Tag Archives: Nina Lichtenstein

Community News & Updates May 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST MFA VIRTUAL WRITING SERIES
In an effort to connect our community and continue learning together from afar, Stonecoast is launching a monthly writing session led by a faculty member or guest instructor! Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) kicked off our first session in April with a fantastic Mindfulness and Creative Writing class. We are thrilled to present Susan Conley (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) on Monday, May 18th, with “Voice Across Genre: Tone and Pitch and How to Really Say What You Are Feeling,” followed by Justin Tussing (Stonecoast Director) on Monday, June 8th, with a pre-residency generative writing session.

Information and Zoom links will be distributed to current students and faculty via email, and to the greater community via the Stonecoast Portland Meetup group and the Friends of Stonecoast MFA Facebook Group. If you are unable to access any of these platforms, email Special Projects Coordinator Jenny O’Connell (jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu) to be added to the list.

You can also receive weekly writing prompts from faculty on the Stonecoast Facebook Page.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer (Fiction) has been selected by Oyster River Pages for publication under their “Emerging Fiction Voices” category, established to showcase new writers who are just beginning to submit their work to journals. Her short story “Fish Out of Water” will be published in the Fourth Annual Issue of Oyster River Pages, due Summer 2020 (publication details to follow). ORP is a literary journal that embraces the reality that the personal has become the political and actively seeks to publish those who bring balance and diversity to historical institutions of power.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) recently had another piece up on the Brevity blog about how the lockdown has provided her with a much welcomed focus on writing, stripped of the otherwise regular and non-essential diversions. She has also embarked on a new project and is looking for contributors: If you know someone who is a Jew by choice, the planned anthology Our Stories, Our Tribe: Personal Essays by Converts to Judaism is looking for diverse voices in essays between 1500-4000 words. Email Nina (nblichtenstein@gmail.com) if you would like a copy of the Call for Submissions to share.

 

FACULTY

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was happy that her novel We Got Him was chosen to be featured in April on Snowflakes in a Blizzard, which highlights books by Indie press writers. As noted in this piece, We Got Him, which was published by New Rivers Press, is also out in a 2018 audiobook version—published and narrated by star Stonecoast alumna Tanya Eby and her audiobook company, Blunder Woman Productions.

 

ALUMS

The film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, adapted by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) from her memoir of the same title, won a Special Jury Mention from the ÉCU—The European Independent Film Festival in Paris, and an Honorable Mention from the USA Film Festival’s International Short Film & Video Competition in Dallas, Texas.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) made a guest post called “The Sophomore Book” about writing her next book on Fantasy Cafe for Women in SF&F Month. She also had a new poem published by The Free Library of the Internet Void called “Remember.” And AAWW Radio posted Breaking into Speculative Fiction, a panel discussion with Jenn and Malka Older, moderated by Tim O’Connell.

j brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) essay “Hybrid” was the Nonfiction Winner for Columbia Journal’s Womxn’s History Month Special Issue.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that she has found a means to get out and share her book The Bone Cutters during this pandemic. From May 11 to June 11, Renee is doing an online book tour, where her work will be featured on 50+ blogs. There will be a video reading, an interview, an excerpt or two, as well as free giveaways. Here is the link to find out how and where to check it all out. Stay safe, everyone!

teri elam’s (Poetry, S19) poetry manuscript was recently named a semi-finalist for the Two Sylvias Press Wilder Prize. During April, a film based on her poem “Butterflies” premiered during Visual Poetry Project’s online film celebration of National Poetry Month.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was thrilled to have her essay “Faith in a Seed,” about motherhood and the extinction and rebirth of the American chestnut tree, published in the current issue of Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Harlem in Havana” was released April 7, 2020, in the anthology The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchelledited by Josh Pachter, published by Untreed Reads. Anthology authors Alison, Alan Orloff, and Elaine Viets taught a class on Writing Suspense via Zoom on April 26, 2020.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) and Robin Talbot (Stonecoast Associate Director) invite the Stonecoast community to a Virtual Book Event at PRINT Bookstore in Portland on May 13, 2020, at 7:00 pm. Co-hosted by Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance (MWPA) via Zoom, Ellen will read from her new novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, and talk with Robin. To register, visit here or here.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) stories “Sola Fide” (originally featured in the summer 2016 issue of Able Muse), “Avoidance,” and “Meaning As Use” are all featured as the fiction portion of Lights, the inaugural issue of Pleasure Boat Studio‘s new zine, available as a free PDF. John also read his story “Good Friday,” originally featured in Volume VI of The New Guard, on Good Friday for West Seattle’s own Pegasus Book Exchange.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) recent tribute to the late, great Ryan West—which doubles as an ode to the ultimate frisbee community—was published in Ultiworld magazine. Her essay “Valley of the Bulls” won the 2019 Appalachia Journal Humor in the Wild Contest, and is now available in print. An outdoor contributor for Maine Magazine, Jenny’s profile on camp owner and adventurer Chloë Rowse was published in March, and she has a forthcoming feature on ice climbing in Maine later this year. In April, Jenny signed with agents Jamie Chambliss and Steve Troha of Folio Literary Management, who will represent her book project, Finding Petronella

