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Community News & Updates June 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Issue 15 of Stonecoast Review will be on sale during and after June residency. From the gorgeous covers to the angst-filled poems and stories inside, this issue holds a mirror up to the last crazy-Covid year. The SCR team did a phenomenal job putting this together and it is stunning. Copies will be available for purchase on the Stonecoast Review site and at Kelly’s Books-to-Go. All sales proceeds cover the cost of printing future issues. Stonecoast Review will hold an informational meeting during June residency for any students interested in working on issue 16, and the upcoming Editor-in-Chief, Shannon Bowring, is still looking for a poetry editor.

A few Stonecoast graduates have been working on Sandbox Adventures Volume 1, a collection of 12 Plug-and-Play Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition adventures that they’ve launched on Kickstarter. Shane Collins (Fiction, W’15) is the lead writer for the project, Frank Ard (Popular Fiction, S’14) is the lead copy editor, Ana Delcourt (Fiction, S’14), is the website designer and artistic consultant, and Joe Carro (Popular Fiction, S’14) is a contributing writer and playtester. The Kickstarter is underway and goes until June 24th.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring (Fiction, 4th semester) was honored and thrilled to have her unpublished story “Romance,” from her collection-in-progress, chosen as a Finalist in this year’s MWPA Maine Literary Awards, alongside Stonecoast alum and category winner Morgan Talty. Shannon is also excited (and surprised) to have had work accepted in upcoming issues of Slush Pile Magazine and Raleigh Review.

ALUMS  

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for the Aurora Award for Best Related Work for his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor/host Setsu Uzumé, and all of PodCastle’s fabulous associate editors. Peter also narrated R.K. Duncan’s story “Hassan the Executioner Walks Out of Jawasar for the Last Time” for the May 20 issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies; you can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is pleased to announce that she accepted the Silver Hammer Award at the Bram Stoker Awards on Saturday, May 22: “The Horror Writers Association (HWA) periodically gives the Silver Hammer Award to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes.” Also at StokerCon, Carina shared her story “Twice in the Telling” as one of the author readings. This reimagining of a murder ballad can be found in the recently released anthology Upon a Twice Time now available from Air and Nothingness Press. In other news, Carina is busy at work reading solicited stories for the upcoming anthology Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas, scheduled for release by Hex Publishers in October 2021. As one of the editors of this project, she is excited to share a dynamite line-up of authors in a table of contents that defies genre stereotypes. In an effort to broaden the scope of diversity in this ground-breaking anthology, Hex Publishers will be holding an open submission window from June 21 to June 27, 2021. Bissett is seeking short fiction set exclusively in South America and poetry situated in the landscapes of the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Jennifer Marie Brissett is happy to announce that Destroyer of Light is now available for pre-order (to be published on October 12th).

J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) review of Melissa Febos’ audiobook Girlhood was just published by Audiofile Magazine. J shared the original (rejected) draft of their review with fellow Stonecoast summer 2019 graduates during a recent Hydra zoom reunion; for a copy of the far more interesting, rejected review, contact J at jbrookewrites.com. Their review of Useless Miracle by Barry Schechter was published earlier in the month without incident.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) is honoured to be a finalist in two categories for the Aurora Awards, Canada’s annual awards for science fiction and fantasy. Her short story “The Bone-Stag Walks,” originally published in Lightspeed, is a finalist for Best Short Story. The ephemera reading series—the monthly reading series she co-chairs—is a finalist in Best Fan Related. 

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that the fourth installment of her mosaic novel Stories of Driesch, “We Girls,” was released in May. The first three chapters of the novel are also available as ebooks and online. During the course of 2021 twelve original stories in this world will be made available to read on the Vernacular Books website or to purchase as standalone ebooks. At the end of the year, the pieces will be published as a mosaic novel Stories of Driesch (ebook & print) by Vernacular Books. Julie is also at work with her co-editor Ellen Meeropol on the charity anthology Dreams for a Broken World (Reckoning Press, 2022), an invite-only anthology of the real and the fantastical to raise money for the Rosenberg Fund for Children. 

