Tag Archives: Susan Conley

Community News & Updates February 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Iota: Short Prose Conference is now open to students and alumni of Stonecoast MFA. (Applications don’t open for everyone else until February 8!) The creation of Stonecoast graduate Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13), Iota will stage on Campobello Island from August 16-19, 2019, with faculty Arielle Greenberg and Richard Blanco. Iota is also thrilled to partner with Stonecoast again this year on offering a full scholarship to one writer from rural Washington County, Maine.

FACULTY

The French edition of JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Damnificados (Les Dévastés), translated by Camille Nivelle, was published in January by Les Editions de l’Observatoire. The book was reviewed the same week by Le Monde, which described it as “extraordinary … and magical.”

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) recently recorded a podcast of his short play Raghead for The American Playbook library to be released later in 2019. Coash has also recently received a Johnny Mercer Foundation fellowship to work on a new musical, entitled Wild Sound, at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, February 2019.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Elsey Come Home (Knopf, January 2019) is an Oprah Magazine “Ten Best Winter Reads,” an Amazon Books “Best Book of the Month,” a Marie Claire Magazine “Best Women’s Fiction of 2019,” a Huffington Post “61 Books We’re Looking Forward to for 2019,” a Southern Living Magazine’s “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019,” Washington Independent Review of Books “Sixteen Titles We’re Watching,” a Read it Forward’s “Best Books of the first-half of 2019,” and a Fodors Travel “Best Travel Books for 2018.” The book was also recommended by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal’s “Pre-Pub Pick,” Shelf-Awareness, Book Page, Read It ForwardThe Millions, Hello Giggles, and others.

Advance praise is rolling in for Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Nirvana Is HereAuthor Elisa Albert calls the book “compulsively readable, charming, and suffused with deep humanity. The title is truth in advertising, folks: this novel is nirvana indeed.” Lesléa Newman says, “This is a drop-everything, stay-up-way-too-late, unputdownable novel… an absolutely necessary read.” And Tova Mirvis says, “Nirvana Is Here is tender, wise and deeply affecting.” Book tour dates are in the works, with stops already booked for New York; Washington, DC; Baltimore; Detroit; Annapolis; and Portland, Maine, a joint reading with Stonecoast alum Dave Patterson, who’ll be reading from his debut novel Soon the Light Will Be Perfect, at Print Bookstore, June 26. Mark your calendars! If you’re interested in having Aaron come to read at your town or Skyping with your book group, let him know directly at aaronhamburger@gmail.com

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has a new poem in Thalia Magazine. Check out “forgive me, but another black woman has been killed and I’m shook” along with two poems from Another Way to Say Enter, “Crossing In” and “History Repeating Repeating.”

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera returns to New York City February 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lucille Lortel Theater for a special concert event produced in a association with the Abingdon Theatre Company under Tony-Award-winning Executive Producer Jim Kierstead (Kinky Boots, Pretty Woman, Be More Chill). Media coverage for the event includes a feature article in Broadway World. Updates at http://www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

ALUMS

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) has a poem, “O Mad Arachne: A Folle in Three Acts,” included in NonBinary Review #19: Dante’s Infernopublished by Zoetic Press in December 2018.

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction/Fiction, S’17) recently won the AFFTA’s (American Fly Fishing Trade Association’s) first ever guide-only essay contest, along with a $1,000 prize. The piece (about complicated water issues facing south Florida/the Everglades region) will appear in the spring issue of The Drake magazine.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) is thrilled to announce that she is now represented by Kim-Mei Kirtland of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Her story “Ti-Jean’s Last Adventure, as Told to Raccoon” also appears in Lightspeed this month.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) flash piece “Stone Memories” can be found online at the Jellyfish Review. Her piece “City Magic” can be found online as part of the Cincinnati Review’s miCRo series. A few reprints have also made their way out into the world. Her story “Raising Babies” is now available on the podcast Tales to Terrify, while her story “A Pinhole of Light” was reprinted online in The Dark and in translation as part of the French anthology Ténèbres 2018. Finally, Julie’s debut collection Uncommon Miraclesreleased in October 2018, is now available in hardcover, signed limited edition, and e-edition! Here are a few recent accolades…

