Tag Archives: Adam Mills

Community News & Updates June 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Public Events for the Summer 2019 Stonecoast Residency

You are invited to join the Stonecoast MFA community for a week of inspiring readings and discussions with Stonecoast’s award-winning faculty and guest writers, June 24-26 and June 28-July 1, at the historic Harraseeket Inn in downtown Freeport, Maine. See the full list of events HERE.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Veils will be at the Daylesford Theatre in Hamilton, Bermuda, May 30-June 8, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is here! Aaron’s currently on book tour, and so excited to see Stonecoasters at every stop along the way. (Thanks for all the support!) Check out his full tour schedule for June, when he’ll be hitting Seattle; San Francisco; Portland, OR; Washington, DC; the St. John’s Writing Intensive in Annapolis; and of course Portland, ME—where he’ll be teaming up with alum Dave Patterson at Print Bookstore on June 26th at 7:00 p.m. Be there or be square! Nirvana received a rave review from Foreword Reviews, which featured it as their book of the day. In non-Nirvana news, Aaron published a viral memoir essay in Tablet (“Day School Bullies”) as well as a new short story (“Kimono Story”) in The Maine Review.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has two events in June:

  • June 2 at 7:30 p.m. — Amanda will read at A Womb of One’s Own, a literary rally and fundraiser in support of reproduction rights at Spider House Ballroom in Austin, TX.
  • June 15 at 6:30 p.m. — The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics presents Won’t You Celebrate with Me: Poetry and Prose from the Director’s ChairJoin award-winning poets and writers Dawn Lundy Martin (Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Director), Nicole Sealey (Cave Canem Executive Director), Salamishah Tillet (Founding Director at New Arts Justice Initiative at Express Newark), and Mahogany L. Browne (Artistic Director at Urban Word NYC), who will share their work and engage in a discussion moderated by Amanda Johnston (Executive Director at Torch Literary Arts). Presented in partnership with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Governor of the State of Iowa appointed Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) Iowa’s Poet Laureate in May of 2019.  Marquart was interviewed about the honor on Iowa Public Radio on May 23. Debra delivered a paper, “Looking for Dylan,” on the invited panel “Poets & Professors: Poets Talking Back to Bob” at the 2019 World of Bob Dylan Symposium held by Tulsa University’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies (30 May–2 June 2019). On May 11th, she taught a Creative Jumpstart Workshop at the Elbow Lake Arts Council in Elbow Lake, MN. During the North American Review 50th Anniversary Conference at the University of Northern Iowa, 19-21 April 2019, Debra read her poem “Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear” at the Bullets into Bells Anthology Reading. She also participated in an invited panel, “What We Write About When We Write About Environment.” And on April 5th, Debra performed with her performance poetry band, The Bone People, for Coffeehouse Night at Lowe Park, Marion Arts Council, Marion, IA.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has film news. Four-Sided, a short film based on Elizabeth’s novel and feature film script, premiered May 17th in Cannes, France. Four-Sided screened as an Official Selection at the 2019 That Film Festival-Cannes. This competition—funded by several major film companies and running concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival—screens short films with potential to be Feature Films. Four-Sided was also an official selection at Independent Shorts competition where it won three prizes: Gold Awards as Best Romance and Best Experimental short and a Silver Award as Best LGBT short. It is a Semi-Finalist at the 2019 Shanghai PRIDE film festival. Attached as star and co-producer to the potential feature film, and starring in the short film, is actress and activist in the Transgender community Rain Valdez (Transparent; Lopez; Razor Tongue). Four-Sided was produced by David Ball (producer on over thirty films) and Amy Carpenter Scott/CreatrixFilms as part of their ongoing development of A Four-Sided Bed as a feature film. Elizabeth’s feature script of A Four-Sided Bed has been selected for two full staged readings at the 15th annual ReelHeART Film and Screenplay Festival in Toronto in July, starring Rain Valdez. Elizabeth’s feature script was also selected for a ‘Best Scene’ reading in mid-July at the festival LGBT TORONTO. And the script is an official selection at the Top Indie Films Festival, among eight recent festivals recognizing the script. Visit the new website for both the short film and the feature film project.

