Tag Archives: Jennifer Marie Brissett

Community News & Updates June 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

 

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

Authors Ryan Craig Bradford and Nancy Holder

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

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

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

 

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Community News & Updates May 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

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

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

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

 

FACULTY

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

 

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Community News & Updates May 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

One Voice: Stonecoast’s 2nd Annual Open Mic
May 7th, 2019

Celebrate the greater Stonecoast MFA literary community at our second annual One Voice open-mic event, Tuesday, May 7th, 7:00 p.m. at Oxbow Blending and Bottling in Portland’s East End. Sign up here to share a three-minute reading of your original work. (Space is limited, so reserve your spot now!) Free and open to the public. Oxbow’s locally brewed craft beer will be available for purchase during the event, and there are a number of local dining options nearby. Bring your friends! For more info and to RSVP, click here. Contact Stonecoast MFA Community Outreach Coordinator with questions: Jenny O’Connell at jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu.

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

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead will be part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival at the Wild Project NYC, May 9th at 8:00 p.m. His new short play Bubble, Bubble will be part of the fun and fabulous Boston Theater Marathon XXI, Boston, May 19th.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Nirvana Is Here is being released on May 14th. Readings and events are planned this month in New York, DC, Detroit, Chicago, and Baltimore (and next month in Seattle; San Francisco; Portland, OR; Annapolis; and Portland, ME). Click here for the complete schedule. Be sure to get your copy at your favorite indie bookstore! Aaron’s essay on Kurt Cobain’s gay rights legacy was in The Washington Post. And his piece about “Lessons I Learned in Writing My #MeToo Story” was posted on the Submittable blog.

Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction) is the subject of a feature podcast on This Is Horror, discussing music, folk horror, the English folk tradition and her award-winning novella, Wylding Hall. Her Cass Neary books were recently named as one of the top ten hipster crime novels at CrimeReads, and also among the top eight queer crime novels featuring women at Autostraddle, the world’s most popular lesbian website.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has film script news: she won a 2019 Los Angeles Film Award in April for her screenplay A Four-Sided Bed, adapted by Elizabeth from her novel. In the past month, Elizabeth’s recently completed script has also been chosen as one of two feature film scripts to be presented at the 15th ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto, which Elizabeth will attend in July. In addition, the script was named an Official Selection at the Script Summit festival in Las Vegas and a Finalist at the Indie Visions Film Festival as well as in the Los Angeles Film & Script Festival. A Four-Sided Bed is being developed as a feature film by two producers, David Ball (producer on over thirty films including the recent Tag; the award-winning 96 Minutes, starring Evan Ross and Britney Snow; and Yellow) and Amy Carpenter Scott/Creatrix Films (Pitstop). More news coming soon on this film development project. In May, in addition to the Idol Talk theater event (see Tamra Wilson note below), Elizabeth has a second theatrical event in May: she will be a featured Storyteller at the fundraising event Stories I Haven’t Yet Told, an Arlington, MA, fundraiser for RIA House, which “supports women who have experience in the commercial sex trade and its associated exploitation, trafficking and prostitution,” on May 29th at the Regent Theater at 7:00 p.m. For updates, including on Idol Talk onstage, see: http://www.elizabethsearle.net

ALUMS

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) had two op-eds published in The New York Daily News last month: “Sri Lanka and the Burdens of History” mentions her MFA creative thesis, and “CUNY’s Teachers Get Stiffed” talks about the MFA and life trapped as an adjunct.

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce that her short story “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” was published in Third Flatiron’s Hidden Histories Anthology. This is the second story she’s had published that’s set in her fictional world of the Vysoké Tatry—the High Tatra Mountains of Slovakia.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited to be a guest at StokerCon (May 9-12) where she will speak on the panel “Rise of the Pod(cast) People” about her job as Assistant Editor of PseudoPod. She’s also serving on “Writing to Prompts: Prose, Poetry, and Sources of Inspiration.” On Saturday, she’ll be the game master for four authors playing Bedlam Hall, a macabre Victorian role-playing game (think Downton Abbey for horrible people). Come watch us play! It’s guaranteed to be good times. Starting in May, Karen is also teaching a twelve-week online creative writing class for Western Technical College. She welcomes Stonecoasters who want some online teaching experience to pair up with her as mentees. Viva la Stonecoast!

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) has made a good deal for two-books at auction with Tor. Eleusis, the first of the two books, is a stand-alone sequel to her first novel Elysium (Aqueduct Press, 2014) and is due to be published in Summer 2020.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is attending a two-week residency in Cove Park, Scotland. She will be working on her latest hybrid literary project inspired by cultures in along the North Atlantic Rim.

Penny Guisinger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) latest piece ran at Solstice this month. “Borne Back Ceaselessly” explores her longtime relationship with the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald through the lens of a thing they shared: alcoholism. (Hint: he was dead at 44. Currently, Penny remains not-dead.)

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S ’11) is pleased to announce that her story “Lost Change” appears on the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize blog. It is an excerpt from her memoir What Goes by the Name of Love. 

Jeff Kass‘ (Fiction, S’09) upcoming new poetry collection Teacher/Pizza Guy is now available for pre-order from Wayne State University Press’ Made in Michigan Series. According to the press release, the book is “a collection of autobiographical poems from the 2016–17 school year in which Kass worked as a full-time English teacher and a part-time director for a literary arts organization and still had to supplement his income by delivering pizzas a few nights a week. In the collection, Kass is unapologetically political without distracting from the poems themselves but rather adds layers and nuances to the fight for the middle class and for educators as a profession.” David Hecker, President of the AFT Michigan Teacher’s Union, adds, “I never really cared for poetry, but I truly loved Kass’s work. He speaks to all of our insecurities and vulnerabilities, giving a voice to what we want to say but rarely do. Yes, teachers are struggling to get by financially and it’s a shame that education is not being made a higher priority in our society. Thank you, Jeff, for opening the door to this conversation in a creative and enriching way.” Poet Ross Gay says, “What a beautiful and moving and funny and un-heroic and angry and tender and honest book of poems about labor, aging, love, and, as Kass says, finding ‘meaning in every ice patch on the sidewalk.’ This book’s heart is enormous. I love it.” Official release of the collection happens on August 26th. Pre-orders are available here.

Lissa Kiernan‘s (Poetry, S’11) book Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, & Radical Poetics (Haley’s) has been selected as a 2018 Gold Nautilus Award Winner in the Lyric Prose category and a 2018 Gold Independent Book Awards Winner in the Cross-Genre category. In her book, Kiernan juxtaposes nuclear plant industry reports, newspaper clippings, and texts of poetics with her own poems and prose.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created a short video on his final reading as the Howard County Literary & Poetry Society’s 2018/19 Writer-in-Residence. You can watch it here.

Tom MacDonald (Fiction, W’09) and two other local authors held a panel about their new novels as well as their writing and publishing experiences at the Thayer Public Library in Braintree, MA, on April 27th.

