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Community News & Updates November 2017

ALUMS

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W ’12) is thrilled to announce that her paranormal historical romance Moon Shadow, Book 2 of The Auriano Curse Series, was released over the summer. She worked on part of this manuscript while at Stonecoast. She has also signed a contract for a reprint of her first published book (horrible title to be changed), a historical romance set during the Regency period in England.

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce the creation of the Washington County Writers Forum in Oregon. WCWF is a monthly forum for writers of all genres, ages, and experience levels to engage with writing professionals about a wide range of topics. The forum is held on the 1st Thursday of each month (February through December) at Insomnia Coffee Downtown Location at 317 E. Main Street, Hillsboro, OR, from 7:00-8:00 p.m.; admission is $5. WCWF is also an information hub promoting organizations, meetings, conferences and conventions, as well as learning opportunities in the Pacific Northwest that are of interest to writers in Washington County. If you live in the Portland, Oregon, area and are interested in presenting, please contact Elizabeth at ebeechwood@gmail.com or through the website contact page at www.washingtoncountywriters.com. If you have an event in the Pacific Northwest, please let her know so she can share it. Of course, you’re always welcome to attend a forum—no membership is required and all are welcome!

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is proud to announce her novel Swift for the Sun earned an honorable mention in the 2017 Rainbow Awards. Karen recently narrated Sarah Goldman’s “Islands in the Dark” for Escape Pod. Karen’s book chapter “Shirley Jackson and the Fear of Ordinary People” will appear in McFarland Press’s forthcoming Horror Literature: Past and Present, edited by Nicholas Diak and Michele Brittany. Karen is also very much looking forward to seeing Stonecoasters at World Fantasy in San Antonio the first week of November where she will serve as a panelist and moderator on “Paging Doctor Tavener and Carnaki: Occult Detectives Old and Newly Reinvented” with Lisa Tuttle, Jess Nevins, Jaime Lee Moyer.

Amy Burroughs (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) has a “Notable Essay” listed in Best American Essays 2017. Her essay “Two Strangers on a Train” was published last year in Jabberwock Review.

J.R. Dawson (Popular Fiction, S’16) has a new short story in the November/December issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. “Marley and Marley” was written for her very last packet at Stonecoast.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) will be featured in an event hosted by the Gallery Of Readers Sunday, November 19th, 4:00 p.m., at Smith College, Seelye Hall 106, Northampton, MA. This reading is celebration of Liz George’s new collection, Glass Teepee. In addition to Julie and Liz’s readings, the artist and illustrator Adell Donaghue will present a selection of her work. The event is free and open to the public.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) e-book The Wild Horse of Haiku: beauty in a changing form is now available on www.amazon.com to purchase. This book is a comprehensive look at the history of haiku and the changes it has undergone since traveling to the West. This is for anyone interested in understanding the breadth of this short form and how it can be a springboard for experimentation in creative writing.

Jeff Kass‘s (Fiction, S’09) debut thriller Takedown is brand new from Fifth Avenue Press in Ann Arbor and available now at Jeff’s author page on Amazon. Here’s the jacket copy:

Ann Arbor: a small city with a big university
A city of cute coffee shops, leftover hippies, hybrid cars, indie bookstores, and craft breweries. A city, above all, that values education.

Or does it?

Jim Harrow has been an Ann Arbor cop for fifteen years. He mostly handles things like stolen cars and fratboy fights, giving him time to coach high school wrestling and help raise his teenage daughters.

But things take a deadly turn the night after the Michigan–Michigan State football game, when a house party ends in a fire. Its single victim is a graduate student with no job, no friends, and no research. What was Sanders Bolgim working on, and why would someone want to kill him for it?

Nothing about the case makes sense, and as Jim traces the events leading to the fire, he uncovers a shady party company, dark money buying for-profit charter schools, and a string of murders stretching back years.

In a town where money and education are always in each other’s pockets, someone is paying a killer to teach the ultimate lesson.

