Tag Archives: Melanie Brooks

Community News & Updates April 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

On April 13th from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Quiet City Books in Lewiston, Maine, will host “Between Fear and Hope: Readings from Local Writers.” Among the readers are Stonecoast alum Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17), and graduating students Meredith MacEachern (Popular Fiction) and Anthony Marvullo (Creative Nonfiction). The event is free and open to the public. See the Facebook event here.

Stonecoast MFA has created a new scholarship aimed at supporting writers who use their work to effect positive social change. This April, Stonecoast launches One Month, One Voice: a call to action for our community to get creative, make your voice heard, and help fund the Writing for Social Justice Scholarship. We need your help! Join the movement by hosting an event, donating to the cause, or helping us spread the word. Visit our fundraising page for more information.

RECENT CONFERENCE ROUND-UPS

Check out reports and photos from the recent AWP and ICFA conferences!

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) received the Walter James Miller Memorial Award for Student Scholarship in the International Fantastic at the 39th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts for his essay, “The Vault of Heaven: Science Fiction’s Perso-Arabic Origins.” He originally wrote this essay for his third semester project at Stonecoast, under the mentorship of Theodora Goss, and he will present a condensed version of it at Worldcon 76.

Peter Adrian Behravesh and Theodora Goss. Photo taken taken by AJ Bauers (Popular Fiction, W’17)

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is happy her poem “Fire Lover” is now available for reading in February’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (Karen’s audio narration is also available at that link). In March, she presented on panels at Stokercon (Writing Fiction vs Writing Games, Shirley Jackson, Call of Cthulhu RPG, Dark Poetry, Horror Gaming, and Edit Your Way Past the Slush Pile which she also moderated) and had a blast hanging out with other Stonecoasters. She will very soon be narrating books for the Stoker-winning Independent Legions Publishing. Her book Swift for the Sun is both an Eric Hoffer da Vinci award (best cover) finalist and an Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Frankin Award for best LGBT title gold or silver metal finalist. Her scifi flash fiction about divorce, “From Now Until Infinity,” appeared in the first issue of Factor Four Magazine, the only story that’s a free read for that issue. She is extremely proud of being March’s guest editor on Pseudopod and hopes you check out the five awesome dark scifi and fantasy stories she selected. Two of her 2017 poems, “Syncing Minefields” (Strange Horizons) and “Save Our Souls” (Silver Blade Magazine), have been nominated for the Rhysling award by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. Last, but not least, she can be heard narrating an extremely inappropriate story titled “A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Apocalypse Down Your Pants” by Robert Jeschonek on StarShipSofa. It is the first time she’s ever narrated for orgasmic soup. Thanks for all your support!

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has two features out in outdoor magazines this season. His first-person account of fly fishing smallmouth on the Androscoggin can be found in the spring issue of The Drake magazine, and the current issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal features Ryan’s article “Ten-Year Tarpon,” which was part of his thesis at Stonecoast.

Linda Buckmaster‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) essay “Security Clearance,” which first appeared in Burrow Literary Review, is included in an anthology from University of Florida Press, In Season. Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places In Between.

Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) will lead a memoir workshop for the Cape Cod Writers Center on April 14th. More info can be found here.

Kristin LaTour (Poetry, S’07) is again doing her Poem-a-Thon fundraiser during April, National Poetry Month. Sponsors get a newly written draft poem every day in April. This year she’s raising money for Welcoming America, a non-profit that works within US communities to partner immigrants and refugees with people who are already established in those areas. More information is available about the fundraiser and Welcoming America on her fundraising page.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) sold an excerpt of an unpublished novel to Analog Science Fiction And Fact, called “Full Metal Mother.”

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) MFA thesis story “Anmol, Pasha, and the Ghost” has been published in Issue 21 of New Haven Review. You can read it here.

Shannon Ratliff’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “Waller Creek” appears in the Spring ’18 issue of Hotel Amerika, currently out.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) bayou horror story “Snake Season,” which she read from in her graduate reading, is in the April issue of The Dark and available for free online here, with story notes here. If you’d like to check out her next reading, she’ll be joining fellow Stonecoaster Golden Baker for the kick-off of a new Harlem Speculative Fiction Reading Series on the evening of April 9th at local venue Silvana—more info here.

