Tag Archives: Alison McMahan

Community News & Updates May 2017

STONECOAST REUNION 2017

Please mark your calendars for the Stonecoast reunion, July 14-17 in Brunswick, Maine! The planning committee has been hard at work, and we’re excited to announce the schedule of events. We’d like to thank all of you who submitted proposals for readings and seminars!

We are proud to feature readings by Julia Munemo, Tony Pisculli, Richard Squires, and Cheryl Boyce Taylor. Seminar presenters include Mihku Anderson, Melanie Brooks, Meriah Lysistrata Crawford, Alexandria Delcourt, Penny Guisinger, David Healey, Barbara Kelly, Ellen Meeropol, Suri Parmar, Lisa C. Taylor, and Erin Underwood. Reunion attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up for limited-seating faculty seminars.

To see the full events schedule and register to attend the reunion, please visit the site here. All alumni who register by May 15th will receive a beautiful Stonecoast MFA coffee mug!

ALUMS

Emma Bouthillette (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) is pleased to announce her first book, A Brief History of Biddefordis scheduled to launch June 12, 2017. In this work of nonfiction published by The History Press, Emma explores four centuries of her hometown and its evolution from fishing port to booming mill town to a city re-imagined. Visit her website www.EmmaBouthillette.com for further information about the writer, the book, and news updates for Maine reading and signing events.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) had a great time at StokerCon the last weekend of April with other Stonecoasters Alumni and Faculty. She presented as a panelist on “Power Writer: How Games Can Level Up Your Fiction” and “Beat Sheets and Novel Outlines” at StokerCon and gave a paper titled “Shirley Jackson and the Fear of Ordinary People” as part of the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference. Karen attended her first novel-signing fair on April 8 for Swift For The Sun and people seemed to enjoy her pirate ship decorations. She was interviewed on local radio station 89.1 FM KHOI’s Community Bookshelf show on April 11. Viva la Stonecoast!

Karen Bovenmyer at StokerCon 2017, with pirate ship

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Raven Hair” can be found in the most recent issue of The Cream City Review. “Raven Hair,” among other things, is a riff on fairy tales, the seething resentment of a certain type of lover, and the inevitability of transformation. “Raven Hair” is also part of Julie’s collection, Uncommon Miracles, scheduled for release by PS Publishing later this year.

Florence Grende‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) memoir The Butcher’s Daughter has been nominated a finalist for the Eric Hoffer New Horizon Prize, which recognizes “superior work by a debut author.” Winner to be announced in May.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) published a work of literary journalism, “Growing Season,” on The Rumpus, where it was the debut story in the new series Torch, on the refugee and immigrant experience in America. Please check the story out here.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short mystery “The New Score” appeared in the Fish Out of Water anthology (Wildside Press, April 2017), and her short story “The Drive By” appeared in the Busted! Arresting Stories from the Beat anthology (LevelBest Books, April 2017). “Kamikaze Iguanas” will appear in the MWA anthology for middle grade readers entitled Scream and Scream Again, edited by R.L. Stine (HarperCollins, 2018).

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Novelist Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) has two recent essays published: “Losing Mom and Finding Flo” in The Writer Magazine, April issue, and “Fiction and the Costs of Activism” for the Powell’s Bookstore Blog. She will be reading from her new novel, Kinship of Clover, on May 16 at PRINT Bookstore in Portland.

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) has a poem, “Grace Sherwood, Witch of Pungo, Advanced in Age,” in the new anthology Forgotten Women (edited by Ginny Lowe Conners, Grayson Books, 2017); another poem, “Llewellyn Avenue Redevelopment,” is forthcoming in Free State Review.