Cristina Perachio (Fiction, S‘14) will have her short story “Hunters” published in the May issue of EPOCH Magazine. She is very pleased to see this story placed in Cornell’s literary magazine as it is one of the stories she originally wrote as part of her Stonecoast application, and it has been workshopped by many fellow Stonecoast students and professors.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) will read at The Busy Bee in Cape Elizabeth, ME, on Saturday, May 25th, at 4:00 p.m. as part of the series curated and hosted by Marcia Brown.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his essay “More than Brothers,” a look at LGBT characters in Harry Potter (hint: there’s only two, sort of), was accepted for the Academic Track at WorldCon this August in Dublin, Ireland. He has also been awarded a grant from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation to spend the month of July in Rome, Italy.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will be the keynote speaker at the NJ Women Who Write Conference in Madison, NJ in September, and in August at the Hippocamp19 Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers in Lancaster, PA, she will lead a session on Reading as a Writer and appear on a panel about Writing While Parenting.

Nikki Sambitsky‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) essay “Chester Bennington is Dead” was recently selected for publication in The Manifest-Station by founder Jennifer Pastiloff and editor Angela M Giles. The essay uses anaphora as a device to help Nikki deal with the sad and untimely death of Linkin Park’s lead singer, Chester Bennington, to suicide, as well her own clinical depression and suicidal thoughts. Nikki uses unconventional and hybrid forms to help her tackle the deeply difficult and grief-filled issues in her life such as depression, family dysfunction, and her children’s autism. This is the second essay that has been published from her larger essay collection Perseverate, Linger, which has been submitted to PANK and Sarabande Books and is eagerly awaiting a decision. A link to the published essay is forthcoming.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) 2011 collaborative collection, The Other Side of Longing (with Irish writer Geraldine Mills), was adopted by an Irish Literature class at University of Connecticut for the 2019 spring semester. Both Lisa and Geraldine had a chance to visit the class on April 11th and discuss their summer together in Ireland in 2009. Lisa will be teaching an all-day fiction class for the School of the West in Mancos, Colorado (right near Mesa Verde National Park), on June 15th. Anyone can sign up via this link. Also, Lisa has been chosen as a reader for the Connecticut Author’s Trail; she will be reading at Chaplin Library in Chaplin, CT, on August 12th at 7 p.m.

Faculty member Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are heading up a special reading, Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols, on May 10th and 11th at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, Newburyport, MA. Show time is 8:00 p.m. both nights. The reading, featuring dance numbers and readings from Idol Talk, a teen idols anthology that Searle and Wilson co-edited for McFarland Publishing in 2018. Actress Marianne Leone will emcee the fundraiser for Exit Dance Company and Firehouse PAC. Among the Stonecoasters participating are faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea and the works of several alumnae including Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Michelle Soucy, and Darlene Taylor.

 

 

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Community News & Updates May 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Thank you to all who supported the One Month, One Voice campaign to benefit Stonecoast’s new Writing for Social Justice Scholarship. Together, we raised over $20,000! If you missed the campaign but would still like to be part of the movement, you can email stonecoastcommunity@maine.edu for information on donating or hosting an event. Thank you for being part of Stonecoast’s commitment to social justice.

Acclaimed Irish Fiction Writer Claire Keegan will be presenting a four-day Fiction Workshop in Winter Harbor, Maine, September 13-16, 2018!  Please contact Kathryn Balteff (current Fiction student) at info@FeatheredInk.org or Kathryn.balteff@maine.edu for details and registration information. Registration must be completed by June 1st. There are a limited number of spots available for this wonderful opportunity—don’t wait!

ALUM NEWS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) natural history memoir, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (Algonquin Books, 2010), has been adapted for stage in Switzerland. Produced by the theater company FRADS Fruhstuck auf der Szene Buchholzstrasse, the performance involves one actor and one dancer. A video trailer for the production can be viewed here. Performances dates are April 25th, 27th, and 28th at the Theater Tuchlaube in Aarau, Switzerland, and May 26th at the Kelelrteater in Bremgarten, Switzerland. More information is available here.

Set photo: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) published his short story “The Witnesses” in the spring 2018 issue of The Superstition Review. His short story “The Dream” has been accepted for an upcoming issue of EPOCH magazine.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) has accepted a position as the audio producer for PodCastle, a weekly podcast that publishes fantastical short fiction.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is chuffed her 200-word flash “Cadaver Feet” will be reprinted in The Binge Watching Cure II: Horror anthology. This short was written for alumna Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s Art & Words show and art created for it can be viewed here. Karen is super excited that she will be participating in this year’s Art & Words show and artwork will be created for her Rhysling award-nominated poem “Syncing Minefields.” She’s honored her novel Swift For The Sun won a silver medal in the LGBT category of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award. Her article about what to consider while selling your fiction to podcast markets, “One Story, Told Well,” is available for reading on Writespace. Karen will be presenting on panels at Writespace Houston, May 4-5: “The Good, the Bad, and the Slushy: How to Save Your Story from the Slush Pile Neverland,” “Submission Tools for New Writers,” “The Future of LGBTQ Publishing: New Stories, New Voices,” and “Metal and Speculative Fiction.” At the end of the month, May 25-27, Karen will be presenting on two panels at Comicpalooza Houston—“Speculative Poetry Deathmatch” and “Finding Writing Inspiration”—as well as participating in “Poetry of the Imagination: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Reading” at Kaboom Books. She was interviewed on KHOI radio’s community bookshelf (April 17) about her work and the effects of divorce and dating on her writing. Her short story about divorce, “From Now Until Infinity” published in Factor Four Magazine, has been receiving a lot of buzz and was reviewed by Maria Haskins in “10 extra excellent stories I read in March.” Karen can be heard narrating work by Llewellyn, Schow, Cushing, Barker, and Gifune on Cemetery Pod. Stonecoast continues to be the single most influential experience on Karen’s career and she is grateful for it every day!

On May 13 the collaborative sound art project Soundtrack becomes available for download. This is a work presented by the Queens Museum as part of the Mel Chin: All Over the Place exhibit with project curator Jace Clayton (aka DJ /rupture), which will include Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11 ) reading from her novel Elysium.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a play premiering soon! A Canticle of Light will run May 30th-June 2nd in Toronto, produced by indie theatre company Missed Metaphor Productions.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) now has her first-ever writer’s website lindabuckmaster.com. It includes her live blog “Field Notes,” her current “Audio Essays,” and all kinds of other great stuff. She’s also nailed the date for the launch of her hybrid memoir, Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, for November 4 at Waterfall Arts in Belfast, Maine. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by.

John Florio (Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) has written about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, “When Martin Luther King Died, Major League Baseball Struck Out,” was an April feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in Spring 2019.

Hank Garfield‘s (Fiction, S’04) short-short story “The Pickup Artist” appears in the May issue of Portland Magazine. Hank also has a nonfiction piece, “An Old Boat Gets a New Waterline,” in the May issue of Points East, a boating magazine covering the entire New England coast.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) was the featured guest on WPFW 89.3 FM’s On The Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller. He discussed his latest book, Point Blank, talked fatherhood, and more. Listen to the recording here.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11)—Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire will be released on May 8th for PC/Mac/Linux! The game is fully voiced and features the cast of Critical Role, a popular D&D podcast where talented gaming industry voice actors play a tabletop adventure together. All of the actors play prominent roles in Deadfire. Enjoy the trailer below for some of the action, and enjoy the writing on May 8th!

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) latest collection Acres of Perhaps, featuring his work from Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and Nightmare Magazine plus several new stories, is now available from Amazon or your favorite online independent bookseller. If you enjoy alternate history crime, cursed toys, sky-gazing psychopaths, or creepy 60s TV shows, it may be just what you need for your nightstand.

