Tag Archives: J Brooke

Community News & Updates July 2021

ALUMS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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Community News & Updates June 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

ALUMS  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACULTY 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Community News & Updates May 2021

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Third Semester) flash story “Avian Elegies” has been selected for publication in Best Small Fictions 2021. The story originally appeared in Waterwheel Review in December 2020.

FACULTY  

JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) new novel, Nazaré, will be published on September 14, 2021, by PM Press. The novel, inspired by the Arab Spring, is a magical realist fable about an uprising against a dictator.

Expanding on her research for her recent novel Landslide (Knopf, February 2021), Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) feature story on Maine’s teetering commercial fishing industry appeared in the May issues of Downeast Magazine. Entitled “Catching Fish is the Easy Part,” the feature will go from the print edition to online in later May. Susan’s interview about testing new novel ideas for leaks and writing the rough draft of her novel Landslide in a fever-dream is entitled “Fever-Dream First Drafts,” and it appeared in the most recent Stonecoast MFA newsletter. 

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction) wrote a feature for ESPN’s The Undefeated: John Wright Had the Talent, but Couldn’t Follow Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers. He’s also at work on a young-adult book about Frank Serpico, the New York City cop who famously exposed systemic corruption in the NYPD.

On May 10th and May 17th, Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) is teaching an online class via the legendary Politics & Prose Bookstore: Plot: The Four Letter Word that Strikes Fear in Most Writers. Join in the fun as we explore plot, one of the most slippery and angst-inducing idioms for writers of fiction, popular fiction, and non-fiction.

Robert V.S. Redick’s (Popular Fiction) novelette “Vanishing Point” sold to Clarkesworld and will be published in May. His new novel, Sidewinders, an epic fantasy and the sequel to Master Assassins, will be published on July 6th by Talos Press.

ALUMS

Kirkus provided laudatory reviews of L.C. Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) first and second novels of her Jack Harper Trilogy, Pivot and Perish. You can access the reviews here and here.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for both the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine and the Ignyte Award for Best Fiction Podcast for his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor/host Setsu Uzumé, and all of PodCastle‘s fabulous associate editors. Peter also narrated Josh Rountree’s story “Rewind” for the March 30 episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Streetlight Magazine published J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) review of Susan Conley’s audiobook of LandslideAudiofile Magazine published J’s review of a new audiobook production of Gabriel García Márquez’ Strange Pilgrims. And Tiny Seed Journal published J’s poem “Burlapped Bushes” in their Hibernation Issue.

Linda Buckmaster‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) hybrid piece, “Outbreak,” was published in the Maine Arts Journal Spring issue. An excerpt from her story collection, “Short Shorts,” will be appearing in the anthology North by Northeast 2 to be published by Littoral Books in June. She just finished a short stint as a poetry columnist at the local newspaper Republican Journal, and she was pleased to be part of several Zoom readings of poetry and prose this winter.

Darcy Casey‘s (Fiction, W’19) flash fiction piece “Bird Day,” was recently published in Newfound.

Lauren M. Davis’ (Poetry, S’15) poem “This Thing That God Made” will be released in Heart of Flesh Literary Journal in May 2021. 

Terri Glass‘s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) will be reading from her new book of poetry, Being Animal,for Poetry Flash, Sunday, May 16th, at 3:00 p.m. PST. These poems celebrate, grieve the loss, and reflect on the wisdom of many animals from the bee to the mountain lion. Register in advance for this reading here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Clifford Royal Johns’ (Popular Fiction, W’18) new novel Velocity Blues has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) has an essay, “Collector of Passports,” out on the Sad Girls Club Literary Blog on May 10th, and the same essay will be featured on their newly launched podcast, Sad Girls Club Literary Podcast, on May 8th. Her reported piece “Adapting Untold Holocasut Stories for Young Readers” was recently published in Tablet Magazine. She also has an essay accepted by Hippocampus for their anthology Ink, coming out this year, and another essay (an excerpt from her memoir in progress) accepted for the “The Aunt Flo Project,” an upcoming anthology of poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction about all aspects of menstruation. Finally, she will be reading a piece about her conversion (to Judaism)-journey on Tablet Magazine‘s Unorthodox podcast on May 13th. 

