Richard Alley

Richard is a freelance writer and father of four whose work has appeared in The Commercial AppealThe Memphis Daily NewsMemphis ParentMemphis MagazineMemphis Crossroads MagazineChapter 16 (Humanities Tennessee),The Memphis Flyer, River Times MagazineRhodes MagazineThe Memphis NewsArtsMemphis Magazine, Oxford AmericanMBQ magazine and Edible Memphis, and in syndication through the Associated Press and Scripps Howard News Service. He is the author of the bi-weekly parenting column, “Because I Said So,” in The Commercial Appeal since 2008, and the blog Urf! since 2006. Through Nautilus Publishing, he was a contributor to the book Memphians.

His short story, “Sea Change,” won the 2010 grand prize in fiction for Memphis Magazine and has been anthologized in the collection Five That Grabbed the Gold.  In that same year he was accepted into the Moss Workshop for Fiction at the University of Memphis.

He won the Silver Award for profile feature writing from the Parenting Media Association Editorial & Design Awards in 2013.

Richard is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, where he currently lives with his family.

Richard Alley

It’s Christmas in August. The temperature hovering close to 90 degrees doesn’t testify to this. But the ringing of the cash register does. Another telltale sign? The children’s palpable sense of diminished expectations. 

Back to school time is Christmas without the merry.

That’s how parents view it, of course. For children, the thought of being allowed to accompany us to the Wal-Marts and Targets as we hunt for school supplies is like being given a private tour of Santa’s workshop.