AWP 2018

Written by Suzanne Strempek Shea

Stonecoast was a boulder of a presence at the recent annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Held at the Tampa Convention Center March 8 to 11, the event was attended by 12,000, and featured 2,000 presenters, and 550 readings, panels and lecture. The largest literary conference in North America saw Stonecoasters shining at the podiums and on panels, plus in the enthusiastic audiences, and there would have been more from our community there had a blizzard not swept through the North and tangled travel plans. A reception in the lobby of a nearby hotel included administration, faculty, students, alums, and at least one soon-to-be firstie. The photos below show just some of the familiar faces there. Want to be in on the next? Make plans to meet at AWP 2019, in Portland, Oregon, March 27-30!

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ICFA 2018

Written by Peter Adrian Behravesh

Stonecoast had a large presence at this year’s International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

Theodora Goss (Popular Fiction faculty) hosted a roundtable about The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, read from European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, and spoke on a panel discussing the Frankenstein meme.

James Patrick Kelly (Popular Fiction faculty) moderated a panel on how adaptation transforms narratives.

Lynette James (Popular Fiction, S’12) spoke on a panel about decolonizing fantastic storytelling.

J.R. Dawson‘s (Popular Fiction, S’16) 10-minute play was performed at the third annual ICFA Flash Play Festival. James Patrick Kelly performed in one of the other plays.

Many students and alumni presented academic papers, including Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18), Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18), Kaitlin Branch (Popular Fiction, W’18), Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18), Lew Andrada (Popular Fiction, W’17), Alex Sherman (Popular Fiction, W’17), Kelsey Olesen (Popular Fiction, W’17), Lauren Liebowitz (Popular Fiction, S’16), and Lynette James (Popular Fiction, S’12).

Other Stonecoasters spotted at the conference include Jasmine Skye (Popular Fiction, W’20), Sarah Mack (Popular Fiction, S’19), AJ Bauers (Popular Fiction, W’17), Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14), Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13), and Will Ludwigsen (Popular Fiction, W’11).

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast administrators, alums, faculty, and students will be attending the upcoming Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference & Bookfair in Tampa, FL, which takes place March 7-10, 2018. For more information about the AWP conference, please visit their website, and to view the list of panels, readings, signing, and gatherings that feature a Stonecoast community member, please check out this post.

On Saturday, April 7th, at 7:30 p.m., a Stonecoast alumni reading will be held at the Lilypad in Cambridge, MA. Two of our featured readers will be Richard Cambridge (fiction) and Michelle Soucy (fiction and poetry.) The Lilypad is at 1353 Cambridge Street right in Inman Square (no admission fee and the venue has a café/bar). We’ll have a Q & A after the reading. All are welcome!

ALUMS

Lew Andrada (Popular Fiction. W’17) has started teaching World Literature online for the University of the People. He’s grateful to have such an enthusiastic group of students for his first class. On March 16th, Lew will be presenting his paper “The Lingering Effects of Colonialism on Modern Philippine Speculative Fiction” at the 39th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He’s looking forward to seeing a bunch of fellow Stonecoasters at the conference!

Julie C. Days (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Schrödinger’s” can be found in the March/April issue of Interzone. Among other things “Schrödinger’s” involves a quantum strip club, a women’s collective, female friendships, and the possible end of the world. Julie has also been contracted by Evil Hat Productions to write a new role-playing game for their Fate series entitled Divided Lights. She’s excited to see what others will do with her story-world and expecting to learn much about the gaming community. The project itself feels like a huge adventure.

Barbara Greenbaum’s (Fiction, S’05) poetry has recently been published or is forthcoming in American Writers Review, SLAB, and Cape Rock. She has also accepted a position as Adjunct Professor in creative writing at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) has a feature story in the January issue of Taproot Magazine. “Farming, a Love Story; Or, The Inestimably High Arc of John Yanga’s Life” explores the life, loves, contributions, and longings of John Yanga, a former refugee from southern Sudan, who is now one of Maine’s most experienced immigrant farmers.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has spent the last couple of years writing for Obsidian Entertainment’s latest game, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire—an RPG swashbuckling adventure about chasing a massive stone god across a bustling archipelago. The game will be available to PC / Mac / Linux players in the near future and to PS4 / Xbox One / Nintendo Switch players later in the year. Among other characters Paul wrote the gunhawk navy sniper Maia Rua and the watershaping were-shark Tekēhu, companions with story arcs and relationships of their own who can accompany the player on their journey. Coinciding with the release of the game, Paul wrote Volume Two of the Guidebook for the Pillars of Eternity setting, which is available for pre-order from Dark Horse Comics. This book offers readers additional lore about the setting and deeper historical context for many of the in-game conflicts.

Bonnie Naradzay (Poetry, W’08) will have poems in the upcoming issues of The Tampa ReviewNew Letters, and The Anglican Theological Review.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12/Past Faculty) is currently in the second year of her Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In May, Walrus Magazine will be publishing her poem “The Lipstick Effect.” A limited edition chapbook entitled On the Furnace Sits a Maiden is also forthcoming from Frog Hollow Press.