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) was recently awarded a media grant from the Ontario Arts Council for her experimental short You’re Smart, her first foray into non-narrative filmmaking. While production is presently on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she hopes to complete her film in the following year.

Three short pieces from sid sibo’s (Fiction, W’19) in-process collection Familiar: Stories have been awarded the Neltje Blanchan Memorial award from the Wyoming Arts Council for best writing “informed by a relationship with the natural world.” Two other stories from the collection have earned Honorable Mentions, one of which, “Bull,” will be published online in Cutthroat magazine. The pen name can be traced to Stonecoast 2019 alum sidney woods.

Patricia Smith’s (Poetry, S’08; former faculty member) poem “Now He’s an Etching” appeared in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day email for Thursday, April 16th.; the poem can be read and heard on the poets.org website.

Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07) was featured in April’s Voyage LA, an online magazine celebrating the artists and eccentrics that define Los Angeles. The profile features no revelatory bombshells, but there are some fun photos.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) will have upcoming poetry published in Lily Poetry Review and Soul-Lit. Her book review of Rebecca Foust’s The Unexploded Ordnance Bin was published in Mom Egg Review in April. Lisa’s short story “Lucky” was shortlisted in the 2020 Fish Short Fiction contest, judged by Colum McCann. She has been a mentor through the AWP W2W program this spring, working with a fiction writer from Georgia. And Lisa will have a new collection of poetry published by Arlen House/Syracuse University Press in the spring of 2021.

Rhiannon J. Taylor’s (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) dark fantasy/horror story “What You Lost in the Wildermere” has been published by Arsenika in their sixth issue. Additionally, her story “Parasites” is forthcoming from Frozen Wavelets.

As reported by Locus, Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) won the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF), which sends a fan from North America to CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon. Paul Weimer, the North American DUFF administrator, said, “With ConZealand being a virtual Worldcon this year and Corvid-19, Erin will not be traveling to New Zealand this year, but hopes to travel to Australasia in the DUFF tradition in 2021, health and world events permitting.” Erin will also take over from Weimer as the new North American administrator.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) is now the nonfiction editor at The Los Angeles Review. He is looking for fresh, engaging essays; in particular at this moment, he’d love to read about life during COVID-19. You can submit here.

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST AT AWP 2020
Are you attending AWP 2020? Stonecoast MFA will host a gathering from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at The Rose Bush (2301 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, Texas 78212). We’ll have free appetizers, a short reading in honor of our new WISE (Writing for Inclusivity and Social Equity) program, and plenty of time to socialize and reconnect. The venue is BYOB. We hope you’ll join us!

ALUMNI WORKSHOP AT THE STONECOAST 2020 SUMMER RESIDENCY
This June, Stonecoast will once again offer a personalized writing experience for our Alumni. Held in conjunction with the Stonecoast summer residency, Elizabeth Hand will lead workshops that get alums to immerse in their writing within a peer setting again. This post MFA workshop is open to fiction writers of all stripes—short stories, novels, mimetic fiction, genre fiction, autofiction, meta-fiction et al. Participants will focus on both old and new work, with an aim towards polishing the former as well generating new ideas and expanding notions of what fiction is and can be in the 2020s. The conference fee includes four 2.5-hour workshop sessions, plus full access to all presentations, seminars, readings, pop-up classes, receptions, and special events. Participants will also have the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with a literary agent.

  • Dates: June 21-25, 2020
  • Cost: $650.00 workshop fee, plus room and board (~$750 for 4 nights) or commuter fee ($285). Includes daily lunches and afternoon tea at the Harraseeket Inn.
  • Contact Lindsey Vazquez  to reserve your spot! Only 8 slots are available, and we expect this workshop to fill quickly. Once your participation is confirmed, a non-refundable deposit will be required to confirm your place in the workshop.

