Tag Archives: Elizabeth Searle

Community News & Updates February 2021

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Third semester) short experimental piece “Avian Elegies” has been nominated by Waterwheel Review for Best Small Fictions 2020. In addition, one of Shannon’s stories from her linked collection (a work-in-progress) was selected as a finalist in the fiction category of the 50th New Millennium Writing Awards.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) latest essay, “On Traveling While Black,” appears in the latest issue of december magazine (31.2). Issues can be purchased here. Also, on January 23, 2021, Faith conversed with writer Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) about her new book, The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention,on NYC Open Center LIVE, available to watch here.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing For Social Change) short play Thin Air is currently available online as a free podcast, by Lost Souls Monologues. Also, Tom’s play Raghead will be streamed online February 13 by Silverthorne Theater Company as part of their Short & Sweet New Play Festival.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) fifth book, Landslide, is a novel recently published with Knopf and named a “Most Anticipated Book for 2021” by Bustle, the New York Post, Biblio, and Medium, among others. Susan will be doing a virtual book tour that crisscrosses the country, with dates at Susanconley.com.

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) is thrilled about the recent cover reveal for his forthcoming middle grade fantasy novel, The Shadow Prince, with art by Eric Wilkerson. It pubs in September of this year!

Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) published a poem, “I Now Pronounce You Dead,” in the January 24th issue of The New York Times Magazine. The poem comes from his new book, Floaters, just released by W.W. Norton.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) will be appearing on a special pre-Valentine’s Day panel called “Love = Love = Love: Five Authors on Equal Love in Lit,” sponsored by Three Rooms Press, on Saturday, February 13th, at 7:00 pm. The panel will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. This lively discussion of equal love in literature by five award-winning LGBTQ authors—including, in addition to Aaron, Meagan Brothers, author, Weird Girl and What’s His Name; Aimee Herman, author, Everything Grows; Alvin Orloff, author, Disasterama; and Julia Watts, author, Quiver. Kat Georges, co-director of Three Rooms Press, will host. The discussion will explore: How love in literature has become more inclusive during recent decades; How each author addresses love in their writing and opens doors to acceptance of love without boundaries; Why literature can provide inspiration in times of loneliness and heartbreak; Different levels of love: from friendship to red-hot lust. Following the discussion, the authors will field questions from the livestream audience.

In Scriptwriting news, Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting, Writing for Social Change) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera just won four Broadway World Regional Theater awards for the 2020 TheatreZone production, starring Broadway’s Andrea McArdle. The awards are given by Broadway World for different regions of the USA. Tonya & Nancy won Best Production of the Decade of a Musical—for the Southeast Florida region—and also Best Director, Best Vocal Performance, and Best Setting Design. For updates, see www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

ALUMS 

Frank Ard (Popular Fiction, S’14) is thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of his first novel, titled Back to Zero, a coming-of-age story about a high school student who discovers an unbelievable power, only to learn it is more perilous than he ever imagined. The e-book will be released in late April 2021, with a paperback edition to follow. Additionally, Frank plans to launch a Kickstarter on March 2nd to produce a limited print run of a signed hardcover edition; follow the project here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is currently offering open registration for The Storied Imaginarium’s popular workshop Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Myth. This workshop meets in an online format once a week during March and April. Traditional fairy tales and myths are paired with cultural or scientific concepts in this generative writing experience. Past participants have published workshop stories in a multitude of anthologies and magazines, including Apex Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless SkiesClarkesworldDaily Science FictionEscape Pod, and Interzone. For more information, visit The Storied Imaginarium.  

Minerva Canto‘s (Fiction, S’18) memoir essay was published in A Short Guide to Finding Your First Home in the United States, an anthology of immigrant stories, essays, poems and art. The title of her story was chosen as title for the book itself, which celebrated publication with a book launch reading. Minerva also participated in a discussion about cultural identity and read from her work for Literary Voices, Music, and the Chicano Community event hosted by the Cheech Marin Center for Art & Culture, Riverside Art Museum and Inlandia Institute. In addition, Minerva’s 13-year-old daughter published a horror story, “Sunflower Trades” in Young Voices, an anthology by Culture Cult Press featuring stories from teen writers in India, Australia, Philippines, Canada, and elsewhere. 

Darcy Casey‘s (Fiction, W’19) short story “Bird Day” was long-listed and shortlisted for the 2020 Fractured Literary Micro Fiction Contest. While it’s still waiting to find a home, she’s pleased that it’s had a nice run of success with one of her favorite literary magazines, and is eager to send it out into the world again. Her weird, second person experimental piece, “How to Return a Phone Call,” has found a home at Midway Journal and was published in January. You can read it here and let her know what you think by reaching out through her website at darcyleecasey.com, because she’s not so sure she’ll write another second person piece again. Additionally, she is currently working hard on editing her first novel as a writer-in-residence at Jentel Arts Foundation, and will be through mid-February.

Lauren M. Davis‘s (Poetry, S’15) poem “The Flowers You Brought Back From Italy,” published by Wrath Bearing Tree, has been released; read it here.  

David A. Hewitt‘s (Popular Fiction, S’09) story “The Continuing (Superpositional) Adventures of Schrödinger’s Cat” appears in the inaugural issue of Underland Arcana, now on sale. 

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be the featured guest on February 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST, on Queer Spirit on OUT Cast at WMPG radio, Portland, ME. Queer Spirit is a series of conversations exploring queer life and the power of the Sacred. Hosts Marvin Ellison and Tamara Torres McGovern talk with Gail about her recently published memoir. As introduction, Ellison says, “We could easily have an extended conversation with Gail about the Pan-African justice movements and her activism as a white ally in southern Africa and back in the U.S., but today we’re talking about her more recent publication, a memoir entitled She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church. One reviewer describes the memoir, this way: ‘This book is a gift . . . written with compassion, righteous anger, and deep insight about the turmoil that abuse generates and about the courage and tenacity required to disarm a debilitating curse and claim an authentic blessing.’”

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Volcano” will be released February 22, 2021, in the anthology The Great Filling Station Holdup: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Jimmy Buffettedited by Josh Pachter and published by Down & Out books. Pre-order link is here.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is thrilled to be joining the SALT Institute of Documentary Studies faculty this March to teach Writing the Creative Profile, a five-day intensive that reaches beyond traditional profile writing to aim for the universal. Registration is open to the public, and the early bird special ends February 15th. Jenny’s story “Just Don’t Fall,” about pushing through fear to climb a frozen waterfall with outdoor mentor Toby Arnold, was published last month in Maine Magazine.

Photo credit: Andy Gagne Photography

Suri Parmar’s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short script “Vomit Comet,” which she wrote for a dialogue workshop with Stonecoast mentor Mike Kimball, appears in Issue 07 of Waxing and Waning: A Literary Journal from April Gloaming Publishing. Suri would also like to thank her fellow workshop participants—Erin Barker, AJ Bauers, Ella Carroll-Smith, Elisha Emerson, and Amy Burroughs—for their feedback, which she implemented in the final draft. 

PJ Piccirillo’s (Fiction, S’04) The Indigo Scarf continues to gain traction. USA Today-bestselling author David Poyer says: “The story never falters, and the description certainly clearly evokes the time period and the mountains and valleys this author obviously loves. The escaped slave Jedidiah especially is a tormented soul; his story and ultimate fate sucked me in. …for the thoughtful reader it rings astoundingly true. This skilled and talented author should be much better known!” And Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04), author of The Trash Detail, writes: “Rich in illuminative detail, a deep sense of history, and a remarkable sense of place, this narrative is driven by beautifully drawn characters limned in exquisite prose. A literary page-turner of the highest stripe.” The Indigo Scarf is available from Sunbury Press,  Amazon, and bookstores. About The Indigo Scarf:

Based on the true story of two slaves who fled their owners with white women into the wilderness of north-central Pennsylvania, The Indigo Scarf interprets the little known legacy of slavery persisting in the north during the nineteenth century. Meticulously researched, the author’s work is informed by scholars in early American slave laws and northern black codes, by experts in post-colonial folkways, and by descendants who live to this day in the fugitive settlement their forbears established. While The Indigo Scarf relates the covert workings of sympathetic Quakers, the ruthlessness of a slave catcher, and the irony of a Revolutionary War veteran forced to face his daughter’s love for the slave Jedediah James, it treats the deeper theme of the spirit-breaking impact slavery has had across generations since abolition. Though shadowed in whiskey-making and timber-pirating, novel is a paean to devotion, testing the lengths a woman will go to save her man from a burning vengeance as he confronts the privations of a wild frontier while his former owner schemes his return. On a broader scale, the story is a testament to the perseverance and vision of pioneer women who devoted themselves to planting in their offspring the seeds of hope for liberty which may only be realized by descendants they would never know. Woven between scenes spanning a forbidden, historically based slave marriage on a plantation in Virginia’s tidewater region to a tragic liquor operation on the Susquehanna’s un-peopled and feral West Branch during the frontier decades after Pennsylvania’s last Indian purchase, the narrator’s own sub-tale culminates in her realization of how a pioneer-woman ancestor had destined her to break the generational chain of bondage.

 

An essay by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), which appeared in the Autumn 2020 issue, has been nominated by Tiferet Journal for a Pushcart Prize. A “Power Profile” interview with Lisa appeared in October on the blog of author Laraine Herring.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) Night of the Living Rez, a collection of interconnected stories of family and life in the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine, will be published in 2022 by Tin House. Books published by Tin House have made The New York Times’ and other national bestseller lists, won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, been long-listed and among the finalists for the National Book Award, and more. Morgan has also recently won a generous grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation to support his next projects. 

