Tag Archives: Erin Roberts

Community News & Updates July 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

It’s Boston Poetry Marathon time again! This year’s Boston Poetry Marathon is Friday-Sunday, August 16, 17, and 18, and …WE HAVE REALLY EXCITING NEWS! *We will be in a NEW LOCATION this year!* We are having this year’s Marathon at The Community Church of Boston at 565 Boylston St in Copley Square. This year’s event times are Friday, August 16th, from 6:00-10:30 p.m., Saturday, August 17th, from 12:00-10:30 p.m. (with a dinner break around 5:30, starting up again at 7:00 p.m.), and Sunday, August 18th, from 12:00-6:00 p.m. As always: every reader gets eight minutes each. For the third year running, Bridget Eileen (Poetry, W’09) is an organizer of this 20+ year-old Boston-area poetry festival tradition. This year’s lineup is TBD, but past years’ Stonecoast participants include alums Florine Melnyk, Carol Berg, Christine Tierney, and Vanesa Pacheco, and faculty Richard Hoffman and D. Nurkse. Admission is free but donations are welcome and appreciated. We are collecting donations ahead of time to help us with this year’s event at the new location. Learn more here. Event details are can be found here.

FACULTY

Candor Arts, in collaboration with Illinois Humanities and their #IllinoisTurns200, produced a risograph broadside of Tara Betts‘ (Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) Illinois Bicentennial poem. The broadside also features illustrations by Kiki Dupont. Betts’ poem nods at the sesquicentennial Gwendolyn Brooks wrote in ’68 to mark 150 years of statehood. Betts’ broadside will be given to the winners of the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards (#GWBYPA19) on August 10th, 2019.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) has agreed to a two-book deal with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. His first young-adult book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight between America and Hitler, was released in June. In its review, Booklist calls the book “a knockout.” School Library Journal says it “reads as smoothly as a novel” and recommends it for “all public and school libraries.” Last week, John and his writing partner (and wife), Ouisie Shapiro, discussed the book’s themes on ESPN radio; you can hear the interview here.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) was interviewed by novelist Kris Jansma for Electric Literature, which called his novel Nirvana Is Here “a pure joy to read on every page.” The Rupture also published a glowing review of Nirvana, calling it “an expertly written, bold, funny, serious novel.” DC fans, take note: on July 3rd, Aaron will be on a panel at the legendary Ask Rayceen Show doors opening at 6:00 p.m. He’ll also be teaching Publishing 101 at the Writer’s Center on July 10th, 7:00-9:00 p.m., as well as a special class on the novel Landfall by Thomas Mallon at Politics and Prose on July 14th, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will accept the Grand Master Award, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, at San Diego Comic-Con on July 19 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 32 AB. There will be an autograph session afterwards with a panel of tie-in writers in the Sails Pavilion. Here is the press release from the association:

Not many women get to play in over ten different universes, let alone create several of their own. Yet that is exactly what Nancy Holder makes look so very—and deceptively—easy to her myriad and devoted fans.

Every year, the International Association of Media Tie-In writers selects a grandmaster of tie-in writing to receive the Faust, IAMTW’s lifetime achievement award. For 2019, it is the IAMTW’s great pleasure to present the Faust to Nancy Holder. Her tie-in work runs the gamut from Firefly to Saving Grace. She’s written Angel in the Buffyverse, and Zorro in the seventeenth century. She novelized the Wonder Woman, Crimson Peak, and Ghostbusters movies, and wrote about a Feline Felon, and a pup in Wishbone. Above and beyond her media work, she’s co-created the YA series Wicked and Crusade.

Of the Bram Stoker award-winning and NYT bestselling author, IAMTW president Jonathan Maberry says, “Nancy is not only a superb writer and a smart businesswoman, but also a kind and compassionate member of the writing community.”

The IAMTW congratulates Grandmaster Nancy Holder on receiving the 2019 Faust Award.

More film news for Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting): her screenplay A Four-Sided Bed won Best Dramatic Screenplay at Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival in June, as well as Best First Time Feature Screenplay at Festivious Film Festival-LA, and was a Finalist at the Filmatic Drama Screenplay Awards. Over a dozen contests and festivals have given award recognition to Elizabeth’s script this year. The script will be featured in a full Staged Reading performance at the 15th Annual ReelHeART International Film and Screenplay Festival on July 5th in Toronto; Elizabeth will attend the film festival and do a Q/A after the staged reading. Later in July, Elizabeth’s script will be featured in a Best Scenes short read at the festival LGBT Toronto. Please see the updated website: http://www.afoursidedbedfilm.com

ALUMS

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) has been invited to participate on a panel on the Ethics of Storytelling at Mix Digital, an international conference of digital writing at Bath Spa University in the UK on Monday, July 1, 2019; she also received a grant from the PSC_CUNY to attend the conference. The panel is moderated by writer Nikesh Shukladescribed by Foreign Affairs Magazine as one of the top 100 thinkers in the world and by The Bookseller as one of the 100 most influential people in publishing. Also on the panel is Digital Curator from the British Museum, Stella Wisdom, and British novelist Rosie Garland. More details can be found here.

The short-film adaptation of Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) memoir, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, has three launches in July. The film’s Australian launch is at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival July 4-17. Two New England launches follow at the Maine International Film Festival at Railroad Square (July 12-21) and then the Woods Hole Film Festival (July 27-August 3). Bailey wrote and directed the film. For more details see wildsnailfilm.org. Also, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating has just been published in Spain in both Catalan (Més Libres) and Spanish (Capitán Swing) and the Spanish edition will have distribution in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Derek Lubangakene’s story “Origami Angels” for the June 13th episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled that her novella, The Rampant, now has both a cover and release date! The Rampant will be released by Aqueduct Press on October 1st, 2019, in both an ebook and paperback edition as part of their Conversation Pieces series.

It’s ten years since the hordes of old-world Sumerian gods arrived in Southern Indiana to kick off the end of the world, but things have not gone to plan. A principal player decided not to show. Now humanity is stuck in a seemingly never-ending apocalypse. Sixteen-year-old Emelia Bareilles and Gillian Halkey are determined to travel into the lands of the dead and force a change.

“I loved the epic journey of our two teenaged lesbian he­roes, Gillian and Emelia, through the sprawling horrors of the Sumerian afterworld. The clash of their modern feminist sensibilities with the cruel and rigid theocracy of the very oldest gods out-weirds much of the New Weird. In The Rampant, Julie Day calls us to visit a fan­tastical landscape in a voice that is hers alone.” ~James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards

The Rampant was so much fun to read! Is that the right way to blurb a horror novel? I don’t know, but it’s the truth. Julie Day’s novel is smart, playful, sly and, yes, hor­rifying too. A short gem of a book.” ~Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling. Winner of the World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, and British Fantasy awards.

“The girl-powered post-apocalyptic Sumerian under­world quest I didn’t know I needed.” ~Sarah Pinsker, winner of the Nebula and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

The Rampant is one of the most original Apocalypse tales I’ve read in ages. Julie C. Day avoids cliché and gives the reader the end-times by way of Sumerian myth—except this particular end-of-the-world stalls when one of its principal players decides not to show up. What unfolds is a journey into the underworld filled with joy and hor­ror, hope and loss. It’s a wise and lovely story—exactly what I’ve come to expect from Day.” ~Nathan Ballingrud, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award; shortlisted for the World Fan­tasy, British Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Awards.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) poem “Waiting for the Lazuli Bunting” was published in the Spring 2019 issue of Birdland Journal, and her poem “Spirit Bear” will be published in the upcoming Marin Poetry Center Anthology. Terri also taught a workshop on the history of haiku for the summer residency of the MFA program at Dominican University in June 2019.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) is pleased to announce Catskill Lit: Words & Music Revivala generative writing retreat.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) started his production company, Alan W. King Productions, which specializes in audio, video, literary services, marketing and content management. For authors, his services include book trailerssocial media banner designs to help promote your book, and media outreach for reviews. Alan marketed his second book, Point Blank, which was named among the “Ten Best Poetry Books for 2016” by Beltway Poetry Journal. It was also listed among “The Best Poetry Books of the New Year 2017” by Washington Independent Review of Books and was reviewed in publications such as the Washington City Paper and the Best American Poetry blog. Learn more here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) received the 2019 Maine Literary Award for Drama.

Jeanette Lynes‘ (Poetry/Fiction, S’05) second novel, The Small Things that End the World, won the Muslims for Peace and Justice Fiction Award at the 2019 Saskatchewan Book Awards, Canada.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) flash-fiction piece, “A Miracle Shy of Martyrdom,” is forthcoming in Necessary Fiction. John is currently in residency as a Teaching Apprentice at Stonecoast.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) is organizing the first annual Fall Writerfest at the Pyramid Life Center in Paradox, NY, Sunday, September 22nd, through Friday September 27th, 2019. Fee is $300 inclusive of lodging, all meals, workshops, and seminars. Stonecoaster Clif Travers (Popular Fiction, S’17) will be teaching fiction, Ellie will be teaching a multi-genre workshop, and there will also be workshops in poetry and CNF along with seminars on publishing, Tai Chi, writing through grief, and more to be added.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W’18) is thrilled to have been recently awarded a 2019 Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and plans to use the grant to spend more time writing. She’s also deeply proud to have her story “Sour Milk Girls,” which was previously selected to be in The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Vol. 4, also selected to be in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2019. Finally, her 2018 short story “The Grays of Cestus V,” originally in Asimov’s, is now available free to the masses through its inclusion in the short story podcast Tales from A Black Universe—links here (Spotify) and here (Apple).

