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The Mochila Review is an annual international undergraduate journal published with support from the English and Modern Languages department at Missouri Western State University. Our goal is to publish the best short stories, poems, and essays from the next generation of important authors: student writers. Our staff, comprised primarily of undergraduate students, understands the publishing challenges that emerging writers face and is committed to helping talented students gain wider audiences in the pages of The Mochila Review and on our website.

Started in 2002, The Mochila Review is currently edited by Dr. Marianne Kunkel. Its namesake, “mochila,” is a Spanish word for saddlebag. Pony Express riders carried letters in a mochila on their horses from our city, St. Joseph, Missouri, to California. Our journal continues this tradition of adventure and delivery, exploring fine writing across the country and globe and bringing it directly to your mailbox or computer screen.

Please contact mochila@missouriwestern.edu with any questions.


Dr. Marianne Kunkel, Editor-in-Chief

Marianne is an assistant professor of Creative Writing and Publishing at Missouri Western State University. She is the editor of the university’s national undergraduate journal, The Mochila Review, and the faculty advisor for Canvas, the university’s journal for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. She earned her MFA in poetry at the University of Florida and her Ph.D. in English (poetry) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she was the managing editor for Prairie Schooner. She’s the author of The Laughing Game (Finishing Line Press) and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, and elsewhere. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her husband and son, and collecting brooches.

Arniecea Johnson, Editor-in-Chief

Arniecea is the editor-in-chief for The Mochila Review. This is her second year on staff and her third year at Missouri Western, where she is double majoring in English Literature, and Creative Writing and Publishing. She loves to read and write fiction, and she hopes to become a novelist in the future (preferably sooner rather than later). When she’s not reading or attempting to write, she enjoys watching movies with bae, playing the Sims, and going out to eat.


Sara Brown, Managing Editor

Sara is serving on the Mochila staff for the third time. She is a senior at Missouri Western State University majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and publishing. She developed a love for reading at a young age, reading and rereading classics such as The Berenstain Bears, the Arthur books, and the Junie B. Jones books, until graduating to other classics like the Harry Potter series and Pride and Prejudice. When not reading or doing homework she can be found looking up recipes and decor ideas on Pinterest, spending all her money at Target, or watching musicals.



Samantha Lundy, Copyeditor

Sam is a junior at Missouri Western State University, working on completing her bachelor’s in technical communication. This is her second year on the staff of The Mochila Review.  When she’s not working, studying, or going to class, she can be found cuddling her puppy or reading a gripping novel.




Samantha Simpson, Social Media Manager

Samantha is a senior at Missouri Western State University, and this is her second semester on the staff of Mochila. She’s majoring in literature with a minor in creative writing and publishing. She has many hobbies, but the ones that you’ll most likely find her doing are hiking along picturesque trails, sketching whatever catches her fancy, baking delicious goodies, and reading fine literature.




Lora Kroush, Marketing Manager

Lora is a junior student pursuing a degree in English education at Missouri Western State University. This is her second semester on the staff of The Mochila Review. When she’s not studying or writing papers, she enjoys reading novels and poetry, writing prose and verse, and watching scary (or suspenseful) films with her adoring husband.




Mandee Greer, The Mochila Review Website Editor

Mandee is a senior at Missouri Western State University pursing a degree in Creative Writing and Publishing. This is her first year on The Mochila Review staff. When she isn’t studying hard, you can find her working, playing with her two children, surfing Facebook, or binge watching Bones or Charmed on Netflix.



Stephaney Ferguson, Podcast Writer

Stephaney is working on her degree in English Education with a minor in Creative Writing, this is her first year on staff. In her free time, she dreams of a future as an author and teacher in Japan.




Da Vion Huey, Layout Manager

Huey is junior at Missouri Western majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Business, this is his first time on staff. Huey is an enigma. Like an iceberg there is way more to him beneath the surface. Huey enjoys reading comics/manga and hopes to one day develop a character as recognizable as Batman.




Chastity McCourt, Distribution and Outreach Manager

Chastity is a senior working on her degree in General Studies with a minor in Social Work. This is her first year on staff. When she’s not working hard on homework, you can find her spending time with her four children, reading, or writing poetry or short stories.



Megan Standley, Canvas Outreach Supervisor

Megan is a junior pursuing her Creative Writing and Publishing degree. This is her first year on The Mochila Review staff. In her free time, you can find her reading, writing, and working toward her dream of becoming a New York Times bestselling author.




Kori Marshall, Copyeditor

Kori is a senior at Missouri Western working on her General Studies degree with concentrations in Business and English. This is her first year on staff. When she isn’t vigorously working on homework, she is reading books like You by Caroline Kepnes and Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. She also enjoys writing and has been published in Canvas. She hopes to branch out and submit her writing to other publications as well.