Tag Archives: Lissa Kiernan

Community News & Updates August 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

FACULTY

Breena Clarke (Fiction), co-founder and co-organizer of The Hobart Festival of Women Writers, is hosting a stunning lineup of women writers for the seventh consecutive year in the small New York town of Hobart, the Book Village of The Catskills. The Festival offers three days of readings and workshops in every genre. The Festival will also present a Public Conversation that is free and open to all, “In These Times: Writing. Terror. Possibility.” Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2019 will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 6th, 7th, & 8th. For information and registration, click here. For Spotlights of all of the 2019 Participating Writers, go here.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be reading from his novel Nirvana Is Here at the annual Out Write Literary Festival in Washington, DC, Saturday, August 3rd, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. at the Reeves Center at 14th St. NW and U St. Aaron is also please to announce that the audio rights to Nirvana Is Here have just been sold.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was an instructor at The Writers Hotel in New York City in early June and then later in the month was lead instructor at the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle. Her forthcoming novel Curious Toys was reviewed in Publishers Weekly, which called it “a phantasmagoric time trip tailor made for fans of The Devil in the White City.” Recent reviews are Kate Mosse’s The Burning Chambers for The Washington Post and Paul Tremblay’s story collection Growing Things for The Los Angeles Times. Elizabeth was profiled and interviewed by Michael Fournier in punk zine Razorcake, talking about her involvement in the nascent NYC and DC punk scenes in the 1970s.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) feature film script A Four-Sided Bed, and the short film based on her novel, Four-Sided, have both been accepted at the upcoming Massachusetts Independent Film Festival in September. Elizabeth’s script is one of five finalists for Best Feature Film Script and the film Four-Sided will make its USA premiere at the festival, having screened previously in Cannes and been a Finalist at ShanghaiPRIDE festival. Elizabeth will be attending the festival with one of her feature film project producers, Amy Carpenter Scott of Creatrix Films. In other recent film news, Elizabeth’s script for A Four-Sided Bed won a Feature Film ‘Diamond’ Script prize in the International Independent Film Awards, was a Finalist in the California Women’s Film Awards, and was an Official Selection at Austin Revolution Film Festival. In July, her script was performed as a full Staged Reading at ReelHeART International Film and Script Festival in Toronto and as a Best Scenes reading at the film festival LGBT Toronto. Visit: www.afoursidedbedfilm.com 

Elizabeth and the ReelHeART Film Festival cast of A Four-Sided Bed in Toronto

Cazenovia University Professor Grazyna J. Kozaczka writes about Suzanne Strempek Shea’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) four Polish-American-set novels in her new book, Writing the Polish American Woman in Postwar Ethnic Fiction (Ohio University Press). The book examines seven decades of writing by North American-born and immigrant authors representing the Polish-American Catholic tradition. The chapter “Suzanne Strempek Shea’s Gendered Ethnicity in the 1970s and 1980s” begins with this observation: “In constructing a female perspective, fiction writers such as the Chinese Americans Gish Jen, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Amy Tan, the Native American Louise Erdrich,the Puerto Rican Judith Ortiz Cofer, the Dominican American Julia Alvarerz and the Polish American Suzanne Strempek Shea have forced many of their characters into a process of reinventing both their gender and ethnic identities within a class-conscious environment.”

ALUMS

Emma Galvin will be voicing the audiobook for Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) Pivot, the first novel of the Jack Harper trilogy. Galvin has voiced an incredible number of audiobooks, which include Winter’s Bone and the Divergent series.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be appearing at Worldcon 77 in Dublin. He will be presenting his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Women’s Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” on Friday, August 16th, at 11:30 a.m. He will also be appearing on the following panels:

  • Writing from Non-Western Cultures (Thursday, August 15, 11:00 a.m.)
  • Fuzzy Lines: Decategorising Creative Work (Thursday, August 15, 2:00 p.m.)
  • Muslim SFF (Saturday, August 17, 1:00 p.m.)
  • Using Science in Fantasy Writing (Sunday, August 18, 4:00 p.m.)