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S ’08), will lead a one-day workshop, “Dialogue and Scene for Prose Writers,” with Cedar Ridge Writers Series, in Bedminster, NJ, on Saturday, July 20th. Details here.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) invites writers of all stripes who are looking for a good editor to contact her. For the last five years she has worked as a developmental editor on a number of wonderful books that have been published by the University of California Press, focusing mostly on race and gender studies. She’s also edited half a dozen creative nonfiction books, a couple YA novels, and poetry. Authors she’s worked with include Michael Kimmel, Khaled Beydoun, Deepak Singh, Julie Bettie, Barbara Owen, and Robert Wyrod. She works on a generous sliding scale, and is especially interested in working with artists who are isolated socially or geographically, and with intellectuals whose work centers on social justice. She is happy to work with clients for just an hour or two, or for a year, or on an as-needed basis. Please contact her at tamieparkersong@gmail.com.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) won a $500 Merit Scholarship to attend Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop held recently at Hollins University. The award was based on an excerpt from a novel in progress.

 

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Community News & Updates April 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Call for Submissions: Climate Anthology
Now it is up to the artists. The scientists have warned us. They have been warning us for fifty years. But we have only 12 years to dramatically reduce our current carbon use before we cross the line into unprecedented climate catastrophe. We—Meghan Sterling and Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06)—are editing an anthology of Maine poets and essayists whose writing will, we hope, wake us, stir our imaginations both for our global future and our way of life here in Maine. We are looking for writing which helps find language for the fear, guilt, and grief of this moment, and, perhaps, for the hope. Published and unpublished work sought. Littoral Press has agreed to publish the book which we hope will be in Fall, 2019. The voices of youth most welcome. Send one essay (max 1,000 words) or up to three poems to: climateanthology@gmail.com Include a short bio. Deadline is May 31. Kathleen notes that Stonecoast alums are encouraged to submit even if they don’t live in Maine now.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Lauren Erin O’Brien‘s (Fiction) story “Atrophy,” recipient of the 2018 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction from Bellevue Literary Review, has been nominated by the board of contributing editors for a Pushcart Prize. The story originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Bellevue Literary Review and can be read online here.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) full-length play Cry Havoc will have its European Premiere at the Park Theatre in London, March 27-April 20. His short play Kamasutra is included in The Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019 anthology (Smith & Kraus)—available now!

Audiophile named Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) Elsey Come Home an Audiofile “Earphone Award Winner,” given to truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text:  “At once urgent and contemplative, this new work focuses on Elsey, a painter and married mother living in China who has taken to drinking instead of creating art. Urged by her husband to find help, she attends a yoga retreat and discovers many truths, not the least of which about herself.” Also, Read it Forward named Elsey Come Home one of the best novels with “Characters Who Drink Too Much”: “Elsey has to face the ghosts of her past and figure out what alcohol is keeping her from confronting.” Finally, Elsey Come Home was Maine’s WERU-FM’s Book Worm’s March Book Club Pick. The live, in-studio interview, with call-ins was March 14. In their March 17th review, The Portland Press Herald called the narrator of Susan’s new novel Elsey Come Home “a feisty blur of a woman, caught in the grip of her many demons, hellbent on pushing everyone, and everything, away. Elsey is that rare creation that evokes real life, defies predictability and disarms us at every turn. Conley has taken a jittery pile of loose ends and made a thing of beauty.”

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, “The Jackie Robinson of Pool, Cisero Murphy Hustled His Way to the Top,” was a March feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His book One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime will be re-issued in paperback on April 1. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group on May 21, and just received this review from Kirkus.

More advance praise for Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) Nirvana Is Here, due out May 14th! Brando Skyhorse calls the book “A yearning, generous, coming-of-age journey… funny, painful, heartbreaking.” Louis Bayard says, “A touching, finely wrought portrait of secrets lying like buried ordinance beneath ordinary lives.” The review by Amos Lassen raves, “Every once in a while, a book comes along that blows me away and Nirvana Is Here is one such book…” and I Like To Read says, “Almost impossible for me to put this book down, which is rare for me these days… a beautiful, sad, coming-of-age story that is a heartily welcome addition to the LGBTQ literature pantheon.” Also, a couple new tour dates added, including a stop at Word Bookstore in Jersey City on May 15th and the Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University in October. Click here for the updated schedule to see if Aaron’s coming to your hometown!

Elizabeth Hand’s recent reviews include Niklas Natt och Dag’s The Wolf and the Watchman for The Washington Post; Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Millicent Patrick for The Los Angeles Times; and Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies, The Devil’s Highway by Gregory Norminton, Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss, and Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You by Scotto Moore for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) is happy to announce the Crossroad Press reissue of Witch-Light and Making Love, two books she originally co-wrote with the late Melanie Tem for the groundbreaking horror imprint, Dell Abyss. Making Love is a retelling of Frankenstein, and the book is dedicated in part to Mary Shelley.

Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are bringing Idol Talk to the stage! Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols is premiering as a theatrical event produced by Firehouse Center for the Performing Arts and Exit Dance Company as a special fundraiser. The show stars actress and author Marianne Leone (The Sopranos) and will alternate short monologue-style readings from the book Idol Talk (co-edited by Elizabeth And Tammy) with dance numbers paying tribute to idols like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Monkees, and more. The show features Stonecoast alum readers/performers Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein (whose work will be performed by Marianne Leone), Michelle Soucy, and Darlene Taylor, along with Stonecoast faculty Suzanne Strempek Shea. Performances are May 10 & 11 at 8:00 p.m. at Firehouse Center for Performing Arts in Newburyport, MA; tickets on sale soon here.

It’s almost time for our 18th Writers’ Day at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), the university’s writer in residence, is delighted to have booked speakers Jane Yolen, author of over 350 books for children and adults, discussing Writing for Younger Readers; C Flanagan Flynn, former managing editor of Brain, Child Magazine, discussing Writing and Publishing in Literary Magazines & Journals; and author and Bay Path MFA faculty member Shahnaz Habib, speaking about Writing Home, where you’re from and who your are. The event will be held Sunday, April 14, at the Philip H. Ryan Center in East Longmeadow, MA. For more information or to register, go here.

Jane Yolen

ALUMS

The short-film adaptation of Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) memoir The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating has launched. The film next screens in April at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, MT, and then will screen in late May/early June at CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival in Turin, Italy.

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) published two short stories recently: “The Shift” in Eclectica Magazine and “The Maelstrom” in Failbetter.com.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) presented his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Female Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” at the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He will be presenting the paper again at Worldcon 77 in Dublin in August. Peter also sold his story “The Moon and Mahasti” to the Holy C.O.W. anthology, which will be published this summer.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poems “A Disappearing Act,” ”Snow White, Rose Red,” and “Persephone’s Promise” in the Spring issue of The Horror ‘Zine.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) has a short story coming out in Bill Adler Jr. and Sarah Doebereiner’s The Binge Watching Cure: Horror Edition anthology in October 2019—a reprint of “Cadaver Feet” which was featured in alumna Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s Art and Words show. Jose Gonzalez Lanza’s amazing artwork interpreting this piece is available for viewing at this link. This summer, Karen is teaching a 12-week online creative writing class May-August for Western Technical College—registration is now open and participants will earn transferrable college-level English credits. New or experienced poets/fiction writers world-wide are welcome in this online asynchronous class.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) sold his short story about drug-fueled time traveling, “A Second’s Labour,” to The London ReaderThis piece was workshopped during his first semester at Stonecoast with Nancy Holder. Also, he has accepted a full-tuition scholarship to the University of New Hampshire’s Masters in English Studies program, where he will begin attending this fall.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) will be speaking at the Authors’ Fair at Crowder College in Missouri on April 27. Her topic is research for fiction, and she’ll use examples from her own fiction as illustrations (spending two days at a TV station researching for a news anchor character in A Sense of Place, attending 14 Thursday nights of the Citizens’ Police Academy for a policewoman character for Here’s Your Trouble).

In March, The Last Woman in the Forest, the newest novel of Diane Les Becquets (Fiction, S’05), was released by Penguin Random House. Publishers Weekly said that the novel is “[an] elegantly written thriller…the story revs up, providing more than enough tension and suspense as Marian inches closer to the dangerous and disturbing truth. Eloquent, detailed descriptions of nature and of rescue dog training, survival techniques, and the peripatetic life of conservationists enrich the narrative.” Diane is on a book tour, including a visit to Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH, at 7:00 p.m. on April 11th (see below for more April dates).

Susan Lilley’s (Poetry, S’08) collection Venus in Retrograde comes out April 30 from Burrow Press. She is looking for a good excuse to come to New England and do some readings this summer. Reach her at susan.lilley@icloud.com. Check it out here: https://burrowpress.com/venus

On April 6, Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will be teaching a class, “The How-to of Deep Point of View,” for the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, FL, 2:00-3:30. Details here. Alison’s short story “King Hanuman” is now available in the the new Sisters in Crime/LA anthology Fatally Haunted (Down and Out Books, Spring 2019), edited by Rachel Howzell Hall, Sheila Lowe, and Laurie Stevens.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W17) has two books accepted for publication. North County Press will publish both her memoir, Up Home Again, and her poetry manuscript, Breathe Here.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) is in the third year of her PhD at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She has just completed an interview with CBC’s The Sunday Edition (hosted by Michael Enright) concerning her work and, in particular, her most recent chapbook, On the Oven Sits a Maiden (Frog Hollow Press, 2018).