Jeanette Lynes’ (Poetry/Fiction, ‘05) second novel, The Small Things That End The World, will appear in May 2018, published by Coteau Books, Regina, Canada. Jeanette is currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH).

Both of Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short mysteries, “The New Score” (Fish Out of Water Anthology, Wildside Press 4/17) and “The Drive By” (Busted! Arresting Stories from the Beat Anthology, LevelBest Books 4/17), have been nominated for Derringer Awards by the members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Winners will be announced on May 15th. Her short horror story “Kamikaze Iguanas” will appear in the MWA anthology for middle-grade readers entitled Scream and Scream Again (HarperCollins, 2018), edited by R. L. Stine, which is now available for pre-order.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) flash piece “Chrysalis” is featured in Melanie Faith’s In a Flash! Writing & Publishing Dynamic Flash Prose, available now through Vine Leaves Press. Nelson’s work appears alongside other Stonecoast alumni in this collection.

“Unseen Canyon,” Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) essay about rafting the Grand Canyon with blind students, will appear in the summer edition of Camas, released this month. A second essay based on Finding Petronella, Jenny’s book project tracing her solo trek across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer, is forthcoming from Slice Magazine in September.

American Dangerous, Renée Olander‘s (Poetry, W’05) first full-length collection of poems, will be published by Backlash Press in September 2018. She also has poetry and prose forthcoming in the anthology Feminine Rising, edited by Andrea Fekete and Lara Lillibridge, due in early 2019.

Anne Britting Oleson‘s (Poetry, W’05) third poetry chapbook, Alley of Dreams, has been published by Clare Songbirds Publishing of Auburn, NY.

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short film The Bakebook was selected by Female Eye Film Festival to screen in a curated exhibition at De Montfort University on April 13, 2018, in association with the Cinema and Television History (CATH) centre. Her short story “Forty Whacks” has also been published in Vague Visages.

Steve Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) has two ekphrastic poems that recently appeared in The Ekphrastic Review (April 10, based on a painting by Oldilon Redon; April 17, based on a painting by George Bellows). His poem “Aubade” will appear in Tahoma Literary Review in August.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) proudly announces the May 1 publication of Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss (University of Nevada Press). She’d like to express her gratitude and appreciation to all of her Stonecoast faculty and mentors, workshop leaders, and fellow students/alumni for the help and support!

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Angry Kings” appeared in the recent issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies. 

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) has an essay in About Place Journal: “A Humbling Place” appears in the new ‘Rewilding’ issue.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) is co-editing a teen-idols anthology with Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) to be released June 15th from McFarland Publishers. Idol Talk will include work by Ann Hood, B. A. Shapiro, Susan Straight, Jill McCorkle, Lesléa Newman, Stephanie Powell Watts, and a host of others. The collection showcases a variety of female authors who share—most for the very first time—their teenage crush and the impact the experience had on their lives. Idol Talk will be the first book of teen-idol essays ever written entirely by female writers. Its focus is a topic that’s rarely discussed and seldom studied: the coming-of-age bridge in which girls intensely project themselves into a world beyond themselves. Both co-editors will be at Stonecoast in July to share excerpts and discuss writing about pop culture along with Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction).

STUDENT NEWS

Lindsey Barlow (Popular Fiction) has been offered a three book deal by California Coldblood Books, an imprint of Rare Bird Books, for a trilogy she has been working on for the past five years. She is over the moon for this wonderful opportunity, and she is so happy to be part of the CCB family.

FACULTY NEWS

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting) short play Quit Stalling will be produced in May as part of the 1:One Festival in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Shortly thereafter, the short film The R Word (for which he wrote the screenplay) will premiere at the White River Indie Festival, June 3, in White River Junction, VT.

Ted Deppe (Poetry) and Annie Deppe will be reading at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast, Northern Ireland, at 1:00 p.m. on 18 May. Ted will give a poetry masterclass/workshop from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon before the reading. As of this writing, there are still a few spots left for the workshop.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) 2005 Nebula-winning novella, Burn, has just had its first ebook edition. Particle Books, a new electronic imprint from Tachyon Publications, launched Burn on April 24; it includes a new afterword by Jim. He talks about the writing of the book as well as his forthcoming short-story collection The Promise of Space in an interview with Paul Semel. In other reprint news, Jim is the only author from the U.S. included in the just-published anthology Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction, edited by Bill Campbell and Francesco Verso, from Rosarium Publishing. Also represented in the table of contents are India, Greece, Zimbabwe, China, Italy, the Canada, the U.K., Russia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Cuba. Jim’s novelette “Bernardo’s House” was first published in 2003.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates January 2018

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) essay “Biophilia at my Bedside” was just published in the anthology Nature, Love, Medicine. The anthology, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Torrey House Press, includes essays by twenty-three writers including Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jane Hirschfield, and thich Nhat Hanh.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited her story “The Scarlet Cloak” was reprinted in Like A Woman, a domestic violence benefit anthology. Her short story “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow” was published in December’s issue of Gamut Magazine—classmates will recognize this story as inspired by her thesis novel-in-progess The Sleeping Boy. This just in: Factor Four Magazine will be publishing Karen’s science fiction short story “To Infinity and Beyond” in their inaugural issue. With this sale, Karen’s happy to announce she is applying to SFWA. She’s serving as a guest editor for Pseudopod Podcast for March 2018 and hope you all tune in to listen to the five awesome stories she selected (with the associate editing help of fellow ‘coasters Shawna Borman, Erin Roberts, and Cecelia Dockins). Her poem “Fire Lover” will appear in February’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, with an accompanying narration. Karen also has been narrating stories by others. Karen has created a recording of Penelope Evans’ “Wasps Make Honey” for a forthcoming episode of Escape Pod and Evan Dicken’s “The Taking Tree” for Pseudopod.

Illustration for Karen’s story “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow”

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) puts her memories of being a bookseller to use in a flash fiction story for the anthology Welcome to Dystopia edited by Gordon Van Gelder from OR Books. (Shh, most of the story I didn’t have to make up!)

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Re-stitched” can be found in the January edition of Split Lip magazine. “Re-stitched” is about two sisters, Alicia and Stephanie, their family dysfunction, and the impurity of human flesh. It’s about as creepy as you’d expect…

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) Terri’s poem, “Violet Green Swallows” was published in Young Raven’s Review, Issue 6. Her poem “Cow Tipping Tuesday” will be published in the 2018 San Diego Poetry Annual and her haiku in the Spring Issue of The Fourth River.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez (Poetry, W’08) received the 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama for her play Words That Burn. The play dramatizes the WWII experiences of conscientious-objector William Stafford, Japanese-American internee Lawson Inada, and Chicano Marine Guy Gabaldón in their own words. The play premiered at Milagro Theatre in Portland, Oregon, in September of 2014 in commemoration of the William Stafford Centennial, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the 70th anniversary of the rescindment of Executive Order 9066 (incarcerating Japanese-Americans). Words That Burn was also produced in 2017 at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp, Washington, and the Linkville Playhouse in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Alan King’s (Poetry, W’13) Point Blank was reviewed in The Washington City Paper, Auburn Avenue, and Run Tell That Magazine.

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) third collection of short fiction tinged with crime and the supernatural, Acres of Perhaps, will be appearing in April 2018. It is available now for preorder from Lethe Press if you would like to support the small press.

