Community News & Updates April 2023


The Stonecoast MFA Alumni Reading Series

The Stonecoast MFA Alumni Reading Series is back for a fourth year! The 2023 series will feature two virtual readings—one in May, and one in early December. Stonecoast invites any alumni authors who have a book coming out in 2023 to read. We are excited to celebrate you and your work!


The Stonecoast Writers’ Conference

We are now accepting application to the 2023 Stonecoast Writers’ Conference, which will run from the morning of Tuesday, June 20 through noon on Sunday, June 25. Stonecoast faculty members Debra Marquart and Ron Currie, Jr., will be teaching the nonfiction and fiction workshops, respectively. Because the conference runs concurrently with the MFA’s Summer Residency, you’ll have exclusive access to the faculty and programming—that means, in addition to your workshop class, participants will learn from Stonecoast faculty seminars and readings, visiting scholars, and all the attendant programming. We’ll also have special events just for conferencegoers. 


Frank Ard (Popular Fiction, S’14) is proud to announce an anthology of sea-themed horror and suspense stories, set to launch on Kickstarter on April 25th. Due to be published by Rogue Owl Press following the Kickstarter campaign, the anthology features original seafaring stories by fifteen Stonecoast MFA alumni. Together, they explore deep into the mysterious aquatic realm, bringing back to the surface tales of terror, intrigue, and adventure. The Kickstarter campaign is a unique opportunity to support publication of the book while receiving unique rewards for different contribution levels, such as an exclusive first edition hardcover, custom-made bookplates signed by the authors, and much more. Visit the pre-launch page and click the “Notify Me on Launch” button to follow the project. 

Quenton Baker‘s (Poetry, S’12) second full-length collection, ballast, is now available from Haymarket Books.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is pleased to announce the publication of her poems “Necrotic Ambrosia” in Space and Time Magazine (December 2022) and “The Mermaids of Magonia” in Fantasy Magazine (February 2023). In November, her story “Water Like Broken Glass” appeared in the anthology Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga (Black Spot Books). In the realm of nonfiction, her essay “The Future of Horror: Evolution or Revolution?” is now available in Horror in the Twenty-First Century and Beyond, edited by Simon Bacon (Lexington Books, March 2023).

Shannon Bowring (Fiction, W’22) is thrilled to share that her forthcoming debut novel, The Road To Dalton, has received a Kirkus Starred Review. The book will be released June 6, 2023, but you can place your preorders now through Europa, or our Stonecoast friend and bookseller Barbara Kelly.

Martha McSweeney Brower (Creative Nonfiction, W’19) has her essay “Walk On” included in Wanderlust.

Darcy Casey (Fiction, W’19) has been awarded a 2023 Interdisciplinary Residency for art and writing at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation. This fall, she will spend five weeks in the gardens working on a new project that ties visual art and writing together.

Aimee Degroat (Fiction, S’21), publishing under AJ Newsom, had her short story “Karma Cat” published at Sierra Nevada Review. She also had a flash fiction story, “Front Seat Country,” published in the West Trade Review spring 2023 edition.

teri elam‘s (Poetry, S19) dramedy screenplay, Living Your Best Wife, is a SAGindie Finalist for the 2023 Stowe Story Labs.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) presented on the AI image generation software Midjourney at this year’s NeMLA. The presentation is available at the University of New Hampshire research conference website for anyone who wants to learn more about the ethical and philosophical issues associated with artificial intelligence and art.

Terri Glass (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has two poems accepted in Young Raven’s Literary Review for Issue 18 and a haiku published in Eastern Iowa Review, Issue 16.

Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09), teacher at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, MI, has received a prestigious $5,000 Jack Hazard Fellowship for Secondary Teachers who write for his novel-in-progress Forgotten Man. For more information, click here.

After nine years as a volunteer editor at Literary Mama, in both the Literary Reflections department and as a senior editor, Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) is stepping away from the journal. As a swan song of sorts, her essay “Inflection Point: The Birth of a Mother Writer” appeared in the March/April 2023 issue (making a fitting bookend to her essay “The Mother as She Writes,” an adaptation of her Stonecoast thesis intro, which appeared in May 2014, shortly before she joined Literary Mama‘s editorial staff). She also interviewed the author of the first essay she edited for the journal, Anne Liu Kellor, for the “Where Are They Now?” blog series.

Fiona Lehn (Popular Fiction, W’15) has a horror story entitled “The Shabah” in Flame Tree Publishing’s upcoming anthology Spirits & Ghouls, to be released in July of this year. Buy link will be announced when available.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is honored to have won 3rd place for her essay “Skin in the Game,” excerpted from her memoir manuscript, Body: My Life in Parts. The Eunice Williams Nonfiction Prize is an annual literary prize given by HerStry, and the judge was Brittany Ackerman.

