Tag Archives: Suzanne Strempek Shea

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 June 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Poetic Voices of Social Justice: A Reading with Martín Espada and Lauren Schmidt
Thursday July 12th, 7:00 pm
SPACE Gallery, Portland Maine

Please join Stonecoast MFA for a reading and discussion with poetry faculty Martín Espada, recent winner of the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and award-winning poet Lauren Schmidt. There will be live music, and a chance to share thoughts and inspiration as a community. The $10-20 suggested donation will directly benefit the Stonecoast MFA Writing for Social Justice Scholarship Fund.

 

Pitch 2018

Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance (MWPA) Pitch 2018 offers writers the chance to pitch their manuscripts or book proposals to agents from leading NYC-based literary agencies and editors from some of Maine’s largest publishers. Pitch 2018 provides the rare opportunity to make a literary pitch face-to-face in Maine, to make connections with agents, editors, and other writers, and to gain insider knowledge on the publishing industry. MWPA is proud to offer a three-pitch scholarship to a writer who is from an underrepresented community currently living in Maine and who can demonstrate financial need, sponsored by participating agent Saba Sulaiman. Applications are due in the MWPA office on July 2nd at 9:00 a.m. MORE INFORMATION → Pitch will be held Saturday, September 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Glickman Library on the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland. Registration opens on June 12th. More information is here.

ALUMS

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W’12) is excited to announce that her paranormal historical romance Moon Shadow, Book #2 (The Auriano Curse Series) won the Readers’ Choice Award. Part of the manuscript was workshopped at Stonecoast and mentored by the fabulous and inimitable Mike Kimball. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this book a winner.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated the May 3rd episode of Escape Pod, featuring the story “Fire Rode The Cold Wind” by Aimee Ogden. You can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) published her mermaid-inspired story “The Landscape of Lacrimation” in the second issue of the online literary magazine The Hunger. She also has recently placed her poem “C8: A Tessellation of Faces, Wings, and other Obscure Things,” which will be featured in forthcoming issue of the NonBinary Review Issue 17: A Wrinkle in Time.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was happy to learn her LGBTQ+ historical romance novel Swift for the Sun was selected as a finalist for the Eric Hoffer award.

After ten years of work, Elizabeth Garber‘s (Creative Nonfiction, ‘10) book, Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter, will be released June 12th from She Writes Press. Her memoir focuses on how her family was caught in a collision between modern architecture, radical social change, and madness in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s in Cincinnati. Her book tour takes her from New York City, Boston, Maine, Cincinnati, and Vermont. The book has received a starred Kirkus review (“poetic and incisive”) and Library Journal calls it “an extraordinary debut memoir.” Implosion has a contract to be released by a large-print press as well. For more details and dates to join her for a reading/presentation, go to www.elizabethgarber.com

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13)  poem “Wind Turbines of Altamont Pass” will be published in the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Her poem “Puma” was accepted for publication in The Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2018. Her poem, “Where Did it Go?” and four animal haiku were printed in Poem in Your Pocket Day by Berkeley Public Library.

Penny Guisinger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay “Looking for Luke Skywalker,” first published in Hippocampus, is a finalist for a Maine Literary Award in the short works category. This would be her second MLA. Winners will be announced at an event on June 14th, so cross some fingers for her!

Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) was offered a full-time Professorship in the English Department at Florida SouthWestern State College starting this Fall.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11), is happy to announce Poetry Barn’s Peak Color Retreat, October 6-9​, an inspiring weekend of poetry steeped in the vibrance of fall in the Catskills. Judith Vollmer (MFA faculty, Drew University) will offer a master workshop titled: The Living Object: Image & Movement. Visit the website for full details.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) posted a new blog post, “No Country for Old Books…Or So It Seems,” which explores the challenges of marketing a book over a year old. The post highlights advantages that “older” books have over “newly-released” ones. Read it here.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) recently completed a writing retreat at the University of Washington’s Whiteley Center on San Juan Island, Washington. He has had two recent non-fiction publications: his essay “Parable of the Cascade” was published by About Place Journal (as Ryan Patrick Gannon) as well as an article called “Open and Closed: The Class That Sank” in the Open Pedagogy Notebook. He presented an essay “She Has Always Been Here: Mystique, Destiny, and Female LGBT Representation in Marvel Comics” at the Dartmouth College conference on Illustration, Comics, and Animation. Later this month, he will be heading back to Ireland to participate in NUI-Galway’s Summer School program on Teaching in Ireland, where he will also hopefully complete that book of poems he started during the SCI 2017 residency in Howth.

Ruthie Rohde’s (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) essay “Wild Abandon” was recently published in The Palgrave International Handbook of Women and Outdoor Learning, edited by Tonia Gray and Denise Mitten (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Ruthie and Stonecoast alumnus Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) presented together with Dr. Ann Murphy on a panel at the Western Connecticut Trauma Conference at Western Connecticut State University. The panel was titled: “Write Where you Are: Building and Fostering Writing Workshops in Prisons, Homeless Shelters, Hospitals and Other Medical and Community Settings.”