Michaela Roessner (Popular Fiction, S’08) will be a keynote speaker and presenter at the 2018 Writing the Rockies conference at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO, July 18 – 22. And her short story “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be included in the upcoming reprint anthology Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories, published by New Word City Publishers, Inc.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S ’08), will lead a day-long memoir workshop as part of Writing in the Pines at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ on April 14. She will be presenting on Sunday, April 15, at Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day (Longmeadow, MA) on “Publishing: the Long and Short of It.” Her micro essay, “Hope is a Voice,” will appear in the spring print issue of Tiferet Journal, and a longer essay, “Getting Something to Grow Somewhere” will show up in the next print issue of GreenPrints Magazine. Lisa was recently interviewed by Proximity, and by Cleaver Magazine (in which she quotes two of her Stonecoast mentors).

R. M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) debut novel, The Dollmaker of Kraków, has been awarded the Silver Medal for Older Children’s Literature in the Florida Book Awards and has been named a 2018 Sydney Taylor Notable Book.

Mary Katherine Spain‘s (Fiction, S’16) play Just Saying was selected as a Semi-Finalist in the Maine Playwrights Festival. A dramatic reading of all of the semi-finalists’ plays will be held on April 22nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Mechanics Hall in Portland. For more info, click this link.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter” appeared in the online edition of Fairy Tale Review.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) has an essay featured in the UK’s The Clearing—A Journal of Nature, Landscape and Place. “Shepherd’s Watch” will appear in early April.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has a new poem published by Typishly. “Aromatics” has additionally been selected as an Editor’s Choice Poem. The piece can be read here.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Scriptwriting) award-winning play Veils is being published by Original Works Publishing.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) essay “Sweetness Mattered,” which he read an excerpt from at the last residency, is out in the new issue of Tin House.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) 2016 novel, Mother Go, an audiobook narrated by January LaVoy and published by Audible, is a finalist for the Audie Award in the Best Original Work category. The Audies will be awarded by the Audio Publishers Association in May. Jim’s 2002 prehistoric fantasy “Luck” has published in Italian as “La storia di Pollice” by Delos Digital, and his 2003 cyberpunk novelette “Bernardo’s House” has been reprinted in an international science fiction showcase Future Fiction, edited by Bill Campbell and Francesco Verso.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Tamra Wilson’s (Fiction, S’11) anthology Idol Talk now has a pub date of June 15 (from McFarland Books) and a cover! It features, among the 44 authors writing about their ‘teen idols,’ an all-star roster of Stonecoasters, including both current and former students and faculty. Co-editor Tammy is an alum herself and author of a story collection, Dining with Robert Redford. She will be returning to Stonecoast in July. The all-star Stonecoast-connected contributors to Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives: Breena Clarke (Fiction faculty), Emlyn Dornemann, Ann Rosenquist Fee (Fiction, S’08), Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08), Shara McCallum, Lesléa Newman, Morgan Callan Rogers, Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction faculty), Linda Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09), Michelle Soucy (Fiction, S’10), Nancy Swan (Fiction, W’11), Darlene Taylor (W’16), and Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Fiction faculty). Check Elizabeth’s website for updates and readings: www.elizabethsearle.net

Meet and hear from Mags Riordan, founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Malawi and subject of Suzanne Strempek Shea’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) book This Is Paradise as she returns to New England to update supporters on big changes including a new clinic for her region’s AIDS/HIV population. Suzanne will do a brief reading from This Is Paradise at each event, and copies of the book, and crafts from Chembe Village, be sold to benefit the clinic. Each date is open to the public free of charge, and free-will offerings gratefully will be accepted.  Dates and locations are:

Suzanne also will be speaking at Bay Path University’s 17th Writers’ Day, Sunday, April 15, at the university’s Ryan Center, 1 Denslow Road, East Longmeadow, Mass. Talks begin at 12:30 p.m., with “Immersion Starts with ‘I,'” in which Jonathan Green (Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood and Betrayal) and Suzanne will talk about immersion journalism, their related writing, great books done via that method, and more. The other speakers on the roster are three members of Bay Path’s MFA faculty: Stonecoast alum Lisa Romeo, plus Sophfronia Scott and Karol Jackowski. Registration and fee required. For full information: https://www.baypath.edu/events-calendar/community-events/writers-day/

Among many fond memories from last month, Suzanne is pasting into her scrapbook two photos from a visit to Florida: Stonecoast alum Melanie Brooks’ AWP in Tampa panel “Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma,” which included Suzanne, Andre Dubus III, moderator Melanie, Kyoko Mori, and Richard Blanco. Melanie’s four speakers were among the 18 authors she interviewed for her acclaimed 2017 book Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma.