See the Worldcon website for full details. In addition, PodCastle, the fantasy fiction podcast Peter produces, had been nominated for the British Fantasy Award for Best Audio.Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has accepted an adjunct teaching offer from University of New England’s English department, starting this fall. He has a short essay in the recently released summer issue (10.4) of The Flyfish Journal, and he continues to contribute regularly to the popular website MeatEater.

In continuing to break barriers, Debbie Smith Daughetee’s (Popular Fiction, S’06) comic book company, Kymera Press, just filled an order by the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum for the comic Ivory Ghosts, a murder mystery set against the illegal ivory trade.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that her debut book, The Bone Cutters, is set for publication on September 1st through Eraserhead Press. It’s a “bizarro” horror novella set in a dysfunctional psychiatric hospital. The story follows a troubled young woman named Dory who encounters a seriously strange and brutal group of psychiatric patients. Her introduction to this group of patients sets Dory on the run to save her life. The book will be available, as of right now, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Longfellow Books. Renee is also very excited to announce that a book launch event for The Bone Cutters is being hosted by Longfellow Books in Portland, ME, on Thursday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m. at their 1 Monument Square bookstore location. Along with her reading, there will also be live music to help set the mood, performed by local guitarist Shaun Church Reehl, and the amazing Elizabeth Searle will be Renee’s Introduction Queen. Renee is also thrilled to announce that there are two great reviews out already for The Bone Cutters: one on Ginger Nuts of Horror and one on Kendall Reviews. A third review is coming out soon in Cemetery Dance, the date of which is not yet known, though it should be available before the September 1st publication of the book. Here are snippets of what reviewers are saying about The Bone Cutters:

“It’s actually refreshing to be able to enjoy a book so much that you were miffed when it was over. … As the debut novella from Renee S. DeCamillis it’s a fantastic beginning to what could prove to be a career to watch. … I’m giving this a solid 4 out of 5 [stars]. … Considering that I’ve never read anything which rated a 5 I think The Bone Cutters is doing just fine.” ~Joe X. Young, reviewer for Ginger Nuts of Horror.

“I immediately fell in love with Dory, the writing style, the story… This is a terribly heart-wrenching story with a bit of a haunted house/ghost vibe where you’re also being chased by a bunch of crazy people who want to devour your bones. I didn’t want to put this book down.” ~Miranda Crites, reviewer for Kendall Reviews

Kendall Reviews also published a piece Renee wrote on the subject of “Why Do You Write Horror?” For those of you who are interested, here is the link. Also, on Friday, August 2nd, Ginger Nuts of Horror is releasing an interview with Renee. From their home page you can click on the “Interviews” link on the left hand side of the screen to find the interview. Here is their link.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) has published his academic essay “The Commodification of Transcendence: Absurdism and Existentialism in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” in PKD Otaku #39 (a zine celebrating the work of Philip K. Dick), available here. Also, Jess has accepted an advancement from the University of New Hampshire and will now be attending graduate school as a candidate for a PhD in Literature.

Florence Grende‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’07) book The Butcher’s Daughter: A Memoir has been shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award (2019). Along with the Kindle Book Award NonFiction (2018), the book has garnered yearly awards since its publication in late 2016.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be giving a short presentation at HippoCamp 2019, a conference for creative nonfiction writers (August 23-25, Lancaster, PA). The presentation is derived from his third semester project and graduating presentation about reducing the number of sentences that start with “I.” This is important to avoid sounding egotistical in memoir and to reduce sentence structure repetition.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) will be speaking at the White County Creative Writers annual conference in Searcy, AR, on August 31st on “Researching Fiction.” She’ll use examples from her work: attending the citizen’s police academy for a policewoman character, spending two days at a TV station watching the news being put together for a news anchor character, going behind the bar to wash beer mugs for a bartender character, etc.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S11) is pleased to announce that the legendary aerialist, creativity expert, and award-winning writer Philippe Petit has joined Catskill LIT Writing Retreat as Artist-in-Residence. Mr. Petit will lead a workshop in ekphrastic writing.

Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10) and Joseph Tachovsky’s 40 Thieves: Saipan, the World War II story of the Sixth Marine Regiment’s Scout Sniper Platoon—precursors to Navy Seals—was sold to Regnery History for publication in spring 2020. Stories for this narrative non-fiction book were gathered through hours of interviews with surviving men, their letters, photos, and historical Marine materials.

Kristin Leonard‘s (Fiction, S’18) historical short story “El Camino Real” is the featured fiction in the open-access academic journal Postcolonial Text (Vol. 14, No. 1).

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be presenting at the Hobart Festival of Women Writers September 6-8, 2019, in Hobart, NY. She’ll be reading on Friday, September 6th; on Saturday she’ll teach a workshop, “In It for the Long Haul: Writing the Novel.”

Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be teaching a workshop on Memoir at the 79th Annual Writers’ Conference at Ocean Park (Maine) on August 13th at 9:30 a.m.

On August 16th at 6:00 p.m., Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) discusses his novelSoon the Light Will Be Perfect, at The Briar Patch in Bangor.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S’08) interviewed fiction writer Lisa Lenzo for The Rumpus, about Lenzo’s new short story collection, Unblinking. Romeo’s essay “Playing Along with My Dad’s Alzheimer’s Confusion,” which enlarges on a scene/idea in her memoir, Starting With Goodbye, appeared this month in Human Parts.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “Buried Beneath Her Skin Like Slivers” was recently published in Under the Sun. Her flash essay “The Release” was published in the most recent issue of Pembroke MagazineHer short story “Spiraling Through the Sky” was a finalist for the 2019 New Letters Publication Award in Fiction.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has had his memoir/essay collection, Madder, taken by Coffee House Press. It will appear in 2021.

 

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Community News & Updates July 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Community News & Updates 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 June 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Poetic Voices of Social Justice: A Reading with Martín Espada and Lauren Schmidt
Thursday July 12th, 7:00 pm
SPACE Gallery, Portland Maine

Please join Stonecoast MFA for a reading and discussion with poetry faculty Martín Espada, recent winner of the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and award-winning poet Lauren Schmidt. There will be live music, and a chance to share thoughts and inspiration as a community. The $10-20 suggested donation will directly benefit the Stonecoast MFA Writing for Social Justice Scholarship Fund.

 

Pitch 2018

Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance (MWPA) Pitch 2018 offers writers the chance to pitch their manuscripts or book proposals to agents from leading NYC-based literary agencies and editors from some of Maine’s largest publishers. Pitch 2018 provides the rare opportunity to make a literary pitch face-to-face in Maine, to make connections with agents, editors, and other writers, and to gain insider knowledge on the publishing industry. MWPA is proud to offer a three-pitch scholarship to a writer who is from an underrepresented community currently living in Maine and who can demonstrate financial need, sponsored by participating agent Saba Sulaiman. Applications are due in the MWPA office on July 2nd at 9:00 a.m. MORE INFORMATION → Pitch will be held Saturday, September 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Glickman Library on the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland. Registration opens on June 12th. More information is here.

ALUMS

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W’12) is excited to announce that her paranormal historical romance Moon Shadow, Book #2 (The Auriano Curse Series) won the Readers’ Choice Award. Part of the manuscript was workshopped at Stonecoast and mentored by the fabulous and inimitable Mike Kimball. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this book a winner.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated the May 3rd episode of Escape Pod, featuring the story “Fire Rode The Cold Wind” by Aimee Ogden. You can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) published her mermaid-inspired story “The Landscape of Lacrimation” in the second issue of the online literary magazine The Hunger. She also has recently placed her poem “C8: A Tessellation of Faces, Wings, and other Obscure Things,” which will be featured in forthcoming issue of the NonBinary Review Issue 17: A Wrinkle in Time.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was happy to learn her LGBTQ+ historical romance novel Swift for the Sun was selected as a finalist for the Eric Hoffer award.