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is pleased to note that her new book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, published May 1st, has been reviewed at Brevity and in Publishers Weekly, where she’s also been featured in a Spotlight interview. Lisa is also interviewed on the Shelf Awareness “Reading with…” series; contributed to the LargeHearted Boy’s “Playlist;” and appears on the Creative Nonfiction podcast . Her craft article and excerpts, on adding humor to a grief memoir, appears on The Memoir Project, and an essay in Books by Women, “If You Give a Writer a Book Contract, She’s Going to Want…Everything,” takes a look at author envy. Lisa appeared with Suzanne Strempek Shea at Amherst Books (MA) recently, and is interested in partnering with other Stonecoast folks who have new(ish) books out, for bookstore appearances, conference panels, reading, and/or other events. Contact her here. In June, she’s making many book tour stops in New Jersey and in July, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) has managed to publish creative work while continuing her full-time job as a science writer for the University of Maine: a lyric essay, “The New Diving Duck Blues,” is in the Spring issue of Cold Mountain Review. She also co-authored the cover story about coastal storms in the spring issue of UMaine Today, wrote an article about alewives in lakes in the May issue of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine, and published a short reflection on “Communicating about rare and common species” in The Plainspoken Scientist.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has been awarded an Individual Excellence Award and a $5000 grant for his writing by the Ohio Arts Council.

FACULTY

On May 31st, Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) spoke at the Lewiston Public Library about her forthcoming novel, Curious Toys, and the work and influences of noted outsider artist Henry Darger, the book’s inspiration.  On June 2nd she will one of the featured writers at the Maine Crime Wave Festival in Portland. On Tuesday, June 5th, she’ll be part of a panel honoring the legacy of writer Thomas M. Disch at Brooklyn Common, in Brooklyn, NY.  On Wednesday, June 6th, she’ll be reading at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York City as part of the group faculty reading for the Writer’s Hotel Writers Conference, where she’s an instructor June 6-11. On June 21-22, she’ll be guest instructor at the Odyssey Writers Workshop in Manchester, NH. Forthcoming book reviews include A True History of the Vampire Uprising for The Washington Post.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) new existential starship novelette, “Grace’s Family,” was published last month on Tor.com.  Also in May, Jim had the honor of introducing his friend and longtime editor, Sheila Williams, at the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Nebula Awards Ceremony. Sheila won the Solstice Award, which acknowledges “individuals who have had a significant impact on the science fiction landscape.” In reprint news, not only did Jim write the introduction and the afterword to the just published anthology A Fistful of Dinosaurs, but he contributed the oft-reprinted “Think Like A Dinosaur” to the table of contents. His novelette “Men Are Trouble” will appear in the forthcoming aliens-on-Earth anthology Not One Of Us from Prime Books. His Hugo-Award-winning “Ten to the Sixteenth to One” will appear soon in the international digital magazine The Short Story Project based in Israel. His story “The Promise of Space” will be published in China by Guangzhou Blue Ocean Press in an as-yet unnamed anthology aimed at the high school and university market.

Jim Kelly and Sheila Williams at the Nebula Awards ceremony.

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Community News & Updates April 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

On April 13th from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Quiet City Books in Lewiston, Maine, will host “Between Fear and Hope: Readings from Local Writers.” Among the readers are Stonecoast alum Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17), and graduating students Meredith MacEachern (Popular Fiction) and Anthony Marvullo (Creative Nonfiction). The event is free and open to the public. See the Facebook event here.

Stonecoast MFA has created a new scholarship aimed at supporting writers who use their work to effect positive social change. This April, Stonecoast launches One Month, One Voice: a call to action for our community to get creative, make your voice heard, and help fund the Writing for Social Justice Scholarship. We need your help! Join the movement by hosting an event, donating to the cause, or helping us spread the word. Visit our fundraising page for more information.

RECENT CONFERENCE ROUND-UPS

Check out reports and photos from the recent AWP and ICFA conferences!

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) received the Walter James Miller Memorial Award for Student Scholarship in the International Fantastic at the 39th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts for his essay, “The Vault of Heaven: Science Fiction’s Perso-Arabic Origins.” He originally wrote this essay for his third semester project at Stonecoast, under the mentorship of Theodora Goss, and he will present a condensed version of it at Worldcon 76.

Peter Adrian Behravesh and Theodora Goss. Photo taken taken by AJ Bauers (Popular Fiction, W’17)

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is happy her poem “Fire Lover” is now available for reading in February’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (Karen’s audio narration is also available at that link). In March, she presented on panels at Stokercon (Writing Fiction vs Writing Games, Shirley Jackson, Call of Cthulhu RPG, Dark Poetry, Horror Gaming, and Edit Your Way Past the Slush Pile which she also moderated) and had a blast hanging out with other Stonecoasters. She will very soon be narrating books for the Stoker-winning Independent Legions Publishing. Her book Swift for the Sun is both an Eric Hoffer da Vinci award (best cover) finalist and an Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Frankin Award for best LGBT title gold or silver metal finalist. Her scifi flash fiction about divorce, “From Now Until Infinity,” appeared in the first issue of Factor Four Magazine, the only story that’s a free read for that issue. She is extremely proud of being March’s guest editor on Pseudopod and hopes you check out the five awesome dark scifi and fantasy stories she selected. Two of her 2017 poems, “Syncing Minefields” (Strange Horizons) and “Save Our Souls” (Silver Blade Magazine), have been nominated for the Rhysling award by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. Last, but not least, she can be heard narrating an extremely inappropriate story titled “A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Apocalypse Down Your Pants” by Robert Jeschonek on StarShipSofa. It is the first time she’s ever narrated for orgasmic soup. Thanks for all your support!

