Our Mission

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimental and conventional, pulp and literary, nonfiction and literary nonfiction, graphic mediums, artwork and audio can coexist. As people with varying passions, we’ve striven to find places where we can express fearlessly and belong unconditionally. We’re for those who have already found their personal spaces, or have yet to find their perfect niche within literary and non-literary communities. You can read and purchase our current issue here, and read and purchase our previous issues here.

Our Staff

Maria Surawska

Designer & Photographer

Maria Surawska is a graphic designer and photographer who wears glasses and has brown hair. She lives with a little white cat in Chicago, IL. You can view some of her other work here.

    Katie Cantwell

    Poetry Editor

    Katie Cantwell is currently earning her M.A. in Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after graduating with a B.A. in Classics. She is studying the influence of Greek poetry and drama on later literature, particularly in early twentieth century. In addition to studying Latin and Ancient Greek, she writes reviews, short fiction, and poetry.


        Rochelle Liu

        Fiction Editor

        Rochelle Liu graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in English Literature and minor in Chinese. She then ventured to Thailand for a year to teach English, and then Taiwan for another two years. She is currently getting her Master’s in Creative Writing, Publishing, and Editing at the University of Melbourne.

          Mary Keutelian

          Media Coordinator & Fiction Reader

          Mary Keutelian is Niche’s media coordinator and fiction reader. She completed her undergrad in creative writing and English literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011 and most recently her M.P.S. in Publishing from George Washington University. Having worked in digital copywriting and SEO, Mary now works as a copyeditor at a medical association in the greater Chicagoland area.

              Shannon Hewson

              Art Coordinator & Acquisitions Editor

              Shannon Hewson graduated with honors from the University of Iowa, where she received B.A.s in both English and Studio Art. Rapacious word-devourer by night and nervous paper shuffler by day, she has spent the last four years at small publishers in Austin, TX, and Flagstaff, AZ, where she presently lives with a small calico monster commonly mistaken for a cat. She edits poetry and art for Niche.


                Katya Cummins

                Founding & Managing Editor

                Katya Cummins earned a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her book reviews and other short pieces have appeared at Inside Higher Ed, Prick of the Spindle, SleetThe Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Under The Gum Tree, Compose: The Journal of Simply Good Writing, and Life in 10 Minutes. She earned an MA in English Literature and MFA in Creative Writing from McNeese State University. While there, she served as the Fiction and Managing Editor for The McNeese Review. She is the Founding and Managing Editor of Niche. Currently, she is an assistant to the Series Editor of Crux: The Georgia Series of Literary Nonfiction out of the University of Georgia Press. Visit her website here.

                  Our Former Staff

                  Beth Cohon

                  Beth Cohon graduated with a degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was also an editor for Montage, the University’s only literary arts journal. Besides writing creative fiction and a thesis on Virginia Woolf, she has made several short films, one of which was featured in the Champaign’s Feminist Film Festival. She has also interned with a national literacy nonprofit called 826 National. She earned her MA in Film Studies from King’s College London. She read fiction for Niche’s first issue.

                      Rebecca Kaplan

                      Rebecca Kaplan graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was the recipient of the Junior Quinn Scholarship, and Charles and Susan Shattuck Prize in Poetry in 2013. Her work has appeared at likewise folioMontage, The Daily Palette, and Cactus Heart. She was one of the former editors of Montage, UIUC’s undergraduate literary magazine, and read submissions for Niche, volumes two and three. She is currently attending law school at Michigan University.

                          Rebecca Levin

                          Rebecca Levin earned B.A.’s from the University of Iowa in English and Cinema Studies.  She also graduated with a minor in Korean Language. She writes fiction and poetry,  loves Seoul, and intends to move back there to pursue a career in Korean entertainment.  She also dabbles in graphic design. She read submissions for the first and third issues of Niche.

                              Matthew Atkinson

                              Matthew Atkinson was Niche’s former multimedia editor. He graduated with a degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He read submissions for Niche volumes one, two, and three. He used to be the executive editor of the online magazine Fear.less, He is currently earning a degree in Clinical Health Counseling at Roosevelt University.

                                Former Contributors

                                Lauryn Ash

                                Contributing Writer

                                Lauryn Ash graduated from the University of Iowa where she earned degrees in English, Creative Writing, and International Studies. She also completed a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management through the Tippie College of Business, and recently started graduate school at SMU Guildhall. She is the creator of Tinderbox Studios, a site for interactive fiction. She wrote Shots of Expresso (pun intended), a personal column dedicated to her travel experiences involving food, coffee, and anything she felt represented her journey through life as writer.

                                    Chris Fryer

                                    Contributing Writer

                                    Chris Fryer is a traveler and a teacher, using the lessons he learns along the way and the people he meets abroad to inspire his stories. A California native, he currently lives in Japan. He had been published by Best New Writing, theCalaveras Journal, Lamp Light, and the Copperfield Review. His column, Lessons From Strangers, can be found at Niche.

                                      Christopher Smith

                                      Former Contributor

                                      Christopher Smith earned a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing from Baker University in Kansas before moving to Chicago where he earned a Masters of Writing and Publishing degree from DePaul University. He’s also completed the Second City Training Center Writing Program where he co-wrote the sketch show The Truth and Other Lies.  He lives with his cat Jasmine who only moderately bothers him while he’s writing. Other passions include watching live theater, writing short plays, and watching too much NBC for his own good. Read his interview about DePaul University’s Master of Writing and Publishing Program here and his column, Writing After Academia here.