Tag Archives: Libby Cudmore

Community News & Updates February 2014

ALUMNI

Libby Cudmore (Popular Fiction, S’10) is thrilled to announce that she has accepted an offer of reprsentation from Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) was recently interviewed by Mason’s Road, Fairfield MFA’s literary journal. He was also invited to present at Embry-Riddle University’s President’s Speaker Series on February 26th at 7:00 p.m. The event will be broadcasted on Marc Bernier’s radio show. Additional information about the event can be found here.

Melody FullerMelody Fuller (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) has accepted an invitation to attend The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa (February 2014). This is a high honor and a testament to her assiduous work. This Symposium holds hard-to-get space for only the top writers of food and wine in the world. It is very difficult to earn a chair.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) announces “Praise the Poetry Barn,” a new initiative for her nonprofit organization, The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative, a provider of online poetry workshops. The Indiegogo campaign envisions building an energy-efficient, cooperatively run timber barn to hold poetry workshops, readings, and retreats in the Catskill Mountains of New York state. Have your name and a line of your poetry inscribed on a barn board, or claim another poetic perk of your choice, from bestselling, award-winning books to enrollment in one of our online workshops. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

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NIGHTLIFE worm 4AMatthew Quinn Martin (Popular Fiction, S’10) is excited to be able to share the cover for the second novel in his Nightlife series, Nightlife: As the Worm Turns (Pocket Star/Simon & Schuster), which is set to be released in early October 2014 … just in time for Halloween.

The post-apocalyptic, transgender story “Fleet” by Sandra McDonald (Popular Fiction, W’05) was selected to appear in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. It originally appeared in the collection We See a Different Frontier. Sandra also attended the January launch of the TDRS space satellite at Kennedy Space Center as a social media expert.

Lisa Romeo nov 2013 - CTwo of Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) narrative essays found homes recently. “Eyes, Hands, Hotel, Hospital” appears on Halfway Down the Stairs, and “Down at the Diner” is in the January 2014 print and digital issue of Under the Gum Tree. Both are excerpts from her memoir manuscript. An essay about finally getting a new professional photo taken (after delaying it for seven years), and mulling the meaning of a writer’s headshot, appeared on SheWrites. Lisa’s blog was included in the Best 100 Websites for Writers in 2014 at The Write Life.

Catherine Schmitt‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) article based on her Stonecoast thesis, “How the Presidents Ate Their Salmon,” appears in the winter issue of Gastronomica. A PDF can be found on her website.

Bonnie Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) has a lot of story news she’s been holding onto: Her short story “The Land of Phantom Limbs” appeared in the January issue of Flash Fiction Online. Her story “The Damaged” appears in the current issue of Interzone. Her story “The Mammoth” appeared in the December 2013 issue of Ideomancer. The flash fiction “Spiders” appeared in the December issue of The Drabblecast, a podcast zine. “Old Boys” appears in the Winter issue of The Colored Lens. All of these stories, she is happy to say, were written during her time at Stonecoast.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) memoir, Shadows on the Sidewalk, was a Short List Finalist for the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Competition for Narrative Nonfiction. She is still looking for a home for the book. Her essay “Until the Morning Comes” was recently published in Flyway: Journal of Writing and the Environment. Her essay “Our Shadows on the Sidewalks” (from which the title of the book originated) was accepted for publication in Under the Sun, due to be released in May 2014.

Karrie Waarala‘s (Poetry, S’11) heroic crown of sonnets, “Pierce & Brand: A Sideshow Diptych,” appears in the latest issue of Mezzo Cammin (along with a spare sonnet and a villanelle for good measure).

Adrienne S. Wallner‘s (Poetry, W’09) poem “The Parable of the Butchers: Taiji Cove vs. Factory Farming” is featured on the January 22, 2014, edition of New Verse News. To see what else she has been up to, please visit her website.

STUDENTS

Genevieve Williams (Popular Fiction) has a short story in the March 2014 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, titled “The Redemption of Kip Banjeree.”

FACULTY

Beast in the ApartmentTony Barnstone (Poetry, Translation) just published his new book of poems, Beast in the Apartment (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014). It’s available from various distributors, directly from UPNE, Amazon, and so on. More importantly, his son, Blake William Barnstone, was born on January 14th, healthy and happy, 7 pounds, 10 ounces!

