Community News & Updates February 2022


WCoNA 2022 Conference

The third WCoNA Writers Conference of Northern Appalachia(R), founded by alum PJ Piccirillo (Fiction, S’04) in 2018, will take place at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh on March 11-13, 2022. Lee Gutkind, Vanity Fair’s “Godfather of Nonfiction,” and Edgar Award winner Kathleen George are keynotes. 25+ presenters will host craft discussions, round tables, readings, & more. Attendees can participate in a Friday night open mic, sell books at the book sale, and attend the banquet and Book of the Year & Lifetime Achievement Awards. Visit to learn more and register.


A Celebration of the Yaak’s Ancient Black Ram Forest, an online event “to explore and celebrate the connection between vital landscapes and communities,” will happen on February 3rd, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. CST. Rick Bass (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction Faculty) adds, “The Stonecoast community is single-handedly protecting the most ancient forest in Montana in an act of climate justice and setting the stage for similar protections to be replicated in Maine. So grateful for the support, creativity, and outreach to the Maine delegation! Special gratitude to!”


Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) will have her story “Secrets of the Sea” reprinted in the anthology Vital Signals: Virtual Futures, Near-Future Fictions (Newcon Press).

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) had an audiobook review solicited from Glint Literary Journal along with a request for a “quirkier” than usual bio. The review, of a corrupted recording of Melissa Febos’ Girlhood, originally written on assignment from Audiophile Magazine, had been rejected by the publication, so J read it aloud at a virtual reunion of their Stonecoast class last summer, thinking that would be its only life. Somehow that reading ignited a chain reaction leading to a publication inquiring about the work. “Thanks (again!), Stonecoast” offered J.

Darcy Casey‘s (Fiction, W’19) short CNF essay, “Someday,” was published by Atticus Review.

Libby Cudmore‘s (Creative Nonfiction/Popular Fiction, S’10) story “Wait for the Blackout,” the fifth in her Martin Wade series for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, has been acquired for publication by the magazine.

Melody Fuller (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) has accepted the position of Director of Fellowships and Admissions for The Professional Wine Writers’ Symposium at Meadowood Napa Valley. She is responsible for defining new application criteria, restructuring the submission and review process, and the overall selection of writers invited to be seated. In its 17th year, the Symposium is the world’s only such writing program. Rarely at a loss for words, Melody is without ones to convey exactly what this means to her.

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction, S’21) award-winning flash story “The Art of Ironing” has been published in Pulp Literature, Issue 33, Winter 2022.

Zachary Jernigan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) homoerotic fantasy novel A History of the Defeated comes out February 1st via Lethe Press. (If you like dogs and you also like hot, sensitive men with superpowers, you’ll dig it.) Purchasing direct from the publisher is always appreciated.

The Provincetown Independent named Lee Kahrs (Creative Nonfiction, S’18) the first Winter Fellow in Journalism Leadership. You can read more about the fellowship and Lee here.

Nadja Maril’s (Fiction, W’20) essay “Embracing the Distance Between Us,” has been accepted for Spring print publication in the Avalon Literary Review. Her creative-nonfiction piece “Admiration of My Grandmother’s Pitcher” has been accepted by Open: Journal of Arts & Letters to appear in their Flash CNF Discourse Section. Read her CNF piece “Family History” in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts Winter edition live on February 7th.

Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) will publish the finale of her award-winning poly MMMF sci-fi action romance series with Atomic Angel on February 8. Library Journal describes the series, about a race-through-space galactic mating contest with 500 sexed-up suitors, as “fast-paced, erotic, and brutal.” The Astral Heat romance series hit Amazon category bestseller lists for LGBTQ+ sci-fi, erotic sci fi, and sci-fi erotica. Laura’s next adventure is a steamy M/M New Adult sci-fi series prequel that releases in April. 

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) epic fantasy story “Gael” has been published in Issue 120 of Swords and Sorcery Magazine. Suri wrote the story during her first semester at Stonecoast while she was mentored by Theodora Goss

Sunbury Press announces the release of PJ Piccirillo‘s (Fiction, S’04) third book, Nunc Stans–A Ferry Tale: A Novella and Stories, available at Amazon, Sunbury Press, and wherever books are sold.

  • “A beautifully written collection of stories rooted in place—on rivers and in forests, in small towns and on highways.” ~Linda Schifino, Professor Emerita, Carlow University
  • “From empty factories and coal-choked rivers in Pennsylvania to bastardized woods along the shore of Maine, Piccirillo reminds us of the transformation of the landscape by an industrial past. A highway changes a small town; a strip mine becomes a race track, while a bridge may make an industry obsolete.” ~Virginia Rafferty, author of The Road to Lattimer

The poem “Revolution” by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), is in the Winter 2021 issue of Mobius, and his poem “Ursa Major” will appear in the inaugural issue of Abandoned Mine inFebruary 2022.

Nitasia Roland (Popular Fiction, W’19) designed an indie/artisan Tarot deck called Tarot Chimera in the fall of 2021 and wrote the non-fiction guidebook Arcana of Odilon Redon, both published under (and available from) her small press imprint, Urania Press. Tarot Chimera, funded via Kickstarter in 2021, features the enigmatic lithographs of the French symbolist artist Odilon Redon, digitally enhanced and formatted to tarot: an 88-card deck alongside a softcover guidebook featuring full-page chimeric interpretations infused by Redon’s symbolic and dream-infused world…. spirited, uncanny, nightmarish, and stunningly beautiful.

Kevin St. Jarre (Popular Fiction, S’10) has been invited to present at the WCoNA Writers’ Conference, March 11—13, 2022, at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. The conference will feature keynote speakers Lee Gutkind, Vanity Fair’s “Godfather behind creative nonfiction,” and Edgar Award-nominated novelist Kathleen George. The conference will feature 24 workshops and presentations all day Saturday and Sunday morning, and Kevin will be presenting on writing in multiple fiction genres. There will also be a presentation by Duquesne University president Dr. Ken Gormley and a video from Heinz Foundation president Maxwell King about his book on Mister Rogers.

The Columbus Museum of Art awarded Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17) the inaugural Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Writer’s Residency. Darlene will receive a $15,000 award and stay at the home of the Columbus, Ohio, artist this summer writing and (re)imagining her “Blood on a Blackberry” verses in textile design. “Blood on a Blackberry” was first published in Feminist Studies in 2020, and Darlene will expand the narrative from the short prose poem to a collection of short stories of journeys from girlhood to womanhood. The residency honors the legacy of Robinson’s award-winning visual and literary art. Read more here and here.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, was the First Place Winner for the 2021 Royal Dragonfly Book Award for Memoir. The book also received an Honorable Mention for the 2021 Southern California Book Festival Award for Memoir. 


Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) was interviewed by The Ivory Tower Boiler Room podcast. Check it out here. He’s also teaching a class on characterization via the Writer’s Center and his DREAM CLASS, a class about E. M. Forster’s novels as well as short prose, via Politics and Prose Bookstore. Both can be taken online.  

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction Faculty | Fiction, W’19) forthcoming story collection Night of the Living Rez has been listed on several Most Anticipated Lists (Lit Hub, Book Riot, and The Millions), and he is one of ten Writers to Watch according to Publishers Weekly. New fiction by Morgan, recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, can be read in Granta


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