Testimonials from Susan Conley‘s Winter 2020 Alumni Workshop:

  • “One year post-graduation, Susan Conley’s alumni workshop was just what I needed. The workshop gave me the opportunity to drop into an intensive working environment and hit the ground running. The benefit of working with a seasoned Stonecoast instructor and writers who share a common language of craft and critiquing was invaluable—not mention the amazing support. I will definitely do this again and highly recommend it.”  ~Lee Bodkin
  • “Being back at Stonecoast was such a gift—from the workshops to the seminars, returning to Maine to write and be with ‘my people’ was just the motivation I needed to return to my heart’s work. The writing during those mornings was some of the better writing I have done in months.” ~Heather Wilson

Martha McSweeney Brower (Creative Nonfiction, W’19) shared this information for anyone interested in submitting to Maine Seniors or Maine Women:

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer’s (Fiction) short story “Labor Day Weekend” is due to be published this Spring in Volume 2 of Allegory Ridge‘s fiction anthology, Archipelago, due out April 21st. Allegory Ridge is a magazine for open-minded millennials that publishes travel writing, short stories, poetry, artwork, photography, and personal essays. More details to follow.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction), a.k.a. The Viking Jewess, recently had a food essay published in The Canadian Jewish News, which was fun, because when she had originally submitted a version of it to a Maine food pub, they asked her to remove references to her Jewish background, which made her (pissed off) pull the submission. You can read the brief food essay here.

 

FACULTY

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) play Bubble, Bubble will be produced in Sydney, Australia, as part of the worldwide Short & Sweet Festival. His short musical Stepping Into Fire will be produced at the National Performing Arts Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about sports, crime, and social issues. In February, he wrote a feature for ESPN’s The Undefeated: Rube Foster was the Big Man Behind the First Successful Negro Baseball League. His next young-adult book is due out in 2021; it will tell the controversial story of Sacco & Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists wrongly convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) talks about his novel Nirvana Is Here and all things Nirvana in an interview with Rolf Potts for the podcast Deviate.

The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Boston Review recently profiled Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) and her novel Curious Toys. On February 29th, Leap Day, she and bestselling Swedish novelist Niklas Natt och Dag appeared at The English Bookshop in conversation about their fiction (and a mutual fascination with artist Henry Darger). Hand’s new story “The Owl Count” will appear in the forthcoming issue of the literary magazine Conjunctions.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) was invested into the august company of the Baker Street Irregulars, a worldwide literary society whose 300 members devote themselves to the Sacred Writings (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of Sherlock Holmes).  Her investiture name is “Beryl Garcia,” a character in the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. She was invested in January at the annual Baker Street Irregulars Dinner at the Yale Club in New York City. In other news, Kymera Press, Nancy’s comic-book publisher, is holding a Kickstart to create a trade paperback out of four of her comic book adaptations of short stories written by women during the long nineteenth century. Nancy also wrote the introduction for three books:

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, which is the debut offering of the Horror Writers Association’s Haunted Library.
  • Across the Universe, edited by Michael A. Ventrella and Randee Dawn. This anthology collects short stories starring versions of the Beatles in alternate universes.
  • Gentlemen Prefer Domino Lady, an anthology featuring short stories about a pulp character from the 1930’s. She has also written short stories and comic books starring Domino Lady in the past, and is currently working on a commissioned DL story for Moonstone Books.

The February 2020 TheatreZone production of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, starring Broadway’s Andrea McArdle, was reviewed as an “exemplary show…Seeing a scandal unfold never felt so good.” Elizabeth received a generous shout-out in the same review: “It all seemed bizarre beyond belief nearly 30 years ago, and someone had the brilliant idea to deliver it in a joyous theater package. We can credit playwright Elizabeth Searle for that and thank you, thank you, thank you.” Elizabeth was thrilled to work with Andrea, the original ANNIE, who earned raves in her dual role as the Mom(s). The show received media coverage in the Naples Daily News, including an interview with Elizabeth, and on the Naples ABC affiliate, Channel 7, featuring an interview with the show’s stars. New productions are in the works; for updates and pictures, see www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Above: Elizabeth and Broadway great Andrea McArdle as well as Tonya & Nancy leading ladies Whitney Winfield (Nancy) and Nikki Miller (Tonya) and producer Paul Boghosian from the Feb 2020 production of Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera

 

ALUMS

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is happy to announce that her story “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” was selected for the Third Flatiron Best of 2019 anthology with an illustration of the Rusalka on the cover. You can listen to “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” as a free podcast, too. Also, Elizabeth’s short story “Just Beyond the Shore” was included in the Stoker-nominated anthology Nox Pariedolia. This sale is especially sweet because a long-ago draft was included in Elizabeth’s submission to and workshopped at Stonecoast!