After ten years of work, Elizabeth Garber‘s (Creative Nonfiction, ‘10) book, Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter, will be released June 12th from She Writes Press. Her memoir focuses on how her family was caught in a collision between modern architecture, radical social change, and madness in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s in Cincinnati. Her book tour takes her from New York City, Boston, Maine, Cincinnati, and Vermont. The book has received a starred Kirkus review (“poetic and incisive”) and Library Journal calls it “an extraordinary debut memoir.” Implosion has a contract to be released by a large-print press as well. For more details and dates to join her for a reading/presentation, go to www.elizabethgarber.com

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13)  poem “Wind Turbines of Altamont Pass” will be published in the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Her poem “Puma” was accepted for publication in The Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2018. Her poem, “Where Did it Go?” and four animal haiku were printed in Poem in Your Pocket Day by Berkeley Public Library.

Penny Guisinger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay “Looking for Luke Skywalker,” first published in Hippocampus, is a finalist for a Maine Literary Award in the short works category. This would be her second MLA. Winners will be announced at an event on June 14th, so cross some fingers for her!

Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) was offered a full-time Professorship in the English Department at Florida SouthWestern State College starting this Fall.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11), is happy to announce Poetry Barn’s Peak Color Retreat, October 6-9​, an inspiring weekend of poetry steeped in the vibrance of fall in the Catskills. Judith Vollmer (MFA faculty, Drew University) will offer a master workshop titled: The Living Object: Image & Movement. Visit the website for full details.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) posted a new blog post, “No Country for Old Books…Or So It Seems,” which explores the challenges of marketing a book over a year old. The post highlights advantages that “older” books have over “newly-released” ones. Read it here.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) recently completed a writing retreat at the University of Washington’s Whiteley Center on San Juan Island, Washington. He has had two recent non-fiction publications: his essay “Parable of the Cascade” was published by About Place Journal (as Ryan Patrick Gannon) as well as an article called “Open and Closed: The Class That Sank” in the Open Pedagogy Notebook. He presented an essay “She Has Always Been Here: Mystique, Destiny, and Female LGBT Representation in Marvel Comics” at the Dartmouth College conference on Illustration, Comics, and Animation. Later this month, he will be heading back to Ireland to participate in NUI-Galway’s Summer School program on Teaching in Ireland, where he will also hopefully complete that book of poems he started during the SCI 2017 residency in Howth.

Ruthie Rohde’s (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) essay “Wild Abandon” was recently published in The Palgrave International Handbook of Women and Outdoor Learning, edited by Tonia Gray and Denise Mitten (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Ruthie and Stonecoast alumnus Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) presented together with Dr. Ann Murphy on a panel at the Western Connecticut Trauma Conference at Western Connecticut State University. The panel was titled: “Write Where you Are: Building and Fostering Writing Workshops in Prisons, Homeless Shelters, Hospitals and Other Medical and Community Settings.”

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is pleased to note that her new book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, published May 1st, has been reviewed at Brevity and in Publishers Weekly, where she’s also been featured in a Spotlight interview. Lisa is also interviewed on the Shelf Awareness “Reading with…” series; contributed to the LargeHearted Boy’s “Playlist;” and appears on the Creative Nonfiction podcast . Her craft article and excerpts, on adding humor to a grief memoir, appears on The Memoir Project, and an essay in Books by Women, “If You Give a Writer a Book Contract, She’s Going to Want…Everything,” takes a look at author envy. Lisa appeared with Suzanne Strempek Shea at Amherst Books (MA) recently, and is interested in partnering with other Stonecoast folks who have new(ish) books out, for bookstore appearances, conference panels, reading, and/or other events. Contact her here. In June, she’s making many book tour stops in New Jersey and in July, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) has managed to publish creative work while continuing her full-time job as a science writer for the University of Maine: a lyric essay, “The New Diving Duck Blues,” is in the Spring issue of Cold Mountain Review. She also co-authored the cover story about coastal storms in the spring issue of UMaine Today, wrote an article about alewives in lakes in the May issue of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine, and published a short reflection on “Communicating about rare and common species” in The Plainspoken Scientist.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has been awarded an Individual Excellence Award and a $5000 grant for his writing by the Ohio Arts Council.

