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Anne Spollen

Writer, Occasional Editor and Content Producer

Location icon United States

I taught high school and college English for several centuries, but plotted my escape through most of it. I now teach online and write offline.

My stories, poems, essays and articles have been widely published. I write about what I find interesting or hopeful in articles and sometimes essays, but not so much in novels. Flux published two of my young adult novels, and I suppose they are both at least hopeful... I am currently working on a new young adult and shopping a middle grade around. In non-fiction, I am completing a series of essays exploring the theme of addiction and its relationship to domestic violence. That's tough to write so it's been slow-going, but it's been going which is always a plus.

I live between Staten Island, New York and the Jersey shore. (Meaning I travel between them, not that there is one specific house mid-way) I like the city and the beach and books.

Do You Own Their Story, Too?

I write a lot about addiction and the corresponding dysfunction it has created within my family. Most of these pieces are short and confined to situations involving only the immediate members. They are aware of what I am writing and why: I tell our story because addicted families thrive on secrecy and denial.

Five Things NOT to Say to the Mom of an Addict

Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash I write frequently about the fact that my son is an addict. I change his first name, we have different last names, live in different states, and I always ask if he's okay with me publishing pieces that feature or mention him.

Writing What You Know...In Whatever Form That Takes

"You must always, but always write what you know," my first creative writing professor reminded us. "It's the one rule that guarantees authenticity and must never be broken. Never." Dr. G could not be wrong about this. Not possible.

My Clitoris Is Shaped Like a Heart

Or Not. But I'll Probably Never Know... (I should say here that this piece has nothing directly to do with the title. I just wanted to write the word "clitoris" once in my writing career) Last week, I met Sylvia for coffee.

Our Language Choices Reveal Our Assumptions About Women

I, like many enthusiastic readers and all writers, am sensitive to language. Words have power. They convey meaning and nuance. They are all we have to connect our experiences in a common way. We live by written contracts, run our lives by speaking to one another and abide by spoken and written permissions.


Newest Writing

Shape of Water: Anne Spollen: 9780738711010: Books

Grade 7 Up-As 15-year-old Magdalena tries to cope with her mother's suicide, reality and fantasy clash until she accepts the truth of what really happened. The beach was their favorite place, and they often swam and explored together. Now, the girl's companions are a family of fish that live in her imagination.

Light Beneath Ferns

Elizah and her mother live on the edge of a cemetery. Most 14-year-olds would be sort of creeped out by that, but she is far more upset by her mother's sudden need to "be normal."


Snapshots of a Son, Addiction, and an Eclipse

Counselors have told you not to check on him, how you are addicted to caretaking. Let his addiction take its course. Let him reach bottom. You don't tell the counselors you reach bottom every night, that you touch the bottom of that ocean. It's not what they mean, but it is still a bottom.

Sick-Child Day-Care Centers

Kids don't get sick only on the weekends It's the morning of a major presentation, and your child greets you with a low fever and a runny nose. There is no way she will be able to go to day care today, and you have one hour and 10 minutes before you are expected at work.

To Nanny Cam or Not to Nanny Cam?

Most moms wonder what exactly goes on between their child and her caretaker when they are not watching-while they also readily admit to a certain degree of the ick factor in wondering this at all. We live in an age of surveillance, so the nanny cam answers that curious call.

A Young Man's Journey from Anxiety and Depression to Addiction

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with a young man who suffers from addiction. He volunteered to talk about his experiences with depression and anxiety, and how they contributed to his substance abuse. For the sake of anonymity, he chose the name Tim. I found Tim to be remarkably open and candid.

Day Care's Effect on Reaching Milestones

There isn't a Solo Mom out there who hasn't wondered, at least once, if kids who stay home all day with a parent have an advantage over her child who attends day care.

5 Key Questions to Ask Potential Child-Care Providers

The most important aspect of choosing a day-care provider is whether the provider is a good match for you and your child. Some families thrive with a large center, while others prefer an in-home setting with only a few children in the provider's care.

CHEST Journal - Poem

That is your way. The constant pulling in the middle of a windy storm. I remember against the blackened hospital windows the soft water droplets mingling the way the ice splintered against the solid window as you moved Was it in you then?

The Rain, Party, and Disaster Society
Artist Spotlight: Anne Spollen

Anne Spollen introduced her short story, published today at RPD, with the following e-mail message:Hello,This is a piece from a collection of essays/fiction I am working on that are thematically connected. Thanks for the read ~ AnneIf her note was simple and unassuming, that's because her piece spoke for itself, and after reading it, I immediately knew I wanted to see more.

Short Stories


Family Portrait

By Anne Spollen I am a recent refugee from the life I planned since I was twelve. For the last twenty years, I have been a mostly stay-at-home mom.

The Kid Turned Out Fine

You swore you'd never . . . swap green beans for jelly beans, skip nap time, or use TV as your babysitter. Yeah, right. If you're like most moms, you're not the paragon of "sound" parenting advice you thought you'd be. In The Kid Turned Out Fine, you'll find you're not alone.

Voices of Autism

A powerful response to a mysterious disorder, this compilation features dozens of writers from all walks of life speaking candidly about their experiences with autism-a disease that affects more than a half million Americans under the age of 21 at every level of society.


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