An excerpt from David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) story “Those About to Die…” is currently being featured on George R.R. Martin’s official website. It’s there to promote the forthcoming Wild Cards novel, Lowball, and includes the cover illustration of David’s character. David also contributed to the forthcoming craft book Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror: Speculative Genre Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers, edited by Laurie Lamson and published by Archer.

A staged reading of Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Edgar-nominated stage play Ghosts of Ocean House will be performed at Mad Horse Theater, 24 Mosher Street, South Portland, ME, on Friday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, February 9, at 2:00 p.m. Pay-what-you-can tickets (a suggested $10 donation) are available at the door, cash and check only.

ghosts flyer 2014

In 2013, Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry) received the following awards/honors: 2013 Wachtmeister Award for Poetry from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (award includes an honorarium and a one-month residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA); The Paumanok Poetry Award from the Visiting Writers Program at Farmingdale State College, New York; the 2013 Normal Prize for Poetry for “Kablooey Is the Sound You Hear”; short-listed for the 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Also, her poem “Door-to-Door” was selected by Narrative Magazine as one of the “Top Five Poems” published by Narrative in 2013.

meeting-the-tormentors-in-safewayThe National Post recently named Alexandra Oliver‘s (Poetry, ’12) Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway one of the top four books of Canadian poetry for 2013. Kerry Clare of The 49th Shelf discusses Tormentors in this review.

Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) opera and rock opera about “Tonya & Nancy” are both being produced in February. In L.A., a second show has been added to the Rock Concert performance of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera at the King King Club in Hollywood, February 4-5, libretto by Elizabeth and music by Michael Teoli, produced by The Los Angeles Rock Opera Company and Harborside Films, both shows benefitting L.A.’s iconic Celebration Theater. A full run for the rock opera in L.A. is in the works. L.A. Stonecoasters please join Elizabeth and Nancy Holder at rink-side February 4th. Media coverage for the 2014 L.A. production of the Rock Opera has included featured articles on NewsOXY (ranked a “Most Popular” article), BroadwayWorld/LA, MSN, deathandtaxes.com, and an hour on Los Angeles Talk Radio: The Sheena Mateal Experience Show. Meanwhile in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the operatta group Mixed Precipitation is performing Tonya & Nancy: The Opera, Elizabeth’s one-act chamber opera with music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross on February 20 at Amsterdam Hall, the night of the Women’s Figure-Skating finals in Sochi. For updates, please visit Elizabeth’s website.

TN_Blast6 MASTER
ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCE ADDED DUE TO HIGH TICKET DEMAND
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5th @ 8:00 PM

On February 15, Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) will be emceeing the ninth Writers’ Day at Bay Path College in Longmeadow, MA, an event that will include a talk by Stonecoast grad Helen Peppe on the sometimes-sticky business of writing the family. That night, she’ll introduce Liz Peavey (who’ll be speaking during the day on memoir and truth) as she presents her acclaimed one-woman show, “My Mother’s Clothes Are Not My Mother,” about mourning, sorting, and saying goodbye.

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Community News & Updates October 2013

ALUMNI

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) has had a busy September. During the first two weeks, she was the spotlighted author on DogRead, an online book discussion group with some 7,000 followers, in conjunction with the launch of her new novel, The Money Bird. On September 25th, she read from the book and spoke about animals in fiction in the New Hanover Public Library’s author series. The following evening she was part of a three-person panel on “The View from Across the Desk: How to Get Your Manuscript Out of the Slush Pile” sponsored by the Lower Cape Fear chapter of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She wrapped up the month (and Banned Books Week) with a reading of poetry and prose as part of a local 100 Thousand Poets for Change event in Wilmington, NC, on September 28th.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited to announce her post-apocalyptic horror short story “Like a Soul” will be published in the inaugural issue of Stonecoast Review, which will be published mid-October.

Jennifer Marie Brissett‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) story “Secrets of the Sea” is on the long list for the 2012 storySouth Million Writers Award.