L​isa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is now represented by Joelle Delbourgo Associates Literary Agency. Lisa’s longform essay, “An Attractive Portal to Uncertainty,” appears in the new print issue of the journal Harpur Palate (Vol. 16, No. 1). In early May, Lisa is teaching a one-day workshop, “The Art of Short Nonfiction Prose,” in Bedminster, New Jersey, sponsored by Tiferet Journal. Her lyrical, second person essay, “From Boys to Men.” kicked off Motherwell ​Magazine’s Motherhood and Waiting series. ​Her ​essay​, “Why Can’t It Be Me?,” is part of a new anthology, The Book of Hope: 31 True Stories from Real People Who Didn’t Give Up (Silver Owl Publications). And something light, “March Madness with my Son: Why I Love this Crazy Month” ​was on the Grown and Flown ​website during the NCAA tournament.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) is super excited to announce that her debut novel, In the Context of Love, has won its FOURTH finalist award: the 2016 Sarton Women’s Book Award from Story Circle Network. Also, Linda is in the 2017 Metro Detroit cast of the nationwide live storytelling event, Listen To Your Mother. Linda will be sharing the story of how she coped with the suicide of her eldest child in 2011.

Kara Storti‘s (Fiction, S’06) YA novel, Tripping Back Blue, won a 2017 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) gold medal in the Young Adult Fiction category. The IPPY Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent publishers. The contest drew approximately 5,000 entries from across the world.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) take on Kafka’s The Metamorphosis“Needle Mouth”, appeared in Podcastle. Her collaborative triptych poem “The Santa Monica Prophecies” appeared in Mithila Review. And her flash fiction “The Ocean Indoors” appeared in Four Way Review.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, ‘04) has a poem in the recent anthology Washing Windows? Irish Women Write Poetry, published by Arlen House in honor of Eavan Boland and Catherine Rose who both played a part in the beginning of this wonderful Irish literary press. Annie Deppe also has a poem in this anthology! Lisa will offer a workshop: She Did What? Surprise in Fiction on May 13 at 10:00 a.m. at the Clickspace in Northampton. This event is sponsored by Straw Dog Writers Guild and the public can register for this event; this will be a generative workshop. She will also be offering a workshop on Hybrid Writing (mixing genres) at the Stonecoast Alumni Reunion July 14-17. I hope to see some of you there!

Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) is a nominee for the Best Fanzine Hugo Award with her co-editors of Journey Planet. Her edition of Journey Planet featured a historical look back at 54 years of Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award and are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is taking place in Helsinki, Finland, this August.

FACULTY

The trade paperback version of David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) The Risen is now out from Anchor Books. On June 6th, David will be featured in the Mosesian Arts Center’s Earfull series in Boston . He’ll be reading along with Jayne Anne Phillips in an evening of words of and music. He’d love to see some Stonecoast faces at the event!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a Guest of Honor at Stokercon, in Long Beach, along with George R.R. Martin and Stonecoast’s own Nancy Holder, the convention’s toastmaster. Hand’s novel Hard Light is a finalist for the Bran Stoker Award. She did a podcast interview for Wired.com, talking about her recent book Fire and her experiences with a government think tank, researching the future of fire management in an environmentally challenged age. Forthcoming reviews include Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne, for The Los Angeles Times.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him has been chosen as one of three finalists for the 2016 Midwest Book Awards in Fiction. The awards have been running for 27 years by the Midwest Independent Publishing Association; winners will be announced in May. In April, Elizabeth was interviewed about We Got Him on Urban Update (Channel 7, NBC Boston), Woman Watch (forthcoming on WBZ-AM radio, Boston), and WATD-FM, the South Shore News show. On April 30, she and Suzanne Strempek Shea have their book launch for Soap Opera Confidential at Newtonville Books in MA, featuring star readers including Stonecoast alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott. On May 11th, Elizabeth will read from her novel We Got Him at the Kittery Library in Kittery, ME, at 6:30 p.m. Finally: in Chicago, the Jeff Awards for Theater featured two nominations—Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress—for the 2016 Chicago production of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera.

 

 

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Community News & Updates September 2014

ALUMNI

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W’12) has just signed a contract with Lachesis Publishing for her Stonecoast thesis, Moon Dark, a paranormal historical romance. The novel will be released in 2015.

Eric M. Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W’12) is pleased to announce his short story Adytum appeared in volume two of The Darkness Internal published by Voluted Tales.

Crimson PactKaren Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is thrilled to announce her space zombies story “Failsafe” (The Crimson Pact Volume 5, Iron Dragon Press, July 2013) earned enough votes to appear on the Hugo ballot for best short story. Though it did not receive enough votes to be nominated for this prestigious award, she’s extremely honored to have been on the list. This was the story she read from for her graduate reading.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) will be reading from Elysium, her debut science fiction/science fantasy novel (also her Stonecoast thesis!), at the Franklin Park Reading Series in Brooklyn, Sept 8th, 8:00-10:00 p.m.—FREE ADMISSION, plus $4 drafts and a book raffle! Here’s the Facebook Invite.

