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Valiant Scribe Literary Journal 

Issue 4 | Winter 2023

The Human Condition

Prepare to be captivated by Issue IV of the Valiant Scribe Literary Journal, masterfully curated under the discerning eye of Debra Ayis. Titled "The Human Condition," this collection stands as a testament to some of the exceptional work that has graced the pages of Valiant Scribe's website since 2021.

Within the pages of this upcoming issue, you will discover a meticulously arranged selection of some of the most profound literary contributions, artfully woven together to craft a compelling narrative about the intricate tapestry of human existence. Furthermore, this literary journey is adorned with exquisite illustrations, each meticulously chosen to complement the essence of its accompanying piece.

Reviews are pouring in...

"A beautiful, heart-wrenching collection! I particularly enjoyed that it includes poetry, short stories, and flash fiction works with bits and pieces of Religion strung along through. The work of art in between each story, depicting a line or the entire message of the piece, is a wonderful touch to keep the reader hooked. The water-colour choice for the art is perfect and pairs softly with the hard truth that these pieces share. I appreciated the tough subject matter that was discussed. Some were hard to read, like the piece by Ellen Huang, Manslaughter Privilege. But comfort is something we have to forgo if we want voices to be heard. Glad to have had the pleasure of reading this issue!" ~ Joy

Listen to Jessica Noel Grissom read her poem "Walking on Eggshells" on her podcast episode: 

Finding Your Voice: Writing and Publishing with Debra Ayis



“...‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,

Where the good way is, and walk in it;

Then you will find a resting place for your souls.’

But they [the people] said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

— Jeremiah 6:16 (NASB) —


What is it to be human? What is it to feel the wild-wind rush of passion, the hurricane rains of despair, the warm sunbeams of peace? What is it to be beings of the present, yet so synchronously bent towards the future and conscious of the past?


Is being human to be one who stands seeking by the ways—or to behold the good paths and say, I will not set foot there?


Is it both?


This anthology grapples with what it means to be human. In these pages, contributors look for the ancient paths and reject the false ways. They brave the past and chase the future. They cry for justice, and for hope.


What is it to be human?


What is it to be you?



 Elaine Ries

Editorial Volunteer

Capture walking on eggshells.JPG

US$ 9.99 (Kindle)
US$ 19
.99 (Paperback)

US$ 35.00 (Hardcover)

Meet our fabulous authors!


GARY BECK has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off-Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 37 poetry collections, 14 novels, 4 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 7 books of plays. Gary lives in New York City.

HAILE E. is a Mexican-American writer who lives in North Carolina. If not writing, she is probably holed up in a library somewhere, reading.

LYNNE GOLODNER is the author of 8 books and thousands of articles. She lives in Huntington Woods, Michigan with her husband and a rotating combination of her 4 kids (ages 15–20), and works as a marketing consultant and writing coach.

JAIME GROOKETT is an American poet and writer whose poetry and fiction is featured in literary magazines and anthologies, such as Typehouse Literary Magazine, Flip Sides Anthology, They Call Us Magazine and Quail Bell Magazine. Her short story "Fine is for Sugar" earned “Best of Fiction, 2020” at Across the Margin. In 2022, she received her MFA from Drexel University. Her debut novel, The Invisible Ones, is forthcoming in early 2024 with Pegasus Publishing.

JESSICA NOEL GRISSOM currently lives in a small Texas town with her husband and rainbow baby who is now an active preschooler. Her passions include books, writing, chocolate, traveling and drinking artisan tea. She obtained an MBA from Dallas Baptist University. She has aspired to become a writer when at nine-years-old she read Little Women. Her story, Ascensión, focused on the legacy of her grandfather who immigrated from Mexico to the USA. The story was published in SAGU’S journal The Image. In her spare time, she records The More You Know a podcast focusing on practical tips for living:

ELLEN HUANG holds a BA in Writing + Theatre minor from Point Loma Nazarene University. Her work has appeared in Diverging Magazine, Amethyst Review, The Oikonomist, Wax Poetry & Art Magazine, They Call Us, Rigorous Magazine, and Our Daily Rice, among others. She writes semi-spiritual reflections on underrated films and has directed short theatrical works such as "Genderbent Lifehouse Everything Skit," "Cannot Separate: A Skit for Our Times,"
and "Cross the Horizon: The Gospel According to Disney," which can all be found on her site:

KENNETH M. KAPP was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, an IBMer, and yoga teacher. He lives with his wife in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writing late at night in his man-cave. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He's a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. His essays appear online in and Please visit

STAN KEMPTON’s alter ego holds an MFA, grants and writing sabbaticals to the Parisian countryside. The reality, Stan took the old school route as a writer: devoting time in the Marine Corps overseas, as well as finding an understanding partner who can tolerate the adventurous whims of having ten different jobs. His stories have appeared in a visual art montage called Spirits of the Dead, New Author’s Journal (For Poetry), Double Dealer, The Wisconsin Review (For Fish Fry), and (The Victim, The Criminal) in Seems edition #54.