Nightlife CoverLibby Cudmore‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) story “The Hand of God” was selected as a finalist for the New Rivers Press American Fiction Prize and will be included in the anthology American Fiction Vol. 13. Additionally, she has two short stories in publication: “Late Night on Route 17” in Big Click and “Angelmaker” in Big Lucks.

Lexa Hillyer (Poetry, S’10) just got a two-book deal for her first young adult novel, Proof of Forever, from HarperCollins for publication in Summer 2015.

Matthew Quinn Martin‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) debut novel Nightlife will be released October 21 by PocketStar/Simon & Schuster. He is currently hard at work on the sequel, Nightlife: As the Worm Turns, which is due out in the spring of 2014.

RussianTemptation_300_Nikki_NavarreLaura Navarre‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) alter ego, sexy spy romance author Nikki Navarre, is featured on the cover of the November issue of Romantic Times. An article titled “Ex-Diplomat Goes Under the Covers” features her October release The Russian Temptation, which was workshopped at Stonecoast with Mike Kimball before it sold. The Russian Temptation is Book Two in Nikki’s Foreign Affairs series.

“Glazed blind cushion not mercy,” one section of Janet Passehl‘s (Poetry, S’10) extended prose poem written in response to Gertrude Stein’s “Tender Buttons,” will be published in Caliban Online, issue #13, coming out in mid-October. “Glazed blind cushion not mercy” was inspired by the “Mutton” section of Stein’s text.

Julie L. Scharf‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’10) nonfiction essays titled “Pranked” and “Teaching with Tolerance” are now featured in the Autumn 2013 issue of Mused: The Bella Online Literary Review.

Issue-3-draft_small-300x237Three poems by Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) appear in issue 3 of Poecology.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) studied commonalities of Southern fiction while at Stonecoast. One result is her essay “The Chifforobe: An Overlooked Ingredient in Southern Writing” in the Fall 2013 issue of storySouth, a literary journal at the MFA program at UNC-Greensboro. Also, Tamra was a writer-in-residence at Weymouth Center for the Arts in Southern Pines, NC, at the end of September.

STUDENTS

Marian Romero‘s (Popular Fiction) short story “Child of the Underworld” will be featured in the paranormal anthology Shades and Shadows from Xchyler Publishing this Halloween.

FACULTY

NorthrupDolen Perkins-Valdez (Fiction) has written an introduction to the 19th-century autobiographical slave narrative Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup. The movie based on his heroic story will be released this month. The e-book version published by Simon & Schuster and featuring her introduction is only 99 cents on Amazon, iTunes, or BN.com.

Barbara Hurd‘s (Creative Nonfiction) Stepping into the Same River Twice is a just-published collaborative book of prose and paintings that explores one of Maryland’s most treasured resources, the Savage River. A shameless promoter, she notes that all proceeds benefit the local watershed and that books can be purchased through Main Street Books in Frostburg, MD (301.698.5605 or mainstreetbooks@comcast.net). Her next collection of essays, titled Putting an Ear to the Ground, is forthcoming from University of Georgia Press.

Mike Kimball (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is directing the play Red, which will run three weekends, November 1-17, at The Actors Studio of Newburyport, MA. Red, by playwright/screenwriter/director John Logan is the story of abstract-expressionist Mark Rothko, holed up in his New York Studio in 1958-9, painting a group of murals for the exclusive Four Seasons restaurant. He gives orders to his assistant, Ken, as he mixes the paints, makes the frames, and paints the canvases. Ken, however, brashly questions Rothko’s theories of art and his acceding to work on such a commercial project. In 2010 the play won six Tony awards, including Best Play. The Actors Studio is located in The Tannery, 50 Water Street, Mill #1, Suite 5, Newburyport, MA. For reservations, call 978.465.1299 or visit the website.

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talk show for front pageElizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is included in Talk Show: On the Couch with Contemporary Writers, a new anthology edited by Jaime Clarke of talk-show style interviews with writers, just out from PFP Press. The interview with Elizabeth was originally published in Fanzine.

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) has just signed contracts for two books to be published by PFP Press. She thanks Stonecoasters who’ve wished her well over the 3 1/2 years she’s worked on This Is Paradise, the story of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Malawi, which will be published in April. She’s also grateful for the encouragement as she finished the novel Make a Wish But Not for Money, about a palm reader in a dead mall, to be published next October. Suzanne is in great company as PFP also publishes Elizabeth Searle and former Stonecoast faculty member Roland Merullo.