John Christopher Nelson (Fiction, S’15) and Jordan Robson have created a new literary endeavor, con(text) quarterly, with the help of Brady Thomas Kamphenkel (Poetry, S’15). They are accepting submissions for their first issue, with the theme of “Endings,” from May 1st through August 31st at con(text) quarterly.

Carolyn O’Doherty (Popular Fiction, W’11) is happy to announce that Reckless, the final book in her YA Rewind trilogy, will be out May 15th. Reckless concludes the story of Alexandra Manning, a spinner with the ability to freeze and rewind time. Details at www.carolynodoherty.com

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) served as researcher and editor of Volume XXII of Chebacco, the annual journal from the Mount Desert Island Historical Society, which features the logbooks of a group of student naturalists known as the Champlain Society. Their notes from summers spent wandering mountains and waters of Mount Desert Island in the 1880s also contain the origins of the idea to conserve for the public the place that became Acadia National Park. The logbooks also form the foundation for Catherine’s next book.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) has a poem appearing in Apple Valley Review and a poem forthcoming in Paterson Literary Review

Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that she won the 2020 Terrain Editors’ Prize for Nonfiction for her essay “The Fifth Direction.” The essay, and more information about the prize, can be found here.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) new novel Celestine will be published on May 12, 2021, by Encircle Publications. It’ll be in your favorite local bookstore and available online, and can be pre-ordered now. It comes in hardcover, paperback (ISBN 978-1645991601), and e-book/Kindle.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) debut memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, was released on April 6th. Signed copies are available for delivery or pick up via A Freethinker’s Corner in Dover, NH. Copies are also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local independent bookstore via Bookshop.org. Gina and fellow Stonecoaster Susan Casey (Fiction, W’10) have two events coming up on April 28th and May 4th. On April 28th, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. EST, Arlyn Miller of Poetic License Press is hosting their reading and conversation about Writing and Publishing Memoir. More information and Zoom link can be found here. On May 4th at 7:00 p.m. EST, The Bookery in Manchester, NH will be hosting a virtual Reading and Discussion between Gina and Susan. Zoom Registration link is here. They would love it if you tuned in for one or both of these events!:)

Ashley K. Warren’s (Fiction, S’12) short story “The Caretaker” was published in Issue 2 of FeverDream Magazine, a publication featuring artists from across the state of Montana.  

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Community News & Updates April 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Stone House Readers’ Series is a weekly regular series for alumni, faculty, staff, and current students to share their writing live on Facebook. This is a program run by Troy Myers and Amanda Pleau, class of 2015, to give members of our community a casual and consistent opportunity to connect. Readers are scheduled in advance and are asked to bring 15 minutes of material. Here is the tentative lineup this month: 

  • April 4th: Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction), Bill Stauffer (Fiction), Ellie O’Leary (Poetry)
  • April 11th: Vanesa Pacheco (Poetry) and Meredith MacEachern (Fiction)
  • April 18th: Morgan Talty (Fiction) and Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction)
  • April 25th: Troy A. Myers (Poetry) and John Christopher Nelson (Fiction)

We have space for one more person to join the 11th, 18th and 25th of April, and are currently scheduling into May.

Stonecoast Review is raising money through a Givecampus campaign to fund their publishing costs and keep the journal alive and free-to-submit.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Third Semester) short story “If It Fits, Take It” has been accepted for the third volume of Archipelago, Volume 3: The Allegory Ridge Fiction Anthology, which will be published this summer.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) will be teaching his popular workshop “From Blank Page To Stage,” focusing on writing and producing short plays, in person at the beautiful Pyramid Lake Fall Writerfest, September 12-16, 2021, organized by Stonecoast alumna Ellie O’Leary. Registration open now. Very reasonable price! Come join us!

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Landslide (Knopf) was recently named a New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Best Book/Most Anticipated Book by Good Morning AmericaThe New York Post, Medium, Bustle, Biblio Lifestyle, and others. Her essay on boy silence recently appeared in LitHub. Her interview on the intersection of feminism and motherhood was published in The Woolfer. And her recent essay celebrating books with vibrant boy culture is here.  