To Speak in Salt, the collection of poetry Becky Thompson (Poetry, W’21) worked on while studying at Stonecoast, was awarded the Ex Ophidia poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Hollis Summer Poetry Prize (Ohio University Press).  All praises to Becky’s mentors—Katherine Larson, Debra Marquart, and Chen Chen.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) flash fiction piece “After the Boston Marathon Bombing,” which was published in Gemini Magazine earlier this year, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her forthcoming memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, most of which was written during her time at Stonecoast, is now available for preorder via https://gina-troisi.com/.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) is pleased to share that three of his poems are forthcoming in Beatific Magazine. He is honored to announce that his song “The Damned (So Many More of Us Than Them)” was awarded SONG of the YEAR at the 2020 Manifesto Awards. Christopher records under the name “Preacher Boy.”

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Community News & Updates January 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast MFA 2021 Winter Residency

Join the Stonecoast MFA 2021 winter residency January 7-17th, 2021 for a week of inspiring readings and discussions! Evening events are free and open to the public and will be hosted online through Zoom. View the schedule and register here.

Stonecoast Tidings

If you’d like to receive Stonecoast’s quarterly newsletter featuring faculty interviews, alumni writing, and opportunities to rejoin residencies and engage with Stonecoast literary events, you can sign up for Stonecoast Tidings by updating your USM alumni profile.

The Stone House Readers’ Series

The Stone House Readers’ Series is a regular series for alumni, faculty, staff, and current students to share their writing live on Facebook. Readers are scheduled in advance and are asked to bring 15 minutes of material to share, whether it’s a work in progress, a published piece, or anything in between. This is a program run by Troy Myers and Amanda Pleau (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) to give members of our community a casual and consistent opportunity to connect. Join us Sundays in January! 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Thirdsemester) essay “Fresh Cut” was recently selected as the winner of the Just Write Maine-related Nonfiction Award for the Joy of the Pen writing contest. In addition, her short experimental piece “Avian Elegies ” was published in Issue #4 of Waterwheel Review.

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction, Third semester) short essay “Expat Guilt,” which details the isolation of living an ocean apart from your family during a pandemic, appears in the British publication Dissonance Magazine

FACULTY

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) new Calm sleep story, narrated by acclaimed actor Idris Elba, was released on December 1, which was #GivingTuesday. For every listen of “Kingdom of the Sky,” Calm will donate $1 (and up to $100k) to support RED’s fight against AIDS and COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One by id Software saw instructor Tobias S. Buckell (Popular Fiction) in the credits under Writing and also in Story Development, his first foray into writing in-game content for a major platform game. Tobias also edited and had a story in the anthology Reclaim, Restore, Return: Futurist Tales from the Caribbean, published for the 2020 Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad. Other short stories appeared in editor John Joseph Adams Dystopia Triptych, Escape Pod: The Science Fiction Anthology, and Slate Magazine. He just turned in his latest novel, A Stranger in the Citadel, to Audible Originals, which will be out in May 2021.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) wrote a feature for The New York TimesHow New York City Vaccinated 6 Million People in Less Than a Month. He’s also at work on a young-adult book about Frank Serpico, the New York City cop who famously exposed systemic corruption in the NYPD.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) short story “My Darling Socialist” was chosen as a finalist in the Saints and Sinners Festival fiction contest for 2020-21. It will be published in the Festival’s 2021 anthology, forthcoming from Bold Strokes Books.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) The Book of Lamps and Banners received a rave review from Locus Magazine, and was named one of the year’s top 5 crime novels by Crime Reads/LitHub, one of the year’s top 10 thrillers by Crime Fiction Lover, and made LitReactor’s list of the year’s best novels. It was also noted in Fine Books Magazine in their roundup of best books about books. The audiobook was named one of the year’s best audiobooks by both Slate and AudioFile Magazine. Elizabeth was featured on the podcast 99% Invisible, talking about novelizations. Her recent reviews include Christopher Golden’s novel Red Hands and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas, both for The Washington Post.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting, Writing for Social Change) will lead a virtual Playwriting Workshop called ACT ONE for the Charlotte Writer’s Club North, based in Charlotte NC, on February 27, 2021. Her personal essay “Covid Class of 2020” was published in NOW, a new online literary journal from the wonderful Hobart Festival of Women Writers, co-founded by Breena Clarke.

ALUMS

The film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, adapted by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) from her memoir of the same title, screened in December at the Academy-accredited Leuven International Short Film Festival in Belgium. In March, the film screens at the Academy-accredited Tampere Film Festival in Finland. That month the film will also be part of Discover Film Awards in London.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is thrilled to announce the appearance of her story “An Embrace of Poisonous Intent” in the anthology Bitter Distillations: An Anthology of Poisonous Tales, published by Egaeus Press. This hardcover edition is limited to 340 copies. December also came with news that her linked vignettes created for a shared world were published in The Lost Citadel Roleplaying Game, which opens with a story by Elizabeth Hand.

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has an essay coming out in the next issue of The Maine Review (Issue 7.1)He’s excited to start another semester teaching creative nonfiction at the University of New England.

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) had “Nowhere to be Found is Atonement,” a poem about Yom Kippur during the pandemic, published by Detour Ahead Literary Magazine. J has enjoyed a number of essay publications in 2020, yet rarely has poems accepted for publication. Not complaining, though—merely commenting.

Terri Glass‘s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) poem “Unexpected Visitor” will be published in San Diego Poetry Annual 2021, and her poem “Amid all this Light” will appear in Issue 13 of Young Raven’s Literary Review. She will be reading on January 30 from her new book of poetry, Being Animal, via Zoom for the Watershed Festival, an environmental poetry festival based out of Berkeley, CA. Check her website, terriglass.com, for the link and time.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) engaged in a wide-ranging conversation with blogger Dr. Deborah Adamy on December 14. They discussed Hovey’s memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church, in the larger context of truth telling in this tumultuous year. 

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) had an essay published in Kveller that starts like this: “A few years ago, my then 19-year old son called me from Norway via FaceTime to ‘share some news.’ Benya was spending a gap year in my native country. He was anxious about our conversation, an unease that was obvious to me—the mama bear back in the States—as soon as I saw his sweet punim on the screen. // ‘Mama, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about some things…’ he began.”

Nylah Lyman (Poetry, S’10) has signed a contract with Encircle Publications. They will publish her poetry collection in September 2021.

Catharine H Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be opening Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life to a fourth cohort this month. This five-week live online series will meet Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. EDT starting January 26, 2021. To register or for more information, go to catharinehmurray.com (the direct link).

On January 8th, Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be moderating The Journey You Must Take, a conversation between debut authors Maggie Downs and Katherine E. Standefer, hosted by PRINT Bookstore and Portland’s Mechanics Hall. In Braver Than You Think, Maggie backpacks around the world to visit countries her mother—struck with early-onset Alzheimer’s—cannot make it to herself. In Katherine’s book Lightning Flowers, she travels to mines across Africa and the American West trying to understand whether her potentially-lifesaving implanted cardiac defibrillator might have caused loss of life along its supply chain. The dialogue will be enhanced by Jenny’s own 2014 solo trek across Finland (the subject of her current book project and Stonecoast thesis) following the footsteps of a female legend into the heart of the Arctic Circle. Guaranteed to be rich and vulnerable, this conversation will travel from what it takes to move from knowing you need to do something to actually doing it, to the financing of such journeys, to the craft challenges of telling personal stories that unfold in foreign contexts, to the unexpected things that happen along the trail, to the way grief can change along a journey. Register for the (free) event here.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) will be one of the featured poets reading for (Un)Cloistered Poetry on Sunday, January 10, at 6:00 p.m. Email EllieOLeary@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has contracted her latest novel, Aventurine, to Encircle Publications, with an expected publication date of January 2022. This will be Anne’s fifth published novel. She joins Stonecoaster Kevin St. Jarre as an Encircle author.

Meghan Vigeant‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) essay “The Shame Files” is about the contents of a plain, brown file labeled “Sexual Assault 2010.” It appears in the Stonecoast Review, issue 14, winter 2021. 

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W’09) debut poetry collection To the 4a.m. Light is now available for preorder from Finishing Line Press. For every book ordered before January 30, 2021, buyers will receive a one-of-a-kind bookmark, each with a unique line of poetry from To the 4 a.m. Light handwritten by the author. Bookmarks will be mailed after January 30, unless arrangements are made by contacting the author. All books will be shipped on the official release date of March 26, 2021. To order, go here. Read Adrienne’s blog at www.inkinthebranches.com. Find Adrienne on IG & FB @inkinthebranches. Click here to sign up for Adrienne’s newsletter.

An essay by Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) appears in the 2020 anthology Friends: Voices on the Gift of Companionship, published by Jack Walker Press. “Dear Anne” was inspired by a 25-year correspondence that began in childhood.

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Community News & Updates September 2020

CURRENT STUDENTS

Darcie Abbene’s (Fiction) flash fiction “Burn” was published in Capsule Stories Autumn 2020: Burning Up. The story was inspired by the Hayman Fire, Colorado’s largest wildfire.

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction) short story “Fish Out of Water” will be published this month in the fourth annual Issue of Oyster River Pages, under their Emerging Fiction Voices category. In addition, Natalie’s ghost story, “Open Heart Massage,” has been selected for publication in the CultureCult anthology of science fiction, “Breathe.” Publishing details to follow.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) will be teaching a Character Development workshop as part of the terrific “A Literary Season Online” assembled by the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival. Although the Conference won’t physically be in Mexico this time (Covid cancel), this new online format makes the Conference available to everyone everywhere! Really exciting line-up of speakers and teachers (including Margaret Atwood among many others).

In August, Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was featured by New Rivers Press in their Writer’s Routine series. In script news: Elizabeth is one of the top 5% QuarterFinalist script writers, chosen out of over 7000 entries, for the 2020 Academy Nicholl Fellowships, which are run by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences/the Oscars. Finally, Elizabeth is “Riding for Food” via team Food Link. Elizabeth and her son are longtime volunteers at Food Link, which helps to feed those in need, and she aims to ride the entire MinuteMan bike trail by October 4th to raise much-needed FoodLink funds; please click here.