“In many of her stories, Day lulls readers into a false sense of familiarity with people, places and events before hitting a literary switch that snatches all certainties away…Day’s prose is spare but vivid and she has an impressive facility with a range of forms and voices.” ~Morning Star, Best of 2018: Fiction

“It’s hard to describe any one of the 18 stories collected here as characteristic of Day’s approach to fiction, since she demonstrates such an impressive range of tones and topics, but we can see here what will become a few recurring elements: a fascination with American landscapes as psychic spaces (with occasional side trips to Paris or the Azores), an almost playful manipulation of genres tropes and protocols, a fondness for subtitles that segment tales into discreet scenes, a resolute focus on characters haunted by memory and sometimes by grief, and an almost casual disinterest in linear plotting…her capacity for engaging bizarre ideas in the exploration of deeply felt and deeply damaged characters can be stunning.” ~Locus Magazine, Collection Review

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) is excited to share the release date and cover reveal for her debut book, The Bone Cutters—a bizarro horror novella about the hell of mental illness, the evil hands of drug addiction, and the horror of psych. hospitals. The book is set for publication on September 1, 2019, through Eraserhead Press. A book release event and local readings will be sure to follow. Stay tuned for those location and date announcements. Preorders for the book will be possible soon. Until then, here is the synopsis: Dory wakes up in the padded room of a psychiatric hospital with no recollection of how she wound up there. She soon finds out she’s been Blue-Papered–involuntarily committed. When she is sent to the wrong counseling group, she finds a whole new group of drug addicts that make her skin crawl. By the end of that first meeting she is running scared, afraid of being “dusted,” though the psych. hospital staff doesn’t believe a word she says; after all, she’s delusional—at least that’s what they tell her. They end up sending her to that same counseling group every day, though Dory knows that all those junkies want is what’s inside of her—she’s fresh, and she holds the most intense high. Like Girl, Interrupted and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” The Bone Cutters is one woman’s dark and surreal experience with a madness that is not necessarily her own.

March 3-5, Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S ’11) will be attending a Masters Workshop in Tucson. She is eligible for this event as a finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards Competition. Her submission for the competition was an excerpt from her memoir manuscript What Goes by the Name of Love.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has a couple articles in the 2019 Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac on newsstands now.

Little Patuxent Review honored Alan King (Poetry, W’13) with the 2018 Michael J. Clark Award, which is given annually to an outstanding work of literature published the previous year in LPR. The 2018 award, which was presented at the Winter 2019 Issue launch, was for his poem “The Journey.”  Video highlight from the reading below:

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Videogame Writing. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is up against Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Batman: The Enemy Within, God of War, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. You can peruse the other nominees here.

Andrea Lani‘s (Fiction, W’14) short story “Confluence” appears in the collection This Side of the Divide: Stories of the American West, which comes out on February 12. Her profile of author Caitlin Shetterly appeared in the January issue of Literary Mama, and you can read her editor’s letter from that issue here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) is the 2019 recipient of the Meetinghouse Theatre Lab’s Maine Playwright Award. Her one-act play, Crash, is based on a quartet of ten-minute plays she wrote at Stonecoast. It received its first staged reading on January 19th.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be teaching two workshops on using multiple narrators in the novel at the San Miguel Writers Conference and Literary Festival February 13-17 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She will also be moderating a panel (“Better Later? Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author”) at the AWP Annual Conference on Thursday, March 28, at 4:30 p.m.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is thrilled to be invited to join the North American Review’s 50th Anniversary conference lineup, which features Stonecoast faculty Debra Marquart and keynote speaker Martín Espada. Jenny’s seminar, based on her recent article in Creative Nonfiction and her third semester project at Stonecoast, uses a study of songwriting to explore vulnerability in creative writing.