Annie Deppe (Stonecoast in Ireland) has two poems in the March 30th issue of On the Seawall. Her third book of poems, Night Collage, is due out this spring from Arlen House in Ireland.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) was a weeklong (virtual) visiting writer at the University of Nevada Reno MFA Program. Thanks to Stonecoast faculty David Anthony Durham for the invite and Stonecoast faculty Robert Redick for moderating a Q&A in his fiction workshop!

Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) essay collection The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays Between Exile & Belonging will be published by NDSU Press in July of 2021. Debra has published several essays in early 2021, including “The Death of a Lost Dog” (The Iowan, March 2021); “At 79, My Mother Decides to Plant Trees” (Fourth Genre, 2021); “On the Ephemerality of Things: Thoughts on the Demise of a Literary Press” (High Plains Reader, May 2020). In addition, her poem “Winter Amaranth” was published by Prairie Public Radio in March 2021. She co-curated poems for the Iowa Telepoem Booth Project, which features 180 recorded poems from 93 Iowa poets that can be listened to by dialing in to the Iowa Telepoem Booth. The physical booth, which was initially installed at the Pottawattamie Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Center, has migrated to the Council Bluffs Library. The installation will be traveling around the state of Iowa over the year. The project was funded by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Debra was interviewed by Amy Butcher—along with Jamila Osman, Alexis Wiggins, and Torrey Peters—by VIDA Women & the Literary Arts following the release of The Best of Brevity anthology.  

Cate Marvin‘s (Poetry) fourth book of poems, Event Horizon, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in the spring of 2022.

ALUMS 

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Greg van Eekhout’s story “Spaceship October” for the March 11 episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here.

Ryan Brod‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) flash essay, “Solo,” appears in the spring issue of Tahoma Literary Review. You can hear Ryan read his essay at TLR’s soundcloud page.

The Bangalore Review published J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) poem “Last Night I Dreamed My Mother Was Carl Reiner and I was Sad She Died,” and Audiofile Magazine published J’s review of A History of Scars by Laura Lee. CRAFT Literary awarded J’s essay “The Last” Honorable Mention in their 2020 CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest—the award did NOT include publication of the essay, so it is VERY available if any editors are reading this! J thanks Stonecoast Instructor Susan Conley (with whom J never worked and only knew in passing) for directing e to Audiofile Magazine as potential venue for their audiobook reviews. 

teri elam‘s (Poetry, S’19) poetry manuscript “An Observation of Beautiful Forms” was a finalist for the  2021 Perugia Press Prize

Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17) is happy to announce the publication of his debut book Land of Outcasts, a fantasy-adventure novella featuring a gunslinger and a battle unicorn. The ebook releases April 6 and print copies will be available April 27 from most major retailers. Learn more about the book and find information about release events on Josh’s website

Rebecca Kightlinger‘s (Fiction, W’14) debut novel, Megge of Bury Down (the first draft of which was written at Stonecoast), is a finalist in the Independent Book Publishers Association‘s Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book in the category of Fiction. It is also a finalist in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards in the category of Audiobook: Fiction (Narrator: Jan Cramer). Winners will be announced in May. Thanks to all my Stonecoast workshop partners and to all the faculty members who endured all those rough, rough drafts!

Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10) and co-author Joseph Tachovsky were featured on C-Span Book TV Saturday, March 6, to discuss 40 Thieves on SaipanThe Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a story about Bill Knuppel, one of the principal Marine Scout Snipers in the platoon.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is excited to have won a paid fellowship for Spring 2021 at what has long been a dream pub of hers, Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life. While there, she is mentored by her favorite editor, working on several pieces, assigned and pitched, and getting an inside look at how a cutting edge cultural magazine operates from the editors’ pov. Here’s her little Passover story cum Passover granola recipe that was just published. She’s also happy that an excerpt from her memoir-in-progress is fresh up at the lit mag Dorothy Parker’s Ashes: Brazen Words by Witty Dames. Everything True, More or Less. 

