Tag Archives: Elizabeth Searle

Community News & Updates July 2021

ALUMS 

Darcie Abbene (Fiction, S’21) was a finalist for the Vermont Writer’s Prize for her essay “Reverse-os.” Darcie has spent the last few months writing book reviews for Kirkus Reviews, Necessary Fiction, and Split Rock Review. Her braided essay “Brave” is forthcoming in the summer issue of Whitefish Review.

Jill Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) will be presenting at the international MIX 2021 Amplified Publishing digital/creative writing conference in the UK in early July. Two of her students at York College, CUNY were awarded full scholarships from Bath Spa University to attend this virtual conference and present their work in Jill’s session. Here is the Black Lives Matter Spoken Word Poem video they will be sharing.

Kirkus Reviews provided a laudatory review of L.C. Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) third novel of her Jack Harper Trilogy, PeakPeak will be published this October 2021.

Carina Bissett’s (Popular Fiction, S’18) poem “Radiant” can be found in Nonbinary Review #24 Industrial Revolution, published by Zoetic Press. This piece is based on her research of the Radium Girls. She is also pleased that her story “A Seed Planted” has been reprinted in The Society of Misfit Stories, published by Bards & Sages. 

J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) poem “There Are No Baked Potato Chips in Palm Beach” was published in the 2021 Volume 14 of DASH Literary Journal which exists in superb lovely print and not otherwise. J wrote the poem in a class taught by Billy Collins in 2015, after which Collins urged e “put a stamp on it and send it out.” After zero outside interest in the poem, J added the fourth stanza during their 2019 semester at Stonecoast at the urging of thesis advisor Debra Marquart. The subject of the poem, J’s mother, died exactly one year ago, and it’s nice that both the poem and the parent can now rest in peace. 

Lauren M. Davis‘ (Poetry, S’15) poems “Dry Tree,” “Sleeping Through the Earthquake,” “Watching Them Swim,” and “What We Ourselves Have Figured Out” will be published in Apofenie Magazine, Volume 11: The Divine.

Jaq Evans‘s (Popular Fiction, S’20) short story “Flood Tide” will feature in the Malarkey Books anthology It Came from the Swamps, to be published in winter of 2021.

Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has just been added to the stable of writers at the literary agency of Darhansoff and Verrill. Her second memoir is nearing completion, and she has begun conversations with her agent about a third book which will chronicle the brutal murder of her great-great-grandmother and explore epigenetics and a legacy of family trauma.  

Natalie Harris-Spencer (Fiction, S’21) is taking it as a serendipitous act of the universe that the day after she graduated, after months of publishing silence, she was longlisted for Pulp Literature‘s 2021 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize and had another “rather disturbing” story that she workshopped last residency accepted in The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine. Details to follow.

Clifford Royal Johns’ (Popular Fiction, W’18) new novel from Vernacular Books, Velocity Blues, is now available in paperback or e-book from your favorite bookstore (or Amazon). The newly released novel was written at Stonecoast and was Cliff’s thesis work. Here’s what a few people have said about it:

  • Elizabeth Hand said, “A thrilling amalgam of neo-noir and cyberpunk, Cliff Johns’s hyper-adrenalized new novel catapults readers into a near-future at once recognizable and startlingly strange. I read Velocity Blues in one sitting, and I suspect others will, too. Great stuff.”
  • David Anthony Durham said, “Velocity Blues is a frenetic, futuristic gangster caper on fast-forward, with a premise you’ll wish you thought of, and a protagonist you’ll love (and want to kick on occasion). Characterization, action, and snappy lingo propel this, but there’s also a sneaky critique of society, of youth and adulthood, exploitation and rebellion woven through the shenanigans. Enjoy the ride. And try to keep up.”
  • Publishers Weekly said, “Johns has a keen eye for worldbuilding and captures Zip’s thought processes in frenetic, almost stream-of-conscious prose that perfectly mirrors his mental state. Readers are in for a ripping, deceptively philosophical ride.”
  • Kirkus Reviews said, “A gritty thriller that puts the downside of superpowers into bracingly relatable terms.”

