Tag Archives: Mary Heather Noble

Community News & Updates September 2019

FACULTY

The podcast of Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead has been added to the American Playbook Series. Raghead will also be produced in September at the Short & Sweet Festival in Auckland, New Zealand, and the Write About Now Festival in London, UK.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece was an August feature story for ESPN’s The UndefeatedToni Harris Made History by Getting a Football Scholarship. Now She Needs to Make Tackles. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, was released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in June 2019.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be reading from his novel Nirvana Is Here at KGB on 85 E. 4th St. in New York on Sunday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m. He’ll also be signing books at the Brooklyn Book Festival, Sunday September 22 at his publisher’s booth in the afternoon. Also, a new mini-documentary (two and a half minutes) about Aaron and the novel directed by Ender Emre is now available online here. Check out Aaron’s Nirvana events in October (including appearances at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, The Fall for the Book festival at George Mason University, the Detroit Public Library, and the National Press Club…) here.

Four-Sided, the short film based on Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel, is now an Official Selection at two more festivals this fall: Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival in Chicago and Reel Q: Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Film Festival! First, the film will have its USA debut at Massachusetts Independent Film Festival. For updates see www.afoursidedbedfilm.com

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) received the New England Director’s Award from the academy accredited Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival for her film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. She is director and screenwriter for the film, which she adapted from her CNF memoir of the same title (Algonquin Books). The film is also a double finalist for the international Jackson Wild Media Awards in the categories of Audioscape and Education. A slate of 20 festivals spring through fall included summer premiers in Italy, Australia, and Poland, with many upcoming fall screenings including premiers in Canada and Germany. For more information please see wildsnailfilm.org

Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) debut novel Pivot, the first of the Jack Harper trilogy, received a rave review in Publishers Weekly: “Barlow’s gorgeous writing will easily propel readers through the rest of the series.” You can read the entire review here.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) appeared at Worldcon 77 in Dublin, where he presented a paper, “Mischief in Her Heart: Women’s Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic,” and appeared on the panels “Muslim SFF” and “Using Science in Fantasy Writing.” In addition, Peter narrated Premee Mohamed’s story “Willing” for the August 20 episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poem “The Perils of Invisibility” in Nonbinary Review #21 The Works of H .G. Wells (Zoetic Press, June 2019). In other news, her short story “The Gravity of Grace” was a finalist in the first quarter of Writers of the Future, May 2019. This story was one of the first pieces she workshopped at Stonecoast.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that her debut book, The Bone Cutters, is set for publication on Sunday, September 1st through Eraserhead Press. It’s a bizarro horror novella set in a dysfunctional psychiatric hospital, where you’ll meet a troubled young woman named Dory who encounters a peculiar and brutal group of patients when she’s sent to the wrong counseling group over and over again. Dory’s introduction to this counseling group sets her on the run in an attempt to save her life from The Bone Cutters. Renee’s book is available on Amazon, Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, and at Longfellow Books. More stores to come soon. Two reviews for The Bone Cutters are already out, with more to come—one will soon be on the Cemetery Dance Reviews Blog. Here is what reviewers have to say 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 [her] debut novella, 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.” ~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.” ~Kendall Reviews

Renee is also thrilled to announce that Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine is hosting her book launch event on Thursday, September 5th, at 7:00 p.m. In addition to Renee’s reading and Q&A, there will also be live music to set the mood, performed by local guitarist Shaun Church Reehl. Elizabeth Searle will also be there as Renee’s MC.

September 12-14, Josh Gauthier‘s (Popular Fiction, S’17) 10-minute play “Expedition 3487-B” will be featured as part of the King of Crows play festival held at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland, Maine. The festival is produced by the Crowbait Club, and you can find them on Facebook for more information.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has an essay, “Nice People,” in the summer issue of eMerge magazine.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) has been selected to receive the Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award to present at the 2019 Historic Writers of America Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. She will be presenting a revised version of her third-semester presentation, “Discovery Through Multigenre Writing: How to Use Poetry and Playwriting to Develop Characterization, Conflict, & Plot in Fiction.”

Gregory Martin’s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short story “Inside” was recently published in Dark Moon Digest #36.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) received news from the editors of Narrative Magazine that her personal essay “Plume: An Investigation” was selected as a finalist in this year’s Spring Story Contest. She is currently working on a new collection that explores the complexities and ambiguities of family.

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) will read from her new collection, American Dangerous, at the Old Dominion University 42nd Annual Literary Festival in Norfolk, Virginia, Thursday October 10, 4:00 p.m., free and open to the public.  The entire festival schedule is available here.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgments” is forthcoming in Main Street Rag’s anthology Show us Your Papers, “The First Cold Rain Since Spring” will appear in the next Connecticut River Review, and “Lunar Eclipse” will be included in the special “Cosmos” edition of The Poeming Pigeon.

“Visionquest,” a prose poem by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), will appear in the fall issue of Cimarron Review.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S’08) recently judged the nonfiction entries for Tiferet Journal’s annual writing contest and her flash piece “A Grave Duty,” was published in the August issue of Flash Glass, part of Glassworks Magazine. She will be a keynote speaker at NJ Women Who Write’s one-day conference in Madison, NJ, on September 21, and on November 23, Lisa will speak on “Revising the Memoir Manuscript” at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop. A fun piece, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” is out in Chicken Soup: Angels All Around. Lisa’s editing role for Cleaver Magazine has expanded; she’s now handling craft essays on both fiction and nonfiction for their “Writer to Writer” column (pitch/submit here). In late August at the HippoCamp Conference for Creative Nonfiction, Lisa presented “Become a Writer who Reads Like a Writer” and was on a parenting/writing panel; earlier in the month, she led a week-long memoir workshop in New Hampshire for Murphy Writing.