After nine books and ten years of traditional romance publishing with Harlequin, Dorchester, and other mainstream presses, Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) has launched independent publishing company Ascendant Press. The first three books in her epic, hyper-sexy, reverse-harem space opera/sci-fi romance series will release wide starting in October 2021 with series debut Interstellar Angel, where Star Wars meets 50 Shades by way of The Hunger Games.

Forests Inside Us,” Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) piece on natural materials artist and environmental advocate Jordan Kendall Parks, was published in Decor Maine last month. “The Sky Where You Are,” her opera libretto on domestic violence and advocacy that premiered worldwide in 2020 as part of the Decameron Opera Coalition’s production Tales from a Safe Distance was added to the Library of Congress earlier this year. Jenny is excited to be teaching Am I You? Getting to the Heart of Your Characters, a character intensive for nonfiction writers at SALT Institute for Documentary Studies at MECA June 7-11th, 6:00-8:00 p.m. EST. The course will explore interview techniques that go for depth, using dialogue and voice to enhance characterization, profiling fascinating subcultures, and leveraging background research to locate and tap into the universal stories that run through us all. She’d love to write with any of you. 

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) will read new work and from American Dangerous (Backlash Press 2018) at Poems for Our Living and Breathing II (A Reading & Open Mic Series); this virtual event will be April 18, 2021, 5:00-6:30 p.m., led by Virginia Poet Laureate Luisa Igloria and sponsored by The Muse Writers Center.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his essay “Hattery: The Many Roles of a First-Time Teacher” was recently published in Voices of Practice edited by Sean Michael Morris, Lucy Rai, and Karen Littleton. The book is available through PressBooks.

A lyric essay in Waterwheel Review (“The Family Dollar“) followed by a crush of December deadlines kept Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W ’12) distracted through the winter, and now spring has brought a flurry of published stories:

Mary Katherine Spain‘s (Fiction, S’16) short story “Collision” will be published in the upcoming volume of The New Guard Review

Starting in May, Stonecoast alum and Tin House author (Night of the Living Rez, 2022) Morgan Talty (Fiction, W ’19) will be teaching a three-month mentorship with Writing Workshops DallasHe will be taking on six writers. For those interested, please find more information here. 

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “Then You Were Gone” was just published in the spring issue of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.

Sean Ulman (Fiction, ’05), who teaches writing in Seward, AK, published his debut novel Seward Soundboard with Cirque Press in November 2020. Well-known Alaskan author Nancy Lord wrote a review of the novel for The Anchorage Daily News. Here’s the novel description:

Lyrical vignettes broadcast the power of art in this novel set in the mountainous harbor town of Seward, Alaska. Like many of her fellow citizens, a woman attempting to resettle in her hometown—the Returner—turns to art and recreation when she feels overwhelmed by the rain, the wind, the dark or a “familiar chemical batch of unknown nonsense.” Citizens’ relationships with one another, the wilderness and the weather bounce to ironies, comedies and coincidences across a one-year cycle in the quirky seasonal town.

IG: @sewardsoundboard

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Community News & Updates January 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast MFA 2021 Winter Residency

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

Stonecoast Tidings

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

The Stone House Readers’ Series

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

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Community News & Updates December 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST ALUMNI WINTER 2021 SCRIPTWRITING WORKSHOP:
THE NEXT STEP–REHEARSING YOUR SCRIPT!

As part of Stonecoast’s offerings at our January 2021 Virtual MFA Residency, alums are invited to sign up for “The Rehearsal Experience” with Stonecoast MFA faculty member and playwright Tom Coash and guest playwright-director Jeni Mahoney—a 3-day workshop with access to the entire winter residency. More information can be found here.  

