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Community News & Updates October 2017

READINGS

The Stonecoast MFA community will host a special fall reading event at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18th, at Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA. The featured readers will be:

  • Elizabeth Searle (Faculty, Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting), author of five books of fiction, most recently We Got Him, and the librettist of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, a show which has drawn national media
  • Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09), author of The Language of Men: A Memoir, which received the PEN/New England Discovery Prize and Foreword’s Memoir-of- the-Year Award
  • Kara Storti (Fiction, S’06), author of Tripping Back Blue.

Arts at the Armory is located at 191 Highland Avenue between Davis and Union Squares. There is plenty of parking. Following the reading will be a talk back with the audience and a reception. We look forward to seeing you there!

ALUMS

Michael Beeman (Fiction, ’09) published his short story “To Fall and Rise Again” in the fall issue of storySouth.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) has a letter addressed to the late author Octavia E. Butler in Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, a collection of essays and letters co-edited by Alexandra Pierce & Mimi Mondal and published by Twelfth Planet Press. She also has a story in the anthology Welcome to Dystopia edited by Gorden Van Gelder that is now available for pre-order. And last—but most certainly not least—she will be reading from her new upcoming book at the KGB Fantastic Fiction with our own James Patrick Kelly on October 18th!

Lauren M. Davis (Poetry, S’15) has worked as an adjunct professor at numerous colleges and universities since graduation. For Fall 2017, she designed, wrote, and is teaching Indiana Institute of Technology’s first creative writing course to ever be offered by the institution. She is the Keynote Speaker at the Poetry Society of Indiana’s annual writer’s conference, which will occur in October 2017. She was the writer-in-residence in Hypatia in the Woods’ Holly House in summer 2016. Her poems have appeared in several literary journals. This year, four of her poems were featured in 2River, Matador Review, and Hoosier Lit. She was just nominated for Best of the Net literary anthology by Matador Review for her poem “Martin’s Guilt”.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S11) is pleased to announce that her book-length braided essay Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, and Radical Poetics is now available.

Matthew Quinn Martin (Popular Fiction, S’10) is thrilled (albeit EXHAUSTED) to report that, after two solid weeks of overnight shoots, production on the feature film he co-wrote, Beinghas wrapped. The movie, which features Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Near Dark, Millennium), Robert John Burke (Stephen King’s Thinner, Law & Order: SVU, Oz), Ahd (Collateral, Wadjda) and Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate: SG1, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Arrow, Doctor Who) now movies into post-production with an eye to widespread release in the spring of 2018.

Production stills from Being

Ellen Meeropol‘s (Fiction, W’06) third novel, Kinship of Clover, was selected as a Great Group Reads for 2017 by the Women’s National Book Association. Ellen is also pleased to announce that Straw Dog Writers Guild will present the Abel Meeropol Social Justice Writing Award to Stonecoast’s own Patricia Smith at a ceremony in Holyoke, MA, on November 12. Details at http://www.strawdogwriters.org/abel-meeropol-award.

From August through October 2017, Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) short nonfiction poetry collection, “Home of Air,” was featured in Surface First Tilts West—an interactive outdoor art installation on Little Chebeague Island in Casco Bay, Maine. Curated by visual artist Jordan Kendall Parks, the exhibition was a multi-medium body of work that encouraged the audience to engage with each piece: crawling under a canvas and listening to a poem read aloud, sitting atop a bench with fabric inspired by traditional southern quilting that houses a poem regarding a relationship with “home,” listening to a recording along a trail, or climbing a giant oak tree and viewing a suspended reading.

Home of Air by Jenny O’Connell

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) has been selected for the Reykavik Talent Lab for rising filmmakers, which will take place at the Reykjavik International Film Festival in October 2017. During the lab, she will be pitching her thesis screenplay Mostly Harmless as a feature film concept to industry consultants and professionals.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poems, “Pandora at the Grocery Store,” “Rain Dimples the Pond,” and “A Grosbeak in the Simmer Dim,” will appear in Tipton Poetry Journal.

Shannon Ratliff‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “The Named Women” appears in the Fall ’17/Winter ’18 issue of Slice Magazine, currently out.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is teaching a one-day intensive, “Where it Happens: Writing Place and Setting in Creative Nonfiction,” for the Cedar Ridge Writers Series, in Bedminster, NJ, on November 4. The Brevity Blog published Lisa’s piece, “Teaching: A Little Brevity By My Side,” as part of a series on Brevity in the writing classroom, to mark the journal’s 20th anniversary.  Lisa presented twice at the recent HippoCamp17: Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers. At the conference website, you can view the accompanying slide shows for the breakout session Submission Strategy – Beyond Wish Lists, Tiers, and Industry Buzz, and the “lightning round” talk, I’ll Take Titles for a Thousand, Alex.

R. M. Romero (Popular Fiction, S’15) is pleased to announce that her debut novel, The Dollmaker of Kraków, is now available from Penguin Random House’s Delacorte Press imprint. The novel was originally her MFA thesis.