Kass’ debut novel is an astute commentary on the darker side of education reform wrapped in a gripping adventure. Filled with authentic characters, a strong voice, and the perfect portrait of a Midwest college town, Takedown is as sharp and crisp as a football Saturday.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’ 14) is pleased to share that her essay “Variations on Green” is featured in the Political Landscapes issue of About Place Journal. Her essay “Disguise” was also published in the Halloween-themed issue of Barrelhouse.

Ellie O’Leary’s (Poetry, W’17) short story “Annie Doesn’t Get It” appears in the next issue of Boomer Lit Mag.

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short story “Merrow” has been published in issue 46 of Crannóg magazine.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is pleased to reveal the cover of her memoir, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss (University of Nevada Press, May 2018).

An Elder Man, the new short film by Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W ’07) starring The Monster Squad’s Ryan Lambert, continues its festival run November 17th with another Pacific Northwest screening at the Killer Valley Horror Film Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Jacob will be in attendance for a Q&A and post-film drinks with whoever’s buying. Screening info is here.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) The Magicians flash fiction, which won SyFy/Wattpad’s #BattletheBeast contest, has been turned into a digital illustrated short; as a bonus, they used her likeness for the character she created. Watch all five chapters on the SyFy website. Her mythological flash fiction “Liars” appeared in Hobart. Her botanical horror story “The Black Thumb” appears in the anthology Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers Volume Two

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) was a top-20 finalist for the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award. The international competition honors her novel manuscript, “Driving Nelson.”

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) will be rounding out the first year of the release of Letters from Limbo by returning to her home town. On Saturday, November 10th, at 6:00 p.m., at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia, she will be reading with former Stonecoast faculty member Baron Wormser, who is launching his new novel Tom o’ Vietnam. The bookstore is located at 551 Carpenter Lane in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, PA.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a guest at Virginia’s Fall for the Book Festival, and also appeared at The Potter’s House in DC with JJ Amaworo Wilson. Her recent reviews include Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage and Joe Hill’s Strange Weather for The Washington Post, and Amaworo Wilson’s Damnificadoes, Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka, and Josh Melerman’s Black Mad Wheel for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as an essay on novelist John Crowley for The Los Angeles Times. In November, she will be reading and speaking at Bard College as part of its Innovative Contemporary Fiction Series.

Jim Kelly’s newest story “And No Torment Shall Touch Them” has been published in the current issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, which also includes another installment of his regular column. In “Time Party” he offers some possible explanations of why we have yet to be overrun with tourists from the future. His freebie newsletter Strangeways has launched and subscribers continue to pour (trickle) in.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is happy to be reading in a Stonecoast Community Reading with two star Stonecoast alumni, Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) and Kara Storti (Fiction, S’06), at the Arts at Armory Cafe in Somerville, MA, November 18th at 2:00 p.m., with thanks to Lo Galluccio and Richard Cambridge. On November 8th, in an event sponsored by Arlington Community Education, Elizabeth will lead a panel on “Second Acts” for women in their 40s or beyond who are interested in “changing up” their work lives. Elizabeth will discuss how, after three books of fiction, she began the adventure of writing scripts.  See: http://www.arlingtoncommunityed.org/adult-programs/

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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 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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Community News & Updates May 2015

Stonecoast in Ireland

Stonecoast in Ireland will host its 20th residency in January 2016. Information and applications are available from Ted Deppe at theodore.deppe@maine.edu. The deadline for applying is 14 May 2015.

Alumni

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) is honored to have learned that guest editor Rebecca Skloot has selected Sheila’s essay “A Question of Corvids” for inclusion in the 2015 Best Science and Nature Writing anthology, to be published this fall by Houghton Mifflin. The essay, an earlier version of which was Sheila’s graduation reading, won the 2014 Prime Number Magazine Award for Creative Nonfiction and has been nominated for a Pushcart Award.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction S ’11) her novel Elysium received the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award Special Citation at Norwescon 38 in Seattle, WA.

Meg Elison, Rod Duncan,  Emmi Itäranta, and Jennifer Marie Brissett (l-r)

Meg Elison, Rod Duncan, Emmi Itäranta, and Jennifer Marie Brissett (l-r)

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Raising Babies”—inspired by memories of southern Indiana,”The Yellow Wallpaper,” and spring—is now available in issue 145 of Crack the Spine.