And a photo of Susan Lilley, Stonecoast alumna and Orlando’s first poet laureate, in her element, a.k.a. her inspiring creative writing classroom at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Suzanne and husband Tommy Shea spoke to students during the day and gave a public reading at night.

 

 

 

 

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AWP 2018

Written by Suzanne Strempek Shea

Stonecoast was a boulder of a presence at the recent annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Held at the Tampa Convention Center March 8 to 11, the event was attended by 12,000, and featured 2,000 presenters, and 550 readings, panels and lecture. The largest literary conference in North America saw Stonecoasters shining at the podiums and on panels, plus in the enthusiastic audiences, and there would have been more from our community there had a blizzard not swept through the North and tangled travel plans. A reception in the lobby of a nearby hotel included administration, faculty, students, alums, and at least one soon-to-be firstie. The photos below show just some of the familiar faces there. Want to be in on the next? Make plans to meet at AWP 2019, in Portland, Oregon, March 27-30!

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Community News & Updates March 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast administrators, alums, faculty, and students will be attending the upcoming Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference & Bookfair in Tampa, FL, which takes place March 7-10, 2018. For more information about the AWP conference, please visit their website, and to view the list of panels, readings, signing, and gatherings that feature a Stonecoast community member, please check out this post.

On Saturday, April 7th, at 7:30 p.m., a Stonecoast alumni reading will be held at the Lilypad in Cambridge, MA. Two of our featured readers will be Richard Cambridge (fiction) and Michelle Soucy (fiction and poetry.) The Lilypad is at 1353 Cambridge Street right in Inman Square (no admission fee and the venue has a café/bar). We’ll have a Q & A after the reading. All are welcome!

ALUMS

Lew Andrada (Popular Fiction. W’17) has started teaching World Literature online for the University of the People. He’s grateful to have such an enthusiastic group of students for his first class. On March 16th, Lew will be presenting his paper “The Lingering Effects of Colonialism on Modern Philippine Speculative Fiction” at the 39th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He’s looking forward to seeing a bunch of fellow Stonecoasters at the conference!

Julie C. Days (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Schrödinger’s” can be found in the March/April issue of Interzone. Among other things “Schrödinger’s” involves a quantum strip club, a women’s collective, female friendships, and the possible end of the world. Julie has also been contracted by Evil Hat Productions to write a new role-playing game for their Fate series entitled Divided Lights. She’s excited to see what others will do with her story-world and expecting to learn much about the gaming community. The project itself feels like a huge adventure.

Barbara Greenbaum’s (Fiction, S’05) poetry has recently been published or is forthcoming in American Writers Review, SLAB, and Cape Rock. She has also accepted a position as Adjunct Professor in creative writing at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) has a feature story in the January issue of Taproot Magazine. “Farming, a Love Story; Or, The Inestimably High Arc of John Yanga’s Life” explores the life, loves, contributions, and longings of John Yanga, a former refugee from southern Sudan, who is now one of Maine’s most experienced immigrant farmers.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has spent the last couple of years writing for Obsidian Entertainment’s latest game, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire—an RPG swashbuckling adventure about chasing a massive stone god across a bustling archipelago. The game will be available to PC / Mac / Linux players in the near future and to PS4 / Xbox One / Nintendo Switch players later in the year. Among other characters Paul wrote the gunhawk navy sniper Maia Rua and the watershaping were-shark Tekēhu, companions with story arcs and relationships of their own who can accompany the player on their journey. Coinciding with the release of the game, Paul wrote Volume Two of the Guidebook for the Pillars of Eternity setting, which is available for pre-order from Dark Horse Comics. This book offers readers additional lore about the setting and deeper historical context for many of the in-game conflicts.

Bonnie Naradzay (Poetry, W’08) will have poems in the upcoming issues of The Tampa ReviewNew Letters, and The Anglican Theological Review.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12/Past Faculty) is currently in the second year of her Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In May, Walrus Magazine will be publishing her poem “The Lipstick Effect.” A limited edition chapbook entitled On the Furnace Sits a Maiden is also forthcoming from Frog Hollow Press.