Lisa Panepinto‘s (Poetry, W’13) book where i come from the fish have souls was published by Spuyten Duyvil.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Ariel in LOve Summer” 1999 [sic] will appear in the summer 2019 edition of Valpariso Fiction Review; his poem “Looking” will appear in Gyroscope Review. Bruce will be reading from and signing copies of The Trash Detail, his new story collection from New Rivers Press, and Forms and Shades, his new poetry chapbook from Clare Songbirds Publishing, at The Bangor Public Library on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 2:30 p.m.; a Q&A will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public. For more information please call 207-947-8336. He will also be part of the annual Poets Speak event at the library that will take place on April 25; dozens of poets will read throughout the afternoon and early evening. On April 27, Bruce will join songwriters Cormac McCarthy, Stan Sullivan, and Jim Mercik for an evening of songs, stories, and a musical tribute to the late Bill Morrissey at The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, CT. For reservations and directions please see the venues website or call 860-693-0263; the show, primarily a music event, begins at 7:30 p.m.—doors open at 7:00 and tickets are $20.00. Finally, on April 30, Bruce will join Anne Britting Oleson at the Belfast Public Library, 106 High Street, Belfast, ME, for a joint reading, book signing, and Q&A. The event is free, open to all and begins at 6:30 p.m.; additional info may be had by calling 207-338-3884.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction W ’18) is thrilled to have two of her short stories (“Sour Milk Girls” & “Snake Season”) on the 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List, which helps to determine the winners of the annual Locus Awards. She also recently had the opportunity to chat about her work as a whole on a Signal Boost episode of the Skiffy and Fanty podcast and hopefully didn’t say anything too incriminating! Note: The Locus list is packed with amazing stories, books, and collections (including work by Jim Kelly and Dora Goss)—read and vote for your favorites (voting open to all, whether a Locus subscriber or not, and write-ins are allowed!).

Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) article “Yes, You Can Write Memoir, Even if Your Memory Isn’t Great” appears at the blog of The Open Center NYC, where she’ll be teaching a day-long workshop on the intersection of memory and memoir writing on April 13. Her essay “Forgiving the Bully in the Pulpit” appeared recently in The Moon Magazine. In August, Lisa will lead a week-long memoir workshop at the Live Free and Write Retreat in Sunapee, NH. Closer to her home in NJ, Lisa recently marked six years teaching with The Writers Circle.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular fiction, S’13) story “Every Song Must End” appeared in the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine.

Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06) has a poem coming out in next volume of Poet Lore and has had an essay accepted for publication this summer in The Stonecoast Review.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short story “Safe Harbor” was published in Narrative Magazine‘s Winter 2019 issue.

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W ’09) poem “Hydrangea” will appear in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of The Aurorean.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates January 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Task Before Us: Writing Truth to Power
Stonecoast MFA invites you to join Pulitzer Prize finalist Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) and award-winning writer Cheryl Clarke for an interactive discussion interrogating the intersection of creative writing and participatory democracy. Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18th, at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, Maine, to listen, question, and reconsider where you stand.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) is excited to be a new writing coach for the Young Writers and Leaders program at The Telling Room in Portland, ME, where she is also an editor of their “Stories” on-line publication. The Telling Room is a non-profit whose mission is to help young writers ages 6-18 to find their voices and share them with the world. She also is grateful to have completed her first round as a first reader for the Stonecoast Review: A Literary Arts Journal, an experience she found to be enlightening, since there’s nothing like seeing how it works on the other side of the submit/publish process. While in Norway this fall (writing away for her workshop submissions!) she published an essay in Klassekampen (Norway’s largest liberal/cultural newspaper)—in Norwegian—about the importance of meeting “the other” in the battle against racism and antisemitism. The non-profit organization Narrative 4, founded by Colum McCann, has asked for it to be translated, because in her essay she sheds light on their ground-braking work using storytelling as a tool for breaking down prejudice and building what they call “radical empathy.”

Lauren Erin O’Brien’s (Fiction) short story “No Horns, Just Sharp Bones” was named a Finalist for Glimmer Train‘s Short Story Award for New Writers.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) has received an HBMG Foundation playwriting fellowship to attend the National Winter Playwriting Retreat 2019 in beautiful Creede, Colorado, where he will be working on his play Cry Havoc.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Elsey Come Home will be published on January 15th with Knopf. The book received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and is an Oprah Magazine “Ten Books to Read” for February, a Marie Claire Magazine “Best Fiction for 2019” pick, a Southern Living “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019” pick, a Fodor’s “2018 Holiday Books” pick, and a Library Journal “Pre-Pub Pick for January.” A book launch event will take place on January 17th at Mechanics Hall in Portland (6:00-9:00 p.m.), to which the Stonecoast Community is heartily invited.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) recently reviewed N.K. Jemisin’s How Long ‘til Black Future Month?: Stories for The Los Angeles Times and Lili Anolik’s Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. for The Washington Post.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has been selected as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards. The World Fantasy Convention will be held in Los Angeles from October 21-November 4. The other judges are Stephen Graham Jones, Kathleen Jennings, Garry Douglas Kilworth, and Tod McCoy.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was recently interviewed by Cindy Huyser as part of her feature at the Bookwoman 2nd Thursday Reading Series. Read the interview here.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) one-act play Stolen Girl Song will be produced at the Act One: One Act play festival “off off Broadway” in Long Island City, New York, on January 2nd, 5th, and 10th at The Secret Theatre.  The play, most recently performed in September at The Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers, stars Broadway actress Heidi Friese (Matilda).

ALUMS

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce that her short story “The Painted Ponies of Wiley Creek” was included in Not a Pipe Publishing’s anthology, Strongly Worded Women. Many thanks to everyone at the Ireland Howth residency (Winter ’17) for their input, especially Ted Deppe, as well as Stonecoasters Sarah Flynn ParkeGenevieve Williams, and Andrea Adams.

Katie Bickham’s (Poetry, S’13) second book of poetry, Mouths Open to Name Her, was selected by Louisiana Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon for inclusion in her Barataria Poetry Series. It will be published by LSU Press in February 2019.

Brenda Cooper (Fiction, S’17) is pleased to announce the publication date for A Year Without a Winter from Columbia University Press. She worked as a fiction editor for the book alongside Arizona State University editors Joey Eschrich and Cynthia Selin through the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination. The four fiction stories in this mix of fiction and essays about climate change include work by Tobias Buckell (now a faculty member at Stonecoast), Nnedi Okorafor, Nancy Kress, and Vandana Singh.

The Butcher’s Daughter: A Memoir by Florence Grende (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), has won the 2018 Kindle Book Award for Non-Fiction. The memoir had previously won the Reader’s Digest 2017 Book Award and received Honorable Mention in the Eric Hoffer 2017 awards.

Penny Guisinger’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) piece “The Five C’s” received a Pushcart nomination. The piece appeared as part of the Voices of Addiction feature at The Rumpus in September 2018.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) recently published a review of Nicole Walker’s Sustainability: A Love Story on the Brevity blog. Her essay “Rose” is forthcoming in Diagram magazine. She’s enjoying a new behind-the-scenes experience as a nonfiction reader for Carve Magazine.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) read “Lost Change,” an except from her memoir What Goes by the Name of Love, at the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival Nonfiction Award Event on December 21, 2018, in Brooklyn Heights. She was a finalist for the award and is seeking an agent for her memoir, begun at Stonecoast.

Two Stonecoasters are involved in Sleuthfest (Boca Raton, FL, March 14-17), the conference for mystery writers organized by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. GOH is T. Jefferson Parker. Other guests include Alexia Gordon, Alex Segura, Tom Straw, and Elaine Viets. There will be half-a-dozen editors and agents taking pitches. Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) is Conference Co-Chair. Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will teach a workshop “Practice Your Pitch” Thursday, March 14, 2019, at 10:45 am. She will also appear on the panel “Back to School: Writing for Middle Grades & Young Adults” Saturday, March 16, 2019, at 10:30 am.

Catharine H. Murray’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) television interview with Portland’s Rob Caldwell of 207 will air the first week of January on WCSH. Her recent radio interview with Bill Radke of KUOW in Seattle can be heard in the third part of this show. Catharine will be reading from her memoir Now You See the Sky in Camden at the Public Library on Sunday, January 13th, at 2:00 p.m. Local memoirist and USM writing professor Liz Peavey will join Catharine in conversation about Now You See the Sky and memoir writing at the Portland Public Library Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, January 30th, from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short-story collection The Trash Detail from New Rivers Press is now available in stores and online. His poetry chapbook Forms and Shades is due mid-January from Clare Songbirds Publishing. Schoodic Arts for All will present some of his one-act plays as part of their summer program in Winter Harbor, Maine, during the first two weeks of August 2019. And Bruce’s short story “Eastern Bluebird” is in the newest edition of Portland Monthly Magazine.

“Maximum Security,” a poem by Steve Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), appears in the current issue of Hospitality, published by the Open Door Community of Baltimore—“A Prophetic Discipleship Community Honoring the Black Jesus, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) ended 2018 with something a little different—the release of her first game. “Thanks for the Memories” is a short work of interactive fiction available online at Sub-Q MagazineBonus story notes can be found on her website, as can her summary of all her published work in 2018. Happy new year to all!