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has two features out in outdoor magazines this season. His first-person account of fly fishing smallmouth on the Androscoggin can be found in the spring issue of The Drake magazine, and the current issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal features Ryan’s article “Ten-Year Tarpon,” which was part of his thesis at Stonecoast.

Linda Buckmaster‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) essay “Security Clearance,” which first appeared in Burrow Literary Review, is included in an anthology from University of Florida Press, In Season. Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places In Between.

Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) will lead a memoir workshop for the Cape Cod Writers Center on April 14th. More info can be found here.

Kristin LaTour (Poetry, S’07) is again doing her Poem-a-Thon fundraiser during April, National Poetry Month. Sponsors get a newly written draft poem every day in April. This year she’s raising money for Welcoming America, a non-profit that works within US communities to partner immigrants and refugees with people who are already established in those areas. More information is available about the fundraiser and Welcoming America on her fundraising page.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) sold an excerpt of an unpublished novel to Analog Science Fiction And Fact, called “Full Metal Mother.”

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) MFA thesis story “Anmol, Pasha, and the Ghost” has been published in Issue 21 of New Haven Review. You can read it here.

Shannon Ratliff’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “Waller Creek” appears in the Spring ’18 issue of Hotel Amerika, currently out.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) bayou horror story “Snake Season,” which she read from in her graduate reading, is in the April issue of The Dark and available for free online here, with story notes here. If you’d like to check out her next reading, she’ll be joining fellow Stonecoaster Golden Baker for the kick-off of a new Harlem Speculative Fiction Reading Series on the evening of April 9th at local venue Silvana—more info here.

Michaela Roessner (Popular Fiction, S’08) will be a keynote speaker and presenter at the 2018 Writing the Rockies conference at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO, July 18 – 22. And her short story “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be included in the upcoming reprint anthology Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories, published by New Word City Publishers, Inc.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S ’08), will lead a day-long memoir workshop as part of Writing in the Pines at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ on April 14. She will be presenting on Sunday, April 15, at Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day (Longmeadow, MA) on “Publishing: the Long and Short of It.” Her micro essay, “Hope is a Voice,” will appear in the spring print issue of Tiferet Journal, and a longer essay, “Getting Something to Grow Somewhere” will show up in the next print issue of GreenPrints Magazine. Lisa was recently interviewed by Proximity, and by Cleaver Magazine (in which she quotes two of her Stonecoast mentors).

R. M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) debut novel, The Dollmaker of Kraków, has been awarded the Silver Medal for Older Children’s Literature in the Florida Book Awards and has been named a 2018 Sydney Taylor Notable Book.

Mary Katherine Spain‘s (Fiction, S’16) play Just Saying was selected as a Semi-Finalist in the Maine Playwrights Festival. A dramatic reading of all of the semi-finalists’ plays will be held on April 22nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Mechanics Hall in Portland. For more info, click this link.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter” appeared in the online edition of Fairy Tale Review.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) has an essay featured in the UK’s The Clearing—A Journal of Nature, Landscape and Place. “Shepherd’s Watch” will appear in early April.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has a new poem published by Typishly. “Aromatics” has additionally been selected as an Editor’s Choice Poem. The piece can be read here.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Scriptwriting) award-winning play Veils is being published by Original Works Publishing.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) essay “Sweetness Mattered,” which he read an excerpt from at the last residency, is out in the new issue of Tin House.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) 2016 novel, Mother Go, an audiobook narrated by January LaVoy and published by Audible, is a finalist for the Audie Award in the Best Original Work category. The Audies will be awarded by the Audio Publishers Association in May. Jim’s 2002 prehistoric fantasy “Luck” has published in Italian as “La storia di Pollice” by Delos Digital, and his 2003 cyberpunk novelette “Bernardo’s House” has been reprinted in an international science fiction showcase Future Fiction, edited by Bill Campbell and Francesco Verso.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Tamra Wilson’s (Fiction, S’11) anthology Idol Talk now has a pub date of June 15 (from McFarland Books) and a cover! It features, among the 44 authors writing about their ‘teen idols,’ an all-star roster of Stonecoasters, including both current and former students and faculty. Co-editor Tammy is an alum herself and author of a story collection, Dining with Robert Redford. She will be returning to Stonecoast in July. The all-star Stonecoast-connected contributors to Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives: Breena Clarke (Fiction faculty), Emlyn Dornemann, Ann Rosenquist Fee (Fiction, S’08), Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08), Shara McCallum, Lesléa Newman, Morgan Callan Rogers, Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction faculty), Linda Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09), Michelle Soucy (Fiction, S’10), Nancy Swan (Fiction, W’11), Darlene Taylor (W’16), and Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Fiction faculty). Check Elizabeth’s website for updates and readings: www.elizabethsearle.net

Meet and hear from Mags Riordan, founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Malawi and subject of Suzanne Strempek Shea’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) book This Is Paradise as she returns to New England to update supporters on big changes including a new clinic for her region’s AIDS/HIV population. Suzanne will do a brief reading from This Is Paradise at each event, and copies of the book, and crafts from Chembe Village, be sold to benefit the clinic. Each date is open to the public free of charge, and free-will offerings gratefully will be accepted.  Dates and locations are:

Suzanne also will be speaking at Bay Path University’s 17th Writers’ Day, Sunday, April 15, at the university’s Ryan Center, 1 Denslow Road, East Longmeadow, Mass. Talks begin at 12:30 p.m., with “Immersion Starts with ‘I,'” in which Jonathan Green (Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood and Betrayal) and Suzanne will talk about immersion journalism, their related writing, great books done via that method, and more. The other speakers on the roster are three members of Bay Path’s MFA faculty: Stonecoast alum Lisa Romeo, plus Sophfronia Scott and Karol Jackowski. Registration and fee required. For full information: https://www.baypath.edu/events-calendar/community-events/writers-day/

Among many fond memories from last month, Suzanne is pasting into her scrapbook two photos from a visit to Florida: Stonecoast alum Melanie Brooks’ AWP in Tampa panel “Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma,” which included Suzanne, Andre Dubus III, moderator Melanie, Kyoko Mori, and Richard Blanco. Melanie’s four speakers were among the 18 authors she interviewed for her acclaimed 2017 book Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma.

And a photo of Susan Lilley, Stonecoast alumna and Orlando’s first poet laureate, in her element, a.k.a. her inspiring creative writing classroom at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Suzanne and husband Tommy Shea spoke to students during the day and gave a public reading at night.

 

 

 

 

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AWP 2018

Written by Suzanne Strempek Shea

Stonecoast was a boulder of a presence at the recent annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Held at the Tampa Convention Center March 8 to 11, the event was attended by 12,000, and featured 2,000 presenters, and 550 readings, panels and lecture. The largest literary conference in North America saw Stonecoasters shining at the podiums and on panels, plus in the enthusiastic audiences, and there would have been more from our community there had a blizzard not swept through the North and tangled travel plans. A reception in the lobby of a nearby hotel included administration, faculty, students, alums, and at least one soon-to-be firstie. The photos below show just some of the familiar faces there. Want to be in on the next? Make plans to meet at AWP 2019, in Portland, Oregon, March 27-30!

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Community News & Updates March 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast administrators, alums, faculty, and students will be attending the upcoming Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference & Bookfair in Tampa, FL, which takes place March 7-10, 2018. For more information about the AWP conference, please visit their website, and to view the list of panels, readings, signing, and gatherings that feature a Stonecoast community member, please check out this post.

On Saturday, April 7th, at 7:30 p.m., a Stonecoast alumni reading will be held at the Lilypad in Cambridge, MA. Two of our featured readers will be Richard Cambridge (fiction) and Michelle Soucy (fiction and poetry.) The Lilypad is at 1353 Cambridge Street right in Inman Square (no admission fee and the venue has a café/bar). We’ll have a Q & A after the reading. All are welcome!

ALUMS

Lew Andrada (Popular Fiction. W’17) has started teaching World Literature online for the University of the People. He’s grateful to have such an enthusiastic group of students for his first class. On March 16th, Lew will be presenting his paper “The Lingering Effects of Colonialism on Modern Philippine Speculative Fiction” at the 39th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He’s looking forward to seeing a bunch of fellow Stonecoasters at the conference!

Julie C. Days (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Schrödinger’s” can be found in the March/April issue of Interzone. Among other things “Schrödinger’s” involves a quantum strip club, a women’s collective, female friendships, and the possible end of the world. Julie has also been contracted by Evil Hat Productions to write a new role-playing game for their Fate series entitled Divided Lights. She’s excited to see what others will do with her story-world and expecting to learn much about the gaming community. The project itself feels like a huge adventure.

Barbara Greenbaum’s (Fiction, S’05) poetry has recently been published or is forthcoming in American Writers Review, SLAB, and Cape Rock. She has also accepted a position as Adjunct Professor in creative writing at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) has a feature story in the January issue of Taproot Magazine. “Farming, a Love Story; Or, The Inestimably High Arc of John Yanga’s Life” explores the life, loves, contributions, and longings of John Yanga, a former refugee from southern Sudan, who is now one of Maine’s most experienced immigrant farmers.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has spent the last couple of years writing for Obsidian Entertainment’s latest game, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire—an RPG swashbuckling adventure about chasing a massive stone god across a bustling archipelago. The game will be available to PC / Mac / Linux players in the near future and to PS4 / Xbox One / Nintendo Switch players later in the year. Among other characters Paul wrote the gunhawk navy sniper Maia Rua and the watershaping were-shark Tekēhu, companions with story arcs and relationships of their own who can accompany the player on their journey. Coinciding with the release of the game, Paul wrote Volume Two of the Guidebook for the Pillars of Eternity setting, which is available for pre-order from Dark Horse Comics. This book offers readers additional lore about the setting and deeper historical context for many of the in-game conflicts.

Bonnie Naradzay (Poetry, W’08) will have poems in the upcoming issues of The Tampa ReviewNew Letters, and The Anglican Theological Review.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12/Past Faculty) is currently in the second year of her Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In May, Walrus Magazine will be publishing her poem “The Lipstick Effect.” A limited edition chapbook entitled On the Furnace Sits a Maiden is also forthcoming from Frog Hollow Press.