Carolyn O’Doherty (Popular Fiction, W’11) is pleased to announce that her second novel, Unleashed, will be published on September 10, 2019. Unleashed continues the story that began with Rewind (April 2018) about a group of teenagers with the ability to freeze and rewind time. Both books are published by Boyds Mills Press. Rewind was recently named a 2019 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) new poetry chapbook Forms and Shades is available from Clare Songbirds Publishing with a ship date of February 1, 2019 (today!). His short-fiction collection The Trash Detail from New Rivers Press is currently at number 17 on the Small Press Distribution sales list.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will lead a one-day workshop, “Memoir Writing and the Gift of Incomplete Memories,” at The Open Center in New York City on Saturday, April 13. She’ll also be the lunchtime speaker at the Longform Narrative Workshop (featuring Narratively memoir editor Lilly Dancyger) hosted by Cedar Ridge Writers Series, March 2, in Bedminster, New Jersey. Lisa’s recent essay publications include  “Hands off the Black Jack,” for The Inquisitive Eater (a publication of The New School), and a micro excerpt, “Upstairs,” in the anthology The Walls Between Us: Essays in Search of Truth, edited by Beth Kephart. In Winter and Spring 2019, Lisa will continue a series of memoir writing tip programs at libraries around New Jersey, as part of promoting her memoir, Starting with Goodbye.

The LeVar Burton Reads podcast featuring Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “In the City of Martyrs” went live in January and is available for listening here.

Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, S’04) latest collection of short stories, Impossibly Small Spaces, received a new review. Her collaborative collection of poetry published in 2011, The Other Side of Longing (with Irish writer Geraldine Mills), will be adopted by an Irish literature class at University of Connecticut for the spring semester. Both of them are invited to speak to the class in April.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) had an essay featured in Narrative. “Strata” ran as the Story of the Week through February 1st. Thanks to Rick Bass and T Fleischmann for their help and encouragement, and thanks to Susan Conley for the workshop writing prompt that inspired the piece.

 

 

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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 September 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) appeared on the August 28th episode of PodCastle as part of a full-cast narration for Ken Liu’s story “To the Moon.” He was also a program participant at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, where he presented his award-winning essay, “The Vault of Heaven: Science Fiction’s Perso-Arabic Origins,” and spoke on a panel about the different expectations when writing prose vs. writing comics.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is thrilled to announce she’s the new Assistant Editor of the Pseudopod Podcast. She is also Western Technical College’s newest Adjunct Instructor in Viroqua, Wisconsin, where she will teach English Composition 1 on Fridays this fall.

Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction, S’17) novel Reading the Wind was re-released in a new Author’s Preferred 10th anniversary edition by WordFire Press on August 30th, 2018.

Naomi Farr (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) launched a book subscription box in spring 2017. Unicorn Crate is a monthly subscription that contains a new hardcover release in YA Fantasy plus 5-6 bookish items relating to each month’s theme. You’ll always get at least one unicorn-inspired item too! Naomi carefully selects the books and themed items each month (such as bookish candles, bookmarks, prints, pins, totes, teas, accessories, etc.) and was recently interviewed on The Bookworm Files where she reveals what it’s really like to run a subscription box! Unicorn Crate has a thriving Instagram feed in the bookstagram community, which you can check out @unicorncrate.

Hank Garfield (Fiction, S’04) will spend the 2018-19 academic year at the American University in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, teaching English composition. He will continue to write his blog, Slower Traffic: walking, bicycling, public transportation, and not owning a car, which can be found at slowertraffic.net and on the Slower Traffic Facebook page. He’d love to hear from any and all Stonecoasters during his months abroad. hankwgarfield@gmail.com

Josh Gauthier‘s (Popular Fiction, S’17) monologue “After the Questions” will be debuting as part of the King of Crows play festival at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland, Maine. The festival opens on September 6th, and the final show is September 16th. For more information, see the Facebook event here.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) poem “ The Bear that Reversed the Tale of Goldilocks” will be published in sPARKLE and bLINK 95 by Quiet Lightning and will part of their anthology reading in the redwoods of Samuel P. Taylor State Park in California on September 16th.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez (Poetry, W’08) won the 2018 Editor’s Choice Poetry Prize from Willow Books/Aquarius Press. Her book Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women, which explores the global oppression of women, is forthcoming in March of 2019.

Cliff Johns‘ (Popular Fiction, W’18) personal essay about his grandfather, “Trunk Stories,” is the featured essay in bioStories.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has been accepted at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. During her residency, she’ll revise her Vietnam novel one more time. She also has articles in the 2019 Harris Farmer’s Almanac, currently on newsstands.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has published three promotional short stories for Beast of Winter, the first DLC for Pillars of Eternity 2: DeadfireLandlocked is the story of the kindly innkeeper Valbrendhür and what brought him to a frozen island to wait out the end of the world. Descent is the story of Ehrys, a religious fanatic who doesn’t feel quite at home among the rest of her fellow religious fanatics. Last but not least, Mouth of the Beast is a “choose your own adventure” story about Neriscyrlas, an indignant undead dragon. All of the stories are collected at https://eternity.obsidian.net/media.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, W’11) has sold a short story, called “Finnegan, Why You Gotta Bring the Pain?” to Analog Magazine.