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short animated film The Bakebook has been selected by the National Screen Institute of Canada’s online film showcase for Canadian talent, after a yearlong tour on the festival circuit.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will be signing and giving away ARC’s of her forthcoming book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, during the AWP Conference bookfair at Sweet (table 1408, Thursday, March 8th, 3:00-4:00 p.m.), Under the Gum Tree (table T1732, Friday, March 9th, 3:30-5:00 p.m.), and Tiferet Journal (table T1939, Saturday, March 10th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.). She’d love it if some Stonecoast folks stopped by!  Later in March, Lisa is teaching a master class, “Writing from Memory,” as part of the Montcliar (NJ) Literary Festival, March 18th.

Patricia Smith (Poetry, S’08/Past Faculty) won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award from Claremont Graduate University for her book Incendiary Arts: Poems (Northwestern University Press). The prize is the largest in the world for a single book of poetry. The book has also been named a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) has had a couple essays and poems published in recent issues of The Selkie Zine, and will have another published this month!

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be attending Norwescon (March 29 to April 1st) in Seattle. He’s got a nice slate of panels, including moderating What is Epic About Epic Fantasy? with Fonda Lee and Ken Liu. He’s pleased about that. Should be a good time. West-Coasters come on out!

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was happy to see fellow Stonecoasters Tom Coash and alums Dan Ball and Richard Squires at her Tonya & Nancy concert event, which was performed to a packed house on February 13th at 54Below in New York City, produced by Paul Boghosian/HarborsideFilms. A live-concert CD of the event—Broadway Stars Sing Songs from Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera— is being produced by Broadway Records and will be released later in 2018. The national site Broadway.com wrote in its coverage: “Before there was the new Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya, there was Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, an uproarious musical.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s chamber opera—Tonya & Nancy: The Opera; music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross—was performed by the opera group Mixed Precipitation in Minneapolis on February 21st with an additional show added on February 24th; the show was named a “Best of Classical” pick by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The February 21st performance of the opera benefited the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. For photos, clips, and more, see the MultiMedia page at www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Dan Ball, Richard Squires, Elizabeth Searle, and Tom Coash at 54Below

Ashley Spencer as “Tonya”

Composer Michael Teoli, Elizabeth Searle, stars Ashley Spencer and Lauren Worsham, and producer Paul Boghosian

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) is looking forward to encountering many from the Stonecoast community next week at AWP in Tampa, where she’ll be part of a reading and a panel. On Friday, March 9th, 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m., “A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny” will focus on the new collection Flash Funny (non) Fiction, edited by Tom Hazuka and Dinty W. Moore, and will include an essay from Suzanne’s epic experience working at the Tampax factory down the street from her childhood home. Tom, plus Wendy Brenner, Michael Martone, Sandra Gail Lambert, and Suzanne will read their pieces—and others—from the collection celebrating the short form and humor. And on Saturday, March 10th, from 1:30-2:45 p.m., Suzanne will join alum Melanie Brooks, Richard Blanco, Andre Dubus III, and Kyoko Mori on the panel “Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma.” Richard, Andre, Kyoko and Suzanne are among the 18 authors Melanie interviewed for her essential Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma, which got its formal start as Melanie’s third-semester project.

Orlando’s first-ever poet laureate, Stonecoast alum Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08), will be at AWP daily, and Suzanne looks forward to also seeing her the following week, when Suzanne and husband Tommy Shea make their third return to Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Susan is a beloved and impactful advanced placement literature and composition teacher. Suzanne and Tommy (co-author of Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History) will speak to Trinity classes and will give a reading open to the public March 13th at 7:00 p.m. at Freitag & Falk Theater on campus. The reading is open to the public, and any Stonecoasters in the area of course will be most welcome.

 

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AWP 2018

If anyone has corrections or amendments, please contact Meredith MacEachern.

 

Panels & Readings

Thursday, March 8th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
The Body’s Story: On Writing Narratives of Illness—Porochista Khakpour

Thursday, March 8th, 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Florida Salon 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Second Blooming: Resources for Older Women Writers—Breena Clarke, Ellen Meeropol, and Robin Talbot

Thursday, March 8th, 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM
Florida Salon 1, 2, & 3, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Early Formations: Guiding Authentic Young Voices in a Digital Age—Cate Marvin

Thursday, March 8th, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM
Meeting Room 13, Marriott Waterside
A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny—Lisa Romeo 

Friday, March 9th, 10:30 – 11:45
Room 12, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny—Suzanne Strempek Shea

Friday, March 9th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Political Pivoting: Literary Publishing at the Pace of Politics—Amanda Johnston

Friday, March 9th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
New England Review 40th Anniversary Reading—Cate Marvin

Saturday, March 10th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Florida Salon 6, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Tearing Down Walls: The International Experience in Low-Residency MFA Programs—Robin Talbot

Saturday, March 10th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Grand Salon B, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
The Thing Builders: Building Literary Communities That Matter—Amanda Johnston

Saturday, March 10th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
This Is Scary and Here We Go: Fear in the Driver’s Seat—Porochista Khakpour

Saturday, March 10th, 1:30 – 2:45 PM
Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma—Melanie Brooks and Suzanne Strempek Shea

Saturday, March 10th, 1:30 – 2:45
Ballroom D, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Monster Cultures—Theodora Goss

Book Signings

 Lisa Romeo will be signing and giving away ARC’s of her forthcoming book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, during the AWP bookfair at: Sweet (table 1109, Thurs 3/8, 3:00-4:00); Under the Gum Tree (table T1732,Fri 3/9, 3:30 – 5); Tiferet Journal (table T1939, Sat 3/10, 11:00 – noon).

Community Events

 There will be an informal gathering of all interested Stonecoast students, faculty, admins, and alumni in the lobby of the hotel. (Time TBA).