A huge part of scriptwriting is learning to collaborate and glean valuable information about your script during the rehearsal process. Being in a room with really smart, talented people, all working together, readying your script for the public is an incredibly inspiring, unique experience. Scriptwriters, in this special, four-session, alumni workshop, will submit a ten-minute play/screenplay and during the course of the workshop will read, discuss, rewrite, and REHEARSE these pieces for an online, post-residency Stonecoast public reading. Taking advantage of the online residency possibilities, we will bring in professional, guest artist actors and directors from all over the country to rehearse each play individually in online breakout rooms. Writers will have one-on-one sessions with their directors, rehearsals with actors/directors, discussion of scripts with workshop members, and opportunities to observe other rehearsals. Come join us and see your script brought to life by some of the best talent in the country. All levels of scriptwriting experience welcome.

This workshop is also open to writers who have not attended Stonecoast. So, please tell your friends. Space is limited, sign up asap!

Workshop Dates: January 7th (one-hour introduction meeting) through January 10th, though participants will have access to the entire residency (January 7-17)
Workshop Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Cost: $1100, or $880 early bird discount for those who sign up before December 11th. A deposit will be required. 
Email Tom Coash for additional information. Email Lindsey Vazquez for questions and registration and to enroll. Space is limited! 

STONECOAST MFA ALUMNI READING SERIES

Join us for the first annual Stonecoast MFA Alumni Reading Series! Over the course of two sessions (December 2nd & December 9th), we’ll hear readings from twelve alumni authors who published a book in 2020. Additional information & RSVP:

Stonecoast MFA 2020 Alumni Reading Part I (December 2nd) featuring Kevin St. Jarre, Cynthia Kraak, Julia McKenzie Munemo, Ellie O’Leary, Anne Britting Oleson, and David Sloan

Stonecoast MFA 2020 Alumni Reading Part II  (December 9th) featuring Brenda Cooper, Terri Glass, Gail Hovey, Ellen Meeropol, Colin W. Sargent, and Joanna Solfrian

CURRENT STUDENTS

Darcie Abbene‘s (Fiction) essay “Go On, Then” was featured as an Editor’s Selection by Emma Bolden in Tupelo Quarterly’s Issue 22. In addition, Darcie’s review of Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis was recently published in Necessary Fiction.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) writes about meeting and getting naked with long-lost Finnish family in “A Family Project” in The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 12: True Stories from Around the World, edited by Lavinia Spalding and illustrated by Colette Hannahan.  

JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel, Nazaré, will be published by PM Press in Fall 2021. The novel tells the story of a peasants’ revolt, led by a homeless boy and a washerwoman, to topple a dictator.

Martín Espada‘s (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) new book of poems, called Floaters, is forthcoming in January from W.W. Norton. The book is now available for pre-order.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) wrote his latest piece on civil rights for ESPN’s The Undefeated: Bloody Police Assault on Miles Davis Feels Like it Could Have Happened YesterdayHis next book will be for young adults and is slated for release next year. Doomed: The Tragic Story of Sacco & Vanzetti tells the controversial story of two Italian anarchists convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA. 

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) review of Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s story collection Truthtelling appeared in The New York Journal of Books.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) forthcoming collection, The Best of Elizabeth Hand, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which called it “a superior collection [of] prose that elevates genre tropes to transcendent levels.  Readers will be blown away.” Her novel The Book of Lamps and Banners made BookPage’s Top 10 list for the year’s best crime & suspense fiction, and received more rave reviews from Crime Reads, Crime Fiction Lover, and The Portland Press Herald. She was recently profiled at LitHub, and her review of Lisa Robinson’s rock and roll memoir, Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls, just ran in The Washington Post.

This month Cara Hoffman (Fiction, Popular Fiction) signed a two-book contract with PM Press for a collection of essays and a collection of short stories; she will also be featured in their Outspoken Author series. Her most recent children’s novel, The Ballad of Tubs Marshfield (Harper Collins), was named an Indie Next pick; she was recently interviewed in Grist about the book. Her essay “The Evolution of Everyday Life” about the scientist and philosopher Peter Kropotkin will appear in LitHub in mid-December.

ALUMS

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) been invited to present a paper on the Curating the Self panel and moderate another panel at the Teaching Life Writing Conference, an international virtual conference on nonfiction and pedagogy at the University of Alberta, Canada, December 10-11, 2020. She’ll moderate the panel RT1 Life Writing Beyond the Undergraduate Literary Classroom at 8:00 a.m. MST on December 10, 2020.