ALUMS

The book trailer for Lindsey Barlow’s (Popular Fiction, W’19) first novel, Pivot, is available. Pivot will be published in October of this year.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Vajra Chandrasekera’s story “When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven” for the May 28th episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) piece “Flight Aids Minus the Wings and Fuselage” can be found in the web journal Necessary FictionShort, visceral, and experimental, it doubles as an unofficial advisory from the US Department of Internal Disarmament.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is thrilled to announce that she is now a part of the Crystal Lake Publishing team, working as an editorial intern. She is also excited to announce her book launch event for her debut book The Bone Cutters. This event is scheduled for Thursday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m. at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine. Not only will Renee do a reading from her horror novella, but there will also be original artwork inspired by her book—art created by Emily Strickland and Jasin Chapman, artists and owner of Leviathan Tattoo in Scarborough, Maine—on display and for sale, as well as on some free giveaways. Live music will help set the mood, performed by the extremely talented local guitarist Shaun Reehl. Stonecoast’s own Elizabeth Searle will also take part in the event as Renee’s MC/Introduction Queen. The release date for Renee’s debut book, The Bone Cutters, a bizarro horror novella published through Eraserhead Press, is September 1, 2019, though pre-orders have begun at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. And for those interested, you can check out the first book review by Miranda Crites on Kendall Reviews. Here is the synopsis for The Bone Cutters:

Dory wakes up in the padded room of a psychiatric hospital with no recollection of how she wound up there. She soon finds out she’s been Blued-Papered—involuntarily committed. When she is sent to the wrong counseling group, she discovers a whole new world of drug addicts she’d never known existed. When she learns that those grotesque scars they all have are from cutting into their own bodies, it makes her skin itch. Why do they do it?—They get high off bone dust.  They carve down to the bone, then chisel and scrape until they get that free drug. When they realize Dory’s never been “dusted”, she becomes their target. After all, dust from a “Freshie” is the most intense high, and pain free—for the carver.

By the end of that first meeting Dory is running scared, afraid of being “dusted”, though the psych. hospital staff doesn’t believe a word she says.  She’s delusional—at least that’s what they tell her.  They end up sending her to that same counseling group every day, though Dory knows that all those junkie cutters want is what’s inside of her, and they won’t give up until they get what they’re after.

Like Girl Interrupted and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” The Bone Cutters is one woman’s dark and surreal experience with a madness that is not necessarily her own.

Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, W’10) placed in the Eric Hoffer Awards, which honor the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Her memoir Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter has been named a Finalist in the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez’s (Poetry, W’08) second poetry collection, Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women, was released by Aquarius Press/Willow Books on April 1st. The collection was awarded the 2018 Willow Books Editor’s Choice Poetry Selection and the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship for Writers of Color. Cindy’s new verse play, In the Name of Forgotten Women (based on her new collection), was performed at Wellspring, a ceremonial gathering space in Twisp, WA, to sold-out audiences in Washington’s Methow Valley on May 15th and 16th.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has sold an essay about her first time sailing on their used boat Wrinkle in Time to Good Old Boat, a magazine for hands-on sailboat owners.

Michael L. Joy’s (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “Nick Break” is available now at Tough Crime.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created a short video on how he marketed his manuscript without an agent and without book contests. You can watch it here.

Linda Lambert (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) features Aaron Hamburger‘s visit to Seattle’s Third Place Books where he will be talking about his new novel Nirvana Is Here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) has been named Lit Fest’s 2019 Dramatic Writing Fellow for Emerging Writers. She is also presenting her research “First-Person Fictional Storytellers & Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style” at the Pennsylvania College English Association at Bloomsburg University.

Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) has accepted the position of Visiting Assistant Professor in English at Brevard College in Brevard, NC, started in Fall 2019. Mills’s full position is Coordinator of First-Year Writing and Writing Services and he will also serve as Coordinator of the Common Read. Mills also recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English (Spring 2019).

Julia McKenzie Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is thrilled to announce the publication of The Book Keeper: A Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy, available now for pre-order. The book chronicles a time decades after Julia’s father committed suicide, when she learned about his secret career during the pulp fiction boom of the ’60s and ’70s as a writer of interracial pornographic novels. After hiding that stack of old paperbacks from her Zimbabwean husband, their mixed-race children, and herself for years, she realized her obligation to face them if she was ever going to understand her legacy, her country’s treasonous history, and her whiteness.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is a finalist for a 2019 Maine Literary Award (short works, nonfiction) from Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Her debut flash nonfiction piece,“How to Sleep in an Airport,” was published last month in Hippocampus Magazine.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to announce the inclusion of her essay “Things I (Shouldn’t) Have to Tell My Daughters” in the new anthology Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility, edited by Andrea Fekete and Lara Lillibridge. The anthology brings together women of all races, nationalities, and sexual orientations to reflect on the unique experience of womanhood. Feminine Rising was released by Cynren Press in May 2019 and is available at Cynren Press, Amazon, and select independent booksellers.