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) invites you to join her online September 10, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., when she’ll be talking narrative medicine, writing that has carried so many individuals (including Suzanne) along and through tough times. She’ll look at some great examples of the genre, and spend some time getting attendees started on their own.

 

 

ALUMS

The short film Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) adapted from her Creative Nonfiction book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, has been accepted by the SuperFest Disability Film Festival in San Francisco. A special film cut is being prepared to make the film fully accessible to viewers with visual and hearing impairments. Bailey has just completed the writing of a narrative script of audio descriptions, which will dovetail with the main narration. Audio descriptions tell the non-verbal action in a film along with the visual details in order to make a film accessible to those with visual limitations. Kiki Samko (Boston) has been cast as audio description narrator. Soundscape captions will also be added to the film for viewers with hearing impairments. This August marks the book’s 10th year in print, and Elisabeth will give a reading from the book for the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association’s 2020 conference this fall.

Neptune, a film produced by Allen Baldwin (Scriptwriting, W’19), is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, and Prime. Neptune features an all Maine cast and crew and is now being self-distributed through Baldwin’s company, The Story Board. The film is set in the late 1980s on an island off the coast of Maine; an orphan girl raised by the church becomes obsessed by the disappearance of a classmate, and her haunted dreams and visions propel her to push past her sheltered life. The film’s website is here.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for the Ignyte Award for Best Fiction Podcast for his work with PodCastle, alongside co-editors Jen R. Albert and Cherae Clark, assistant editor Setsu Uzumé, and former co-editor/special editions editor Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali. You can read the official announcement here and PodCastle‘s statement here. The awards are open to all members of the speculative fiction community, so please vote!

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is excited to teach a Creative Nonfiction course at the University of New England this fall. You can check out a profile he wrote in the most recent issue of The Drake magazine.

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) has an essay, “Hideous,” in the Embody section of The Maine Review.

Anthony D’Aries‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “No Man’s Land” will appear in the 25th anniversary issue of Sport Literate

Jaq Evans‘s (Popular Fiction, S’20) weird eco-gothic short story appears in Issue 2 of Fusion Fragment, and the poem generated in Katherine Larson and Deb Marquart‘s environmental workshop appears in Issue 20 of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17) and Daien Sanchez (Popular Fiction, S’18) have started a monthly livestream series titled Writers, Readers, and the Stories We Love. Featuring a new guest each month, each conversation includes discussion of writing craft, book recommendations, and storytelling across forms and genres. Information about upcoming streams can be found on Josh’s Facebook page. Past videos are available on his YouTube channel.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) is now an associate Creative Nonfiction editor at jmww journal. She recently published a piece in the How We Are blog, which features responses to life during the pandemic and features several Stonecoasters.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) has placed his novel Velocity Blues with Vernacular BooksVelocity Blues was written at Stonecoast and was Cliff’s thesis work. Expect it next summer.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is glad to announce that she has launched “Now You See Me”—an affordable author website building service. We all know it’s important to be “out there” in the virtual world, but not all of us are “tech-y” or willing to pay big dollars for our first site (until we sell our book for a great advance, at least.) Her rates start at $300 for a basic website, one that will shine and show off your work, personality, and esthetics. She promises personalized & prompt service. You can reach her at nblichtentein@gmail.com.

Tom MacDonald‘s (Fiction, W’09) short story “Nashua River Floater” will be published in crime anthology Coast to Coast: Noir, which is coming out on September 28; Tom was assigned the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, for his story. The anthology is edited by Paul D. Marks and Andrew McAleer. Later this fall, Tom’s 5th Dermot Sparhawk detective novel, Sleep Long, Sleep High, is due out.

John Christopher Nelson (Fiction, S’15) was featured on Episode 5 of DUM DUM Radio where he had the opportunity to chat with Julia Gibson and Taleen Kali, the fine folks behind DUM DUM Zine. You can listen to him BS and wax literary here.

A short piece by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is included in the new anthology Flash Nonfiction Food (Woodhall Press). She has work forthcoming in the next issue of Tiferet and in Adelaide Journal and was interviewed recently about memoir writing at A Healing Spirit. Lisa has expanded her one-on-one private teaching, coaching, and editing business, working with writers on book-length memoir, novel, short story, or essay manuscripts, or individual short pieces, proposals, query letters, and submission strategy. Details are here.

“The Fifth Direction,” an essay (and photos!) by Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) appears in the August issue of Terrain.org. It is an exploration of gender, violence, trauma, and reaching for a different way, in the context of the Alaskan wilderness.

Rhiannon J. Taylor (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) had two short stories published in August: “A Most Professional Demon” has been published by Translunar Travelers Lounge in issue 3 (available online and in ebook) and “Oresa” has been published in Beyond the Stars: Infinite Expanse (available in ebook, print forthcoming).

Two poems by Meghan Vigeant (Creative Nonfiction, S’20), “East Troy Street” and “She Writes the Kama Sutra,” appear online in the summer issue of Hole in the Head Review.

Anne Witty (Poetry, W’10) published a feature essay in the September 2020 “Best of Maine” issue of Down East Magazine, in which she reflects on her home territory of Seguinland in mid-coast Maine. She also has a piece entitled “The Double Portrait” forthcoming in The New Guard Review X.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates July 2020

FACULTY

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) wrote his latest piece on sports and civil rights for The Nation: “When the KKK Played Against an All-Black Baseball Team.” His next book will be for young adults and is slated for release in 2021. Doomed: The Tragic Story of Sacco & Vanzetti tells the controversial story of two Italian anarchists convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here received a Bronze Medal in the 2019 Foreword Reviews Indie Book Awards!

Elizabeth Hand’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) novel Curious Toys is a finalist for both the Locus and Shirley Jackson Awards. The Book of Lamps and Banners, the fourth Cass Neary novel (due in September), has received great advance trade reviews, including a starred review from Booklist.  Hand recently wrote about John Garth’s The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth for The Washington Post.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) story “Faithful Sister” was published in Daily Science Fiction on June 17.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is one of six writers who formed the group Writers Against Racial Injustice to raise funds for The Equal Justice Initiative. The group started with a goal of raising 10K and have wound up raising over 50K, with help from many supporters including Stonecoasters and coverage in The Boston Globe, Shelf Awareness, and a feature article on June 24 in Publishers Weekly. The fundraiser is running through July 4th; donations are welcome here.

The publication date for Robert V.S. Redick’s (Popular Fiction) new epic fantasy novel, Sidewinders (sequel to Master Assassins), has just been announced: it will be on the shelves on May 4, 2021, from Talos Press.

 

ALUMS

One of Jillian Abbott’s (Popular Fiction, S’04) students, Hastride Eduoard, was profiled for the animation project she submitted for her final project in Jillian’s ENG 384 RC Writing for Electronic Media class (Hastride’s video is at the end of the article).

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is thrilled to announce that her short story “A Seed Planted” has been translated in Japanese for Night Land Quarterly Vol. 21 “The Fantasy of Sky Realms.” This short story was originally included in the anthology Hath No Fury, edited by Melanie R. Meadors. She also has a reprint of her flash piece “The Landscape of Lacrimation” included in the Weird Dream Society: An Anthology of the Possible & Unsubstantiated in Support of RAICES, edited by Julie C. Day. Both of these stories were originally drafted during her time at Stonecoast.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has been long-listed for the Sunburst Award for her story “When the White Bird Sings,” published last year in Augur. In addition, the ephemera Reading Series is a finalist for the Aurora Award, under Best Fan Organizational.

Ed Boyle (Fiction, W’09) will have a story, “The Keeper of the Marsh,” published in the July issue of The Scarlet Leaf Review.

Libby Cudmore (Creative Nonfiction/Popular Fiction, S’10) has sold her second story, “A Brief History of Local Warfare,” to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Her first, “All Shook Down,” is scheduled for publication in the September/October issue of EQMM.

teri elam’s (Poetry, S’19) personal essay “On Asking Mama To Pray for Me” will be included in the forthcoming anthology, Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19 which is raising money for indie bookstores. Stonecoast professor Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) is a contributor as well.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) new book of poems, Being Animal (published by Aldrich Press), is now available for purchase through kelsaybooks.com and Amazon. These poems observe and embody a vast array of animals from the honeybee to the mountain lion in poems that celebrate their beauty, grieve their loss, and reflect on their wisdom. For a signed copy, please visit www.terriglass.com. Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older than Words and Endgame, says, “A love for wild nature suffuses this beautiful collection. Poetry can serve no more important purpose than to rekindle our love of those who are wild.”

Barbara P. Greenbaum (Fiction, S’05) has had poems published or accepted for publication in Main Street Rag, Clementine Unbound, Green Hills Lantern, and Arcturus. She has also launched a website with co-editor Pit Pinegar dedicated to providing writing exercises for those who need them. The exercises were contributed by writers who teach. Anyone who has published work and teaches and is interested in contributing an exercise can contact her at barbarapgreenbaum@gmail.com for more details.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is happy to announce that her memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church, will be published by Exposit in August. Many people at Stonecoast helped in the writing of this book. Here’s what fellow alum Elliot Long (Creative Nonfiction, S’10), now with the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, has to say about the memoir: “In She Said God Blessed Us, Gail Hovey introduces us to a firebrand who confronts her world with a fierceness and determination to fight for change. As she participates in several of the pivotal social justice movements of our times, from the fight against American racism in the 1960s to the campaign to end South African apartheid in the decades that followed, Hovey grows to recognize how abuse of power also shaped her young life—abuse at the hands of her religious mentor. Wrenching and celebratory, Hovey’s memoir depicts a long struggle to move through guilt and pain toward a peace she can claim as her own.” For more information and to order an advance copy, please visit Gail’s website.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has won the Neosho Arts Council’s short story contest for her story “December 1, 1969.” Judge Kevin Dilmore said, “A relatable protagonist and a suspenseful construction make this story a compelling read from the beginning. Backstory is introduced at a great pace just when readers will benefit the most from it. This is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read, and images from this will stay with readers for a long time.”