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates November 2018

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Edible Queens, one of 85 “Edible” magazines across the US and Canada, has made Jillian Abbott’s (Fiction, S’04) popular (almost 16K followers) Instagram blog into a column. The blog explores migration, memory, and what the Welsh call Hiraeth, which means “homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past” through food. Read her column on Butterfly Cakes here.

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is now available in Italian. Marsilio Editore is the publisher for the Italian translation, which launched in late September.

Misconceptions, a musical and part of Allen Baldwin‘s (Scriptwriting, W’17) thesis, will have a three-week run at Footlights Theatre in Falmouth from November 1st through the 17th. Here’s a description: “Penny and Vince have done everything right… so far. Faced with the challenge of infertility, they are now forced to reconsider their relationship and piece together a future that neither of them expected. Misconceptions is an emotional roller-coaster ride through modern relationships and romantic expectations. Irreverent but sincere, honest but hilarious, Misconceptions explores a relationship from the inside-out, as Penny and Vince struggle to stay together, finding their way back to the love that started it all. It’s about what we want from our partners, what we need from our lovers, and how the ugly moments of love can, somehow, bring us closer together.” Tickets available now—see www.thefootlightstheatre.com for more info.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was interviewed as Assistant Editor with the PseudoPod team on Writing the Rapids. She has also been narrating poetry for Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Listen to her read Ngo Binh Anh Khoa’s “The Necromancer.” Upcoming: Mary Soon Lee’s “Between Battles.” She’s also been tapped to narrate a short story for HFQ and for Escape Artist’s Cast of Wonders young adult podcast—links forthcoming in a future newsletter. She served as a judge for the Horror Writers Association’s Dark Poetry Scholarship and very much enjoyed reading new poets. All of you should apply for HWA scholarships next year when they open again. Read about them here. She continues to be grateful for Stonecoast, the best decision she ever made.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be having not one, but two, launch parties for her hybrid memoir Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, published by Burrow Press, both featuring live “space music.” On Sunday, November 4th from 3:00-6:00 p.m., she will be at Waterfall Arts Gallery in Belfast, Maine, with electronic keyboardist Tom Luther. On Saturday, November 10th, she will be at the Lowndes Shakespeare Theater in Orlando, Florida, starting at 7:00 p.m. The program will include Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08) and Interplanetary Acoustic Team. Linda’s long poem, “Northern Run,” is in the current Maine Review, and her poem “Entering the Abandoned Grain Mill at Dusk” will be part of the anthology Balancing Act 2, the second collection of Maine women poets published by Littoral Books. A review of Space Heart will be forthcoming in Forward Review.

Brenda Cooper (Fiction, S’17) is pleased to announce the November 11th release of a collection of stories set in the science-fictional world of her award-winning series that begins with The Silver Ship and the Sea. The collection, Stories of Fremont’s Children, includes old and new stories by Brenda, and new stories by John Pitts and Danielle Ackley-McPhail. It is published through eSpec Books in collaboration with Futuriter.com.

The hardcover edition of Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) debut collection Uncommon Miracles was released by PS Publishing On October 1st: “A grieving man travels through time via car crash. A family of matriarchs collects recipes for the dead. A woman gains an unexpected child in the midst of a bunny apocalypse. An outcast finds work in a magical slaughterhouse. Julie C. Day’s debut collection is rife with dark and twisted tales made beautiful by her gorgeous prose. Melding aspects of Southern Gothic and fabulism, and utilizing the author’s own scientific background, Day’s carefully rendered settings in these eighteen stories are both delightful and unexpected. Whether set in a uniquely altered version of Florida’s Space Coast or a haunted island off the coast of Maine, each story in this collection carries its own brand of meticulous and captivating weirdness. Yet in the end, it is the desperation of the characters that drives these stories forward and their wild obsessions that carry them through to the end. It is Day’s clear-eyed compassion for the dark recesses of the human heart and her dream-like vision of the physical world that make this collection a standout.”

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) is thrilled to announce that she has signed a book deal with Eraserhead Press and is one of six in their New Bizarro Authors Series. They will be publishing her novella The Bone Cutters, with a planned release in 2019. A bizarro story about the hell of mental illness, the evil hands of drug addiction, and the horror of psych. hospitals. Are you anxious, suicidal, have some anger issues you need to work on, or maybe you have a drug addiction you need to kick? No worries. Once you’ve checked into this psychiatric hospital, you’ll never be the same. Come, have a visit; stay as long as we need you. If you’re fresh, you’re in for one Hell of a ride once you meet The Bone Cutters.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) is teaching a craft workshop on density at the Sag Harbor Creative Nonfiction Writer’s Conference this November 1st-4th and participating in a panel on publishing. He would like to thank his former mentor Theodora Goss for this workshop’s inspiration as well as everyone who worked on Stonecoast Review‘s Issue No. 9.

Melody Fuller’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) article “Harvest for the World” was published in the October/November 2019 Somm Journal. Here’s an excerpt:

When will there be a harvest for the world?

Today I speak cautiously and write carefully about what is means to be a black woman in white space.  Today I try to make sure I do not offend, demand, scare, dare or call people out for gross conduct, damaging gossip, divisive tactics and for pushing narratives that marginalize, hurt and dismiss those who look like me. I am not doing a good job carrying all of this, while being an industry pioneer who is working to build a table, set agenda and make sure I don’t get loud, pushy or rude.  Well, sometimes being labeled as one or all of those descriptors happens.  Being questioned and judged happens a lot especially when diversity discussions and women’s agendas intersect or are used interchangeably for self-serving and deflective purposes. You know what I mean.

When will there be a harvest for the world?

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be on the following panels at Windycon, a Chicago area SF convention (November 9-11):

  • “Chicago SF Book Club: Discussing Shards of Honor and Barrayar by Bujold” — Saturday, November 10th, 1:00-2:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom H
  • “Streaming Services the New Movie/TV studios” — Sunday, November 11th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Lilac C
  • “Modern Prison Break: Our Need to Escape?_ — Sunday, November 11th, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom H
  • Cliff will also be moderating a section of the Windycon Writers Workshop on Saturday morning.

Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09) has had his second full-length poetry collection Teacher/Pizza Guy accepted for publication by Wayne State University Press for their Made in Michigan Series. The poems chronicle the 2016-2017 school year, during which Jeff worked not only as a full-time high school English teacher and the Director of Literary Arts at Ann Arbor’s Teen Center The Neutral Zone, but also a third job as a pizza delivery driver 2-3 nights a week. Look for the release in August or September of 2019!

On October 17th, Alan King (Poetry, W’13) was a featured performer on WPFW 89.3’s “Live @ 5,” which was part of the stations pledge drive. Learn more.

Alan King reading on WPFW 89.3’s “Live @ 5

Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Poetry ’08) and former Belfast Poet Laureate Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be reading together at the Burrow Press “Functionally Literate” event on November 10th in Orlando. Linda will be launching her new hybrid memoir from Burrow, Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, which she started at Stonecoast. Susan’s first full-length poetry collection, The Green Hand of Venus, will be published by Burrow in 2019. They’ll be discussing Poet Laureate life and Satellite Beach, which just happens to be the title of Susan’s first poetry collection and the town where Linda grew up.

Tom MacDonald’s (Fiction, W’09) fourth crime novel, Murder in the Charlestown Bricks, was released October 1st, 2018. This is the fourth book in the Dermot Sparhawk Crime Novel Series. Private investigator Dermot Sparhawk is taking on cases no one else will touch. Born and raised in the Charlestown projects in Boston, Sparhawk fights for the underdog. He calls on his connections and physical skills to keep him from getting killed. He visits Charlestown’s waterfront gill mills and AA halls and travels the Historic Route 66 in search of the truth. And the truth almost kills him.

Catharine H. Murray’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) debut memoir Now You See the Sky will be released in November. On November 7th at 7:00 p.m., Print: A Bookstore (273 Congress Street in Portland) will host the release party. This is the launch book for Gracie Belle, Anne Hood’s imprint with Akashic Books that will focus on topics of Grief and Loss. Kirkus Reviews writes, “Murray’s lucid meditations and living-in-the-moment attitude serve as useful reminders to all of us that life is precious and fleeting and must be enjoyed to the fullest. It’s a simple message but an important one. As much a eulogy as a testament to the joy of life, the book is a heartwarming tale of dealing with life-altering loss. A tender, love-filled story of how one woman dealt with the loss of a young child.” On November 9th, Catharine will be reading with other local authors at Quiet City Books, 97 Lisbon St. in Lewiston at 6:00 p.m. And on November 15th, Murray discusses Now You See the Sky with imprint curator Ann Hood at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street at 7:00 p.m. This is a Providence launch event for Murray’s memoir.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will read “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi,” her piece about living above the Arctic Circle among the wild gold miners of Finland’s Lemmenjoki National Park, on November 2nd at Longfellow Books for the SLICE Magazine Maine launch. The piece, which details part of Jenny’s solo walking journey across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer, is currently out in the Fall/Winter “Flight” edition of SLICE, available here.

Lemmenjoki National Park: Pihlajamäki Cabin, the setting of “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi.”

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has been invited to read her poetry at The Harrison in King’s Cross, London, as part of Elbow Room’s celebration of its final issue. The party begins at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3rd. If any Stonecoasters are in London, come on down!