Carolyn O’Doherty‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) debut novel, Rewind, will be released April 10, 2018. The novel, published by Boyds Mills Press, tells the story of a group of teenagers with the ability to freeze time. The sequel will be published in Spring 2019.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) recently attended Continuum Music’s Urgent Voices multimedia performance in Toronto, featuring the debut of From the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, an operatic work for which she write the libretto. The Birmingham-based composer, Scott Wilson, was also in attendance. The Canada Council for the Arts has provided Oliver, Wilson, and Continuum director Ryan Scott with funding to develop the project.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) play Radio Silent has won the 2017 Meeting House Theatre Arts Lab’s annual new play contest and will receive a staged reading on January 20 at Schoodic Arts for All in Winterport, Maine. Pratt also won the award last year for his play The King of France. Several of his plays are among those being considered for full production next spring.

In addition to winning one of the South Carolina State Poetry Society contests, Steve Rhodes’s (Poetry, W’11) poem “Inheritance” won First Prize in Still: The Journal’s annual poetry contest.  He and his wife, Ann, moved to Charleston, South Carolina, three years ago. Steve recently completed his third poetry collection, What You Don’t See, and is looking for a publisher. He is currently working on a prose and poetry memoir. This past summer and fall he was invited to give poetry readings as part of hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park led by the singer/song-writer Doug Peters. Great fun.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) poem “Thirteen Ways of Killing the Captain’s Son” was published in Selkie Zine, issue 5. You can find it here.

Kathleen Saville (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has been invited as a speaker to the Match 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book to share her memoir Rowing for My Life: Two Oceans, Two Lives, One Journey, published by Skyhorse/Arcade Publishing in February 2017. Information on how to attend the Festival is here.

Olive L. Sullivan‘s (Fiction/Poetry, S’15) poetry collection Wandering Bone is now available on Amazon or directly from the publisher, Meadowlark Books. Several of the poems in this book were written as part of her second semester project with Jeanne Marie Beaumount.

Karrie Waarala (Poetry, S’11) has three poems—“Memory of Museum of Memory,” “How to Remember,” and “The Morning After”—in the current issue of Blackbird. Her poem “Death Spends Halloween at the Country Bar” was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Escape into Life, where her work was featured in July. And her short story “High Side” appeared in Five on the Fifth earlier this year; this was her first fiction publication.

Marco Wilkinson’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay, “Hidden Light, Wooden Ladder, Bucket of Clay, Pillar of Water,” will appear in issue four of the Bennington Review. His nonfiction manuscript, Madder, was the first runner-up in the 2017 Red Hen Press Non-Fiction Prize, judged by Mark Doty.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) was published in Vol. VI of The New Guard. “Dearest Mum” is part of The Dream Letters, an ongoing feature of the journal. Wilson’s fictional letter is excerpted from a novel-in-progress based on her great-grandmother, an orphan train.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Sarah Mack (Popular Fiction), publishing under S.M. Mack, won first place for the Katherine Patterson Prize for Young Adult Writing for her short story “The Carrying Beam.” The story was published online in Hunger Mountain, The VCFA Journal for the Arts, and is available here.

Illustration for Sarah’s story “The Carrying Beam”

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) just renewed the film option for Gabriel’s Story with Redwave Films, as well as the film/TV option for Pride of Carthage with Sonar Entertainment. His short story “All the Girls Love Michael Stein” will be republished in The Stonecoast Review and was recently published in translation in the Polish SFF magazine Nowa Fantastyka. He’s also signed on as one of the judges for the 2018 World Fantasy Awards. Details here via Locus.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him (New Rivers Press) is forthcoming as an AudioBook in 2018, recorded by Stonecoast alum Tanya Eby and her Blunder Woman Productions. Both Elizabeth’s opera and her rock opera about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan will be produced in early 2018, at the time of the Winter Olympics. In January, the operetta group Mixed Precipitation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will present Tonya and Nancy: The Opera—a one-act opera with libretto by Elizabeth and music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross—on Lake Harriet for the Art Shanties. Meanwhile, in New York City at 54Below on February 13th, Broadway stars sing a concert version of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, a show which will be recorded as a CD from Broadway Records and which has recently received coverage from Playbill and Broadway World (you can read the Broadway World article here). For updates, see: www.elizabethsearle.net

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates October 2017

READINGS

The Stonecoast MFA community will host a special fall reading event at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18th, at Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA. The featured readers will be:

  • Elizabeth Searle (Faculty, Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting), author of five books of fiction, most recently We Got Him, and the librettist of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, a show which has drawn national media
  • Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09), author of The Language of Men: A Memoir, which received the PEN/New England Discovery Prize and Foreword’s Memoir-of- the-Year Award
  • Kara Storti (Fiction, S’06), author of Tripping Back Blue.

Arts at the Armory is located at 191 Highland Avenue between Davis and Union Squares. There is plenty of parking. Following the reading will be a talk back with the audience and a reception. We look forward to seeing you there!

ALUMS

Michael Beeman (Fiction, ’09) published his short story “To Fall and Rise Again” in the fall issue of storySouth.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) has a letter addressed to the late author Octavia E. Butler in Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, a collection of essays and letters co-edited by Alexandra Pierce & Mimi Mondal and published by Twelfth Planet Press. She also has a story in the anthology Welcome to Dystopia edited by Gorden Van Gelder that is now available for pre-order. And last—but most certainly not least—she will be reading from her new upcoming book at the KGB Fantastic Fiction with our own James Patrick Kelly on October 18th!

Lauren M. Davis (Poetry, S’15) has worked as an adjunct professor at numerous colleges and universities since graduation. For Fall 2017, she designed, wrote, and is teaching Indiana Institute of Technology’s first creative writing course to ever be offered by the institution. She is the Keynote Speaker at the Poetry Society of Indiana’s annual writer’s conference, which will occur in October 2017. She was the writer-in-residence in Hypatia in the Woods’ Holly House in summer 2016. Her poems have appeared in several literary journals. This year, four of her poems were featured in 2River, Matador Review, and Hoosier Lit. She was just nominated for Best of the Net literary anthology by Matador Review for her poem “Martin’s Guilt”.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S11) is pleased to announce that her book-length braided essay Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, and Radical Poetics is now available.

Matthew Quinn Martin (Popular Fiction, S’10) is thrilled (albeit EXHAUSTED) to report that, after two solid weeks of overnight shoots, production on the feature film he co-wrote, Beinghas wrapped. The movie, which features Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Near Dark, Millennium), Robert John Burke (Stephen King’s Thinner, Law & Order: SVU, Oz), Ahd (Collateral, Wadjda) and Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate: SG1, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Arrow, Doctor Who) now movies into post-production with an eye to widespread release in the spring of 2018.

Production stills from Being

Ellen Meeropol‘s (Fiction, W’06) third novel, Kinship of Clover, was selected as a Great Group Reads for 2017 by the Women’s National Book Association. Ellen is also pleased to announce that Straw Dog Writers Guild will present the Abel Meeropol Social Justice Writing Award to Stonecoast’s own Patricia Smith at a ceremony in Holyoke, MA, on November 12. Details at http://www.strawdogwriters.org/abel-meeropol-award.

