and in print for more than 30 years. Her poems are used in classrooms and workshops in traditional and nontraditional settings. Author of 11 books, one an Amazon bestselling new release, another a Silver Award winner from the Nonfiction Authors Association, she uses proceeds from book sales to benefit non-profits and initiatives supporting vulnerable communities. When she is not writing or volunteering, she enjoys time with her husband, grown children and rescue dogs. Learn more at   

Groch, Evie

Evie Groch, Ed.D. is a Field Supervisor/Mentor for new administrators in Graduate Schools of Education. Her opinion pieces, humor, poems, short stories, recipes, word challenges, and other articles have been widely published in the New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Contra Costa Times, The Journal, Games Magazine, and many online venues. Many of her poems are in published anthologies. Her short stories, poems, and memoir pieces have won her recognition and awards. Her travelogues have been published online with Grand Circle Travel. The themes of travel, language, immigration, and justice are special for her.

Iverson, Ann

Ann Iverson is a writer and artist. She is the author of five poetry collections: Come Now to the Window by the Laurel Poetry Collective, Definite Space and Art Lessons by Holy Cow! Press; Mouth of Summer and No Feeling is Final by Kelsay Books. She is a graduate of both the MALS and the MFA programs at Hamline University.  Her poems have appeared in various journals and venues including six features in the Writer’s Almanac. She is also the author and illustrator of two children's books.  As a visual artist, she enjoys the integrated relationship between the visual image and the written image.  Her artwork has been featured in several art exhibits as well as in a permanent installation at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. She is currently working on her sixth collection of poetry, a book of children's verse, and a collection of personal essays.


Miller, Kevin

MoonPath Press published Miller’s collection Spring Meditation in 2022. His collection Vanish won the Wandering Aengus Publication Award in 2019. He lives near Coupeville, Washington. 


Mittman, Marsha Warren

Marsha Warren Mittman’s humorous memoir, You Know You Moved to South Dakota from New York City WHEN… (Scurfpea Publishing), received a Western Horizons award. She’s authored three poetry books – Awakening (forthcoming, Scurfpea Publishing), H 2 O, and Patriarchal Chronicles: Women’s Worldwide Tears. Poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in the U.S., England, Germany, India, and Australia, including six Chicken Soup for the Soul tales. Mittman’s received various poetry/prose distinctions in the U.S. and Ireland, and a writer’s residency at Alabama’s Fairhope Center for Writing Arts. 

Neustadt, Leslie 

Poet, writer, and visual artist Leslie Neustadt is a retired New York Assistant Attorney General and the author of Bearing Fruit: A Poetic Journey. She is a former board member of the International Women's Writing Guild and a member of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild, where she created an award-winning Community of Jewish Writers reading series in the Capital Region. Leslie’s work is inspired by the beauty and power of the natural world, mortal joys and struggles, and an unwavering commitment to social justice, gender equality, and human rights. Online at

Nwokoibem, MacAnthony Uzoma
Nwokoibem MacAnthony Uzoma is a Nigerian writer and undergraduate student of Pharmacy at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He's contributed to Arts Lounge Magazine's ''Marked' anthology of short stories. He's interested in social issues, especially concerning young people. Besides reading, he takes great pleasure in athletics, teaching and social work. Reach him at

Pelias, Ronald J.

Ronald J. Pelias spent most of his career writing books, e.g., If the Truth Be Told (Sense/Brill Publications), The Creative Qualitative Researcher (Routledge), and Lessons on Aging and Dying (Routledge) that call upon the literary as a research strategy. Now he just writes for the pleasures of putting words to the page.

Plank, Karl

Karl Plank is the author of A Field, Part Arable (Lithic, 2017) and the critical work, The Fact of the Cage: Reading and Redemption in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (Routledge, 2021). His poetry has appeared in publications such as Beloit Poetry Journal, Notre Dame Review, and Tahoma Literary Review and has been featured on Poetry Daily. He is the J.W. Cannon Professor of Religious Studies at Davidson College, Davidson NC.

Scott, Andrew
Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of classrooms, judge poetry competitions, and have over 200 hundred writings published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. Andrew Scott has published multiple poetry books, Snake with A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path, The Storm Is Coming, Whispers of the Calm, Searching and Letter To You and one book of photography, Through My Eyes. Redemption Avenue is his first novella.

Stucky, Mark
Mark Stucky has degrees in religious studies, pastoral ministry, and communications. After being a pastor, he moved into communications and has been a technical and freelance writer for three decades. During his day job, he documented diverse technology products. In free time, he’s written articles, stories, and poems on a variety of (usually spiritual) topics. He has received over three dozen writing and publication awards. Mark believes in following facts and faith, understanding other perspectives, preserving the earth, protecting the vulnerable, and saving the world (or at least trying to). For more writings, see

Vogt, Vicki 
Vicki Vogt is a librarian at the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library in Watertown, MA.  She is a member of the Poetry@7 poetry group. Her poems have appeared in MOLT Journal, Haiku Journal, The Bashful Beaver and Feathertale.  Her first book of poetry "glimpses: a glance into haiku" was published in 2017 by Buddha Baby Press. She is the 1st Place winner in the 2021 Rockport Haiku Contest. Her hobbies are writing poetry, reading, going to movies and plays, calligraphy and loving her roommates' seeing eye dog.

Willis, Russell 

Russell Willis won the Sapphire Prize in Poetry in the 2022 Jewels in the Queen’s Crown Contest (Sweetycat Press) and has published poetry in thirty online and print journals (including Valiant Scribe) and twenty print anthologies. Russell grew up in and around Texas and was vocationally scattered as an engineer, ethicist, college/university teacher and administrator, and Internet education entrepreneur throughout the Southwest and Great Plains, finally settling in Vermont with his wife, Dawn. He emerged as a poet in 2019 with the publication of three poems in The Write Launch.  Russell’s website is 

Zahra, Susan Gore
Susan Gore Zahra resumed writing regularly after retiring from serving as a healthcare chaplain. Her writing has been selected for inclusion in Saturday Writers Anthology editions for several years and in Mid River Review, 2019. Three poems and a memoir are scheduled to appear in Roots, Rainbows and Truth, North County Writing and Arts Network’s anthology focusing on North St. Louis County, Missouri, later this fall. Susan enjoys family time, hiking, and yoga.

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