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created four new poetry videos. The videos for “Beacon” and “Into the Light,” inspired by the poems of the same names, go into Alan and his wife’s battle with lupus, Alan doing a kidney swap to help his wife, and their surgeries. “Heartbreak is Unavoidable” is inspired by Alan’s poem “This Good”; and “A Poem for My New Born and George Floyd” is inspired by Alan’s new poem “The Land of Innocence,” which he wrote for his one-month-old daughter and George Floyd. You can watch the videos here.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is especially happy to have an essay, “Saying Goodbye to Seafood,” published in Tablet Magazine, where her writing has been rejected several times in the past. This reminded her to never give up and to submit, submit, submit.

Julia Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) and Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be hosted by World Fellowship Center for a virtual reading and conversation about Writing from a Family Legacy on Monday, July 6, 7:00-8:00 p,m. Julia will read from her debut memoir The Book Keeper and Ellen from her new novel Her Sister’s Tattoo. Details and link here.

An excerpt from Julia McKenzie Munemo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) memoir The Book Keeper appeared on Public Seminar in June.

dg nanouk okpik’s (Poetry, W’10) poem “If Oil Is Drilled in Bristol Bay” was featured in the Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day email on June 5, 2020.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) will have her poem “That Poetry Thing” in the Summer 2020 issue of Ibbetson Street Magazine.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “La Ride,” written in French, will appear with his English translation in the forthcoming anthology from Flying Ketchup Press. His poem “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgements” is forthcoming in Main Street Rag’s anthology Show Us Your Papers. And his poem  “My Grandfather’s Sky” will appear in North Scene Poetry Press’s anthology of poetry about 9/11.

The prose poem “Mountain” by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) will appear in the Fall/Winter issue of New South.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that as of today he is the Assistant Principal at Hinsdale Middle High School in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. In writing news, his essay “Hattery: The Many Roles of a First-Time Teacher” was accepted into Voices of Practice to be published later in 2020.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) has signed a new book deal for his novel Celestine with Encircle Publications. It’s expected to be in bookstores in May 2021.

Genevieve Williams (Popular Fiction, S’14) has a short story titled “The Sea of Stars” in the new anthology Retellings of the Inland Seas from Candlemark and Gleam, edited by Athena Andreadis; and, an essay titled “Ghosts, Grimoires, and Dealing with Demons: Hellblazer’s Real-World Magic” in the new book From Bayou to Abyss: Examining John Constantine, Hellblazer from Sequart, edited by Lou Tambone and Rich Handley.

 

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Community News & Updates June 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

THE STONECOAST MFA VIRTUAL WRITING SERIES
Join us Monday, June 8th, 6:00-7:00 p.m. for “Rolled in Sugar: Food as an Entry into a Moment” with Stonecoast Director Justin Tussing. Like Proust’s madeleine, we’ll talk about food and writing and where both can take us. Link to join is here. The Stonecoast Virtual Writing Series is an effort to connect our community and continue learning together from afar. Led by a faculty member or guest instructor, sessions are held monthly.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Lauren Erin O’Brien‘s (Fiction, S’20) poem “After She Reads the Court Records” is forthcoming in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Witness.

 

FACULTY

Martín Espada‘s (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) new collection of poems, called Floaters, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in January 2021.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about sports, crime, and social issues. In May, he wrote a feature about baseball for ESPN’s The Undefeated: J.L. Wilkinson Stood Out as the Only White Owner in the First Official Negro League. His next young-adult book is due out in 2021. Doomed: The Tragic Story of Sacco & Vanzetti tells the controversial story of two Italian anarchists wrongly convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) forthcoming Cass Neary novel, The Book of Lamps and Banners, was named one of fall’s most anticipated titles by CrimeReads/LitHub. She was interviewed by The Coode Street Podcast, discussing pandemic reading. Her recent reviews include Megan Capisi’s Sin Eater and N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, both for The Washington Post.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) was profiled in The San Diego Union Tribune on Saturday, May 24.

Authors Ryan Craig Bradford and Nancy Holder

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and her theater cohorts are finding ways for the Shows to Go On in these challenging times: Michael Teoli, composer and “co-conspirator” with Elizabeth on Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, performed two of his and Elizabeth’s songs from their rock opera in May on the Los Angeles-based Stealing Focus Digital Cabaret.
In a new May interview, the stars of the 2020 TheatreZone production of Tonya & Nancy—Whitney Winfield and Nikki Miller—discuss their “joyous” experience doing the rock opera in February and also the new realities of the theater world since then, on ZoomIntoTheZone.

Elizabeth and composer Michael Teoli, who did the music on Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, with book & lyrics by Elizabeth

Join Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) online June 1 at 1:00 p.m. for a conversation with Meredith O’Brien, author of the newly released Uncomfortably Numb, her memoir on the life-altering diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and on the practice of narrative medicine. The free event will include some details about Bay Path University’s upcoming Narrative Medicine Certificate. Please register for the webinar here.

 

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, was mentioned in a recent New York Times essay by Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk. Macdonald’s essay on pandemic quarantine and birdwatching is available at this link.

Lindsey Barlow (Popular Fiction, W’19) was interviewed on episode 92 of a podcast called Thrill Seekers Radio with Alex Dolan to help advertise The Jack Harper Trilogy (Pivot, Perish, and Peak).

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) appeared at the 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference on the “Finishing What You Didn’t Start: Editors Making Projects Their Own” panel.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) had a short story published in the May-June issue of Uncanny Magazine called “Through the Veil.”

J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) essay “Kaden has Covid” was a winner of Beyond Words Literary Magazine’s Dream Challenge and appears in the June issue online and in hard copy (essay can also be read in eir website jbrookewrites.com).

The ephemera reading series has gone virtual! Co-chaired by KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) and editor Jen R. Albert, ephemera is a monthly reading series showcasing diverse SFF. Catch the next event on June 17th, 7:00 p.m. ET, live on YouTube. ephemera was also recently nominated for an Aurora Award in the Best Fan Organizational category. It is funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce the charity anthology Weird Dream Society: An Anthology of the Possible & Unsubstantiated in Support of RAICES is now available as both a paperback and ebook! This book is a culmination of a long year of work and a lot of help from some amazing creatives with Julie at the helm as Editor-in-Chief. Playful, whimsical, or dark, but always thoughtful and tinged with the inexplicably weird, the Weird Dream Society brings together twenty-three stories from the most innovative creators in speculative fiction, including Nathan Ballingrud, Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18), Gregory Norman Bossert, Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13), Christopher Brown, Emily Cataneo, Julie C. Day, Michael J Deluca, Gemma Files, A.T. Greenblatt, Nin Harris, Chip Houser, James Patrick Kelly (Popular Fiction faculty), Marianne Kirby, Kathrin Köhler, Matthew Kressel, Jordan Kurella, Premee Mohamed, Sarah Read, Sofia Samatar, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13), Steve Toase, and A.C. Wise. All proceeds from the anthology go to RAICES, which envisions a compassionate society where all people have the right to migrate and human rights are guaranteed.
Paperback: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | IndieBound.org
eBook: Amazon | Kobo | B&N Nook | Weightless Books
What Others Are Saying

  • “I adore it…These stories are what weird should be. Each one is a different subgenre and [yet] its own beast all together…I’m just feeling electrified by the stories in this collection…they are all connected in the places that matter. They are weird, they are genre, and they contain fantastic prose I’ll keep coming back to over and over again.” ~Paul Jessup, Vernacular Books Guest Review
  • “..the dream-like quality of the stories delivers on the promise of the title….the collection as a whole weaves in moments of profound strangeness, places where the rules of the universe seem to bend and buckle….There are ghosts of a shopping mall, and little girls with superpowers, and a man who can change skins….For fans of dark fantasy and science fiction, there’s a whole lot to like….And there are still moments of hope and clarity, tucked in among the shattered dreams the collection catalogs.” ~Charles Payseur, Quick Sip Reviews  

In addition to the anthology, Julie’s story “After the Apocalypse There Will Be Memory Poems” can now be found in the May 3rd issue of Vol.1 Brooklyn as part of their Sunday Stories series. This is a redrafted version of a piece from Julie’s thesis and a story that demanded a home. Julie’s story “Speculative Execution” is out this month in the anthology The Way of the Laser: Future Crime Stories, edited Stonecoast alums Eric M. Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W’12) and Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11). It’s a story about A.I.-infused glass, theft, and friendship in a networked city where no one is entirely alone.

Jessica de Koninck‘s (Poetry, S’11) poem “Virtual Seder” was a winner in the Writer’s Almanac Pandemic Poetry Contest. In an interview, Garrison Keillor discussed the poem with her as well as reading her poem “Repairs.” The full Zoom interview can be seen on the Writer’s Almanac website.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) published a flash creative nonfiction piece, “The Simplest Recipe,” in Hippocampus.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) won a Nebula Award in the category of Game Writing for his work on The Outer Worlds, a spacefaring RPG that values player agency, player choice, and tells a story as morbid as it is fun. This is Paul’s first nomination, his first award, and as of writing this he’s celebrating with his cat. He’s currently working on an expansion to the game, launch date TBD.

Nylah Carpenter Lyman (Poetry, S’10) has had a poem titled “Making a Field” selected for Poetic License, a written word and visual arts exhibition, managed in collaboration by The Poetry Barn and the Arts Society of Kingston, NY. The process first involved having her poem chosen by the editorial team at Poetic License as a finalist.  Those poems were then forwarded on to visual artists at ASK. Once there, her poem was one of those selected by a visual artist, and so it will be mounted with the artist’s interpretation in an exhibition to be held in August 2020 at ASK’s gallery. If possible, the poets will be invited to come and read at the exhibition’s opening. The poems, and the paintings that were inspired by them, will be posted in a special issue on our sister site, The Poetry Distillery. While the gallery has been closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, they plan to reopen in June.