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short animated film The Bakebook has been selected by the National Screen Institute of Canada’s online film showcase for Canadian talent, after a yearlong tour on the festival circuit.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will be signing and giving away ARC’s of her forthcoming book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, during the AWP Conference bookfair at Sweet (table 1408, Thursday, March 8th, 3:00-4:00 p.m.), Under the Gum Tree (table T1732, Friday, March 9th, 3:30-5:00 p.m.), and Tiferet Journal (table T1939, Saturday, March 10th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.). She’d love it if some Stonecoast folks stopped by!  Later in March, Lisa is teaching a master class, “Writing from Memory,” as part of the Montcliar (NJ) Literary Festival, March 18th.

Patricia Smith (Poetry, S’08/Past Faculty) won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award from Claremont Graduate University for her book Incendiary Arts: Poems (Northwestern University Press). The prize is the largest in the world for a single book of poetry. The book has also been named a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) has had a couple essays and poems published in recent issues of The Selkie Zine, and will have another published this month!

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be attending Norwescon (March 29 to April 1st) in Seattle. He’s got a nice slate of panels, including moderating What is Epic About Epic Fantasy? with Fonda Lee and Ken Liu. He’s pleased about that. Should be a good time. West-Coasters come on out!

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was happy to see fellow Stonecoasters Tom Coash and alums Dan Ball and Richard Squires at her Tonya & Nancy concert event, which was performed to a packed house on February 13th at 54Below in New York City, produced by Paul Boghosian/HarborsideFilms. A live-concert CD of the event—Broadway Stars Sing Songs from Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera— is being produced by Broadway Records and will be released later in 2018. The national site Broadway.com wrote in its coverage: “Before there was the new Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya, there was Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, an uproarious musical.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s chamber opera—Tonya & Nancy: The Opera; music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross—was performed by the opera group Mixed Precipitation in Minneapolis on February 21st with an additional show added on February 24th; the show was named a “Best of Classical” pick by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The February 21st performance of the opera benefited the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. For photos, clips, and more, see the MultiMedia page at www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Dan Ball, Richard Squires, Elizabeth Searle, and Tom Coash at 54Below

Ashley Spencer as “Tonya”

Composer Michael Teoli, Elizabeth Searle, stars Ashley Spencer and Lauren Worsham, and producer Paul Boghosian

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) is looking forward to encountering many from the Stonecoast community next week at AWP in Tampa, where she’ll be part of a reading and a panel. On Friday, March 9th, 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m., “A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny” will focus on the new collection Flash Funny (non) Fiction, edited by Tom Hazuka and Dinty W. Moore, and will include an essay from Suzanne’s epic experience working at the Tampax factory down the street from her childhood home. Tom, plus Wendy Brenner, Michael Martone, Sandra Gail Lambert, and Suzanne will read their pieces—and others—from the collection celebrating the short form and humor. And on Saturday, March 10th, from 1:30-2:45 p.m., Suzanne will join alum Melanie Brooks, Richard Blanco, Andre Dubus III, and Kyoko Mori on the panel “Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma.” Richard, Andre, Kyoko and Suzanne are among the 18 authors Melanie interviewed for her essential Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma, which got its formal start as Melanie’s third-semester project.

Orlando’s first-ever poet laureate, Stonecoast alum Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08), will be at AWP daily, and Suzanne looks forward to also seeing her the following week, when Suzanne and husband Tommy Shea make their third return to Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Susan is a beloved and impactful advanced placement literature and composition teacher. Suzanne and Tommy (co-author of Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History) will speak to Trinity classes and will give a reading open to the public March 13th at 7:00 p.m. at Freitag & Falk Theater on campus. The reading is open to the public, and any Stonecoasters in the area of course will be most welcome.

 

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AWP 2018

If anyone has corrections or amendments, please contact Meredith MacEachern.

 

Panels & Readings

Thursday, March 8th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
The Body’s Story: On Writing Narratives of Illness—Porochista Khakpour

Thursday, March 8th, 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Florida Salon 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Second Blooming: Resources for Older Women Writers—Breena Clarke, Ellen Meeropol, and Robin Talbot

Thursday, March 8th, 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM
Florida Salon 1, 2, & 3, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Early Formations: Guiding Authentic Young Voices in a Digital Age—Cate Marvin

Thursday, March 8th, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM
Meeting Room 13, Marriott Waterside
A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny—Lisa Romeo 

Friday, March 9th, 10:30 – 11:45
Room 12, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny—Suzanne Strempek Shea

Friday, March 9th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Political Pivoting: Literary Publishing at the Pace of Politics—Amanda Johnston

Friday, March 9th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
New England Review 40th Anniversary Reading—Cate Marvin