Sarah R. Flynn (Popular Fiction, W’15) has a piece forthcoming in the July issue of The Writer magazine. The feature article outlines how to create a writing workshop for adult literacy students and was influenced by her third semester project and graduate presentation. This is her first professional sale.

Cynthia Kraack‘s (Fiction, W’10) first literary novel, The High Cost of Flowers, is one of three finalists in two categories of the 25th Anniversary Midwest Book Awards: Literary Fiction and Contemporary Fiction. The competition, sponsored by the Midwest Independent Publishing Association, is judged by experts from all aspects of the book world. They select winners and finalists from a 12-state region based on overall excellence. Cynthia’s first speculative fiction novel, Minnesota Cold, won the 2009 Northeastern Book Award for Fiction.

Mur Lafferty (Popular Fiction, W’14) will be the editor-in-chief and Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be non-fiction editor of Escape Artists’ new speculative fiction e-zine this fall. Issue zero is slated for an August release. Escape Artists are best known for the Escape Pod, Pod Castle, and PseudoPod podcasts.

HazardousMaterial-1Matthew Quinn Martin’s (Popular Fiction, S’10) novella Nightlife: Hazardous Material will be released by Pocket Star/Simon & Schuster on May 11. T.L. Costa, critically acclaimed author of Playing Tyler, has called the book “A taut, mesmerizing tale of horror, madness and video games. It’s as if Stephen King penned Ready Player One. Readers will devour this in one sitting.”

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) has a new essay, “Crossing Borders in Fiction,” in The Cleaver magazine, here.

For the second year in a row, Roxanne Ocasio (Popular Fiction, W’15) and Kristabelle Munson (Fiction, current) have been accepted into the prestigious VONA/Voices writers’ workshop in Miami. Co-founded by Junot Diaz, VONA is the only writers’ conference in the country with a multi-genre focus on writers of color as students and teachers.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’11) has had her latest manuscript, Lost Property Hotline, accepted for April 2016 publication by Biblioasis. Her poem “Margaret Rose” (previously published in The Walrus) will be appearing in Best Canadian Poetry 2015. This has been a busy time for Alexandra, who is also celebrating the release of Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Random House/Everyman), co-edited with Annie Finch. Here she is in action earlier this month, reading at the Tree Series in Ottawa:

Janet Passehl’s (Poetry, S’10) poems “Dear Colum,” and “his rented left brother and bottle of yellow music” are published in Calibanonline 19.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “Think of Sophia Loren” will appear in the 2015 edition of Stolen Island Review. He recently played the principal role in the short film Harvey’s Dream adapted from the Stephen King story of the same name that appeared in The New Yorker several years ago. In addition to playing Harvey, he consulted with the writer-director, Ryan Shelley, on the script. A fall premier is to be scheduled at the University of Maine.

“Side Effects,” a short story by Karen Pullen (Popular Fiction, S’08), will appear in Reed Magazine, Issue 68, in May. In January, Karen’s story “Brown Jersey Cow” was published online by Every Day Fiction, the once-a-day flash fiction magazine.

Michaela Roessner-Herman‘s (Popular Fiction, S’08) short story “Flattened” has been picked for inclusion in the Western Weird anthology, the Speculative Fiction edition of the Manifest West literary anthology series.

Beth Slattery‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’10) essay, “Hello to All That,” which explores Joan Didion’s writing, was published in the Spring 2015 issue of Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Study.

J.G. Strauss (Fiction, S’14) will read from her novel-in-progress, The Three Lives of Gráinne Ó Mháille as part of Cape Whale at SEA Space in Provincetown, MA, on May 1st, 2015.

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Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular fiction, S’13) fairy tale story “Dance Our Shoes to Pieces” appeared in the most recent issue of Farrago’s Wainscot“An Exodus of Wings” has been reprinted in the audio magazine The Drabblecast“Six Ways to Break Her” appeared on the newly-designed SmokeLong Quarterly along with an interview“The Way of Things” appeared in Crack the Spine alongside another interview.