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short animated film The Bakebook has been selected by the National Screen Institute of Canada’s online film showcase for Canadian talent, after a yearlong tour on the festival circuit.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will be signing and giving away ARC’s of her forthcoming book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, during the AWP Conference bookfair at Sweet (table 1408, Thursday, March 8th, 3:00-4:00 p.m.), Under the Gum Tree (table T1732, Friday, March 9th, 3:30-5:00 p.m.), and Tiferet Journal (table T1939, Saturday, March 10th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.). She’d love it if some Stonecoast folks stopped by!  Later in March, Lisa is teaching a master class, “Writing from Memory,” as part of the Montcliar (NJ) Literary Festival, March 18th.

Patricia Smith (Poetry, S’08/Past Faculty) won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award from Claremont Graduate University for her book Incendiary Arts: Poems (Northwestern University Press). The prize is the largest in the world for a single book of poetry. The book has also been named a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) has had a couple essays and poems published in recent issues of The Selkie Zine, and will have another published this month!

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be attending Norwescon (March 29 to April 1st) in Seattle. He’s got a nice slate of panels, including moderating What is Epic About Epic Fantasy? with Fonda Lee and Ken Liu. He’s pleased about that. Should be a good time. West-Coasters come on out!

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was happy to see fellow Stonecoasters Tom Coash and alums Dan Ball and Richard Squires at her Tonya & Nancy concert event, which was performed to a packed house on February 13th at 54Below in New York City, produced by Paul Boghosian/HarborsideFilms. A live-concert CD of the event—Broadway Stars Sing Songs from Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera— is being produced by Broadway Records and will be released later in 2018. The national site Broadway.com wrote in its coverage: “Before there was the new Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya, there was Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, an uproarious musical.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s chamber opera—Tonya & Nancy: The Opera; music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross—was performed by the opera group Mixed Precipitation in Minneapolis on February 21st with an additional show added on February 24th; the show was named a “Best of Classical” pick by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The February 21st performance of the opera benefited the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. For photos, clips, and more, see the MultiMedia page at www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Dan Ball, Richard Squires, Elizabeth Searle, and Tom Coash at 54Below

Ashley Spencer as “Tonya”

Composer Michael Teoli, Elizabeth Searle, stars Ashley Spencer and Lauren Worsham, and producer Paul Boghosian

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) is looking forward to encountering many from the Stonecoast community next week at AWP in Tampa, where she’ll be part of a reading and a panel. On Friday, March 9th, 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m., “A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny” will focus on the new collection Flash Funny (non) Fiction, edited by Tom Hazuka and Dinty W. Moore, and will include an essay from Suzanne’s epic experience working at the Tampax factory down the street from her childhood home. Tom, plus Wendy Brenner, Michael Martone, Sandra Gail Lambert, and Suzanne will read their pieces—and others—from the collection celebrating the short form and humor. And on Saturday, March 10th, from 1:30-2:45 p.m., Suzanne will join alum Melanie Brooks, Richard Blanco, Andre Dubus III, and Kyoko Mori on the panel “Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma.” Richard, Andre, Kyoko and Suzanne are among the 18 authors Melanie interviewed for her essential Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma, which got its formal start as Melanie’s third-semester project.

Orlando’s first-ever poet laureate, Stonecoast alum Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08), will be at AWP daily, and Suzanne looks forward to also seeing her the following week, when Suzanne and husband Tommy Shea make their third return to Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Susan is a beloved and impactful advanced placement literature and composition teacher. Suzanne and Tommy (co-author of Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History) will speak to Trinity classes and will give a reading open to the public March 13th at 7:00 p.m. at Freitag & Falk Theater on campus. The reading is open to the public, and any Stonecoasters in the area of course will be most welcome.

 

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AWP 2018

If anyone has corrections or amendments, please contact Meredith MacEachern.

 

Panels & Readings

Thursday, March 8th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
The Body’s Story: On Writing Narratives of Illness—Porochista Khakpour

Thursday, March 8th, 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Florida Salon 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Second Blooming: Resources for Older Women Writers—Breena Clarke, Ellen Meeropol, and Robin Talbot

Thursday, March 8th, 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM
Florida Salon 1, 2, & 3, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Early Formations: Guiding Authentic Young Voices in a Digital Age—Cate Marvin

Thursday, March 8th, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM
Meeting Room 13, Marriott Waterside
A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny—Lisa Romeo 

Friday, March 9th, 10:30 – 11:45
Room 12, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny—Suzanne Strempek Shea

Friday, March 9th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Political Pivoting: Literary Publishing at the Pace of Politics—Amanda Johnston

Friday, March 9th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
New England Review 40th Anniversary Reading—Cate Marvin

Saturday, March 10th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Florida Salon 6, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Tearing Down Walls: The International Experience in Low-Residency MFA Programs—Robin Talbot

Saturday, March 10th, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Grand Salon B, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
The Thing Builders: Building Literary Communities That Matter—Amanda Johnston

Saturday, March 10th, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
This Is Scary and Here We Go: Fear in the Driver’s Seat—Porochista Khakpour

Saturday, March 10th, 1:30 – 2:45 PM
Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma—Melanie Brooks and Suzanne Strempek Shea

Saturday, March 10th, 1:30 – 2:45
Ballroom D, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Monster Cultures—Theodora Goss

Book Signings

 Lisa Romeo will be signing and giving away ARC’s of her forthcoming book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, during the AWP bookfair at: Sweet (table 1109, Thurs 3/8, 3:00-4:00); Under the Gum Tree (table T1732,Fri 3/9, 3:30 – 5); Tiferet Journal (table T1939, Sat 3/10, 11:00 – noon).