A story, “Southern Gal,” by Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) appears in the premiere issue of the journal Teach.Write.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Popular Fiction, Fiction) will be featured in an event hosted by George RR Martin at his Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, NM, on October 8th. Several Wild Cards authors will discuss the series, answer questions from the audience, and then sign books. Other authors on hand include Melinda Snodgrass, Daniel Abraham, Marco Kloos, Mary Ann Mohanraj, Ian Tregillis, Carrie Vaughn, and more!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a participant at the 75th annual Worldcon in Helsinki, where she was interviewed for a feature on her feminist writings in Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest newspaper. Her recent collection of essays and fiction, Fire, received excellent reviews in Rain Taxi (where Stonecoast got a shoutout) and Tor.com. She’ll be appearing in the D.C. area at the Fall for the Book Festival, as well as reading at The Potter’s House in D.C. She has a short story in the forthcoming anthology Mixed Up.  Recent book reviews include Robin Sloan’s Sourdough for The Washington Post.

PopFic faculty member Nancy Holder‘s new Buffy the Vampire Slayer Encyclopedia is on sale everywhere! Written with the original editor and creator of the Buffy publishing program at Simon and Schuster, the encyclopedia covers the Buffy and Angel TV series and the comics canon (including After the Fall, Angel and Faith, and Spike). Watch/listen to a review here. She was interviewed on September 29th by “Bonnets at Dawn” about her adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s short story, “The Old Nurse’s Story,” to be published in the forthcoming comic book series Mary Shelley Presents. Copies of the limited edition of the comic will be on sale at Gaskell’s home in Manchester, England.

Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction) has placed a new far-future novelette set on a starship called “Grace’s Family” with the online magazine Tor.com: it will be published sometime in 2018. His near future story about digital immortality “And No Torment Shall Touch Them” debuts October 15 in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. He has also adapted a lecture on H. G. Wells and time travel that he gave at the winter residency for his regular column in Asimov’s; it’s called “Remembering Bertie.” Jim continues to be interviewed as he promotes his new novel Mother Go. He is on the cover of the October issue of the print magazine Locus and talked about his career as a writer and teacher at Stonecoast for the podcast Eating the Fantastic.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) will be Writer-in-Residence at Bay Path University October 15-21. On October 15th, at Bay Path Writer’s Day, Elizabeth will appear on a panel with star Stonecoast alum Ellen Meeropol; the panel, Swimming the Currents, will focus on using “current event” topics in fiction. On October 22nd, an excerpt from the opera Seven Rabbits on a Pole (libretto by Elizabeth and music by Pasquale Tassone) will be performed at the 15th annual fundraising concert Music to Cure MS from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at 50 Paul Revere Rd, Arlington, MA. On October 26th, Elizabeth will be a featured author, along with Andre Dubus III and Margot Livesey, at the Worcester Public Library annual fundraiser; copies of Elizabeth’s newest novel We Got Him will be gifts at the fundraising auction. For updates, please visit www.elizabethsearle.net.

Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne Strempek will read from their collection Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow, As the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives on Saturday, October 7th, 1:00-2:00 p.m., at the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield, MA. Also reading will be soapy contributors Tommy Shea and, via Skype from Co. Galway, Ireland, Nuala Ni Chonchuir. The event is free and open to the public, and will be an opportunity to visit the newly renovated venue, which includes an Irish-themed pub and restaurant. Copies of Soap Opera Confidential, and other books by all four authors, will be available for sale before and after the presentation.

Suzanne will be one of the hosts for Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day on October 15th at the main campus, 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. Join other aspiring and published writers for our 16th Writers’ Day featuring Patricia Reis, Charles Coe, Elizabeth Searle, Ellen Meeropol, and Meredith O’Brien. Registration and Check-in begins at noon, in D’Amour Hall for Business, Communications and Technology, and continues throughout the sessions:

Session One: “Mining the Personal for your Nonfiction” with Patricia Reis
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Author, visual artist, filmmaker and therapist Patricia Reis will discuss using personal experiences, memories, documents, letters, diaries and more as you craft nonfiction of any length. Topics will include using personal elements and materials in nonfiction rather than fiction, how resources can be gathered, what it’s like to present a relative’s story – and your own – so candidly, and dealing with family reactions while a project is in process and after it’s published. Patricia is the author of the award-winning memoir Motherlines: Love, Longing and Liberation, which weaves the story of Patricia’s coming of age as a woman, feminist and artist with that of a beloved aunt whose life as a nun included social justice work in 1970s Latin America.

Session Two: “Standing Your Ground: Thoughts on Reading in Public” with Charles Coe
2:35 – 3:50 p.m.
For writers who want to become more comfortable and effective reading their work in public, Charles Coe is the man to see. The award-winning poet and singer will describe tools and techniques that can help in preparing and delivering a reading. He’ll also work with a few volunteers willing to read before the group and be coached on their presentations. Don’t miss this great opportunity to read and up your reading game.

