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Community News & Updates July 2017

THE STONECOAST REUNION


The Stonecoast Reunion is coming up fast, and we’re excited to welcome you to Brunswick, Maine, July 14th-17th!  The weekend will be an exciting time for readings, seminars, and networking with fellow graduates of the program. If you have not done so, please register now! Please visit: http://usm.maine.edu/stonecoastmfa/stonecoast-alumni-0.

If you are not able to attend the reunion’s day events, we’re still delighted to invite you to the evening events, including the alumni reunion reading, welcome reception, and book fair on Friday, July 14th! A professional photographer will be present at the reading and reception, and we’re planning for a group photo. We’d love to have as many alumni as possible participate!

We ask that if you are not registering for the reunion but wish to attend the evening alumni reading and reception (July 14th) or the graduation and dance party (July 15th) that you RSVP here. Family and friends are also welcome, and donations will be accepted at the door for attendees not registered for the reunion.

ALUMS


Eric M. Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W’12) was pleased to learn his novel The Time Train won the Maine Literary Award in the speculative fiction category.

Karen Bovenmyer’s (Popular Fiction, S’13) poem “Pseudopod” will be reprinted in The Were-Traveler’s Mythos Planet Issue.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) has reprinted her story “The Executioner” in the special issue People of Color Take over Fantastic Stories of the Imagination Magazine. She also has published a story in FIYAH Magazine called “The Breeze in the Boughs,” which is a fabulist short story about life in gentrifying Brooklyn as well as a bit of a parody of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willow.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “The Rocket Farmer” can be found in Interzone 271—the magazine’s July/August edition. “The Rocket Farmer” concerns itself with a family of rocket farmers and the ugliness that arises out of their crop’s many failed launches. It’s also about a fourteen-year-old girl who is sick of her mom.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was pleased that her essay “The World in their Hands” was published in issue 3.2 of The Maine Review. She also had a short piece on mountain lingo appear in TrailGroove and an interview with Rad Dad founder, Tomas Moniz, in Literary Mama.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) flash piece “Inroads Up Hills” is featured online for Broke-Ass Stuart‘s new fiction series. Incidentally, John workshopped this piece at Stonecoast in Sarah Braunstein‘s Flash Fiction workshop.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has been away on an Amtrak Writer’s Residency from June 22 through July 2. Her trip took her to Chicago, New Orleans, and New York City for research, writing, and revision on her next novel. She is more than grateful to Amtrak for this opportunity for work and adventure.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “Barachois,” is included in the just-released 3 nations Anthology: Native, Canadian, and New England Writers from Resolute Bear Press in both its original French and in an English translation by the author. Barachois is an Acadian word many believe come from the M’iq M’ac language and might best be translated as a delta or the sand bars in the mouth of a tidal tributary. The anthology is available as an electronic publication and a print journal.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction W14) has been busier than expected. After returning from the Stonecoast in Ireland Residency in Howth in January, he began a career change. He’s happy to announce that he’s left social work behind and accepted a position teaching high school English in New Hampshire. June saw the publication of his flash piece “Spindle Talk” at The Future Fire (Cinderella meets Mean Girls meets Narcan). His essay “I Would Fly with Dragons” was released in Invisible 3, and his short story “Tide Child” is forthcoming from On Spec.

During June, Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) moderated the panel “Nurturing the Writer in Your Child or Teenager” at the Maplewood-South Orange (NJ) Book Festival and was on the panel “Nothing But the Truth: A Women’s Perspective on Writing the Memoir” at BooksNJ (Paramus, NJ).

An Elder Man, the new short film by Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07), premieres July 2 at the Walla Walla Movie Crush in Washington State. Further festival screenings will follow later this year.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) has an essay, “It Could Happen to You,” in the 2017 issue of City Works Literary Journal. City Works is a publication of San Diego City College.

FACULTY


On Sunday, July 30, 2017, Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) will be reading in the East Hampton Poetry Marathon Reading at the Marine Museum, Bluff Road, Amagansett, NY. The event starts at 5:00 pm.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) essay on writers in translation, why some make it and others don’t, is in the current issue of Tin House. Read it here. Also, Aaron is thrilled to be participating in TWO readings in support of the anthology Soap Opera Confidential, edited by our very own Stonecoast rock star faculty Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne Strempek Shea. The first will be on July 9th at 1:00 p.m. at Politics & Prose Bookstore in DC, along with contributors Kyoko Mori and Shara McCollum. The second will be in Portland, Maine, during the break at the Stonecoast residency, Wednesday, July 12th, at the USM Glickman library on the seventh floor in the University Events Room at 6:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. Come hear Aaron confess about his obsession with Dynasty II: The Colbys, as well as his struggles to learn ballroom dancing…. Finally, Aaron will be teaching a class on food writing at Politics & Prose Bookstore in DC this month, July 18th and 25th. Details are here.