Community Events

 There will be an informal gathering of all interested Stonecoast students, faculty, admins, and alumni in the lobby of the hotel. (Time TBA).

 

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Community News & Updates February 2018

ANNOUNCEMENT

This year, a number of Stonecoast’s Popular Fiction students, alumni, and faculty are program participants at Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction convention, which takes place February 16-18, 2018, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. For more information about Boskone, please visit www.boskone.org, and to view the list of program items that feature a Stonecoast community member, please check out this post. We will also have a large contingent of people attending who aren’t on the program this year. Closing the convention, we have a Stonecoast Reading to highlight our community members who are attending Boskone. If you are available to join the fun, we’d love to see you there!

ALUMS

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is happy her new anime-inspired nightmare microfiction, “The Things Between Us,” is now available in the beautifully illustrated Quick Shivers from the Midwest anthology.

Katie Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) announces that her audio drama “Six Stories, Told at Night” has won a Parsec Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction Podcasting (Best Story – Novella). A stage adaptation of “Six Stories” will premiere at the Toronto Fringe Festival in July 2018.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) has been broadcasting a series of five-minute audio essays on the Maine community radio station WERU. You can access these flash pieces from her blog. Her longer essay “Security Clearance,” which first appeared in Burrow Press’ “Fantastic Floridas,” is included in the upcoming anthology from University of Florida Press, In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home and Places In Between. The essay is also in her hybrid memoir Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, coming out in Fall 2018 from Burrow Press.

Julie C. Days (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Re-stitched”, which ran in the January issue of Split Lip Magazine, was Longform Fiction‘s pick of the week. Stealing Longform‘s story description, you can expect two sisters and a grotesque religious ritual. Umm yes, it is creepy. Julie’s Fightin’ Words interview can be found on the Split Lip blog. In other news, you can listen to a reprint of Julie’s story “The Rocket Farmer” at Podcastle 507. It was originally printed in 2017 issue of Interzone. If you’ve any interest in angry teenage girls, the history of rockets, and secret Florida farms, this story is for you.

Paula Treick DeBoard’s (Fiction, S’10) fourth novel, Here We Lie, was published on January 30th by Park Row Books, a division of Harlequin/Harper Collins. Publisher’s Weekly says Here We Lie “portrays the lies that people tell to find acceptance and the terrible acts that powerful people casually commit.” Booklist says the story “particularly resonates now, in the throes of the #metoo movement.” Paula is a lecturer of writing at the University of California, Merced. More information can be found on her website.

John Florio (Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and VICE Sports, and just delivered a crime feature to Vanity Fair. You can read his latest piece (for VICE Sportshere. His most recent book, One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime, was published by University of Nebraska Press in April. His next release, a nonfiction YA book about the historic Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight of 1938, will be released by Macmillan Children’s Group later this year.

Becky Kightlinger’s (Fiction, W’14) debut novel, Megge of Bury Down: Book One of the Bury Down Chronicles, will be released by Zumaya Publications on February 1, 2018. Here’s a short summary:

In thirteenth-century Cornwall, on a sheep farm in the shadow of Bury Down, known for a thousand years as the land of the second sight, a healer has vowed to face flames rather than fail in her one task in this life: to bring her young daughter to vow to protect The Book of Seasons, an ancient grimoire whose power sustains the spirits of all their ancestors.

On the night of her vow-taking, wanting only to become a woman of Bury Down, and drawn by an inexplicable yearning to possess the book, Megge reaches for it. But when she touches its cover, it burns her fingers and she hears it whisper, “Murderer.” Fearing that the book will make her hurt those she loves, she rejects it and renounces her birthright.

To what lengths will her mother and the other women of Bury Down go to help Megge find the courage to take that vow? And how far will Megge go to elude a terrifying destiny?

Susan Lilley (Poetry, S’08) has been appointed the inaugural Poet Laureate of Orlando, Florida.

Anne Britting Oleson‘s (Poetry, W’05) second novel, Dovecote (B Ink, 2017), was reviewed in the Maine Sunday Telegram, January 21, 2018.  Anne’s third poetry chapbook, Alley of Dreams, will be published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House in March 2018.

Erin Roberts‘ (Popular Fiction, W ’18) short story “Sour Milk Girls” has gone from her thesis to the big time—it was published in the January issue of Clarkesworld and is available in print and in audio. Bonus story notes can be found on her website (as can her panel schedule for Boskone, which she’s hoping turns into a mini-Stonecoast reunion!).

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) has probably gone a little overboard, but is very excited for how 2018 is shaping up. In March, he will be presenting his essay “Out and Super” at ICFA. In April, he will be participating in a writing retreat at the Whiteley Center on San Juan Island, Washington. In May, he will be presenting an essay, “She Has Always Been Here,” at Dartmouth College, and in July will be participating in NUI-Galway’s Summer School for Teaching in Ireland. On the writing side, his story, “The Snow Queen’s Daughter” was selected as one of Metaphorosis Magazine‘s Best Stories of 2017.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction ’08) published a nonfiction work with Longreads, “What to Do With a Man Who Has a Story, and a Gun.”

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be teaching a class in worldbuilding for the Dallas organization the Writer’s Garret on April 14. She will also take part in the University of North Texas’ Honors College benefit, Great Conversations on March 1st, where she will lead a table in a discussion of using one’s fears as inspiration.

Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, S’04) short story “Even a Monkey” will appear in the March issue of Crannog. Her new collection of short fiction, Impossibly Small Spaces, will be released by Alren House in July in Ireland and in the U.S. in September.

 

FACULTY

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be teaching How to Be Your Own Best Line-Editor at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, beginning February 6th. The goal of this four-session class is to turn you into a master of word-smithing!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) has sold two novels to Mulholland Books, Little Brown’s literary crime imprint: Curious Toys, set in 1915 Chicago and inspired by both a true crime and the life of outsider artist Henry Darger; and The Book of Lamps and Banners, the fourth Cass Neary novel. In early February, she will be guest of honor at Vinter, a literary convention in Uppsala, Sweden.

A round-up of news from Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry):

  • Debra’s essay “Things Not Seen in the Rear View Mirror” was selected for inclusion in Camas: Nature of the West.  25 Years 1992 – 2017, published in the Winter of  2017.
  • Her poem “Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear” was anthologized in Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence, edited by Brian Clements, Alexandra Teague, and Dean Rader and published by Beacon Press in the fall of 2017.
  • Another poem, “Getting Ready,” was selected for inclusion in Who Am I?, a grade-school textbook designed to introduce children to poetry. Published by Perfection Learning in the Fall of 2017.
  • In the summer of 2017, Debra delivered keynote addresses and taught workshops at the following three festivals and conferences: (1) Luminous Moment, Luminous Word: A Creative Writing and Mindfulness Retreat in the Sheyenne National Grasslands (August 4-6, 2017); (2) the ASLE Conference, Association of the Study of Literature and Environment at Wayne State University (June 22-24); and (3) Iota: Short Forms Conference, Campobello Island, Maine.  8 – 11 July 2017.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is preparing for performances of both her opera and rock opera in February. In January, ABC primetime showed a clip from the Chicago production of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera on January 11th, 2018, as part of the ABC two-hour special on Tonya Harding. Also, On Superbowl Sunday afternoon (February 4th) at the Duxbury Free Public Library, Elizabeth is reading with superstar author and actress Marianne Leone (The Sopranos) from the anthology Elizabeth co-edited with Suzanne Strempek Shea featuring Leone and others: 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 February 13th: Broadway Stars Sing Songs from Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera in New York City at 54Below. Since the last news post, the team announces that the concert and concert CD will be directed by Grammy- and Emmy-award winner Michael J. Moritz; the concert songs (Book and Lyrics by Elizabeth; music by Michael Teoli) will be recorded and released as a CD from Broadway Records. Watch for upcoming livestream coverage on Broadway.com. And then on February 23rd, a full production of Elizabeth’s one-act chamber opera Tonya & Nancy: The Opera (music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross) is being performed by Mixed Precipitation, an operetta group in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the night of the Women’s Figure Skating finals at the Olympics.

Stonecoast Alumnus Tigh Rickman (Fiction, S’10) watching the “ABC moment” at his home in California

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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 July 2017

THE STONECOAST REUNION


The Stonecoast Reunion is coming up fast, and we’re excited to welcome you to Brunswick, Maine, July 14th-17th!  The weekend will be an exciting time for readings, seminars, and networking with fellow graduates of the program. If you have not done so, please register now! Please visit: http://usm.maine.edu/stonecoastmfa/stonecoast-alumni-0.

If you are not able to attend the reunion’s day events, we’re still delighted to invite you to the evening events, including the alumni reunion reading, welcome reception, and book fair on Friday, July 14th! A professional photographer will be present at the reading and reception, and we’re planning for a group photo. We’d love to have as many alumni as possible participate!

We ask that if you are not registering for the reunion but wish to attend the evening alumni reading and reception (July 14th) or the graduation and dance party (July 15th) that you RSVP here. Family and friends are also welcome, and donations will be accepted at the door for attendees not registered for the reunion.

ALUMS


Eric M. Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W’12) was pleased to learn his novel The Time Train won the Maine Literary Award in the speculative fiction category.

Karen Bovenmyer’s (Popular Fiction, S’13) poem “Pseudopod” will be reprinted in The Were-Traveler’s Mythos Planet Issue.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) has reprinted her story “The Executioner” in the special issue People of Color Take over Fantastic Stories of the Imagination Magazine. She also has published a story in FIYAH Magazine called “The Breeze in the Boughs,” which is a fabulist short story about life in gentrifying Brooklyn as well as a bit of a parody of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willow.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “The Rocket Farmer” can be found in Interzone 271—the magazine’s July/August edition. “The Rocket Farmer” concerns itself with a family of rocket farmers and the ugliness that arises out of their crop’s many failed launches. It’s also about a fourteen-year-old girl who is sick of her mom.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was pleased that her essay “The World in their Hands” was published in issue 3.2 of The Maine Review. She also had a short piece on mountain lingo appear in TrailGroove and an interview with Rad Dad founder, Tomas Moniz, in Literary Mama.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) flash piece “Inroads Up Hills” is featured online for Broke-Ass Stuart‘s new fiction series. Incidentally, John workshopped this piece at Stonecoast in Sarah Braunstein‘s Flash Fiction workshop.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has been away on an Amtrak Writer’s Residency from June 22 through July 2. Her trip took her to Chicago, New Orleans, and New York City for research, writing, and revision on her next novel. She is more than grateful to Amtrak for this opportunity for work and adventure.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “Barachois,” is included in the just-released 3 nations Anthology: Native, Canadian, and New England Writers from Resolute Bear Press in both its original French and in an English translation by the author. Barachois is an Acadian word many believe come from the M’iq M’ac language and might best be translated as a delta or the sand bars in the mouth of a tidal tributary. The anthology is available as an electronic publication and a print journal.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction W14) has been busier than expected. After returning from the Stonecoast in Ireland Residency in Howth in January, he began a career change. He’s happy to announce that he’s left social work behind and accepted a position teaching high school English in New Hampshire. June saw the publication of his flash piece “Spindle Talk” at The Future Fire (Cinderella meets Mean Girls meets Narcan). His essay “I Would Fly with Dragons” was released in Invisible 3, and his short story “Tide Child” is forthcoming from On Spec.