Tom MacDonald’s (Fiction, W’09) short story “Nashua River Floater” was named a finalist in the 2021 Shamus Awards.

Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will teach a class on Time and Telling via Zoom on August 21, 2021, at 2:00-4:00 p.m. for the NSU Alvin Sherman Library in South Florida. Free. 

J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes’s (Poetry, W ‘11) new poetry collection, Was That You Boss, has just been released by Wipf and Stock Publishing. The book consists of psalm-poems focusing on the mysteries of daily living in relation to an equally mysterious “Boss.” The author’s experience as a part-time farmer and amateur naturalist come into play, as does his indebtedness to Maurice Manning’s superb poetry collection, Bucolics.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) poem “Swept Clean in the Airiness of Death” will be published in the September edition of Naugatuck Review. Her reviews of Woman Drinking Absinthe by Katherine E. YoungAsh by Gloria Mindock, and The Pact by Jennifer Militello have been recently published in Mom Egg Review.

Rhiannon J. Taylor’s (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) flash fiction “Parasites” was published in issue 6 of Frozen Wavelets.

Stonecoast recent alum Becky Thompson (Poetry, W’21) is in Greece this summer working with asylum-seeking activists, including Maryam Janikhuskh whose 12-year-old, Arezu Kabuli, will be joining Becky in Boston so Arezu can attend the International School of Boston (8th-12th grade). Arezu is one of the people Becky dedicated her forthcoming poetry collection to—and so a circle continues. Becky is excited about this new chapter in her life as Arezu is currently learning French to add to Farsi, Greek, Turkish and English, for the International School. Becky eagerly awaits the publication of To Speak in Salt (Ex Ophidia Press, Fall 2021) and forthcoming poems in AGNISoul Salon: A Journal of Spiritual WritingPensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality and the ArtsFeminists Talk Whiteness, and Visions-International: A World Journal of Illustrated Poetry.  

Becky Thompson and Arezu Kabuli in Greece making plans for Arezu’s study at the International School in Boston. 

Gina Troisi (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) was recently interviewed on Joe Public Podcast about her debut memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, which was released in April. She was also interviewed by fellow author Suanne Schafer.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) interprets suppressed memory through a Nigerian, specifically Igbo, philosophy in her recently-published piece entitled “Irôko” in Speculative Nonfiction, Issue #5: Hold, edited by Robin Hemley & Leila Philip.  Her memoir, Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun, was featured in June’s travel book club meeting of The Nomadic Network on June 2, and Faith participated in the online live discussion with a global audience of readers. Faith also appeared on KQED Morning Edition, along with Washington Post reporter Natalie Compton and travel journalist Jeannette Ceja, hosted by Marisa Lagos, in “What to Consider if You’re Ready to Travel This Summer” to talk about the upcoming post-lockdown vacation boom and changes in the ways people may travel in this global COVID Era.  Finally, she was featured in Tanya Ward Goodman’s “With Airline Altercations on the Rise, A Guide to Best Practices for Bystanders,” published in The Washington Post

Annie Deppe (Stonecoast in Ireland) is delighted to announce the publication of her third book of poems, Night Collage, from Arlen House. It can be purchased from Book Depository or directly from the author (anniedeppe@hotmail.com). It won’t be available in the U.S. until autumn, when Syracuse University Press will distribute it.

Listen to a sixteen-minute podcast from the “On Being Project” about Martín Espada’s (Poetry) poem “After the Goose That Rose Like the God of Geese.” It’s a reading with reflections by Pádraig Ó Tuama.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) sold his short story “I Know Where I’m Going” (which he read an excerpt from at the June residency) to Image Journal, which will publish it next year. 

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera is now available as a Concert Film on StreamingMusicals.com as a Benefit for The Actor’s Fund. Filmed live at 54Below in New York City and recorded as a CD for Broadway Records with an all-Star Broadway cast (Tony Award nominees Lauren Warsham and Nancy Opel), the show features highlights from Michael Teoli’s and Eliabeth’s widely produced show. The CD of this concert was reviewed as “stunningly awesome.” 

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Community News & Updates June 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

ALUMS  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACULTY 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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