Elizabeth Hand‘s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) neo-noir novel Available Dark has been optioned for television as a joint venture between producer Mike Ryan’s Greyshack Films and Votiv Film. She was profiled by The Portland Press Herald for her work on a National Forest Service study on the future of fire management, and for Fire, her new book of fiction and essays (mostly) related to climate change. Hand was a recent guest on The Writer’s Cast and the Eating the Fantastic podcasts. Her recent novel Wylding Hall has just been released in Spain, with foreign rights sold in Russia, and she was named one of the Six Literary Horror Writers You Should Read in an article on Tor.com. Recent reviews include Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne for The Los Angeles Times, and Literary Wonderlands, edited by Laura MillerPeter Beagle’s Summerlong, and Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae, all for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will be reading and signing “Look Homeward, Vampire,” her essay on Dark Shadows, with the Soap Opera Confidential crew at 5:00 p.m. on July 12th at Glickman Library in Portland, Maine. She’ll appear at San Diego Comic-Con, working in the Kymera Press booth, #2003, during exhibitor hall hours on Thursday and Friday. This is her additional schedule:

  • Signing a special limited edition issue of her new comic book, Mary Shelley Presents, Thursday, July 20th, from 12:30–2:30 p.m. and Friday, July 2nd, from 3:30–5:30 p.m.
  • Signing at Mysterious Galaxy booth, #1119, on Thursday, July 20th at 5:00 p.m.
  • Panel with other members of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers Friday, July 21st, 2:00-3:00 p.m., Room 32AB

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and her show Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera were featured in The New York Times article “Tonya Harding: a Tragic Muse?” published on June 13 with a photo from the NYC NYMF production of Tonya & Nancy in the NYT print edition and a reel from the Boston production of the show online at nytimes.com. Elizabeth is writing the book for a new rock opera—Skypaint: A Cyber Rock Opera—with music and lyrics by guitarist Russell Chudnofsky who has toured with Frank Black, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, and more. The show will be performed in October, details TBA; check out the website here.

Stonecoasters and Soap-lovers, join Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) and Elizabeth Searle and All-Star readers Aaron Hamburger, Nancy Holder, Allan Hunter, and Erin Roberts as they read from Soap Opera Confidential (on sale via our own Kelly!) at Glickman Library USM in Portland 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12th. D.C. soap opera fans: Hear Soap Opera Confidential contributors Aaron Hamburger, Shara McCallum (former Stonecoast faculty member), and Kyoko Mori read from their soapy essays July 9th, 1:00 pm at Politics and Prose. Suzanne discussed Soap Opera Confidential on a radio interview on Pine Valley Radio. The June 28th issue of the national magazine Soaps In Depth features Soap Opera Confidential with a special “giveaway” offer—the issue will available at supermarket or drugstore near you!

 

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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 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 February 2017

ALUMS

swift-for-the-sunKaren Bovenmyer’s (Popular Fiction, S’13) thrilled to announce her first novel, an LGBT romantic pirate adventure set in 1822 Caribbean, Swift for the Sun, now has a cover (by the amazing Anna Sikorska) and a release date: March 27, 2017, from Dreamspinner Press. Karen’s also sold a 300-word prose poem featuring marooned interstellar spies called “Save Our Souls” to Silver Blade Magazine for their February issue and created an audio recording of the poem as a companion piece. She’s excited to announce that her zombies vs robots 1500-word story “We Are Still Feeling” earned a Finalist for 4th Quarter 2016 in L Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest. Her 15,000-word Dickensien fairytale novella, “The Beaded Slipper,” will appear in Crimson Edge Press’s Maidens and Magic maidens-magicanthology, February 14, 2017; she’s thrilled that her character Sasha is on the cover (the blonde woman holding the red slipper). Karen is also chuffed her unrequited astronaut love poem “The Blind Elephants of Io” (which you can hear read by British actress Patsy Prince) has been nominated for a Rhysling award by members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Two other flash stories “Samuel Alexander’s Storm Angel” (Roane Publishing’s Flash Fiction Fridays) and a reprint “Like a Soul” (Creepy Campfire Quarterly: Science Fiction Issue) will be published in February. STONECOAST REPRESENT!

Two new stories by Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) are out this month. “Everyone Gets a Happy Ending” concerns itself with female friendships, national fertility, and the desert Southwest; it’s available in the January/February issue of Interzone. Julie’s second story, “One Thousand Paper Cranes,” melds ideas about the neurobiology of memory, restricted-environmental-stimulation therapy, and part selves; you can find it online in the Winter 2017 issue of Kaleidotrope. On the podcasting front, both episode 135 of Far-Fetched Fables and episode 433 of Podcastle are now available. The first podcast features Julie’s narration of Sharon Shinn’s “The Double-Edged Sword.” The second contains Julie’s reading of Sandra O’Dell’s fabulous and fabulously funny “Telling Stories.” You can also find Julie—live and in person!—on various panels at Boskone 54, February 17-19 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. Stop by and checkout her reading on Saturday, February 18th, at 1:30 p.m. in the Independence room.

