Tag Archives: Christopher Varlack

Community News & Updates June 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Issue 15 of Stonecoast Review will be on sale during and after June residency. From the gorgeous covers to the angst-filled poems and stories inside, this issue holds a mirror up to the last crazy-Covid year. The SCR team did a phenomenal job putting this together and it is stunning. Copies will be available for purchase on the Stonecoast Review site and at Kelly’s Books-to-Go. All sales proceeds cover the cost of printing future issues. Stonecoast Review will hold an informational meeting during June residency for any students interested in working on issue 16, and the upcoming Editor-in-Chief, Shannon Bowring, is still looking for a poetry editor.

A few Stonecoast graduates have been working on Sandbox Adventures Volume 1, a collection of 12 Plug-and-Play Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition adventures that they’ve launched on Kickstarter. Shane Collins (Fiction, W’15) is the lead writer for the project, Frank Ard (Popular Fiction, S’14) is the lead copy editor, Ana Delcourt (Fiction, S’14), is the website designer and artistic consultant, and Joe Carro (Popular Fiction, S’14) is a contributing writer and playtester. The Kickstarter is underway and goes until June 24th.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring (Fiction, 4th semester) was honored and thrilled to have her unpublished story “Romance,” from her collection-in-progress, chosen as a Finalist in this year’s MWPA Maine Literary Awards, alongside Stonecoast alum and category winner Morgan Talty. Shannon is also excited (and surprised) to have had work accepted in upcoming issues of Slush Pile Magazine and Raleigh Review.

ALUMS  

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for the Aurora Award for Best Related Work for his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor/host Setsu Uzumé, and all of PodCastle’s fabulous associate editors. Peter also narrated R.K. Duncan’s story “Hassan the Executioner Walks Out of Jawasar for the Last Time” for the May 20 issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies; you can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is pleased to announce that she accepted the Silver Hammer Award at the Bram Stoker Awards on Saturday, May 22: “The Horror Writers Association (HWA) periodically gives the Silver Hammer Award to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes.” Also at StokerCon, Carina shared her story “Twice in the Telling” as one of the author readings. This reimagining of a murder ballad can be found in the recently released anthology Upon a Twice Time now available from Air and Nothingness Press. In other news, Carina is busy at work reading solicited stories for the upcoming anthology Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas, scheduled for release by Hex Publishers in October 2021. As one of the editors of this project, she is excited to share a dynamite line-up of authors in a table of contents that defies genre stereotypes. In an effort to broaden the scope of diversity in this ground-breaking anthology, Hex Publishers will be holding an open submission window from June 21 to June 27, 2021. Bissett is seeking short fiction set exclusively in South America and poetry situated in the landscapes of the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Jennifer Marie Brissett is happy to announce that Destroyer of Light is now available for pre-order (to be published on October 12th).

J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) review of Melissa Febos’ audiobook Girlhood was just published by Audiofile Magazine. J shared the original (rejected) draft of their review with fellow Stonecoast summer 2019 graduates during a recent Hydra zoom reunion; for a copy of the far more interesting, rejected review, contact J at jbrookewrites.com. Their review of Useless Miracle by Barry Schechter was published earlier in the month without incident.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) is honoured to be a finalist in two categories for the Aurora Awards, Canada’s annual awards for science fiction and fantasy. Her short story “The Bone-Stag Walks,” originally published in Lightspeed, is a finalist for Best Short Story. The ephemera reading series—the monthly reading series she co-chairs—is a finalist in Best Fan Related. 

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that the fourth installment of her mosaic novel Stories of Driesch, “We Girls,” was released in May. The first three chapters of the novel are also available as ebooks and online. During the course of 2021 twelve original stories in this world will be made available to read on the Vernacular Books website or to purchase as standalone ebooks. At the end of the year, the pieces will be published as a mosaic novel Stories of Driesch (ebook & print) by Vernacular Books. Julie is also at work with her co-editor Ellen Meeropol on the charity anthology Dreams for a Broken World (Reckoning Press, 2022), an invite-only anthology of the real and the fantastical to raise money for the Rosenberg Fund for Children. 