On June 26th, Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) and Aaron Hamburger are doing an event together at Print in Portland to celebrate the release of their new novels.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “The First Cold Rain Since Spring” will appear in the next issue of The Connecticut River Review, and his short story “Ariel in LOve Summer 1999” has just been published by Valparaiso Fiction Review.

Shannon Ratliff (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is celebrating her first anniversary as Director of Editorial and Growth at Wide Open Media Group in Austin, TX. She’s used her Stonecoast skills, from analyzing creative work to building educational seminars, to develop a team of 20+ writers and editors, growing readership from 8M to 23M monthly readers.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short-short story “In a Jar” was published in Narrative Magazine as a Story of the Week.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has accepted the role of Senior Creative Writer for Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence company DataVisor. The company focuses on the application of advanced AI and machine learning capabilities to the challenges of modern digital fraud and crime. Watkins’ move follows a nearly four-year tenure as Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer for online learning company Udacity.

Faculty member Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are pleased that the teen idols anthology they co-edited is a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Short Story/Anthology. Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives was published last year by McFarland & Company. Hoffer Awards honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit. On May 10-11, several Idol Talk contributors converged in Newburyport, MA for a dance-enhanced reading at the Firehouse Center for the Arts. “Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols” was emceed by writer/actress Marianne Leone. The two-night collaboration featured Exit Dance Company performers as well as readings of work by Stonecoast faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea and alumnae Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Michelle Soucy, Darlene Taylor and Tamra Wilson. Joining them were New England authors B. A. Shapiro, Mary Granfield, Caitlyn McCarthy, and Mary Sullivan.

Stonecoast “Idol Talkers” (from left): Lee J. Kahrs, Michelle Soucy, Tamra Wilson, Elizabeth Searle, Darlene Taylor, and Suzanne Strempek Shea

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates April 2017

ALUMS

Erin Lyn Bodin‘s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’17) essay “How it Goes” has been published by So to Speak: a Feminist Journal of Language and Art. This piece, included in her Stonecoast thesis, took a little bit of coaxing to send out into the world. Many thanks especially to Barbara Hurd and Ted Deppe for their confidence in the work.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13)’s first novel, an LGBT romantic pirate adventure set in 1822 Caribbean, Swift for the Sun, came out March 27, 2017, via Dreamspinner Press and is now available in ebook and paperback. Karen created a series of blog posts for review sites ranging from interviews to “Top 10 Weird Things I Researched While Writing Swift for the Sun” to a range of writer-education topics such as “Fear: Why Aren’t You Sending Out Your Drafts?,” “Maintaining Your Meat Blimp: Endurance and Novel Writing,” “Planning Your Garden: Finding the Middle Ground between Discovery and Architect Writing Styles,” “Inspired-Response Writing: Entering the ‘Great Conversation’ with Other Authors,” “Where Do You Look for Inspiration? An Extrovert’s Guide,” “An Eye on the Market: Where to Send Your Work,” and more! You can read these articles by following links on Karen’s Facebook page as she posts them through the first week of April. Karen’s red riding werewolf story “The Scarlet Cloak” will be reprinted in Fantasia Divinity Magazine’s Evil Within anthology. Karen’s unrequited astronaut love poem, “The Blind Elephants of Io,” will be reprinted in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award Anthology. Karen narrated her interstellar spies poem “Save Our Souls” for Silver Blade Magazine 33, Winter 2017, and you can listen to her read it here. Quick Sip did a review of Karen’s Strange Horizons poem “Syncing Minefields.” Karen is thrilled QS’s Payseur also reviewed her zombies vs robots flash “We Are Still Feeling” for Nerds of a Feather. Love you forever, Stonecoast!

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) published his short story “The Siege” in the March issue of Juked. The story was also selected by Longform as a featured fiction pick for March.

Gro Flatebo (Creative Nonfiction, W’10) was accepted into a three-week May residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts to work with Sigrid Nunez. Nunez’s work straddles the murky line between fiction and memoir. The ACA facility is on a 69-acre ecological preserve in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

In a rare foray into pop culture, Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) had a piece called “I’ll Be There For You,” about watching Friends with her son, published at Grown and Flown and an essay called “No Fun,” about a Psychedelic Furs concert and the nature of having fun in your 40s, published at The Manifest Station. She shared some writing advice in “How to Write with (or Despite) Kids” at WOW! Women on Writing. Her guest blog post, “Post-Twin Stress Disorder,” appeared at Multiples Illuminated, as part of the run-up to the publication next month of the eponymous anthology, in which her essay “Individuality, Mutuality, and a Game of Twister” will appear. Finally, she saw two pieces about her summer spent hiking with her family go live: “How Being a Mom Helped Me Hike 500 Miles” at Parent Co. and “Five Hundred Miles” at Mothers Always Write.