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) has a fiction essay among the top seven finalists for the North American Review’s 2020 Kurt Vonnegut Prize.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a story in the upcoming anthology Invisible Threads, from Apex Publications. Engaging a wide array of marginalized creators, Invisible Threads interrogates and deconstructs the social, cultural, and economic ties that hold us back. The Kickstarter runs until March 18th—see here for more information and backer rewards! She will also be assisting at the PodCastle booth at Toronto ComiCon, March 20-22. Come listen to PodCastle episodes and catch a hilarious live show!

Lauren M Davis (Poetry, S’15) is teaching courses in English writing, creative writing, and philosophy at the University of Saint Francis and Indiana Institute of Technology.

Teacher/Pizza Guy, poetry collection by Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09), has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2020. Here is a link to an article about it in MEA Magazine.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created two videos for his poems “Beacon” and “Into the Light.” Both poems were inspired by his experience as an organ donor when his wife lost kidney function because of lupus.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been nominated for a Nebula Award for his writing on The Outer Worlds, a dark sci-fi satire about consumerism and corporate greed in space, full of fun shooty combat and opportunities for creative roleplay. His fellow nominees include Leonard Boyarsky, Kate Dollarhyde, Chris L’Etoile, Daniel McPhee, Carrie Patel, Nitai Poddar, Marc Soskin, and Megan Starks. This is the second year the Nebula has recognized video game writing.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction. S’18) published an academic article, “First-Person Adolescent Storytellers and Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. The article is a re-constructed version of her third-semester project. It begins with the opening line: “I first discovered Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style while preparing for a fiction workshop with Breena Clarke at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA creative writing program…”

Emily Levang’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’19) article “Can We Protect Nature by Giving It Legal Rights?” was recently published in Ensia.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) will be a featured reader at the upcoming AWP on a panel discussing novels about families torn apart by history and war. Her essay on the same subject, “When They Take the Children,” was recently published in Mom Egg Review. Her fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, will be published on April 7, 2020.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Last Rites” appears in the February March issue of Portland Monthly Magazine, on newsstands now, and two of his poems, “I Know Why a Man” and “In this year of stingy snow and illness,” appear in the most recent edition of The Maine Edge.

After the Parade, a second book of poetry by Dana Robbins (Poetry, W’13), was published by Moon Pie Press of Westbrook Maine. The book is available for purchase here.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), has a flash list essay, “Marriage by the Numbers,” in the 10th anniversary issue of The Writers Circle Journal. She has additional essays forthcoming in Tiferet Journal and Flash Nonfiction Food. In late April, Lisa will appear on a panel presentation, “The Borderlands of Grief,” at The Calandra Italian American Institute’s Annual Conference in New York City with authors Nancy Caronia and Joanna Clapps Herman.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W’19) story “The Citizenship Question: We the People” will be published this spring in The Georgia Review‘s special issue on the 2020 U.S. Census. Talty’s two short craft essays, “Story, Speak” and “One-Edit,” will also appear in Shenandoah.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “A Hunger” was recently published in Sycamore Review (Issue 31.1).

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poems “We Take Our Color From The Mines,” “The Sea Was Never A Friend To Us,” and “We Are Forced To Face One Another” have been accepted for publication by The Write Launch and will be included in the March 2020 issue. Additionally, Christopher, under his performance name “Preacher Boy,” has just released his 12th album, entitled See No Evil (Coast Road Records). The album is now available across all digital music platforms. Coast Road Records has published an Enhanced Lyric Booklet to complement the album’s release, which is now available for Kindle or as a free PDF.

 

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Community News & Updates January 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Task Before Us: Writing Truth to Power
Stonecoast MFA invites you to join Pulitzer Prize finalist Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) and award-winning writer Cheryl Clarke for an interactive discussion interrogating the intersection of creative writing and participatory democracy. Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18th, at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, Maine, to listen, question, and reconsider where you stand.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) is excited to be a new writing coach for the Young Writers and Leaders program at The Telling Room in Portland, ME, where she is also an editor of their “Stories” on-line publication. The Telling Room is a non-profit whose mission is to help young writers ages 6-18 to find their voices and share them with the world. She also is grateful to have completed her first round as a first reader for the Stonecoast Review: A Literary Arts Journal, an experience she found to be enlightening, since there’s nothing like seeing how it works on the other side of the submit/publish process. While in Norway this fall (writing away for her workshop submissions!) she published an essay in Klassekampen (Norway’s largest liberal/cultural newspaper)—in Norwegian—about the importance of meeting “the other” in the battle against racism and antisemitism. The non-profit organization Narrative 4, founded by Colum McCann, has asked for it to be translated, because in her essay she sheds light on their ground-braking work using storytelling as a tool for breaking down prejudice and building what they call “radical empathy.”

