Invictus Vol. 1 (2011)


“Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.” –Henry David Thoreau

The book you are reading is something more than just a collection of essays written by a group of young writers whose only connection to each other is the university they attended and the rather difficult professor they encountered. For them and for me, this book is both the end and the beginning of a journey. Written by Prof. Brad King.

Download the complete Foreword here.


“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” — Ernest Hemingway

This book began as a project organized by one professor, but it became the journey of seven people searching for what it meant to be writers.

This is the introduction to this first experience, The Invictus Writers, and writers who went on this journey. Written by David C. Ake.

Download the complete Introduction here.

Waystation, by David C. Ake

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” — Mark Twain

In the essay, Invictus Writer David C. Ake tells the story set against the backdrop of the Iraq War. This story is about his two friends who helped pull him out of a rut after his girlfriend broke up with him.

It’s a story about life in the war zone.

Download David C. Ake’s essay here.

The City That Stopped The Cynic, by Kyle Hovanec

Invictus Writer Kyle Hovanec writes about his escape to Tokyo after the disastrous end to his first serious college relationship.

In his travels through Tokyo, he found a world much bigger than he could imagine.

Download Kyle Hovanec’s essay here.

Ugly Little Monster, by Laura Rose Allen

Laura’s story is, on the surface, about a high school girl and her young track coach. It’s about bad choices and relationships. Mostly its about dealing with the fallout from bad choices you make growing up.

And, as Invictus editor David Ake wrote in the Introduction: “It is one of my favorites because it took a lot of courage to tell.”

Download Laura Rose Allen’s essay here.

Blessed Be the Ties That Bind, by Tiffany Holbert

Invictus Writer Tiffany Holbert writes about her journey into the church, her search for a mentor, and a journey that went wrong.It’s a powerful tale about a young woman looking for direction in her life, and a cautionary tale about the importance of first finding your own way.

For David Ake and I, seeing Tiffany complete this draft has been nearly as powerful as reading her words.

Download Tiffany Holbert’s essay here.

Filling Empty Spaces, by Kelly Shea

Invictus writer Kelly Shea’s essay is a rumination on her journey to break free of the expectations she felt upon her. This isn’t a story that comes complete with a wrapped, happy ending. This is the story of a journey.

On more than one occasion, Kelly —  who also designed the entire project — wanted to abandon the writing so she could just design. She never quit, though. The sign of a writer

Download Kelly Shea’s essay here.

Pathways, by Rhett Umphress

Invictus Writer Rhett Umphress’ story, “Pathways,” explores the road that led him to the journalism program. It’s a winding road that forced him to learn to stand up for what he wanted, a task we still discuss on a regular basis.

He’s a sensitive young man, one who both wants to please people around him and be the best person for the job. These two worlds tug at him. In his essay, he begins to unravel what that dichotomy looks like.

Download Rhett Umpress’ essay here.