From August through October 2017, Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) short nonfiction poetry collection, “Home of Air,” was featured in Surface First Tilts West—an interactive outdoor art installation on Little Chebeague Island in Casco Bay, Maine. Curated by visual artist Jordan Kendall Parks, the exhibition was a multi-medium body of work that encouraged the audience to engage with each piece: crawling under a canvas and listening to a poem read aloud, sitting atop a bench with fabric inspired by traditional southern quilting that houses a poem regarding a relationship with “home,” listening to a recording along a trail, or climbing a giant oak tree and viewing a suspended reading.

Home of Air by Jenny O’Connell

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) has been selected for the Reykavik Talent Lab for rising filmmakers, which will take place at the Reykjavik International Film Festival in October 2017. During the lab, she will be pitching her thesis screenplay Mostly Harmless as a feature film concept to industry consultants and professionals.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poems, “Pandora at the Grocery Store,” “Rain Dimples the Pond,” and “A Grosbeak in the Simmer Dim,” will appear in Tipton Poetry Journal.

Shannon Ratliff‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “The Named Women” appears in the Fall ’17/Winter ’18 issue of Slice Magazine, currently out.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is teaching a one-day intensive, “Where it Happens: Writing Place and Setting in Creative Nonfiction,” for the Cedar Ridge Writers Series, in Bedminster, NJ, on November 4. The Brevity Blog published Lisa’s piece, “Teaching: A Little Brevity By My Side,” as part of a series on Brevity in the writing classroom, to mark the journal’s 20th anniversary.  Lisa presented twice at the recent HippoCamp17: Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers. At the conference website, you can view the accompanying slide shows for the breakout session Submission Strategy – Beyond Wish Lists, Tiers, and Industry Buzz, and the “lightning round” talk, I’ll Take Titles for a Thousand, Alex.

R. M. Romero (Popular Fiction, S’15) is pleased to announce that her debut novel, The Dollmaker of Kraków, is now available from Penguin Random House’s Delacorte Press imprint. The novel was originally her MFA thesis.

A story, “Southern Gal,” by Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) appears in the premiere issue of the journal Teach.Write.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Popular Fiction, Fiction) will be featured in an event hosted by George RR Martin at his Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, NM, on October 8th. Several Wild Cards authors will discuss the series, answer questions from the audience, and then sign books. Other authors on hand include Melinda Snodgrass, Daniel Abraham, Marco Kloos, Mary Ann Mohanraj, Ian Tregillis, Carrie Vaughn, and more!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a participant at the 75th annual Worldcon in Helsinki, where she was interviewed for a feature on her feminist writings in Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest newspaper. Her recent collection of essays and fiction, Fire, received excellent reviews in Rain Taxi (where Stonecoast got a shoutout) and Tor.com. She’ll be appearing in the D.C. area at the Fall for the Book Festival, as well as reading at The Potter’s House in D.C. She has a short story in the forthcoming anthology Mixed Up.  Recent book reviews include Robin Sloan’s Sourdough for The Washington Post.

PopFic faculty member Nancy Holder‘s new Buffy the Vampire Slayer Encyclopedia is on sale everywhere! Written with the original editor and creator of the Buffy publishing program at Simon and Schuster, the encyclopedia covers the Buffy and Angel TV series and the comics canon (including After the Fall, Angel and Faith, and Spike). Watch/listen to a review here. She was interviewed on September 29th by “Bonnets at Dawn” about her adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s short story, “The Old Nurse’s Story,” to be published in the forthcoming comic book series Mary Shelley Presents. Copies of the limited edition of the comic will be on sale at Gaskell’s home in Manchester, England.

Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction) has placed a new far-future novelette set on a starship called “Grace’s Family” with the online magazine Tor.com: it will be published sometime in 2018. His near future story about digital immortality “And No Torment Shall Touch Them” debuts October 15 in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. He has also adapted a lecture on H. G. Wells and time travel that he gave at the winter residency for his regular column in Asimov’s; it’s called “Remembering Bertie.” Jim continues to be interviewed as he promotes his new novel Mother Go. He is on the cover of the October issue of the print magazine Locus and talked about his career as a writer and teacher at Stonecoast for the podcast Eating the Fantastic.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) will be Writer-in-Residence at Bay Path University October 15-21. On October 15th, at Bay Path Writer’s Day, Elizabeth will appear on a panel with star Stonecoast alum Ellen Meeropol; the panel, Swimming the Currents, will focus on using “current event” topics in fiction. On October 22nd, an excerpt from the opera Seven Rabbits on a Pole (libretto by Elizabeth and music by Pasquale Tassone) will be performed at the 15th annual fundraising concert Music to Cure MS from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at 50 Paul Revere Rd, Arlington, MA. On October 26th, Elizabeth will be a featured author, along with Andre Dubus III and Margot Livesey, at the Worcester Public Library annual fundraiser; copies of Elizabeth’s newest novel We Got Him will be gifts at the fundraising auction. For updates, please visit www.elizabethsearle.net.

Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne Strempek will read from their collection Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow, As the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives on Saturday, October 7th, 1:00-2:00 p.m., at the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield, MA. Also reading will be soapy contributors Tommy Shea and, via Skype from Co. Galway, Ireland, Nuala Ni Chonchuir. The event is free and open to the public, and will be an opportunity to visit the newly renovated venue, which includes an Irish-themed pub and restaurant. Copies of Soap Opera Confidential, and other books by all four authors, will be available for sale before and after the presentation.

Suzanne will be one of the hosts for Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day on October 15th at the main campus, 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. Join other aspiring and published writers for our 16th Writers’ Day featuring Patricia Reis, Charles Coe, Elizabeth Searle, Ellen Meeropol, and Meredith O’Brien. Registration and Check-in begins at noon, in D’Amour Hall for Business, Communications and Technology, and continues throughout the sessions:

Session One: “Mining the Personal for your Nonfiction” with Patricia Reis
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Author, visual artist, filmmaker and therapist Patricia Reis will discuss using personal experiences, memories, documents, letters, diaries and more as you craft nonfiction of any length. Topics will include using personal elements and materials in nonfiction rather than fiction, how resources can be gathered, what it’s like to present a relative’s story – and your own – so candidly, and dealing with family reactions while a project is in process and after it’s published. Patricia is the author of the award-winning memoir Motherlines: Love, Longing and Liberation, which weaves the story of Patricia’s coming of age as a woman, feminist and artist with that of a beloved aunt whose life as a nun included social justice work in 1970s Latin America.

Session Two: “Standing Your Ground: Thoughts on Reading in Public” with Charles Coe
2:35 – 3:50 p.m.
For writers who want to become more comfortable and effective reading their work in public, Charles Coe is the man to see. The award-winning poet and singer will describe tools and techniques that can help in preparing and delivering a reading. He’ll also work with a few volunteers willing to read before the group and be coached on their presentations. Don’t miss this great opportunity to read and up your reading game.

Session Three: “Swimming With the Current” with Ellen Meeropol, Elizabeth Searle and Meredith O’Brien G’17
4:10 – 5:25 p.m.
Join Massachusetts authors Ellen Meeropol (Stonecoast alum!), Elizabeth Searle (Stonecoast faculty!) and Meredith O’Brien as they discuss how current events in their hometowns and in the larger world have inspired their engrossing fiction and nonfiction. Incorporating topics including cults, racial diversity, the Boston Marathon bombings, human trafficking and a community in grief, the trio’s work will get you thinking about how to use current events as your own springboard. Bring writing materials for a brainstorming session.