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Suzanne also sends out an alert to Stonecoast Ireland alums who loved meeting and hearing Irish short-story writer and poet Nuala Ni Chonchuir at a residency can see her again, stateside, October 26th at Bay Path College in Longmeadow, MA. Nuala will be talking about the short story during the day of lectures that will include Allan Hunter (on the memoir and finishing that project), Jim Brosnan (on the personal essay), and public relations experts Janice Beetle and Judith Kelliher (on promoting your work). Registration is necessary—please visit the website.

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Community News & Updates March 2013

ALUMNI NEWS

Being Henry DavidCal Armistead‘s (Fiction, W’07) debut young adult novel, Being Henry David, was released three weeks ahead of its March 1 release date by Albert Whitman Teen. It has received favorable reviews, including a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, and has already sold out is first printing! Luckily, a second printing is underway.

Kathy Briccetti (Creative Nonfiction, W’07) will be attending the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Writers’ Conference in Montpelier in August to work on her novel manuscript with Lee Martin.

Libby Cudmore (Popular Fiction, S’10) has begun her yearlong stunt memoir project, Geek Girl Goes Glam, testing and following vintage beauty, dating, career, and housekeeping tips and advice.

David Hewitt (Popular Fiction, S’09) will, as of Fall 2013, be taking up a permanent full-time post on the English faculty of the Community College of Baltimore County.

NoReturn_Press_Corrected_FinalV1Zachary Jernigan‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) debut fantasy novel, No Return, comes out from Night Shade Books in hardcover, ebook, and Audible audiobook on March 5th, 2013.

Lissa Kiernan‘s (Poetry, S’11) “The Art of Hurricanes” appears in Underwater New York, and two poems, “Whereas” and “Ecologue on Decommissioning,” are featured as finalists in Terrain.org’s third annual contest.

Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) has been hired as a consulting producer on Spun Out, a new situation comedy starring Dave Foley recently ordered for 13 episodes by Candian television network CTV, with production tentative scheduled to begin May 2013 for a summer launch. He continues in development on a syndicated children’s series, working title Rock Island, as co-creator and executive producer. The Star Angel, from Colonial Radio Theater, on which he worked as a consulting producer, has been nominated for an Audie Award as best audio drama. He is currently adapting the story as an animated feature. Also in development is a romantic comedy movie for television, working title Survey Monkey, with director Brian Roberts for MarVista Entertainment.

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) collection In Search Of and Others releases today and has already received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. He has also been interviewed by Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) for Weird Fiction Review and by Zachary Jernigan (Popular Fiction, S’11) at his blog.

Kings of RuinMatthew Quinn Martin‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) novel Nightlife (an earlier draft of which was his MFA thesis) has sold to Pocket Star (Simon & Schuster) as part of a two-book deal along with an, as yet, unwritten sequel.

Sandra McDonald‘s (Popular Fiction, W’05) latest GLBTQ novel for teen readers (under the pseudonym Sam Cameron) goes on sale this month. Kings of Ruin is about teens, aliens, rock ‘n’ roll, and secret government agencies.

MagickByMoonriseFinalThe launch book in Laura Navarre‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) Tudor paranormal romance trilogy for Harlequin/Carina, titled Magick by Moonrise, comes out in print and Audible formats on March 11. When Tudor England and the Faerie kingdom collide, the players risk all for power. But only love can save them. Magick by Moonrise won the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s 2012 award for romance. Pick up your copy here.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, 04) poem “A distant ship tiding home,” awarded the 2007 Ellipsis poetry prize by James Galvin for Ellipsis: A Journal of Literature and Art, and included in his collection Boreal from Antrim House Books, also 2007, has been selected for inclusion in the non-fiction and poetry anthology The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home, from Holy Cow Press to be published in October 2013. His short play Memories of Paradise will be performed as part of the 2013 Maine Play Festival at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland. The festival runs from April 25 through May 5. Information on the festival, which also includes work by Stonecoast faculty member Mike Kimball, is available here. The play will also be published in the forthcoming Spring issue of Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature and will be presented as a reading at the annual Sport Literature Association Conference in Monmouth, NJ, this June. obdriveway@aol.com

Michaela Roessner-Herman (Popular Fiction, S’08) is contributing essays on writing to the Western State Colorado University Fiction Concentration blog. To date, she’s posted articles on the author/reader contract, misdirection, and cueing/filtering.