During June, Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) moderated the panel “Nurturing the Writer in Your Child or Teenager” at the Maplewood-South Orange (NJ) Book Festival and was on the panel “Nothing But the Truth: A Women’s Perspective on Writing the Memoir” at BooksNJ (Paramus, NJ).

An Elder Man, the new short film by Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07), premieres July 2 at the Walla Walla Movie Crush in Washington State. Further festival screenings will follow later this year.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) has an essay, “It Could Happen to You,” in the 2017 issue of City Works Literary Journal. City Works is a publication of San Diego City College.

FACULTY


On Sunday, July 30, 2017, Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) will be reading in the East Hampton Poetry Marathon Reading at the Marine Museum, Bluff Road, Amagansett, NY. The event starts at 5:00 pm.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) essay on writers in translation, why some make it and others don’t, is in the current issue of Tin House. Read it here. Also, Aaron is thrilled to be participating in TWO readings in support of the anthology Soap Opera Confidential, edited by our very own Stonecoast rock star faculty Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne Strempek Shea. The first will be on July 9th at 1:00 p.m. at Politics & Prose Bookstore in DC, along with contributors Kyoko Mori and Shara McCollum. The second will be in Portland, Maine, during the break at the Stonecoast residency, Wednesday, July 12th, at the USM Glickman library on the seventh floor in the University Events Room at 6:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. Come hear Aaron confess about his obsession with Dynasty II: The Colbys, as well as his struggles to learn ballroom dancing…. Finally, Aaron will be teaching a class on food writing at Politics & Prose Bookstore in DC this month, July 18th and 25th. Details are here.

Elizabeth Hand‘s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) neo-noir novel Available Dark has been optioned for television as a joint venture between producer Mike Ryan’s Greyshack Films and Votiv Film. She was profiled by The Portland Press Herald for her work on a National Forest Service study on the future of fire management, and for Fire, her new book of fiction and essays (mostly) related to climate change. Hand was a recent guest on The Writer’s Cast and the Eating the Fantastic podcasts. Her recent novel Wylding Hall has just been released in Spain, with foreign rights sold in Russia, and she was named one of the Six Literary Horror Writers You Should Read in an article on Tor.com. Recent reviews include Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne for The Los Angeles Times, and Literary Wonderlands, edited by Laura MillerPeter Beagle’s Summerlong, and Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae, all for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will be reading and signing “Look Homeward, Vampire,” her essay on Dark Shadows, with the Soap Opera Confidential crew at 5:00 p.m. on July 12th at Glickman Library in Portland, Maine. She’ll appear at San Diego Comic-Con, working in the Kymera Press booth, #2003, during exhibitor hall hours on Thursday and Friday. This is her additional schedule:

  • Signing a special limited edition issue of her new comic book, Mary Shelley Presents, Thursday, July 20th, from 12:30–2:30 p.m. and Friday, July 2nd, from 3:30–5:30 p.m.
  • Signing at Mysterious Galaxy booth, #1119, on Thursday, July 20th at 5:00 p.m.
  • Panel with other members of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers Friday, July 21st, 2:00-3:00 p.m., Room 32AB

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and her show Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera were featured in The New York Times article “Tonya Harding: a Tragic Muse?” published on June 13 with a photo from the NYC NYMF production of Tonya & Nancy in the NYT print edition and a reel from the Boston production of the show online at nytimes.com. Elizabeth is writing the book for a new rock opera—Skypaint: A Cyber Rock Opera—with music and lyrics by guitarist Russell Chudnofsky who has toured with Frank Black, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, and more. The show will be performed in October, details TBA; check out the website here.

Stonecoasters and Soap-lovers, join Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) and Elizabeth Searle and All-Star readers Aaron Hamburger, Nancy Holder, Allan Hunter, and Erin Roberts as they read from Soap Opera Confidential (on sale via our own Kelly!) at Glickman Library USM in Portland 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12th. D.C. soap opera fans: Hear Soap Opera Confidential contributors Aaron Hamburger, Shara McCallum (former Stonecoast faculty member), and Kyoko Mori read from their soapy essays July 9th, 1:00 pm at Politics and Prose. Suzanne discussed Soap Opera Confidential on a radio interview on Pine Valley Radio. The June 28th issue of the national magazine Soaps In Depth features Soap Opera Confidential with a special “giveaway” offer—the issue will available at supermarket or drugstore near you!

 

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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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