Laurie Lico Albanese (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) has sold her novel Hester to Sarah Cantin at St. Martin’s in a two-book pre-empt deal. Hester, set in Salem 1829, is the retelling of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter told from the “real” Hester’s POV. Laurie started the novel while she was a student at Stonecoast working with mentor Susan Conley

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) published a ghost story written in her last workshop with Liz Hand. That story, “Gaze with Undimmed Eyes and the World Drops Dead,” was published in the anthology Terror at ‘5280, which recently won Best Anthology at the 2020 Best Book Awards (BBA) by American Book Fest. She also made an appearance at MileHiCon 52 as a speaker on the panels “Building SF & Fantasy Mythologies” and “Modern Age of Poetry.”

Wingless Dreamer, a publisher of books of poetry, published “Sticks” by J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) in their recent volume entitled Sunkissed. While J has had a string of published essays since graduating, “Sticks” marks the first poem that has been published.

Renee S. DeCamillis’s (Popular Fiction, W’14) short story “Bad Trip Highway” appears in the new horror anthology Wicked Women, which was published by NEHW Press in November and features all women authors and artists from New England. 

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) interviewed former Stonecoast faculty member James Patrick Kelly for Barnstorm, the University of New Hampshire’s official literary journal. You can read Jim’s thoughts on writing during the pandemic, how stories turn into movies, contemporary Chinese science fiction and other topics under this fall semester’s segment of “The Writer’s Hot Seat,” available online.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is pleased to announce that she was interviewed on Books Q&As with Deborah Kalb on October 31.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) has committed cozy with his mystery short story, “Death in the Lower Forty,” which is in the newly released anthology, Cozy Villages of Death.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) has a new video inspired by his poem “Gluttony.” The poem is from his forthcoming chapbook from Plan B Press.

40 Thieves on Saipan, written by Joseph Tachovsky and Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10), was awarded Winner in the Military History category of the American Book Fest competition.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’12) is delighted to share that she has signed with Bison Books, the trade imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, for publication of her memoir Uphill Both Ways: Hiking Toward Happiness on the Colorado Trail.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) recently had a flash essay published in Moment Magazine. She’s also pleased to finally see published the result of ten years’ work, The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, Volume 9: Catastrophe and Rebirth, where she was on the advisory board and did much of the research that resulted in the inclusion of literature and culture by Jews from Arab lands, often excluded from Anglophone, Ashkenaz-centric publications. (The dude standing on his head looks like Picasso, but it’s Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel).

Julia McKenzie Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) spoke to Dani Shapiro for the Family Secrets podcast about the secret at the center of her memoir The Book Keeper: A Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy.

J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes’s (Poetry, W ’11) latest poetry collection, was that you Boss?,has been accepted for publication by Wipf and Stock Publishers in 2021. The collection consists of psalm poems addressed to an unspecified higher power, and they rely heavily on an intimate language drawn from experiences of nature and life on a farm. The collection is dedicated, in part, to Maurice Manning, whose collection Bucolics had no little influence on the author.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) announces her first picture book, Gordy and the Ghost Crab, published by Writer’s Coffee Bar Press. Linda wrote and illustrated the text herself and created her own book trailer. The PreK-age 8 book also includes fun facts about crabs and a conservation message. Teacher’s guide available. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and bookstores nationwide. 

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Community News & Updates November 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting Workshop: The Next Step – Rehearsing your Script! – Winter 2021!!

Instructors: Tom Coash (Scriptwriting/Playwright) and Jeni Mahoney (Scriptwriting/Artistic Director of the Seven Devils New Play Foundry)

A huge part of scriptwriting is learning to collaborate and glean valuable information about your script during the rehearsal process. Being in a room with really smart, talented people, all working together, readying your script for the public is an incredibly inspiring, unique experience. Scriptwriters, in this special, four-session, alumni workshop, will submit a ten-minute play/screenplay and during the course of the workshop will read, discuss, rewrite, and REHEARSE these pieces for an online, post-residency Stonecoast public reading. Taking advantage of the online residency possibilities, we will bring in professional, guest artist actors and directors from all over the country to rehearse each play individually in online breakout rooms. Writers will have one-on-one sessions with their directors, rehearsals with actors/directors, discussion of scripts with workshop members, and opportunities to observe other rehearsals. Come join us and see your script brought to life by some of the best talent in the country. All levels of scriptwriting experience welcome.

