#VQRTrueStory is a social-media experiment in nonfiction that delivers stories across platforms—from Instagram to the website to the magazine. Each week, a contributor takes over our Instagram feed, @vqreview, to post original dispatches that tell the stories behind the pictures. The dispatches are then published on our website as a complete essay. With each issue of VQR, we select a handful of dispatches from various contributors to include in the magazine’s #VQRTrueStory column. You can visit the #VQRTrueStory archive to read all the contributions so far. And be sure to follow @vqreview to keep up with the project as it unfolds.
Week of August 1, 2017
Joshua Jelly-Schapiro in Havana, Cuba; photographs by Mirissa Neff
Full essay: “Neon Havana”
Week of July 13, 2017
Bret Anthony Johnston in Desert Hot Springs, CA; photographs by Bill Driver
Full essay: “Dropping In”
Week of April 24, 2017
Neil Shea in Brooklyn, NY
Full essay: “Subway Rorschach”
Week of April 17, 2017
Randy R. Potts in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Full essay: “No Republican Shall Inherit”
Week of April 10, 2017
Rianna Pauline Starheim in Kabul, Afghanistan
Full essay: “Rainbow Weather in Kabul”
Week of December 12, 2016
Ruxandra Guidi in Los Angeles; photographs by Bear Guerra
Full essay: “Starting Over”
Week of November 21, 2016
Ann Neumann in Lancaster County, PA; photographs by James Sprankle
Full essay: “Faith and Its Limits”
Week of October 31, 2016
Michael O. Snyder in California
Full essay: “We All Travel the Milky Way Together”
Week of October 17, 2016
Laura Kasinof in Germany; photographs by Alex Potter
Full essay: “Farhad”
Week of October 3, 2016
Ryan Bradley in Los Angeles
Full essay: “The Air Keeps It Interesting”
Week of October 3, 2016
Lauren Berlant in Chicago; art by Stephanie Brooks
Full essay: “Stony Island Story Problem”
Week of September 26, 2015
Jennifer Kabat in New York City
Full essay: “To Write About A Hole”
Week of August 15, 2016
Anisse Gross in San Francisco
Full essay: “Saint Coltrane”
Week of August 8, 2016
Sarah Khatry in Myanmar
Full essay: “An Audience with Wirathu”
Week of July 18, 2016
Tom Haines in Wyoming.
Full essay: “In the Powder River Basin”
Week of June 13, 2016
Maggie Shipstead in Antarctica.
Full essay: “The Truths of Antarctica”
Week of June 6, 2016
Luke Padgett in Canada’s Kitimat Fjords.
Full essay: “On the Great Bear Sea”
Week of April 18, 2016
Gaiutra Bahadur in New York.
Full essay: “On Henry Locke’s Wine Dark Sea”
Week of March 28, 2016
Holly Haworth in southwest Virginia.
Full essay: “Picturing the Pipeline”
Week of March 21, 2016
Jerry Redfern in Southeast Asia.
Full essay: “Resilience in East Timor”
Week of February 29, 2016
Danica Novgorodoff on five artists.
Full essay: “Problem Solving at the MacDowell Colony”
Week of February 8, 2016
Randy R. Potts on LGBT life and Christian faith.
Full essay: “His Faithful Servant”
Week of January 25, 2016
Baynard Woods on polytheists in Greece.
Full essay: “In the Shadow of Olympus”
Week of January 18, 2016
Jeff Sharlet in Dublin.
Full essay: “Dubliners”
Week of January 11, 2016
Lili Loofbourow on San Francisco’s last gun shop.
Full essay: “The Last Days of High Bridge Arms”
Week of January 4, 2016
Rachel Cohen on encounters at the Fogg Museum.
Full essay: “Details From the Fogg Museum”
Week of December 28, 2015
Laura Kasinof on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Lesotho.
Full essay: “Hope for Sale”
Week of December 21, 2015
Jamie Alliotts on encounters on the streets of Manhattan.
Full essay: “Sidewalks”
Week of December 14, 2015
Julia Cooke in Mawlamyine, Burma.
Full essay: “Vestiges of the Socialist Time”
Week of December 7, 2015
Lauren Markham on Central American migrants.
Full essay: “Northbound”
Week of November 30, 2015
Meera Subramanian on a changing India.
Full essay: “Elemental India”