Morgan Talty (Fiction, W’19) was included in Narrative Magazine‘s 30 Below 30 list for 2019. His short story “The Name Means Thunder” will appear in the Fall 2019 issue of The Georgia Review. 

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates June 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Public Events for the Summer 2019 Stonecoast Residency

You are invited to join the Stonecoast MFA community for a week of inspiring readings and discussions with Stonecoast’s award-winning faculty and guest writers, June 24-26 and June 28-July 1, at the historic Harraseeket Inn in downtown Freeport, Maine. See the full list of events HERE.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Veils will be at the Daylesford Theatre in Hamilton, Bermuda, May 30-June 8, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is here! Aaron’s currently on book tour, and so excited to see Stonecoasters at every stop along the way. (Thanks for all the support!) Check out his full tour schedule for June, when he’ll be hitting Seattle; San Francisco; Portland, OR; Washington, DC; the St. John’s Writing Intensive in Annapolis; and of course Portland, ME—where he’ll be teaming up with alum Dave Patterson at Print Bookstore on June 26th at 7:00 p.m. Be there or be square! Nirvana received a rave review from Foreword Reviews, which featured it as their book of the day. In non-Nirvana news, Aaron published a viral memoir essay in Tablet (“Day School Bullies”) as well as a new short story (“Kimono Story”) in The Maine Review.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has two events in June:

  • June 2 at 7:30 p.m. — Amanda will read at A Womb of One’s Own, a literary rally and fundraiser in support of reproduction rights at Spider House Ballroom in Austin, TX.
  • June 15 at 6:30 p.m. — The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics presents Won’t You Celebrate with Me: Poetry and Prose from the Director’s ChairJoin award-winning poets and writers Dawn Lundy Martin (Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Director), Nicole Sealey (Cave Canem Executive Director), Salamishah Tillet (Founding Director at New Arts Justice Initiative at Express Newark), and Mahogany L. Browne (Artistic Director at Urban Word NYC), who will share their work and engage in a discussion moderated by Amanda Johnston (Executive Director at Torch Literary Arts). Presented in partnership with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Governor of the State of Iowa appointed Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) Iowa’s Poet Laureate in May of 2019.  Marquart was interviewed about the honor on Iowa Public Radio on May 23. Debra delivered a paper, “Looking for Dylan,” on the invited panel “Poets & Professors: Poets Talking Back to Bob” at the 2019 World of Bob Dylan Symposium held by Tulsa University’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies (30 May–2 June 2019). On May 11th, she taught a Creative Jumpstart Workshop at the Elbow Lake Arts Council in Elbow Lake, MN. During the North American Review 50th Anniversary Conference at the University of Northern Iowa, 19-21 April 2019, Debra read her poem “Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear” at the Bullets into Bells Anthology Reading. She also participated in an invited panel, “What We Write About When We Write About Environment.” And on April 5th, Debra performed with her performance poetry band, The Bone People, for Coffeehouse Night at Lowe Park, Marion Arts Council, Marion, IA.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has film news. Four-Sided, a short film based on Elizabeth’s novel and feature film script, premiered May 17th in Cannes, France. Four-Sided screened as an Official Selection at the 2019 That Film Festival-Cannes. This competition—funded by several major film companies and running concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival—screens short films with potential to be Feature Films. Four-Sided was also an official selection at Independent Shorts competition where it won three prizes: Gold Awards as Best Romance and Best Experimental short and a Silver Award as Best LGBT short. It is a Semi-Finalist at the 2019 Shanghai PRIDE film festival. Attached as star and co-producer to the potential feature film, and starring in the short film, is actress and activist in the Transgender community Rain Valdez (Transparent; Lopez; Razor Tongue). Four-Sided was produced by David Ball (producer on over thirty films) and Amy Carpenter Scott/CreatrixFilms as part of their ongoing development of A Four-Sided Bed as a feature film. Elizabeth’s feature script of A Four-Sided Bed has been selected for two full staged readings at the 15th annual ReelHeART Film and Screenplay Festival in Toronto in July, starring Rain Valdez. Elizabeth’s feature script was also selected for a ‘Best Scene’ reading in mid-July at the festival LGBT TORONTO. And the script is an official selection at the Top Indie Films Festival, among eight recent festivals recognizing the script. Visit the new website for both the short film and the feature film project.

ALUMS

The book trailer for Lindsey Barlow’s (Popular Fiction, W’19) first novel, Pivot, is available. Pivot will be published in October of this year.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Vajra Chandrasekera’s story “When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven” for the May 28th episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) piece “Flight Aids Minus the Wings and Fuselage” can be found in the web journal Necessary FictionShort, visceral, and experimental, it doubles as an unofficial advisory from the US Department of Internal Disarmament.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is thrilled to announce that she is now a part of the Crystal Lake Publishing team, working as an editorial intern. She is also excited to announce her book launch event for her debut book The Bone Cutters. This event is scheduled for Thursday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m. at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine. Not only will Renee do a reading from her horror novella, but there will also be original artwork inspired by her book—art created by Emily Strickland and Jasin Chapman, artists and owner of Leviathan Tattoo in Scarborough, Maine—on display and for sale, as well as on some free giveaways. Live music will help set the mood, performed by the extremely talented local guitarist Shaun Reehl. Stonecoast’s own Elizabeth Searle will also take part in the event as Renee’s MC/Introduction Queen. The release date for Renee’s debut book, The Bone Cutters, a bizarro horror novella published through Eraserhead Press, is September 1, 2019, though pre-orders have begun at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. And for those interested, you can check out the first book review by Miranda Crites on Kendall Reviews. Here is the synopsis for The Bone Cutters:

Dory wakes up in the padded room of a psychiatric hospital with no recollection of how she wound up there. She soon finds out she’s been Blued-Papered—involuntarily committed. When she is sent to the wrong counseling group, she discovers a whole new world of drug addicts she’d never known existed. When she learns that those grotesque scars they all have are from cutting into their own bodies, it makes her skin itch. Why do they do it?—They get high off bone dust.  They carve down to the bone, then chisel and scrape until they get that free drug. When they realize Dory’s never been “dusted”, she becomes their target. After all, dust from a “Freshie” is the most intense high, and pain free—for the carver.

