Volume 5: Ad Stories

The following pieces were placed as Google ads in Google's AdWords program in an attempt to litter the internet with stories. Before our first round of ad stories (see Volumes 4, 3, and 2 below), we found that this method of advertising had not been previously used as an art space, but very well could be. Volume 5's ad stories were displayed a total of 258,819 times in both Google searches and on websites where Google ads appear.

Singles Mixer

If we’re both here, who’s watching the kids?
by Jared Smith


Born, schooled, travelled, worked, married, bred, divorced. Then he met Pete.
by Susanna Gendall

The Way My Sister Apologizes

She digs her thumbnail into her own arm-flesh to make a matching scar.
by Gania Barlow

After the Diet

The twenty-one days were finished, and he knew just what to do with his freedom.
by Amanda Bloom

First Deployment

The ants trickled across her windowsill as if they knew she needed company.
by Anita Lo

She Learned to Say It That Way

He wanted a family. She didn’t think she did.
by Cynthia Newberry Martin

Industry Disruption

The first time the Lumière brothers showed a film, it was part of a magic show.
by Emily Ludolph

Somewhere in Northern Nigeria

She will not go to school. She's to be a wife.
by Erhu Amreyan

Things Keith Broke

The land speed record. Both shins. His promise. The law. Peggy's heart.
by Chris Vander Kaay

Left Turn

My mother's grave is on the way to Albuquerque and I hate old cartoons now.
by Robin Sinclair

Jared Smith lives in Atlanta. His writing has appeared in McSweeney's, Marx and Philosophy, Philosophiegeschichte und logische Analyse, and other such humorous places. He has won pub trivia on three continents.

Susanna Gendall is a New Zealand writer based in France. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in several journals including JAAM, Sport, Takahe, and Ambit.

Gania Barlow is a scholar of medieval English literature and teaches at Oakland University in Michigan.

Amanda Bloom's work is published or forthcoming in Storm Cellar, New Haven Review, The Atlantic, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Read more at amandabloom.com.

Anita Lo hails from Washington, works in New York, and is not a restaurateur.

Cynthia Newberry Martin usually uses a lot of words and was delighted to use only a few here. On Twitter, she’s @catchingdays. P.S.—She wants to be wilder.

Emily Ludolph spends her free time at the Brooklyn Public Library. She has published in Quartz, TED online, Designer Observer, and Narratively. www.emilyludolph.com

Erhu Amreyan is a writer from Nigeria. She is an esthetics enthusiast and a sucker for everything made by Studio Ghibli and Harlequin.

Chris Vander Kaay has been published at McSweeney's, had three published educational books about film history, and is a contributing writer at Screen Rant and Bloody-Disgusting.com.

Robin Sinclair writes spooky things, queer things, and human-conditiony things. Links to poetry, stories, and graphic novels can be found at RobinSinclairBooks.com.

Volume 4: Ad Stories

The following pieces were placed as Google ads in Google's AdWords program in an attempt to litter the internet with stories. Before our first round of ad stories (see Volumes 3 and 2 below), we found that this method of advertising had not been previously used as an art space, but very well could be. Volume 4's ad stories were displayed a total of 212,493 times in both Google searches and on websites where Google ads appear.

You too can have it all

Cereal up a nostril. Phone missing.
Fridge ringing. Shoe full of Legos.
by Erica Haldi

"So Who Gets the Garage?"

Daily conversation between two
roommates who hate winter in Ohio.
by Nellie Calanni

Breakfast in Mesa, AZ

Gray steak, eggs, & bourbon (neat),
blood sun staining the saguaros.
by Kate Garklavs

The Ex-Weightlifter

The medal won the night he retired
glints as bright as his wheelchair.
by YZ Chin

Amino Acid Family Affair

All 20 for protein function
Mutate for disease and despair.
by Ricky Cox

Footless Barbies

They fear the family dog and wear
long skirts to hide their shame.
by Katie MacNichol

Mama Hopes He’ll be Dark

“Hate to be seen with a white child
and folks assume I’m the nanny.”
by Tyler Beckett

Velella, Velella

They sail to the end of the world;
beached, they cannot leave land.
by C.E. Hyun

The Sleep Study

Ty went to sleep and never woke up.
A huge success, researchers claim.
by Ben Russell

I fix boys

then send them off.
It's my gift as a feminist.
by pdot

In Paris, in the darkness

A man lifted a large white blanket
and covered another man in the cold
by Clara Seo

We Were So Careful

about leaving the past untouched,
yet here on TV: President Van Halen
by Mike Nees

Confirmed Bachelor

I’d hit that.
I’d hit that.
by Maureen Miller

Mongolian Death Worm!