This workshop is also open to writers who have not attended Stonecoast. So, please tell your friends. Space is limited, sign up asap! Contact Tom Coash (thomascoash@sbcglobal.net) or the Stonecoast office for more information: stonecoastmfa@maine.edu or 207-780-4423.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction) short story “Phrenology,” which she shared in David Anthony Durham’s “Grim Tidings” workshop last residency, will be published in the next issue of The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) wrote two episodes in the new HBO Max mini-documentary series A World of Calm, which premiered on October 1st and is designed for relaxation. Her episodes are #8 “Horses,” narrated by Kate Winslet, and #10 “Water,” narrated by Mahershala Ali. The trailer is available here. Faith also has an essay in the anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief & Comfort in the Time of COVID; sales go to benefit indie bookstores.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) was awarded an individual fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) new novel, The Book of Lamps and Banners, continues to receive rave reviews, including from The New York Times Book Review, which wrote, “Cass Neary is a remarkable heroine. As with Sherlock Holmes, her power lies in the act of seeing what ordinary people cannot, only where Holmes brings clues to light, Neary is content to linger in the dark. Her eye catches the liminal spaces between clarity and shadow so well I found myself rereading passages for the beauty of her way of seeing.” Oprah Magazine named Liz’s 2015 novel Wylding Hall one of the 29 greatest gothic novels of all time. In October, she taught at the NYC Writer’s Hotel virtual writer’s conference, and led an online workshop on supernatural fiction at Clarion West.  

Scriptwriting Instructor Jeni Mahoney, the Producing Artistic Director of Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, was featured in a recent American Theatre Magazine article celebrating the 20th anniversary of the program, which she founded in 2001. Since 2001, Seven Devils has supported the development of more than 220 plays, including Veils by Scriptwriting Faculty member Tom Coash, who now serves on the Seven Devils Board of Directors.

ALUMS

Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) short story “Dr. Catalyst,” which she workshopped while at Stonecoast with Liz Hand and fellow students, was turned into a 55-minute production by No Sleep Podcast. Her short story is featured in Season 15, Episode 5, and begins around the one hour, thirty-eight minute mark.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’16) has a piece of humorous horror titled “The Stages of Monster Grief: A Guide for Middle-Aged Vampires” in the anthology Coffin Blossoms, which was published by Jolly Horror Press in October 2020. She also appeared on the panels Building SF&F Mythologies and Modern Age of Poetry at MileHiCon 52. 

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) won Honorable Mention in Streetlight Magazine’s 2020 Essay/Memoir contest. A review of the essay “Finding Barbie’s Shoes” said, “J Brooke’s ‘Finding Barbie’s Shoes,’ an elliptical narration of how something as small as the foot of a Barbie doll can lead to consideration of topics larger and more painful. There is humor in this account, but also that edge of reality we all have to contend with. Its two poles inform each other.” The essay can be read here.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has stories in The Quilliad and Nightmare this month. She is also pleased to announce the one-year anniversary of the ephemera reading series. Join readers Kate Heartfield, Fonda Lee, and Vivian Li, and performer Kari Maaren, on November 18 at 7:00 p.m. EST.

teri elam (Poetry, S’19) had two poems published in Limp Wrist magazine: “On Writing A Fan Letter To Lynda Carter Circa 1975” and “On Being Called The N-Word In Atlanta, 2016: A Southern Ghazal.” Her ghazal has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. teri will also have two essays, “Memory as Dance: The Darktown Strutters’ Ball” and “In Praise of Greenwood,” included in the exhibition catalog for the upcoming Greenwood Art Project. This project will commemorate the centennial anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and the historic Black Wall Street.