Session Three: “Swimming With the Current” with Ellen Meeropol, Elizabeth Searle and Meredith O’Brien G’17
4:10 – 5:25 p.m.
Join Massachusetts authors Ellen Meeropol (Stonecoast alum!), Elizabeth Searle (Stonecoast faculty!) and Meredith O’Brien as they discuss how current events in their hometowns and in the larger world have inspired their engrossing fiction and nonfiction. Incorporating topics including cults, racial diversity, the Boston Marathon bombings, human trafficking and a community in grief, the trio’s work will get you thinking about how to use current events as your own springboard. Bring writing materials for a brainstorming session.

Cost & Registration:

  • One workshop is $40
  • Two workshops, $75
  • Three workshops, $100

To register, please visit http://www.baypath.edu/events-calendar/community-events/writers-day/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates June 2017

UPCOMING READINGS

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

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) is pleased to announce that her book-length braided essay, Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, and Radical Poetics, is now available for pre-order. Also, Lissa, as founding director of Poetry Barn, is pleased to announce Poetry Barn’s 2017 programming celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

Alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott reads from her essay “The Doctors and William Beaumont General Hospi-tale” at the April 30th launch of Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives at Newtonville Books.

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

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

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

Contributors and co-editors at Newtonville Books’ launch of Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives: (from left) alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott, Sebastian Stuart, Emily Franklin, Elizabeth Searle, Allan Hunter, Lisa Borders, Marianne Leone, Suzanne Strempek Shea, and Leigh Montville.

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

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates 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 July 2014

ALUMNI

Cal Armistead‘s (Fiction, W’07) debut young adult novel Being Henry David is a winner of the 2014 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People and was named to the Bank Street College “Best Children’s Books of the Year 2014 Edition.” It was also chosen as an “all-school summer read” for Seekonk High School, Seekonk, MA!

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) was happy to see his craft essay “From Inspiration to Print” appear on the Sewanee Review‘s website. The story discussed, written during his first semester at Stonecoast, is available online through Project Muse.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is thrilled to announce the publication of three short stories: “What the Dollhouse Said” in Devilfish Review‘s June 28 issue, “The Red Red Rose” in Rose Red Review on July 1, and “What We’ve Lost, Sometimes” in Crossed Genres #19 (July).

Debbie Smith Daughetee (Popular Fiction, S’08) has co-founded Kymera Press, which is dedicated to expanding the role of women in comics: “Our mission is to give women creators and artists of comic books an outlet where they can create women-friendly comics. Our secondary mission is to encourage more women to read and enjoy comics.”

flapperhousesummercovernovaPaula Treick DeBoard (Fiction, S’10) recently signed a two-book deal for her third and fourth novels, to be published in 2015 and 2016. More here. She recently attended Book Expo America ’14 to promote The Fragile World, which is released in October. More information can be found on her website or on Facebook.

Julie Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Faerie Medicine” is now available in the online magazine Flapperhouse.

17805396A History of Stone and Steel, the debut novel by Christopher Fisher (Fiction, W’08), was honored last month with a Gold Medal in the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). The IPPY Gold Medal is a coveted honor among independent publishers, with this year’s competition receiving over 5,000 entries from the U.S., Canada, and eight countries overseas. Fisher’s award was for first place in the category of “Best Adult Fiction E-book.” A History of Stone and Steel also won a  Gold Medal in the Foreword Reviews “IndieFab” competition in the category of Literary Fiction. The novel, which began as Chris’s creative thesis at Stonecoast, was also honored in three other competitions this spring, receiving a Silver Medal in the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, hosted by the Independent Book Publishers Association, as well as “Finalist” status in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards (General Fiction) and the National Indie Excellence Book Awards (Literary Fiction and Book Cover Design—Fiction).

Blind_Moon_AlleyJohn Florio (Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) has another novel due out August 19th. Blind Moon Alley (Prometheus/Seventh Street Books) is the second in a series of crime novels featuring Jersey Leo, an albino bartender working in an underground speakeasy during Prohibition. The book has already garnered excellent reviews, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Find out more at John’s website.

Kristin LaTour‘s (Poetry, S’07) first full-length poetry manuscript, What Will Keep Me Alive, has been accepted for publication by Sundress Publications, forthcoming in October 2015.

Sandra McDonald‘s (Popular Fiction, W’05) story “End of the World Community College” is currently on bookstands in the July/August issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine. Her story about Hollywood and magic scriptwriting, “Story of Our Lives,” recently appeared in Asimov’s magazine, and her YA story “Selfie” appeared in Lightspeed.