The short-story collection The Trash Detail by Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) is available for pre order. Booksellers may contact SPD, while individuals may order from their local bookstore, Amazon, or directly from New Rivers Press by sending an email to Nayt Rundquist at www.newriverspress.com. Bruce’s new chapbook Forms and Shades is due out very soon from Clare Songbird Publishing; they may be contacted at claresongbirdspub.com

They Speak Your Language: A Poetic Bestiary, by J. Stephen Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) and illustrated by Amanda Chao Benbassat, is now available at the Amazon Books website. These poems move back forth from the significant to the silly, with drawings of counter-cultural possums to aristocratic cats.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S ’08) will be at the BookMark Shoppe in Brooklyn, NY on November 15 to read from her memoir, Starting with Goodbye, along with Lindsay Wong, author of The Woo Woo. Lisa’s guest post “Publishing with a Small (Traditional) or University Press: When it Might be Right for You and Your Book,” appears on the website of the Nonfiction Authors Association. Her teleseminar on the topic aired there in October. Recently, the writing department at New Jersey City University hosted Lisa, who read and spoke to students in memoir writing and women’s studies classes. On November 17th, Lisa will present memoir writing tips at the Holmdel, NJ, Barnes & Noble, and also in November, she will make author visits to libraries in Warren, Hillsborough, and Franklin Township, all in NJ. Event details are listed at her site.

Nikki Sambitsky‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) creative nonfiction lyric essay “Penny Drop” will be published in the November edition of Longridge Review. Nikki’s essay links her childhood experiences with that of her 7-year old autistic son’s as they share a swing ride on their favorite amusement park attraction, “The Yo-Yo.” “Penny Drop” is part of Nikki’s essay collection “Perseverate, Linger,” which focuses on her triumphs and trials with her husband and two autistic children.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be interviewed at the November 12 LeVar Burton Reads Live event in Dallas, Texas, where LeVar will read her story “In the City of Martyrs.” Her novelette “The Crow Knight” just came out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies‘ anniversary issue. Her short story “Secret Keeper” has been reprinted in Paula Guran’s The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018.

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poem “Emigrant Song” has been published by Harpur Palate and can be read in the current issue. Additionally, Christopher has just released his 11th album under his musical moniker “Preacher Boy.” The album is called The Rumble Strip and is now available from Coast Road Records. An enhanced lyric book has been published as a companion to the album, and the collection includes the book-length poem “I-80 Blues: 96 Choruses.” It is available for Kindle, or via the Preacher Boy website as a free PDF download.

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s (Poetry) poem “Yet” from Letters from Limbo has been made into a short video, which is available on YouTube and can also be viewed on her website.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) award-winning, full-length play, Veils, will open at Macha Theatre Works in Seattle, WA, on November 30th and run through December 16th. His short play Raghead will be produced by the Black Cat Theatre Company as part of their “Millennials #Offended” festival at the Pleasance Theatre in London on December 19th.

John Florio (Fiction, Pop Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Young Adult) writes about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, “In a Year of Assassinations, an Angry Bob Gibson Pitched His Way Into the Record Books,” was an October feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in May, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana is Here is now available for pre-order, either on Amazon or contact your local indie bookstore and tell them to reserve your copy. Release date is May 14, 2019! Also, Aaron gave a talk at the Library of Congress based on his article “Seven Layers of Heaven: How to Make a Jewish Bakery Classic at Home” from Tablet Magazine. His cake, created from his own original recipe, was served and enjoyed by all!

Aaron Hamburger’s talk at the Library of Congress on Seven Layers of Heaven.

Seven Layers of Heaven

On November 1st at 7:00 p.m., Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) reads with Dante Micheaux and L. Lamar Wilson in celebration of Stonecoast alum Quenton Baker‘s (Poetry, S’12) exhibit Ballast at the Frye Museum in Seattle, WA. Then on November 2nd at 7:00 p.m., she’ll read with Dante Micheaux, L. Lamar Wilson, Anastacia-Renee and Quenton Baker for A Writers Showcase featuring Cave Canem Poets at the Hugo House in Seattle, WA. And on November 3rd at 10:00 a.m., Amanda’s writing workshop Writing Public Tragedies will be at the Hugo House in Seattle, WA (registration required).

Ballast

Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was invited to perform a set of Bob Dylan songs at the Twin Cities Book Festival on October 13, 2018 to celebrate the publication of the anthology, Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan, edited by Thom Tammaro and Alan R. Davis (New Rivers Press, 2018). Marquart’s poem, “Dylan’s Lost Years,” is one of the 100 poems included in the anthology. Her poem, “Come November,” was published by Terrain.org: A Journal of Built + Natural Environments for the “Letter to America” series. 28 October 2018. Debra’s essay “Buried Voices,” published as a Story of the Week by Narrative Magazine on June 7, 2018, was selected by Narrative Magazine for a “Top Five Stories of 2017-2018” commendations. Stonecoast fiction writer Morgan Talty was also selected by Narrative for “Top Five Stories” honors! Her micro-essay, “Some Things About That Day,” was anthologized in Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, edited by H.K. Hummel and Stephanie Lenox for Bloomsbury Press, 2018. Also, she delivered a plenary poetry reading entitled “True North” at the Luther College Writers Festival, September 27-28, 2018, in Decorah, Iowa.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) new CD—Tonya & Nancy: Highlights from the Rock Opera, produced and released by Broadway Records—has drawn strong reviews on Broadway World (“Tonya & Nancy Gets High Marks”) and on Broadway to Vegas, which called the CD in its review “stunningly awesome” and wrote of Elizabeth’s narrative: “The script covers a lot of territory and does so with the artistic skill of an Olympic champion.” The CD can be purchased from Grammy-winning Broadway Records. Updates and more info: http://www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

Two readings from late Stonecoast alum Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo’s novel The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda will be held in New England early this month. Ann Hood, Elizabeth Searle, and Suzanne Strempek Shea, all of whom mentored Elisabeth, a member of the program’s inaugural class, will read from the book at 7:00 p.m. on November 1st at An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA. Suzanne will join Beth’s friends, fellow alums, and fellow Maine authors Morgan Callan Rogers and Jaed Coffin in a reading at 9:00 p.m. on November 5 at LFK in Portland, ME. Here’s a recent Portland Press-Herald story on Beth and her book. Suzanne will be reading from Idol Talk:  Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives with fellow faculty member Elizabeth Searle, and fellow Idol Talk contributors Caitlin McCarthy and Lisa Borders November 3rd at 2:00 p.m. at Worcester, MA, Public Library. Elizabeth and Stonecoast alum Tammy Wilson co-edited this major book on major crushes, which has been one of the Top Ten Bestsellers on publisher McFarland’s long list of pop culture books every month since July. There’ll be a special appearance at this event by and idol-themed tunes from Stonecoast’s personal DJ, DJJH.

Suzanne Strempek Shea, Elizabeth Searle and Jaed Coffin at the Portland Book Launch for The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda by beloved Stonecoast alum Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The final 2018 event in the Local Writers Read series will be held on Friday, November 9th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Quiet City Books in Lewiston, Maine. Offering multi-genre work organized around the theme of Order/Chaos, the list of readers includes four Stonecoast alumni: Nancy Brown (Fiction, S’08), Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17), Catharine Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17), and Bill Stauffer (Fiction, W’17). Celebrating writing and community, the event is free and open to the public. Full details can be found on the Facebook event page.

Stonecoast MFA faculty member Elizabeth Hand will be the Guest of Honor at Boskone 56, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. Boskone takes place in Boston, MA, from February 15-17, 2019, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel. In addition to Liz Hand, Boskone will also feature several Stonecoast faculty members, students, and alumni on the programme, including James Patrick Kelly, Theodora Goss, Robert Redick, Julie C. Day, Erin Roberts, and Erin Underwood. There will be a Stonecoast Community gathering and programming at the con. Memberships are required to attend, and more information is available online at www.boskone.org.

 

 

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Community News & Updates August 2018

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Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce that her short story “The Painted Ponies of Wiley Creek” was featured by Not a Pipe Publishing for their Year of Publishing Women’s Short Stories series. Ted Deppe and others at the January ’18 Ireland Residency might recognize it—thanks for all your suggestions and encouragement!

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be presenting his award-winning essay “The Vault of Heaven: Science Fictions’s Perso-Arabic Origins” at Worldcon 76 in San Jose as part of an academic panel titled “Lowriders and Flying Horses: Expanding SF’s Definitions.” The panel will take place on Friday, August 17th, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 211D of the San Jose Convention Center.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poem “Blood Works” in the HWA Poetry Showcase: Vol. 5. She also sold her story “Tyger, Burning Bright” for inclusion in the anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence, which is scheduled for publication by Pantheon Magazine this fall. “Blood Works” was written under the mentorship of Cate Marvin, and “Tyger, Burning Bright” was originally written under the mentorship of Liz Hand and was later workshopped under the direction of Cara Hoffman. Carina wants to thank all of the Stonecoasters who helped her shape these pieces for publication.

Melody Fuller (Creative Nonfiction, S’12), President and Founder of The Oakland Wine Festival, published two articles in The SOMM Journal recently: “A Call to Action” (page 80; April/May 2018) looks at the state of diversity in the multi-billion dollar wine industry and sparked an ongoing narrative about race and wine and “Fine-Wining While Black” (page 26; June/July 2018) provides an inspirational personal narrative.