FACULTY

On May 31st, Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) spoke at the Lewiston Public Library about her forthcoming novel, Curious Toys, and the work and influences of noted outsider artist Henry Darger, the book’s inspiration.  On June 2nd she will one of the featured writers at the Maine Crime Wave Festival in Portland. On Tuesday, June 5th, she’ll be part of a panel honoring the legacy of writer Thomas M. Disch at Brooklyn Common, in Brooklyn, NY.  On Wednesday, June 6th, she’ll be reading at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York City as part of the group faculty reading for the Writer’s Hotel Writers Conference, where she’s an instructor June 6-11. On June 21-22, she’ll be guest instructor at the Odyssey Writers Workshop in Manchester, NH. Forthcoming book reviews include A True History of the Vampire Uprising for The Washington Post.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) new existential starship novelette, “Grace’s Family,” was published last month on Tor.com.  Also in May, Jim had the honor of introducing his friend and longtime editor, Sheila Williams, at the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Nebula Awards Ceremony. Sheila won the Solstice Award, which acknowledges “individuals who have had a significant impact on the science fiction landscape.” In reprint news, not only did Jim write the introduction and the afterword to the just published anthology A Fistful of Dinosaurs, but he contributed the oft-reprinted “Think Like A Dinosaur” to the table of contents. His novelette “Men Are Trouble” will appear in the forthcoming aliens-on-Earth anthology Not One Of Us from Prime Books. His Hugo-Award-winning “Ten to the Sixteenth to One” will appear soon in the international digital magazine The Short Story Project based in Israel. His story “The Promise of Space” will be published in China by Guangzhou Blue Ocean Press in an as-yet unnamed anthology aimed at the high school and university market.

Jim Kelly and Sheila Williams at the Nebula Awards ceremony.

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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 June 2017

UPCOMING READINGS

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11), founding director, Poetry Barn, is pleased to announce a reading of Stonecoast faculty and alumni Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Cait Johnson, and Elizabeth Searle, on August 18th at the Woodstock Public Library, Woodstock, NY.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14), co-editor of the Literary Reflections department at Literary Mama, seeks essays by mother writers, both established and emerging, about the intersection of motherhood and literature. We’re looking for first-person reflections with an intellectual as well as personal focus. Potential topics include: how motherhood influences the creative process and vice versa; a close reading of a piece of literature through the motherhood lens; how reading with children builds connections; how literature can provide answers or solace during difficult times. Please see our submissions page for complete guidelines, as well as our recent “Tips from the Editors” blog post, which rounds up several of our favorite essays.

ALUMS

AJ Bauers’ (Popular Fiction, W’17) flash-fiction story “The Wrong One” can be found in the most recent issue of Chantwood Magazine. “The Wrong One” examines the grief of a self-editing protagonist as she walks her path toward closure. For AJ’s more lighthearted fiction, check out her weekly webcomic.

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) was thrilled to publish his short story “A Unified Drone Theory” in the summer issue of The Indiana Review.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) had a fabulous time at the ConQuesT 48 Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City presenting on “Dark Fantasy vs. Horror,” “From Fan to Pro: Writing as a Career,” “Horror Fiction and Xenophobia,” “Where Do We Go from Here: Current Developments in Writing Speculative Fiction,” and “Why Write Short Stories” over Memorial Day Weekend. Her flash “Like a Soul” will be reprinted this month in Darkhouse Books’ Descansos anthology. Stonecoasters have supported her throughout the hardest challenges of her life and she is forever grateful! Viva Stonecoast!

Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) has been named the Co-Chair of SleuthFest, the annual educational mystery writers’ conference put on by the Florida chapter of the MWA.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) 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 for pre-order. Also, Lissa, as founding director of Poetry Barn, is pleased to announce Poetry Barn’s 2017 programming celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was thrilled that her humorous and hot short story, “Toy Story,” about a mom who finds herself in a sex-toy shop, found a home in the anthology If Mom’s Happy: Stories of Erotic Mothers, which was released by Cwtch Press on May 1.