Libby Cudmore (Popular Fiction/Creative Nonfiction, S’10) has joined the staff of Something Awful‘s Current Releases as a film critic, covering Sin City: A Dame To Kill ForLet’s Be CopsGet On Up, and others. Additionally, her ekphrastic poem “Out There” was selected for issue six of Paper Darts. And finally, a panel she curated with Matthew Quinn Martin, “You’ve Been Telling Me You Were a Genius Since You Were 17: Five Writers Reel in Their Earliest (and often Embarrassing) Efforts,” has rowanfairybeen accepted for the 2015 AWP conference in St Paul, MN. The panel will also include Stonecoast faculty Suzanne Strempek Shea and Elizabeth Searle, as well as author Donna Minkowtz.

Julie Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Faerie Medicine,” part of the Summer 2014 issue of Flapperhouse, is now available for free on their website alongside some very pretty artwork (seen at right).

ZombifiedThe sequel to Adam Gallardo‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) Zomburbia, Zombified, has been accepted by his publisher, Kensington, and is now in the hands of the copy editor. Zombified will be published on January 27, 2015. More information about both books may be found at Adam’s website, www.adamgallardo.com.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez’s (Poetry) poetry collection, the small claim of bones, was published by Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe (Arizona State University). The book is based on Cindy’s MFA thesis at Stonecoast. Copies are available through Amazon and directly from the publisher.

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Marie Hannan-Mandel (Popular Fiction, ’07) was longlisted for the 2014 RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition.

Tamie Fields Harkins (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) has one poem and one short essay published in Connotations, the journal published by The Island Institute in Sitka, AK, where she was a writer-in-residence this past April. She’ll also be spending September and October in Sitka for a private writing residency.

NIGHTLIFE worm 4AMatthew Quinn Martin‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) second novel, Nightlife: As the Worm Turns (Simon & Schuster/PocketStar), has been given an official release date of July 1, 2015. He will also be participating in a reading/panel with other thriller and mystery writers at The Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, PA, on November 1, 2014.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W ’10) first (non-fiction) book, Alice Guy Blaché: Lost Visionary of the Cinema, has finally come out in e-book form after eleven years as print only. The rights to this book were sold in July to the Pic Agency, who are producing a theatrical documentary entitled Be Natural; Robert Redford is executive producing and Jodie Foster will narrate. Alison sold her first AGBCoversmnovel, the prize-winning young adult historical mystery entitled The Saffron Crocus, to Black Opal Books. The tagline: “Murder, Mayhem and Romance in 17th-Century Venice.” The book will come out in December 2014.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is excited to be teaching in Bay Path University’s new online creative nonfiction MFA program (among faculty with various Stonecoast ties). Lisa’s essay, “Mom, Me, and the Shirley Temple Room,” appeared in the June 2014 issue of Inside Jersey Magazine.

Robert E. Stutts‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) short story “Hungry” (one of his Stonecoast thesis stories and published originally in 2013 in Daily Science Fiction) was reprinted in Heiresses of Russ 2014: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction, edited by Melissa Scott and Steve Berman (Lethe Press). Another of his thesis stories, “With His Head in His Hand,” was published this month in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, ’04) short story, “Visible Wounds” (which is an excerpt from a novel in progress) is forthcoming in Map Literary. Her short story “Immersion” appeared in the summer edition of Crannog. Lisa will also be hosting writers in September and October. On September 17, Krista Bremer (associate publisher of The Sun magazine and well-known speaker on NPR and essayist) will read at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the Science Building, Room 104.  Krista is the author of the memoir My Accidental Jihad: A Love Story. That night Krista will read at the University of Connecticut Co-op in Storrs Center at 6:00. Lisa will host Irish writer Martin Dyar in October.  There are planned readings in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Check out Lisa’s web site www.lisactaylor.com or Facebook Events for details. Both Martin and Lisa are scheduled to read at the University of Connecticut Co-op in Storrs Center at 7:00 p.m. on October 14th. Martin is the author of Maiden Names, which won the Patrick Kavanagh Award and the Strokestown International Poetry Award. Contact Lisa for more details of Martin’s tour in New England. This tour will include a literary salon at her house on October 12 from 3:00-5:00 pm. If you are in the area, email for details. And Lisa will be conducting a writing workshop called Death Riding Shotgun: How Our Mortality Shapes Our Writing, sponsored by the Riverwood Poetry Series and held at the Mark Twain House 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford on November 15 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Registration is required.