By the end of that first meeting Dory is running scared, afraid of being “dusted”, though the psych. hospital staff doesn’t believe a word she says.  She’s delusional—at least that’s what they tell her.  They end up sending her to that same counseling group every day, though Dory knows that all those junkie cutters want is what’s inside of her, and they won’t give up until they get what they’re after.

Like Girl Interrupted and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” The Bone Cutters is one woman’s dark and surreal experience with a madness that is not necessarily her own.

Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, W’10) placed in the Eric Hoffer Awards, which honor the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Her memoir Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter has been named a Finalist in the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez’s (Poetry, W’08) second poetry collection, Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women, was released by Aquarius Press/Willow Books on April 1st. The collection was awarded the 2018 Willow Books Editor’s Choice Poetry Selection and the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship for Writers of Color. Cindy’s new verse play, In the Name of Forgotten Women (based on her new collection), was performed at Wellspring, a ceremonial gathering space in Twisp, WA, to sold-out audiences in Washington’s Methow Valley on May 15th and 16th.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has sold an essay about her first time sailing on their used boat Wrinkle in Time to Good Old Boat, a magazine for hands-on sailboat owners.

Michael L. Joy’s (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “Nick Break” is available now at Tough Crime.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created a short video on how he marketed his manuscript without an agent and without book contests. You can watch it here.

Linda Lambert (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) features Aaron Hamburger‘s visit to Seattle’s Third Place Books where he will be talking about his new novel Nirvana Is Here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) has been named Lit Fest’s 2019 Dramatic Writing Fellow for Emerging Writers. She is also presenting her research “First-Person Fictional Storytellers & Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style” at the Pennsylvania College English Association at Bloomsburg University.

Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) has accepted the position of Visiting Assistant Professor in English at Brevard College in Brevard, NC, started in Fall 2019. Mills’s full position is Coordinator of First-Year Writing and Writing Services and he will also serve as Coordinator of the Common Read. Mills also recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English (Spring 2019).

Julia McKenzie Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is thrilled to announce the publication of The Book Keeper: A Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy, available now for pre-order. The book chronicles a time decades after Julia’s father committed suicide, when she learned about his secret career during the pulp fiction boom of the ’60s and ’70s as a writer of interracial pornographic novels. After hiding that stack of old paperbacks from her Zimbabwean husband, their mixed-race children, and herself for years, she realized her obligation to face them if she was ever going to understand her legacy, her country’s treasonous history, and her whiteness.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is a finalist for a 2019 Maine Literary Award (short works, nonfiction) from Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Her debut flash nonfiction piece,“How to Sleep in an Airport,” was published last month in Hippocampus Magazine.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to announce the inclusion of her essay “Things I (Shouldn’t) Have to Tell My Daughters” in the new anthology Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility, edited by Andrea Fekete and Lara Lillibridge. The anthology brings together women of all races, nationalities, and sexual orientations to reflect on the unique experience of womanhood. Feminine Rising was released by Cynren Press in May 2019 and is available at Cynren Press, Amazon, and select independent booksellers.

On June 26th, Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) and Aaron Hamburger are doing an event together at Print in Portland to celebrate the release of their new novels.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “The First Cold Rain Since Spring” will appear in the next issue of The Connecticut River Review, and his short story “Ariel in LOve Summer 1999” has just been published by Valparaiso Fiction Review.

Shannon Ratliff (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is celebrating her first anniversary as Director of Editorial and Growth at Wide Open Media Group in Austin, TX. She’s used her Stonecoast skills, from analyzing creative work to building educational seminars, to develop a team of 20+ writers and editors, growing readership from 8M to 23M monthly readers.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short-short story “In a Jar” was published in Narrative Magazine as a Story of the Week.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has accepted the role of Senior Creative Writer for Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence company DataVisor. The company focuses on the application of advanced AI and machine learning capabilities to the challenges of modern digital fraud and crime. Watkins’ move follows a nearly four-year tenure as Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer for online learning company Udacity.

Faculty member Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are pleased that the teen idols anthology they co-edited is a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Short Story/Anthology. Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives was published last year by McFarland & Company. Hoffer Awards honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit. On May 10-11, several Idol Talk contributors converged in Newburyport, MA for a dance-enhanced reading at the Firehouse Center for the Arts. “Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols” was emceed by writer/actress Marianne Leone. The two-night collaboration featured Exit Dance Company performers as well as readings of work by Stonecoast faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea and alumnae Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Michelle Soucy, Darlene Taylor and Tamra Wilson. Joining them were New England authors B. A. Shapiro, Mary Granfield, Caitlyn McCarthy, and Mary Sullivan.

Stonecoast “Idol Talkers” (from left): Lee J. Kahrs, Michelle Soucy, Tamra Wilson, Elizabeth Searle, Darlene Taylor, and Suzanne Strempek Shea

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates November 2017

ALUMS

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W ’12) is thrilled to announce that her paranormal historical romance Moon Shadow, Book 2 of The Auriano Curse Series, was released over the summer. She worked on part of this manuscript while at Stonecoast. She has also signed a contract for a reprint of her first published book (horrible title to be changed), a historical romance set during the Regency period in England.