Lauren Erin O’Brien’s (Fiction) short story “No Horns, Just Sharp Bones” was named a Finalist for Glimmer Train‘s Short Story Award for New Writers.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) has received an HBMG Foundation playwriting fellowship to attend the National Winter Playwriting Retreat 2019 in beautiful Creede, Colorado, where he will be working on his play Cry Havoc.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Elsey Come Home will be published on January 15th with Knopf. The book received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and is an Oprah Magazine “Ten Books to Read” for February, a Marie Claire Magazine “Best Fiction for 2019” pick, a Southern Living “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019” pick, a Fodor’s “2018 Holiday Books” pick, and a Library Journal “Pre-Pub Pick for January.” A book launch event will take place on January 17th at Mechanics Hall in Portland (6:00-9:00 p.m.), to which the Stonecoast Community is heartily invited.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) recently reviewed N.K. Jemisin’s How Long ‘til Black Future Month?: Stories for The Los Angeles Times and Lili Anolik’s Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. for The Washington Post.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has been selected as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards. The World Fantasy Convention will be held in Los Angeles from October 21-November 4. The other judges are Stephen Graham Jones, Kathleen Jennings, Garry Douglas Kilworth, and Tod McCoy.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was recently interviewed by Cindy Huyser as part of her feature at the Bookwoman 2nd Thursday Reading Series. Read the interview here.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) one-act play Stolen Girl Song will be produced at the Act One: One Act play festival “off off Broadway” in Long Island City, New York, on January 2nd, 5th, and 10th at The Secret Theatre.  The play, most recently performed in September at The Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers, stars Broadway actress Heidi Friese (Matilda).

ALUMS

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce that her short story “The Painted Ponies of Wiley Creek” was included in Not a Pipe Publishing’s anthology, Strongly Worded Women. Many thanks to everyone at the Ireland Howth residency (Winter ’17) for their input, especially Ted Deppe, as well as Stonecoasters Sarah Flynn ParkeGenevieve Williams, and Andrea Adams.

Katie Bickham’s (Poetry, S’13) second book of poetry, Mouths Open to Name Her, was selected by Louisiana Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon for inclusion in her Barataria Poetry Series. It will be published by LSU Press in February 2019.

Brenda Cooper (Fiction, S’17) is pleased to announce the publication date for A Year Without a Winter from Columbia University Press. She worked as a fiction editor for the book alongside Arizona State University editors Joey Eschrich and Cynthia Selin through the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination. The four fiction stories in this mix of fiction and essays about climate change include work by Tobias Buckell (now a faculty member at Stonecoast), Nnedi Okorafor, Nancy Kress, and Vandana Singh.

The Butcher’s Daughter: A Memoir by Florence Grende (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), has won the 2018 Kindle Book Award for Non-Fiction. The memoir had previously won the Reader’s Digest 2017 Book Award and received Honorable Mention in the Eric Hoffer 2017 awards.

Penny Guisinger’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) piece “The Five C’s” received a Pushcart nomination. The piece appeared as part of the Voices of Addiction feature at The Rumpus in September 2018.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) recently published a review of Nicole Walker’s Sustainability: A Love Story on the Brevity blog. Her essay “Rose” is forthcoming in Diagram magazine. She’s enjoying a new behind-the-scenes experience as a nonfiction reader for Carve Magazine.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) read “Lost Change,” an except from her memoir What Goes by the Name of Love, at the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival Nonfiction Award Event on December 21, 2018, in Brooklyn Heights. She was a finalist for the award and is seeking an agent for her memoir, begun at Stonecoast.

Two Stonecoasters are involved in Sleuthfest (Boca Raton, FL, March 14-17), the conference for mystery writers organized by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. GOH is T. Jefferson Parker. Other guests include Alexia Gordon, Alex Segura, Tom Straw, and Elaine Viets. There will be half-a-dozen editors and agents taking pitches. Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) is Conference Co-Chair. Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will teach a workshop “Practice Your Pitch” Thursday, March 14, 2019, at 10:45 am. She will also appear on the panel “Back to School: Writing for Middle Grades & Young Adults” Saturday, March 16, 2019, at 10:30 am.

Catharine H. Murray’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) television interview with Portland’s Rob Caldwell of 207 will air the first week of January on WCSH. Her recent radio interview with Bill Radke of KUOW in Seattle can be heard in the third part of this show. Catharine will be reading from her memoir Now You See the Sky in Camden at the Public Library on Sunday, January 13th, at 2:00 p.m. Local memoirist and USM writing professor Liz Peavey will join Catharine in conversation about Now You See the Sky and memoir writing at the Portland Public Library Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, January 30th, from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short-story collection The Trash Detail from New Rivers Press is now available in stores and online. His poetry chapbook Forms and Shades is due mid-January from Clare Songbirds Publishing. Schoodic Arts for All will present some of his one-act plays as part of their summer program in Winter Harbor, Maine, during the first two weeks of August 2019. And Bruce’s short story “Eastern Bluebird” is in the newest edition of Portland Monthly Magazine.