Alan King‘s (Poetry, W’13) Point Blank was among the seven books briefly reviewed and recommended by The Best American Poetry blog. Here’s an excerpt: “[In] Alan King’s second collection of poetry, Point Blank…each poem [is] charged with an undeniable exuberance, willing to hold forth on the unvarnished injustice so visible in the American grain, and to compose a music from this framework as mellifluous as any Luther Vandross track and as rough and ready as Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” Read the full review.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) was one of the writers on Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire‘s first DLC, the Beast of Winter, which launches on August 2nd. This adventure takes the player to a frozen island populated by a doomsday cult, an ancient dragon, and gods only know what else.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) had two essays published in online journals last month: “The Sparrow’s Song” was featured on The Sunlight Press, and “The World in their Hands,” which appeared last year in The Maine Review, was reprinted at Nature Writing.

Roxanne Ocasio’s (Popular Fiction, W’15) short story “The Chupacabra Next Door” will be published in an upcoming anthology called The Latinx Archive: Speculative Fiction for Dreamers. She first workshopped this story at the Voice of Our Nation Arts Foundation Workshop for writers of color in 2014. Roxanne credits Stonecoast for introducing her to Marjorie Liu, who mentored her during her second semester and encouraged her to write characters of color.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is thrilled to come full-circle as a Stonecoaster with her essay about art modeling, “Still Life,” in Issue No. 9 of the Stonecoast Review. She has a forthcoming piece about her walking journey across Finland in the upcoming “Flight” issue of Slice, as well as a craft article on vulnerability—based on her third semester project at Stonecoast—appearing in the fall “Risk” issue of Creative Nonfiction.

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) has joyfully accepted a visiting assistant professorship at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts with the Faculty of Communication and Design, where she will preside over script development and film productions in the undergraduate film program, and teach screenwriting, directing, and creative leadership. Additionally, her short script Skin Deep has been adapted into a film.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) chapbook, Shades and Forms, has been accepted for fall publication by Clare Songbirds Publishing, and his short story collection The Trash Detail will also come out this fall from New Rivers Press.

Shannon Ratliff‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “Perennial” appears in the Summer ’18 issue of Pleiadescurrently available here.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) is the proud co-editor (alongside World Fantasy Award winner Sheree Renée Thomas and poet & artist Rasha Abdulhadi) of a special issue of Strange Horizons featuring stories, poems, and non-fiction from writers of color from the Southeastern USA. You can read Erin’s editorial and an introduction to the six amazing stories in the issue here.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) had a short story, “Tide Child,” recently published by On Spec. It’s about the relationships between fathers and sons, and the day you realize your dad has a story of his own. Also, Selkies. It’s currently only available in print, and can be found here.  This also marks his first international publication. He also just returned from a month-long course in Ireland at NUI-Galway looking at Education in Ireland. If you’re a teacher, or interested in education, check it out here.

Lisa Romeo by David Wilson for The Boston Globe

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), and her new memoir, Starting with Goodbye, were featured in the “Story Behind the Book Column” in The Boston Globe in early July, just ahead of appearances at several bookstores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Lisa was also featured on an episode of the podcast The Ish (Grieving-Ish, part 2). In early August, she will present a session on getting published and will read during Western Connecticut State University’s MFA residency.

Nikki Sambitsky (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) will be teaching a one-day workshop on grief and hybrid, experimental, and lyric essays this fall (Saturday, December 1st from 1:00-5:00 p.m.) at Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop! Check out the link to sign up and RSVP your spot! Another head’s up: Nikki is also teaching an Open Community Writing Session on November 16th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop. The session is free and open to the public! Come, sit, write, commune with fellow writers!

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) was interviewed on her local NPR station, KERA, about Spiderweb Salon, an arts collective in Denton, Texas, that she’s involved with. Her Nebula-nominated novelette “The Orangery” appears in the Nebula Awards Showcase 2018 anthology. Paula Guran chose her Nightmare story “Secret Keeper” for Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry ’04) new short story collection, Impossibly Small Spaces was published by Arlen House/Syracuse University Press on July 27th in Ireland. Stonecoasters attending the launch at Merriman’s in Kinvara/County Galway included Ted and Annie Deppe and Teresa Scollon. It will come out in the US in early October (though you can obtain an early copy from Lisa). The price is $20 with $2.00 of each sale going to the ACLU. lisactaylor22@gmail.com

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W ’09) poem “Ticket Stub” will appear in the Fall 2018 issue of Stoneboat Literary Journal.

FACULTY

JJ Amaworo Wilson (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) launched his 2016 novel Damnificados in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, in July 2018 and had smaller events in Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, and Natal. The novel, based on a true story that took place in Caracas, Venezuela, has a distinctly Latin American flavor. Damnificados won three awards and will be translated into German and French in 2019.

JJ Amaworo Wilson Damnificados Brazil July 2018

John Florio (Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) writes about race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, When Joe Louis fought Schmeling, White America Enthusiastically Rooted for a Black Man, was a June feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His upcoming YA book, War in the Ring, is also about the historic Louis-Schmeling fight; it will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in Spring 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Non fiction) short story “Refugees,” which he read from at the last residency, is out in the newest issue of Bennington Review.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a special guest at San Diego Comic-Con, where she received the prestigious Inkpot Award for her fiction. In early August, she’ll be teaching a workshop for young writers at the Fine Arts Workshop in Provincetown.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) novella “The Wreck of the Godspeed” has been reprinted in The Final Frontier, edited by Neil Clarke from Night Shade Books. He has sold reprint rights to the original story “Yukui” from his new collection The Promise Of Space to Clarkesworld; it will appear later this year. He contributed an essay on the importance of short stories in science fiction to the blog Whatever.  Jim moderated a reading of Stonecoast alums at the Readercon science fiction and fantasy convention in Quincy on July 14.

Stonecoast alum reading at Readercon 2018

Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) short fictions “This New Quiet” and “Dylan’s Lost Years” were included in New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, co-edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro and published by WW Norton, available in August 2018. Her poem “Even on a Sunday Drive” was a finalist in the 2017 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and was published in the San Diego Poetry Anthology in March 2018. Also, Debra’s video poetry performance, “Small Buried Things: A Poet’s Response to Extraction,” was part of the Bedrock Lecture Series, organized by Oregon State University. The eighteen-part video lecture series was submitted as evidence to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking, and Climate Change, an international tribunal that, in May of 2018, deliberated the global effects of fracking on human rights, the environment, and climate change.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Tamra Wilson’s (Fiction, S’11) anthology Idol Talk has received new media coverage and has multiple readings, including some newly added, in August:

  • Readings with Elizabeth Searle: August 8th at KGB in New York City at 7:00 p.m., including SCers Breena Clarke (Fiction) and new alum Lee J. Kahrs; (http://kgbbar.com/calendar/events/kgb_nyc_area_readers_from_idol_talk/) and August 30th at Harvard General Store 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Harvard, MA (including alum Michelle Soucy (Fiction, S’10, who created the fab. flyer).
  • On August 25th, Lee J Kahrs and Kate Kastelein will read from Idol Talk at 2:00 p.m. at Toadstool Books in Keene, NH.
  • More New England readings coming in September.
  • Readings and Talks in North Carolina with SC alum and Idol Talk co-editor Tamra Wilson: August 12th, Maine St Books in Davidson NC; August 13th Gaston County Library in Gastonia, NC; and August 21st at Morrison Branch Library in Charlotte, NC

Recent media includes Breena Clarke featuring Idol Talk on her blog,  Tammy’s radio interview in Hickory, NC, and the Boston Book Launch coverage on MetroWest Daily. Check the Idol Talk Facebook page for updates.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

YAAK VALLEY FOREST COUNCIL JOB OPENING: COMMUNITY OUTREACH/CONSERVATION ORGANIZER
Rick Bass
(Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change Faculty) and the Yaak Valley Forest Council are looking for a community outreach/conservation organizer to hire for a permanent position in northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley. Pay starts at $35-40K, depending on experience, and has growth potential. Insurance and vacation included, and the new hire will be able to work from home (in the community). Artistic inspiration in northwest Montana an added perk! (How is perk spelled? From what Latin root does it derive?) Sweet country and a valiant non-profit working for ecological and social justice.

BOSTON POETRY MARATHON SET FOR AUGUST 10-12 IN CAMBRIDGE
Bridget Eileen (Poetry, W’09), along with poets Suzanne Mercury, Darren Black, and Gillian Devereux, are this year’s Boston Poetry Marathon festival organizers. They are all published poets and veteran Marathon readers from the area. The poetry festival is entirely volunteer run. The Boston Poetry Marathon will be held August 10th – 12th, at Outpost 186 in Cambridge’s Inman Square. Throughout three days, over 100 local and out-of-town poets will read and perform their poems. Several Stonecoast Community members will be reading in this year’s marathon. The Marathon presents a diverse range of poetry styles; academics, slam poets, students from local creative writing programs, and everyone in between rub elbows during approximately 20 hours of poetry programming. Each poet is given a brief time slot to share their work with the audience. Attendance is free (donations accepted), and all ages are welcome.