Sandra McDonald (Popular Fiction, W’05) recently sold three stories to Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine and Daily Science Fiction. Her transgender story “Sexy Robot Heroes” appears in the new Australian anthology Mother of Invention. Visit her at www.sandramcdonald.com.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story, “King Hanuman,” will be published in the the new Sisters in Crime/LA anthology Fatally Haunted (Down and Out Books, Spring 2019), edited by Rachel Howzell Hall, Sheila Lowe, and Laurie Stevens.

Ellen Meeropol’s (Fiction, W’06) essay was published in the August 26th Boston Globe Magazine’s Connections column. The online version is here.

Kelsey Olesen (Popular Fiction, W’17) presented a paper, “Women in a Magical History: Feminine Power in British Regency Fantasy Novels,” at Worldcon 76 in San Jose as part of its Academic Track. She was interviewed after her presentation by podcast Androids and Assets; her interview has since appeared in an episode that aired on August 31st. She presented a version of this same paper at the International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts in March.

Shannon Ratliff‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) chapbook, Arch, was released from dancing girl press and studio as part of its annual chapbook series, devoted to publishing innovative writing by women authors in unique handmade editions. This essay appeared in its entirety in her thesis. It’s available for purchase here.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) has an essay about Native American shell middens in the 2018 Island Journal; an update on the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Down East magazine; and an article co-authored with Aliya Uteuova on the status of Maine’s blue mussel populations in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine.

Jacob Strunk’s (Fiction, W ’07) short story “She Screams”—written many moons ago during his time at Stonecoast—appears in the anthology Vintage Love Stories, available now at Amazon and as an audiobook at Audible.

Nancy Swan (Fiction, W’12) is proud to be among the contributors to the anthology Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives. Edited by Elizabeth Searle and Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11), Idol Talk was published in June 2018 by McFarland Publishing and is meeting with great success in the marketplace.

FACULTY

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) short musical Stepping Into Fire, featuring a young tightrope walker dealing with a tragic accident on the wire, will be produced twice during September. South African star Kiruna-Lind Devar will be performing the play at the Pink Room in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sept. 28-30 as part of the RedFest, raising money for rural schools. New Jersey Repertory Theatre will produce the play as part of their “When the Circus Comes to Town Festival,” September 30, 2:00 p.m.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Elsey Come Home was a Library Journal Pre-Pub Pick for January 2019. The novel will be out with Knopf on January 15th, and the audiobook and Large Print format have recently been sold.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) has just sold his novel Nirvana is Here to Three Rooms Press, with a planned release in 2019. An interracial love story set to an early 90s grunge soundtrack, the book touches on issues of identity, race, the #metoo movement, and family with poignancy and humor, combining the sensuality and haunting nostalgia of Andre Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name with the edge of the songwriting of Kurt Cobain. Also, an interview with Aaron is up on the Debut Writer Blog.

On September 1st in Austin, TX, Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) will feature at the Six Square Cultural Arts Fest. Six curated sites make up this festival that celebrates the rich African American history of east Austin. Enjoy poetry, music, food, and more. Tickets start at $15.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) story “Yukui!” original to his new collection The Promise of Space from Prime Books, was reprinted much faster than he expected.  It appeared in the August issue of Clarkesworld, two weeks after he made the sale. His ten-minute play Panspermia was accepted for production at the fourth annual PARAGON Sci-Fi + Fantasy Play Festival to take place November 17 & 18, 2018, at the Otherworld Theater (3914 N Clark St, Chicago, IL).  This will be the third year in a row Jim’s work has been staged at PARAGON.

