I am Erica Eastland editor in chief, publisher, and one of the Co-Founders of Sonder. I am 21 years old studying Women and Gender Studies at St. Ambrose University in Iowa. Reading has been a passion of mine since I was in second grade. What reader doesn’t want to at least try to be a writer? My senior year of high school I took a fiction writing class in which I was introduced to so much more than the generalized idea of “publishing a best selling novel.” I soon found the world of literary magazines, small presses, and freelancing as my love for writing began to take shape and grow. At the Midwest Writing Center in Rock Island, Illinois, I learned more about the literary community than what I had imagined could exist. I found this gnawing desire to continue creating which translated into the desire to create my own magazine, so we started Sonder. 

I love poetry and work that pushes the limit. I want work that makes me step back. I love flash fiction that amazes. I love repetition with a pulse. I love all kinds of emphasis. I like backslashes, I like crazy ee cummings breaks. Be bold. This is all new to us. This is all new to those we publish. I want Sonder to be a place for writers who know nothing, for writers who think writing is impossible, for writers to showcase their work to whomever. I want Sonder to succeed. 

Pronouns: She/Her


I’m Sam Bruner the designer, webmaster and a Co-Founder of Sonder Midwest.  I am 20 years old and am currently working on getting a degree at Illinois State University, majoring in Art Technology. I was introduced to the world of publishing when I was 17 and was hired for The Midwest Writing Center’s Young Emerging Writer’s Internship.  It was here that I met Erica and expanded on my knowledge of the literary world. I was an intern with the Young Emerging Writer’s in 2016, 2017, and 2018. My work can be found in The Atlas 11, The Atlas 12, and The Atlas 13.

I absolutely love reading anything our submitters submit to us, but poetry will always have a special part in my heart.  I like work that is musical in style, honest, and tells a story. I have a soft spot for any work that is set in the past, even if it is completely made up. I want Sonder Midwest’s presence to become well-known online and help emerging creatives get their feet into the door of the creative world.

Pronouns: She/Her, They/Them

Past Editor/Co-Founder: Lauren Roemer