“Maximum Security,” a poem by Steve Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), appears in the current issue of Hospitality, published by the Open Door Community of Baltimore—“A Prophetic Discipleship Community Honoring the Black Jesus, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) ended 2018 with something a little different—the release of her first game. “Thanks for the Memories” is a short work of interactive fiction available online at Sub-Q MagazineBonus story notes can be found on her website, as can her summary of all her published work in 2018. Happy new year to all!

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates July 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Poetic Voices for Social Justice

Join us at SPACE Gallery on Thursday, July 12th, where Stonecoast MFA faculty member Martín Espada—recent winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Pulitzer Prize finalist, American Book Award winner and National Book Critics Circle nominee—will give a public reading alongside Lauren Marie Schmidt, author of three collections of poetry including Psalms of The Dining Room—a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen. The reading will feature music by current Stonecoast student Julie Cira and will be followed by a community discussion of the artist’s role in the community. All proceeds of this evening will go to benefit the Stonecoast MFA Writing for Social Justice Scholarship, established to reduce financial and social barriers to higher education, and support culturally and socially engaged writers committed to creating positive change in the community. RSVP here!

BIG NEWS for Stonecoast Review—not only does our Summer 2018 Issue No. 9 feature original, never before-printed stories from the award-winning authors James Van Pelt and Rick Wilber, but we’ve received a very generous $2500 donation from USM’s president and provost in support of our future endeavors. The catch with the donation is that we need to raise an equivalent amount of money within the year. Alumni can help out by purchasing a copy of Issue No. 9 through Kelly’s Books To Go—orders should be available by the end of this Summer Residency at the latest. They can also donate to us directly through the “Make a Gift” button and selecting the “Stonecoast MFA Literary Review Fund” as their designation. We intend to use this money to begin paying our contributors semi-professional rates as soon as possible, but in order to sustain a status of even $50 a submission, we’ll need over $2000 every semester. We hope that every alumni will pick up a copy (or three!) of every issue, as the success of our literary journal will help the overall status and prestige of the program. We encourage alumni to submit for Issue No. 10 when we open again in August—our goal is publish a handful of students and alumni with every issue.

ALUMS

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was a participant in Tina Connolly’s Young-Adult Novel Writing Workshop at the Kansas University Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction in June, funded by her Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship from the Horror Writers Association. She worked on Sleeping Boy, a novel she started while at Stonecoast. She is excited to be under contract to write RPG tie-in fiction, has been enjoying narrating for the Stoker-Award-winning Independent Legions Press Cemetery Pod podcast, and regularly discusses speculative books, comics, and movies with Alasdair Stuart on the Escape Artists Patreon feed. She will be a moderator and panelist at the GenCon Writer’s Symposium in August, presenting on “Minding your Ps and Qs: Grammar and Punctuation for Authors,” “NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month,” “How Other Creative Outlets Help Writing,” “Writing Micro and Flash Fiction,” and how to “Edit Your way Past the Slush Pile.” If any Stonecoasters will be at GenCon in August she would love to see them, so please email her at karen.bovenmyer@gmail.com to meet up.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has another play opening this month! Adapted from her award-winning audio drama, Six Stories, Told at Night runs at the Toronto Fringe Festival July 5th-15th. She also looks forward to seeing friends and colleagues at Readercon!

Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction, S’17) newest novel, Keepers, will be release by Prometheus books on July 31st, 2018. Keepers tells the story of two sisters who must support each other in a dangerous future where the cities are huge and the wild lands between empty and lawless. Keepers is the sequel to Wilders, which came out in 2017. Nancy Kress, Hugo- and Nebula award-winning author of If Tomorrow Comes, says that “Keepers shows us an earth that is the result of profound climactic and ecological changes. Nobody is better than Brenda Cooper at creating detailed and innovative futures. Keepers is a gem—a complex and plausible look at what we might face someday, and how we might respond.” The beginning of Keepers came from Brenda’s thesis, and she is grateful to James Patrick Kelley and Nancy Holder for being her first readers.

