It’s been a great year at the post calvin.  We’d like to start with a thank you to all of our writers, readers, social media likers, cheerleaders, and inspirers.  While the post seems like a fairly simple thing—a site, some words, a Facebook page—the hours of brainstorming and writing and editing and photo choosing the writers do plus the five or ten minutes hundreds of readers spend with us each day all add up to a lot of time invested.  Plus, you writers actually have to live the stuff you’re writing about. So really, you’re giving your life to the post calvin.  Too much?  Okay.  Thanks, though.  Really.

One magical thing we accomplished this year is hopefully sitting on many of your coffee tables or nightstands.  Our print anthology launched about a month ago, and it’s been so fun to hear of grandparents who received it for Christmas or read-alouds that sprung up at holiday gatherings.  We hope you’ll enjoy it for many months to come.

In the spirit of the anthology, we’ve decided to tailor our annual “best of” list to the sections in the book.  There were so many great pieces written this year that didn’t get included in the anthology, either due to space or the fact that they were written after mid-spring when we were putting the book together.  So, here were the stipulations for this year’s best of:

  1. Piece would fit into a category of the anthology but was not included
  2. Piece is in the top 100 of the year, views-wise
  3. No two pieces by the same writer

Without further ado, here are fourteen great pieces from 2016 you might have missed.

Growing Pains
Fiercely” by Will Montei

This I Believe
Solo Cups and Seminary” by Katie Van Zanen

Classroom 101
Report Card” by Caroline Higgins

Nine to Five
My Flings with Absent Men” by Julia LaPlaca

Ode to the Midwest
Cannibal of GR” by Bart Tocci

Departures
Mary-Veronica” by Josh deLacy

All’s Fair in Love
Let’s Get a Little House” by Katerina Parsons

Where the Heart Is
My Father’s Meadow” by Meg Schmidt

To Act Justly
What Not to Wear” by Catherine Kramer

Feminist Confessions
Titty Sprinkles” by Elaine Schnabel

Gray Matters
What It Means to Forget” by Jack Van Allsburg

Bread and Butter
Think Outside the Bell” by Nick Meekhof

Portrait Gallery
E-mails from David in the Week Before Pentecost” by Andrew Knot

Two Roads Diverged
You maybe have noticed we skipped this one. Instead of a piece here, you get a peak at our process for putting together the anthology.  We laid all the chosen pieces out on a table and started piling them together in categories that we made up as we went.  Very scientific.  With each iteration, there were a few pieces that just didn’t fit a category or ones that fit several categories. “Two Roads Diverged” was the product of having a handful of lonely pieces and then realizing that they did all share a common theme—making choices.  It’s our most specific category theme, and we can’t quite find another piece from this year that fits. Got a suggestion? Leave it in the comments.

Abby Zwart

Abby Zwart (’13) teaches high school English in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She spends her free time making lists of books she should read, cooking, and managing the post calvin.

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