Nadja Maril’s (Fiction, W’20) poem “Rampion” has been accepted for publication in online Quail Bell Magazine and she has two creative nonfiction pieces that have been accepted by print publications. Her essay entitled “Radish Acrostic” will be included in the inaugural issue of Anthophile Magazine, a bi-annual British publication slated for release in late Spring, and she is also excited to share that her essay “Back to School Night” will be in the June 2023 Stonecoast Review. In other news, Nadja was invited by the publishers of Devil’s Party Press, a small independent publisher, to become one of the ten founding members of The Old Scratch Poetry and Short Form Collective. As a Contributing Editor of Old Scratch Press, an imprint of Devil’s Party Press, she is will be working with other poets and writers to bring to fruition the publication of multiple chapbooks of poetry and short form prose. One of their goals will be to re-vitalize the love of small affordable books.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is co-facilitating a writing week in the southern White Mountains with poet Ekere Tallie. World Fellowship Center is a glorious place to write and read and hike and swim. Details here.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has a new book, The Springs, published by Encircle Publications on March 22, 2023. She will be reading from the book at the Blue Hill Public Library on Thursday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m.; she will also be appearing, with Matt Cost, at the Belfast Cultural Center on Friday, April 28th, at 4:00 p.m.

Tarver Nova (Popular Fiction, S’11) saw his sci-fi + cats story “The Last Archivist of Gaia III” published in The Librarian Reshelved, an anthology by Air & Nothingness Press. His flash horror “Assorted Clippings” appeared in the fiction podcast Tiny Tales.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) has accepted the position of Education Director at the Gloucester Writers Center in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Jonathan Pessant (Poetry, W’21) is honored to have been a finalist for the 2022 Maine Chapbook Series for his poetry collection, Prisonegg.

Marisca Pichette (Popular Fiction, S’21) is overjoyed to share that Rivers in Your Skin, Sirens in Your Hair is officially out in the world! The collection includes 50 poems meditating on nature, climate change, fairytales, and queerness. It is available in print and ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Android Press, and wherever books are sold! She would like to extend a special thanks to Stonecoast faculty Katherine Larson for writing a beautiful blurb, which is featured in the opening pages of the collection. Marisca’s other March highlight was attending the 44th International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts, where she sat on a panel, gave a reading, and caught up with friends both old and new.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poems “The Big Ballyard in The Bronx” and “Baseball Was Always Enough” are forthcoming in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, and two additional poems may also appear. On April 15 he will be opening for Dave Mallet and his band at The Brewer Performing Arts Center in Brewer, Maine; tickets are available from Brown Paper Tickets. And on May 6 Bruce joins fellow musicians and songwriters Sunnyland Stan Sullivan and Jim Mercik for afternoon workshops on poetry, songwriting, and how to accompany other musicians, followed by an evening in the round concert at The Buttonwood Tree in Middletown, CT. Reservations are advised. In August and September, Bruce will be teaching a two-session hybrid seminar/workshop for Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance; details may be found later this spring here

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his story “Retreat” just came out in the anthology Superstories from Culture Cult Press. It’s about what happens after the super hero battle’s over. He’s also recently been accepted for a research trip to the Pacific Northwest this June where he’ll be at the University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks, Washington, and at Friday Harbor Labs, on San Juan Island.

Richard Squires’s (Fiction, S’14) story “The Farewell Foxtrot” was a semifinalist in the 2023 Kurt Vonnegut Speculative Fiction contest at North American Review, and was recently published online. This is the story he read for his graduation reading almost nine years ago, and he is stoked. You can check it out here. Richard also published a book review this month in American Book Review. You can read part of the review and purchase the journal here.

Melanie Viets’s (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) essay “Dovetail” was recently featured in Narrative as a Story of the Week. 

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has accepted the position of Editorial Director at Lotic, a story-driven insights organizations focused on well-being. Additionally, his poem “Eye Patches Prevent Both Looking Out and Looking In” is published in New Note Poetry‘s Spring 2023 issue. New Note Poetry is a journal committed to the belief that “poetry is the jazz of the written word.”


Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) regular DETOUR column is now monthly instead of weekly and her latest, “ It’s the ‘Black Joy Parade’ for me,” was featured in several national newspapers, including the Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, News & Observer, The Sacramento Bee, and The Charlotte Observer. Her essay “Teeth: A Family Portrait” has been shortlisted for the CRAFT Creative Nonfiction Award, which will be judged by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, whose book was a National Book Award Finalist in 2022.

Tom Coash‘s (Scriptwriting) musical, Stepping Into Fire, will be produced as part of the fabulous INK Festival in East Anglia, UK, April 13-16.

John Florio (Popular Fiction, Creative Nonfiction Faculty | Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) and Ouisie Shapiro have agreed to a deal with Triumph Books to edit an anthology of 1950s sports-related American short stories. Heroes & Hustlers is scheduled for release in the fall of 2024. John and Ouisie’s next YA book, MARKED MAN: Frank Serpico and the Price of Being an Honest Cop, is scheduled for release in spring of 2024. John is also working on his next novel and studying the role of communism in 1950s American literature as part of his doctoral studies with the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) hitting the road this May to promote his new novel Hotel Cuba, coming out May 2. First stop: Boston, Porter Square Books in Cambridge Thursday, May 4, at 7:00 p.m. with novelist Elizabeth Graver. Then it’s off to DC at Politics and Prose Bookstore, Sunday, May 7 at 3:00 p.m. in conversation with Justine Kenin of NPR. After that, he heads to New York at the cool indie bookstore P and T Knitwear on the Lower East Side, May 10 at 7:00 p.m. with CNF writer Kelly McMasters. He’ll also be doing several virtual events. Check for the latest updates!


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