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce the creation of the Washington County Writers Forum in Oregon. WCWF is a monthly forum for writers of all genres, ages, and experience levels to engage with writing professionals about a wide range of topics. The forum is held on the 1st Thursday of each month (February through December) at Insomnia Coffee Downtown Location at 317 E. Main Street, Hillsboro, OR, from 7:00-8:00 p.m.; admission is $5. WCWF is also an information hub promoting organizations, meetings, conferences and conventions, as well as learning opportunities in the Pacific Northwest that are of interest to writers in Washington County. If you live in the Portland, Oregon, area and are interested in presenting, please contact Elizabeth at ebeechwood@gmail.com or through the website contact page at www.washingtoncountywriters.com. If you have an event in the Pacific Northwest, please let her know so she can share it. Of course, you’re always welcome to attend a forum—no membership is required and all are welcome!

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is proud to announce her novel Swift for the Sun earned an honorable mention in the 2017 Rainbow Awards. Karen recently narrated Sarah Goldman’s “Islands in the Dark” for Escape Pod. Karen’s book chapter “Shirley Jackson and the Fear of Ordinary People” will appear in McFarland Press’s forthcoming Horror Literature: Past and Present, edited by Nicholas Diak and Michele Brittany. Karen is also very much looking forward to seeing Stonecoasters at World Fantasy in San Antonio the first week of November where she will serve as a panelist and moderator on “Paging Doctor Tavener and Carnaki: Occult Detectives Old and Newly Reinvented” with Lisa Tuttle, Jess Nevins, Jaime Lee Moyer.

Amy Burroughs (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) has a “Notable Essay” listed in Best American Essays 2017. Her essay “Two Strangers on a Train” was published last year in Jabberwock Review.

J.R. Dawson (Popular Fiction, S’16) has a new short story in the November/December issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. “Marley and Marley” was written for her very last packet at Stonecoast.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) will be featured in an event hosted by the Gallery Of Readers Sunday, November 19th, 4:00 p.m., at Smith College, Seelye Hall 106, Northampton, MA. This reading is celebration of Liz George’s new collection, Glass Teepee. In addition to Julie and Liz’s readings, the artist and illustrator Adell Donaghue will present a selection of her work. The event is free and open to the public.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) e-book The Wild Horse of Haiku: beauty in a changing form is now available on www.amazon.com to purchase. This book is a comprehensive look at the history of haiku and the changes it has undergone since traveling to the West. This is for anyone interested in understanding the breadth of this short form and how it can be a springboard for experimentation in creative writing.

Jeff Kass‘s (Fiction, S’09) debut thriller Takedown is brand new from Fifth Avenue Press in Ann Arbor and available now at Jeff’s author page on Amazon. Here’s the jacket copy:

Ann Arbor: a small city with a big university
A city of cute coffee shops, leftover hippies, hybrid cars, indie bookstores, and craft breweries. A city, above all, that values education.

Or does it?

Jim Harrow has been an Ann Arbor cop for fifteen years. He mostly handles things like stolen cars and fratboy fights, giving him time to coach high school wrestling and help raise his teenage daughters.

But things take a deadly turn the night after the Michigan–Michigan State football game, when a house party ends in a fire. Its single victim is a graduate student with no job, no friends, and no research. What was Sanders Bolgim working on, and why would someone want to kill him for it?

Nothing about the case makes sense, and as Jim traces the events leading to the fire, he uncovers a shady party company, dark money buying for-profit charter schools, and a string of murders stretching back years.

In a town where money and education are always in each other’s pockets, someone is paying a killer to teach the ultimate lesson.

Kass’ debut novel is an astute commentary on the darker side of education reform wrapped in a gripping adventure. Filled with authentic characters, a strong voice, and the perfect portrait of a Midwest college town, Takedown is as sharp and crisp as a football Saturday.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’ 14) is pleased to share that her essay “Variations on Green” is featured in the Political Landscapes issue of About Place Journal. Her essay “Disguise” was also published in the Halloween-themed issue of Barrelhouse.

Ellie O’Leary’s (Poetry, W’17) short story “Annie Doesn’t Get It” appears in the next issue of Boomer Lit Mag.

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short story “Merrow” has been published in issue 46 of Crannóg magazine.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is pleased to reveal the cover of her memoir, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss (University of Nevada Press, May 2018).

An Elder Man, the new short film by Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W ’07) starring The Monster Squad’s Ryan Lambert, continues its festival run November 17th with another Pacific Northwest screening at the Killer Valley Horror Film Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Jacob will be in attendance for a Q&A and post-film drinks with whoever’s buying. Screening info is here.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) The Magicians flash fiction, which won SyFy/Wattpad’s #BattletheBeast contest, has been turned into a digital illustrated short; as a bonus, they used her likeness for the character she created. Watch all five chapters on the SyFy website. Her mythological flash fiction “Liars” appeared in Hobart. Her botanical horror story “The Black Thumb” appears in the anthology Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers Volume Two

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) was a top-20 finalist for the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award. The international competition honors her novel manuscript, “Driving Nelson.”

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) will be rounding out the first year of the release of Letters from Limbo by returning to her home town. On Saturday, November 10th, at 6:00 p.m., at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia, she will be reading with former Stonecoast faculty member Baron Wormser, who is launching his new novel Tom o’ Vietnam. The bookstore is located at 551 Carpenter Lane in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, PA.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a guest at Virginia’s Fall for the Book Festival, and also appeared at The Potter’s House in DC with JJ Amaworo Wilson. Her recent reviews include Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage and Joe Hill’s Strange Weather for The Washington Post, and Amaworo Wilson’s Damnificadoes, Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka, and Josh Melerman’s Black Mad Wheel for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as an essay on novelist John Crowley for The Los Angeles Times. In November, she will be reading and speaking at Bard College as part of its Innovative Contemporary Fiction Series.