Steve Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) reports that Still has just published his poem “Red-eyed Vireo,” which also was a finalist in that journal’s recent poetry contest. In addition, Christianity and Literature has accepted his poem “Into the Woods.”

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) is organizing a reading series by authors of recent Gulf of Maine-related books at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum March 1-2. More information can be found here. She also has a review of one of the books, Mortal Sea by Jeffrey Bolster, in the current issue of The Working Waterfront newspaper.

STUDENT NEWS

Boneham_book_dropdead_90dpiSheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre) will be reading “Chasm Familiaris” at the bi-annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Literature & Environment in Lawrence, KS, in May. “Chasm” is excerpted from a long narrative nonfiction WIP that “blends elements of memoir, science, folklore, contemporary culture, and history…not to provide answers but to provoke thoughtful (re)considerations of our attitudes and actions as they may affect the future of Canis lupus familiaris, both the species and the warm muzzles in our hands.” Sheila’s reading will be part of a panel called “Connecting with Canines: A Creative Nonfiction Reading.” Also, Sheila spoke on plot character development in her mystery Drop Dead on Recall at Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair on February 23. The Book ‘Em Foundation, a partnership between authors and law enforcement, holds events to raise public awareness of the correlation between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. Sheila and other authors donated at least 40% of proceeds from the sales of their books to the community—in this case, Robesome County and Lumberton, NC—for the purpose of increasing literacy and reducing crime.

The Hermes & Hekate Road Show, a radio drama-style serial podcast that Genevieve Williams (Popular Fiction) has been working, on launches in March with a “season” of seven episodes; if it’s well received additional “seasons” will be written and produced. Interested listeners can find it here or check out the Facebook page.

FACULTY NEWS

Tony Barnstone‘s (Poetry, Translation) new book of poems, Buddha in Flames, has been accepted for publication in 2014 by Sheep Meadow Press. In addition, his CD of original music, Tokyo’s Burning: WWII Songs, is available for purchase at CD Baby, Amazon.com, iTunes, and Spotify. His selected poems Bestia en el Apartamento: Antología poética (1999-2012) will appear in a bilingual Spanish-English edition with Ediciones El Tucán de Virginia (Mexico City) in 2013, with translations by Mariano Zaro.

Portugeuse Other LandsDavid Anthony Durham (Popular Fiction) has two new foreign language publications. The Sacred Band has just been released in France as L’alliance sacrée, and the first half of The Other Lands has been released in Portugal as Outras Terras (they’re publishing the trilogy as a six-book series).

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will appear on three panels at the Tucson Festival of Books, the fourth largest book festival in the U.S.:

Romance: The Last Frontier in SciFi & Fantasy
Saturday, March 9th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Integrated Learning Center – Room 140

It’s Not all Demons, Death and Destruction
Saturday, March 9th, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Koffler – Room 216

Writing Fantasy for a Young Adult Audience
Saturday, March 9th, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Integrated Learning Center – Room 140

Nancy will also be a guest lecturer at Pepperdine University on March 27th, and she will be one of two Author Guests of Honor at the 2014 World Horror Convention in Portland, OR (the other is Jack Ketchum).

ebTwo of Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) short plays, Henny and Hitler in Hell and Falling Falling: A Gothic Mystery, will be featured in a show called Evening Broadcasts III, which will be staged at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth, NH, from March 8-24. For reservations and additional information, click here.

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Community News & Updates January 2013

ALUMNI NEWS

Eric M. Bosarge‘s (Popular Fiction W’12) story “Corentin the Divine” will appear in Buzzy Magazine on January 18th. It can be read online for free here.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction) was interviewed and read a short story on the Hour of the Wolf radio show hosted by Jim Freund on WBAI in New York City. The show was podcasted and will remain available for 13 days past December 27, 2012. Also, the Kindred Reading Series, which she curates, made the November 2012 issue of Locus magazine (see below).