For the fourth year, Kristin LaTour (Poetry, S’07) is holding a fundraiser for National Poetry Month. The Poem-a-Thon benefits the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and Kristin emails sponsors a brand new draft poem every day in April. Visit her Poem-a-Thon to Erase Hate page to join.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will launch her third novel, Kinship of Clover on April 5. Upcoming events include Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA (April 5); Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA (April 12); Forbes Library, Northampton, MA (May 10); PRINT Bookshop, Portland, ME (May 16); Book Culture, Manhattan (June 6); Wachtung Books, Montclair, NJ (June 7); Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY (June 8); and Belmont Books, Belmont, MA (June 28). Details and full events listing can be found on Ellen’s website.

Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) has a story in FUSION Magazine: “Birdheart,” which was originally a story in his MFA thesis.

Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the suspicious activities of her notorious twin Nikki Navarre, whose sexy spy romance The Russian Obsession hit the shelves in March. Nikki and her accomplice Steven Denlinger wrote the accompanying TV pilot for the Foreign Affairs series, their agent is negotiating with Hollywood, and the Senate fears the worst. Download this steamy expose from WikiLeaks and spy on Nikki at www.NikkiNavarre.com.

Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08)​ flash essay, “A Dress for the Wedding,” appeared on Beautiful Things at the River Teeth website. A craft essay, “When Prose Turns to Horses, Remember the Humans,” is up at Ephemeral Artery, the online companion of the journal Hunger Mountain. Another essay, “Reminiscing with My TV Friends,” is at The Sunlight Press.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) won the Grand Prize in the Syfy Wattpad “Battle the Beast” Magicians contest; in addition to the cash prize, her flash fiction set in The Magicians universe will be turned into a digital short. On April 1, her short story “Bitter Orchids” will appear in the magazine Nat Brut.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction) has accepted a position as an associate editor for Escape Pod, a SFWA-qualifying science fiction podcast magazine. If you’re interested in submitting your stories to Escape Pod, please see the submission guidelines.

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) will be reading from Letters from Limbo on April 19th at Book Culture, 536 W. 112 St, NYC at 7:00 p.m. More information here. Later in the month, on April 28 at 4:00 pm, Jeanne Marie will be one of the panelists taking part in a Scholar Roundtable at the New York Public Library to celebrate the launch of This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton. Free registration here.

Ted Deppe (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) and Annie Deppe will be reading on 4 April 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas (Fine Arts Building, Room 157).  They will also be reading on 6 April at Georgia State University at 4:00 p.m. Anyone in the area is invited!

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will serve as Toastmaster at StokerCon 2017, the annual gathering of the Horror Writers Association. StokerCon will be held aboard the Queen Mary floating hotel in Long Beach, California, from April 27-April 30. George R.R. Martin and Popular Fiction Faculty Elizabeth Hand are Guests of Honor.

Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction) is pleased to announce his new novel, Mother Go, will be released July 11—in the middle of the summer residency!—by Audible.com as the first title of its new Audible Original Publishing initiative. Mother Go will debut exclusively as an audiobook, with a print version to come in 2018. Jim has also placed a new story with Asimov’s Science Fiction called “And No Torment Shall Touch Them,” which will appear in the November/December issue. In May, Jim will lecture at the 36th Annual Writers Conference at Christopher Newport University.

Mike Kimball (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has two plays in the works. The Secret of Comedy runs March 31-April 16 at The Players’ Ring, in Portsmouth, NH: Friday & Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 3:00 p.m. For more info, click here. Mike’s new play, Patience Boston, will have its first public reading on Saturday morning, April 8th, at 10:00 a.m., with a talkback following the performance. Limited Seating. The Actors Studio of Newburyport, 50 Water St, Newburyport, MA. For more info: 978-465-1229. http://www.newburyportacting.org

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has been interviewed about her new novel We Got Him on radio shows including the national Frankie Boyer show and in a talk with Stonecoast alum Bruce Pratt on Downtown with Rich Kimball (WZON, Bangor Maine). She was interviewed online in Solstice: a Magazine for Diverse Voices and on Boston area cable TV on The Literari Scene, Behind the Pages, and Books and Authors. She has an interview forthcoming on Urban Update (Channel 7; NBC, Boston), which will be broadcast in the Boston area on April 9th after Meet the Press. Elizabeth will read in the Arlington Salon Series in Arlington, MA, on April 6th.  For links and updates, see: www.elizabethsearle.net.