Cost & Registration:

  • One workshop is $40
  • Two workshops, $75
  • Three workshops, $100

To register, please visit http://www.baypath.edu/events-calendar/community-events/writers-day/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates July 2017

THE STONECOAST REUNION


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

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

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

ALUMS


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACULTY


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Community News & Updates November 2016

ALUMS

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is proud to have been part of the “Fantasy of the American Heartland” (with Rob Howell, Lynne Cantwell, Gary K. Wolfe, and Stephanie Loree) and “Shirley at 100: Marking the Shirley Jackson Centennial” (with Eileen Gunn, Peter Straub, Gordon Van Gelder, and Stephanie Feldman) panels at the World Fantasy Convention October 27-30. Her flash undead-grandmother-farm-guardian story “On Rising One Snowy Evening” will be reprinted in a forthcoming issue of Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. Karen’s new poem “Broken Tractor Sonnet,” which contains some mighty shocking language for a midwestern farm girl, will appear in Off the Coast: Maine’s International Poetry Journals Fall 2016 issue. Her Japanese theater alien possession micro story “The Things Between Us” will appear in Daily Nightmare’s Quick Shivers in the Midwest anthology. Also, audio of Karen reading her poem “Effects of Moonlight” is up on the child-safe Science Fiction Poetry Association’s 2016 Halloween Poetry Reading website.

uncanny_issue_thirteen_coverJennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) has published her story “Kamanti’s Child” along with an interview in the November/December issue of Uncanny Magazine. Also our own Theodora Goss has a poem in this issue as well!

Libby Cudmore‘s (Creative Nonfiction/Popular Fiction, S’10) debut novel The Big Rewind (William Morrow, February 2016) was long-listed for the Kirkus Prize. The original starred review called it “A mystery that will inspire more than one playlist and, hopefully, a sequel.”

the-butchers-daughterFlorence Grende‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) book, The Butcher’s Daughter: A Memoir, has just been released by Hamilton Stone Editions and is available through their catalogue at Hamiltonstone.org., at Amazon.com, and at Goodreads.com. A family portrait drawn in lyrical style, it examines the effects of war and its aftermath.

In his capacity as a screenwriter and television producer, Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) received a pilot script order from the Independent Film Channel, a dark comedy about family relationships and the afterlife entitled Get Your Shit Together. IFC is one of the AMC (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead) family of channels and currently broadcasts Portlandia and the documentary parody series Documentary Now! from Seth Myers, starring Bill Hader and Fred Armisen.

on-hurricane-islandEllen Meeropol’s (Fiction, W ’06) second novel, On Hurricane Island, was named a Massachusetts Must Read Book for 2016 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

John Christopher Nelson‘s, (Fiction, S’15) short story “Good Friday,” conceived during his residency in Ireland with the Deppes, will be featured in issue VI (summer 2017) of The New Guard. His flash fiction piece “Detumescence” is currently online in issue II of The Matador Review.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to announce that her essay “Eulogy for an Owl” won the Editor’s Prize in Creative Nonfiction’s Learning From Nature Issue (Issue #61, available now here). “Eulogy for an Owl” was also selected as a finalist in Bellingham Review’s 2016 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction. Mary Heather is also looking forward to presenting at the Moravian College Writers’ Conference on February 3-4, 2017, in which she will discuss “Crossing Boundaries in Nonfiction,” her evolution from a professional environmental scientist into a writer-scientist, and how science and art can enrich one another. Additional information about the 2017 Moravian College Writers’ Conference, featuring Alison Hawthorne Deming as the Keynote Speaker, can be found here.

Jean M. Peck (Fiction, S’08) will be reading from her new book, Blue Girls, on November 15, 7:00 p.m., at Longfellow Books in Portland. The novel was written as a senior thesis at Stonecoast under the watchful eyes of Lesléa Newman, David Anthony Durham, and Suzanne Strempek Shea.

Lisa Romeo’s (Creative Nonficiton, S’08) recent guest post at the Brevity blog discussed the steps she took in the writing process to break into Brevity Magazine with an essay in their Fall 2016 special issue on race. A new hat Lisa is wearing now is editing nonfiction craft essays for Cleaver Magazine.

Ashley Warren‘s (Fiction, S’12) short story “Code Gray” has been published in the latest issue of The Examine Life Journal, a literary journal of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Requiem in StonesRequiem in Stones, a novel by Richard Wile (Creative Nonfiction, W’05) has just been published by Maine Authors Publishing Cooperative and is available in local book stores, through Amazon, or by going to http://richardwile.com. Brunswick’s Gulf of Maine Book Store will host a launch and reading on Sunday, December 4, at 3:00 p.m. You might also want to check out Rick’s blog. http://geriatricpilgrim.com

FACULTY

An interview with Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction), conducted at Politics & Prose bookstore, is available here.

we-got-himElizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) new novel, We Got Him, will be released by New Rivers Press on November 15th; Elizabeth will have her Book Launch reading and party (all Stonecoasters are invited!) at Newtonville Books in Newton Centre, MA, on November 20th at 2:00 p.m. Then, a week later, Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera opens in Chicago, produced by Underscore Theater, with Previews November 26 and 27 and Opening Night November 29th. Elizabeth will be at all the November performances; for tickets see Theater Wit.

Soap bubbles are on the horizon! Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) learned this past week that Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune Tomorrow, As the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives, will be published in March of 2017 by McFarland Press. They will be planning readings in New England and beyond this spring, and they hope to meet up and read along with many of the writers and soap insiders who penned stories about their own soap-opera fixations.

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates June 2016

ALUMS

2016 AOE winner - ParanormalPatricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W’12) is thrilled to announce that her paranormal historical romance, Moon Dark, Book One of The Auriano Curse series, won the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence. The book, originally available only as an ebook, is now also available as a trade paperback.

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) is happy to share that Catwalk (Midnight Ink, 2014) has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence and is now a finalist in the Cat Writers’ Association’s international writing contest (winners to be announced in June). Catwalk, the third book in her Animals in Focus mystery series, won the 2015 Maxwell Award for fiction from the Dog Writers Association of America.

Lightspeed_73_June_2016Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) will have a flash fiction story, “Breathe Deep, Breathe Free,” published in a special edition of Lightspeed Magazine called People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction.

The Hanzai Japan anthology (Haikasoru, editors Nick Mamatas & Masumi Washington) was named as a finalist for a Locus award in the Anthology category. The anthology of futuristic Japanese crime fiction features Libby Cudmore‘s (Creative Nonfiction/Popular Fiction, S’10) short story “Rough Night in Little Toke,” which was hailed as a “polished gem” by The Japan Times.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) published the first of several short stories in the setting of Obsidian Entertainment’s upcoming game, Tyranny. The first—“Under New Management”—introduces one of game’s major factions: the Scarlet Chorus. The story can be found at this link, and more are forthcoming.

tyranny_shortstory_undernewmanagement

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W14) was pleased that her essay “Love Bugs,” about dead bugs and affection, appeared on Mothers Always Write in May.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to report publication of her environmental essay on the recent drinking water crises in Quartz, as well as publication of her flash piece, entitled “Things I (Shouldn’t) Have to Tell My Daughters,” forthcoming in The Fem. Mary Heather is looking forward to a teaching apprenticeship at the summer Stonecoast residency in July, and has been accepted to the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Ripton, Vermont.