Julie L. Vandekreke‘s (formerly Julie L. Scharf; Creative Nonfiction, S’10) short Creative nonfiction piece “Off The Line” is forthcoming in the anthology Pranked: Women Unfriending Women.

The-CHARLES-W.-MORGAN-sails-on-Block-Island-Sound-en-route-to-Newport-on-June-15-2014.

The Charles W. Morgan sails on Block Island Sound en route to Newport on June 15, 2014. Photo by Dennis Murphy/Mystic Seaport. Click to embiggen.

Since 2012, Anne Witty (Poetry W‘12) has worked freelance with a Mystic Seaport team of exhibition designers and educators to develop a major exhibition on the cultural and economic impact of the American whaling industry. In August, Anne sailed aboard the newly restored 1841 square-rigged whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the last sailing whaleship in the world. This experiential research informs her writing for “Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers.” Within the highly disciplined word counts specified by design, she is trying to slip in as many whaling-inspired poems and songs as possible. The exhibition is scheduled to open in 2015.

STUDENTS

Danielle Rose (Popular Fiction, W’15) joins the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s English faculty as their newest adjunct professor. She will be teaching Fundamentals of English and Composition and Reading, as well as other composition and editing courses.

FACULTY

Acácia - A União SagradaThe fifth installment in the Portuguese editions of David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) epic fantasy series comes out this month in Portugal. It’s called Acácia – A União Sagrada. For comparison to the English version, it’s the first half of The Sacred Band.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will make three Southern California appearances during September:

September 20: Shades and Shadows Birthday Party: Reading and partying at the California Institute for the Abnormal Arts.

September 27: H.P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu Con, San Pedro, California: Beginning at 1 PM, Lovecraft reading, panel, and autographing, also judging the film competition.

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September 28: Long Beach Comic-Con, Long Beach, California: On a panel entitled “What is Modern Horror” at noon and signing in the Horror Writers Association booth.

ComicCon

Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction) has a new story in the October/November issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Of note to the Stonecoast community: this is a (slight) expansion of the story he wrote for his Flash Fiction Challenge at the Summer 2013 residency. It is now called “Uncanny”; he thanks the workshop for their helpful comments. Also appearing in that issue is an essay Jim wrote on the history and future or space stations.

Three of Mike Kimball’s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) 10-minute comedies will be staged in September.

Plumbing the Depths at the King of Crows Show, September 25-27, 7:30 p.m., Mayo St. Arts, Portland, ME.

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Houston and Disagreement at Dead Boot Saloon, at the Grade A Group Show, September 12-14, Friday & Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 5:00 p.m., The Actors Studio of Newburyport, 50 Water Street, Mill #1, Suite #5, Newburyport, MA 01950

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MAW final front cover updateSuzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) had a fabulous time teaching alongside Barbara Hurd and Cambridge poet Charles Coe in late August at Iota: the Conference of Short Prose, a project created and run by Stonecoast grad Penny Guisinger. The four-day event took place on New Brunswick’s beautiful and historic Campobello Island, included several Stonecoast alums, and drew participants from as far away as Chicago and the Carolinas; The Bangor Daily News also ran an article on the conference. Suzanne is headed to Ireland this month for several readings of This Is Paradise, the story of Kerrywoman Mags Riordan and the medical clinic she founded in Malawi in memory of a son who died there. Her September 26th reading at Charlie Byrne’s in Galway will be shared with Stonecoast Ireland’s Ted Deppe and Annie Deppe. Ted and Suzanne also will be reading that week at the Clifden Arts Festival. Mags Riordan will be in New England in late October to do a series of promotional events with Suzanne. Some open dates remain; anyone interested in having Mags speak in their city or town should contact Suzanne at sess7@comcast.net. Suzanne’s return will be just before the October 5th publication of her eleventh book, Make a Wish But Not For Money, a novel about a palm reader in a dead mall.