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards picked Tom MacDonald’s (Fiction, W’09) Dermot Sparhawk crime series—The Charlestown Connection (2011), Beyond the Bridge (2103), The Revenge of Liam McGrew (2015), Murder in the Charlestown Bricks (2018)—as a finalist in the series category. Also, the crime anthology Coast to Coast: Noir will publish a Dermot Sparhawk short story called “Nashua River Floater” in its 2020 edition, due out in June.

Daily Science Fiction published Dan McMinn’s (Popular Fiction, W’20) short story “Advice for Newbies at WoodCon” on May 5th.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W‘06) is pleased to have her short story “Gridlock” in the spring 2020 issue of Solstice Magazine. It was wonderful working with Lee Hope again!

Starting Saturday, June 6th, Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be teaching Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life, a weekly live Zoom class for five Saturdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT. For more information, click here.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) creative nonfiction piece, “Things You Gave Me When You Left,” is online at The Real Story. Also, John was recently interviewed for a quarantine podcast by the folks at DUM DUM Zine, where it will be featured online shortly.

The concrete poem “Tree,” by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), will appear in the next issue of The Comstock Review.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Barking Dog Nocturnal” appeared in The Offing.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “What Remains” was recently published in Volume 26 of Quarter After Eight. Her short story “Eve” was named a finalist for Iron Horse Review‘s Trifecta Award in Fiction. Her memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, has been accepted by Vine Leaves Press and is forthcoming in April 2021.

“Church Camp,” a story by Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11), appears in the Spring 2020 issue of Trajectory, a journal based in Frankfort, KY.

 

 

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Community News & Updates May 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST MFA VIRTUAL WRITING SERIES
In an effort to connect our community and continue learning together from afar, Stonecoast is launching a monthly writing session led by a faculty member or guest instructor! Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) kicked off our first session in April with a fantastic Mindfulness and Creative Writing class. We are thrilled to present Susan Conley (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) on Monday, May 18th, with “Voice Across Genre: Tone and Pitch and How to Really Say What You Are Feeling,” followed by Justin Tussing (Stonecoast Director) on Monday, June 8th, with a pre-residency generative writing session.

Information and Zoom links will be distributed to current students and faculty via email, and to the greater community via the Stonecoast Portland Meetup group and the Friends of Stonecoast MFA Facebook Group. If you are unable to access any of these platforms, email Special Projects Coordinator Jenny O’Connell (jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu) to be added to the list.

You can also receive weekly writing prompts from faculty on the Stonecoast Facebook Page.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer (Fiction) has been selected by Oyster River Pages for publication under their “Emerging Fiction Voices” category, established to showcase new writers who are just beginning to submit their work to journals. Her short story “Fish Out of Water” will be published in the Fourth Annual Issue of Oyster River Pages, due Summer 2020 (publication details to follow). ORP is a literary journal that embraces the reality that the personal has become the political and actively seeks to publish those who bring balance and diversity to historical institutions of power.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) recently had another piece up on the Brevity blog about how the lockdown has provided her with a much welcomed focus on writing, stripped of the otherwise regular and non-essential diversions. She has also embarked on a new project and is looking for contributors: If you know someone who is a Jew by choice, the planned anthology Our Stories, Our Tribe: Personal Essays by Converts to Judaism is looking for diverse voices in essays between 1500-4000 words. Email Nina (nblichtenstein@gmail.com) if you would like a copy of the Call for Submissions to share.

 

FACULTY

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was happy that her novel We Got Him was chosen to be featured in April on Snowflakes in a Blizzard, which highlights books by Indie press writers. As noted in this piece, We Got Him, which was published by New Rivers Press, is also out in a 2018 audiobook version—published and narrated by star Stonecoast alumna Tanya Eby and her audiobook company, Blunder Woman Productions.

 

ALUMS

The film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, adapted by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) from her memoir of the same title, won a Special Jury Mention from the ÉCU—The European Independent Film Festival in Paris, and an Honorable Mention from the USA Film Festival’s International Short Film & Video Competition in Dallas, Texas.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) made a guest post called “The Sophomore Book” about writing her next book on Fantasy Cafe for Women in SF&F Month. She also had a new poem published by The Free Library of the Internet Void called “Remember.” And AAWW Radio posted Breaking into Speculative Fiction, a panel discussion with Jenn and Malka Older, moderated by Tim O’Connell.

j brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) essay “Hybrid” was the Nonfiction Winner for Columbia Journal’s Womxn’s History Month Special Issue.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that she has found a means to get out and share her book The Bone Cutters during this pandemic. From May 11 to June 11, Renee is doing an online book tour, where her work will be featured on 50+ blogs. There will be a video reading, an interview, an excerpt or two, as well as free giveaways. Here is the link to find out how and where to check it all out. Stay safe, everyone!

teri elam’s (Poetry, S19) poetry manuscript was recently named a semi-finalist for the Two Sylvias Press Wilder Prize. During April, a film based on her poem “Butterflies” premiered during Visual Poetry Project’s online film celebration of National Poetry Month.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was thrilled to have her essay “Faith in a Seed,” about motherhood and the extinction and rebirth of the American chestnut tree, published in the current issue of Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Harlem in Havana” was released April 7, 2020, in the anthology The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchelledited by Josh Pachter, published by Untreed Reads. Anthology authors Alison, Alan Orloff, and Elaine Viets taught a class on Writing Suspense via Zoom on April 26, 2020.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) and Robin Talbot (Stonecoast Associate Director) invite the Stonecoast community to a Virtual Book Event at PRINT Bookstore in Portland on May 13, 2020, at 7:00 pm. Co-hosted by Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance (MWPA) via Zoom, Ellen will read from her new novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, and talk with Robin. To register, visit here or here.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) stories “Sola Fide” (originally featured in the summer 2016 issue of Able Muse), “Avoidance,” and “Meaning As Use” are all featured as the fiction portion of Lights, the inaugural issue of Pleasure Boat Studio‘s new zine, available as a free PDF. John also read his story “Good Friday,” originally featured in Volume VI of The New Guard, on Good Friday for West Seattle’s own Pegasus Book Exchange.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) recent tribute to the late, great Ryan West—which doubles as an ode to the ultimate frisbee community—was published in Ultiworld magazine. Her essay “Valley of the Bulls” won the 2019 Appalachia Journal Humor in the Wild Contest, and is now available in print. An outdoor contributor for Maine Magazine, Jenny’s profile on camp owner and adventurer Chloë Rowse was published in March, and she has a forthcoming feature on ice climbing in Maine later this year. In April, Jenny signed with agents Jamie Chambliss and Steve Troha of Folio Literary Management, who will represent her book project, Finding Petronella

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) was recently awarded a media grant from the Ontario Arts Council for her experimental short You’re Smart, her first foray into non-narrative filmmaking. While production is presently on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she hopes to complete her film in the following year.

Three short pieces from sid sibo’s (Fiction, W’19) in-process collection Familiar: Stories have been awarded the Neltje Blanchan Memorial award from the Wyoming Arts Council for best writing “informed by a relationship with the natural world.” Two other stories from the collection have earned Honorable Mentions, one of which, “Bull,” will be published online in Cutthroat magazine. The pen name can be traced to Stonecoast 2019 alum sidney woods.

Patricia Smith’s (Poetry, S’08; former faculty member) poem “Now He’s an Etching” appeared in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day email for Thursday, April 16th.; the poem can be read and heard on the poets.org website.

Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07) was featured in April’s Voyage LA, an online magazine celebrating the artists and eccentrics that define Los Angeles. The profile features no revelatory bombshells, but there are some fun photos.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) will have upcoming poetry published in Lily Poetry Review and Soul-Lit. Her book review of Rebecca Foust’s The Unexploded Ordnance Bin was published in Mom Egg Review in April. Lisa’s short story “Lucky” was shortlisted in the 2020 Fish Short Fiction contest, judged by Colum McCann. She has been a mentor through the AWP W2W program this spring, working with a fiction writer from Georgia. And Lisa will have a new collection of poetry published by Arlen House/Syracuse University Press in the spring of 2021.

Rhiannon J. Taylor’s (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) dark fantasy/horror story “What You Lost in the Wildermere” has been published by Arsenika in their sixth issue. Additionally, her story “Parasites” is forthcoming from Frozen Wavelets.

As reported by Locus, Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) won the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF), which sends a fan from North America to CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon. Paul Weimer, the North American DUFF administrator, said, “With ConZealand being a virtual Worldcon this year and Corvid-19, Erin will not be traveling to New Zealand this year, but hopes to travel to Australasia in the DUFF tradition in 2021, health and world events permitting.” Erin will also take over from Weimer as the new North American administrator.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) is now the nonfiction editor at The Los Angeles Review. He is looking for fresh, engaging essays; in particular at this moment, he’d love to read about life during COVID-19. You can submit here.

 

 

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Community News & Updates April 2020

Hope everyone is staying safe!

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer’s (Fiction) short story “Labor Day Weekend” will be published on April 21st in Volume 2 of Allegory Ridge‘s fiction anthology, Archipelago. Allegory Ridge is a magazine for open-minded millennials that publishes travel writing, short stories, poetry, artwork, photography, and personal essays.