Kindred Reading Series in Locus 2012-11

Libby Cudmore and Matthew Quinn Martin’s (Popular Fiction, S’10) short story “The Real Housewives of Happily Ever After” was published in the Fall 2012 issue of Mixitini Matrix.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction ’11) is happy to share that her story “Malaysian Rainbow” is going to be published on The Nervous Breakdown. She thanks all Stonecoasters who helped her with this story, especially David Mura.

ColdFeet-cover-413x638Karen Pullen‘s (Popular Fiction S’08) debut mystery novel will be released this month from Five Star Cengage. Cold Feet is the story of what happens when an undercover drug agent, a stalkerish ex-girlfriend, and a couple of religious scammers show up at a wedding hosted by a faux Scotsman in a kilt. Publsher’s Weekly liked it: “Stella Lavender [is] the appealing 26-year-old heroine of Pullen’s absorbing first mystery…. Readers will hope to see a lot more of Stella in future installments.” Karen’s awarding everyone who pre-orders with a chance to spend two nights at her Pittsboro, NC, bed and breakfast; see details here.

Robe of Bones CoverOn Halloween, Jacob Strunk (Fiction W’07) and Dominic Aulisio (Fiction S’07) released their collaborative Robe of Bones, documenting in black-and-white photography, poetry, song, and 16mm film their autumn 2012 New England road trip. Available as a free download and in a handsome dead-tree coffee-table version, Robe of Bones consists of a photo book, original songs inspired by the experience, and the 16mm black-and-white short film.

STUDENT NEWS

Boneham_book_dropdead_90dpiYou know Sheila Boneham as a CNF student, but her new mystery novel Drop Dead on Recall (Midnight Ink, October 2012) has made the “Best of 2012” list of top-ten dog books from NBC’s Petside, a website dedicated to “improving the world for pets and their owners.” Petside reviewer Dorri Oldes calls the book, which draws on Sheila’s long experience in dog sports and writing nonfiction about dogs and cats, “a fast and exciting read that will keep you riveted right through till the end.” The list can be found here.

Love in Reality 600 wide 72dpiMagdalen Braden‘s publishing company, Harmony Road Press, released her first full-length contemporary romance, Love in Reality, in mid-December 2012. In it, TV producer Rand casts a confident bartender, Lissa, as a ditzy reality show contestant, not realizing she’s actually Lissa’s law student twin, Libby. Life in The Fishbowl encourages scheming, but as Rand and Libby fall in love, they have to be honest with themselves—and each other.

FACULTY NEWS

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will be a guest of the Horror Writers Association at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Seattle, WA, January 25-29th. She will appear on two panels, Graphic Novels and Young Adult Horror, and will be available in the HWA booth to discuss the horror genre with attendees.

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AWP 2012–Don’t Stop Believin’

by Libby Cudmore PF W’10 and Matthew Quinn Martin PF S’10

Everyone on the dance floor immediately recognized those oh so familiar piano chords from Journey’s most famous song–even if it had been plastered over with a generic dance beat. There was little double that their shadows were searching in the night–underneath the disco ball and gel-covered stage lights. And those who win as well as those who lose, along with a smattering of those who may or may not have been born to sing the blues, belted out the rest–Don’t Stop Believing!

For the better part of the past three days AWP ’12 Chicago’s nine-thousand plus attendees–the largest turnout in the conference’s history–go, have been rising at the crack of dawn and rarely hitting the sack before midnight. All of us have spent our time shuffling from conference room to conference room, from hotel to hotel, butts glued to uncomfortable chairs when available, and camping out on the floor when not. We’ve taken in panel after panel, found our way to late-night readings on the outskirts of a mostly-unfamiliar town and connected with friends and colleagues we haven’t seen in far too long. During the day we’ve subsisted on overpriced coffee and candy scrounged from an endless sea of book fair tables competing for our attention. At night we raid the many receptions for crudete, cheese ‘n crackers, and the occasional pulled pork slider, as well as any complimentary libations that might be extended by the more generous hosts. And we’ve seen it all, the undiscovered gems as well as the big stinking turds, all hoping that we’ll hear those magic words of inspiration, or make that one chance connection that will take us to the next level in our writing careers.