Jim Kelly’s newest story “And No Torment Shall Touch Them” has been published in the current issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, which also includes another installment of his regular column. In “Time Party” he offers some possible explanations of why we have yet to be overrun with tourists from the future. His freebie newsletter Strangeways has launched and subscribers continue to pour (trickle) in.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is happy to be reading in a Stonecoast Community Reading with two star Stonecoast alumni, Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) and Kara Storti (Fiction, S’06), at the Arts at Armory Cafe in Somerville, MA, November 18th at 2:00 p.m., with thanks to Lo Galluccio and Richard Cambridge. On November 8th, in an event sponsored by Arlington Community Education, Elizabeth will lead a panel on “Second Acts” for women in their 40s or beyond who are interested in “changing up” their work lives. Elizabeth will discuss how, after three books of fiction, she began the adventure of writing scripts.  See: http://www.arlingtoncommunityed.org/adult-programs/

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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 April 2017

ALUMS

Erin Lyn Bodin‘s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’17) essay “How it Goes” has been published by So to Speak: a Feminist Journal of Language and Art. This piece, included in her Stonecoast thesis, took a little bit of coaxing to send out into the world. Many thanks especially to Barbara Hurd and Ted Deppe for their confidence in the work.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13)’s first novel, an LGBT romantic pirate adventure set in 1822 Caribbean, Swift for the Sun, came out March 27, 2017, via Dreamspinner Press and is now available in ebook and paperback. Karen created a series of blog posts for review sites ranging from interviews to “Top 10 Weird Things I Researched While Writing Swift for the Sun” to a range of writer-education topics such as “Fear: Why Aren’t You Sending Out Your Drafts?,” “Maintaining Your Meat Blimp: Endurance and Novel Writing,” “Planning Your Garden: Finding the Middle Ground between Discovery and Architect Writing Styles,” “Inspired-Response Writing: Entering the ‘Great Conversation’ with Other Authors,” “Where Do You Look for Inspiration? An Extrovert’s Guide,” “An Eye on the Market: Where to Send Your Work,” and more! You can read these articles by following links on Karen’s Facebook page as she posts them through the first week of April. Karen’s red riding werewolf story “The Scarlet Cloak” will be reprinted in Fantasia Divinity Magazine’s Evil Within anthology. Karen’s unrequited astronaut love poem, “The Blind Elephants of Io,” will be reprinted in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award Anthology. Karen narrated her interstellar spies poem “Save Our Souls” for Silver Blade Magazine 33, Winter 2017, and you can listen to her read it here. Quick Sip did a review of Karen’s Strange Horizons poem “Syncing Minefields.” Karen is thrilled QS’s Payseur also reviewed her zombies vs robots flash “We Are Still Feeling” for Nerds of a Feather. Love you forever, Stonecoast!

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) published his short story “The Siege” in the March issue of Juked. The story was also selected by Longform as a featured fiction pick for March.

Gro Flatebo (Creative Nonfiction, W’10) was accepted into a three-week May residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts to work with Sigrid Nunez. Nunez’s work straddles the murky line between fiction and memoir. The ACA facility is on a 69-acre ecological preserve in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

In a rare foray into pop culture, Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) had a piece called “I’ll Be There For You,” about watching Friends with her son, published at Grown and Flown and an essay called “No Fun,” about a Psychedelic Furs concert and the nature of having fun in your 40s, published at The Manifest Station. She shared some writing advice in “How to Write with (or Despite) Kids” at WOW! Women on Writing. Her guest blog post, “Post-Twin Stress Disorder,” appeared at Multiples Illuminated, as part of the run-up to the publication next month of the eponymous anthology, in which her essay “Individuality, Mutuality, and a Game of Twister” will appear. Finally, she saw two pieces about her summer spent hiking with her family go live: “How Being a Mom Helped Me Hike 500 Miles” at Parent Co. and “Five Hundred Miles” at Mothers Always Write.

For the fourth year, Kristin LaTour (Poetry, S’07) is holding a fundraiser for National Poetry Month. The Poem-a-Thon benefits the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and Kristin emails sponsors a brand new draft poem every day in April. Visit her Poem-a-Thon to Erase Hate page to join.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will launch her third novel, Kinship of Clover on April 5. Upcoming events include Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA (April 5); Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA (April 12); Forbes Library, Northampton, MA (May 10); PRINT Bookshop, Portland, ME (May 16); Book Culture, Manhattan (June 6); Wachtung Books, Montclair, NJ (June 7); Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY (June 8); and Belmont Books, Belmont, MA (June 28). Details and full events listing can be found on Ellen’s website.

Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) has a story in FUSION Magazine: “Birdheart,” which was originally a story in his MFA thesis.

Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the suspicious activities of her notorious twin Nikki Navarre, whose sexy spy romance The Russian Obsession hit the shelves in March. Nikki and her accomplice Steven Denlinger wrote the accompanying TV pilot for the Foreign Affairs series, their agent is negotiating with Hollywood, and the Senate fears the worst. Download this steamy expose from WikiLeaks and spy on Nikki at www.NikkiNavarre.com.

Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08)​ flash essay, “A Dress for the Wedding,” appeared on Beautiful Things at the River Teeth website. A craft essay, “When Prose Turns to Horses, Remember the Humans,” is up at Ephemeral Artery, the online companion of the journal Hunger Mountain. Another essay, “Reminiscing with My TV Friends,” is at The Sunlight Press.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) won the Grand Prize in the Syfy Wattpad “Battle the Beast” Magicians contest; in addition to the cash prize, her flash fiction set in The Magicians universe will be turned into a digital short. On April 1, her short story “Bitter Orchids” will appear in the magazine Nat Brut.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction) has accepted a position as an associate editor for Escape Pod, a SFWA-qualifying science fiction podcast magazine. If you’re interested in submitting your stories to Escape Pod, please see the submission guidelines.

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) will be reading from Letters from Limbo on April 19th at Book Culture, 536 W. 112 St, NYC at 7:00 p.m. More information here. Later in the month, on April 28 at 4:00 pm, Jeanne Marie will be one of the panelists taking part in a Scholar Roundtable at the New York Public Library to celebrate the launch of This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton. Free registration here.

Ted Deppe (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) and Annie Deppe will be reading on 4 April 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas (Fine Arts Building, Room 157).  They will also be reading on 6 April at Georgia State University at 4:00 p.m. Anyone in the area is invited!

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will serve as Toastmaster at StokerCon 2017, the annual gathering of the Horror Writers Association. StokerCon will be held aboard the Queen Mary floating hotel in Long Beach, California, from April 27-April 30. George R.R. Martin and Popular Fiction Faculty Elizabeth Hand are Guests of Honor.

Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction) is pleased to announce his new novel, Mother Go, will be released July 11—in the middle of the summer residency!—by Audible.com as the first title of its new Audible Original Publishing initiative. Mother Go will debut exclusively as an audiobook, with a print version to come in 2018. Jim has also placed a new story with Asimov’s Science Fiction called “And No Torment Shall Touch Them,” which will appear in the November/December issue. In May, Jim will lecture at the 36th Annual Writers Conference at Christopher Newport University.

Mike Kimball (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has two plays in the works. The Secret of Comedy runs March 31-April 16 at The Players’ Ring, in Portsmouth, NH: Friday & Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 3:00 p.m. For more info, click here. Mike’s new play, Patience Boston, will have its first public reading on Saturday morning, April 8th, at 10:00 a.m., with a talkback following the performance. Limited Seating. The Actors Studio of Newburyport, 50 Water St, Newburyport, MA. For more info: 978-465-1229. http://www.newburyportacting.org

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has been interviewed about her new novel We Got Him on radio shows including the national Frankie Boyer show and in a talk with Stonecoast alum Bruce Pratt on Downtown with Rich Kimball (WZON, Bangor Maine). She was interviewed online in Solstice: a Magazine for Diverse Voices and on Boston area cable TV on The Literari Scene, Behind the Pages, and Books and Authors. She has an interview forthcoming on Urban Update (Channel 7; NBC, Boston), which will be broadcast in the Boston area on April 9th after Meet the Press. Elizabeth will read in the Arlington Salon Series in Arlington, MA, on April 6th.  For links and updates, see: www.elizabethsearle.net.

Bay Path University’s 15th Writers’ Day, to be held April 2 at the campus in Longmeadow, MA, will feature Stonecoasters Melanie Brooks, who’ll be talking “Writing Hard Stories,” the topic of her highly acclaimed newly published first book, and Mary Heather Noble, who’ll be talking about sources of inspiration for her acclaimed essays on family, nature and current events. The lineup will include inspiration panelist John Sheirer and Dave Stern, and a primer on podcasting by Bernadette Duncan Harrison, a former national talk-show producer and author of Yappy Days, a newly-published memoir of her time in that arm of radio. Find Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), Bay Path’s writer in residence, at the registration table. She hopes to see you there, and sends this link with schedule and registration information. Suzanne also is looking forward to the week of April 2 as Melanie Brooks will be Bay Path’s visiting writer that week. Melanie’s duties will include giving a talk and reading on Thursday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m., at the university’s Hatch Library. The event is free of charge. Melanie’s Writing Hard Stories will be available for purchase at both Writers’ Day and Melanie’s reading. Suzanne will travel one mile south on April 7 to lead a workshop on “Writing Your Home Town (or Village).” It’ll be held from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Interactive School House, 2055 Main St. in Three Rivers, MA, the village in which she grew up. Looking at our home turf in fresh ways on the page will be the focus. Writers of all genres will be welcome. Cost is $15 per person and registration is required. Phone 413-967-3001 if you’d like to register. Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne Strempek Shea have a date of April 30 for the launch of Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns by the Guiding Light of Our Lives. They and seven contributors, including Stonecoast alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott, will read on that Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Newtonville Books in Newton Center, MA. Another Stonecoast connection is the bookstore, which is owned by alumna Mary Cotton and her husband, Jaime Clarke. Other readers at the launch will be Lisa Borders, Emily Franklin, Allan Hunter, Marianne Leone, Leigh Montville, and Sebastian Stuart. Coincidentally, April 30 is the same date as the Daytime Emmy Awards, which will be held that night. A Western Mass. launch of Soap Opera Confidential is scheduled at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton on Wed., June 7, 7:00 p.m. Readers scheduled so far are Elizabeth and Suzanne, plus former Stonecoast faculty member Lesléa Newman, and Suzanne’s husband, Tommy Shea. A Sunday, July 9, reading at 1:00 p.m., at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., has been organized by faculty member and Soap Opera Confidential contributor Aaron Hamburger, and will include former faculty member Shara McCallum. And stay tuned for more info on a soapy reading in Portland during the July residency. Elizabeth, Suzanne, Aaron, and contributors yet to be confirmed will read Wednesday, July 12.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Current student Allen Baldwin (Popular Fiction) is running a script contest called the Maine Film Initiative as part of his Third Semester Project. Please see the press release below:

Contact: Allen Baldwin, Maine Film Initiative
207-776-8737
maineneedsstories@gmail.com

New Maine Screenplay Contest Seeks to Jumpstart Maine Film Industry

The Maine Film Initiative is Part Contest, Part Crowd-Funding Effort.