Saturday, March 10th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Florida Salon 6, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Tearing Down Walls: The International Experience in Low-Residency MFA Programs—Robin Talbot

Saturday, March 10th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Grand Salon B, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
The Thing Builders: Building Literary Communities That Matter—Amanda Johnston

Saturday, March 10th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
This Is Scary and Here We Go: Fear in the Driver’s Seat—Porochista Khakpour

Saturday, March 10th, 1:30 – 2:45 PM
Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma—Melanie Brooks and Suzanne Strempek Shea

Saturday, March 10th, 1:30 – 2:45
Ballroom D, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Monster Cultures—Theodora Goss

Book Signings

 Lisa Romeo will be signing and giving away ARC’s of her forthcoming book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, during the AWP bookfair at: Sweet (table 1109, Thurs 3/8, 3:00-4:00); Under the Gum Tree (table T1732,Fri 3/9, 3:30 – 5); Tiferet Journal (table T1939, Sat 3/10, 11:00 – noon).

Community Events

 There will be an informal gathering of all interested Stonecoast students, faculty, admins, and alumni in the lobby of the hotel. (Time TBA).

 

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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 May 2017

STONECOAST REUNION 2017

Please mark your calendars for the Stonecoast reunion, July 14-17 in Brunswick, Maine! The planning committee has been hard at work, and we’re excited to announce the schedule of events. We’d like to thank all of you who submitted proposals for readings and seminars!

We are proud to feature readings by Julia Munemo, Tony Pisculli, Richard Squires, and Cheryl Boyce Taylor. Seminar presenters include Mihku Anderson, Melanie Brooks, Meriah Lysistrata Crawford, Alexandria Delcourt, Penny Guisinger, David Healey, Barbara Kelly, Ellen Meeropol, Suri Parmar, Lisa C. Taylor, and Erin Underwood. Reunion attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up for limited-seating faculty seminars.

To see the full events schedule and register to attend the reunion, please visit the site here. All alumni who register by May 15th will receive a beautiful Stonecoast MFA coffee mug!

ALUMS

Emma Bouthillette (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) is pleased to announce her first book, A Brief History of Biddefordis scheduled to launch June 12, 2017. In this work of nonfiction published by The History Press, Emma explores four centuries of her hometown and its evolution from fishing port to booming mill town to a city re-imagined. Visit her website www.EmmaBouthillette.com for further information about the writer, the book, and news updates for Maine reading and signing events.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) had a great time at StokerCon the last weekend of April with other Stonecoasters Alumni and Faculty. She presented as a panelist on “Power Writer: How Games Can Level Up Your Fiction” and “Beat Sheets and Novel Outlines” at StokerCon and gave a paper titled “Shirley Jackson and the Fear of Ordinary People” as part of the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference. Karen attended her first novel-signing fair on April 8 for Swift For The Sun and people seemed to enjoy her pirate ship decorations. She was interviewed on local radio station 89.1 FM KHOI’s Community Bookshelf show on April 11. Viva la Stonecoast!

Karen Bovenmyer at StokerCon 2017, with pirate ship

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Raven Hair” can be found in the most recent issue of The Cream City Review. “Raven Hair,” among other things, is a riff on fairy tales, the seething resentment of a certain type of lover, and the inevitability of transformation. “Raven Hair” is also part of Julie’s collection, Uncommon Miracles, scheduled for release by PS Publishing later this year.

Florence Grende‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) memoir The Butcher’s Daughter has been nominated a finalist for the Eric Hoffer New Horizon Prize, which recognizes “superior work by a debut author.” Winner to be announced in May.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) published a work of literary journalism, “Growing Season,” on The Rumpus, where it was the debut story in the new series Torch, on the refugee and immigrant experience in America. Please check the story out here.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short mystery “The New Score” appeared in the Fish Out of Water anthology (Wildside Press, April 2017), and her short story “The Drive By” appeared in the Busted! Arresting Stories from the Beat anthology (LevelBest Books, April 2017). “Kamikaze Iguanas” will appear in the MWA anthology for middle grade readers entitled Scream and Scream Again, edited by R.L. Stine (HarperCollins, 2018).

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Novelist Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) has two recent essays published: “Losing Mom and Finding Flo” in The Writer Magazine, April issue, and “Fiction and the Costs of Activism” for the Powell’s Bookstore Blog. She will be reading from her new novel, Kinship of Clover, on May 16 at PRINT Bookstore in Portland.