  • “Do Not Fragment: Stories of Driesch 3” — Read online: Vernacular Books website. Purchase “Do Not Fragment” eBook: Amazon

In this cyberpunk-ish city, consciousness is a commodity. And the self is an augmented, fractured creation. Death detectives work with memories in storied Limm-Glass. Children are outfitted with secondary Glassed-personalities. Black market operators acquire and traffic virtual Glassed-personalities, and man-made tools utilize modified and unmodified versions of both the living & the dead.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) loves the spring. Her essay “Covens” came out in About Place Journal, Geographies of Justice issue. Her essay “Caithness Aurora” is forthcoming in June in Atticus Review. Her essay “Black Magic Marker” was longlisted for the CRAFT Literary Journal nonfiction prize. Her essay “Butterfly” was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award.

Gail Hovey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) memoir She Said God Blessed Us was recently reviewed by WATER—Women’s Alliance for Theology Ethics and Ritual. She is in good company. Scroll down to review number four. 

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is thrilled and mildly terrified to announce a free public reading of her first play, Gridlock, on June 11. The opening scenes were workshopped with Tom Coash and Jeni Mahoney during the Stonecoast winter residency. Sponsored by Silverthorne Theater and LAVA, the reading will be both in person (gasp!) in Greenfield, MA, and live-streamed. Tickets and info here.

Tarver Nova‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) short story “The Oracle and the Heist” was published in The J.J. Outré Review. He also has a short story forthcoming in Kaleidotrope.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) recent story on the fierce females who paddle Maine rivers is out in Maine Magazine. This piece—which spanned many weekends and river miles—was a heart project for Jenny, a river guide herself and a passionate advocate for better representation of women in outdoor media. This September, Jenny is putting her long-time dream of merging her writing and outdoor guiding careers into action: together with Maine Guide Chloë Rowse, she’s guiding a 7-day backpacking and writing adventure through Maine’s rugged 100 Mile Wilderness. Jenny is also thrilled to be teaching a character intensive at Salt Institute of Documentary Studies at MECA in early June. Limited space is available in both—Stonecoast writers enthusiastically welcome!

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short fiction piece “The Changeling” appears in Issue 10 of the literary magazine The Spectacle. She conceptualized the story as a modern-day interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has short story “Om Land Security” in in the new edition of Clackamas Literary Review. He has a short humor piece forthcoming in Portland Magazine.

Two memoir poems by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) will appear in the fall issue of Innisfree: “Herbie Mann at the Village Gate” and “Portrait, 1938.”

R. M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) magical realism novel in verse, The Ghosts of Rose Hill, will be published by Peachtree Teen in May 2022. 

Two more flash fictions for sid sibo (aka sidney woods, Fiction, W’19): “Permeable” and “Blameless” will be published in the July issue of Orca Literary Journal. Thanx to Suzanne Strempek Shea for introducing the compact story form that helps a literary self survive general distractedness.

Linda K Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) is pleased to announce that her poem “The Second Worse Thing” won First Place in the Springfed Art Poetry Competition, judged by Kathleen McGookey. 

Starting on July 5th, Stonecoast alum and Tin House author (Night of the Living Rez, 2022) Morgan Talty (Fiction, W’19) will be teaching an online six-week introductory course to fiction through Writing Workshops DallasFor those interested, please find more information here. Morgan’s short story “The Blessing Tobacco,” which originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of TriQuarterly Magazine, was selected as the Winner of The Maine Literary Awards Short Fiction Contest. Read the story here.

Christopher Varlack (Creative Nonfiction/Poetry, S’10) received the 2021 Cultural Ally Award—“given to staff or faculty members for their support of and advocacy for providing a welcoming and inclusive environment in which to learn, live, and grow”—from Arcadia University. Christopher just completed his first year at Arcadia as a tenure-track assistant professor of English. Students said, “Dr. Varlack consistently encourages cultural, mental, and emotional betterment in students and faculty. His comprehensive knowledge of Black literature, literary history, and creative writing is extremely refreshing and creates an environment in class that is compelling and inspiring.”

Adrienne S. Wallner (Poetry, W’09) will be presenting stories and photos from her hiking adventures at Isle Royale National Park on June 9 at The Snowflake Arena in Land O Lakes, WI, hosted by the Land O Lakes Fish and Game Club. On June 16, Adrienne will be giving a poetry reading and book signing of her debut collection To the 4 a.m. Light at Mind Chimes Bookshop in Three Lakes, WI. Signed copies of To the 4 a.m. Light can also be ordered through Adrienne’s website. Adrienne also published a guest post on May 21 for Typewriter Tarot’s Patreon titled “Oracle Decks: A Faery Reading in the Woods” about using oracle cards to find creative clarity and insight about her writing projects. 