Broadway actress Heidi Friese stars in Elizabeth Searle’s one-act play Stolen Girl Song on Sept 7th.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) one-act play Stolen Girl Song will be performed by Broadway actress Heidi Friese on September 7th as a reading at The Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers, co-founded by Breena Clarke, and running September 6-8th in Hobart Book Village, NY. Breena spotlighted Stolen Girl and Heidi on the Hobart blog. Heidi, who performed in Broadway’s Matilda and has played leads in Gypsy and more, also played ‘Oksana Baiul’ in the New York Musical Theater Festival production of Elizabeth’s rock opera. September readings in New England from Elizabeth’s and Tammy Wilson’s anthology Idol Talk will take place at Belmont Books on September 20th and at Broadside Books in Northampton (featuring Suzanne Strempek Shea and former SC faculty Lesléa Newman) on September 26th, both at 7:00 p.m. Updates: www.elizabethsearle.net

Stonecoaster readers at the August 8th IDOL TALK reading at KGB in NYC- Lee J. Kahrs, Breena Clarke and Elizabeth Searle, who joined fellow readers poet Diana Goetsch and novelist Janice Eidus.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates April 2016

Note from Jenny O’Connell, Community Outreach Coordinator for Stonecoast MFA

In 2017, Stonecoast MFA turns fifteen!  We would like to invite you to come celebrate with us at an alumni reunion weekend during one of the 2017 residencies. I’ll be working closely with Robin to make sure the alumni weekend is framed around YOU. Please take a moment to fill out the (very brief!) survey, which was posted to the the Alumni Listserv, by May 1, 2016.

Also, if you haven’t had a chance to “like” the newly re-vamped Stonecoast Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter, please take a moment to join our online community and stay connected.  Both are updated frequently with news on Stonecoast writers and the literary world.  If you have any news about your own writing that you’d like to see posted, send it along to jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu.

We are excited to hear from you!  Happy writing.

Note from Joanne Turnbull (Fiction, S’11):

Artists Wielding Words and Images is a collaborative project of Maine Media Workshops + College, USM’s Stonecoast MFA, and Your Write Mind that addresses the role of art as an agent of social change. This kickoff event begins with a panel of artists who will share the challenges they face when seeking to communicate social issues in a way that opens hearts and minds. Breakout sessions follow the panel to provide participants with an experience of exploring how their own creativity can influence social change.

Photograph: © Martha Rial / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Photograph: © Martha Rial / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

ALUMS

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W ’12) finally has her new website up and humming; you can access it here. She’d love to have you visit, look around and leave a comment. And other news, Moon Dark, Book #1 of The Auriano Curse, her paranormal historical romance, is now available in paperback format.

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) is delighted to report that her novel Catwalk (Midnight Ink, 2014) has won the 2015 Maxwell Award for fiction from the Dog Writers Association of America. Catwalk is the third book in Sheila’s Animals in Focus Mystery series. Book #1, Drop Dead on Recall, won the Maxwell in 2013, and The Money Bird was a finalist in 2014.

Corpse RoadsKaren Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) has a new poem “Effects of Moonlight” and a reprint prose poem “So Normal and Unwritten” coming out in Folk Horror Revival’s forthcoming Corpse Roads horror poetry anthology. She sold a new flash fiction story “On Rising One Snowy Evening” to Parsec Ink‘s Triangulation: Beneath the Surface anthology. She’s also excited to announce her story “The Scarlet Cloak” is being produced in audio for the Gallery of Curiosities podcast, which she will narrate herself. Date update: Her poem about the Sad Puppies Kerfuffle “Keep Hugo Stormed” will appear on April 15, 2016, in Eye to the Telescope #20. She’s so grateful for all of you and your continued inspiration and encouragements!

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) will be on a panel discussion called “Alien(ation): Diversity Under Attack, Racism, Homophobia, & Sexism at Hugo Awards & Beyond,“along with scholar André Carrington and science fiction author Craig Laurance Gidney, on Friday, April 8th, at 6:00-8:00 pm, at the CUNY Graduate Center, room 9204, 365 Broadway at 34th Street, Manhattan, NYC. The event is free and open to the public.