Moonlight, silent yurts. Below the
old Gobi sands, something stirs.
by Kit Hansen

A Telegram from Mother

by Andrew Straaberg Finfrock

Erica Haldi lives in Germany with her husband and daughters. Her work has appeared in Imminent Quarterly; Children, Churches, and Daddies; and elsewhere.

Nellie Calanni lives in Cleveland as a Social Media Strategist and, make no “mistake” about it, will die by Cleveland (hopefully with some published pieces under her belt).

Kate Garklavs lives and writes in Portland, OR. Her work has appeared in Matchbook, Juked, Ohio Edit, and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter as @ueberkatester.

YZ Chin wrote "deter," published by dancing girl press. By day she works as a software engineer, and by night, she writes.

Ricky Cox is a Professor of Chemistry at Murray State University. He loves all things biochemistry and teaching students the molecular basis of life.

Katie MacNichol is an actress and writer. She grew up in Maine and now spends her time in New York, Los Angeles, and Austin.

Tyler Beckett is a Georgia boy trying to unpack what all that means. He has work at Guernica and upcoming fiction at Dogzplot.

C.E. Hyun’s fiction has appeared in Joyland, Failbetter, New South, The Good Men Project, and elsewhere. She currently lives in San Diego.

Ben Russell is a student and occasional writer. He splits his time between teaching and studying economics in Oklahoma.

pdot is a hunter of things; if it exists, she will find it. Fueled by cortados, cocktails, and kicks. Co-conspirator behind districtlocal.com.

Clara Seo lives in New York City, which she loves as if it were a person. Finding beauty in the mundane brings her peace.

Mike Nees is a writer and HIV case manager living in Atlantic City. He hosts Atlantic City's Story Slam series with the Sex Brigade Literary Collective.

Maureen Miller, MD MPH, is a pathologist in New York. (doctorwritermaureenmiller.tumblr.com)

Kit Hansen writes in Thailand. He's currently working on his first book, Jesus Boys.

Andrew Straaberg Finfrock works for a cooking magazine in Boston and writes fiction in his spare time. His only fear is fear itself. And mustard.

Volume 3: Ad Stories

The following pieces were placed as Google ads in Google's AdWords program in an attempt to litter the internet with stories. Before our first round of ad stories (see Volume 2 below), we found that this method of advertising had not been previously used as an art space, but very well could be. Volume 3's ad stories were displayed a total of 107,161 times in both Google searches and on websites where Google ads appear.

Homecoming Queen

“Get her face,” hissed Caroline.
“Then we’ll see who’s prettiest.”
by Simon Sylvester

New Hardwood Floors

I’m now intensely concerned with
exactly where my cat will throw up.
by Kelly M. Socia

Lunch Wars

She sneers at my pizza while she
stabs her salad. I take a big bite.
by Madeline Anthes

Complete Your Tax Return

We'll sleep well! Big day tomorrow.
Now, please can we make that baby?
by Kate Melville

Anti-reading Course

Enroll today. Unread letters,
regain juicy childish joy of ABCs.
by Maxine Marshall

To Keep Kids Innocent

8-yr-old: Mr. Jeffry goes to the
strip club. Me: He’s lying, David.
by Chelsea Ardle

The Beach

A dead bird on the shore –
This is not how I remember summer.
by Cara Long

Super Bowl CXI: Go Mars!