Portland, ME—Maine filmmaker Allen Baldwin knows first-hand of the vast amount of creativity and passion that exists in the filmmaking industry in Maine. What he also understands is the need for funding to produce films in Maine. Thus, Baldwin has launched a new program to help support Maine filmmakers. The Maine Film Initiative (MFI) is a new screenplay contest that seeks to create funding for Maine-based film productions. In addition to over $4,000 in cash prizes, the Maine Film Initiative is offering a Production Prize. The winning script will be produced in Maine using proceeds from the screenplay contest entry fees.

The MFI is seeking diverse scripts that can be produced in Maine on a small budget, and is produced by Baldwin. “We have a thriving, talented film community in our state that is eager and excited for new opportunities,” said Baldwin. “With the Maine Film Initiative, we are proud to highlight Maine as a micro-budget independent film destination while providing resources to produce work here in the state, and reward great screenwriting along the way.”

Though the winning script will be produced in Maine, MFI is open to screenwriters from around the world. Categories include short screenplays, feature length screenplays, and episodic scripts of 30 or 60 minutes in length. Submission fees apply and will go towards the production of one of the winning films. Entries are being accepted on the Film Freeway platform. To submit, visit: www.filmfreeway.com/festival/Mainefilm. The competition has a regular deadline of February 28 and extended deadlines of March 31 and April 30.

Baldwin, executive producer and co-founder of the long running Maine film showcase Damnationland, hopes to make the Maine Film Initiative an annual event. “Ideally, this event will grow over time and provide the filmmaking community of Maine with great scripts and startup funds for a long time to come. We are already receiving submissions from all over the world, and hopefully this project will allow us to show off the quality of the filmmakers here in Maine.”

For more information on the Maine Film Initiative, visit www.mainefilminitiative.com or call Allen Baldwin at 207-776-8737. You can also find MFI on Facebook, facebook.com/mainefilminitiative ,  and Twitter, @maine_film.

About The Maine Film Initiative

The Maine Film Initiative exists to generate and reward bold original screen-writing; to highlight Maine as a low budget film-making destination; and to support Maine film artists by investing directly in paying productions. MFI is a screenwriting contest, where the top prize is the production of a script in Maine. Funds raised from submission fees will be used to produce one of the top screenplays, using Maine cast and crew.

About Allen Baldwin

Born and raised in Norridgewock, Maine, Allen Baldwin attended Bowdoin College before moving to Portland, Maine, where he lives today. He is the co-founder of Damnationland, a long running short dark genre film showcase of Maine filmmakers. Recently, he produced Derek Kimball’s feature film debut Neptune, which screened at Slamdance, the Nashville Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, and over a dozen other fests around the world. Criterion Cast called Neptune “One of the best films to come out of Slamdance in quite some time.”

In September of 2016, Baldwin attended the IFP Film Forum in support of Kimball’s latest feature, A Winter Table. Baldwin is a partner at the Story Board, a production company in Portland, Maine, where he produces videos for clients worldwide. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Scriptwriting as part of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2017

2017 STONECOAST ALUMNI REUNION

The submission deadline for readers and presenters for the 2017 Stonecoast Alumni Reunion has been extended to March 15th! Stonecoast celebrates our 15th anniversary this July residency with an alumni reunion July 14th-17th. Readers will be chosen by a small committee through a blind submission process, and will be featured in the residency-wide evening reading on Friday, 7/14. Panelists and seminar leaders will receive free registration to the reunion. To apply for either position, or to register for the reunion, visit http://usm.maine.edu/stonecoastmfa/stonecoast-alumni-0. Any questions can be directed to Jenny O’Connell, Stonecoast Community Outreach Coordinator: jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu. We hope to see you this summer!

ALUMS

9-tales-told-in-the-darkKaren Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is thrilled to announce four flash fiction sales: 1000-word original featuring creepy prognosticating dolls called “Eyes That See Everything” in February’s Pseudopod Horror Podcast’s Artemis Rising 3: Return of Hecate; 800-word evil dollhouse reprint “What the Dollhouse Said” forthcoming in Red Lighthouse’s Mrs Rochester’s Attic anthology (Mantle Lane Press); 1200-word alien overlords reprint “Like a Soul,” which originally appeared in the Stonecoast Review’s first issue, will appear in July’s Darkhouse Books’Descansos anthology; and 1500-word tarot murders reprint “The Red Red Rose,” which appeared in Stonecoast Lines and was inspired by faculty Tony Barnstone’s “The Tarot of Creativity” session at the S’12 residency, will appear in Bride of Chaos’s 9 Tales Told in the Dark #21, March 9, 2017. Yay for short disturbing fiction about kids and bullies! Karen also sold an original whimsical poem about a flying girl titled “Essential Elements for a Tea Party” (inspired by alumna Bonnie Stufflebeam) forthcoming in Dreams and Nightmares Magazine #107 September 2017. And, last but not least, Karen’s first novel, an LGBT romantic pirate adventure set in 1822 Caribbean, Swift for the Sun, comes out March 27, 2017, via Dreamspinner Press and is now available for ebook and paperback preorder! Woo hoo!