Bay Path University’s 15th Writers’ Day, to be held April 2 at the campus in Longmeadow, MA, will feature Stonecoasters Melanie Brooks, who’ll be talking “Writing Hard Stories,” the topic of her highly acclaimed newly published first book, and Mary Heather Noble, who’ll be talking about sources of inspiration for her acclaimed essays on family, nature and current events. The lineup will include inspiration panelist John Sheirer and Dave Stern, and a primer on podcasting by Bernadette Duncan Harrison, a former national talk-show producer and author of Yappy Days, a newly-published memoir of her time in that arm of radio. Find Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), Bay Path’s writer in residence, at the registration table. She hopes to see you there, and sends this link with schedule and registration information. Suzanne also is looking forward to the week of April 2 as Melanie Brooks will be Bay Path’s visiting writer that week. Melanie’s duties will include giving a talk and reading on Thursday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m., at the university’s Hatch Library. The event is free of charge. Melanie’s Writing Hard Stories will be available for purchase at both Writers’ Day and Melanie’s reading. Suzanne will travel one mile south on April 7 to lead a workshop on “Writing Your Home Town (or Village).” It’ll be held from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Interactive School House, 2055 Main St. in Three Rivers, MA, the village in which she grew up. Looking at our home turf in fresh ways on the page will be the focus. Writers of all genres will be welcome. Cost is $15 per person and registration is required. Phone 413-967-3001 if you’d like to register. Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne Strempek Shea have a date of April 30 for the launch of Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns by the Guiding Light of Our Lives. They and seven contributors, including Stonecoast alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott, will read on that Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Newtonville Books in Newton Center, MA. Another Stonecoast connection is the bookstore, which is owned by alumna Mary Cotton and her husband, Jaime Clarke. Other readers at the launch will be Lisa Borders, Emily Franklin, Allan Hunter, Marianne Leone, Leigh Montville, and Sebastian Stuart. Coincidentally, April 30 is the same date as the Daytime Emmy Awards, which will be held that night. A Western Mass. launch of Soap Opera Confidential is scheduled at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton on Wed., June 7, 7:00 p.m. Readers scheduled so far are Elizabeth and Suzanne, plus former Stonecoast faculty member Lesléa Newman, and Suzanne’s husband, Tommy Shea. A Sunday, July 9, reading at 1:00 p.m., at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., has been organized by faculty member and Soap Opera Confidential contributor Aaron Hamburger, and will include former faculty member Shara McCallum. And stay tuned for more info on a soapy reading in Portland during the July residency. Elizabeth, Suzanne, Aaron, and contributors yet to be confirmed will read Wednesday, July 12.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Current student Allen Baldwin (Popular Fiction) is running a script contest called the Maine Film Initiative as part of his Third Semester Project. Please see the press release below:

Contact: Allen Baldwin, Maine Film Initiative
207-776-8737
maineneedsstories@gmail.com

New Maine Screenplay Contest Seeks to Jumpstart Maine Film Industry

The Maine Film Initiative is Part Contest, Part Crowd-Funding Effort.

Portland, ME—Maine filmmaker Allen Baldwin knows first-hand of the vast amount of creativity and passion that exists in the filmmaking industry in Maine. What he also understands is the need for funding to produce films in Maine. Thus, Baldwin has launched a new program to help support Maine filmmakers. The Maine Film Initiative (MFI) is a new screenplay contest that seeks to create funding for Maine-based film productions. In addition to over $4,000 in cash prizes, the Maine Film Initiative is offering a Production Prize. The winning script will be produced in Maine using proceeds from the screenplay contest entry fees.

The MFI is seeking diverse scripts that can be produced in Maine on a small budget, and is produced by Baldwin. “We have a thriving, talented film community in our state that is eager and excited for new opportunities,” said Baldwin. “With the Maine Film Initiative, we are proud to highlight Maine as a micro-budget independent film destination while providing resources to produce work here in the state, and reward great screenwriting along the way.”

