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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 the 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.


Marianne Kunkel, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief

Photograph of Marianne Kunkel

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 is the author of Hillary, Made Up (Stephen F. Austin State University Press) and The Laughing Game (Finishing Line Press) and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Notre Dame Review, The Missouri Review, Rattle and elsewhere. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her husband and son, and collecting brooches.



Sara Brown, Managing Editor

Sara is serving the Mochila staff for the fifth time. She developed a love for reading at a young age, reading and rereading classic children’s like The Berenstain Bears, Arthur, and Junie B. Jones books until graduating to other classics like Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice and A Man Called Ove. 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.







Caitlin Dillon, Mochila Chat Scriptwriter

Caitlin Dillon is a sophomore at Missouri Western. She is majoring in Creative Writing and Publishing and hopes to become a well-established writer in the future. Caitlin has been writing since she was a little girl, creating picture books and adventurous stories featuring her beloved pets. Now, she continues to follow her dream of becoming a writer by working on staff for Mochila Review and Canvas as the Podcast Script Writer.







Mandee Greer, Copyeditor

Mandee is a senior at Missouri Western State University pursuing a degree in creative writing and publishing. This is her third semester on the Mochila Review staff. When she isn’t studying hard, you can find her working, playing with her two children, scrap booking, surfing Facebook or binge-watching Bones or Charmed on Netflix.








Mariam Hess, Copyeditor

Mariam Hess is an aspiring poet and editor majoring in Creative Writing and Publishing at Missouri Western State University. She is currently a senior and is serving on the Mochila Review staff for the second time. Her work has been published in Canvas, 30N, and the Griffon News, and has been submitted more times than she can count elsewhere. She likes cuddling with her cat, procrastinating via Netflix, and listening to video game scores while she writes





Lora Kroush, Designer

Lora Kroush is the Designer for The Mochila Review. She is a junior studying Creative Writing and Publishing with a minor in English Literature. She has been published twice in Canvas and submits work monthly to literary nationwide. Lora loves to read and write poetry and science fiction. During her free time between classes and working two jobs, she enjoys watching cheesy horror films with her husband and experimenting with recipes she finds on Pinterest.









Allyson Moore, Mochila Chat Publicist

Allyson Moore is a sophomore majoring in English with a concentation in creative writing and publication at Missouri Western State University. She is the podcast publicist for Mochila Chat, which takes some of the stories or poems from The Mochila Review and discusses what the poems and stories are about.








Skylair Orr, The Mochila Review Website Editor

Sky is a senior at Missouri Western State University. She is pursuing her degree in English with a concentration in creative writing and publishing. This is her first year on The Mochila Review staff. When she is not at school she is working to, one day, open her own bakery, working on her book, or baking cakes and other delicious treats.










Cassandra Robbins, Social Media

Cassandra Ann Robbins, or Cassie, is the current social media coordinator for The Mochila Review. She is a junior creative writing and publishing major at Missouri Western State University. In the future, she aspires to earn her PhD and become a copy editor and author. She likes punk rock, retro video games, and to eat dry cereal out of the box like an animal.










Megan Standley, Blogger

Megan is a senior 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 towards her dream of becoming a New York Times bestselling author.








Vincent Albertson, Art Intern

Vincent is a senior at Missouri Western State university. He is working on a BFA in graphic design. This is his first year on The Mochila Review staff. When not working on various school projects he is working on writing and illustrating his own webcomic Rat in a Cage which he hopes to publish the beginning of in the next two years.