Lauren M Davis (Poetry, S’15) will be teaching courses in Creative Writing that she designed for the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fall 2018. She has also recently been given the title of Placemaking Coordinator from Big Car of Indianapolis and will work to cultivate arts, culture, outdoor activity, local food sources, and community for Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Electric Works project.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) debut collection Uncommon Miracles is now available for pre-order from PS Publishing. You can preview one of the stories here. Julie was also spotlighted on Tor.com—along with some other fabulous Stonecoasters—as part of  “150 ‘New’ Writers for Your Consideration.”  Here’s the full lowdown on Julie’s collection:

  • A grieving man travels through time via a car crash.
  • A family of matriarchs collects recipes for the dead.
  • A woman gains an unexpected child in the midst of a bunny apocalypse.
  • An outcast finds work in a magical slaughterhouse.

Whether set in a uniquely altered version of Florida’s Space Coast or a haunted island off the coast of Maine, each of the eighteen stories in this collection carries its own brand of meticulous and captivating weirdness.

“Julie C. Day makes a bold debut with this genre-bending collection of stories. At times whimsical, at times heartbreaking, but always clear-eyed and honest,UNCOMMON MIRACLES proves that Day has joined the front ranks of the writers carrying American fantasy into a new golden age.” ~Nathan Ballingrud

“Julie C. Day’s new collection, Uncommon Miracles, relates stories about what happens when strangeness, dream-like and nightmarish, infiltrates the lives of everyday people. A unique new voice in short fiction—sharp writing and a wonderfully idiosyncratic imagination.” ~Jeffrey Ford

“Julie C. Day’s stories are strongly strange, whether happening in a sort of now in this country or in a weirdly altered past. These stories seem to be what the term American Gothic was meant for.” ~John Crowley

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) published her horror story “Sunshower Death” in the horror anthology Deadman’s Tome: The Conspiracy Issue on June 1st, 2018. She was also a guest on the Deadman’s Tome Podcast on June 20th, 2018—World Refugee Day—where she not only discusses her story but she also talks about the inspiration behind it: the death of rock icon Chris Cornell. The host of the podcast, Mr. Deadman, has plans for a second podcast to continue their discussion, but an appearance date has not yet been set. Renee also published a new blog post—“The Mysterious Death of Rock Legend Chris Cornell: The Blue Skies Murder”—on her WordPress site where she breaks down the botched death investigation of Chris Cornell. On the Other Stories Podcast episode #143, Renee was interviewed and did a reading of her short story “The Unemployed Neighbor.” This story also appears in issue #37 of Sirens Call WiHM EZine, the 6th Annual Women in Horror Month Edition.  In older news, Renee’s poem “This Is Only the Beginning” appears in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase Volume IV, which was published in the fall of 2017.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) book, Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Bloomsbury 2002), has been translated into Spanish by Plots Ediciones (2006); adapted as a play by La Recua Teatro in Toledo, Spain (2012); and adapted into the documentary Be Natural by Pamela Green. The documentary premiered at Cannes in May 2018. Her mystery/horror for middle grade readers, “Kamikaze Iguanas,” will appear in the MWA anthology Scream and Scream Again, edited by R. L. Stine for HarperCollins, publication date July 24th. Alison is now represented by Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary.

An excerpt from Lisa Romeo’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) new memoir, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, appears on the PBS site Next Avenue. Her essay, “The Unpredictability of Grief” is featured on Covey Club, a new online women’s magazine. At The Review Review, Lisa shared “How Lit Journal Publications Paved the Way to Published Memoir.” The book was recently reviewed at Literary MamaHalfway Down the Stairs, and MyCentralJersey. Lisa recently spoke at the Cedar Ridge Writers Series on “Three Big Challenges in Writing Memoir,” and addressed the New Jersey Library Association Conference on “Readers and Writers in the Library: Perfect Together.” Since her book’s publication in May, she’s also been interviewed at The Debutante BallSunlight Press, and Under the Sun. Lisa led a panel, “Memoir: It’s all Relative. The perils, pleasures, and pitfalls of writing about family,” at the Maplewood-South Orange (NJ) Book Festival; was featured on the Write The Book podcast (#508); and at The Quivering Pen, where she wrote about “My First (Disastrous) Writing Retreat.”  In July, Lisa will visit Newtonville Books (Newton, MA, July 12th); Blue Umbrella Books (Westfield, MA, July 14th), and Toadstool Bookstore (Keene, NH, July 15th). See her full list of upcoming events.

The Dollmaker of Kraków by R. M. Romero (Popular Fiction, S’15) has been shortlisted for the Young Quills Award in the U.K. and nominated for the Flemish Children’s and Youth Prize.

The Kweli Journal published “Piper’s March” written by Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17).

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) short story “Consorts” will be published in The New Southern Fugitives. Her short story “Every Body of Water” will be published in Flights. Lisa’s short-story collection, Impossibly Small Spaces, will be released in Ireland in late summer by Arlen House and in the U.S. in October (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press).

