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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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