Matthew Quinn Martin (Popular Fiction, S’10) is thrilled to report the feature-film script he co-wrote, Being, is now in pre-production. Directed by Doug C. Williams, it stars Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Near Dark, Millennium) and Robert John Burke (Stephen King’s Thinner, Law & Order: SVU), with more casting announcements forthcoming. The practical effects-heavy, science-fiction movie is slated to begin principal photography in mid-August.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to share that her essay “Things Seen in the Dark: A Triptych” will appear in the June 2017 issue of Hippocampus Magazine. Special thanks to Suzanne Strempek Shea, Melanie Brooks, and Penny Guisinger for their moral support with this publication.

Shannon Ratliff‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “The Collected Cathedrals of Mary Magdalene” appears in the Spring 2017 issue of Seneca Review, currently out. Her essay “The Man on the Moon” will appear in the new issue of Gulf Coast this month.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S ’08) announces with great pleasure that the University of Nevada Press will publish her memoir, tentatively titled Every Loss Story is a Love Story: The Father Daughter Reunion, in June 2018.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) was a finalist for the 2017 Iowa Review Awards. Her article on land-locked salmon and Arctic char, two native Maine fishes, is in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine. Catherine has also been elected to a second term as a member of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance Board of Directors. Later this month she will be attending the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents as part of a project with Mount Desert Island Historical Society.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) first published short story, “They Come In Through the Walls,” got its first audio version at Tales to Terrify. Her story “Secret Keeper,” a Phantom of the Opera retelling set in a high-school theater where the phantom is an outcast teenage girl, will be out from Nightmare in early June.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, ‘04) has her first piece of nonfiction up on Gravel Literary Magazine’s web site. A short story, “Second Lives,” is forthcoming in Quail Bell.

Ashley Warren‘s (Fiction, S’12) poems “Alice and the Snake”, “Neighborhood”, and “To Those Who Meet Me After” appear in the current issue of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Graduating student Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction) next novel, Wilders, will be released by Prometheus Books on June 13th, 2017. Ramez Naam, award-winning author of the Nexus series, call it “A vivid picture of a world rebuilding from the edge of ecological ruin and the seeming conflicts between civilization and the nature it depends on.”

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be reading along with National Book Award Finalist/Bestseller Jayne Anne Phillips at Earfull, presented by the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA, on Tuesday, June 6th. The readings will be accompanied by the music of Jen Trynin and Aaron Perrino. If you’re near Boston please consider coming out! Tickets available here.

Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) has been combining writing with activism this month. His piece “My Grandmother, the Undocumented Immigrant” appeared in Tablet Magazine. Also, he recently taught a sold-out course called “Writing as an Act of Resistance” at Politics & Prose Bookstore. The class was so successful that it’s going to be offered again this fall. Details will be posted on the store website.

Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization, written by Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction), comes out on June 6th, to coincide with the worldwide release of the film starring Gal Gadot.

Stonecoast alumna Alexis Paige (Creative Nonfiction, S’14) will be among the featured authors at Bay Path University’s annual Booklovers event, June 4th, 2:00-4:00 p.m., in the dining commons at 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. The author of Not a Place on Any Map, Alexis will be joined by Kate Clifford Larson (Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter), Ed Orzechowski (You’ll Like it Here), and Sophfronia Scott (A Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Being in a Secular World). Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), Bay Path’s writer-in-residence and director of writing programs, will welcome the audience. The event is open to the public free of charge, and both book clubs and individual readers are welcome. Books will be sold and refreshments will be served.