  • “Do Not Fragment: Stories of Driesch 3” — Read online: Vernacular Books website. Purchase “Do Not Fragment” eBook: Amazon

In this cyberpunk-ish city, consciousness is a commodity. And the self is an augmented, fractured creation. Death detectives work with memories in storied Limm-Glass. Children are outfitted with secondary Glassed-personalities. Black market operators acquire and traffic virtual Glassed-personalities, and man-made tools utilize modified and unmodified versions of both the living & the dead.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) loves the spring. Her essay “Covens” came out in About Place Journal, Geographies of Justice issue. Her essay “Caithness Aurora” is forthcoming in June in Atticus Review. Her essay “Black Magic Marker” was longlisted for the CRAFT Literary Journal nonfiction prize. Her essay “Butterfly” was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award.

Gail Hovey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) memoir She Said God Blessed Us was recently reviewed by WATER—Women’s Alliance for Theology Ethics and Ritual. She is in good company. Scroll down to review number four. 

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is thrilled and mildly terrified to announce a free public reading of her first play, Gridlock, on June 11. The opening scenes were workshopped with Tom Coash and Jeni Mahoney during the Stonecoast winter residency. Sponsored by Silverthorne Theater and LAVA, the reading will be both in person (gasp!) in Greenfield, MA, and live-streamed. Tickets and info here.

Tarver Nova‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) short story “The Oracle and the Heist” was published in The J.J. Outré Review. He also has a short story forthcoming in Kaleidotrope.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) recent story on the fierce females who paddle Maine rivers is out in Maine Magazine. This piece—which spanned many weekends and river miles—was a heart project for Jenny, a river guide herself and a passionate advocate for better representation of women in outdoor media. This September, Jenny is putting her long-time dream of merging her writing and outdoor guiding careers into action: together with Maine Guide Chloë Rowse, she’s guiding a 7-day backpacking and writing adventure through Maine’s rugged 100 Mile Wilderness. Jenny is also thrilled to be teaching a character intensive at Salt Institute of Documentary Studies at MECA in early June. Limited space is available in both—Stonecoast writers enthusiastically welcome!

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short fiction piece “The Changeling” appears in Issue 10 of the literary magazine The Spectacle. She conceptualized the story as a modern-day interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has short story “Om Land Security” in in the new edition of Clackamas Literary Review. He has a short humor piece forthcoming in Portland Magazine.

Two memoir poems by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) will appear in the fall issue of Innisfree: “Herbie Mann at the Village Gate” and “Portrait, 1938.”

R. M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) magical realism novel in verse, The Ghosts of Rose Hill, will be published by Peachtree Teen in May 2022. 

Two more flash fictions for sid sibo (aka sidney woods, Fiction, W’19): “Permeable” and “Blameless” will be published in the July issue of Orca Literary Journal. Thanx to Suzanne Strempek Shea for introducing the compact story form that helps a literary self survive general distractedness.

Linda K Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) is pleased to announce that her poem “The Second Worse Thing” won First Place in the Springfed Art Poetry Competition, judged by Kathleen McGookey. 

Starting on July 5th, Stonecoast alum and Tin House author (Night of the Living Rez, 2022) Morgan Talty (Fiction, W’19) will be teaching an online six-week introductory course to fiction through Writing Workshops DallasFor those interested, please find more information here. Morgan’s short story “The Blessing Tobacco,” which originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of TriQuarterly Magazine, was selected as the Winner of The Maine Literary Awards Short Fiction Contest. Read the story here.

Christopher Varlack (Creative Nonfiction/Poetry, S’10) received the 2021 Cultural Ally Award—“given to staff or faculty members for their support of and advocacy for providing a welcoming and inclusive environment in which to learn, live, and grow”—from Arcadia University. Christopher just completed his first year at Arcadia as a tenure-track assistant professor of English. Students said, “Dr. Varlack consistently encourages cultural, mental, and emotional betterment in students and faculty. His comprehensive knowledge of Black literature, literary history, and creative writing is extremely refreshing and creates an environment in class that is compelling and inspiring.”

Adrienne S. Wallner (Poetry, W’09) will be presenting stories and photos from her hiking adventures at Isle Royale National Park on June 9 at The Snowflake Arena in Land O Lakes, WI, hosted by the Land O Lakes Fish and Game Club. On June 16, Adrienne will be giving a poetry reading and book signing of her debut collection To the 4 a.m. Light at Mind Chimes Bookshop in Three Lakes, WI. Signed copies of To the 4 a.m. Light can also be ordered through Adrienne’s website. Adrienne also published a guest post on May 21 for Typewriter Tarot’s Patreon titled “Oracle Decks: A Faery Reading in the Woods” about using oracle cards to find creative clarity and insight about her writing projects. 