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Alan King’s (Poetry, W’13) book Point Blank was named among the “Best New Poetry of the New Year 2017” by the Washington Independent Review of Books! Learn more here.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) is writing for Obsidian Entertainment’s upcoming game—Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire—which has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign through Fig. You can learn more about the game and the campaign here. Fig is similar to Kickstarter in many respects, but also incorporates opportunities for financial investment in the game’s success. (Whether you’re a backer, an investor, or just an enthusiastic gamer with a taste for isometric D&D-esque PC games, I can’t recommend Deadfire enough. This is going to be a fun ride, and thanks for reading this deep into my ramblings. ~PK)

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Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be on a panel at AWP titled “Second Blooming: Women Authors Debuting after Fifty” on Friday, February 10, 10:30 a.m. She will also be reading from her third novel, Kinship of Clover, at Politics and Prose Bookstore on Friday, February 10, at 6:00 p.m.

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rowing-for-my-lifeBruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short-story collection The Trash Detail has been selected for publication by New Rivers Press. His full-length play The King of France, which won the Meetinghouse Theatre Lab’s annual new play contest, received a staged reading on January 21 in Winter Harbor Main.

Kathleen Saville‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’13) memoir Rowing for My Life: Two Oceans, Two Lives, One Journey has recently been published by Arcade Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing; read about it here. She teaches creative writing at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

incendiary-artPatricia Smith‘s (Poetry, S’08) 8th book of poetry, Incendiary Art, will be released on February 17 from Northwestern University Press. Her last two books were Gotta Go, Gotta Flow (City Files Press, 2015), a collaboration with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson, and Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for the best U.S. poetry book of 2012. Patricia has also been chosen as a 2018 Civitella Rainieri fellow—this summer, she will be in residence for six weeks in a 15th-century castle in rural Umbria, Italy.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “The Maneaters” appears in the January issue of Black Static. This was the first story Bonnie brought to Stonecoast workshop.

FACULTY

On Friday, February 3, 2017, Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) will be visiting Syracuse to read in the Visiting Author Reading Series at the Downtown Writers Center at the YMCA, 340 Montgomery St., Syracuse, NY. The reading starts at 7:00 p.m. and is free. Later in the month, Jeanne Marie will be traveling to the AWP Conference in Washington, DC. If you are there, please stop by the CavanKerry Press Bookfair booth #330 on Friday, February 10th from 11:00-11:30 a.m., where she will be signing copies of Letters from Limbo.

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) is going to be the Genre Fiction Keynote speaker at this year’s Writing the Rockies Conference at Western Colorado University. He’ll be flying out there right after the Stonecoast summer residency to deliver an address he’s calling “The Virtues of the Multi-Genre Toolbox.”

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) flash fiction “The House Husband” was a runner-up for DC’s City Paper‘s fiction issue. It’s his first foray into Washington, DC-themed fiction, and given the current political situation, he’s expecting to write quite a bit more!

fireFire, a collection of interviews, essays, and short fiction by Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction), has just been published by PM Press. In January, she was the subject of a profile at Literary Hub by Adrian Van Young, and her 2014 Salon essay on the Affordable Care Act was picked up by the Dept. of Health and Human Services as part of the effort to encourage people to enroll in the ACA. Recent reviews include Simon Reynolds’ Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy and Al Ridenour’s Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas for The Los Angeles Times, and Anne Rice’s Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis for The Washington Post.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) hopes to see fellow Stonecoasters at AWP February 8-11 in DC! She has had two events accepted at AWP 2017: she will read in the event “Written on a (Woman’s) Body: A Cross Genre Reading of Bold Writings about Women and Their Bodies”—which also features Dolen Perkins-Valdez—and Elizabeth will moderate “Adaptation in Three Acts: Adventures in Adapting Material for Scripts” (featuring Suzanne Strempek Shea as well as Danny Eaton and David Shields). Elizabeth will also give a brief reading at a New Rivers Press/Fairfield University party at Mandu restaurant February 9th at 6:00 p.m. Back home in Boston, on March 3rd at 7:00 p.m., Elizabeth will read from her novel We Got Him at the Dire Reading Series in Cambridge, MA, at The Out of the Blue Gallery. At 7:00 p.m. on March 24th, Elizabeth will read at Falmouth Public Library on Cape Cod. Finally, check out this new piece on Elizabeth and We Got Him by bestselling author Caroline Leavitt.