Though the winning script will be produced in Maine, MFI is open to screenwriters from around the world. Categories include short screenplays, feature length screenplays, and episodic scripts of 30 or 60 minutes in length. Submission fees apply and will go towards the production of one of the winning films. Entries are being accepted on the Film Freeway platform. To submit, visit: www.filmfreeway.com/festival/Mainefilm. The competition has a regular deadline of February 28 and extended deadlines of March 31 and April 30.

Baldwin, executive producer and co-founder of the long running Maine film showcase Damnationland, hopes to make the Maine Film Initiative an annual event. “Ideally, this event will grow over time and provide the filmmaking community of Maine with great scripts and startup funds for a long time to come. We are already receiving submissions from all over the world, and hopefully this project will allow us to show off the quality of the filmmakers here in Maine.”

For more information on the Maine Film Initiative, visit www.mainefilminitiative.com or call Allen Baldwin at 207-776-8737. You can also find MFI on Facebook, facebook.com/mainefilminitiative ,  and Twitter, @maine_film.

About The Maine Film Initiative

The Maine Film Initiative exists to generate and reward bold original screen-writing; to highlight Maine as a low budget film-making destination; and to support Maine film artists by investing directly in paying productions. MFI is a screenwriting contest, where the top prize is the production of a script in Maine. Funds raised from submission fees will be used to produce one of the top screenplays, using Maine cast and crew.

About Allen Baldwin

Born and raised in Norridgewock, Maine, Allen Baldwin attended Bowdoin College before moving to Portland, Maine, where he lives today. He is the co-founder of Damnationland, a long running short dark genre film showcase of Maine filmmakers. Recently, he produced Derek Kimball’s feature film debut Neptune, which screened at Slamdance, the Nashville Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, and over a dozen other fests around the world. Criterion Cast called Neptune “One of the best films to come out of Slamdance in quite some time.”

In September of 2016, Baldwin attended the IFP Film Forum in support of Kimball’s latest feature, A Winter Table. Baldwin is a partner at the Story Board, a production company in Portland, Maine, where he produces videos for clients worldwide. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Scriptwriting as part of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.

 

 

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Community News & Updates September 2013

ALUMNI

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) was excited to see his piece “Advice to Fictional Characters on the Occasion of My 31st Birthday” appear on Thought Catalog recently.

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) is thrilled to announce the release of her second mystery, The Money Bird (Midnight Ink). The first book in this series, Drop Dead on Recall, was named one of the Top Ten Dog Books of 2012 by NBC Petside (in a field of mostly nonfiction) and has been nominated for best novel awards in this year’s contests sponsored by both the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writers’ Association. Six of Sheila’s nonfiction books have been winners in those contests in the past.

weave9CoverJulie Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Unmaking” was published in Weave Issue 09. The story was originally written as part of a flash-story challenge in one of Jim Kelly‘s workshops and grew from there.

Jessica de Koninck (Poetry, W’11) has two poems in the anthology Of Sun and Sand. To download a free copy, go to the publisher’s website, click on “Bookstore,” and then on the link to the book.

Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) has been nominated for a 2013 World Fantasy Award for his editorial work on the website Weird Fiction Review. He shares this nomination with his editors-in-chief Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. The 2013 WFAs will be distributed at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, England. Adam has written an official statement about the nomination, which can be read at his personal blog.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, ’04) short story “Saturday Night Lights” is included in this month’s Portland Magazine. On August 29th, he will be reading poetry as part of the Millay in Love poetry evening at The Whitehall Inn in Camden at 7:00 p.m. with Christian Barter, Kathleen Ellis, Carol Bachofner, and others. On Thursday, September 12th at 10:00 a.m., Bruce will join poet Kathleen Ellis on WERU radio for a live reading and discussion with Ellie O’Leary—89.9 in Blue Hill, 99.9 in greater Bangor, and on the web. Also, Bruce will be a teaching playwright at the second annual Ten Bucks Theatre 24-Hour Playwriting Festival in Eddington, ME, September 20-21. Details can be found here.

“The Apple Tree,” a poem by Dana Robbins (Poetry, W’13), was a runner-up for the Fish Poetry Prize 2013 and is published in Fish Anthology 2013.

Several excerpts from Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) memoir manuscript have appeared recently: “Conversations I Can’t Talk About” was included in the Summer issue of Lunch Ticket,Smoking Guns” was published in the August issue of Pithead Chapel, and “Old Men Who Write” is featured in the first online issue of Under the Sun.