Ashley Warren‘s (Fiction, S’12) short story “Cataphile” has been selected as an honorable mention for Volume 27 of Allegory.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) has retired from the Catawba County (NC) Library System. Her  9-year library newspaper column has converted to a more general one titled “Fork in the Road.” Her essays are also posted on her website.

Students

Elisabeth Tova Bailey‘s (Creative Nonfiction) book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, was published by Algonquin Books in 2010. Now the digital audiobook has just been released by audible.com. The CD edition of the audiobook will launch from Brilliance in July with narration by Renee Raudman. The Chicago Tribune audiobook review is here.

Kristabelle Munson (Fiction) has been invited to give a presentation at Queers & Comics, the first university conference for queer cartoonists and comics writers with keynote speakers Alison Bechdel and Howard Cruse. Kristabelle will show pages of a graphic novella written at Stonecoast.

Marian Romero‘s (Popular Fiction) poem “A portrait of the witch at sixteen” was featured in Abyss and Apex online magazine.

Faculty

Jaed Coffin (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) has accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor in the English department at the University of New Hampshire, beginning in fall 2015. He’ll be teaching both in the MFA and undergraduate creative writing programs.

Ted and Annie Deppe (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) will be giving a poetry reading at the Connemara Mussel Festival, Mweelrea Hotel, Tully Cross, Ireland, at 6:00 p.m. on 2 May 2015. They will also be reading on the Aran Islands on 21 May for Old Dominion University. Ted’s next U.S. reading has been confirmed for Old Dominion University in Virginia on 8 October 2015.

Beauty and the Beast - Some Gave AllNancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has a new book out: Beauty and the Beast: Some Gave All, based on the Beauty and the Beast reboot on the CW. She and Stonecoast alumna Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) have a new column titled “Writing Reading Guides” in the Science Fiction Writers of America Bulletin.

When astronauts overcorrect a negative turtle jacket on their high-tail thruster, initiating precautionary self-destruct protocol, they have only one recourse: radio Mission Control. Unfortunately, Mission Control has been privatized. Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) 10-minute play Houston will be staged at the Boston Theatre Marathon—50 ten-minute plays, written by 50 playwrights, produced by 50 theatre companies in one day: Sunday, May 10, starting at 12:00 p.m. at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston. Houston will also be staged in Portland, Maine, at the Maine Playwrights’ Festival—seven short plays by Maine playwrights May 13-16 at the St. Lawrence Arts Center.

HoustonElizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) rock opera—Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera—will be produced in New York City this summer as an official full-production show at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) with multiple performances in July, dates TBA. Elizabeth will be in NYC with the show during the residency but she hopes to see some Stonecoasters at “ringside” at the show. Check out the coverage in Theater Mania. For info and updates on performances and tickets, visit www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

Poster from previous Boston production; NYC dates TBD.

Poster from previous Boston production; NYC dates TBD.

 

 

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Community News & Updates October 2014

STONECOAST IN IRELAND

Ted Deppe and Jeanne Marie Beaumont will be the faculty for the Stonecoast in Ireland residency in beautiful Dingle, County Kerry, next summer.  The residency will take place from 8 July to 15 July 2015.  An invitation to apply will be sent out to all students on 1 November 2014 and applications will be accepted until 12 November.  Any questions about the Irish residencies can be sent to Ted at theodore.deppe@maine.edu.

ALUMNI

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) is happy to announce the launch of Catwalk, her third mystery from Midnight Ink and her twentieth book, in October. Early reviews have been encouraging, including “Intricate plot and smart characters” from Booklist.

Eric M. Bosarge‘s (Popular Fiction, W ’12) horror story “My Father’s House” will appear in the October issue of Pithy Pages. Subscriptions are now free.

723_largeJulie Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “The Faces Between Us” is now available in the latest issue of Interzone. It started out as a flash piece written for the 2013 Art & Words Show, curated annually by Stonecoast’s own Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam.