soap-opera-confidentialElizabeth Searle and Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) soon will be reading proofs of Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns Restlessly to the Guiding Light of Our Lives (McFarland). The life-long soap fans are delighted to have so many Stonecoast voices—current and past—in this collection of essays. In order of appearance in the book, past and present contributors from our community include Aaron Hamburger, Brenda Sparks Prescott, Ann Hood, Lesléa Newman, Shara McCallum, Nancy Holder, Ted Deppe, Marie Hannan-Mandel, Tigh Rickman, Erin Roberts, Susan Lilley, and Jamie Cat Callan. Stay tuned for the exact publication date and a schedule of readings… Suzanne is looking forward to being on two panels at AWP in DC this month, and thanks the hosts for including her. On Thursday, February 9, find her on Washington Convention Center Level 2, Room 209 ABC, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. as a panelist on Elizabeth Searle’s “Adaptation in Three Acts: Adventures in Adapting Material for Scripts.” Other panelists will include Danny Eaton, who wrote the one-woman play Mags: A Conversation With an Audience, based on Suzanne’s book This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both (PFP). From 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., find her again on Level Two, this time in Room 203 AB, for Helen Peppe’s panel “Juggling from Within: The Art of Voice,” also featuring Sue William Silverman, Alice Cohen, and Melanie Brooks. Speaking of Melanie Brooks, Suzanne is looking forward to the launch of Melanie’s first book, Writing Hard Stories (Beacon), at AWP, and also to introducing her when Melanie reads from her book Wed., February 15, at 7:00 p.m. at Broadside Bookshop, 247 Main St., Northampton, MA. Any Stonecoasters in the Western New England area are invited to meet up at the Broadside and cheer Melanie on as she begins to get this vital title into the world.

 

 

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Community News & Updates December 2016

ATTENTION: Stonecoasters in the New York City area

Mark your calendars for January 4th, 2017, when there will be a special Stonecoast Event at the KGB Bar in Manhattan, 85 E. 4th St., from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Featured faculty readers will be Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Elizabeth Searle, and Breena Clarke. We’d love to have five alums or current students join us with flash readings. Anyone wanting to read should contact Jeanne Marie Beaumont (jeannembeaumont@nyc.rr.com) or Elizabeth Searle (e.searle@comcast.net). Spots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hope to see many of you there!

TEACHING APPRENTICESHIPS

Stonecoast Alums with a special interest in creative writing pedagogy may apply for a teaching apprenticeship. Apprentices will work closely with a workshop leader, contact students with workshop updates, assign readings, and review student reading responses and evaluations. Apprentices must also teach one seminar on teaching/ pedagogy and are asked to read during the Faculty Reading. Apprentices will receive a travel stipend ($300.00 maximum) and lodging with lunches during summer residencies.

Qualifications:

  • Graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program.
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to excellence in teaching.
  • Demonstrate good communication skills and ability to works with diverse groups

How to Apply: Interested alums must submit the following by JANUARY 2, 2017:

  • Cover Letter
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • One letter of support
  • One-page statement of teaching philosophy
  • Seminar proposal with required reading list

Decisions will be made in consultation with faculty and based in part on the applicant’s teaching strategies and presentation proposal.

Applications materials are due by January 2, 2017. Materials received on or after that date will be considered at the discretion of the Associate Director. Interested Stonecoast alums should submit hard-copy materials packets to

Robin Talbot
University of Southern Maine
Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing
98 Bedford Street
Portland, Maine 04103

 

ALUMS

moon-dark-453-x-680Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W’12) is thrilled to announce that she won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by the Southern Magic Romance Writers, for her paranormal historical romance Moon Dark, Book One of The Auriano Curse series. The contest is judged by readers, booksellers and librarians. She’s also excited to share that she will be interviewed in December on her local cable channel.

Karen Bovenmyer‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) poem “Red State: Blue Heart” appeared in The Skinny Poetry Journal on November 18. Her short romance “Samuel Alexander’s Storm Angel” will appear on Flash Fiction Fridays, Roane Publishing, on February 3, 2017.

Katie Bryski (Popular Fiction, W16) is pleased to announce that her story “The Love It Bears Fair Maidens” will be published in the December issue of Apex. Also in December, her new Christmas pantomime—an adaptation of The Snow Queen—will premiere at Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) was one of the writers on Obsidian Entertainment’s latest game, Tyranny—which is now available on Steam and Good Old Games. The Metacritic review is hovering at 82%, and reviewers have spoken well of the narrative work and the nuanced depiction of evil. This game will appeal to anyone who played the Baldur’s Gate/Planescape: Torment-esque isometric role-playing games of the late 90’s or the more recent Pillars of Eternity—not to mention anyone whose sense of humor skews toward darkness or perversion. The Archon and Overlord editions of the game include a PDF short story collection that contains the work of Paul and his cohorts on the Narrative Design team.

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boundaries-withoutCynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10) co-edited Boundaries Without: The Calumet Editions 2015 Anthology of Speculative Fiction, released last month by Calumet Editions. Her short story “Refugee in Paris” is included in the collection. Karen Bovenmeyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) and faculty member Nancy Holder also have stories in the anthology.

cover-663x1024Red Wheelbarrow Writers, “a loose affiliation of lively writers,” in Bellingham, Washington, published its first anthology, Memory into Memory. The 256-page paperback includes a condensed version of “Her Name is Quintana Roo,” the title essay in Linda Q. Lambert’s (Creative Nonfiction, W’15) thesis.

the-mourning-ringSarah (Flynn) Parke (Popular Fiction, W’15) is embarking on a new journey as and author and editor. Her debut YA Historical Fantasy, The Mourning Ring, is now available in paperback and ebook from most major retailers. Sarah will also be joining the editorial team at Globe Pequot Press (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield) as an assistant editor in January 2017.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) has a new essay, “Smoke and Silk, Top Note and Finish,” in the Fall 2016 issue issue of The Tishman Review. She also has a poem, “Walking to the Bagel Shop with My Son,” in a mixed-genre anthology, In Celebration of   Mothers, and a lighthearted nonfiction piece, “The Lucy and Ethel Years,” appearing on Purple Clover.