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poem “Emigrant Song” has been accepted for publication by Harpur Palate and will be included in their Fall 2018 issue.

Hats off to Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11), whose short story “Midlife” was the sole fiction selection in the premiere issue of Torch, a journal of Richmond Community College, Hamlet, NC.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Cedar Valley Community College has offered Lindsey Barlow (Popular Fiction) a full-time Professor of English position, and she has accepted! The Texas state board meeting was on June 5th, and she was approved to teach full time. Lindsey is so excited and grateful. She thanks everyone who provided a letter of recommendation for her, and she thanks Cedar Valley, who allowed her to teach part time for so many years leading up to this.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction) is presenting his third semester research project on the philosophy of Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch at the SFRA conference in Milwaukee this month. He will also be presenting a similar paper at this year’s Worldcon in San Jose this August.

Nina Lichtenstein‘s (Creative Nonfiction) essay about growing up a latchkey kid in 1970s Oslo, Norway, was published in the Poydras Review in June. She also appeared as a teller at Brunswick’s own SoundBites with the theme “Grilled,” and told a story about being interrogated at the Ben Gurion airport in Israel, and how this made her not take her privilege for granted; you can listen to Nina share that story below. Nina has also had several submissions rejected/declined for publication, and looks forward to improve them and submit again! And again.

FACULTY

To mark Pride Month, Tin House is now running Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) essay “Sweetness Mattered” on their website. You can read it here.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) turned in Curious Toys, a novel set in 1915 Chicago, inspired by a true crime and the work of outsider artist Henry Darger, to Mullholland Books/Little Brown. Her short story “Ghost Light” appears in the new anthology Tiny Crimes, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto. In July, she’ll be a special guest at Comic-Con in San Diego, and then teaching a weeklong workshop for young writers at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.

This summer Cara Hoffman (Fiction, Popular Fiction) received an Edward Albee Fellowship and a Wellstone Center Fellowship and signed a two-book contract with Harper Collins.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will appear at San Diego Comic Con International. She will be doing signings of her comic book Mary Shelley Presents in the Kymera Press Booth, #2003. She will also appear on two panels: “A Celebration of Mary Shelley” on Thursday, July 19th, at 4:30—5:30 p.m. in Room 26AB; and “Women on the Dark Side” on Thursday, July 19th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Jim Kelly’s new short story collection, The Promise of Space and Other Stories, debuts on July 17th, just in time for the summer residency. Published by Prime Books, it includes 14 previously published stories, several of which have appeared in various Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies, and one story, “Yukui,” which is original to the collection. At 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018, at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jim will join his award-winning colleague John Chu for a reading at Speculative Boston, a new quarterly reading series featuring authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Debra Marquart‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) essay about submerged and sometimes forgotten female singers’ voices, entitled “Buried Voices,” was featured as a Story of the Week in Narrative Magazine.

Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him (New Rivers Books) is now out in Audiobook from Blunder Woman Productions, narrated by award-winning Audiobook star and Stonecoast alum Tanya Eby; it is available on Audible and more. In June, Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera had its Southwest Regional Premiere in suburban Dallas, Texas, at the Ohlook Performing Arts Center; the production was reviewed as “Perfect for late-night theater fun” here. Idol Talk—the new anthology on Teen Idols co-edited by Elizabeth with Stonecoast alum Tammy Wilson, featuring multiple Stonecoast contributors—is on Instagram ( idol_talk ) and has multiple summer readings, including:

  • St. Stephens Branch Library, Hickory, NC, on July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast alumna Tammy Wilson, appearing at NC readings)
  • Catawba Country Library in Newton, NC, on July 24th at 6:00 p.m.
  • Patrick Beaver Library in Hickory, NC, on July 31st at 6:30 p.m.
  • Toadstool Books in Peterborough, NH, on July 21st at 2:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast students Lee J. Kahrs and Kate Kastelein)
  • Newtonville Books in Newton, MA, on July 27th at 7:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast alumna Michelle Soucy)
  • NYC reading at KGB bar ion August 8th at 7:00 p.m. (with Stonecoasters Elizabeth Searle and Breena Clarke)
  • Main Street Books in Davidson, NC, on August 12th at 2:00 p.m.
  • Gaston Public Library in Gastonia, NC, on August 13th at 4:00 p.m.
  • Morrison Branch Library in Charlotte, NC, on August 21st at 7:00 p.m.
  • Harvard General Store in Harvard, MA, on August 30th at 6:00 p.m. (with Stonecoasters Lee J Kahrs, Elizabeth Searle, and Michelle Soucy)

 

 

 

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