FACULTY

The German edition of JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Damnificados, translated by Connie Lösch, was published by Editions Nautilus on March 2nd. The book was positively reviewed in Der Spiegel, Europe’s largest weekly news magazine, the same week.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is nominated as a 2019 Indie Book of the Year (LGBTQ fiction) from Foreward Reviews!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) will be leading a free online workshop focused on building resilience through writing for teens, sponsored by the Clarion West Writers Workshop; Stonecoast faculty member emeritus James Patrick Kelly (Popular Fiction) and current Stonecoast faculty member Tobias Buckell (Popular Fiction) are also instructors.  Recent reviews include N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became and Megan Campisi’s Sin Eater, both for The Washington Post.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) published “Soundstage Musicals: Capturing Theater on Film” in the March 2020 issue of Imagine, the print and online magazine for the New England film community. Her article addresses the filming and streaming of musicals as one way to keep theater alive in these dark times.

ALUMS

Check out Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) current online radio and podcast interviews regarding her book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. In addition to a lot of quirky snail science, the book relates to the pandemic experience, as it includes reflections on isolation and illness. Recent interviews include the following links: interviewed by Indira Naidoo for ABC Nightlife Radio in Sydney, Australia, and interviewed by Emily Kwong for NPR Science Podcast Short Wave.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Amit Gupta’s story “How Did It Feel to Be Eaten?” for the March 12th episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here. He also hosted the March 24th episode of PodCastle, featuring Sofia Samatar’s retelling of “The Tale of Mahliya and Mauhub and the White-Footed Gazelle,” available here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) has a Snow White retelling coming out in the anthology Arterial Bloom, edited by Mercedes M. Yardley. “Rotten” was the story she submitted with her application to Stonecoast, so she’s happy that is has finally found a home at Crystal Lake Publishing.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that her novella The Rampant (Aqueduct Press) is a nominated finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and HorrorPublishers Weekly says, “Equal parts playful and heartbreaking, this apocalyptic novella offers one-of-a-kind answers about the end of the world….This clever and surprisingly fun take on the rapture is the perfect theological horror story.” The novella is available in both paperback and as an ebook.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18), PhD candidate in Literature, has been awarded a summer research grant from the University of New Hampshire to continue his work on the erasure of women in science fiction. He is excited to write an article on feminism related to Jesuit philosophy and the universe of Warhammer 40k as his entry point into the world of academic publishing.

 

David A. Hewitt’s (Popular Fiction, S’09) novelette The Great Wall of America, published by Mithila Press, is now available in both Kindle and paperback editions, and his short story “Donald Q. Haute, Gentleman Inquisitator, and the Peril of the Pythogator” will be appearing in the April 2020 issue of Metaphorosis.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) is happy to announce that her second full-length poetry collection has been selected as a semifinalist in Tupelo Press’s 2020 Dorset Prize.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Harlem in Havana” will be released April 7, 2020, in the anthology The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, edited by Josh Pachter, published by Untreed Reads. Alison will appear with fellow anthology authors Alan Orloff and Elaine Viets for a panel and signing on April 18th at Murder on the Beach Bookstore in Delray Beach, 6:00 p.m.

What a moment to launch a new novel! Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is delighted that her fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, will be published on April 7th. She is working hard to convert her book tour to virtual events—live-streamed readings and Zoom book parties and curated series like A Mighty Blaze and Reading with Robin. Links to Internet events will be posted on her website as they’re set. Interesting times, no?

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) creative nonfiction piece, “Things You Gave Me When You Left” is forthcoming in The Real Story. John will have a solo author event—barring further quarantine—at Paper Boat Booksellers in West Seattle on the evening of May 1st.

dg nanouk okpik’s (Poetry, W’10) poem “When White Hawks Come” was published in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day email on March 30, 2020 (the link also includes an audio recording of the poem).

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his short story “Soovien Hungered in the City of Spiders” is out at StarShipSofa. It’s a story about poetry-driven spider gladiatorial matches, and other stuff.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) had a streak of publication right before everything changed: an article on wood construction and the future of Maine forests in Northern Woodlands magazine, a “Plant Love Story” about salt marsh grass, an essay on the striped skunk for Natural Resources Council of Maine, and an update on wild Atlantic salmon for The Working Waterfront. Her book, The President’s Salmon, was featured in several new podcasts and cited by Mark Kurlansky in his new book on salmon. And a lyric essay has been accepted by Waterwheel Review.

Kevin St. Jarre (Popular Fiction, S’10) recently participated in a six-author online showcase, hosted and broadcast via Zoom by publisher Encircle Publications. His novel Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle is now available for pre-order here.

Eugenio Volpe (Fiction, W’05) has an essay coming out in the summer issue of Massachusetts Review entitled “Jesus Kicks His Oedipus Complex.”

“Steve’s Ashes,” a story by Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11), appears in the Summer 2020 issue of Evening Street Review, a journal of Evening Street Press of Sacramento.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST AT AWP 2020
Are you attending AWP 2020? Stonecoast MFA will host a gathering from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at The Rose Bush (2301 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, Texas 78212). We’ll have free appetizers, a short reading in honor of our new WISE (Writing for Inclusivity and Social Equity) program, and plenty of time to socialize and reconnect. The venue is BYOB. We hope you’ll join us!

ALUMNI WORKSHOP AT THE STONECOAST 2020 SUMMER RESIDENCY
This June, Stonecoast will once again offer a personalized writing experience for our Alumni. Held in conjunction with the Stonecoast summer residency, Elizabeth Hand will lead workshops that get alums to immerse in their writing within a peer setting again. This post MFA workshop is open to fiction writers of all stripes—short stories, novels, mimetic fiction, genre fiction, autofiction, meta-fiction et al. Participants will focus on both old and new work, with an aim towards polishing the former as well generating new ideas and expanding notions of what fiction is and can be in the 2020s. The conference fee includes four 2.5-hour workshop sessions, plus full access to all presentations, seminars, readings, pop-up classes, receptions, and special events. Participants will also have the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with a literary agent.

  • Dates: June 21-25, 2020
  • Cost: $650.00 workshop fee, plus room and board (~$750 for 4 nights) or commuter fee ($285). Includes daily lunches and afternoon tea at the Harraseeket Inn.
  • Contact Lindsey Vazquez  to reserve your spot! Only 8 slots are available, and we expect this workshop to fill quickly. Once your participation is confirmed, a non-refundable deposit will be required to confirm your place in the workshop.

Testimonials from Susan Conley‘s Winter 2020 Alumni Workshop:

  • “One year post-graduation, Susan Conley’s alumni workshop was just what I needed. The workshop gave me the opportunity to drop into an intensive working environment and hit the ground running. The benefit of working with a seasoned Stonecoast instructor and writers who share a common language of craft and critiquing was invaluable—not mention the amazing support. I will definitely do this again and highly recommend it.”  ~Lee Bodkin
  • “Being back at Stonecoast was such a gift—from the workshops to the seminars, returning to Maine to write and be with ‘my people’ was just the motivation I needed to return to my heart’s work. The writing during those mornings was some of the better writing I have done in months.” ~Heather Wilson

Martha McSweeney Brower (Creative Nonfiction, W’19) shared this information for anyone interested in submitting to Maine Seniors or Maine Women:

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer’s (Fiction) short story “Labor Day Weekend” is due to be published this Spring in Volume 2 of Allegory Ridge‘s fiction anthology, Archipelago, due out April 21st. Allegory Ridge is a magazine for open-minded millennials that publishes travel writing, short stories, poetry, artwork, photography, and personal essays. More details to follow.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction), a.k.a. The Viking Jewess, recently had a food essay published in The Canadian Jewish News, which was fun, because when she had originally submitted a version of it to a Maine food pub, they asked her to remove references to her Jewish background, which made her (pissed off) pull the submission. You can read the brief food essay here.

 

FACULTY

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) play Bubble, Bubble will be produced in Sydney, Australia, as part of the worldwide Short & Sweet Festival. His short musical Stepping Into Fire will be produced at the National Performing Arts Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about sports, crime, and social issues. In February, he wrote a feature for ESPN’s The Undefeated: Rube Foster was the Big Man Behind the First Successful Negro Baseball League. His next young-adult book is due out in 2021; it will tell the controversial story of Sacco & Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists wrongly convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) talks about his novel Nirvana Is Here and all things Nirvana in an interview with Rolf Potts for the podcast Deviate.

The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Boston Review recently profiled Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) and her novel Curious Toys. On February 29th, Leap Day, she and bestselling Swedish novelist Niklas Natt och Dag appeared at The English Bookshop in conversation about their fiction (and a mutual fascination with artist Henry Darger). Hand’s new story “The Owl Count” will appear in the forthcoming issue of the literary magazine Conjunctions.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) was invested into the august company of the Baker Street Irregulars, a worldwide literary society whose 300 members devote themselves to the Sacred Writings (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of Sherlock Holmes).  Her investiture name is “Beryl Garcia,” a character in the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. She was invested in January at the annual Baker Street Irregulars Dinner at the Yale Club in New York City. In other news, Kymera Press, Nancy’s comic-book publisher, is holding a Kickstart to create a trade paperback out of four of her comic book adaptations of short stories written by women during the long nineteenth century. Nancy also wrote the introduction for three books:

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, which is the debut offering of the Horror Writers Association’s Haunted Library.
  • Across the Universe, edited by Michael A. Ventrella and Randee Dawn. This anthology collects short stories starring versions of the Beatles in alternate universes.
  • Gentlemen Prefer Domino Lady, an anthology featuring short stories about a pulp character from the 1930’s. She has also written short stories and comic books starring Domino Lady in the past, and is currently working on a commissioned DL story for Moonstone Books.