Beyond Rain Man by Anne K. Ross (pen name for Creative Nonfiction, W’07 graduate) has been awarded an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion. “An intriguing, emotionally intelligent and important memoir…” and “The writing is honest, heartfelt and skillful, if occasionally repetitious.” (Ha!)

Linda K. Sienkiewicz‘s (Fiction, S’09) novel, In the Context of Love, was named a 2016 USA Book News “Best Book” Finalist.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “Something Deadly, Something Dark” appears in the November issue of Black Static.

 

FACULTY

imagesJeanne Marie Beaumont’s (Poetry) essay “‘The Speaker in This Case’: Anne Sexton as Tale-teller in Transformations” appears in the just released critical volume, This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton, edited by Amanda Golden and published by the University of Florida Press.

David Anthony Durham’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) multi-part story “Heads or Tails?”, published in the Wild Cards mosaic novel High Stakes (Tor), will be heading to the UK. British publisher Gollancz has just acquired the book, aiming for publication in February of 2017. Edited by George R.R. Martin, this volume concludes a triad of novels that David has contributed to, starting with Fort Freakand Lowball.

The Swedish edition of Elizabeth Hand‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) Generation Loss was a finalist for the Swedish Crime Academy Award. The current issue of the literary magazine Conjunctions, Other Aliens, co-edted by Hand and Bradford Morrow, has just been released. Forthcoming book reviews include The Krampus and the Old Dark, Christmas and Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and its Legacy for the Los Angeles Times.

Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction) has turned in the manuscript for a short story collection called The Promise of Space and Other Stories. It includes sixteen stories—fifteen reprints and one not previously published and well as an afterword by Jim in which he attempts to explain what the hell he’s been doing over the past decade. An earlier, and much shorter version, of the new story (then called “Severance,” now called “Yukui!”) was written at Stonecoast for Jim’s Flash Fiction Challenge at the winter residency 2015. The collection is scheduled for publication in October 2017.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) talks about her new novel We Got Him plus her rock opera and more in the Portland Press Herald feature interview from Sunday, November 27th, which includes a link to the Stonecoast Review. Meanwhile in Chicago, Elizabeth’s show Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera opens for a six-week run on November 29th.

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Community News & Updates October 2016

ATTENTION: ALUMNI

The 2017 Stonecoast Alumni Reunion Committee wants to hear from you! Led by co-chairs Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13), Frank Ard (Popular Fiction, S’14), Peter Maskaluk (Fiction, ’13), Elli Meeropol (Fiction, W’06), and Mihku Anderson (Fiction, S’10), Stonecoast is excited to celebrate 15 years in the literary community. Please fill out this brief survey with your attendance and preferences: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/86MCNWV

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A message from the husband of Christine Tierney (Poetry, S’09), who is currently in need of a kidney.

Dear Family, Friends, and Universe,

Christine is a caring, generous, and beautiful person with probably the best sense of humor on the planet. She has been working with children for the past 23 years as an after school director. She is also a gifted poet, artist, and animal lover. But most of all, she is the absolute love of my life.

Eight years ago Christine was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, (PKD). PKD is progressive and incurable. It causes clusters of cysts to grow inside the kidneys. As these cysts enlarge from fluid buildup, kidney failure can result. Unfortunately, Christine’s cysts are rapidly growing and her kidneys are losing function. She is now in need of a kidney transplant.

Christine was placed on the national kidney transplant list in August 2015, and is awaiting a deceased donor kidney, but this list is 80,000 names long, and the wait time for a deceased donor kidney is eight years or more. Christine is hoping for a transplant from a living donor because living donor kidneys have greater success rates than deceased donor kidneys, and nearly double the years of function. Through the living donation program, a healthy person can donate one of their kidneys and return to full health after a brief recovery.

I was tested to see if I am a match for Christine. Unfortunately, I am not. Both of Christine’s parents are now too old for organ donation. Finally, you may have read the article is The Boston Globe about a former Cambridgeport parent who was willing to donate and was a likely match, but has since been diagnosed with a medical condition that makes her an unsuitable donor.

So now we are casting our net wider, in hopes of finding someone who might be interested in donating a kidney to Christine. This would be a great gift to the both of us.

If you cannot do this, we understand perfectly. If you know anyone who might, please forward this letter widely. We are so grateful to you for passing it along to your family, friends, coworkers or classmates, congregation, or any other communities to which you belong. Also, please feel free to post this on all forms of social media.

