The Piltdown Review

Second Prize Winner

Fall/Winter Fiction Contest

The Birthing Room

"The Birthing Room" by Lisa W. Rosenberg
We’re delighted to present the Second Prize winner from our Fall/Winter Fiction Contest, Lisa W. Rosenberg’s “The Birthing Room.” When a young family’s stay at a former stop on the Underground Railroad stirs up disquieting ghosts of the past, time itself shifts and bleeds to terrifying effect.
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Fall/Winter Fiction Contest

Q. & A. with Lisa W. Rosenberg

Q. & A. with Lisa W. Rosenberg
New Jersey psychotherapist Lisa W. Rosenberg recently took Second Prize in our Fall/Winter Fiction Contest. We spoke with her about her prizewinning story, “The Birthing Room,” about writing in general, and about what she has on tap next.

“The Birthing Room” unfolds across two separate but interdependent timelines, one in the present day and one in the year 1850. Your evocation of that historical period is thorough and convincing, but does not overwhelm the reader with unnecessary detail. How much research went into the story?

I actually did a lot of research into Corabel’s time period. Once I got started, I became fascinated with how much more we know about the inner lives of enslaved African Americans than we knew back in the 1970s when my family and I read Roots together. I read a few books of personal narratives by enslaved people. Some were actual firsthand accounts and others were interviews.

In the relationship between Little Annie and Corabel, I wanted to challenge the trope of animosity and contempt between “house slaves” and “field slaves.” There is a mutual respect and interdependence. Corabel is responsible for bringing rations and supplies to Annie and the other field workers. Annie reciprocates by igniting the hope of freedom. I also wanted to present the Great Dismal Swamp as a place of hope and possibility as well as danger and mystery. I don’t know how many people are aware that it was home to many free people of color who assisted freedom seekers.
Read Our Full Q. & A. with Lisa W. Rosenberg


Tanyo Ravicz


In an Alaskan landscape transformed by global warming, the archaeological find of a lifetime sets off a chain of irreversible events between lifelong rivals. If you haven’t caught up with Tanyo Ravicz’s chilling two-part epic, now is the time. 
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Jonathan Andrew Pérez

Out of Habit

This month we’re delighted to showcase the unique work of poet Jonathan Andrew Pérez. Start with his evocative “Out of Habit,” then follow along all month to be first to experience his featured poems every Monday morning.
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