Tamie Fields Harkins‘ (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) poem “We Thought We Needed a Boat” and her essay “The Crossing” were both published in the Fall 2014 issue of Connotations, the journal associated with the Island Institute, which hosted Tamie as writer-in-residence in Sitka, Alaska, last April.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) was proud to have her memoir piece “Saudade” published next to a poem by one of her favorite poets, Martin Espada, in the second edition of The Stonecoast Review. Also, her unpublished novel, “The Actor,” was a top five finalist in the 2014 Brighthorse Prize Novel Contest.

Kass My-BeautifulJeff Kass (Fiction, S’09) is proud to announce the release of his first full-length poetry collection My Beautiful Hook-Nosed Beauty Queen Strut Wave from Dzanc Books. The book will be released in Ann Arbor, MI, on Thursday, October 23, at 8:00 p.m. in a reading at The Neutral Zone, and in New York at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 29, in a reading at Greenlight Books in Brooklyn. Stonecoast faculty mentor and National Book Award Finalist Tim Seibles says of Kass’ poetry collection, “These are the poems of many men who grew up in this country bursting at the seams with boyness, who did the best they could to grow into useful men—fathers, teachers, plumbers. Line by line, this book unfolds like a well made movie.” Books will be available for purchase online at  www.dzancbooks.org.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) sold “Paul and His Son,” an excerpt from an unpublished science fiction novel, to Asimov’s Magazine and the short story “Fox in the Fields” to 3-Lobed Burning Eye.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be on a panel, Balancing Commitment and Craft in Political Fiction, at Pace University on November 5, 2014. The panel is sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Women’s National  Book Association and also includes Céline Keating, Marnie Mueller, Elizabeth Nunez, and Tiphanie Yanique.

Janet Passehl‘s (Poetry, S’10) manuscript, “Clutching Lambs,” has been accepted for publication by Negative Capabilities Press.

Cristina Perachio’s (Fiction, S’14) story “Nightstands” was selected as one of the Top 5 Stories of the Year in Narrative magazine for 2013-2014. “Nightstands” was originally selected as a finalist in the Narrative 30 Below Story & Poetry Contest in 2013 and ran as Story of the Week in the Spring of 2014.

Felicity Stone (Creative Nonfiction, ’08) is excited to announce that Narrative magazine has published an excerpt from her memoir Maggie, a project she began at Stonecoast.

TheMessage_Cover-187x300Eugenio Volpe‘s (Fiction, ’05) eBook The Message was recently published by SolsticeLit Books. It’s the story of Adam Zane, a young veteran struggling with PTSD, who copes by shooting hoops and hating NBA hometown traitor Elijah “The Message” Adams. The eBook may be purchased on Amazon or the SolsticeLit Books website.

Marco Wilkinson’s (Poetry, S’13) essay “The Gift of Failure” appears in the Fall 2014 issue of the magazine Taproot.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’10) took second place in the Ruth Moose Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by Charlotte Writers Club. Her piece, “I Hear Music,” was judged by author Ruth Moose herself, a former creative writing faculty member at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Tamra was invited to read her piece at the Charlotte Writers’ September meeting.

STUDENTS

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction) essay titled “Been Haunted” will be published online by Paper Tape Magazine in a series of haunting-themed stories/essays. The relevance to Stonecoast is particular: the essay is based on a conversation with Stonecoast peers on the Blasket Islands during our summer 2014 residency in Dingle, Ireland, with the Deppes.

FACULTY

family framedMichael Kimball (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is the recipient of the 2014 John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award for his play Duck and Cover. The Gassner Award is presented annually by the New England Theatre Conference, “New England’s oldest, largest theatre association.” On October 25th, a staged reading of Duck and Cover will be presented at the NETC Awards Banquet at Westford Regency Inn and Conference Center, 219 Littleton Road, Route 11, Westford, MA, 01886. His play Ghosts of Ocean House runs October 10-26 at The Players’ Ring, 105 Marcy Street, Portsmouth, NH. Early reservations are recommended and can be made at www.playersring.org or by calling the Players’ Ring at (603) 436-8123. Ghosts of Ocean House received the 2006 F. Gary Newton Playwriting Award and was one of three finalists for the 2007 Edgar Award (Mystery Writers of America). The play is a psychological drama about a brother and two sisters who, to inherit their late father’s Victorian seaside mansion, must spend one week for ten years living together harmoniously—or else lose the house to charity. This is their final year, their final week. But the newest family member, a flighty, fragile young bride named Darlene, harbors a dark, mysterious past—as does the quiet old house—and when they come together, ghosts begin awakening.