For some this is their first experience with the madness that can be the Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual conference, others are hardened vets. Speaking personally, this is a return to the scene of the first AWP that we’d attended three years ago. To call the Chicago Hilton’s layout a labyrinth would be generous. Our own overwhelming confusion that first year eventually birthed the story “Convention of Exphrasis” (published in Stonecoast Lines S’10). The many elevators that all stopped at a different selection of floors, the creepy-eyed gloved bellmen and the winding staircases that seemed to lead nowhere were still there and still terrifying.  It was like coming home.

AWP is an odd mix of hope and fear, joy and frustration, uplift and disappointment. Nearly every writer there could point to at least one booth and justify taking a few extra mini-Snickers or an additional piece of swag because they rejected a submission.  The book fair can seem like a crowded bazaar of hustlers and carnival barkers.  It’s hard not to look at all the books on the table and wonder, Will that ever be me? And if it is, will anyone buy it?  Hands shoot up during Q&A’s to ask non-questions or to openly argue with the panelists. And it can seem like everyone there has it figured out except you–not just AWP, the whole writing game.

But here, on the dance floor, at five till midnight, we’re all still believing. We’ve weathered the storm, and at the brink of exhaustion we know, at the bottom of our hearts, that we deserve to dance. Because maybe sitting on top of that stack of form rejections is the one from the editor that loved it. And even if it isn’t yet, it’s only yet, and that acceptance might be sitting in our e-mail waiting for us when we get back. If only we could keep believing long enough to get us through the next double shift, at the keyboard or the coffee shop, we’d make it. And tonight, there isn’t a single soul in that sweaty, ecstatic, frenzied horde that wasn’t.

We took the midnight train to get here–literally, not metaphorically–and now as we sit in our tiny cabin, rocking back and fourth on the rails as we make our way back to New York, we find ourselves wondering about some of the other Stonecoasters. Not the ones we were able to meet up with, or those whose many newsletter announcements trumpet their accomplishments. No, our minds turn to those we haven’t heard from in a while, and we wonder how many of them may havestopped believing. There isn’t a writer alive that hasn’t in some part bought into the myth of the solitary genius, but the reality is that no one is truly successful on their own, and it is the duty of the Stonecoast alumni as a group–as well at our Alma Mater itself (if it is to deserve that title of “nourishing mother”)–to make sure that none of us stop believing. Believing in ourselves andbelieving in each other.

~

Libby Cudmore and Matthew Quinn Martin are Summer 2010 graduates.  Libby’s work has been featured in Pank, Umbrella Factory, Postcard Press, Connotation Press, The MacGuffin and the Yalobusha Review. Matthew Quinn Martin is the writer of the feature film Slingshot. His prose work has been featured in Transition Magazine, Thuglit and JMWW. Their collaborative work has been published by Emprise Reviewand Big Pulp and will be featured in the July issue of The Writer.   Record of the Month/Boys on Filmwww.matthewquinnmartin.com

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Publication Announcement: Pop Fic Review

Title: Pop Fic Review

Editors: Hanna Strom-Martin W’09 & Erin Underwood S’09

Publisher: Underwords (December 2001)

Stonecoast Contributors: Karen Bovenmyer, Elsa Colón, Libby Cudmore, Jessica de Koninck, Julia Gay, Nancy Holder, Jeff Kass, James Patrick Kelly, Michael Kimball, Paul Kirsch, A. J. Luxton, Julie L. Martin, Matthew Quinn Martin, J. M. McDermott, Sandra McDonald, Ellen Neuborne, Helen Peppe, Michaela Roessner, Linda K. Sienkiewicz, Patricia Smith, and Scott Wolven

Anthology Description: The Pop Fic Review confronts the definition of popular fiction with literature written by 21 authors from the Stonecoast MFA community who will entertain, shock, and delight you. Fiction writers, essayists, playwrights, and poets come together in their own unique ways to express what it means to be “pop” in this cross-genre anthology that is not to be missed. While the editors and contributors of the Pop Fic Review are all members of the Stonecoast community (including current students, alumni, and faculty), this anthology is an independent publication with no official affiliation with the Stonecoast Program or the University of Southern Maine.

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