The February 2020 TheatreZone production of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, starring Broadway’s Andrea McArdle, was reviewed as an “exemplary show…Seeing a scandal unfold never felt so good.” Elizabeth received a generous shout-out in the same review: “It all seemed bizarre beyond belief nearly 30 years ago, and someone had the brilliant idea to deliver it in a joyous theater package. We can credit playwright Elizabeth Searle for that and thank you, thank you, thank you.” Elizabeth was thrilled to work with Andrea, the original ANNIE, who earned raves in her dual role as the Mom(s). The show received media coverage in the Naples Daily News, including an interview with Elizabeth, and on the Naples ABC affiliate, Channel 7, featuring an interview with the show’s stars. New productions are in the works; for updates and pictures, see www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Above: Elizabeth and Broadway great Andrea McArdle as well as Tonya & Nancy leading ladies Whitney Winfield (Nancy) and Nikki Miller (Tonya) and producer Paul Boghosian from the Feb 2020 production of Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera

 

ALUMS

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is happy to announce that her story “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” was selected for the Third Flatiron Best of 2019 anthology with an illustration of the Rusalka on the cover. You can listen to “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” as a free podcast, too. Also, Elizabeth’s short story “Just Beyond the Shore” was included in the Stoker-nominated anthology Nox Pariedolia. This sale is especially sweet because a long-ago draft was included in Elizabeth’s submission to and workshopped at Stonecoast!

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) has a fiction essay among the top seven finalists for the North American Review’s 2020 Kurt Vonnegut Prize.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a story in the upcoming anthology Invisible Threads, from Apex Publications. Engaging a wide array of marginalized creators, Invisible Threads interrogates and deconstructs the social, cultural, and economic ties that hold us back. The Kickstarter runs until March 18th—see here for more information and backer rewards! She will also be assisting at the PodCastle booth at Toronto ComiCon, March 20-22. Come listen to PodCastle episodes and catch a hilarious live show!

Lauren M Davis (Poetry, S’15) is teaching courses in English writing, creative writing, and philosophy at the University of Saint Francis and Indiana Institute of Technology.

Teacher/Pizza Guy, poetry collection by Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09), has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2020. Here is a link to an article about it in MEA Magazine.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created two videos for his poems “Beacon” and “Into the Light.” Both poems were inspired by his experience as an organ donor when his wife lost kidney function because of lupus.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been nominated for a Nebula Award for his writing on The Outer Worlds, a dark sci-fi satire about consumerism and corporate greed in space, full of fun shooty combat and opportunities for creative roleplay. His fellow nominees include Leonard Boyarsky, Kate Dollarhyde, Chris L’Etoile, Daniel McPhee, Carrie Patel, Nitai Poddar, Marc Soskin, and Megan Starks. This is the second year the Nebula has recognized video game writing.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction. S’18) published an academic article, “First-Person Adolescent Storytellers and Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. The article is a re-constructed version of her third-semester project. It begins with the opening line: “I first discovered Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style while preparing for a fiction workshop with Breena Clarke at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA creative writing program…”

Emily Levang’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’19) article “Can We Protect Nature by Giving It Legal Rights?” was recently published in Ensia.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) will be a featured reader at the upcoming AWP on a panel discussing novels about families torn apart by history and war. Her essay on the same subject, “When They Take the Children,” was recently published in Mom Egg Review. Her fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, will be published on April 7, 2020.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Last Rites” appears in the February March issue of Portland Monthly Magazine, on newsstands now, and two of his poems, “I Know Why a Man” and “In this year of stingy snow and illness,” appear in the most recent edition of The Maine Edge.

After the Parade, a second book of poetry by Dana Robbins (Poetry, W’13), was published by Moon Pie Press of Westbrook Maine. The book is available for purchase here.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), has a flash list essay, “Marriage by the Numbers,” in the 10th anniversary issue of The Writers Circle Journal. She has additional essays forthcoming in Tiferet Journal and Flash Nonfiction Food. In late April, Lisa will appear on a panel presentation, “The Borderlands of Grief,” at The Calandra Italian American Institute’s Annual Conference in New York City with authors Nancy Caronia and Joanna Clapps Herman.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W’19) story “The Citizenship Question: We the People” will be published this spring in The Georgia Review‘s special issue on the 2020 U.S. Census. Talty’s two short craft essays, “Story, Speak” and “One-Edit,” will also appear in Shenandoah.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “A Hunger” was recently published in Sycamore Review (Issue 31.1).

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poems “We Take Our Color From The Mines,” “The Sea Was Never A Friend To Us,” and “We Are Forced To Face One Another” have been accepted for publication by The Write Launch and will be included in the March 2020 issue. Additionally, Christopher, under his performance name “Preacher Boy,” has just released his 12th album, entitled See No Evil (Coast Road Records). The album is now available across all digital music platforms. Coast Road Records has published an Enhanced Lyric Booklet to complement the album’s release, which is now available for Kindle or as a free PDF.

 

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Community News & Updates January 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

News from Stonecoast
Join the Stonecoast MFA community for a week of inspiring readings and discussions with Stonecoast’s award-winning faculty and guest writers, January 10-13th and 15-18th at the historic Harraseeket Inn in downtown Freeport, Maine.

The weeklong series includes flash faculty and guest readings, a conversation on the possibilities and perils of adapting one’s work for the stage, and a discussion of the inaugural WISE common text. The residency concludes with the Winter 2020 graduation ceremony.

A detailed schedule of the week’s events and readers can be found here.

CURRENT STUDENTS

In November, Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) was invited to Ottawa, Canada, to give a book talk on the occasion of the International Memorial Day for Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands. It was in connection with the recent publication of her translation from French to English of the novel For the Love of the Father by French-Tunisian-Jewish writer Chochana Boukhobza. Nina is also happy to share that her essay “Ink Stains and Blood Stains: The Spring of My Becoming” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming Hippocampus anthology tentatively titled “INK” due out in 2020.

FACULTY

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead will be produced in North Hollywood by Actors Workout Studio, as part of their terrific TABOO Festival January 10 – February 8, 2020.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is now available as an audio book!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) sold a stand-alone psychological thriller, Baby Go Bang, to Mulholland Books/Little, Brown. Her novel Generation Loss has been optioned by British production company Fremantle.

Cara Hoffman‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) children’s novel Bernard Pepperlin was a Kirkus Best Book of 2019 and Audiofile’s Best Audio Book of the Year.

Broadway icon Andrea McArdle (the original Annie) will star in a new 2020 production of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. The production is being fully produced by longstanding Equity theater TheaterZone and is opening on February 6, 2020; it was featured in two recent articles in Broadway World. Further productions and a possible tour are in the works for 2020/2021; see the website for updates.

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) film short adaptation of her memoir The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating heads next to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival (CA), Victoria Film Festival (BC), and Kinofilm 16th Manchester International Short Film Fest (UK). The film also received a Jury’s Choice Award from the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, which tours throughout 2020.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is a finalist for the NESFA Short Story Contest. The story she submitted was one of the first pieces workshopped at Stonecoast with David Anthony Durham. The winners will be announced at BOSKONE 57 in February.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) has had her essay “Alibi Bar, 1968” published in Atticus Review‘s “Super Unknown. Stories About Songs” series. Two of her poems have appeared in The Comstock Review, one in the Spring/Summer issue and one in the Fall/Winter. She has been awarded a writing residency in May at NES in Skagastrond, Iceland, to work on her current project—a literary journey across the North Atlantic. From there, she will go on to the Hebrides. She and Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, ‘10) were on a panel at the WORD Conference in Blue Hill, Maine, with Jaed Coffin discussing the ethics of memoir.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) piece “Flyover Country” can be found in the January/February issue of InterzoneFirst lines: “Lovers are like flash floods, car collisions, aneurysms: always a possibility but never exactly expected. A small-plane pilot for AeroFix Corp, Sam arrived in my bed via a tray of purple pansies and a convoy of trucks intent on invading the Verona Municipal Airport.” Richard Wagner created the amazing illustration. This will be Julie’s 7th story with Interzone and her 8th with TTA Press.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) was thrilled to see her essay “Rose” up on Diagram this past year. She wishes all Stonecoasters the very best for 2020.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S17) has an essay in the January-February issue of Good Old Boat, available at newsstands now.

Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) is co-writing dialogue and lyrics for Take The High Road, a musical produced in Denver during 2020. The show will combine repurposed melodies from musical theater and popular music with an original story of a real estate developer who locks horns with, and falls for, a community activist fighting his attempts to build a resort in her idyllic mountain town. The show is being produced by Magic Moments, a company that for over thirty-five years has created large-cast, high-quality musical productions that give performers with a broad range of special needs, both physical and developmental, opportunities to work alongside seasoned professionals. Rehearsals begin in January for performances in late March 2020.

Fiona Lehn (Popular Fiction W’15) has a new speculative novella, Lift-Off, published by Devine Destinies. Click here to read more about the project and here to view the book trailer.

Kristin Leonard‘s (Fiction, S’18) poetry was published in Maine’s Best Emerging Poets 2019 anthology. Her short story, “Jason’s Daddy,” was published in The Showbear Family Circus.

The Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, will host Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) on January 11th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for Writing the Stories of Your Life, a free workshop on writing memoir. Catharine will then offer a Six-Week Series for Women at the Good Medicine Collective from January 13th to February 17th; Writing to Heal will incorporate small group support, instruction and practice for using writing as a way to move through loss. On January 26th from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Catharine will join with Deb Cook to offer Winter’s Deep Peace Practice: Yoga Nidra and Writing, a morning of deep rest and integration. Participants will move from Yoga Nidra into a quiet hour of meditative journaling supported by prompts and guidance.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to share that her long-form essay, “Plume: An Investigation,” will be published in the January 2020 issue of True Story. The essay was started during her time at Stonecoast and has been modified from her Stonecoast thesis.