“The Boston Poetry Marathon is a joyful, hopeful, and strengthening event, something vital during these dire times. We have poets, the poetry community, and poems to keep us going,” said co-organizer Bridget Eileen. “ Whether we go to poetry for escape, solace, empathy, or illumination, it fortifies us. When so many people come together to celebrate poetry, that certainly fortifies us. Bringing this event to so many people who treasure it is, of course, a lot of work–but it’s also energizing. All that creativity coming together in one place is really powerful. ”

“With so much political and social uncertainty right now, we feel it’s urgent to create a welcoming space for poets to share their poems and talk with one another,” said co-organizer Suzanne Mercury. “Poetry is a life-giving force, a deep and vital source of creative empathy. The world needs much more of it, especially now. The Boston Poetry Marathon offers more poetry—a lot more! Every year I come away exhausted, inspired, and ready to write.”

Gillian Devereux outlined the festival’s goals for maintaining inclusiveness. “We’re committed to finding new voices who may not have read here in the past to add to our roster. We want to hear from poets who represent the many diverse, vibrant poetic communities in the Greater Boston area.”

“The Marathon has a great base of dedicated followers—poets who share their work year after year,” said Darren Black. “It’s encouraging to see the developmental arcs of talented writers in our city. Whether you’re an established poet who has published many books, or you have never read your work in front of people before, the audience is so supportive. You never know what you’re going to hear. Every year is fresh, and a little unpredictable. But the basic formula is simple: We listen to a bunch of poems. We hang out. We have fun. We hope you’ll join us!”

For media inquiries, please contact the organizers at: bostonpoetrymarathon2018@gmail.com.

Event Details

What:  Boston Poetry Marathon
Where: Outpost 186 – 186 ½ Hampshire Street, Cambridge MA
When:  Friday, August 10th: 6:00-10:30 p.m.; Saturday, August 11th: 12:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sunday, August 12th: 11:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Online at

bostonpoetrymarathon.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/groups/bonstonpoetrymarathon/
http://instagram.com/bostonpoetrymarathon

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates April 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

On April 13th from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Quiet City Books in Lewiston, Maine, will host “Between Fear and Hope: Readings from Local Writers.” Among the readers are Stonecoast alum Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17), and graduating students Meredith MacEachern (Popular Fiction) and Anthony Marvullo (Creative Nonfiction). The event is free and open to the public. See the Facebook event here.

Stonecoast MFA has created a new scholarship aimed at supporting writers who use their work to effect positive social change. This April, Stonecoast launches One Month, One Voice: a call to action for our community to get creative, make your voice heard, and help fund the Writing for Social Justice Scholarship. We need your help! Join the movement by hosting an event, donating to the cause, or helping us spread the word. Visit our fundraising page for more information.

RECENT CONFERENCE ROUND-UPS

Check out reports and photos from the recent AWP and ICFA conferences!

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) received the Walter James Miller Memorial Award for Student Scholarship in the International Fantastic at the 39th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts for his essay, “The Vault of Heaven: Science Fiction’s Perso-Arabic Origins.” He originally wrote this essay for his third semester project at Stonecoast, under the mentorship of Theodora Goss, and he will present a condensed version of it at Worldcon 76.

Peter Adrian Behravesh and Theodora Goss. Photo taken taken by AJ Bauers (Popular Fiction, W’17)

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is happy her poem “Fire Lover” is now available for reading in February’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (Karen’s audio narration is also available at that link). In March, she presented on panels at Stokercon (Writing Fiction vs Writing Games, Shirley Jackson, Call of Cthulhu RPG, Dark Poetry, Horror Gaming, and Edit Your Way Past the Slush Pile which she also moderated) and had a blast hanging out with other Stonecoasters. She will very soon be narrating books for the Stoker-winning Independent Legions Publishing. Her book Swift for the Sun is both an Eric Hoffer da Vinci award (best cover) finalist and an Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Frankin Award for best LGBT title gold or silver metal finalist. Her scifi flash fiction about divorce, “From Now Until Infinity,” appeared in the first issue of Factor Four Magazine, the only story that’s a free read for that issue. She is extremely proud of being March’s guest editor on Pseudopod and hopes you check out the five awesome dark scifi and fantasy stories she selected. Two of her 2017 poems, “Syncing Minefields” (Strange Horizons) and “Save Our Souls” (Silver Blade Magazine), have been nominated for the Rhysling award by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. Last, but not least, she can be heard narrating an extremely inappropriate story titled “A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Apocalypse Down Your Pants” by Robert Jeschonek on StarShipSofa. It is the first time she’s ever narrated for orgasmic soup. Thanks for all your support!

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has two features out in outdoor magazines this season. His first-person account of fly fishing smallmouth on the Androscoggin can be found in the spring issue of The Drake magazine, and the current issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal features Ryan’s article “Ten-Year Tarpon,” which was part of his thesis at Stonecoast.

Linda Buckmaster‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) essay “Security Clearance,” which first appeared in Burrow Literary Review, is included in an anthology from University of Florida Press, In Season. Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places In Between.

Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) will lead a memoir workshop for the Cape Cod Writers Center on April 14th. More info can be found here.

Kristin LaTour (Poetry, S’07) is again doing her Poem-a-Thon fundraiser during April, National Poetry Month. Sponsors get a newly written draft poem every day in April. This year she’s raising money for Welcoming America, a non-profit that works within US communities to partner immigrants and refugees with people who are already established in those areas. More information is available about the fundraiser and Welcoming America on her fundraising page.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) sold an excerpt of an unpublished novel to Analog Science Fiction And Fact, called “Full Metal Mother.”

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) MFA thesis story “Anmol, Pasha, and the Ghost” has been published in Issue 21 of New Haven Review. You can read it here.

Shannon Ratliff’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “Waller Creek” appears in the Spring ’18 issue of Hotel Amerika, currently out.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) bayou horror story “Snake Season,” which she read from in her graduate reading, is in the April issue of The Dark and available for free online here, with story notes here. If you’d like to check out her next reading, she’ll be joining fellow Stonecoaster Golden Baker for the kick-off of a new Harlem Speculative Fiction Reading Series on the evening of April 9th at local venue Silvana—more info here.

Michaela Roessner (Popular Fiction, S’08) will be a keynote speaker and presenter at the 2018 Writing the Rockies conference at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO, July 18 – 22. And her short story “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be included in the upcoming reprint anthology Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories, published by New Word City Publishers, Inc.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S ’08), will lead a day-long memoir workshop as part of Writing in the Pines at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ on April 14. She will be presenting on Sunday, April 15, at Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day (Longmeadow, MA) on “Publishing: the Long and Short of It.” Her micro essay, “Hope is a Voice,” will appear in the spring print issue of Tiferet Journal, and a longer essay, “Getting Something to Grow Somewhere” will show up in the next print issue of GreenPrints Magazine. Lisa was recently interviewed by Proximity, and by Cleaver Magazine (in which she quotes two of her Stonecoast mentors).

R. M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) debut novel, The Dollmaker of Kraków, has been awarded the Silver Medal for Older Children’s Literature in the Florida Book Awards and has been named a 2018 Sydney Taylor Notable Book.

Mary Katherine Spain‘s (Fiction, S’16) play Just Saying was selected as a Semi-Finalist in the Maine Playwrights Festival. A dramatic reading of all of the semi-finalists’ plays will be held on April 22nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Mechanics Hall in Portland. For more info, click this link.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter” appeared in the online edition of Fairy Tale Review.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) has an essay featured in the UK’s The Clearing—A Journal of Nature, Landscape and Place. “Shepherd’s Watch” will appear in early April.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has a new poem published by Typishly. “Aromatics” has additionally been selected as an Editor’s Choice Poem. The piece can be read here.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Scriptwriting) award-winning play Veils is being published by Original Works Publishing.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) essay “Sweetness Mattered,” which he read an excerpt from at the last residency, is out in the new issue of Tin House.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) 2016 novel, Mother Go, an audiobook narrated by January LaVoy and published by Audible, is a finalist for the Audie Award in the Best Original Work category. The Audies will be awarded by the Audio Publishers Association in May. Jim’s 2002 prehistoric fantasy “Luck” has published in Italian as “La storia di Pollice” by Delos Digital, and his 2003 cyberpunk novelette “Bernardo’s House” has been reprinted in an international science fiction showcase Future Fiction, edited by Bill Campbell and Francesco Verso.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Tamra Wilson’s (Fiction, S’11) anthology Idol Talk now has a pub date of June 15 (from McFarland Books) and a cover! It features, among the 44 authors writing about their ‘teen idols,’ an all-star roster of Stonecoasters, including both current and former students and faculty. Co-editor Tammy is an alum herself and author of a story collection, Dining with Robert Redford. She will be returning to Stonecoast in July. The all-star Stonecoast-connected contributors to Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives: Breena Clarke (Fiction faculty), Emlyn Dornemann, Ann Rosenquist Fee (Fiction, S’08), Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08), Shara McCallum, Lesléa Newman, Morgan Callan Rogers, Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction faculty), Linda Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09), Michelle Soucy (Fiction, S’10), Nancy Swan (Fiction, W’11), Darlene Taylor (W’16), and Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Fiction faculty). Check Elizabeth’s website for updates and readings: www.elizabethsearle.net

Meet and hear from Mags Riordan, founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Malawi and subject of Suzanne Strempek Shea’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) book This Is Paradise as she returns to New England to update supporters on big changes including a new clinic for her region’s AIDS/HIV population. Suzanne will do a brief reading from This Is Paradise at each event, and copies of the book, and crafts from Chembe Village, be sold to benefit the clinic. Each date is open to the public free of charge, and free-will offerings gratefully will be accepted.  Dates and locations are:

Suzanne also will be speaking at Bay Path University’s 17th Writers’ Day, Sunday, April 15, at the university’s Ryan Center, 1 Denslow Road, East Longmeadow, Mass. Talks begin at 12:30 p.m., with “Immersion Starts with ‘I,'” in which Jonathan Green (Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood and Betrayal) and Suzanne will talk about immersion journalism, their related writing, great books done via that method, and more. The other speakers on the roster are three members of Bay Path’s MFA faculty: Stonecoast alum Lisa Romeo, plus Sophfronia Scott and Karol Jackowski. Registration and fee required. For full information: https://www.baypath.edu/events-calendar/community-events/writers-day/

Among many fond memories from last month, Suzanne is pasting into her scrapbook two photos from a visit to Florida: Stonecoast alum Melanie Brooks’ AWP in Tampa panel “Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma,” which included Suzanne, Andre Dubus III, moderator Melanie, Kyoko Mori, and Richard Blanco. Melanie’s four speakers were among the 18 authors she interviewed for her acclaimed 2017 book Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma.