Michaela Roessner (Popular Fiction, S’08) was one of several writers invited to provide an ekphrastic piece to accompany images by photomontage artist Viktor Koen for his “Bestiary” series, inspired by classical mythical creatures and deities. The texts will accompany the prints in exhibits around the world. Roessner’s assigned entity was the spirit Mormo, a companion of the goddess Hecate.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12), managing editor for The Catch: Writings from Downeast Maine, is pleased to announce the release of Volume II, featuring the work of Stonecoast alumna Anne Witty. Stonecoast alumna Linda Buckmaster is also on the Editorial Board for the journal.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) has signed a contract with BuddhaPuss Ink LLC for the publication of her novelIn the Context of Love (aka The Real Story) for 2014. Details here.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “They Come In Through the Walls” was translated into French for the horror anthology Ténèbres, which is available now for ordering. Her story “The Stink of Horses” is available for free reading on the Hobart webpage. Her story “Scars” was released as a sneak preview of the Flapperhouse summer issue, also featuring fellow Stonecoaster Julie Day and out now in PDF format. Her story “Hero” appears today on Daily Science Fiction.

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) work on 4488: A Ridge Blog is a finalist in three categories for this year’s annual Wine Blog Awards, including “Blog Post of the Year” for his post “Beauty Is a Rare Thing: Building the 2012 Monte Bello.”

STUDENTS

Cristina Perachio (Fiction) is heading out with mentor Rick Bass for a road trip from Missoula to Madison for his book project Eating My Heroes. Petrachio and Bass will travel to Tom McGuane’s ranch in Livingston and Lorrie Moore’s home in Madison to cook a “fine meal to say thank you” to Bass’ literary heroes. Perachio will be writing from the road about her experience on her blog, Thank You Gravy.

Bass cooking grilled duck (a trial run for future "thank you meals") in his home in Yaak, MT

Bass cooking grilled duck (a trial run for future “thank you meals”) in his home in Yaak, MT

FACULTY

cover of Beautiful WheelTed Deppe‘s (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) poem “Shouting at the Windows of the Night,” from his new book Beautiful Wheel, has been “highly commended” by the judges of this year’s Forward Prizes for Poetry and will appear this autumn in The Forward Book of Poetry 2015, a collection of the best poems from the UK and Ireland—this is the equivalent of a Pushcart Prize in the U.S. He and his wife Annie Deppe will be reading and teaching at the Strandhill Summerfest in County Sligo this July, and he will give a reading at the Clifden Arts Festival in County Galway on September 25 (where Suzanne Strempek Shea will also be reading). Next spring, Ted and Annie will be at Bay Path College in Massachusetts from 7-15 February, at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, FL, on 5-6 March, and at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA, from 16 March until 11 April, before they return home to Connemara.

“Just a Juggler,” the first chapter of Boman Desai‘s (Fiction) novel The Elephant Graveyard, placed first in a contest of first chapters and will be posted here until August 1. It is his third win in a welcome hat-trick following his novel The Lesbian Man, which was a finalist for the Dana Award in April, and “The Boy from Chicago,” which placed first in a flash-fiction contest in May and will be posted here until July 1. He is happy to be leaving Stonecoast on a high, but sorry to be leaving at all. He will be glad to hear from you, and should you find yourselves in Chicago he knows a place that serves a biryani to match any in Mumbai. Just ask Mike Langworthy.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) short story “New Neighbor” is in the anthology Law and Disorder.

Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction) was visiting lecturer for the Odyssey Writing Workshop June 22-23. She’ll be Master Artist in Residence at the “your word” Teen Creative Writing Residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL, July 19-August 3. Forthcoming Washington Post reviews include Chris Bohjalian’s Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands and Deborah Harkness’s The Book of Life. Her award-winning noir novel Generation Loss has been optioned by the husband & wife producer/director team of Todd Luiso and Sara Koskoff for development as a TV miniseries.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry) has been awarded the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her book Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway. The Lowther is given annual to a book of poetry by a Canadian woman and carries a $1,000 prize. Previous winners include Karen Solie and Dionne Brand. One of Alexandra’s newer poems, “Watching the Cop Show in Bed,” can be found in the July/August issue of The Walrus Magazine.

Alexandra Oliver with  winners and nominees at the League of Canadian Poets Awards Gala, Toronto, June 7th, 2014.

Alexandra Oliver with winners and nominees at the League of Canadian Poets Awards Gala, Toronto, June 7th, 2014.

Elizabeth Searle judged the New Rivers Press 2014 Book Prize in June, selecting from the finalists a manuscript by Tracy Robert. Elizabeth has an essay, “Reality Fiction,” forthcoming in the New Rivers Press anthology Paper Camera. She also just had a personal essay accepted for a forthcoming anthology from Algonquin Books, edited by Elizabeth Benedict.

Suzanne Strempek Shea will read from her new book This Is Paradise at 7:00 p.m. on July 31 at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. She also will be leading a fiction workshop at Iota: The Conference of Short Prose August 14-17 on Campobello Island. Other faculty members include Barabara Hurd (essay) and Charles Coe (poetry). For full information and to register, please visit the website.

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Community News & Updates January 2014

ALUMNI

The Young Adult novel Being Henry David by Cal Armistead (Fiction, W’07) has been listed among the “Best Young Adult Novels of 2013” by Kirkus Reviews, Mashable, and Buzzfeed.