If you would like to learn more about living kidney donation, please feel free to call me at (857) 334-9794 or email me at ljblanko@yahoo.com.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Luis Julio Blanco

ALUMS

Eric M. Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W ’12) will present a seminar entitled “Archetypes and the Power of Attraction: Creating Dynamic Characters and Conflict in Fiction” to the Maine Romance Writers Association on October 8th.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is proud to report she is now an official Affiliate Member of the Horror Writer’s Association (her sale to Gamut last month made her eligible and her application was accepted!). Two of her Halloween recipes “Mummy Calzones” and “Witches Wands” will appear in the next issue of the HWA newsletter with accompanying photos. She’s also excited her undead-grandmother-farm-guardian flash “On Rising One Snowy Evening” originally published in Parsec’s Triangulations: Beneath the Surface will be reprinted in Cosmic Shores and Eldritch Tales this fall. Furthermore, her science fiction romance poem “The Blind Elephants of Io” was selected for performance at Arachnae Press’s Shortest Day: Solstice Shorts Festival 2016 funded by the Arts Council of England, in Greenwich on Wednesday, December 21, and will be published in a subsequent anthology of collected writings accepted by the show—this poem won a Long Form Honorable Mention in the 2016 Science Fiction Poetry Association Contest. A reprint of Karen’s haunted house abduction micro fiction “So Normal and Unwritten” will appear in IronSoap.com’s 200CCs Issue #4 on October 7. Finally, Karen is thrilled to report she’s been asked to write an essay for Pseudopod Horror Podcast’s tenth anniversary Kickstarter.

Amy Burroughs (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) will have an essay published in the Fall issue of The Journal.

9781608933952Kate Cone (Fiction, ’08) announces the publication of What’s Brewing in New England (Down East Books, Camden, ME), a guide to craft breweries in the six-state region. Kate’s first edition of What’s Brewing was published in 1997. After almost 20 years, Kate revisits the explosive New England beer scene with interviews, stories and descriptions of the beers. Available on Amazon.

For the second year in a row, a Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay has been named as a Notable in Best American Essays. This year, her piece “The Sound of Galton’s Whistle” (which won a Maine Literary Award and was nominated for a Pushcart) made the notables list; the piece was a Sunday Rumpus Essay in July 2015. Penny’s book, Postcards from Here, just received a glowing review at Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Here is an excerpt from the review: “… the postcards come to the reader as precious objects assembled in a gorgeous yet unruly box. Here, all at once, we experience the lived chaos of mind, marriage, children, body, and place. It is a truth, a difficult representation to achieve, and Guisinger does so with skill and grace. Postcards From Here reminds us that a postcard’s purpose is not memory or story, but to send a small piece of oneself as a memento, rather than a definitive record or missive.”

Andrea Lani‘s (Fiction, W’14) essay “Monarch Summers” appeared in the Spring-Autumn issue of Snowy Egret. She also had two essays published online this month: “The Big Night” at Coffee + Crumbs and “How I Went from Domestic to Wild” at Role Reboot.

Will Ludwigsen’s (Popular Fiction, W’11) story “The Leaning Lincoln” is appearing in the October/November 2016 double issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction; he describes the story as “an autobiographical journey into the psyche of a boy coming to terms with the absence of magical justice in the world.” He also sold his story “Night Fever” to Asimov’s, too, and it’s likely to appear later in 2017.

9843219Alexis Paige‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’14) essay “The Right to Remain,” published in The Rumpus in 2015, has been named a Best American Essays Notable in the 2016 anthology. In addition, Paige’s first book, Not a Place on Any Map, which won the 2016 Vine Leaves Press Vignette Collection Award, will be published December 5th by Vine Leaves Press. The book, a collection of lyric essays, will be available for pre-order in early November.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) was honored to learn that one of her essays was selected for the Notables Essays section of Best American Essays 2016. (The piece, “Not Quite Meet Cute,” originally appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Blue Lyra Review.) Lisa’s essay, “On the Near Side of the Tracks,” appears in the current (Fall 2016) issue of Brevity.

Beyond Rain Man by Anne K. Ross (pen name for Creative Nonfiction, Winter ’07 graduate) is reviewed by Bunny Goodjohn (Poetry, W’07) in the current issue of Mom Egg Review; the book review can be found here. Also, Anne will be on a LitQuake “Politics of Parenting” panel in the San Francisco Bay Area on October 9. Other events listed at www.beyondrainman.com.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz‘s (Fiction, S’09) novel, In the Context of Love, is a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. That marks the third award for the book she worked on while at Stonecoast.

Wilde Stories 2016Bonnie Jo Stufflebeams (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “Everything Beneath You” has been reprinted in The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Seven. “He Came From a Place of Openness and Truth,” originally in Lightspeed, has been reprinted in Wilde Stories 2016.

Ashley K. Warren‘s (Fiction, S ’12) poem “Symptoms of a Brain Injury” was nominated by Easy Street for the 2016 Best of the Net anthology. Also, Ashley will serve as an artist in residence at the Billings Public Library in Billings, Montana, beginning in October. During her residency she will work with teen writers on the Letters to the Next President project, an initiative hosted by the National Writing Project, KQED, public media, and Educator Innovator partners.

