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Community News & Updates March 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

This year, Stonecoast is thrilled to be launching two bi-monthly series:

The Stonecoast WISE Series, which kicked off at the January residency with “The Rhetoric of Rage”—a Task Before Us event where Stonecoast faculty, alumni, and guests discussed the use of rage in writing to fight oppression—continues this March with a reading from January’s Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting Workshop. Featuring alumni Stacie McCall Whitaker, Jeannie Mullins, Ellen Meeropol, and Dan McMinn, and a cast of brilliant professional actors from around the country, the event on Thursday, March 25th, at 7:00 p.m. EST will include a post-reading Q&A session with actors, writers, and directors on scriptwriting as a tool for social justice. Check the Stonecoast website next week for more information.

Alumni Master Class: Stonecoasters Demystify the Business of Writing is a collaborative, interactive series where alumni presenters share trade tricks, hacks, secrets, and valuable wisdom gained from life experience in the creative writing industry. Our first session was held in February, and featured Tom MacDonald, Candace Nadon, and Cameron Steiman discussing “Writing Habits.” Watch the video or peruse the resource list compiled during the session. We hope to see you in April as we tackle Self Marketing and Promotion!

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) musical, Stepping Into Fire, will be featured on Season 3 of the Latest Draft Podcast along with interviews of Tom and his collaborator, Jonathan Brielle. Tom will also be teaching his very popular “Developing Believable Characters Who Know What They Want” workshop as part of the San Miguel Writers Conference’s online literary season. March 9th and 11th. Sign up now!

Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) had his first western Massachusetts Floaters event on February 24th, a virtual reading and conversation with his friend Paul Mariani, poet, biographer of poets, former UMass professor, and University Professor Emeritus at Boston College. The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA, an independent bookstore that needs and deserves our support, hosted the event.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) is one of the artists included in A Brief Compendium of Cool. On March 9th, she’ll be part of a discussion on crime fiction at the Sturgis Library (via Zoom) with Steph Cha, Dan Chaon, and Rachel Howzell Hall; the event is free but does require pre-registration.

The New York Times Editors’ Choice novelist Cara Hoffman‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) story collection Ruin—an excavation of the American landscape revealing the beauty of outsiders and examining the varied ways the human conditions of isolation, despair, and joy connect us all—has been sold to Ramsey Kanaan at PM Press, in a very nice deal, by Rebecca Friedman at Rebecca Friedman Literary and will be published in spring 2022. Her nonfiction title Dream of No Nation: An Homage to Exarchia is forthcoming in 2023.

ALUMS 

Jillian Abbott’s (Popular Fiction, S’04) op-ed with Kathleen Wallace at the New York Daily News on the science of storytelling appeared on February 1st.

For his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) has received the British Fantasy Award for Best Audio, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor Setsu Uzumé, and all of PodCastle‘s fabulous associate editors.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction S’18) is pleased to announce that her story “The Certainty of Silence” is included in Twisted Anatomy: A Body Horror Anthology. This piece is a Bluebeard/Little Mermaid mash-up written as a protest against domestic violence. Proceeds from this anthology benefit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She is also thrilled to announce that the anthology Arterial Bloom, edited by Mercedes M. Yardley, made the final Stoker ballot for Superior Achievement in an Anthology! “Rotten,” a Snow White retelling, is the final story in the book. In other news, her interview of past HWA president Lisa Morton is included in the StokerCon 2021 Souvenir AnthologyThe Phantom Denver Edition, edited by Josh Viola at Hex Publishers. She also shared her hopes and dreams for women working in the horror genre during the online panel Females of Fright!, which was moderated by award-winning author Gwendolyn Kiste.  

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that the third installment of her mosaic novel Stories of Driesch will be released this month. The first two stories of the novel are already available as ebooks and online.  Every month of 2021 will include a new original story in this world, available to read on the Vernacular Books website or to purchase as an ebook. At the end of the year, the pieces will be published as a mosaic novel (ebook & print) by Vernacular Books.   

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

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) will appear on the Fifth Estate livestream on Tuesday, March 2nd, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time to discuss an article he wrote on sex robots for their upcoming Spring Issue. You can listen to the stream here, or if you prefer hot, live video when it comes to talking about sexy smartbots, one will be uploaded at a later date.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) was the featured guest on February 22nd at 1:00 p.m. EST, on Queer Spirit on OUT Cast at WMPG radio, Portland, ME. Queer Spirit is a series of conversations exploring queer life and the power of the Sacred. Listen here to the 30-minute+ conversation between hosts Marvin Ellison and Tamara Torres McGovern and Gail as they talk about her recently published memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church. One reviewer describes the memoir this way: “This book is a gift. . . written with compassion, righteous anger, and deep insight about the turmoil that abuse generates and about the courage and tenacity required to disarm a debilitating curse and claim an authentic blessing.”

