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A & E

LocalLit author spotlight: Joshua Henderson of Joliet

Next week's short story is by Joshua Henderson of Joliet.
Next week's short story is by Joshua Henderson of Joliet.

LocalLit is a new short story newsletter that connects local authors with local readers. The newsletter kicked off in April. Each week a new short story by a local author is sent directly to subscribers email.

Next week's short story is by Joshua Henderson of Joliet. Recently Henderson took a few minutes to speak via email with Herald-News features editor Denise M. Baran-Unland.

BARAN-UNLAND: Tell us a bit about your writing background.

HENDERSON: I wrote and illustrated stories as a kid, though mostly for arts and crafts. Years later, I read Lois Lowry's "The Giver" and other dystopian novels in eighth grade; all inspired me to pursue writing more seriously than before.

Since then, I've been writing my debut thriller novel and kicking around other story ideas. By coincidence, I discovered WriteOn Joliet -- a tight-knit, supportive critique group -- and published a novella in their first annual anthology, "Write Where We Are."

BARAN-UNLAND: What types of stories do you like to write?

HENDERSON: Both dystopian and horror. I think they're both solid genres with good potential for creativity, hence me sticking with them the most. I love writing horror stories where human nature is the real monster--not zombies, ghosts or vampires. There's also the stories that fuse narrative with social commentary that I really admire, and hence wish to create.

BARAN-UNLAND: Give a one-line summary about your featured short story.

HENDERSON: A struggling writer miraculously finds a solution.

BARAN-UNLAND: Have you published any books and/or are you working on one now?

HENDERSON: Besides the novella, nothing published yet. I'm currently writing two novels: the thriller I mentioned before, and a psychological horror story inspired by several dreams. The latter has been quite the thrill ride; I'm literally writing to find out what happens next.

BARAN-UNLAND: Where can people find more information about you?

HENDERSON: I don't have a website at the moment. Those who'd like to read more or have any kind of feedback should look forward to one in the future. Until then, I'd say just keep your eyes and ears peeled for my name!


Each week LocalLit will deliver an original short and family-friendly story by a local author to the newsletter's subscribers.

Authors with a connection to our readership area may submit. Submission does not guarantee acceptance. Stories should be edited and between 1,000 words and 7,500 words.

In addition, featured authors will be spotlighted in publications before the newsletter runs so readers have time to sign up.

To submit and for more information, contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or

To sign up for the LocalLit newsletter and read Stephens' story, visit

Authors featured so far include Ken McGee of Plainfield, Norm Cowie of Chicago, Tom Hernandez of Plainfield, Vanessa Stephens of Joliet and Anne Anderson of Sandwich.

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