“Pranked” and “Teaching with Tolerance,” two essays by Julie L. Scharf (Creative Nonfiction, S’10), will be featured in the Autumn Equinox issue of Mused: The Bella Online Literary Review.

FACULTY

After nine years of service, Annie Finch has stepped down as Director of Stonecoast MFA and will teach full-time in USM’s English department. USM Professor Justin Tussing has been appointed the interim Director of the MFA program. Justin graduated from the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop and also serves as Director of the Stonecoast Writer’s Conference. (Via Robin Talbot, Associate Director)

Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) will teach creative writing at George Washington University this fall.

Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) play The Secret of Comedy will run for two weekends (September 6-8 and September 13-15) at the Waterville Opera House, 93 Main Street, Waterville, ME. Tickets and information: 207.873.7000.

secret of Comedy WatervilleAlso, Mike’s multi-award-winning short play Say No More! is one of eleven short plays—none more than 10 minutes long—comprising the “King of Crows” Short Play Festival: September 13-14 at Mayo Street Arts Center in Portland, ME, 7:30-10:00 p.m. $10 at the door.

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Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) won the Best Feature Screenplay, Romance prize for her script A Four-Sided Bed at the 22nd annual Woods Hole International Film Festival on Cape Cod; she was on hand to accept her award at the closing ceremony on August 3.

Elizabeth and other award winners at Woods Hole International Film Festival, with festival Director Judy Laster in the center.

Elizabeth and other award winners at Woods Hole International Film Festival, with festival Director Judy Laster in the center.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Via Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12): The Catch: Writings from Downeast Maine is now accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We are looking for work that can be “located” eastern Maine (by a street address, locator map, or latitude and longitude), but we will consider any work that is inspired by our fishing and coastal heritage. Visit the website for more information, to read the 2013 issue, or to submit.

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Community News & Updates March 2013

ALUMNI NEWS

Being Henry DavidCal Armistead‘s (Fiction, W’07) debut young adult novel, Being Henry David, was released three weeks ahead of its March 1 release date by Albert Whitman Teen. It has received favorable reviews, including a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, and has already sold out is first printing! Luckily, a second printing is underway.

Kathy Briccetti (Creative Nonfiction, W’07) will be attending the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Writers’ Conference in Montpelier in August to work on her novel manuscript with Lee Martin.

Libby Cudmore (Popular Fiction, S’10) has begun her yearlong stunt memoir project, Geek Girl Goes Glam, testing and following vintage beauty, dating, career, and housekeeping tips and advice.

David Hewitt (Popular Fiction, S’09) will, as of Fall 2013, be taking up a permanent full-time post on the English faculty of the Community College of Baltimore County.

NoReturn_Press_Corrected_FinalV1Zachary Jernigan‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) debut fantasy novel, No Return, comes out from Night Shade Books in hardcover, ebook, and Audible audiobook on March 5th, 2013.

Lissa Kiernan‘s (Poetry, S’11) “The Art of Hurricanes” appears in Underwater New York, and two poems, “Whereas” and “Ecologue on Decommissioning,” are featured as finalists in Terrain.org’s third annual contest.

Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) has been hired as a consulting producer on Spun Out, a new situation comedy starring Dave Foley recently ordered for 13 episodes by Candian television network CTV, with production tentative scheduled to begin May 2013 for a summer launch. He continues in development on a syndicated children’s series, working title Rock Island, as co-creator and executive producer. The Star Angel, from Colonial Radio Theater, on which he worked as a consulting producer, has been nominated for an Audie Award as best audio drama. He is currently adapting the story as an animated feature. Also in development is a romantic comedy movie for television, working title Survey Monkey, with director Brian Roberts for MarVista Entertainment.

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) collection In Search Of and Others releases today and has already received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. He has also been interviewed by Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) for Weird Fiction Review and by Zachary Jernigan (Popular Fiction, S’11) at his blog.

Kings of RuinMatthew Quinn Martin‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) novel Nightlife (an earlier draft of which was his MFA thesis) has sold to Pocket Star (Simon & Schuster) as part of a two-book deal along with an, as yet, unwritten sequel.

Sandra McDonald‘s (Popular Fiction, W’05) latest GLBTQ novel for teen readers (under the pseudonym Sam Cameron) goes on sale this month. Kings of Ruin is about teens, aliens, rock ‘n’ roll, and secret government agencies.