 

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Community News & Updates February 2018

ANNOUNCEMENT

This year, a number of Stonecoast’s Popular Fiction students, alumni, and faculty are program participants at Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction convention, which takes place February 16-18, 2018, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. For more information about Boskone, please visit www.boskone.org, and to view the list of program items that feature a Stonecoast community member, please check out this post. We will also have a large contingent of people attending who aren’t on the program this year. Closing the convention, we have a Stonecoast Reading to highlight our community members who are attending Boskone. If you are available to join the fun, we’d love to see you there!

ALUMS

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is happy her new anime-inspired nightmare microfiction, “The Things Between Us,” is now available in the beautifully illustrated Quick Shivers from the Midwest anthology.

Katie Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) announces that her audio drama “Six Stories, Told at Night” has won a Parsec Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction Podcasting (Best Story – Novella). A stage adaptation of “Six Stories” will premiere at the Toronto Fringe Festival in July 2018.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) has been broadcasting a series of five-minute audio essays on the Maine community radio station WERU. You can access these flash pieces from her blog. Her longer essay “Security Clearance,” which first appeared in Burrow Press’ “Fantastic Floridas,” is included in the upcoming anthology from University of Florida Press, In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home and Places In Between. The essay is also in her hybrid memoir Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, coming out in Fall 2018 from Burrow Press.

Julie C. Days (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Re-stitched”, which ran in the January issue of Split Lip Magazine, was Longform Fiction‘s pick of the week. Stealing Longform‘s story description, you can expect two sisters and a grotesque religious ritual. Umm yes, it is creepy. Julie’s Fightin’ Words interview can be found on the Split Lip blog. In other news, you can listen to a reprint of Julie’s story “The Rocket Farmer” at Podcastle 507. It was originally printed in 2017 issue of Interzone. If you’ve any interest in angry teenage girls, the history of rockets, and secret Florida farms, this story is for you.

Paula Treick DeBoard’s (Fiction, S’10) fourth novel, Here We Lie, was published on January 30th by Park Row Books, a division of Harlequin/Harper Collins. Publisher’s Weekly says Here We Lie “portrays the lies that people tell to find acceptance and the terrible acts that powerful people casually commit.” Booklist says the story “particularly resonates now, in the throes of the #metoo movement.” Paula is a lecturer of writing at the University of California, Merced. More information can be found on her website.

John Florio (Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and VICE Sports, and just delivered a crime feature to Vanity Fair. You can read his latest piece (for VICE Sportshere. His most recent book, One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime, was published by University of Nebraska Press in April. His next release, a nonfiction YA book about the historic Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight of 1938, will be released by Macmillan Children’s Group later this year.

Becky Kightlinger’s (Fiction, W’14) debut novel, Megge of Bury Down: Book One of the Bury Down Chronicles, will be released by Zumaya Publications on February 1, 2018. Here’s a short summary:

In thirteenth-century Cornwall, on a sheep farm in the shadow of Bury Down, known for a thousand years as the land of the second sight, a healer has vowed to face flames rather than fail in her one task in this life: to bring her young daughter to vow to protect The Book of Seasons, an ancient grimoire whose power sustains the spirits of all their ancestors.

On the night of her vow-taking, wanting only to become a woman of Bury Down, and drawn by an inexplicable yearning to possess the book, Megge reaches for it. But when she touches its cover, it burns her fingers and she hears it whisper, “Murderer.” Fearing that the book will make her hurt those she loves, she rejects it and renounces her birthright.

To what lengths will her mother and the other women of Bury Down go to help Megge find the courage to take that vow? And how far will Megge go to elude a terrifying destiny?

Susan Lilley (Poetry, S’08) has been appointed the inaugural Poet Laureate of Orlando, Florida.

Anne Britting Oleson‘s (Poetry, W’05) second novel, Dovecote (B Ink, 2017), was reviewed in the Maine Sunday Telegram, January 21, 2018.  Anne’s third poetry chapbook, Alley of Dreams, will be published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House in March 2018.

Erin Roberts‘ (Popular Fiction, W ’18) short story “Sour Milk Girls” has gone from her thesis to the big time—it was published in the January issue of Clarkesworld and is available in print and in audio. Bonus story notes can be found on her website (as can her panel schedule for Boskone, which she’s hoping turns into a mini-Stonecoast reunion!).

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) has probably gone a little overboard, but is very excited for how 2018 is shaping up. In March, he will be presenting his essay “Out and Super” at ICFA. In April, he will be participating in a writing retreat at the Whiteley Center on San Juan Island, Washington. In May, he will be presenting an essay, “She Has Always Been Here,” at Dartmouth College, and in July will be participating in NUI-Galway’s Summer School for Teaching in Ireland. On the writing side, his story, “The Snow Queen’s Daughter” was selected as one of Metaphorosis Magazine‘s Best Stories of 2017.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction ’08) published a nonfiction work with Longreads, “What to Do With a Man Who Has a Story, and a Gun.”

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be teaching a class in worldbuilding for the Dallas organization the Writer’s Garret on April 14. She will also take part in the University of North Texas’ Honors College benefit, Great Conversations on March 1st, where she will lead a table in a discussion of using one’s fears as inspiration.

Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, S’04) short story “Even a Monkey” will appear in the March issue of Crannog. Her new collection of short fiction, Impossibly Small Spaces, will be released by Alren House in July in Ireland and in the U.S. in September.