And a photo of Susan Lilley, Stonecoast alumna and Orlando’s first poet laureate, in her element, a.k.a. her inspiring creative writing classroom at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Suzanne and husband Tommy Shea spoke to students during the day and gave a public reading at night.

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates February 2018

ANNOUNCEMENT

This year, a number of Stonecoast’s Popular Fiction students, alumni, and faculty are program participants at Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction convention, which takes place February 16-18, 2018, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. For more information about Boskone, please visit www.boskone.org, and to view the list of program items that feature a Stonecoast community member, please check out this post. We will also have a large contingent of people attending who aren’t on the program this year. Closing the convention, we have a Stonecoast Reading to highlight our community members who are attending Boskone. If you are available to join the fun, we’d love to see you there!

ALUMS

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is happy her new anime-inspired nightmare microfiction, “The Things Between Us,” is now available in the beautifully illustrated Quick Shivers from the Midwest anthology.

Katie Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) announces that her audio drama “Six Stories, Told at Night” has won a Parsec Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction Podcasting (Best Story – Novella). A stage adaptation of “Six Stories” will premiere at the Toronto Fringe Festival in July 2018.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) has been broadcasting a series of five-minute audio essays on the Maine community radio station WERU. You can access these flash pieces from her blog. Her longer essay “Security Clearance,” which first appeared in Burrow Press’ “Fantastic Floridas,” is included in the upcoming anthology from University of Florida Press, In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home and Places In Between. The essay is also in her hybrid memoir Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, coming out in Fall 2018 from Burrow Press.

Julie C. Days (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Re-stitched”, which ran in the January issue of Split Lip Magazine, was Longform Fiction‘s pick of the week. Stealing Longform‘s story description, you can expect two sisters and a grotesque religious ritual. Umm yes, it is creepy. Julie’s Fightin’ Words interview can be found on the Split Lip blog. In other news, you can listen to a reprint of Julie’s story “The Rocket Farmer” at Podcastle 507. It was originally printed in 2017 issue of Interzone. If you’ve any interest in angry teenage girls, the history of rockets, and secret Florida farms, this story is for you.

Paula Treick DeBoard’s (Fiction, S’10) fourth novel, Here We Lie, was published on January 30th by Park Row Books, a division of Harlequin/Harper Collins. Publisher’s Weekly says Here We Lie “portrays the lies that people tell to find acceptance and the terrible acts that powerful people casually commit.” Booklist says the story “particularly resonates now, in the throes of the #metoo movement.” Paula is a lecturer of writing at the University of California, Merced. More information can be found on her website.

John Florio (Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and VICE Sports, and just delivered a crime feature to Vanity Fair. You can read his latest piece (for VICE Sportshere. His most recent book, One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime, was published by University of Nebraska Press in April. His next release, a nonfiction YA book about the historic Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight of 1938, will be released by Macmillan Children’s Group later this year.

Becky Kightlinger’s (Fiction, W’14) debut novel, Megge of Bury Down: Book One of the Bury Down Chronicles, will be released by Zumaya Publications on February 1, 2018. Here’s a short summary:

In thirteenth-century Cornwall, on a sheep farm in the shadow of Bury Down, known for a thousand years as the land of the second sight, a healer has vowed to face flames rather than fail in her one task in this life: to bring her young daughter to vow to protect The Book of Seasons, an ancient grimoire whose power sustains the spirits of all their ancestors.

On the night of her vow-taking, wanting only to become a woman of Bury Down, and drawn by an inexplicable yearning to possess the book, Megge reaches for it. But when she touches its cover, it burns her fingers and she hears it whisper, “Murderer.” Fearing that the book will make her hurt those she loves, she rejects it and renounces her birthright.

To what lengths will her mother and the other women of Bury Down go to help Megge find the courage to take that vow? And how far will Megge go to elude a terrifying destiny?

Susan Lilley (Poetry, S’08) has been appointed the inaugural Poet Laureate of Orlando, Florida.

Anne Britting Oleson‘s (Poetry, W’05) second novel, Dovecote (B Ink, 2017), was reviewed in the Maine Sunday Telegram, January 21, 2018.  Anne’s third poetry chapbook, Alley of Dreams, will be published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House in March 2018.

Erin Roberts‘ (Popular Fiction, W ’18) short story “Sour Milk Girls” has gone from her thesis to the big time—it was published in the January issue of Clarkesworld and is available in print and in audio. Bonus story notes can be found on her website (as can her panel schedule for Boskone, which she’s hoping turns into a mini-Stonecoast reunion!).

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) has probably gone a little overboard, but is very excited for how 2018 is shaping up. In March, he will be presenting his essay “Out and Super” at ICFA. In April, he will be participating in a writing retreat at the Whiteley Center on San Juan Island, Washington. In May, he will be presenting an essay, “She Has Always Been Here,” at Dartmouth College, and in July will be participating in NUI-Galway’s Summer School for Teaching in Ireland. On the writing side, his story, “The Snow Queen’s Daughter” was selected as one of Metaphorosis Magazine‘s Best Stories of 2017.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction ’08) published a nonfiction work with Longreads, “What to Do With a Man Who Has a Story, and a Gun.”

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be teaching a class in worldbuilding for the Dallas organization the Writer’s Garret on April 14. She will also take part in the University of North Texas’ Honors College benefit, Great Conversations on March 1st, where she will lead a table in a discussion of using one’s fears as inspiration.

Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, S’04) short story “Even a Monkey” will appear in the March issue of Crannog. Her new collection of short fiction, Impossibly Small Spaces, will be released by Alren House in July in Ireland and in the U.S. in September.

 

FACULTY

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be teaching How to Be Your Own Best Line-Editor at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, beginning February 6th. The goal of this four-session class is to turn you into a master of word-smithing!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) has sold two novels to Mulholland Books, Little Brown’s literary crime imprint: Curious Toys, set in 1915 Chicago and inspired by both a true crime and the life of outsider artist Henry Darger; and The Book of Lamps and Banners, the fourth Cass Neary novel. In early February, she will be guest of honor at Vinter, a literary convention in Uppsala, Sweden.

A round-up of news from Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry):

  • Debra’s essay “Things Not Seen in the Rear View Mirror” was selected for inclusion in Camas: Nature of the West.  25 Years 1992 – 2017, published in the Winter of  2017.
  • Her poem “Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear” was anthologized in Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence, edited by Brian Clements, Alexandra Teague, and Dean Rader and published by Beacon Press in the fall of 2017.
  • Another poem, “Getting Ready,” was selected for inclusion in Who Am I?, a grade-school textbook designed to introduce children to poetry. Published by Perfection Learning in the Fall of 2017.
  • In the summer of 2017, Debra delivered keynote addresses and taught workshops at the following three festivals and conferences: (1) Luminous Moment, Luminous Word: A Creative Writing and Mindfulness Retreat in the Sheyenne National Grasslands (August 4-6, 2017); (2) the ASLE Conference, Association of the Study of Literature and Environment at Wayne State University (June 22-24); and (3) Iota: Short Forms Conference, Campobello Island, Maine.  8 – 11 July 2017.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is preparing for performances of both her opera and rock opera in February. In January, ABC primetime showed a clip from the Chicago production of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera on January 11th, 2018, as part of the ABC two-hour special on Tonya Harding. Also, On Superbowl Sunday afternoon (February 4th) at the Duxbury Free Public Library, Elizabeth is reading with superstar author and actress Marianne Leone (The Sopranos) from the anthology Elizabeth co-edited with Suzanne Strempek Shea featuring Leone and others: Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow As the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives. On February 13th: Broadway Stars Sing Songs from Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera in New York City at 54Below. Since the last news post, the team announces that the concert and concert CD will be directed by Grammy- and Emmy-award winner Michael J. Moritz; the concert songs (Book and Lyrics by Elizabeth; music by Michael Teoli) will be recorded and released as a CD from Broadway Records. Watch for upcoming livestream coverage on Broadway.com. And then on February 23rd, a full production of Elizabeth’s one-act chamber opera Tonya & Nancy: The Opera (music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross) is being performed by Mixed Precipitation, an operetta group in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the night of the Women’s Figure Skating finals at the Olympics.

Stonecoast Alumnus Tigh Rickman (Fiction, S’10) watching the “ABC moment” at his home in California

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