A few winters back, faculty members Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Suzanne Strempek Shea met in Elizabeth’s Harraseeket Inn room during lunch at January residency to press “send” on their proposal for a collection of essays on soap operas by writers and poets who have some fixation with the classic television and radio form of storytelling. The result, 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, was launched April 30th at Newtonville Books in Newton Center, MA. The co-editors and seven of their 33 contributors enjoyed a standing-room-only crowd at the bookstore owned by Stonecoast alumna Mary Cotton and her husband, author Jamie Clarke. Among the readers was Stonecoast alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott, who read from her essay “The Doctors and William Beaumont General Hospi-tale.” Other Stonecoast connections among the 35 contributors: student Erin Roberts; alums Marie Hannan-Mandel, Tigh Rickman, and Susan Lilley; faculty members Ted Deppe, Aaron Hamburger, and Nancy Holder; former faculty members Jamie Cat Callan, Ann Hood, Lesléa Newman, and Shara McCallum; and Nuala Ni Chonchuir, who’s read and lectured at Stonecoast Ireland. The book is dedicated to the late Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo, an award-winning fiction writer who was a member of Stonecoast’s inaugural graduating class and who was to have contributed an essay on how soap operas helped her learn the culture of Japan when she moved there for what turned out to be ten years of work in radio and television broadcasting. Elizabeth and Suzanne send many thanks to Stonecoast students including Shellie Leger, who made the trip to help celebrate the book. Suzanne and Elizabeth continue to celebrate—most recently over the fact that, at a grocery or pharmacy checkout very near you, from coast to coast, readers can find CBS Soaps in Depth magazine and its two-page spread on Soap Opera Confidential. The May 29th issue dedicated two pages to the story “Fan Nonfiction: Soap Opera Confidential Examines Why We Always Have—and Always Will—Tune in Tomorrow.” The piece included photos of The Bold and the Beautiful star Thorsten Kaye, who contributed a poem to Soap Opera Confidential and is shown holding a book. Is it Soap Opera Confidential? Tune in tomorrow to find out… Soap Opera Confidential also is featured in a story by G. Michael Dobbs of The Reminder in East Longmeadow, MA. Join Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne as they celebrate Soap Opera Confidential June 7th, 7:00 p.m. at Broadside Bookshop, 247 Main St., Northampton, MA. The night will feature readings by contributors Lesléa Newman, Tommy Shea, and Sebastian Stuart.

Alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott reads from her essay “The Doctors and William Beaumont General Hospi-tale” at the April 30th launch of 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 at Newtonville Books.

Elizabeth Searle with Newtonville Books owner and Stonecoast alumna Mary Cotton.

Soap Opera Confidential featured in the national magazine Soap Opera Insider.

Yes, at a shop counter near you: Soap Opera Insider and its two-page feature on Soap Opera Confidential.

Contributors and co-editors at Newtonville Books’ launch of 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: (from left) alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott, Sebastian Stuart, Emily Franklin, Elizabeth Searle, Allan Hunter, Lisa Borders, Marianne Leone, Suzanne Strempek Shea, and Leigh Montville.

Soap Opera Confidential co-editors Suzanne Strempek Shea and Elizabeth Searle at the Newtonville Books launch.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates January 2017

Stonecoast Rocks Manhattan….

Calling all Stonecoasters past and present in the New York City area—please join us on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017, for a special Stonecoast Night at the KGB Bar in Manhattan, 85 E. 4th St. from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Featured faculty readers will be Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Elizabeth Searle, and Breena Clarke. Joining in with flash readings will be students and alums Daniel Ball, Peter Behravesh, Anthony D’Aries, Jessica de Koninck, Gro Flatebo, Lissa Kiernan, Erin Roberts, and Alex Sherman. Please come to cheer and toast the New Year. We hope to see many of you there!