 

FACULTY

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be teaching How to Be Your Own Best Line-Editor at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, beginning February 6th. The goal of this four-session class is to turn you into a master of word-smithing!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) has sold two novels to Mulholland Books, Little Brown’s literary crime imprint: Curious Toys, set in 1915 Chicago and inspired by both a true crime and the life of outsider artist Henry Darger; and The Book of Lamps and Banners, the fourth Cass Neary novel. In early February, she will be guest of honor at Vinter, a literary convention in Uppsala, Sweden.

A round-up of news from Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry):

  • Debra’s essay “Things Not Seen in the Rear View Mirror” was selected for inclusion in Camas: Nature of the West.  25 Years 1992 – 2017, published in the Winter of  2017.
  • Her poem “Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear” was anthologized in Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence, edited by Brian Clements, Alexandra Teague, and Dean Rader and published by Beacon Press in the fall of 2017.
  • Another poem, “Getting Ready,” was selected for inclusion in Who Am I?, a grade-school textbook designed to introduce children to poetry. Published by Perfection Learning in the Fall of 2017.
  • In the summer of 2017, Debra delivered keynote addresses and taught workshops at the following three festivals and conferences: (1) Luminous Moment, Luminous Word: A Creative Writing and Mindfulness Retreat in the Sheyenne National Grasslands (August 4-6, 2017); (2) the ASLE Conference, Association of the Study of Literature and Environment at Wayne State University (June 22-24); and (3) Iota: Short Forms Conference, Campobello Island, Maine.  8 – 11 July 2017.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is preparing for performances of both her opera and rock opera in February. In January, ABC primetime showed a clip from the Chicago production of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera on January 11th, 2018, as part of the ABC two-hour special on Tonya Harding. Also, On Superbowl Sunday afternoon (February 4th) at the Duxbury Free Public Library, Elizabeth is reading with superstar author and actress Marianne Leone (The Sopranos) from the anthology Elizabeth co-edited with Suzanne Strempek Shea featuring Leone and others: Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow As the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives. On February 13th: Broadway Stars Sing Songs from Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera in New York City at 54Below. Since the last news post, the team announces that the concert and concert CD will be directed by Grammy- and Emmy-award winner Michael J. Moritz; the concert songs (Book and Lyrics by Elizabeth; music by Michael Teoli) will be recorded and released as a CD from Broadway Records. Watch for upcoming livestream coverage on Broadway.com. And then on February 23rd, a full production of Elizabeth’s one-act chamber opera Tonya & Nancy: The Opera (music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross) is being performed by Mixed Precipitation, an operetta group in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the night of the Women’s Figure Skating finals at the Olympics.

Stonecoast Alumnus Tigh Rickman (Fiction, S’10) watching the “ABC moment” at his home in California

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Boskone 2018

This year, a number of Stonecoast’s Popular Fiction students, alumni, and faculty are program participants at Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction convention. Boskone’s full schedule of events is available at www.boskone.org, and the convention takes place February 16-18, 2018 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. We will also have a large contingent of people attending who aren’t on the program this year. Closing the convention, we have a Stonecoast Reading to highlight our community members who are attending Boskone. If you are available to join the fun, we’d love to see you there!

FRIDAY

2:00 p.m. (free to public)
Star Wars Mad Libs
Mihku Paul (M), Frank Wu, Laurie Mann, Kaitlin R. Branch, Inanna Arthen
Griffin · 60 min · Game Show
Who doesn’t love a good session of Mad Libs, Boskone style? Join us for a special edition of Star Wars Mad Libs—in which the audience provides the nouns, adverbs, and adjectives for a raucous reading performed by our panel of program participants.

2:00 p.m. (free to public)
Stories Before the Apocalypse
Juliana Spink Mills, James Patrick Kelly (M), Julie C. Day, Alan Gordon, John Chu
Marina 4 · 60 min · Panel
We’re familiar with post-apocalyptic futures, from Max’s desert hellscape to Katniss’s dystopic districts. But what about right before the cataclysm—as doom and destruction loom large? How do people live? How do relationships change as we shift into survival mode? Let’s share our few existing “must-read” favorites, and discuss stories we’d like to see.

4:00 p.m. (free to public)
Japanese Light Novels
Kaitlin R. Branch

Lewis · 60 min · Solo Talk
Some of the most popular Japanese anime has come out of light novels. We’ll discuss what differentiates these novels from SF/fantasy literature from the U.S., run down some of the most popular titles, and explore what makes these books so popular.

4:00 p.m. (free to public)
Big YA
Michael Stearns, Tamora Pierce, Christine Taylor-Butler, Gregory Katsoulis (M), E. Ardell
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
What is Big YA? Well, it’s a term we just made up here at Boskone to talk about the intricacies of writing, editing, and publishing big, long young adult series. What are the challenges associated with writing a series where the characters often don’t age as quickly as their readers? How do you track all the details without dropping threads? And why are these long epic YA series so popular today?

5:00 p.m. (free to public)
Reading by James Patrick Kelly
James Patrick Kelly

Griffin · 30 min · Reading

5:00 p.m. (free to public)
Incorporating Cultures Into Fiction
Beth Meacham (M), Lauren Roy, Mihku Paul, Carlos Hernandez, Erin Roberts
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
In writing, it’s hard to navigate between inclusion and appropriation of a culture or cultural elements. But like it or hate it, people write what they know … or at least what they think they know. Complicating matters, the definitions of these two words are fuzzy for many. So, what is cultural appropriation? How do we incorporate cultures or aspects of cultures without crossing the line?