Libby Cudmore‘s (Creative Nonfiction/Popular Fiction, S’10) debut novel, The Big Rewind (William Morrow), received 3/4 stars from Charles Finch in USA Today. She was also a USA Today “Weekend Pick” on Saturday, March 12.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) lesson plan called “Making a Poem Hum” from the anthology Poetry Crossing will be published in Teachers & Writers magazine‘s April issue.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been writing for the newly announced fantasy role-playing game from Obsidian Entertainment, Tyranny: “In Tyranny, the grand war between good and evil is over—and the forces of evil, led by Kyros the Overlord, have won. The Overlord’s merciless armies dominate the face of the world, and its denizens must find their new roles within the war-torn realm.” For more information about the game, including screenshots and a trailer, visit the website.

Tyranny

Jessica de Koninck (Poetry, W’11) has two poems in the spring 2016 issue of diode. Her first full-length poetry collection, Cutting Room, will soon be released by Terrapin Books.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was happy to have her short story “Boy Trouble” appear in Brain, Child this month. Thanks to the Stonecoast Ireland Crew (S’13) and Nancy Holder for the revision advice, especially moving the gun to the end of the story. She also had a humor piece called “Advice to Writers from 80s Hair Bands” published on Beyond Your Blog, a short essay called “The Chickens” on Mutha Magazine, and another short essay called “One Cake or Three?” on the Brain, Mother Blog.

Sandra McDonald (Popular Fiction, W ’05)  and Nancy Holder (faculty) both saw stories published in the March 2016 issue of Nightmare magazine. Sandra’s story features Susie Lovecraft, mother of famed H.P. Lovecraft, in a creepy tale about female sexuality and the forces that bind it. She also has more fiction forthcoming this year in Nightmare, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and more. Visit her at www.sandramcdonald.com.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) flash piece, “Signs of Alcoholism,” will be featured in the inaugural issue of Indicia.

Renee Olander (Poetry, W’05) presented a paper, “Language and Power in the Age of Trigger Warnings and Title IX Redux,” at the 27th Annual Spring Conference on the Teaching of Writing at Old Dominion University (March 21, 2016); she will participate in the panel “Literary Foremothers and Filling the Gaps” at the AWP Annual Conference in Los Angeles on April 1, 2016.  She has both a flash fiction (“Dear Torso, Stone-carved”) and a poem (“The Apparatus of the Dark”) forthcoming in the 2017 anthology Memoirs of the Feminine Divine, edited by Andrea Fekete and Lara Lillibridge.

The Book of the MandolinAnne Britting Oleson‘s (Poetry, W’05) novel, The Book of the Mandolin Player, will be published by B Ink Books on April 1st. You can watch the book trailer here.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry ’12; also ex-faculty) is in the midst of a Canada-wide tour for Let the Empire Down, her second collection with Biblioasis. An interview with Alexandra recently appeared in The Windsor Star. Alexandra begins her PhD (English and Critical Studies) this fall at McMaster University.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, ’12) has started a podcast about love on an island (because she lives on an island in Alaska!), along with three radio-minded friends. Listen to the first episode here.

Sean Robinson’s (Popular Fiction, W’14) story “He Who Makes the Slippers,” a fairy tale written his first day at Stonecoast, was published in Mirror Dance. Sean also presented a paper at ICFA (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts), “Ossomancing the Siren,” which started as his third semester project and has grown since then. He is also in the middle of his second semester as a Teaching Lecturer at Plymouth State University where he’s teaching writing and fairy tales and having a blast.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) was one of three finalists in the Rose Metal Press Chapbook Contest for her CNF manuscript, Tuck the Story Away (judged by Ira Sukrungruang​). A narrative essay, ​”Jersey Nights on Broadway,” is running on the NYC story site, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood.

9780997040005-BeyondRainMan2_Front_RGB_72dpi_5.5x8.5_webBeyond Rain Man: What One Psychologist Learned Raising a Son on the Autism Spectrum will be released on April 5! Anne K. Ross is the pen name of a 2007 Creative Nonfiction graduate. For more information, visit the website.

Kathleen Saville‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’13) memoir Rowing for My Life: Two Oceans, Two Lives, One Journey will be published by Arcade Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, in January 2017. She’s very excited, as you can imagine. While at Stonecoast, she worked with Cait Johnson, Barbara Hurd, and Debra Marquart on parts of her book; their guidance inspired her as did the wonderful Stonecoast environment.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) just released her collaborative audio fiction-music album Strange Monsters, funded through Kickstarter. The album features six of her previously published short stories read by actors and threaded with original musical compositions. The album is currently available through CDBaby here.