Jenny O’Connell’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) flash nonfiction piece “How to Sleep in an Airport,” published last spring in Hippocampus, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize! This November, she spoke about positive risk-taking and her 2014 solo trek across Finland to a packed Camden Opera House at Midcoast Pecha Kucha night. You can watch her speech here.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has poetry in or forthcoming from The Cafe Review, Coal City Review, and Connecticut River Review and anthologies from Main Street Rag and Flying Ketchup Press. On January 25, Bruce will be offering a seminar entitled “Creating Your Novel in Ninety Minutes” at the Blue Hill Library; this is open to the public but limited to twelve participants. Contact Hannah Cyrus at the library for more information. Bruce will also be teaching a seminar for Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance at the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott on February 29 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on learning to inhabit your fictional characters. Contact Hannah Perry at MWPA for details.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W‘14) doesn’t have much on the writing front, but just completed a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and is now certifiable (exactly) as a school principal. He was also recently accepted into the Harvard Principal’s Center for a Certificate in School Management and Leadership. He has also, also, been accepted to a residency at the University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center this April. While he’s delighted, it all sounds way fancier than it is, he promises.

Patricia Smith, former faculty member and member of the Stonecoast 2008 class in poetry, has been named a Distinguished Professor for the City University of New York, the highest rank in the state’s university system.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Where You Linger” will appear in the January/February issue of Uncanny Magazine.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W ’19) short story “The Blessing Tobacco” will be published this January in TriQuarterly. The story will also be excerpted in Literary Hub: The Best of the Literary Internet. 

Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17) received an award for a fellowship grant as an individual artist in literary arts from the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities. She is completing research and writing that expands her short story “Piper’s March” into a novel (“Piper’s March” was published in Kweli Journal in 2018). In other news, Darlene will moderate a panel during the 2020 AWP Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The panel also features Breena Clarke of Stonecoast and authors Rion Amilcar Scott, Jacinda Townsend, and Crystal Wilkerson. The authors will discuss how fiction writers use historical imagination to create characters from little-known histories. “They Must Have Felt: Imagining Emotional Landscape and Place” is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2020, from 12:10-1:25 p.m. in Room 205, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) was honored to be a part of a holiday reading in Orleans, MA, on December 27th with Tom Daley, Christine Jones, and J. Barrett Wolf, music by Jordan Renzi, sponsored by Voices of Poetry. Lisa has officially named her workshop offerings Whitewater Writing. She will offer an all-day writing retreat with a catered lunch on January 4th in Connecticut—snow date: January 11. This retreat is nearly full but contact Lisa if you are interested. Lisa is a fiction editor and interviewer for Wordpeace, an online magazine created by Lori Desrosier (the founder of Naugatuck Review). In the upcoming issue, Lisa interviewed Maida McKenna, founder of Word Scientists, a literacy organization in Nepal; and Kevin Brodie, an award-winning playwright who is currently working on a play about American Indian Schools directly related to time spent on a Shoshone reservation with his grandfather. This issue should be out in late February or early March. Lisa also writes book reviews; her latest review was on Look Look Look by Calista Buchen (Black Lawrence Press) and appeared in the Mom Egg Review in December. Western Stonecoasters: Lisa and her husband Russ will be moving to Colorado (near Durango) in late summer 2020. She would love to organize some readings and make contact with writers who live in that area. Finally, Lisa will be at AWP in San Antonio March 4-8 and would also like to meet up with Stonecoasters.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) is pleased to share some of her efforts guest editing “Root Mapping” at The Learned Pig. Published features include new work from Rick Bass (Faculty: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) and in January, a new essay by Catharine Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17). Submissions are welcome as the journal series continues in 2020.

 

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Community News & Updates December 2019

FACULTY

The French translation of JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Damnificados, entitled Les Dévastés and translated by Camille Nivelle, has won the Prix Révélation de Traduction from Société des Gens de Lettres. The ceremony takes place in Paris on December 3rd, 2019.

Stonecoast faculty member Tobias S. Buckell (Popular Fiction) and co-author Paolo Bacigalupi won the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection with The Tangled Lands, a fantasy novel told in four novella-length parts about a land crippled by the use of magic. Buckell also sold new novel The Musketress to Audible Originals: in a far-future world where reading has been forbidden by mechanical archangels a general’s daughter and fugitive librarian search for world-changing secrets found in ancient, lost books.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) monologue, “Blind Dog,” was produced in New York City by The Playground Experiment as part of the Faces of America Monologue Festival in support of the ACLU. “Blind Dog” has also been published in the Faces of America Anthology.

The paperback edition of Susan Conley‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Elsey Come Home has been published by Vintage. Susan’s forthcoming novel Landslide will be published by Knopf in February of 2021.

Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has edited and published a new anthology entitled What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump from Northwestern University Press.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) received two special mentions, in both fiction and creative non-fiction, in the 2020 Pushcart Prizes: his short story “Refugees” (published in The Bennington Review) and his essay “Sweetness Mattered” (published in Tin House) were both honored.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) profiled Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry for the pop culture site Please Kill Me. Her novel Curious Toys was named one of autumn’s best reads by Real Simple Magazine, as well as one of 2019’s best books by the Chicago Library, and was featured in Maine Women Magazine. Forthcoming reviews include Priya Sharma’s Ormeshadow, Tade Thompson’s The Survival of Molly Southborne, and Craig Laurance Gidney’s A Spectral Hue for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Several chapters for Lauren Marie Schmidt‘s (Poetry, Writing for Social Justice) YA novel-in-progress, The Players, are forthcoming in the following journals: North American ReviewMobius: The Journal for Social Change, and The MacGuffinClick here to learn more about the project and here to read samples.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has a new short film, produced via LGBT Toronto Film Festival. The five-minute short, Sister Kin, is based on a studio recording of a single scene by Elizabeth. The ‘Screenplay Short’ film will screen at LGBT Toronto Film Festival in 2020. A longer short film, Four-Sided, also based on Elizabeth’s novel, has been an official selection at nine festivals so far this year and will screen next in Chicago. Elizabeth’s feature-film script has been recognized at 20 festivals or competitions. Elizabeth looks forward to leading Stonecoast’s first hands-on Screen Your Short seminar for students wanting to write and shoot a short film. For updates on Elizabeth’s film projects, see www.afoursidedbedfilm.com

 

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) film short adaptation of her memoir, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, won the Best International Short Award at the Kerry International Film Festival in Kerry, Ireland.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poem “Lepus antilocapra” in HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. VI, edited by Stephanie Wytovich. This piece found its final form under the guidance of Cate Marvin. In other news, her short story “Gaze with Undimmed Eyes and the World Drops Dead” is featured in the anthology Terror at 5280′. This piece originated from a ghost story prompt in workshop with Liz Hand.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a story in Lightspeed Magazine this month: “The Path of Pins, the Path of Needles” is available from December 5th. Her flash piece “By Jingly Bell, By Velvet Mouse” also came out from PodCastle recently.

Jessica de Koninck (Poetry, S’11) has a poem, “Good Humor”, in the most recent edition of Glassworks. Its online segment, “Looking Glass,” includes her reflections on the poem. Her poem “Crazy Eights” appears in the most recent edition of Presence. “Lullaby Ghazal” is in Southword (Munster Literary Center), and her poem “Revisiting the Psalms” is included in the anthology A Constellation of Kisses from Terrapin Books. Finally, her poem, “Pastoral”, was the daily poem on SWIMM on Friday, November 29, 2019.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) was featured on the literary journal Barnstorm‘s website; you can read the tale of how he sold his first short story here.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) poems “The Girl Who Became So Still” and “The God Hour” will be published in the New Rivers anthology Wild Gods: The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was honored to have her essay “Persistence Is the Thing with Fins” selected for inclusion in A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, which comes out this month from Littoral Books. A book launch party will be held on Sunday, December 8th, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Space Gallery in Portland, Maine. Also, Andrea was also thrilled that her short story “The Quilt” was short-listed for the Peaceful Dumpling Environmental Writing Prize.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ‘06) has recent essays published in Ms Magazine“No More Coat Hangers”—and Lilith Magazine“When Life Imitates Your Own Art.”

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) short-fiction pieces “Avoidance,” “Meaning As Use,” and “Sola Fide” (the last of which was originally published in Able Muse, summer 2016) will be featured in Pleasure Boat Studio’s first biannual zine this December. Additionally, John will read “Sola Fide” at a Soul Food Coffee House event this December 19th.

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) is elated to announce that her live-action/animated film Rialia (2019) is an official selection at the National Screen Institute of Canada’s Online Short Film Festival and was their weekly featured film. Her short film The Bakebook (2017) will also be screening in Italy at the CineCiok Festival.

Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) had his novel, Soon the Light Will be Perfect, recently reviewed in The Portland Press Herald. The reviewer noted that the novel is “a beautiful exploration of what it means to come of age in difficult circumstances.”

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) was selected to participate in the third annual Poets and Artists in Dialogue at The Grosse Pointe Congregational Church in Michigan. Two of Linda’s poems are published with accompanying art in the full-color book. The reading is January 9th, 2020.

Mary Katherine Spain (Fiction, S’16) has been awarded semi-finalist status in the Machigonne Fiction Contest sponsored by The New Guard Literary Review. Her short story “Collision” will be published in Volume IX of The New Guard Literary Review in 2020.

An anthology of poems and essays on the climate threat by Maine Writers, A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, edited by Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’13) and Meghan Sterling, has been published by Littoral Books and can be purchased online here—or at the publication party at Space Gallery on December 8th in Portland. All Stonecoasters and their friends are invited! Also, The Portland Phoenix recently published an article about the anthology.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W’19) short story “Earth, Speak” will be published this December in Shenandoah‘s winter issue; the editors of Shenandoah have also nominated the story for a Pushcart.

Allister Timms (Popular Fiction, ‘13) has published his novel The Killing Moon with PS Publishing, the UK’s foremost specialist genre publisher of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The artwork for the novel is by Italian artist Daniele Serra, winner of the 2017 British Fantasy Award for Best Artist. The Washington Post has included The Killing Moon in its “Best Horror Fiction of the Year.” Allister Timms is from Wales and now lives in Belfast, Maine, and teaches Literature at Husson University in Bangor. Allister can be found at https://allistertimms16.wixsite.com/home

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