We haven’t won yet, but we make our
own luck like we make our own air.
by Naomi Parker

An Optical Conflict

How he sees it.
How she sees it.
by Dan Reiter

Never Really Had a Gun

Strange, the blood pooling at Joe’s
feet took on the shape of Africa.
by Rion Amilcar Scott

In Dreams I Find You

We roam foreign cities. You wake
halfway through saying my name.
by Dawn Sperber

Break Room Disaster

He wanted plain
but pushed the button for peanut.
by Tom Snee

SEO for the Kidnapped

She reduced her content to the word
“HELP!” to optimize search results.
by JM Francheteau

Madeline And The Shark

The mad, boiling, bubbling sound
she could never wash from her ears.
by Jacquelyn Bengfort

Lost Baggage

A grim grey airport scene
turns to flirtation over fries.
by Melissa Silverman

Simon Sylvester writes about memory, myth, and metamorphosis. He lives in Cumbria, UK, with his wife and daughter. His first novel is The Visitors.

Kelly M. Socia is an assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at UMass Lowell. His house has hardwoods floors and cats.

Madeline Anthes is a Cleveland native living in New Jersey. She’s an MFA student at Arcadia University. Check her website madelineanthes.com to see her publications.

Kate Melville is the nom de plume of a writer living in Orkney, UK. Her blog about forgetting is at goldfishblip.wordpress.com.

Maxine Marshall is an MFA student at NHIA and recent transplant to New England. She grew up in Salt Lake City where she received her MA from University of Utah.

Chelsea Ardle is an elementary school reading mentor, assistant editor for Vagabond City, ultimate frisbee player, plant enthusiast, nonfiction writer, and human living in Pittsburgh, PA.

Cara Long lives and works in upstate New York. Her first collection of short stories, Partly Gone, was published by Unsolicited Press in June 2014.

Naomi Parker works at a Boston nonprofit and lives in the suburbs. She dreams of living on Mars and working for herself.

Dan Reiter takes his truth with a muddle of lime. He lives at www.dan-reiter.com.

Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collection, Wolf Tickets, forthcoming from Tiny Hardcore Press.

Dawn Sperber is a Santa Fe writer whose fiction has appeared in PANK, Gargoyle, Hunger Mountain and elsewhere. Read more of her stories at www.dawnsperber.com.

Tom Snee lives with his wife and son in Iowa City, where he has no connection to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, although he does know where the building is.

JM Francheteau writes and makes zines in Ottawa, Canada. His second chapbook, kids, is out with Hurtin' Crüe Press. http://jmfrancheteau.wordpress.com

Jacquelyn Bengfort is a writer in Washington, DC. Find her on Twitter (@jacib) or online at www.JaciB.com.

Melissa Silverman is a writer and political communications professional living in Washington, D.C. She spends a lot of time in airports.

Volume 2: Ad Stories

The following ad stories represent our first experiment with placing stories as Google ads. They were ultimately displayed a total of 91,264 times in both Google searches and on websites where Google ads appear.

Family Graveyard

The bodies by the river are under
quarried rock. They elude me.
by Jennifer S. Cheng

The World's Fattest Woman

When I saw her lazy in the tub
I thought “This woman enjoys life.”
by Christine Crutchfield

Subject to Monitoring

I.T. hasn't turned him in yet
because he's so fun to watch.
by Holly Gorski

The History of Their Life

Look at me—he said—this is always
what you get. So she tried harder.
by Kristin Abraham

The Spider

I saw a seven-legged spider trying
to climb a wall. I gave it a hand.
by Stephen Moles

Ray Drove the Highways

after the war. Late at night, moon
shining down, rain, whatever.
by Barry Basden

Mail Order

That guy with the Reindeer sweater?
He has the hottest wife of us all.
by Lorri McDole

Secret Admirer

Hopeful, he forwarded the casserole
recipe and waited for her reply.
by Codie Leiker

There Is A Season

She planted tulips on his grave.
They came up for years. Then not.
by Paige Sinkler

Joanna Went to the Mall

Happy, she sighed. Her back fat no
longer raged against the polyester.
by Codie Leiker

After Jed Hung Himself

God resurrected him: the same life
but fatter & bald. He tried again.
by Justin Maki

Ever since the accident

they had to let Lena do whatever
she wanted. No matter how dreadful.
by Catherine Lacey


The weight of guilt crushed him
‘It’s not stealing’ he whispered.
by Cath Murphy

There is no sound.

Her ear is on his cheek; his chin
scratches against her shoulder.
by Rachel Kinbar