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Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is the featured author for Under the Covers in the fall newsletter of WriteBoston, an organization that aids teen writers and writing teachers in MA public schools; Elizabeth’s piece is “Ripped from the Headlines and Whipped into Reality Fiction.”

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) will be launching her newest book, the novel Make a Wish But Not For Money, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Broadside Bookstore in Northampton, MA. She’ll have many events in October, including two weeks’ worth with Mags Riordan, founder of the Malawian clinic detailed in This Is Paradise, which came out in the spring and which Suzanne will continue to promote through the end of the year. Mags visit with be a rare chance for readers to meet her, as she lives in Malawi. A full schedule of events is available at http://www.suzannestrempekshea.com/index.php?page=upcoming-events#240. Suzanne has just returned from two weeks of promoting This Is Paradise in Mags Riordan’s native Ireland. Readings included one at The King Sitric in Howth, site of the January Stonecoast Ireland residency, and a night at Galway’s Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop during which Stonecoast Ireland Coordinator and Co-Coordinator, Ted Deppe and Annie Deppe, also read. Suzanne and husband Tommy attended Ted’s launch of his collection Beautiful Wheel at the 37th annual Clifden Arts Festival, and Suzanne read at the festival a few days later during a concert featuring Leo Moran and Anthony Thistlethwaite. The festival ended with readings by Paula Meehan and Theo Dorgan, who many in our community will know from the two having been guest lecturers at Stonecoast Ireland. Paula last September was awarded the Chair of Irish Poetry, Professor of Poetry, by President Michael D. Higgins. Big thanks are sent by Suzanne to Aaron Hamburger, who wrote for the Matador Network about Suzanne’s point-of-view decisions in This Is Paradise.

Annie and Ted Deppe with Paula Meehan at center.

Annie and Ted Deppe with Paula Meehan at center.

Ted Deppe signing at his launch of Beautiful Wheel at the Clifden Arts Festival.

Ted Deppe signing at his launch of Beautiful Wheel at the Clifden Arts Festival.

Stonecoast alum Christina Mock, now living in Barcelona, made a surprise visit to former mentor Ted Deppe's reading at the Clifden Arts Festival. Here, she and Ted are snapped by Annie Deppe.

Stonecoast alum Christina Mock, now living in Barcelona, made a surprise visit to former mentor Ted Deppe‘s reading at the Clifden Arts Festival. Here, she and Ted are snapped by Annie Deppe.

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Community News & Updates May 2014

ALUMNI NEWS

Karen Bovenmyer‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) poem “NeverNever Holes” was published April 10 on ZingaraPoet.

Bunny Goodjohn (Poetry, W’07) has creative nonfiction in the latest issue of Pithead Chapel. She has also wrangled a place on the Jessie duPont three-week summer-seminar series entitled “Constructing Childhood: Words and Pictures.”

Carolina Crimes coverSandra McDonald (Popular Fiction, W’05) sold the story “End of the World Community College,” a tongue-in-cheek story of apocalypse and hope, to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for publication later this year. Visit her at www.sandramcdonald.com.

Carolina Crimes: 19 Tales of Lust, Love, and Longing, published by Wildside Press, features stories by Sisters in Crime mystery writers from the Carolinas. A book trailer can be seen here. Karen Pullen (Popular Fiction, S’08) edited the stories, which includes her own “The Fourth Girl” about a recently fired teacher who inherits her aunt’s estate and finds that it comes with an unusual small business.