Alexis Paige (Creative Nonfiction, S’14) won the Vine Leaves Press Vignette Collection award; they will be publishing her first book—a collection of lyric essays—Not A Place On Any Map on December 5th, 2016. Read more here.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) has new work forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Hippocampus, and Cleaver. Meanwhile, an essay about her skeptical stance on Mother’s Day appeared on RoleReboot, and some flash nonfiction, “Searching for Silvio,” about an odd mission undertaken in the name of grief, fatherly love, and annoying relatives, appeared in Litbreak. Her essay about postpartum depression from Fall 2015, for Brain Child, is now recommended reading by the New Jersey Council on Mental Health Stigma.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) is happy to announce her novel, In the Context of Loveis a 2016 Eric Hoffer Category Finalist. The Hoffer Awards honor the memory of American philosopher Eric Hoffer by “highlighting salient books, as well as the spirit of independent presses.” Linda’s novel is also earned an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Great Midwest Book Festival.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “Barking Dog Nocturnal” won second prize in Selected Shorts/Electric Lit‘s 2016 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize, judged by T.C. Boyle. She has also been named a finalist in the The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction 2015.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has a lyric essay, “Shepherd’s Purse,” in Kenyon Review‘s May/June “Nature’s Nature” issue.

FACULTY

Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be teaching at the Yale Writers Workshop June 15-19. Her novel Wylding Hall has just been nominated for the Shirley Jackson and the Locus Awards, and NPR reviewed her Cass Neary novels in its Time Machine book feature. Hand’s most recent book review was Stephen King’s End of Watch for The Washington Post.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has two books out on June 28th: the paperback edition of her young adult thriller, The Rules, and Ghostbusters: The Official Movie Novelization. She will be participating in a signing at the Teen Book Festival at the Oceanside, California, Barnes and Noble on June 12 at 1:00 p.m.

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In May Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) 600,000-word career retrospective collection, entitled Masters of Science Fiction: James Patrick Kelly, was finally published in a signed limited edition of 500 aimed primarily for collectors. Two weeks later Centipede Press, the publisher, sold out its entire stock, although intrepid buyers may be able to track down one of the remaining scatter of copies online.

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Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) film script based on her novel A Four-Sided Bed was produced as a Staged Reading in Hollywood, starring TV/Film actors Evan Ross (The Hunger Games), Lucy Griffiths (True Blood, Preacher), Gia Mantegna (Under the Dome) and Kenny Leu (NCIS; Independence Day: Resurgence), performed at Zephyr Theater in Los Angeles on May 19th. The performance was produced by Amy Carpenter Scott/Creatrix Films as part of the ongoing project to develop A Four-Sided Bed as a feature film. Elizabeth is also working on a theater version of the ‘menage a trois love story’ script.  Stay tuned!

Elizabeth with stars Kenny Leu and Lucy Griffiths in Hollywood at Zephyr Theater

Elizabeth with stars Kenny Leu and Lucy Griffiths in Hollywood at Zephyr Theater

 

 

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Community News & Updates April 2016

Note from Jenny O’Connell, Community Outreach Coordinator for Stonecoast MFA

In 2017, Stonecoast MFA turns fifteen!  We would like to invite you to come celebrate with us at an alumni reunion weekend during one of the 2017 residencies. I’ll be working closely with Robin to make sure the alumni weekend is framed around YOU. Please take a moment to fill out the (very brief!) survey, which was posted to the the Alumni Listserv, by May 1, 2016.

Also, if you haven’t had a chance to “like” the newly re-vamped Stonecoast Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter, please take a moment to join our online community and stay connected.  Both are updated frequently with news on Stonecoast writers and the literary world.  If you have any news about your own writing that you’d like to see posted, send it along to jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu.

We are excited to hear from you!  Happy writing.

Note from Joanne Turnbull (Fiction, S’11):

Artists Wielding Words and Images is a collaborative project of Maine Media Workshops + College, USM’s Stonecoast MFA, and Your Write Mind that addresses the role of art as an agent of social change. This kickoff event begins with a panel of artists who will share the challenges they face when seeking to communicate social issues in a way that opens hearts and minds. Breakout sessions follow the panel to provide participants with an experience of exploring how their own creativity can influence social change.

Photograph: © Martha Rial / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Photograph: © Martha Rial / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

ALUMS

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W ’12) finally has her new website up and humming; you can access it here. She’d love to have you visit, look around and leave a comment. And other news, Moon Dark, Book #1 of The Auriano Curse, her paranormal historical romance, is now available in paperback format.

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) is delighted to report that her novel Catwalk (Midnight Ink, 2014) has won the 2015 Maxwell Award for fiction from the Dog Writers Association of America. Catwalk is the third book in Sheila’s Animals in Focus Mystery series. Book #1, Drop Dead on Recall, won the Maxwell in 2013, and The Money Bird was a finalist in 2014.

Corpse RoadsKaren Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) has a new poem “Effects of Moonlight” and a reprint prose poem “So Normal and Unwritten” coming out in Folk Horror Revival’s forthcoming Corpse Roads horror poetry anthology. She sold a new flash fiction story “On Rising One Snowy Evening” to Parsec Ink‘s Triangulation: Beneath the Surface anthology. She’s also excited to announce her story “The Scarlet Cloak” is being produced in audio for the Gallery of Curiosities podcast, which she will narrate herself. Date update: Her poem about the Sad Puppies Kerfuffle “Keep Hugo Stormed” will appear on April 15, 2016, in Eye to the Telescope #20. She’s so grateful for all of you and your continued inspiration and encouragements!

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) will be on a panel discussion called “Alien(ation): Diversity Under Attack, Racism, Homophobia, & Sexism at Hugo Awards & Beyond,“along with scholar André Carrington and science fiction author Craig Laurance Gidney, on Friday, April 8th, at 6:00-8:00 pm, at the CUNY Graduate Center, room 9204, 365 Broadway at 34th Street, Manhattan, NYC. The event is free and open to the public.

Libby Cudmore‘s (Creative Nonfiction/Popular Fiction, S’10) debut novel, The Big Rewind (William Morrow), received 3/4 stars from Charles Finch in USA Today. She was also a USA Today “Weekend Pick” on Saturday, March 12.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) lesson plan called “Making a Poem Hum” from the anthology Poetry Crossing will be published in Teachers & Writers magazine‘s April issue.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been writing for the newly announced fantasy role-playing game from Obsidian Entertainment, Tyranny: “In Tyranny, the grand war between good and evil is over—and the forces of evil, led by Kyros the Overlord, have won. The Overlord’s merciless armies dominate the face of the world, and its denizens must find their new roles within the war-torn realm.” For more information about the game, including screenshots and a trailer, visit the website.

Tyranny

Jessica de Koninck (Poetry, W’11) has two poems in the spring 2016 issue of diode. Her first full-length poetry collection, Cutting Room, will soon be released by Terrapin Books.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was happy to have her short story “Boy Trouble” appear in Brain, Child this month. Thanks to the Stonecoast Ireland Crew (S’13) and Nancy Holder for the revision advice, especially moving the gun to the end of the story. She also had a humor piece called “Advice to Writers from 80s Hair Bands” published on Beyond Your Blog, a short essay called “The Chickens” on Mutha Magazine, and another short essay called “One Cake or Three?” on the Brain, Mother Blog.