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Community News & Updates December 2012

ALUMNI NEWS

Adam Kreutz Gallardo (Popular Fiction, S’12) is happy to announce that he has signed with Ann Collette of the Reese Literary Agency. She plans to shop his debut novel, Zomburbia, to publishers as soon as early December.

Sandra McDonald (Popular Fiction, W’05) has three stories currently in print: “Searching for Slave Leia” in Lightspeed, “The Black Feminist’s Guide to Science Fiction Film Editing” in Asimov’s, and “Your Final Apocalypse” in Clarkesworld. Her young adult sci-fi adventure for girls, “Annie Wu Saves the Future,” is available at Amazon. Visit Sandra’s website for more information.

Alice Guy BlacheAlison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) had her book, Alice Guy Blaché: The Lost Visionary of Cinema (which was translated into Spanish as Alice Guy Blaché by Plots Ediciones) adapted into a play, Alicia en la Sombras de las Maravillas, by La Recua Teatro in Toledo, Spain. The play premiered November 22nd and will be part of the Miami International Theatre Festival in May 2013. Also, her screenplay Imprinted won the Gimme Credit International Screenplay Competition for Feature Script in the Artistic Vision category.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) and Pino Coluccio will soon launch The Rotary Dial, Canada’s first all-formalist online journal (welcoming international talent, as well). They also plan to run classes on formal poetics and host readings in Toronto.

STUDENT NEWS

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction) was recorded reading two poems, “Cadaver Feet” and “The Sweet Spot,” as part of Third Stanza Poets’ 11 Days of Global Unity at Café Diem, Ames, Iowa, on September 18th. A community radio station, KHOI 89.1 FM, broadcast the reading on October 30th and November 4th, 2012.

Linda Kobert’s (Creative Nonfiction) essay “Pecky” appears in the Fall 2012 issue of Hospital Drive, the online literary and humanities journal of the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

FACULTY NEWS

Elizabeth Searle was featured in the October 2012 issue of Imagine Magazine, which covers the film community in New England, in an article about the ongoing film development of her novel A Four-Sided Bed. Bravo Sierra Pictures has a produced a three-minute “sizzler reel” for the film directed by Stonecoast alum Matthew Quinn Martin. Elizabeth also had a short essay about Virginia Woolf published in the fall 2012 issue of New Ohio Review. A Song Showcase of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera will be performed in New York City on January 21st, co-produced by Harborside Films (details forthcoming).

Newly elected U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren personally greeted and thanked Elizabeth Searle at a victory celebration held November 6th at Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. The Stonecoast Elizabeth was the driving force behind Writers for Warren, a night of readings and music held in September in Somerville, Massachusetts, to benefit the campaign of the candidate Elizabeth. Emceed by Steve Almond, the event included readings by Anita Diamont, Anita Shreve, Stephen McCauley, Tom Perrotta, and Suzanne Strempek Shea. A photo of Elizabeth, Suzanne, and Enza Vescera at the event, seen below, was featured in the print version of an October 4th Boston Globe story about political fundraisers featuring the creative community. Another photo in the piece (print and digital) featured political activist William Hodgkinson, Elizabeth Searle’s 14-year-old son, standing next to Elizabeth Warren at a March rally.

Elizabeth, Enza, Suzanne

DSCN0001Suzanne Strempek Shea recently joined her husband, Tommy Shea, and their friend, Michele P. Barker, in celebrating the release of 140 Years of Providential Caring: The Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Massachusetts, a book telling the stories of the women religious behind the creation and continuation of the order, and of some of their many programs, services and facilities established between Western Massachusetts and Chile. Copies may be obtained by sending a check for $25, made payable to the Sisters of Providence, to Nancy Arnold, Providence Place, 5 Gamelin St., Holyoke, MA 01040.