 Clifford Royal Johns’ (Popular Fiction, W’18) new novel, Velocity Blues, is now available for pre-order (paperback or Kindle) from your favorite bookstore (or Amazon). The novel was written at Stonecoast and was Cliff’s thesis work. It will be released in June.

The Best American Poetry site interviewed Alan King (Poetry, W’13) and his publisher about his upcoming chapbook, Crooked Smiling Light, which will be released in March; you can read the interview here. Alan’s chapbook was also reviewed in Auburn Avenue; read the review here.

In addition to co-editing a League of Women Voters book, publishing a poem and an essay, Linda Quinby Lambert (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) is a ghostwriter for LifeTime Memoirs. LTM is looking for ghosts and interviewers; if interested in PT work, see their website for vacancies in the U.S. and an application. Also, read Linda’s “Becoming a Ghost.”

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) participated in the Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting workshop with Tom Coash and Jeni Mahoney and loved it! The full-length version of her script Gridlock is in development with Silverthorne Theater Company, as a collaborative project with LAVA (Local Access to Valley Arts) in Greenfield, MA. Gridlock is a quasi-sequel to Ellen’s fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo. Who knew that writing for theater was so different from writing a novel, and so much fun!

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) story “Om Land Security” will be published in the next issue of The Clackamas Review and his poem, “That’s Not Right,” will be featured in the next Poetry Box anthology devoted to pandemic poetry. His story “Alex the Amazing” will appear in the next issue of Portland Magazine. Three of Bruce’s poems—“Sugarloaf December,” “Skating with the Eagle,” and “Cloud Skating”—will appear in the next issue of Aethlon: The Journal of the Sport Literature Association.

How do you keep going when everything seems stacked against you? Listen to award-winning author and illustrator Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction S’09) discuss how to foster a creative life on the Ferndale Library’s podcast “A Little Too Quiet,” and learn how she navigated her venture into children’s picture books with Gordy and the Ghost Crab. Also, Linda was featured on a livestream poetry event for The Detroit Writers Guild, Detroit Public Library, and Poets & Writers, reading with writers Arnold Johnston and Bill Harris. 

Richard Squires (Fiction, S’14) has published his short story, “Branching Off in Shadow Heights,” in the Winter 2021 issue of BigCityLit. This story was selected by the Stonecoast Alumni Committee to represent Stonecoast’s Fiction genre at the celebration of the Stonecoast program’s 15th anniversary in 2017, where Richard was beyond thrilled to read. Work on this story began during the program under Aaron Hamburger’s expert mentorship. Special thanks to Alexandria Delcourt (Fiction, S’14), who helped with the pesky, final, magical touches.

Robert E. Stutts (Popular Fiction, S’10) was promoted to full Professor at Presbyterian College, where he is the Director of the Creative Writing Program and current Chair of the English department.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) poem “Mathematics and Language” will appear in the April edition of Sky Island Journal. Her poem “Imposter” will be featured on the website for Lily Poetry Review and also in the print version of the next issue. Lisa will be reading, along with Irish writer Geraldine Mills, at a virtual author event sponsored by the Irish Heritage Society of Milford on March 6th at 2:00 p.m. EST:

The IHSM Cultural Committee is thrilled to announce a reading with Geraldine Mills (direct from Ireland) and Lisa C. Taylor (now from Colorado) who have presented at the IHSM Clubhouse in the past. Geraldine will read from and hold discussion on her latest book, Bone Road, a verse memoir of her great grandparents’ immigration to America. She will be joined by her friend, and frequent collaborator, Lisa C. Taylor, who will read from her past and current poetry and from The Other Side of Longing, co-authored by Geraldine. Please contact Maureen Moore by March 5th at maureenmoore_2001@yahoo.com if you wish to attend, and she will send you the Zoom invitation link. Please type “Irish Author Event” in the subject of your email. 

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “Eve” was just published in the print edition of Night Shift Radio.

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W’09) debut poetry collection To the 4 a.m. Light will be released on March 26, 2021 by Finishing Line Press; to order, visit here. Read Adrienne’s blog at www.inkinthebranches.com. Find Adrienne on IG & FB @inkinthebranches. Click here to sign up for Adrienne’s newsletter.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) will be leading an online writing workshop at the Hudson Valley Writers Center on April 18th from 12:30-4:30 p.m. entitled “What’s Left Unsaid: Writing Around and In Spite of the Truth in Creative Nonfiction.”  For more details and to register, go here

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Community News & Updates December 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

STONECOAST MFA ALUMNI READING SERIES

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

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

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

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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