Julie VanDeKreke‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’10) work will be featured in the Spring Equinox 2016 edition of Mused: The Bella Online Literary Review, with one nonfiction piece, one poem, and two photos.

Christopher Varlack (Creative Nonfiction/Poetry, S’10) successfully passed his dissertation defense at Morgan State University this March with his PhD in English to be conferred this May.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) published his critical essay “Self-Speaking World” on experiments in autobiography in the Spring issue of Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. This started as a third semester project with Debra Marquart and then became part of his final residency presentation.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) has a story, “Deanie’s House,” in Waypoints, Issue 2.

FACULTY

51RmY3JvlzL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Susan Conley’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) photo/story book collaboration Stop Here This Is The Place: A Year In Motherland will be published April 14th. The book traces the year in the life of each of the collaborators’ children on their street in Maine and celebrates motherhood and simply being a kid. Real Simple Magazine will do a feature on Stop Here in April as well as Donwneast Magazine, The Portland Press Herald, and other media outlets. The book launch party will take place on Thursday, May 5th, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Portland Museum of Art, and all in the Stonecoast greater community are welcome. An additional reading will take place on May 19th at Longfellow Books in Portland.

Tantor Audio has acquired the audio rights to David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) next novel, The Risen: A Novel of Spartacus. Steven Crossley is doing the narration and the audiobook will pub at the same time as the book, May 3rd.

In February, PBS NewsHour featured Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) and his new book of poems, Vivas to Those Who Have Failed. Check out both the television story and the online reading.

April’s a busy month for Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction). He’ll be on several panels at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans as well as reading from new work there. He’s also judging the Bethesda Magazine Teen Fiction Contest as well as the Green Briar Review fiction contest. Finally, if you’re in the DC area, you can catch his class “Breaking Through Writer’s Block” at legendary Politics & Prose bookstore.

Mike Kimball’s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) 10-minute play Houston will be part of the Students’ Short Play Festival at the Community College of Rhode Island, Liston Campus (One Hilton St.- Room 1120; 401.455.6116), April 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23-24 at 2:00 p.m.

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51ggQvO+PtL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Debra Marquart‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry) essay “The Perils of Travel” was published in Paris, Etc., a new anthology that explores what Paris means to writers who have visited and lived in this fascinating city.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is happy to be on the writing faculty at the Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers 2016, co-founded by Breena Clarke; please visit the new blog and website for information and consider signing up for September in the beautiful “book reading capital of America.”

Reunite with some Stonecoast alums, and learn lots in the process at Bay Path University’s 13th Writers’ Day on the Longmeadow, MA, campus on April 16th. Stonecoast alumna Bunny Goodjohn (Poetry, W’07) will be speaking on “Image Gold Rush: Mining Photographs for Narratives,” and alumna Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, ’04) talk will focus on “Liars, Criminals, and Lovers: The World of the Story/Fiction 101.” Stonecoast faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), Bay Path’s writer-in-residence and director of writing programs, will be there to greet you.

A full production of “Mags: A Conversation with an Audience,” based on Suzanne Strempek Shea’s book This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both, will be staged at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, MA, June 9-12. Tickets go on sale in May. The Majestic was the site of the first reading of the play back in November. A reading of the play also will be held July 27 at the Bee Hive Theater in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland, the adopted home town of Mags Riordan, subject of This Is Paradise and founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Cape Maclear, Malawi. Connemara actor Tegolin Knowland will portray Mags. Both events will benefit the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic, which saves lives daily in a remote area that once had a single doctor for 800,000 residents.

In the wake of her essay on Portland in the 1970s that ran in the March issue of Down East, Suzanne has been sought for more quotes on the city’s scene way back when. The Bangor Daily News includes Suzanne in this piece.

Suzanne is also spending a lot of time these days cheering on her husband Tommy, whom some Stonecoasters might have met at residencies along the way. A former award-winning journalist who once covered the Red Sox (quite a job for a Yankees fan), Tommy has co-authored Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History. To be released April 6 by Sports Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, and co-written by Joshua Shifrin, the book tells the stories of the authors’ choices of the top 100 homers and how each affected the game of baseball. Details are at www.tommysheastadium.com

 

 

 

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