Lindsey Wells (publishes as Lindsey Kemp; Creative Nonfiction, S’15) won the Empire Award (second place) in the New York Screenplay Contest for her New Girl spec script, “B.C.,” which she wrote as part of her third semester project under the guidance of the amazing Mike Kimball.

FACULTY

Letters from LimboJeanne Marie Beaumont’s (Poetry) new book of poetry, Letters from Limbo, will be launching this month from CavanKerry Press. Additional information can be found on Jeanne Marie’s website.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) short story “Guiltless Pleasures” has been accepted for publication in Crazyhorse Magazine. Aaron’s essay “Edward Albee Was My Mailman,” a tribute to the late playwright who wrote Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and many others, is in The Millions. In other news, Aaron will be delivering a presentation on Drown by Junot Diaz for Hispanic Heritage Month at the DC Public Library. And last but not least, if you’re in the DC area and having trouble with writer’s block, come to Aaron’s two-session class at Politics & Prose Bookstore, Breaking Through Writer’s Block.

Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction) just returned from a book tour in Sweden, where her novels Generation Loss and Available Dark (briefly) topped the bestseller list at #1 and #3 (the new Harry Potter was #4). In September, she’ll be featured at the National Book festival in Washington, DC, where she’ll be interviewed by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan, and will also appear at the Fall for the Book festival in Fairfax, Virginia. Recent reviews include Tama Janowitz’s memoir Scream for The Los Angeles Times and Nisi Shawl’s novel Everfair for The Washington Post.

As noted in a previous Community blog, October 1 will see the debut of two new works by Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction). His short play “Glitch” premieres as part of the Paragon Science Fiction and Fantasy Theater festival at the The Public House Theatre in Chicago. And his novelette “One Sister, Two Sisters, Three” will be published in the Tenth Anniversary Issue of Clarkesworld Magazine.

Mike Kimball’s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) play The Secret of Comedy runs October 20-30 (Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m.) at Mayo Street Arts, Mayo Street, Portland, ME. For more information and reservations, click here.

the-secret-of-comedy

Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry) lyric essay “Some Things About that Day” was featured in Becoming a Great Essayist, a twenty-four part online “Great Courses” lecture series taught by the literary scholar Jennifer Cognard-Black (2016). Her essay “The Microphone Erotic” was published in the anthology From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women Writers and Their Machines (Michigan State University Press, 2016), and her essay “When the Band Broke Up” was awarded the 2016 Alligator Juniper Nonfiction Prize and was published in Alligator Juniper, Issue XX, 2016. In July and August 2016, Debra was invited to complete a month long artist residency at Le Moulin à Nef, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts location in Auvillar, France. Working with the painter Thomas Rice, Debra worked on a collaborative research nonfiction project about the oil boom in her home state of North Dakota, entitled “The Future Eaters.”

Tickets are now on sale for the six-week Chicago run of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera; recent media coverage has included a Chicago Tribune piece that included the show on a Theater Preview list of “Tuneful Treats.” For ticket info, visit Theater Wit.

Amanda Horvath as Tonya in the Chicago production of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera.

Amanda Horvath as Tonya in the Chicago production of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera.

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates August 2016

ALUMNI

Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) will have an essay in the forthcoming anthology Nature, Love, Medicine, edited by Tom Fleischner, to be published by Torrey House Press.

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W’12) will be presenting a workshop, based on her graduation presentation on using body language in fiction, at the Connecticut Romance Writers’ mini-conference, Fiction Fest, September 9-11. The conference is genre-friendly and not geared only to romance writers, so she’d love to see some fellow Stonecoasters wandering the halls.

GenCon Writers' SymposiumKaren Bovenmyer’s (Popular Fiction, S’13) sexy poem “Dream Weaver” was published by the literary “The Skinny” Poetry Journal. Shhhhh, don’t tell them it was inspired by a vampire romance novel Karen’s been re-reading (J. R. Ward, anyone? Mary and Rhage 4ever!). Karen’s also very excited to be moderating four panels of the seven she’s presenting on at the GenCon Writers’ Symposium August 4-7 in Indianapolis. Stonecoast Alumni Mur Lafferty will also be presenting on panels—a good time will be had by all! Folk Horror Revival’s Corpse Roads anthology, which features two of Karen’s poems—a new one called “Effects of Moonlight” and a reprint of “So Normal and Unwritten”—is now available for purchase. Also, her flash “What the Dollhouse Said,” which was chosen as a top ten Women in Horror entry, has been reprinted in Mocha Memoirs Press’s Dark Brew: 10 Tales of Horror micro-anthology. She’s also sold a fairy-tale novella she wrote while she was a Stonecoast student called “The Beaded Slippers,” which will appear in Crimson Edge Press’s Maidens and Magic anthology. Woo hoo, being a writer is so much fun! Thanks, Stonecoast!