FACULTY 

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) poignant review of the audio memory archive for Black lives lost, 1-800 Happy Birthday, was published at hyperallergic.comA Joyous, Sorrowful Archive of Birthday Messages for Lives Lost to Police.  She also contributed a letter written to Biracial/Multiracial/Mixed Black girls to the recently published Dear Black Girl: Letters from Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power. She read her letter on Mother’s Day Weekend at a virtual event hosted by Bel Canto Books on May 8th alongside editor Tamara Winfrey-Harris, who talked about the Letters to Black Girls Project and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters. Faith also talks bandit territory on an episode of the new travel podcast There She Goes! Travel Stories Told by the Women Who Wrote Them and is featured in a brief bonus Q & A as well. The podcast is co-hosted by the series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Lavinia Spaulding, and Kelly Chappie.

If you enjoy audiobooks, faculty member Tobias S. Buckell’s (Popular Fiction) latest novel A Stranger in the Citadel launched May 27th as an Audible Original. You can download it for free if you have an Audible subscription, without even using a credit! In Tobias’s new novel, “when a librarian arrives in Ninetha, an actual seeker and master of forbidden written knowledge, his presence unravels dark secrets at the heart of Lilith’s family’s rule over the city.”

Breena Clarke (Fiction) announces the publication of Chicken Soup for the Soul I’m Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope. This anthology, which contains 101 compelling, honest stories and a dozen poems from over 100 Black women, is co-authored by Breena and published on June 1, 2021. 

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction) wrote his latest feature for The New York TimesShould Nurses Take a 30% Pay Cut When Their Patient Turns 23? He’s also signed to a two-book YA deal with Macmillan. Doomed: The Tragic Case of Sacco & Vanzetti will be released in Spring 2022; Serpico: An Authorized Biography of an Honest Cop is slated for Spring 2023.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Hotel Cuba was sold in a pre-empt to Harper Perennial, for publication in 2023. It’s the story of two sheltered Russian Jewish refugee sisters who find themselves trapped in hedonistic Prohibition-era 1920s Havana while trying to emigrate to America.  

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) short story “The Owl Count” was a finalist for the American Society of Magazine Editors Award for fiction. Recent reviews include Billie Eilish, by Billie Eilish, for The Washington Post. Elizabeth recently spoke at the Writer’s Hotel Conference on creating memorable characters from the opening paragraph.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) won the Bram Stoker Award for Excellence in a Graphic Novel for Mary Shelley Presents Tales of the Supernatural. Debbie Daughetee, editor and publisher of the graphic novel, is a Popular Fiction alumna from the Class of 2006.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has Screenplay News: Variety has just announced that I’ll Show You Mine, a feature film script that Elizabeth co-wrote, is forthcoming as a Duplass Brothers Production film. The feature script was co-written by Elizabeth, bestselling author David Shields, and screenwriter Tiffany Louquet. The full film was shot in LA in May and is Executive Produced by Jay and Mark Duplass (Room 104) and by Lacey Leavitt (Outside In) & co; directed by Megan Griffiths (Lucky Them, Eden) and starring Poorna Jagannathan (Never Have I Ever, The Night Of, Big Little Lies) and Casey Thomas Brown (The Kominsky Method, Justified, Shameless). ICM is handling sales. The film is in post-production; release details TBA. Variety notes, “The dramedy, a Duplass Brothers Production, centers on Priya Sura, an author who has made a career of examining her own trauma, as she sits down to interview her nephew Nic for a new book about his history as a model who challenged gender norms and embraced his pansexuality in a very public forum. Their ensuing conversation, which takes place over the course of one intense weekend, forces each of them to reveal much more than expected and confront some of their most deeply hidden secrets.” Director Megan Griffiths said, “We started with a fantastic script, and every member of our team contributed to creating an environment that was conducive to vulnerability and risky, revealing performances.” Producer Mark Duplass added, “‘Some projects check all the boxes. This is one of them.’” See more details in the Variety announcement, and the film announcement also drew coverage overseas in The India Times.

Casey Thomas Brown and Poorna Jagannathan star in I’ll Show You Mine, an upcoming Duplass Brothers Productions feature film co-written by Elizabeth

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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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