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) has a poem, “Grace Sherwood, Witch of Pungo, Advanced in Age,” in the new anthology Forgotten Women (edited by Ginny Lowe Conners, Grayson Books, 2017); another poem, “Llewellyn Avenue Redevelopment,” is forthcoming in Free State Review.

L​isa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is now represented by Joelle Delbourgo Associates Literary Agency. Lisa’s longform essay, “An Attractive Portal to Uncertainty,” appears in the new print issue of the journal Harpur Palate (Vol. 16, No. 1). In early May, Lisa is teaching a one-day workshop, “The Art of Short Nonfiction Prose,” in Bedminster, New Jersey, sponsored by Tiferet Journal. Her lyrical, second person essay, “From Boys to Men.” kicked off Motherwell ​Magazine’s Motherhood and Waiting series. ​Her ​essay​, “Why Can’t It Be Me?,” is part of a new anthology, The Book of Hope: 31 True Stories from Real People Who Didn’t Give Up (Silver Owl Publications). And something light, “March Madness with my Son: Why I Love this Crazy Month” ​was on the Grown and Flown ​website during the NCAA tournament.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) is super excited to announce that her debut novel, In the Context of Love, has won its FOURTH finalist award: the 2016 Sarton Women’s Book Award from Story Circle Network. Also, Linda is in the 2017 Metro Detroit cast of the nationwide live storytelling event, Listen To Your Mother. Linda will be sharing the story of how she coped with the suicide of her eldest child in 2011.

Kara Storti‘s (Fiction, S’06) YA novel, Tripping Back Blue, won a 2017 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) gold medal in the Young Adult Fiction category. The IPPY Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent publishers. The contest drew approximately 5,000 entries from across the world.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) take on Kafka’s The Metamorphosis“Needle Mouth”, appeared in Podcastle. Her collaborative triptych poem “The Santa Monica Prophecies” appeared in Mithila Review. And her flash fiction “The Ocean Indoors” appeared in Four Way Review.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, ‘04) has a poem in the recent anthology Washing Windows? Irish Women Write Poetry, published by Arlen House in honor of Eavan Boland and Catherine Rose who both played a part in the beginning of this wonderful Irish literary press. Annie Deppe also has a poem in this anthology! Lisa will offer a workshop: She Did What? Surprise in Fiction on May 13 at 10:00 a.m. at the Clickspace in Northampton. This event is sponsored by Straw Dog Writers Guild and the public can register for this event; this will be a generative workshop. She will also be offering a workshop on Hybrid Writing (mixing genres) at the Stonecoast Alumni Reunion July 14-17. I hope to see some of you there!

Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) is a nominee for the Best Fanzine Hugo Award with her co-editors of Journey Planet. Her edition of Journey Planet featured a historical look back at 54 years of Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award and are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is taking place in Helsinki, Finland, this August.

FACULTY

The trade paperback version of David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) The Risen is now out from Anchor Books. On June 6th, David will be featured in the Mosesian Arts Center’s Earfull series in Boston . He’ll be reading along with Jayne Anne Phillips in an evening of words of and music. He’d love to see some Stonecoast faces at the event!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a Guest of Honor at Stokercon, in Long Beach, along with George R.R. Martin and Stonecoast’s own Nancy Holder, the convention’s toastmaster. Hand’s novel Hard Light is a finalist for the Bran Stoker Award. She did a podcast interview for Wired.com, talking about her recent book Fire and her experiences with a government think tank, researching the future of fire management in an environmentally challenged age. Forthcoming reviews include Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne, for The Los Angeles Times.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him has been chosen as one of three finalists for the 2016 Midwest Book Awards in Fiction. The awards have been running for 27 years by the Midwest Independent Publishing Association; winners will be announced in May. In April, Elizabeth was interviewed about We Got Him on Urban Update (Channel 7, NBC Boston), Woman Watch (forthcoming on WBZ-AM radio, Boston), and WATD-FM, the South Shore News show. On April 30, she and Suzanne Strempek Shea have their book launch for Soap Opera Confidential at Newtonville Books in MA, featuring star readers including Stonecoast alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott. On May 11th, Elizabeth will read from her novel We Got Him at the Kittery Library in Kittery, ME, at 6:30 p.m. Finally: in Chicago, the Jeff Awards for Theater featured two nominations—Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress—for the 2016 Chicago production of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera.

 

 

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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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