WhatMightNot--3x5x72In April, Steve Rhodes‘ (Poetry, W’11) second poetry collection was published by Wind. Of What Might Not Be Steve says, “This collection is a sequel to The Time I Didn’t Know What to Do Next. I’m trying to ponder those moments and places where the possible rubs up against the unlikely, where the boundary between ‘is’ and ‘might or might not be’ becomes blurred. I very much appreciate what Ted Deppe says about this collection: ‘These poems wonder at our being here at all.'”

Michaela Roessner-Herman (Popular Fiction, S’08) has been asked to contribute to an upcoming Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America Cookbook—the third that SFWA has produced, this time as part of SFWA’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2015. Michaela has previously provided recipes for two other genre-related cookbooks, both of which where fundraisers for the Tiptree Award: Her Smoke Rose Up from Supper and The Bakery Men Don’t See.

Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) flash essay “Coffee Regular,” an excerpt from her memoir-in-essays manuscript, appeared in the March issue of Gravel Magazine. Lisa was interviewed recently for The Writer’s Hot Seat section of the Barnstorm Journal blog. She would like to remind all in the Stonecoast community that she extends an open invitation to feature your guest post at her blog to help support your book or other creative project.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, ’04) will be presenting a workshop on “Going into Dark Places: Taboos in Writing” at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem on May 3, 2014, at the Hawthorne Hotel. A recent interview with Lisa is in the online edition of The Worcester Review; her poem “Cathedral of Shadows” was published there in March. Also, she has new fiction appearing in Bartleby Snopes online and Mulberry Fork Review online.

Adrienne S. Wallner (Poetry, W’09) has accepted a position as a Wilderness Instructor with New Vision Wilderness, a wilderness immersion therapy and education program in northern Wisconsin. Some writing-specific work she will be doing with clients includes therapeutic journaling, poetry, ekphrasis, and nature writing. She is very excited to start her new position in September. (Those of you who spoke with her at AWP—yes, this is the job she was talking about!).

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) is thrilled to see her story “The Cozy Corner” in volume three of The New Guard. The story, excerpted from her Stonecoast creative thesis, was a finalist for the Machigonne Fiction Contest.

FACULTY NEWS

Boman Desai‘s (Fiction) novel The Lesbian Man was shortlisted for the Dana Award for novels. The first chapter of the same novel won first place in a competition of first chapters late last year.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) short story “Honeymoon for One” (which he read at the last residency) is in the new issue of Subtropics.

Elizabeth Hand‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) essay “Saved by Obamacare,” about her experience with the Affordable Care Act, appeared in Salon.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has a story in Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse. The Anthology will be released first by Audible on May 13, with hardcover and e-book releases in November. She is also an Author Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention May 8-11 in Portland, OR.

BEST SFF 8Three new appearances in print this month for Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction): “The Pope of the Chimps” in The Book of Silverberg, edited by Gardner Dozois and William Schafer published on May 1; “Bernardo’s House,” a stand-alone e-book in English and Italian from Roman publisher Future Fiction; and “The Promise of Space” in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Eight, edited by Jonathan Strahan, due on May 18. His super-hero story “The Biggest,” originally commissioned by Stonecoast alumna Mur Lafferty, has been recorded for the podcast Starship Sofa Episode 334. Jim has adapted “The Promise of Space” for the stage and it will appear this fall in the anthology Geek Theater: 12 Plays by Science Fiction and Fantasy Masters, edited by Jen Gunnels and Stonecoast alumna Erin Underwood.

Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) monologues “Nightmare Girl” and “Career Day” took first prize in the Maine Playwrights Festival’s Monologathon. His full-length play Duck and Cover was voted Audience Favorite in Dezart Performs Play Reading Series (Palm Springs, CA), and the play will be fully staged in January 2015. The Players’ Ring (Portsmouth, NH) has announced that Mike’s Edgar-nominated play “Ghosts of Ocean House” will run for three weeks in October 2014.

dezart announcement

prprairie-gold-coverDebra Marquart‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry) essay “Not All There” appeared in Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland. Her poem “Kablooey Is the Sound You’ll Hear” was published in The Normal School: A Literary Magazine. Also, Debra traveled inside the North Dakota oil boom under a grant from the North Dakota Humanities Council during November of 2013. She taught writing workshops in thirteen communities impacted by the oil boom for a research project. Read about her first impressions of this fast-moving environmental story inside the Bakken oil boom here.