nhrJulie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce she has just signed a contract with PS Publishing for her first short story collection, scheduled for release later this year. The collection, titled Uncommon Miracles, contains eighteen stories, many previously published in fantasy magazines, horror anthologies, or literary journals. Laura Page in The Review Review praised Julie’s work as “startling and elegant,” while Paul Michaels of This Is Horror described it as “[melding] magical realism and southern gothic…to beautiful and immersive effect.” Julie’s novelette “Idle Hands,” which is part of the collection, can also be found in the most recent issue of the New Haven Review. “Idle Hands,” among other things, is a generational story about mothers, daughters, the multiverse, and a family’s unusual addiction.

one-nation-under-baseballJohn Florio (Fiction, Pop Fiction, S’07) is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The Atlantic. His latest book, One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime, will be released by University of Nebraska Press on April 1. The book covers the intersection of race, politics, social issues, and sports during the turbulent ’60s; Bob Costas wrote the foreword. You can read the Kirkus review here. John is also writing a young adult sports book for Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press.

Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) will be in Moscow until May 11 consulting with development executives and writing staffs on television series in production for Sony Television Russia. His half hour comedy pilot script for the Independent Film Channel, Get Your Shit Together, has been approved by development executives and is now under consideration for a production order. In prose-world terms, the publisher has bought the manuscript and is now deciding when and if to publish.

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) alternate disco-and-crime history novelette “Night Fever” will appear in the May/June 2017 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. It even has a playlist on Spotify (search for “Will Ludwigsen’s Night Fever”) for added atmosphere for the story.

Kelsey Olesen (Popular Fiction, W’017) will be presenting a paper at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, FL, on March 23, 2017. Her paper, “A Feminist in Disguise: On Cinderella Past and Present,” will be presented as part of the Young Adult and Children’s Division of the conference. Arguing that popular retellings of this infamous fairy tale fail to bring the story into a modern feminist world, Kelsey’s paper will urge listeners to teach and write retellings that retain the original heart of the Cinderella fairy tale to create empowering literature for children and young adults. She is eager to attend ICFA with fellow Stonecoast Winter ’17 graduates Steve Cave and Alex Sherman, as well as her thesis mentors James Patrick Kelly and Theodora Goss. Kelsey wishes to thank Nancy Holder, her project mentor, for assisting in the conception and creation of the original paper that provided the research and discoveries for this presentation.

Kelsey at presenting on "Damsels Without Distress: Rewriting Fairy Tales for a Modern Audience" at the Stonecoast Winter 2017 residency

Kelsey at presenting on “Damsels Without Distress: Rewriting Fairy Tales for a Modern Audience” at the Stonecoast Winter 2017 residency

David Page, MD (Popular Fiction, W’06), has published a book with Praeger entitled The Laparoscopic Surgery Revolution: Finding a Capable Surgeon in a Rapidly Advancing Field.

a-symphony-of-cowbellsHeather Preusser‘s (Fiction, S’13) debut picture book, A Symphony of Cowbells, will be released March 15, 2017, from Sleeping Bear Press. The story, about a cow who loses her bell and disrupts the harmony of the herd, is illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “The Orangery” is a 2016 Nebula Award finalist in the novelette category.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction) has accepted a position as Editorial Assistant at IDW Publishing, one of the top four comic book publishers in the U.S., renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles.

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) has accepted a tenure-track position in the MFA program at the University of Nevada, Reno. He’ll be moving out there right after the summer residency. Yes, this will be the Durham’s third summer move in a row. When will it end? By the way, David has no plans to leave Stonecoast anytime soon! Thanks to Deb Marquart, he’ll be reading at Iowa State University on March 23rd (his birthday) along with author Benjamin Percy. They will, no doubt, talk about werewolves…

Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) and Stacie Whitaker’s initiative to Bury the White House in Books received national and international media attention from The Huffington Post, CNN, and many others, and attracted 3000 followers on Facebook.

soap-opera-confidentialElizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Suzanne Strempek Shea‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) anthology on soap operas is scheduled to be out this spring from McFarland Books: 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. Elizabeth is reading from her novel We Got Him on March 3rd at 7:00 p.m. at the Out of the Blue gallery in Cambridge, MA, at the Dire Reading Series and on March 25 at the Falmouth Library on Cape Cod. Interviews about We Got Him are coming up: The Frankie Boyar Show (national radio show; 11:30 a.m. March 16th; live interview), Behind the Pages (Brookline Access TV; broadcast date TBD), Books & Authors (AT&T; broadcast date TBD), Cape Cod’s South Shore radio (April 12: 8:40 a.m.), and ET-WATD-FM “The South Shore’s Morning News” (taped interview). For updates:  www.elizabethsearle.net

Bay Path University’s 15th Writers’ Day, to be held April 2 at the campus in Longmeadow, MA, will feature Stonecoasters Melanie Brooks, who’ll be talking “Writing Hard Stories,” the topic of her highly acclaimed newly published first book, and Mary Heather Noble, who’ll be talking about sources of inspiration for her acclaimed essays on family, nature and current events. The lineup will include inspiration panelist John Sheirer and Dave Stern, and a primer on podcasting by Bernadette Duncan Harrison, a former national talk-show producer and author of Yappy Days, a newly-published memoir of her time in that arm of radio. Find Suzanne Strempek Shea, Bay Path’s writer in residence, at the registration table. She hopes to see you there, and sends this link with schedule and registration information. Suzanne also is looking forward to the week of April 2 as Melanie Brooks will be Bay Path’s visiting writer that week. Melanie’s duties will include giving a talk and reading on Thursday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m., at the university’s Hatch Library. The event is free of charge. Melanie’s Writing Hard Stories will be available for purchase at both Writers’ Day and Melanie’s reading.

 

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Community News & Updates November 2016

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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