John Florio (Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) has a new article on The New Yorker website; you can read it here. His next book, One Nation Under Baseball, will be published by University of Nebraska Press in Spring 2017.

RosencoverHank Garfield (Fiction, S’04) wrote the foreword to a forthcoming book about his great-great grandfather. Murdering the President: Alexander Graham Bell and the Race to Save James Garfield, by Fred Rosen, will be published by the University of Nebraska Press on September 1. Hank is currently penning articles for Points East, a boating magazine that circulates throughout New England, and looking for a publisher for his latest novel, A Sprauling Family Saga.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) has a short story, “La Concordia,” in the spring issue of Boulevard. Her story “Via Dolorosa” was a finalist in Boulevard’s 2016 Emerging Writers Short Story Contest.

Karen Jersild‘s (Fiction, S’06) short story “Where You’re Looking Is Where You’re Going” appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Pinyon literary journal.

Constance McKee (Fiction, W’13) was thrilled to win the Georgia Author of the Year award in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category for her novel The Girl in the Mirror. Many thanks to her Stonecoast mentors, especially Suzanne Strempek Shea and Boman Desai, for their excellent guidance and support.

Constance McKee

Constance McKee

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has been selected to be one of the twenty-four 2016-17 Amtrak Writers in Residence. According to Amtrak’s press release, “Amtrak is excited to announce the selection of the second group of writers selected to participate in the #AmtrakResidency program. Over the next year, they will work on writing projects of their choice in the unique workspace of a long-distance train. The residents offer a diverse representation of the writing community and hail from across the country.” View the press release here.

Michaela Roessner‘s (Popular Fiction, S’08) novella “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life,” about the strange outcome of a chance encounter between the great illustrator/cartoonist Winsor McCay and a very young W.C. Fields in a railway beer hall in Chillicothe in 1896, has been reprinted in the newly revived OMNI Magazine Online. The link for a free read is here.

An essay, “Romeo at Pin Oak,” by Olive L. Sullivan (Fiction/Cross Genre, S’15) appears in the summer issue of The Konza Journal. Two of Olive’s poems, “A Woman is Walking” and “Sylvia Bloody Plath,” are appearing in Sisterspeak as well.

STUDENTS

2016 Endeavour Logo FINALIST 150Brenda Cooper (Fiction) has two poems, “Visitors” and “Extinction,” appearing in the Abyss & Apex, Issue 59, Third Quarter 2016. Her work is appearing beside fellow Stonecoast student David Arroyo, whose poem “Captain Volta” is in the same issue. Brenda’s 2015 novel, Edge of Dark, is a finalist for the 2015 Endeavour Award, an award given by the Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI) for the best science fiction or fantasy book published during the preceding year.

FACULTY

Liminal BlueTed Deppe‘s (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) sixth book has just been published by Arlen House in Ireland. Liminal Blue comprises twelve shorter poems, a lyric essay on memory, train horns, and loss, and a book-length poem that begins with a swim after his father’s death and then explores the thresholds between land and sea, waking and sleep, and the living and the dead.  Set mostly on the coast of Connemara, the 54-page poem begins as an elegy for his parents and ends up celebrating the lives of many others, including Philip Levine, Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Dermot Healy, and W.G. Sebald.  The easiest way to purchase Liminal Blue from the U.S. is to order it from Kenny’s Bookshop in Galway—they offer free delivery!  The link is https://www.kennys.ie/liminal-blue.html

High StakesDavid Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) novel The Risen has just been purchased for publication in Spanish by Ediciones B. The film rights for Pride of Carthage have been renewed by Sonar Entertainment. His multi-part story will appear next month in the Wild Card’s collaborative novel High Stakes, edited by George R.R. Martin.

Elizabeth Hand‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) short novel Wylding Hall just received this year’s Shirley Jackson Award for best novella. Her noir novels were covered in an article by Terrence Rafferty in The Atlantic Monthly, on the rise of women crime writers. Last month, she taught at the Yale Writers Conference. In August, she’ll be on book tour in Sweden, promoting the Swedish editions of the Cass Neary books, and will be the only American writer featured at Gotland Crimetime, the Scandinavian literary festival celebrating Nordic noir.

Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction) has sold a new novelette called “One Sister, Two Sisters, Three” to Clarkesworld, where it will appear in the Tenth Anniversary issue in October. Speaking of October, his ten minute play Glitch will receive its first production in Chicago as part of Otherworld Theater’s Paragon science fiction play festival (40 Plays in 2 Days) October 1-2.

Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) forthcoming novel We Got Him was featured in The Boston Globe on July 8, 2016. Elizabeth talks with SC faculty star Breena Clark (Fiction) about the upcoming Hobart Village Festival of Women Writers (Sept 9-11) and more on this new podcast.

Elizabeth Searle and Breena Clark

Elizabeth Searle and Breena Clark

On July 15th, Governor Terry McAuliffe named Tim Seibles (Poetry) the Poet Laureate of Virginia.

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