6:00 p.m.
The Sword in the Stone: A New Beginning for the Arthurian Legends?
Faye Ringel, Elizabeth Bear, E. Ardell, Auston Habershaw, Heather Albano (M)
Marina 2 · 60 min · Panel
First published in 1938 as a stand-alone tale, T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone departs from older sources to (wonderfully) imagine King Arthur as a boy in Merrie Olde England. What did it bring to now-popular tropes such as shapeshifting, the hidden prince, or the magical education? Later incorporated into the first part of White’s 1958 novel The Once and Future King, it helped spark the musical Camelot. (And, of course, Spamalot.) Would we remember much about King Arthur, his Knights, and their Round Table without these books? How did they influence the wider fantasy genre? Have they been replaced by the stories they inspired?

6:00 p.m.
Folktales Within Poetry
Theodora Goss
(M), Jane Yolen, C. S. E. Cooney, John Chu, Trisha Wooldridge
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
From “The Lady of Shalott” to “Goblin Market” to The Iliad, some quite engaging poems are inspired by folklore, legends, or myths. What other examples can we add — perhaps from non-European poetry? What do folk sources bring that an original story might lack? Our panelists will discuss (and perhaps read) some of their favorites — what are yours?

7:00 p.m.
Name That Legendary Object
Michael Sharrow (M), Jennifer Pelland, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Frank Wu, Erin Roberts
Marina 2 · 60 min · Game Show
Legendary objects of yore—from various worlds throughout the universe, and from myriad planes of existence—have been gathered together in anticipation of this special Boskone game, for the entertainment and edification of the public. Our expert “historians” compete for the ultimate prize as they seek to identify these awesome articles, which may have once been owned by gods, heroes, villains … or the occasional ancient street sweeper. Audience participation is encouraged: bring your favorite enigmatic items to be identified by our adepts of the interdimensional.

 

SATURDAY

10:00 a.m.
Writing Workshops & MFA Programs Redux
John Chu, Jeanne Cavelos, James Patrick Kelly (M), Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Erin Roberts
Marina 1 · 60 min · Panel
Thinking about attending a writing workshop or an MFA program? Wondering how to pick the one that’s right for you? Once you do: then what? There’s no magic formula to elicit an acceptance letter, but a solid application is a good place to start. Join representatives from various writing programs, and learn how to present the best of what you have to offer to win your place.

11:00 a.m.
Autographing: Jeffrey A. Carver, Theodora Goss, Mary Robinette Kowal, Marshall Ryan Maresca
Mary Robinette Kowal, Jeffrey A. Carver, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Theodora Goss
Galleria · 60 min · Autographing

11:00 a.m.
Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Hats
Mihku Paul

Galleria · 60 min · Children – DragonsLair
Join artist and author Mihku Paul for a wonder-filled hat making session.

11:00 a.m.
Star Wars: A New Beginning Reawakens Again
Craig Miller, Brianna Wu, Nik Korpon (M), Erin Underwood, Garen Daly
Harbor II · 60 min · Panel
Star Wars: The Last Jedi scored with many, but not all, fans—and broke many, but not all, box office records. Looking back over the SW saga: what’s it all about so far? And looking ahead: will we keep watching after 2019, when Episode IX caps the storyline begun by Luke, Leia, and Han? (Disney, now the franchise owner, says the Wars won’t be over for at least 15 more years.) Whose story do we want to see next? Whom do you ship? What would you skip?

11:00 a.m.
The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the SF Short Story
James Patrick Kelly
, Paul Di Filippo, Julie C. Day, Suzanne Palmer, Darrell Schweitzer (M)
Marina 2 · 60 min · Panel
Back in the day, the SF/F/H short was the genre’s centerpiece, economically and artistically. Today SF is a novel business. Or is it? There may be more talented short story writers and ready markets around than ever. Let’s trace the importance and popularity of the short form, and consider how short stories might help shape the genre’s future.

11:00 a.m.
CRISPR, Gene Editing, and the Future of Food
David G. Shaw (M), Rajnar Vajra, Kaitlin R. Branch, Kristin Janz, Stacey Berg
Marina 4 · 60 min · Panel
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) techniques for gene editing are said to find wide application in the food industry, raising the possibility of food that won’t spoil so fast. Or pigs that carry less harmful fat. Such genetically modified organisms (GMOs) carry considerable promise—plus a fat load of questions about possible consequences. Let’s talk about the future of food.

12:00 p.m.
How To Write A 10-Minute Play
James Patrick Kelly

Independence · 60 min · Workshop
Author and playwright James Patrick Kelly shares tips and tricks on how to write a short 10-minute play, covering basic structure issues, character development, and timing. Sign-up is required.

12:00 p.m.
Fan Fiction Is Fun!
Flourish Klink, E. Ardell, Gillian Daniels, M. C. DeMarco, Elise Sacchetti (M)
Marina 4 · 60 min · Panel
Let’s face it: fan fiction is fun. Despite all the good/bad arguments for writing/not writing amateur (or at least, unpaid/unauthorized) fiction about characters from your favorite book/movie/TV show, an extensive/enthusiastic community has grown up around this quirky genre. What is it about fan fiction that we love? (Besides the / (slash) stuff.) Why do we write it/read it? And where can we get some more?