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) was thrilled to receive the Sewanee Review‘s 2013 Andrew Nelston Lytle Fiction Prize for his story “The Sleeping Santas” (written in his first semester at Stonecoast). He was also excited to see another story, “The Children Without Fathers,” published in Per Contra and to receive an acceptance letter from Volume 1 Brooklyn for “The Burglaries,” which he workshopped with Boman Desai during his master class at Stonecoast just before graduating. It was a great end to 2013!

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) will be reading from her upcoming novel Elysium at the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series held at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art on January 7th. She will be reading along with Sam J. Miller. If you’re in town, stop by!

Nancy Brown‘s (Fiction, S’08) short story “Old Orchard” won first place in the Green River Tales Short Fiction competition sponsored by Green River Writers.

Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) has joined the writing staff of Instant Mom with the title Consulting Producer. Instant Mom is a situation comedy starring Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Michael Boatman, and Sheryl Lee Ralph. It follows the life of Stephanie Phillips, a 25-year-old woman forced to change her single lifestyle radically when she marries an older man and suddenly finds herself the full-time stepmother of three children. The series is produced at Paramount Studios Nightlife Coverin Los Angeles and airs on Nick At Nite. Mike also continues to consult on the web series The Day Crew, which shot its first five episodes on location in Los Angeles during the week of December 8, 2013.

Matthew Quinn Martin‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) debut novel Nightlife (PocketStar/Simon & Schuster) was selected by Badass Book Reviews as one of the top 5 horror novels of 2013 (for their “best of 2013” roundup). Earlier in the month, Matthew handed in the manuscript for the sequel Nightlife: As the Worm Turns, which is set to be released in 2014.

Maze_cover1J.M. McDermott‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) novel Maze is coming out in this month from Apex Books. Part of it was workshopped during his first semester at Stonecoast.

From every corner of time and space, sometimes people go missing without a trace. They never come back.

Get lost in the long stone halls of the maze with the ones that find each other, form tribes, scrape out a life from rocks and sand. Their stories interweave. Maia Station is a scientist ripped from stasis, but she has no tools to test the way things are. Instead, she raises her daughter as best she can and survives. Wang Xin once had his head dipped in water, and a djinni in the water entered his eye. He sees the future, exactly as it was supposed to be if he hadn’t seen the light, but it does him no good in the life he has. In a world much like our own, Joseph comes home from a ten-year high school reunion and encounters a light in the darkness. The light speaks.

My name is Jenny. Put me in your lung. Breathe deep.

Autumn Newman

Autumn Newman‘s (Poetry, ’09) poem “Cleave” has been accepted for publication by Cider Press Review. She currently teaches full-time at College of San Mateo in California.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “In A Japanese Woman’s Photos of Paris” will appear in the next issue (#75) of Hiram Poetry Review due out in spring 2014.

Stonecoasters Ann Rosenquist Fee (Fiction, S’08) and Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07) collaborated with musician Paris Zax on a short film built around Ann’s short story “Eucalyptusexy.” The film goes live January 2, 2014, here. Follow Ann and Jacob on the Twitters at @arosenquistfee and @sevenmileswest, respectively; they promise more spoken words and moving pictures soon.

Strunk Fee 01-2013

STUDENTS

Sandra Dascensao (Popular Fiction) has won an honorable mention in the Thriller category for the 2013 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award for her short story “A-1 Charter.” Her story will be listed in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest and on writersdigest.com. Sandra is a new student at Stonecoast this semester.

Alexis Paige‘s (Creative Nonfiction) Pithead Chapel essay “A Decent Happiness,” published last March, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be featured in a lengthy interview in the February volume of The Writer’s Chronicle.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) essay on New Zealand author Frank Sargeson will appear in the summer issue of Tin House.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) sold “In Arkham Town Where I Was Bound” to Out of Tune, an anthology to be published by JournalStone in May. She is teaching The Secrets of a Satisfying Short Story, an online class for Odyssey, from January 20-February 20.

9781250046215_p0_v1_s260x420Jim Kelly‘s (Popular Fiction) story “The Promise of Space” from the September issue of Clarkesworld has been selected for a second Best of the Year collection, this one being The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois (St. Martin’s Griffin).

In Portland, ME, on Friday, January 24, at 8:00 p.m., The Portland Stage Company will present Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) play Bar Exam as performed by the Improvised Puppet Project. In other words, the first scene will be performed as scripted (a woman runs into her gynecologist at a singles bar), and then the puppets will take off on their own. Live theatre doesn’t get any “liver” than this. Or stranger. For details, click here.

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David Mura (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) will publish a new book of poetry, The Last Incantations, in March 2014 last-incantations-poems-david-mura-paperback-cover-art(Northwestern University Press). This fall David published two essays: “An Asian American Race Man” in Black Renaissance Noire and “Mixed Voices”/ “Ambiguously Brown” in the Asian American Literary Review. An essay critiquing the musical Miss Saigon and an essay critiquing large mainstream arts institutions recently appeared on the website Opine Season. An essay, “Asian Americans: The Front & Back of the Bus,” will appear next year in an anthology of essays on poetry and race published by University of Georgia Press.