Colleen Hennessy‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’20) essay “Motherhood in Irish Nonfiction: Abortion and Agency” appeared in the fall issue of Assay: Journal of Nonfiction Studies. The research and analysis arose from her third semester paper and graduation seminar at Stonecoast. 

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) annually writes a Christmas novella; On One Condition is available on the kindle app.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) is thrilled to announce that her short story “The Quilt” was published last month in Willows Wept Review. The story is about climate change, fracking, and the enduring nature of love, with a bit of magic realism and ancient mythology thrown in. Bonus points if you can determine what mythological figures and events it’s inspired by.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) recently had an essay in Past Ten, a literary project exploring the transformative power of time and the human condition to turn the unpredictable into art, by asking contributors, “Where were you ten years ago on this date?” She also had an essay out in The Forward, the country’s oldest Jewish newspaper (founded in 1897) about her recent reckoning with her misguided use of the Yiddish word schwartze, when she was a 23-year old convert to Judaism.

Nylah Lyman‘s (Poetry, S’10) poem “Noah’s Wife” has been accepted by Stonecoast Review for publication January 2021.

Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be opening her live online memoir classes to a new cohort this month. Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life is open for enrollment. This five-week live online course begins Thursday, November 12, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT. Memoir: Craft and Application also will be open to new students starting this month with Thursday or Saturday classes, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT. To apply or for more information, visit www.catharinehmurray.com or email her at writingwithcatharine@gmail.com

First Light,” Jenny O’Connell‘s(Creative Nonfiction, S’17) essay about finding home in the wild waters of Maine, appears in the November issue of Decor Maine. Her opera libretto on advocacy and domestic violence during quarantine, “The Sky Where You Are,” was produced by An Opera Theatre of Minneapolis and premiered worldwide last month as part of the Decameron Opera Coalition’s “Tales from a Safe Distance.” Tickets are available through the end of the year. 

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) has a new story titled “Lady of the Slake” in Upon a Once Time, a color print anthology of reimagined fairy-tale mash-ups published by Air and Nothingness Press. Suri’s story is an interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans” combined with the Arthurian literary cycle. 

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has poems in two anthologies released in October: “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgments” appears in Show Us Your Papers from Main Street Rag Publishing, and “Le Rire ” appears in its original French alongside his English translation in The Very Edge Poems from Flying Ketchup Press.

J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) was made Canon Poet of Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Charleston, South Carolina, on October 11th, 2020.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) short story “Chuligani,” published in Solstice Literary Magazine, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Kevin’s novel Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle will launch virtually at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10. Hosted by Longfellow Books of Portland, Maine, and Encircle Publications, Kevin will be joined in conversation by author Bill Roorbach. To register in advance for this meeting please use this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06) is currently writing a series of weekly essays: “2020: Life in the Time of Pandemic.” Her blog site is Kathleensullivan.substack.com. The essays are the process notes of a poet, a psychotherapist, a grandmother, three quarters of a century old as she makes sense of this extraordinary moment in history.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short story “The Name Means Thunder,” which originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Georgia Review, was selected as a Distinguished Story for The Best American Short Stories 2020

The Learned Pig published Darlene Taylor‘s (Fiction, W’17) “Haunting Stones” essay as a Root Mapping feature. The essay can be read in the online journal here. Also, Darlene won a D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship; she plans to complete the work noted in “Haunting Stones” as part of the fellowship. Separately, as part of her continued service to the arts community, Darlene has been named an Advisory Board member of The Clifton House located in Maryland. The Clifton House honors creative work and the legacy of Lucille Clifton in the Baltimore home where she lived with her family and wrote poetry.

Meghan Vigeant‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) flash non-fiction story “Don’t Live Past Ninety, Dear” appeared on Multiplicity‘s blog in October. 

Stonecoast fiction alum (W’19) sidney woods was honored that “Monsoon” was recently published in Brilliant Flash Fiction (under pen name sid sibo).  

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Community News & Updates September 2020

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

 

 

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates June 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

 

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

Authors Ryan Craig Bradford and Nancy Holder

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

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

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

 

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Community News & Updates May 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

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

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

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

 

FACULTY

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

 

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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