1:00 p.m.
Fractured Fairy Tales
Theodora Goss
, Jack M. Haringa, Dana Cameron (M), J. Kathleen Cheney, Carrie Cuinn
Burroughs · 60 min · Panel
Perhaps the most piquant part of beloved animated TV series The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (1959–1964) was the dry, sly, wry humor of its “Fractured Fairy Tales” segments. These managed to twist hoary stories into something sparkling new, adding biting satire with just a dash of horror. What’s the charm of these odd little gems? Do kids still watch them? Should they? What else (Shrek) has refreshingly revamped old fairy tales?

2:00 p.m.
Beyond Afrofuturism
William Hayashi (M), Gerald L. Coleman, Kenneth Rogers Jr., E. Ardell
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
Afrofuturism started as by definition an outsider movement. But, like many subgenres of speculative fiction, it has had a direct impact on the development of the larger field. Where is Afrofuturism going? Which authors should we be watching as they branch out into other subgenres? Are Afrofuturistic stories now becoming seen simply as science fiction, fantasy, or horror?

3:00 p.m.
The Scientific Method in SF
Genny Dazzo, Kristin Janz, Justin Key, Kaitlin R. Branch (M), Vincent Docherty
Marina 2 · 60 min · Panel
Scientists abound in science fiction. Do these characters behave like real scientists, the good and the bad? Which authors get it right as they present positive images of scientists, and depict the way they work? The “mad scientist” is a common type in our literature—but is that really the way scientists go wrong?

3:00 p.m.
Non-Genre Fiction That Inspires Us
Tamora Pierce, Alexander Jablokov, Theodora Goss, F. Brett Cox, Kenneth Schneyer (M)
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
We’re always talking about icons such as Mary Shelley, Stephen King, J. R. R. Tolkien, and others who breathed air into our literary lungs—but what about non-genre fiction? Our panelists discuss some of their favorite authors from outside the SF/F/H field, who have inspired them as writers and readers.

4:00 p.m.
Science Guest Interview, Featuring Catherine Asaro
Catherine Asaro, E. Ardell
Harbor II · 60 min · Interview
Come get your geek on with Catherine Asaro, Boskone 55’s Hal Clement Science Speaker. Catherine shares her experiences in theoretical chemical physics, as well as her work as a science teacher, coach for nationally ranked math teams, member of the governmental advisory group SIGMA, and Nebula-award-winning SF author.

5:00 p.m.
Border of the Unknown
Theodora Goss
, Errick Nunnally (M), Trisha Wooldridge, Dana Cameron, Gerald L. Coleman
Marina 1 · 60 min · Panel
Much fine fantastika involves crossing the boundary between the known and the unknown—especially that uneasy border between the village and the trees. Let’s look at the long history of that great unknown, the enchanted forest. Why has it pushed and pulled at people’s imaginations since ancient times? To find out, let’s stroll away from safety and into the woods, as the liminal light fades and the shadows gather all under the boughs unbowed …

5:00 p.m.
Spiritual Animals
Mihku Paul
, Christopher Irvin (M), Tui Sutherland, Beth Meacham, E.J. Stevens
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
Animals in SF/F/H aren’t all just lazy lap dogs or cozy cats. Dæmons and familiars, patronuses and spirit animals—these creatures often play subtly influential roles in the lives of main characters. Why do some animals assume such importance? Have their roles changed over time? Is over-anthropomorphizing a concern? Our panelists discuss our furry, feathered, and scaled friends in all of their glory.

6:30 p.m.
Boskone Book Party
Erin Underwood
(M), Nat Segaloff, Les Johnson, James Patrick Kelly, E. C. Ambrose, Jane Yolen, Robert V.S. Redick, Christopher Paniccia, Kenneth Rogers Jr., Walter H. Hunt, Adam Stemple, Kristy Acevedo, Christopher Irvin, Rob Greene
Galleria – Stage · 60 min · Event
Come join the fun at Boskone 55’s Book Party—and meet the presses and authors who have new books coming out at the con! This is your chance to see what’s new from writers you already love, as well as those you have yet to discover.

8:00 p.m.
Open Mic: Myths & Legends!
Elaine Cunningham (M), Kenneth Schneyer (M), Lauren Roy, C. S. E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Gabriel Erkard, E. Ardell, Benjamin Newman, Roberta Rogow, Don Pizarro, Trisha Wooldridge, Mary Ellen Wessels, Edward L. Stauff
Galleria – Stage · 60 min · Event
Live from Boskone: A special selection of tall tales as told by our program participants—plus audience members. All show off their open mic skills in the third annual Boskone Open Mic extravaganza. This year features the myths and legends of yesterday, today, and tomorrow! Each participant contributes his/her most legendary performance—a 5-minute story, poem, song, skit, interpretive dance, or whatever! OPTIONAL: For extra appeal, feel free to come dressed as your favorite mythic or legendary character.

The Rules: Boskone members are invited to join our participants in the open mic by signing up for one of the six open slots at the door to the event, which opens for sign-ups at 7:30 p.m. Each performer is given a firm 5-minute time limit (max), including setup time. So a quick transition between acts is key. Please no profanity: DragonsLair is within hearing distance.