In a recent interview with The Toronto Quarterly, Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, ’12) waxes eloquent on her new collection Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway—and explains why readings in bars and restaurants need their own handbook.

Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera is coming to Los Angeles. The show will be performed in a “rock concert” version on February 4, 2014, at the King King Club in Hollywood. The performance will be produced by Harborside Films and will serve as a benefit concert for the iconic LGBT Celebration Theatre. A full-production run of the rock opera, produced by Harborside, is in the works for later in 2014 in L.A. Check for updates at elizabethsearle.net.

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Community News & Updates September 2013

ALUMNI

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) was excited to see his piece “Advice to Fictional Characters on the Occasion of My 31st Birthday” appear on Thought Catalog recently.

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) is thrilled to announce the release of her second mystery, The Money Bird (Midnight Ink). The first book in this series, Drop Dead on Recall, was named one of the Top Ten Dog Books of 2012 by NBC Petside (in a field of mostly nonfiction) and has been nominated for best novel awards in this year’s contests sponsored by both the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writers’ Association. Six of Sheila’s nonfiction books have been winners in those contests in the past.

weave9CoverJulie Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Unmaking” was published in Weave Issue 09. The story was originally written as part of a flash-story challenge in one of Jim Kelly‘s workshops and grew from there.

Jessica de Koninck (Poetry, W’11) has two poems in the anthology Of Sun and Sand. To download a free copy, go to the publisher’s website, click on “Bookstore,” and then on the link to the book.

Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) has been nominated for a 2013 World Fantasy Award for his editorial work on the website Weird Fiction Review. He shares this nomination with his editors-in-chief Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. The 2013 WFAs will be distributed at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, England. Adam has written an official statement about the nomination, which can be read at his personal blog.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, ’04) short story “Saturday Night Lights” is included in this month’s Portland Magazine. On August 29th, he will be reading poetry as part of the Millay in Love poetry evening at The Whitehall Inn in Camden at 7:00 p.m. with Christian Barter, Kathleen Ellis, Carol Bachofner, and others. On Thursday, September 12th at 10:00 a.m., Bruce will join poet Kathleen Ellis on WERU radio for a live reading and discussion with Ellie O’Leary—89.9 in Blue Hill, 99.9 in greater Bangor, and on the web. Also, Bruce will be a teaching playwright at the second annual Ten Bucks Theatre 24-Hour Playwriting Festival in Eddington, ME, September 20-21. Details can be found here.

“The Apple Tree,” a poem by Dana Robbins (Poetry, W’13), was a runner-up for the Fish Poetry Prize 2013 and is published in Fish Anthology 2013.

Several excerpts from Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) memoir manuscript have appeared recently: “Conversations I Can’t Talk About” was included in the Summer issue of Lunch Ticket,Smoking Guns” was published in the August issue of Pithead Chapel, and “Old Men Who Write” is featured in the first online issue of Under the Sun.

“Pranked” and “Teaching with Tolerance,” two essays by Julie L. Scharf (Creative Nonfiction, S’10), will be featured in the Autumn Equinox issue of Mused: The Bella Online Literary Review.

FACULTY

After nine years of service, Annie Finch has stepped down as Director of Stonecoast MFA and will teach full-time in USM’s English department. USM Professor Justin Tussing has been appointed the interim Director of the MFA program. Justin graduated from the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop and also serves as Director of the Stonecoast Writer’s Conference. (Via Robin Talbot, Associate Director)

Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) will teach creative writing at George Washington University this fall.

Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) play The Secret of Comedy will run for two weekends (September 6-8 and September 13-15) at the Waterville Opera House, 93 Main Street, Waterville, ME. Tickets and information: 207.873.7000.

secret of Comedy WatervilleAlso, Mike’s multi-award-winning short play Say No More! is one of eleven short plays—none more than 10 minutes long—comprising the “King of Crows” Short Play Festival: September 13-14 at Mayo Street Arts Center in Portland, ME, 7:30-10:00 p.m. $10 at the door.

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Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) won the Best Feature Screenplay, Romance prize for her script A Four-Sided Bed at the 22nd annual Woods Hole International Film Festival on Cape Cod; she was on hand to accept her award at the closing ceremony on August 3.

Elizabeth and other award winners at Woods Hole International Film Festival, with festival Director Judy Laster in the center.

Elizabeth and other award winners at Woods Hole International Film Festival, with festival Director Judy Laster in the center.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Via Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12): The Catch: Writings from Downeast Maine is now accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We are looking for work that can be “located” eastern Maine (by a street address, locator map, or latitude and longitude), but we will consider any work that is inspired by our fishing and coastal heritage. Visit the website for more information, to read the 2013 issue, or to submit.