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Community News & Updates October 2012

ALUMNI NEWS

Jennifer Marie Brissett has had two stories published. “Clone” is in Ripped Genes: The Biopunk Special Issue of Morpheus Tales magazine and is available for the Kindle and other eBook formats as well as in paperback. Her story “Secrets of the Sea” is in The Future Fire magazine and it’s available free online!

Debbie Daughetee, aka D. Lynn Smith (Popular Fiction, S’08), sold her short story “Anointed” to Blood Bound Books for publication in their new anthology D.O.A. II: Extreme Terror.

Julie Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) has a short story titled “Finding Your Way to the Coast” in the Fall 2012 issue of A cappella Zoo.

Louis A. Di Leo (Fiction, S’10) graduated from Florida Coastal School of Law in July and began working as a graduate assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he is pursuing a PhD in English. He is currently working on articles regarding the law and literature movement.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) is a finalist in the 3rd Annual Terrain.org Contest in Poetry.

Susan Lilley‘s (Poetry, ’08) new chapbook, Satellite Beach, will be coming later this fall by Finishing Line Press.

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) collection of horror and dark fantasy short fiction, In Search Of and Others, will appear in March 2013 from Lethe Press. It’s available now for pre-order on Amazon. Also, Will’s story “Leverage” (a memoir of the world’s laziest hitman) is available in issue 67 of Cemetery Dance, and his story “The Ghost Factory” (a tale of an abandoned asylum haunted by both the living and the dead) appears in the September/October 2012 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction.

Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) has been hired by Armada Studios to collaborate on a sci-fi vampire film. Her documentary, Bare Hands and Wooden Limbs, will soon be screening on BBC Scotland and streaming on Kanopy.

Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) launched her maiden foray into contemporary romantic suspense, writing as Nikki Navarre, with her debut release for The Russian Seduction (Affluent Press, Oct. 1 release), the first in a two-book deal for her Foreign Affairs series. The Russian Seduction was her second-semester project with Mike Kimball at Stonecoast. Meanwhile, Harlequin is keeping historical Laura plenty busy—her Tudor paranormal romance trilogy is scheduled for quick release starting in March 2013 with Magick by Moonrise.

STUDENT NEWS

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction) wants you to drop dead—but for a good cause! Sheila is celebrating the release of Drop Dead on Recall, her new mystery, by collaborating with an independent bookstore for “Drop Dead for Healthy Dogs,” a “virtual book launch & signing” running now through October 11. A portion of sales will be donated to either of two not-for-profit organizations that support canine health research. Purchases of Sheila’s nonfiction books, including Rescue Matters: How to Find, Foster and Rehome Companion Animals (Alpine, 2009) also qualify for the event. For information about the “virtual book launch” (a collaborative model that may work for other authors), please click here.

 

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Alumni News: Alison McMahan

It’s always fun to share good news!

Alumna Alison McMahan PF W’10 has signed with a literary manager. She is now represented by Alexia Melocchi of Little Studio Films. Alison says, “Melocchi and I have signed a one year contract, and she is working hard at getting my three most marketable scripts, ImprintedDestroying Angel, and Girl in Trunk, into the right hands.” Please join us in congratulating Alison on this fantastic achievement. Kudos, Alison!

Read her full agent announcement.

In addition, Alison’s production company Homunculus Productions LLC has optioned the poem “The Wander King” from our very own faculty member Ted Deppe. She plans to adapt the poem into a supernatural thriller screenplay that will be retitled Risk Everything. We are very excited about this turn of events and wish Alison the best of luck with this project.

You can watch Ted Deppe reading “The Wanderer King”:

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RISK EVERYTHING

 on a word
Risk Everything graphic by Katerina Athanasapoulou

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PITCH:
What if Franz Kafka didn’t die, but poured his life into a doll?

LOGLINE:
Berlin, 1989. A failed writer is possessed by a doll that houses the soul of Franz Kafka; it is up to his wife to free him.

Inspired by the true story of the letters Kafka wrote from a doll to a little girl. Based on the poem The Wanderer King by Theodore Deppe. You can read the full synopsis on the Homunculus Productions blog as well as the announcement about the adaptation.

Again, congratulations to Alison and Ted. We’re thrilled to hear about Alison’s literary manager and about her up coming project Risk Everything.