8:00 p.m.
Saturday Night Special Event: Boskone Awards and Rapid-Fire Theater
Bruce Coville, Gay Ellen Dennett, David G. Grubbs (M), Bob Kuhn, Laurie Mann, Mihku Paul, Michael Sharrow, Jane Yolen, Ginjer Buchanan, Fred Lerner, Tui Sutherland, Jen Gunnels, Erin Roberts, Christine Taylor-Butler, William Hayashi, Nat Segaloff, Daniel M. Kimmel
Harbor II+III · 120 min · Event
Saturday night’s presentation is a fast-paced theatrical extravaganza, featuring a set of mini-shows that resemble live-action podcasts (akin to a science fiction variety show with a short awards ceremony, an interview, a game show, and an original radio show with aliens). This special Saturday night program has something for every fan. Hosted by Boskone’s very own David G. Grubbs.

 

SUNDAY

9:30 a.m.
Flash Fiction Slam
Rob Greene (M), James Patrick Kelly, Shahid Mahmud, Vikki Ciaffone, Jen Gunnels
Marina 4 · 90 min · Reading
Boskone’s Flash Fiction Slam returns! Be one of eleven (10) writers to compete for the title of The Flash, reading your own original fiction—which must tell a complete tale within a 3-minute period. Our expert panel of judges will score your work, and you automatically lose 10 percent for going over your 3-minute time. You may only read your own work. The reader with the top score wins!

Sign up before the con by sending an email to program@boskone.org for one of eight (8) reading slots on a first-come, first-served basis. Or sign up onsite at Program Ops in the Harbor Foyer for one of three (3) at-con openings. A waiting list will also be available.

10:30 a.m.
Reading by Theodora Goss
Theodora Goss

Griffin · 30 min · Reading

12:00 p.m.
Autographing: E. Ardell, John Langan, Christine Taylor-Butler
E. Ardell, John Langan, Christine Taylor-Butler
Galleria · 60 min · Autographing

12:00 p.m.
Stories for Themed Anthologies
Tom Easton, Julia Rios (M), Erin Underwood, Elaine Cunningham, Clarence Young
Harbor III · 60 min · Panel
The growing popularity of themed anthologies is creating new life for short fiction. Editing and writing for these collections, however, can be tricky. How do you find the right stories? To what extent do you edit? And what kind of anthology would we all like to see?

12:00 p.m.
Women Who Write Science Fiction
LJ Cohen, Victoria Sandbrook (M), Catherine Asaro, Erin Roberts, Marianna Martin PhD
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
Mary Shelley, Leigh Brackett, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, N. K. Jemisin — women have been in the thick of writing science fiction for a very long time. Let’s discuss some of their landmark publications that captured our imagination. Why do we love these stories? What works should we look for the next time we’re browsing the shelves?

1:00 p.m.
Weird Science and Odd Inventions
James Cambias, John P. Murphy (M), Julie C. Day, David G. Shaw
Marina 2 · 60 min · Panel
Sometimes ideas sound better in your head! Scientific discovery and invention can take strange and unexpected turns when creativity is let loose. Fortunately, some of the end products turn out to be truly remarkable. Our panelists discuss their favorite unusual inventions and surprising scientific discoveries.

1:00 p.m.
Igniting the STEM Literary Movement
Kathleen Cheney, Catherine Asaro, Kaitlin R. Branch, Brenda Noiseux (M), Cady Coleman
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
There’s a growing focus in education on bringing more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) into the classroom. Stories with strong STEM components are being written for children and young adults. But how do we attract younger readers’ attention, and build greater interest in this literature? Participants share their ideas and invite suggestions from the audience.

2:00 p.m.
Group Reading: Stonecoast MFA
James Patrick Kelly
(M), Theodora Goss (M), Julie C. Day, Kaitlin R. Branch, Mihku Paul, E. Ardell
Griffin · 60 min · Reading
Come hear the literary stylings of the Stonecoast MFA alumni, students, and faculty who have come together for this special group reading at Boskone.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates January 2018

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) essay “Biophilia at my Bedside” was just published in the anthology Nature, Love, Medicine. The anthology, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Torrey House Press, includes essays by twenty-three writers including Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jane Hirschfield, and thich Nhat Hanh.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited her story “The Scarlet Cloak” was reprinted in Like A Woman, a domestic violence benefit anthology. Her short story “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow” was published in December’s issue of Gamut Magazine—classmates will recognize this story as inspired by her thesis novel-in-progess The Sleeping Boy. This just in: Factor Four Magazine will be publishing Karen’s science fiction short story “To Infinity and Beyond” in their inaugural issue. With this sale, Karen’s happy to announce she is applying to SFWA. She’s serving as a guest editor for Pseudopod Podcast for March 2018 and hope you all tune in to listen to the five awesome stories she selected (with the associate editing help of fellow ‘coasters Shawna Borman, Erin Roberts, and Cecelia Dockins). Her poem “Fire Lover” will appear in February’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, with an accompanying narration. Karen also has been narrating stories by others. Karen has created a recording of Penelope Evans’ “Wasps Make Honey” for a forthcoming episode of Escape Pod and Evan Dicken’s “The Taking Tree” for Pseudopod.

Illustration for Karen’s story “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow”

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) puts her memories of being a bookseller to use in a flash fiction story for the anthology Welcome to Dystopia edited by Gordon Van Gelder from OR Books. (Shh, most of the story I didn’t have to make up!)

