Tag Archives: Lauren Erin O’Brien

Community News & Updates April 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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 Published and unpublished work sought.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

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jane Yolen

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates January 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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