Sandra McDonald (Popular Fiction, W ’05)  and Nancy Holder (faculty) both saw stories published in the March 2016 issue of Nightmare magazine. Sandra’s story features Susie Lovecraft, mother of famed H.P. Lovecraft, in a creepy tale about female sexuality and the forces that bind it. She also has more fiction forthcoming this year in Nightmare, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and more. Visit her at www.sandramcdonald.com.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) flash piece, “Signs of Alcoholism,” will be featured in the inaugural issue of Indicia.

Renee Olander (Poetry, W’05) presented a paper, “Language and Power in the Age of Trigger Warnings and Title IX Redux,” at the 27th Annual Spring Conference on the Teaching of Writing at Old Dominion University (March 21, 2016); she will participate in the panel “Literary Foremothers and Filling the Gaps” at the AWP Annual Conference in Los Angeles on April 1, 2016.  She has both a flash fiction (“Dear Torso, Stone-carved”) and a poem (“The Apparatus of the Dark”) forthcoming in the 2017 anthology Memoirs of the Feminine Divine, edited by Andrea Fekete and Lara Lillibridge.

The Book of the MandolinAnne Britting Oleson‘s (Poetry, W’05) novel, The Book of the Mandolin Player, will be published by B Ink Books on April 1st. You can watch the book trailer here.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry ’12; also ex-faculty) is in the midst of a Canada-wide tour for Let the Empire Down, her second collection with Biblioasis. An interview with Alexandra recently appeared in The Windsor Star. Alexandra begins her PhD (English and Critical Studies) this fall at McMaster University.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, ’12) has started a podcast about love on an island (because she lives on an island in Alaska!), along with three radio-minded friends. Listen to the first episode here.

Sean Robinson’s (Popular Fiction, W’14) story “He Who Makes the Slippers,” a fairy tale written his first day at Stonecoast, was published in Mirror Dance. Sean also presented a paper at ICFA (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts), “Ossomancing the Siren,” which started as his third semester project and has grown since then. He is also in the middle of his second semester as a Teaching Lecturer at Plymouth State University where he’s teaching writing and fairy tales and having a blast.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) was one of three finalists in the Rose Metal Press Chapbook Contest for her CNF manuscript, Tuck the Story Away (judged by Ira Sukrungruang​). A narrative essay, ​”Jersey Nights on Broadway,” is running on the NYC story site, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood.

9780997040005-BeyondRainMan2_Front_RGB_72dpi_5.5x8.5_webBeyond Rain Man: What One Psychologist Learned Raising a Son on the Autism Spectrum will be released on April 5! Anne K. Ross is the pen name of a 2007 Creative Nonfiction graduate. For more information, visit the website.

Kathleen Saville‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’13) memoir Rowing for My Life: Two Oceans, Two Lives, One Journey will be published by Arcade Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, in January 2017. She’s very excited, as you can imagine. While at Stonecoast, she worked with Cait Johnson, Barbara Hurd, and Debra Marquart on parts of her book; their guidance inspired her as did the wonderful Stonecoast environment.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) just released her collaborative audio fiction-music album Strange Monsters, funded through Kickstarter. The album features six of her previously published short stories read by actors and threaded with original musical compositions. The album is currently available through CDBaby here.

Julie VanDeKreke‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’10) work will be featured in the Spring Equinox 2016 edition of Mused: The Bella Online Literary Review, with one nonfiction piece, one poem, and two photos.

Christopher Varlack (Creative Nonfiction/Poetry, S’10) successfully passed his dissertation defense at Morgan State University this March with his PhD in English to be conferred this May.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) published his critical essay “Self-Speaking World” on experiments in autobiography in the Spring issue of Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. This started as a third semester project with Debra Marquart and then became part of his final residency presentation.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) has a story, “Deanie’s House,” in Waypoints, Issue 2.

FACULTY

51RmY3JvlzL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Susan Conley’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) photo/story book collaboration Stop Here This Is The Place: A Year In Motherland will be published April 14th. The book traces the year in the life of each of the collaborators’ children on their street in Maine and celebrates motherhood and simply being a kid. Real Simple Magazine will do a feature on Stop Here in April as well as Donwneast Magazine, The Portland Press Herald, and other media outlets. The book launch party will take place on Thursday, May 5th, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Portland Museum of Art, and all in the Stonecoast greater community are welcome. An additional reading will take place on May 19th at Longfellow Books in Portland.

Tantor Audio has acquired the audio rights to David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) next novel, The Risen: A Novel of Spartacus. Steven Crossley is doing the narration and the audiobook will pub at the same time as the book, May 3rd.

In February, PBS NewsHour featured Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) and his new book of poems, Vivas to Those Who Have Failed. Check out both the television story and the online reading.

April’s a busy month for Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction). He’ll be on several panels at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans as well as reading from new work there. He’s also judging the Bethesda Magazine Teen Fiction Contest as well as the Green Briar Review fiction contest. Finally, if you’re in the DC area, you can catch his class “Breaking Through Writer’s Block” at legendary Politics & Prose bookstore.

Mike Kimball’s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) 10-minute play Houston will be part of the Students’ Short Play Festival at the Community College of Rhode Island, Liston Campus (One Hilton St.- Room 1120; 401.455.6116), April 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23-24 at 2:00 p.m.

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51ggQvO+PtL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Debra Marquart‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry) essay “The Perils of Travel” was published in Paris, Etc., a new anthology that explores what Paris means to writers who have visited and lived in this fascinating city.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is happy to be on the writing faculty at the Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers 2016, co-founded by Breena Clarke; please visit the new blog and website for information and consider signing up for September in the beautiful “book reading capital of America.”

Reunite with some Stonecoast alums, and learn lots in the process at Bay Path University’s 13th Writers’ Day on the Longmeadow, MA, campus on April 16th. Stonecoast alumna Bunny Goodjohn (Poetry, W’07) will be speaking on “Image Gold Rush: Mining Photographs for Narratives,” and alumna Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, ’04) talk will focus on “Liars, Criminals, and Lovers: The World of the Story/Fiction 101.” Stonecoast faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), Bay Path’s writer-in-residence and director of writing programs, will be there to greet you.

A full production of “Mags: A Conversation with an Audience,” based on Suzanne Strempek Shea’s book This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both, will be staged at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, MA, June 9-12. Tickets go on sale in May. The Majestic was the site of the first reading of the play back in November. A reading of the play also will be held July 27 at the Bee Hive Theater in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland, the adopted home town of Mags Riordan, subject of This Is Paradise and founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Cape Maclear, Malawi. Connemara actor Tegolin Knowland will portray Mags. Both events will benefit the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic, which saves lives daily in a remote area that once had a single doctor for 800,000 residents.

In the wake of her essay on Portland in the 1970s that ran in the March issue of Down East, Suzanne has been sought for more quotes on the city’s scene way back when. The Bangor Daily News includes Suzanne in this piece.

Suzanne is also spending a lot of time these days cheering on her husband Tommy, whom some Stonecoasters might have met at residencies along the way. A former award-winning journalist who once covered the Red Sox (quite a job for a Yankees fan), Tommy has co-authored Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History. To be released April 6 by Sports Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, and co-written by Joshua Shifrin, the book tells the stories of the authors’ choices of the top 100 homers and how each affected the game of baseball. Details are at www.tommysheastadium.com

 

 

 

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