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Re-stitched” can be found in the January edition of Split Lip magazine. “Re-stitched” is about two sisters, Alicia and Stephanie, their family dysfunction, and the impurity of human flesh. It’s about as creepy as you’d expect…

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) Terri’s poem, “Violet Green Swallows” was published in Young Raven’s Review, Issue 6. Her poem “Cow Tipping Tuesday” will be published in the 2018 San Diego Poetry Annual and her haiku in the Spring Issue of The Fourth River.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez (Poetry, W’08) received the 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama for her play Words That Burn. The play dramatizes the WWII experiences of conscientious-objector William Stafford, Japanese-American internee Lawson Inada, and Chicano Marine Guy Gabaldón in their own words. The play premiered at Milagro Theatre in Portland, Oregon, in September of 2014 in commemoration of the William Stafford Centennial, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the 70th anniversary of the rescindment of Executive Order 9066 (incarcerating Japanese-Americans). Words That Burn was also produced in 2017 at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp, Washington, and the Linkville Playhouse in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Alan King’s (Poetry, W’13) Point Blank was reviewed in The Washington City Paper, Auburn Avenue, and Run Tell That Magazine.

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) third collection of short fiction tinged with crime and the supernatural, Acres of Perhaps, will be appearing in April 2018. It is available now for preorder from Lethe Press if you would like to support the small press.

Carolyn O’Doherty‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) debut novel, Rewind, will be released April 10, 2018. The novel, published by Boyds Mills Press, tells the story of a group of teenagers with the ability to freeze time. The sequel will be published in Spring 2019.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) recently attended Continuum Music’s Urgent Voices multimedia performance in Toronto, featuring the debut of From the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, an operatic work for which she write the libretto. The Birmingham-based composer, Scott Wilson, was also in attendance. The Canada Council for the Arts has provided Oliver, Wilson, and Continuum director Ryan Scott with funding to develop the project.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) play Radio Silent has won the 2017 Meeting House Theatre Arts Lab’s annual new play contest and will receive a staged reading on January 20 at Schoodic Arts for All in Winterport, Maine. Pratt also won the award last year for his play The King of France. Several of his plays are among those being considered for full production next spring.

In addition to winning one of the South Carolina State Poetry Society contests, Steve Rhodes’s (Poetry, W’11) poem “Inheritance” won First Prize in Still: The Journal’s annual poetry contest.  He and his wife, Ann, moved to Charleston, South Carolina, three years ago. Steve recently completed his third poetry collection, What You Don’t See, and is looking for a publisher. He is currently working on a prose and poetry memoir. This past summer and fall he was invited to give poetry readings as part of hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park led by the singer/song-writer Doug Peters. Great fun.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) poem “Thirteen Ways of Killing the Captain’s Son” was published in Selkie Zine, issue 5. You can find it here.

Kathleen Saville (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has been invited as a speaker to the Match 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book to share her memoir Rowing for My Life: Two Oceans, Two Lives, One Journey, published by Skyhorse/Arcade Publishing in February 2017. Information on how to attend the Festival is here.

Olive L. Sullivan‘s (Fiction/Poetry, S’15) poetry collection Wandering Bone is now available on Amazon or directly from the publisher, Meadowlark Books. Several of the poems in this book were written as part of her second semester project with Jeanne Marie Beaumount.

Karrie Waarala (Poetry, S’11) has three poems—“Memory of Museum of Memory,” “How to Remember,” and “The Morning After”—in the current issue of Blackbird. Her poem “Death Spends Halloween at the Country Bar” was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Escape into Life, where her work was featured in July. And her short story “High Side” appeared in Five on the Fifth earlier this year; this was her first fiction publication.

Marco Wilkinson’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay, “Hidden Light, Wooden Ladder, Bucket of Clay, Pillar of Water,” will appear in issue four of the Bennington Review. His nonfiction manuscript, Madder, was the first runner-up in the 2017 Red Hen Press Non-Fiction Prize, judged by Mark Doty.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) was published in Vol. VI of The New Guard. “Dearest Mum” is part of The Dream Letters, an ongoing feature of the journal. Wilson’s fictional letter is excerpted from a novel-in-progress based on her great-grandmother, an orphan train.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Sarah Mack (Popular Fiction), publishing under S.M. Mack, won first place for the Katherine Patterson Prize for Young Adult Writing for her short story “The Carrying Beam.” The story was published online in Hunger Mountain, The VCFA Journal for the Arts, and is available here.

Illustration for Sarah’s story “The Carrying Beam”

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) just renewed the film option for Gabriel’s Story with Redwave Films, as well as the film/TV option for Pride of Carthage with Sonar Entertainment. His short story “All the Girls Love Michael Stein” will be republished in The Stonecoast Review and was recently published in translation in the Polish SFF magazine Nowa Fantastyka. He’s also signed on as one of the judges for the 2018 World Fantasy Awards. Details here via Locus.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him (New Rivers Press) is forthcoming as an AudioBook in 2018, recorded by Stonecoast alum Tanya Eby and her Blunder Woman Productions. Both Elizabeth’s opera and her rock opera about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan will be produced in early 2018, at the time of the Winter Olympics. In January, the operetta group Mixed Precipitation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will present Tonya and Nancy: The Opera—a one-act opera with libretto by Elizabeth and music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross—on Lake Harriet for the Art Shanties. Meanwhile, in New York City at 54Below on February 13th, Broadway stars sing a concert version of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, a show which will be recorded as a CD from Broadway Records and which has recently received coverage from Playbill and Broadway World (you can read the Broadway World article here). For updates, see: www.elizabethsearle.net

 

 

 

 

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