THOMAS PIEKARSKI is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry has appeared in such publications as Poetry Quarterly, Literature Today, Poetry Salzburg, South African Literary Journal, Modern Literature, and others. His books of poetry are Ballad of Billy the Kid, Monterey Bay Adventures, Mercurial World, and Aurora California.

DAYLUND PRIOR lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is soon to be a graduate of Western Washington University, with a degree in Creative Writing. Her hobbies include watching BBC with her family, reading Jane Austen aloud to her partner, and taking her energetic dog for hikes. Through her work, she strives to provide people with hope for a gentler tomorrow and kinder travels.


BURT RASHBAUM’s publications are Of the Carousel (The Poet’s
Press, 2019), and Blue Pedals (Editura Pim, 2015, Bucharest). His poems have appeared in The Antonym, The Seventh Quarry, Storms of the Inland Sea (Shanti Arts Press, 2022), OPUS 300: The Poet’s Press Anthology 1971-2021, and Boats Against the Current. He makes his home in Colorado where he plays keys with the CBDs and spins the Carousel of Happiness.

NILES REDDICK is author of a novel, two story collections, and a novella. His work has been featured in over four hundred fifty publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, BlazeVox,
New Reader Magazine, Citron Review
, and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. Website:

DANIELLE RESH is an avid writer, creative writing teacher, and personal historian based in Houston, Texas. Her poetry has been published in the Sunlight Press, Hevria Magazine, the Jewish Literary Journal, and Poetica’s 2019 Mizmor Anthology. In addition to writing poetry, she is also currently seeking publication for her magical realism novel about a small Jewish town in 1800s Poland whose Torah begins miraculously growing. Her manuscript was recognized as the winning historical fiction manuscript of the Writers’ League of Texas’ 2020 Manuscript Contest and as a finalist in the science fiction/fantasy category. More information about her work can be found at

LISA REYNOLDS is a Canadian writer of poetry and short stories. Her works are internationally published in anthologies, literary journals, and magazines. She lives in a waterfront community east of Toronto, Ontario. Recent publication credits include: Anti-Heroin Chic, Bear Creek Haiku, Global Poemic, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Loud Coffee Press, Poetry-X-Hunger, Pure in Heart Stories Magazine, Pure Slush Books – Friendship Lifespan Vol. 3, Spillwords, Sledgehammer Lit (Sept. 2021), The Rye Whiskey Review, The Wild Word (Berlin), Word-City Monthly Literary Journal, and Writing in A Woman's Voice.

ANDREW SCOTT is a native of Fredericton, New Brunswick. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as had over 200 hundred writings published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The
Broken Ones

FARIDEH SHABANFAR is a writer, translator, and retired teacher. She has published a short story collection in Farsi on the theme of societal limitations on women, and has had both a short story and a poem accepted by English literary anthologies. She has also eight translated books. Farideh moved to the US as a refugee from Iran because she no longer felt safe. In a new land she continued her education in child development and worked with young children for twenty years before retiring to devote her time to writing. The poem “The Lost House” represents her longing for home.

ANN CHRISTINE TABAKA was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart
Prize in Poetry. She is the winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year, her bio is featured in the “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020 and 2021,” published by Sweetycat Press. She is the author of 14 poetry books, and 1 short story book. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: Eclipse Lit, Carolina Muse, Sparks of Calliope; The Closed Eye Open, North Dakota Quarterly, Tangled Locks Journal, Wild Roof Journal.

Career Navy veteran, mother, and wife, SUSAN WENZEL’s diverse writing career spans more than three decades. She’s worked as a military technical writer, nonprofit environmental writer, and food/wine writer who published 30+ articles for nonprofit Whidbey Life Magazine. She currently writes for a woman-owned small business on Whidbey Island where she lives. In an effort to improve the quality of her work, she completed a Professional & Continuing Education Certificate in Editing, University of Washington in 2012 and is currently enrolled in a Professional and Creative Writing MA at Central Washington University.

LYNN WHITE lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated
for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Gyroscope Review and So It Goes. Find Lynn at: and

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