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) received a 2016 Jane Morrison Film Fund grant and a 2017 Fellowship in Literature from the Maine Arts Commission.

boundaries-withoutKaren Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is thrilled her story “What the Dollhouse Said” is scheduled to air on the Pseudopod Podcast on January 13, 2017. Her zombie masters vs robot apocalypse flash fiction “We Are Still Feeling,” originally published in alumni Cynthia Kraack’s Boundaries Without: The Calumet Editions 2017 Anthology of Speculative Fiction on October 29, 2016, will be reprinted in Sockdolager magazine’s Women of War Special Issue, Winter 2017. MK Gibson’s interview Karen Bovenmyer – Drop and Give me 20! 20 Hard Questions for Hard Authors was published on November 30, 2016, revealing Karen’s biggest failure, greatest shame and what Frankenstein, a bunch of grapes, and a broken closet door have to do with it. She also goes on and on about how wonderful you all are in the Stonecoast program. Another interview promoting her forthcoming fantasy novella “The Beaded Slipper” in Crimson Edge Press’s Maidens and Magic anthology went live on December 11. In her role as nonfiction editor for Mothership Zeta Magazine, Karen is assisting alumna Mur Lafferty in preparing the January issue (#6), which will include an awesome story from alumna Jennifer Castello and a Story Doctor article from faculty member James Patrick Kelly.

Amy Burroughs (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) received a Pushcart Prize nomination for her essay “Two Strangers on a Train,” published in Jabberwock Review.

Michael L Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) has been voted to the board of the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America for 2017.

Alan King’s (Poetry, W’13) book Point Blank was named among the “Ten Best Poetry Books of 2016” by Beltway Poetry. He also just finished a new trailer for the book, which you can watch here.kinship-of-clover

Joe M. McDermott‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) new novel, The Fortress at the End of Time, about clones on a military listening station in deep space, comes out on January 17 from Tor.com.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) is delighted to share the cover of her third novel, Kinship Of Clover. She will be signing copies at the Red Hen Press booth at AWP and reading at Politics & Prose on February 10, 6:00 p.m.

midsummer-magickHarlequin has picked up all three books in The Magick Trilogy by Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) for its paranormal romance DTC program. Midsummer Magick, a sexy Tudor fallen angel romance about the son of Lucifer and a secret Tudor princess, is a January 2017 release.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) full length play The King of France has won this year’s Meetinghouse Theatre Lab’s play competition and will receive a staged reading in Winter Harbor on January 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Hammond Hall, 427 Main Street, Winter Harbor, ME 04693. The event is free and open to the public and will feature a talk back with the playwright and actors following the performance. The play set in the fictional town of Hopton Maine in Aroostock County examines both the deep pull of that region on its inhabitants and its serious limitations for young people, as well as the devastating effects of isolation and abuse. For information please call 207-963-2569 or contact Schoodic Arts for All at info@schoodicartsforall.org.

cold_heart_coverKaren Pullen‘s (Popular Fiction, S’08) second mystery novel, Cold Heart, will be released by Five Star Cengage on January 18. The series features an undercover drug agent who is pulled into a homicide investigation. In November, her story “No Falling Ribbons” was included in an anthology, Stuck in the Middle (Main Street Rag).

STUDENTS

Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction) novel, Edge of Dark , won the 2016 Endeavour Award, which was presented ay Orycon in November, 2016.  The Endeavour award is “…for a edge-of-darkdistinguished Science Fiction or Fantasy Book written by a Pacific Northwest author or authors and published in the previous year.” Edge of Dark, edited by Rene Sears, was published by Prometheus Books in 2015. The award includes a $1,000 cash award and a glass trophy.

FACULTY

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) story “One Sister, Two Sisters, Three” published in October in Clarkesworld (read and/or listen to it online here).  has been selected for The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fourth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois. This will be Jim’s sixteenth appearance in this anthology series.

we-got-himIn addition to the January 4th KGB reading in New York City, Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) will read from her new novel We Got Him at the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA, on Jan. 23rd at 7:00 p.m. Elizabeth’s show Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera completed its six-week run in Chicago, fully produced by Underscore Theater. The show was listed as one of the Top Five Musicals of 2016 by New City, which had written in its review: “The play radiates like strobe light hitting a disco ball.  Tonya and Nancy’ relates a cautionary tale of ambition, manipulation, competition and the appalling way men and women treat girls.”  For quotes, pictures, and film clips from Chicago, see: www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

 

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