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Community News & Updates August 2013

Congratulations to the Stonecoast Summer 2013 graduates: Katie Bickham, Sheila Boneham, Karen Bovenmyer, Katie Crumpton, Heather Ann Cyr, Kerri Dieffenwierth, Katrina Ellyson, Kelli Faherty, Edward Ferrara, Karla Michelle Fossett, Yvonne (Rooze) Garcia, Alexandria Giardino, Terri Glass, Penny Guisinger, Andrew Heckler, Sarah Steinberg Heller, Michael L. Joy, Thomas Morrissey, Casey Moynihan, Meaghan Reynolds, Katherine Sargent, Chuck Smithson, Bonnie Stufflebeam, Andrew Wales, and Marco Wilkinson!

(Thanks to Michael L. Joy for supplying the list)

STONECOAST ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

From SCAA President Mihku Paul:

At the annual SCAA meeting on July 22nd, live elections were held to fill empty Board seats. I am happy to report that we have nearly a full complement of Board members at this time [the line-up is listed below]. Our thanks to those who have served and are stepping down, and welcome to new Board members. We are eager to grow the organization and continue planning events and activities that highlight the skills and achievements of all Stonecoast alumni. We encourage all Stonecoast alumni to stay connected, informed, and involved. To that end, Board member emails are listed here as well.

President: Mihku Paul S’10 (F) 2013-2015 – mikhupaul@gmail.com
Vice President:
Mike Langworthy W’11 (CNF) July 2013-July 2014 *special 1 yr term to fill vacancy – mikelangworthy4@gmail.com
Treasurer: Position is unfilled at the moment due to the Maine residency requirement. Suggestions are welcome, as are volunteers.
Secretary: Jessica DeKoninck (P) July 2012-July 2014 – jessica.dekoninck@verizon.net
Director: Patricia Barletta W’12 (PF) July 2013-July 2015 – plb.author@verizon.net
Director: Adam K. Gallardo S’12 (PF) July 2012-July 2014 – adamkretuzgallardo@gmail.com
Director: Michael Joy S’13 (PF) July 2013-July 2015 – Privateer_nh@hotmail.com
Director: Kathleen Saville W’13 July 2013-July 2015 – ksaville@aucegypt.edu
Director: Andy Wales *special 1-year term to fill vacancy – andrew.wales@maine.edu
Amy Martin **co-signatory to Treasurer (Maine resident)

ALUMNI

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) was happy to see his post about incredibly late movie sequels published on Esquire.com. You can read the article here.

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) has been invited to judge nonfiction books in the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA) annual international writing contest. This year her debut mystery, Drop Dead on Recall, has been nominated in the fiction category in the CWA contest and the annual writing contest of the Dog Writers Association of America. CWA and DWAA are organizations of professionals writing, publishing and broadcasting about cats and dogs, respectively. Three of Sheila’s nonfiction books have won Awards of Excellence, and two of those were names Best Care & Health Books, in the CWA contest in past years, and six of her nonfiction books have won best book awards or been finalists in past DWAA contests.

tumblr_mqt2dgFHxL1qh9n0no1_500Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited to announce her science fiction horror novella “Failsafe” will be published August 14, 2013, in The Crimson Pact, Volume 5 anthology edited by Paul Genesse. The anthology will debut at GenCon Indy and also feature Writing Excuses’ Dan Wells, Xena and Hercules’ George Strayton, Seton Hill’s Lawrence Connolly, and New York Times Bestseller Larry Correia among its pages. Karen read from “Failsafe” as her graduate reading and couldn’t be more thrilled to appear in CP5 with a host of 22 awesome authors’ scary stories!

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) signed the contract for her first book deal for the novel Elysium, which is due to be released from Aqueduct Press in Spring 2014! Elysium was her Stonecoast thesis, so many thanks to her beyond-awesome mentors, Jim Kelly, David Durham, Ted Deppe, and Elizabeth Hand. Thanks also to her amazing agent Kris O’Higgins from Scribe Agency, LLC. Also, she just returned from the Launch Pad Writers Workshop in Wyoming (Jamie Todd Rubin did a nice write-up of all the lovely folks where were there).

Florence Grende‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’07) manuscript, Out of Silence, has been chosen as a finalist in the Autumn House Press nonfiction book contest, to be judged by Phillip Lopate.

Tamie Fields Harkins (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) just finished teaching her first undergraduate college class ever! The students were thoughtful, funny, receptive, and engaged, and took every ounce of her strength, energy, and time. She’s looking forward to the coming semester!

Acquainted final coverFormally announced at ALA last month, Lexa Hillyer‘s (Poetry, S’10) debut poetry book, Acquainted with the Cold, won the Foreword Book of the Year Award. The publisher’s press release can be found here. On a separate note, Hillyer would also like to announce an intensive full-day seminar for Young Adult and Middle Grade writers hosted by Paper Lantern Lit in Brooklyn, NY, on October 12, 2013. For information or to register, click here.

Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09) had his first full-length poetry collection, My Beautiful Hook-nosed Beauty Queen Strut-wave, accepted for publication by Dzanc Books. Look for it in fall of 2014. In addition, Jeff has a poem, “Everybody will talk about the 30-footer Trey Burke knocked down to tie Kansas,” in the current issue of Midwestern Gothic. Finally, Jeff and his students at Ann Arbor’s Teen Center The Neutral Zone’s independent publishing company Red Beard Press have just completed editing Uncommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning and Living, which they are billing as the “ultimate collection of contemporary poems for classroom use.” The book includes poems from such luminaries as Naomi Shihab Nye, Kim Addonizio, Matín Espada, Marge Piercy, Aracelis Girmay, Patrick Rosal, Ross Gay, and former and present Stonecoast instructors Patricia Smith, Tim Seibles, and Lesléa Newman as well as Stonecoast alums Karrie Warrala and Theresa Scollon. Class sets will be available for teachers at a discount price along with a companion Teacher’s Guide authored by Jeff. Look for it in September!

drift-cover-2Alan King (Poetry, W’13) is now a visiting writer for PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools, a literary arts outreach program that purchases and makes available for free copies of contemporary works of literature to participating DC schools. The Foundation also arranges for the authors of those works to visit classrooms and discuss literature and the writing life. King is currently visiting and discussing his first collection, Drift.

The first season of Spun Out, a situation comedy for CTV, on which Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) was a creative consultant, wrapped on Friday, July 19th. The final episode reunited Spun Out star David Foley with the legendary Canadian sketch-comedy group The Kids in the Hall, of which Foley is a founding member. Other guest stars have included Will Sasso (MADtv, Less Than Perfect) and Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica). Spun Out is the first multi-camera situation comedy shot in front of a live audience in Toronto in over 20 years and is scheduled to air on CTV and internationally beginning in January 2014.

Sandra McDonald (Popular Fiction, ’05) was invited to tour NASA Johnson Space Center along with other social media writers, reporters, and space program fans. Their group visited Mission Control for the International Space Station (ISS) and met astronaut Mike Hopkins (pictured below with Sandra), who will be going to ISS via Soyuz in September. Sandra’s currently working on a short story called “Murder on the Space Station.” Follow @sandramcdonald and @NASASocial for more information.

Mike Hopkins and Sandra McDonald

Mike Hopkins and Sandra McDonald

MidsummerMagick LNavarre coverLaura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) is thrilled to announce that Midsummer Magick, Book Two in her award-winning historical fantasy Magick Trilogy, comes out from Harlequin/Carina on August 12. The Magick Trilogy brings Faeries, fallen angel heroes, and figures from Arthurian legend to Tudor England. Midsummer Magick is Laura’s sixth published novel. Spread the magick here!

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, ’04) short story “Saturday Night Lights” will appear in the September issue of Portland Magazine.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Springfed Arts 2013 Writing Contest for her short story “The Right Thing.” She will be reading with the other winners at the Springfed Writers and Music Series in Birmingham, MI, on August 12.

Ashley Warren‘s (Fiction, S’12) short story “An Exhibition of Human Bodies” has been accepted by Moon Hollow Press for inclusion in the forthcoming anthology Uneasy Bones: Dark Works by Women.

STUDENTS

Alexis Paige (Creative Nonfiction) recently published the essay “Playing By the Rules: White Privilege and Rachel Jeantel.” It appeared on The Rumpus on July 1st; this is her second piece featured there.

FACULTY

Portuguese The Other Lands V2David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) Acacia Trilogy continues to roll out in Portugal. The fourth volume (which is actually the second half of the second novel) is called O Povo Das Criancas Divinas. Also, George R. R. Martin and Tor have accepted David’s multi-part story, “Those About to Die,” for inclusion in the next Wild Cards mosaic novel, Lowball. It’s due out sometime in 2014.

Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) has a review scheduled to appear in The New York Times Book Review on August 11th. He’s also appearing at the Outwrite Book Festival in Washington, DC, where on August 3rd he’ll give a reading and lead a workshop.

Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction) was an instructor at Clarion West in Seattle this summer. In September she’ll be reading/signing at Forbidden Planet in London and interviewing Nijinsky biographer Lucy Moore as part of Uppsala, Sweden’s Culture Night, then appearing in Helsinki and at the Turku Book Fair to promote the Finnish editions of Generation Loss and Available Dark.

rip-off3Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction) has sold “The Promise of Space,” a short story, to the online magazine Clarkesworld; it is scheduled for publication later this year. Jim also resold his novelette “Declaration” to Asimov’s Science Fiction. It was originally published in audio only on Audible.com as part of the Science Fiction Writers of America’s anthology Rip-Off, edited by Gardner Dozois. Its appearance in Asimov’s will be its first print incarnation.

On August 3rd, Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) will attend the Awards Ceremony at the Woods Hole International Film Festival on Cape Cod, where her screenplay, A Four-Sided Bed, is a finalist in the Best Feature Film Script competition. On August 7th at 7:00 p.m., the New England Institute of Art bookstore in Brookline, MA, presents A Midsummer Reading, featuring Elizabeth, Jessica Gozek, Stephen Burt, Ben Mazer, Fred Marchant, Elizabeth McConnell, Peter Richards, and Tom Yuill.

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