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Alumni News: Diana Stewart PF S’09

In an effort to help spread positive news about our alumni achievements, we’re thrilled to publish this cross-post written by alumna Alison McMahan, which features a new award-winning novel by alumna Diana Munoz-Stewart PF S’09.

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Diana Munoz-Stewart (Popfic S’09) just won second prize in the RoseCity Romance Writer’s contest for her paranormal YA romance LIGHTBRINGER, which started out as her thesis project at Stonecoast. You can find all of the contest winners listed here.

This article is a summary of an original blog by Alison McMahan (Popfic W’10).

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Lightbringer is an intriguing story about a girl with supernatural powers who spends her adolescence trying to come to terms with them. As in, what are they, where did they come from, and what is she supposed to do with them?

Fortunately Lane, the heroine of the story, has a Watcher, an angel named Eddie–a very hot angel–to watch over her. Better yet this angel has been in love with her since the first moment he laid eyes on her. Together, they save the world from the incursion of an Uberdemon and his minions, and their neighborhood from a zombie-creating witch and her wannabee demon son.

I asked Diana where she got the idea for the novel:

“I wrote Light Bringer because the idea of a teenage girl who could summon supernatural beings at will, or accidentally if upset, intrigued me, as did the notion that angels aren’t exactly the innocents we’ve been taught to believe.”

Summoning supernatural beings at will–or accidentally if upset–that sounds like my adolescence! Let’s see a sample:

Lane’s breath quickened to sharp gasps. Her skin tingled as warmth sped across her body. Eddie slid his hands along her back, moved closer. He pressed his lips deeper against hers. She loved that, kissing him, but what she really wanted as he slipped sure hands up and under the light fabric of her t-shirt would have to wait. She was determined not to become another Philadelphia sob story, like her sister Olivia, struggling to feed kids and pay rent, doing anything, legal or illegal, to find money.
Oh God that felt good. Eddie leaned her back and she stretched out against the gold velvet couch. She moved under him and he made a sound that was as deep and eager as the throbbing of her heart. He began unzipping her jeans. She came to her senses. 
“Stop,” she said. He let out a groan that was part protest and part disbelief. He stopped. Eddie was good that way.
“Seriously,” he said, sitting up, looking a bit sheepish with his dirty blond hair cascading over eyes like fallen autumn leaves—a burnished amber interior outlined by bold earthy brown. Eddie didn’t look at you with those eyes he focused. His mood was like autumn too, mischievous, ready to blow things all to hell for a change of scenery. This attitude was mirrored in a shameless grin that hinted at shocking memories while inviting you to be an accomplice in his next plot. 
“It’s just that I’ve been thinking…”
“About ways to torture me?”

That’s right from the opening. Things get even hotter later in the book:

There was a whoosh sound and then light. Lane looked up and gasped. Wings enshrined Eddie, vibrant gold feathers tipped in black. A muscle along the side of his face twitched. This was hard for him—dropping his glamour. 
She stood up. She couldn’t help herself. Didn’t really want to. The soft exhales through Eddie’s lips seemed to fill the room as she moved to him. He was amazing, sculpted of light and muscle, like a statue, too perfect for words. His skin glistened with subtle gold light that seemed at once part of him and something more, an aura. She ran shaking fingers down his arm. Her fingers picked up the energy there, tingled. She smiled dreamily. 
“You feel really good,” she said. He gave a very masculine chuckle. She ignored him and his hopeful smirk. She reached over his shoulders and brushed the gold feathers. Heat and yearning shot into her. His breath caught.

What’s torture is that that’s all the readers of this blog will have to wait get until the books gets published to read the rest! Diana has a few additional excerpts on her blog, which you can access here.

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Diana Munoz Stewart PF S'09

Diana Muñoz Stewart (Popfic S’09) is an award winning writer, editor, and author. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Rowan University and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. In addition to her writing and editorial work, she participates in writing workshops, founded a national group for promoting writers, and is a consistent contributor to multiple blogs on health, writing, and family. She is a member of both RWA and SCBWI. Visit Diana on Facebook or on her blog.

Alison McMahan PF W'10

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Alison McMahan (Popfic W’10) is an optioned and award-winning screenwriter and a documentary filmmaker. Visit Alison on her blog.

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