FACULTY 

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) poignant review of the audio memory archive for Black lives lost, 1-800 Happy Birthday, was published at hyperallergic.comA Joyous, Sorrowful Archive of Birthday Messages for Lives Lost to Police.  She also contributed a letter written to Biracial/Multiracial/Mixed Black girls to the recently published Dear Black Girl: Letters from Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power. She read her letter on Mother’s Day Weekend at a virtual event hosted by Bel Canto Books on May 8th alongside editor Tamara Winfrey-Harris, who talked about the Letters to Black Girls Project and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters. Faith also talks bandit territory on an episode of the new travel podcast There She Goes! Travel Stories Told by the Women Who Wrote Them and is featured in a brief bonus Q & A as well. The podcast is co-hosted by the series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Lavinia Spaulding, and Kelly Chappie.

If you enjoy audiobooks, faculty member Tobias S. Buckell’s (Popular Fiction) latest novel A Stranger in the Citadel launched May 27th as an Audible Original. You can download it for free if you have an Audible subscription, without even using a credit! In Tobias’s new novel, “when a librarian arrives in Ninetha, an actual seeker and master of forbidden written knowledge, his presence unravels dark secrets at the heart of Lilith’s family’s rule over the city.”

Breena Clarke (Fiction) announces the publication of Chicken Soup for the Soul I’m Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope. This anthology, which contains 101 compelling, honest stories and a dozen poems from over 100 Black women, is co-authored by Breena and published on June 1, 2021. 

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction) wrote his latest feature for The New York TimesShould Nurses Take a 30% Pay Cut When Their Patient Turns 23? He’s also signed to a two-book YA deal with Macmillan. Doomed: The Tragic Case of Sacco & Vanzetti will be released in Spring 2022; Serpico: An Authorized Biography of an Honest Cop is slated for Spring 2023.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Hotel Cuba was sold in a pre-empt to Harper Perennial, for publication in 2023. It’s the story of two sheltered Russian Jewish refugee sisters who find themselves trapped in hedonistic Prohibition-era 1920s Havana while trying to emigrate to America.  

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) short story “The Owl Count” was a finalist for the American Society of Magazine Editors Award for fiction. Recent reviews include Billie Eilish, by Billie Eilish, for The Washington Post. Elizabeth recently spoke at the Writer’s Hotel Conference on creating memorable characters from the opening paragraph.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) won the Bram Stoker Award for Excellence in a Graphic Novel for Mary Shelley Presents Tales of the Supernatural. Debbie Daughetee, editor and publisher of the graphic novel, is a Popular Fiction alumna from the Class of 2006.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has Screenplay News: Variety has just announced that I’ll Show You Mine, a feature film script that Elizabeth co-wrote, is forthcoming as a Duplass Brothers Production film. The feature script was co-written by Elizabeth, bestselling author David Shields, and screenwriter Tiffany Louquet. The full film was shot in LA in May and is Executive Produced by Jay and Mark Duplass (Room 104) and by Lacey Leavitt (Outside In) & co; directed by Megan Griffiths (Lucky Them, Eden) and starring Poorna Jagannathan (Never Have I Ever, The Night Of, Big Little Lies) and Casey Thomas Brown (The Kominsky Method, Justified, Shameless). ICM is handling sales. The film is in post-production; release details TBA. Variety notes, “The dramedy, a Duplass Brothers Production, centers on Priya Sura, an author who has made a career of examining her own trauma, as she sits down to interview her nephew Nic for a new book about his history as a model who challenged gender norms and embraced his pansexuality in a very public forum. Their ensuing conversation, which takes place over the course of one intense weekend, forces each of them to reveal much more than expected and confront some of their most deeply hidden secrets.” Director Megan Griffiths said, “We started with a fantastic script, and every member of our team contributed to creating an environment that was conducive to vulnerability and risky, revealing performances.” Producer Mark Duplass added, “‘Some projects check all the boxes. This is one of them.’” See more details in the Variety announcement, and the film announcement also drew coverage overseas in The India Times.

Casey Thomas Brown and Poorna Jagannathan star in I’ll Show You Mine, an upcoming Duplass Brothers Productions feature film co-written by Elizabeth

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