MagickByMoonriseFinalThe launch book in Laura Navarre‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) Tudor paranormal romance trilogy for Harlequin/Carina, titled Magick by Moonrise, comes out in print and Audible formats on March 11. When Tudor England and the Faerie kingdom collide, the players risk all for power. But only love can save them. Magick by Moonrise won the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s 2012 award for romance. Pick up your copy here.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, 04) poem “A distant ship tiding home,” awarded the 2007 Ellipsis poetry prize by James Galvin for Ellipsis: A Journal of Literature and Art, and included in his collection Boreal from Antrim House Books, also 2007, has been selected for inclusion in the non-fiction and poetry anthology The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home, from Holy Cow Press to be published in October 2013. His short play Memories of Paradise will be performed as part of the 2013 Maine Play Festival at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland. The festival runs from April 25 through May 5. Information on the festival, which also includes work by Stonecoast faculty member Mike Kimball, is available here. The play will also be published in the forthcoming Spring issue of Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature and will be presented as a reading at the annual Sport Literature Association Conference in Monmouth, NJ, this June. obdriveway@aol.com

Michaela Roessner-Herman (Popular Fiction, S’08) is contributing essays on writing to the Western State Colorado University Fiction Concentration blog. To date, she’s posted articles on the author/reader contract, misdirection, and cueing/filtering.

Steve Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) reports that Still has just published his poem “Red-eyed Vireo,” which also was a finalist in that journal’s recent poetry contest. In addition, Christianity and Literature has accepted his poem “Into the Woods.”

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) is organizing a reading series by authors of recent Gulf of Maine-related books at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum March 1-2. More information can be found here. She also has a review of one of the books, Mortal Sea by Jeffrey Bolster, in the current issue of The Working Waterfront newspaper.

STUDENT NEWS

Boneham_book_dropdead_90dpiSheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre) will be reading “Chasm Familiaris” at the bi-annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Literature & Environment in Lawrence, KS, in May. “Chasm” is excerpted from a long narrative nonfiction WIP that “blends elements of memoir, science, folklore, contemporary culture, and history…not to provide answers but to provoke thoughtful (re)considerations of our attitudes and actions as they may affect the future of Canis lupus familiaris, both the species and the warm muzzles in our hands.” Sheila’s reading will be part of a panel called “Connecting with Canines: A Creative Nonfiction Reading.” Also, Sheila spoke on plot character development in her mystery Drop Dead on Recall at Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair on February 23. The Book ‘Em Foundation, a partnership between authors and law enforcement, holds events to raise public awareness of the correlation between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. Sheila and other authors donated at least 40% of proceeds from the sales of their books to the community—in this case, Robesome County and Lumberton, NC—for the purpose of increasing literacy and reducing crime.

The Hermes & Hekate Road Show, a radio drama-style serial podcast that Genevieve Williams (Popular Fiction) has been working, on launches in March with a “season” of seven episodes; if it’s well received additional “seasons” will be written and produced. Interested listeners can find it here or check out the Facebook page.

FACULTY NEWS

Tony Barnstone‘s (Poetry, Translation) new book of poems, Buddha in Flames, has been accepted for publication in 2014 by Sheep Meadow Press. In addition, his CD of original music, Tokyo’s Burning: WWII Songs, is available for purchase at CD Baby, Amazon.com, iTunes, and Spotify. His selected poems Bestia en el Apartamento: Antología poética (1999-2012) will appear in a bilingual Spanish-English edition with Ediciones El Tucán de Virginia (Mexico City) in 2013, with translations by Mariano Zaro.

Portugeuse Other LandsDavid Anthony Durham (Popular Fiction) has two new foreign language publications. The Sacred Band has just been released in France as L’alliance sacrée, and the first half of The Other Lands has been released in Portugal as Outras Terras (they’re publishing the trilogy as a six-book series).

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will appear on three panels at the Tucson Festival of Books, the fourth largest book festival in the U.S.:

Romance: The Last Frontier in SciFi & Fantasy
Saturday, March 9th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Integrated Learning Center – Room 140

It’s Not all Demons, Death and Destruction
Saturday, March 9th, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Koffler – Room 216

Writing Fantasy for a Young Adult Audience
Saturday, March 9th, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Integrated Learning Center – Room 140

Nancy will also be a guest lecturer at Pepperdine University on March 27th, and she will be one of two Author Guests of Honor at the 2014 World Horror Convention in Portland, OR (the other is Jack Ketchum).

ebTwo of Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) short plays, Henny and Hitler in Hell and Falling Falling: A Gothic Mystery, will be featured in a show called Evening Broadcasts III, which will be staged at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth, NH, from March 8-24. For reservations and additional information, click here.

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