Meet 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 also receive personalized feedback from at least one of the editors

  • you will be notified of acceptance in 4-6 weeks (usually sooner!)


Mary Elizabeth 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

Leslie Caton lives and writes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her essay and review appears in Wapsipinicon Almanac, Pank, is forthcoming in 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 also a creative writing instructor, as well as a performance poet and multimedia artist. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Down in the Dirt and Rosebud. Laura believes in the power of stories in all their forms.