Writing From the Eye of the Storm


Today there is thunder rumbling out of the air. This is a rare occurrence where we live. Northwest Washington is well known for its rain, but not for its thunderstorms. Lightning may be even rarer.

And this is how summer is slowly leaving us: thunderstorms and torrential rain after the hottest and driest summer on record. The Internet is telling us that three Class 4 hurricanes have sprouted up in the Pacific Ocean at the same time (another first) like morning glories unfurling their white collars at sunrise.


I try and stare down into the centers of those storms from the satellite pictures on my smartphone’s screen. Somehow, I feel as if I can fall deep enough into the center of the image, then it will unlock some mystery that I haven’t even thought to form a question to yet. And this is so often like my writing process.

When I being writing, I know that there is something that needs to be said, but it is often vague, uncertain, and shadowy in the recesses of my mind. I squint into the distance to try and better see the words or images. I take breaks and return to particular passages when I seem to get stuck or it all goes blurry. Most of all, I let the writing unfold like those storms on the Pacific. They will open, turn, and drift all on their own if I only make a point to look deeply enough, wait patiently for the next frame to show itself.

I didn’t know what the thunder in the air today had to do with writing. Most days, my best writing comes from knowing very little, but continuing to witness the page fill up word by slow word.


Jory Mickelson



No Theme for Issue #5, Winter, 2015


Dear writers and readers, we’d like to announce that the next issue of 5×5, which we aim to launch between December and February, will be theme-free. We only ask that you send us your strongest, most engaging poetry, prose, and/or photography. We look forward to reading your work! We will accept submissions for this issue through November 21st.

5×5 Facebook


5×5 has a new Facebook page. Click here to check out our daily posts, which range from links to interesting articles about what’s happening in the literary world, to updates about the achievements of our contributors and editors.  Be sure to “like” us, too!



Thank you for visiting the new website for 5×5, a literary magazine that features concise writing that is clear and strong. 5×5 has recently been undergoing a rather intense transformation from a print journal to an online journal which is headed by a new team of editors. If you are a subscriber to the journal and/or if you have been submitting work during this period of change, you might have begun to wonder what happened to 5×5, and we want to take this opportunity to apologize for any hiccups in submissions or correspondence that you might have experienced over the last several months and we hope that you’ll continue to support the magazine. Here are a few things that you need to know about 5×5’s new identity:

  • We will no longer be a print journal (it is a goal for the future but not an option now)
  • We will publish twice a year: Winter & Summer
  • We will accept Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry (no visual art for the time being)
  • We are unable to pay writers for their work (beyond publishing it on the website)
  • Our first issue will come out in December, 2013