A Month Inside the Oil Boom: the North Dakota highway leading into the Badlands.

A Month Inside the Oil Boom: the North Dakota highway leading into the Badlands (photo provided by Debra Marquart).

Alexandra Oliver‘s (Poetry, ’12) book Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway has been shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, given for the best book of poetry by a Canadian woman published during the previous year. The winner of this award will be announced in June. An interview with Rob McLennan on the subject of this nomination can be found here. In addition to this, Alexandra is this month’s Guest Contributor for the BANG section of The New Guard Review.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has a new short story, “The Quiet Car,” just published in Solstice literary magazine. For fellow fans of train-writing: this story takes place on an Amtrak “Quiet Car.”

this-is-paradise-coverSuzanne Strempek Shea‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) Portland, ME, reading from her newly released book This Is Paradise has been rescheduled to Thursday, May 22. She thanks those who first marked their calendars for May 8, then May 9. She promises this will be the last date change. The reading will be held at 6:00 p.m. at The Gallery at Harmon’s and Barton’s, 584 Congress Street. This Is Paradise is the story of the Irish woman Mags Riordan and the medical clinic she founded in the remote Malawian village where her son died while on holiday. A TV interview with Mags Riordan and Suzanne is here. A story on the book, from The Republican of Springfield, MA, is here. Suzanne will also be reading May 31 at 11:00 a.m. at Toadstool Books in Peterborough, NH, and on the same at the Toadstool store in Keene, NH, at 2:00 p.m. The books was launched April 23 at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, MA, and Suzanne thanks all the Stonecoasters who attended. Two days later, Suzanne served as emcee for Bay Path College’s 19th annual Women’s Leadership Conference in Springfield, MA. Bearing the theme “Own Your Story,” the event featured television legend Barbara Walters, New York Times columnist Bruce Feiler and Syria Deeply founder Lara Setrakian, and was attended by a crowd of more than 2,000.

Author's-eye view of Broadside Bookshop launch of 'This Is Paradise.' Stonecoaster scan starts with Lisa Taylor in front row and former faculty member Leslea Newman in second row.

Author’s-eye view of Broadside Bookshop launch of This Is Paradise. Stonecoaster scan starts with Lisa Taylor in front row and former faculty member Lesléa Newman in second row.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Call for Submissions for an Anthology Celebrating the Life and Work of Bill Morrissey
This book will be edited by Bill friends and New England writers Bruce Pratt and Suzanne Strempek Shea.

Singer, songwriter, novelist, outdoorsman, raconteur, family member, friend—Bill Morrissey was many things to the many, many, many people he touched in his life. We’d like to know just who he was to you. Submit your essay to be considered for a proposed anthology that will illustrate the innumerable sides of a man who left us far too soon, and left us with so much. Whether you know him from high school, or the high stool, whether you are a friend who shared a stage with him or a fan who shared his love of small towns on the river, tell us your Bill story.

Nonfiction submissions (essays, stories, lyrics, poems, appreciations) of up to 5,000 words should be sent in Word format by August 1 to bp.manuscripts (at) gmaildot.com. Include a cover letter with full contact information and a brief description of your connection to Bill. Contract will follow acceptance.

Suzanne Strempek Shea is the author of five novels and five works of nonfiction, including the newly released This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Vllage’s Plight and the Medical Clinic that Brought Fresh Hope to Both. Her friendship with Bill sprang from their shared Polish heritage and their love of small towns on the river. Suzanne has been featured on NBC’s Today, National Public Radio and Voice of America, and in USA Today and The Washington Post. Her freelance work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, ESPN the Magazine, Yankee and Bark. Suzanne teaches at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program and is director of the creative writing program and writer in residence at Bay Path College in Longmeadow, MA.

Bruce Pratt is the author of the novel The Serpents of Blissfull from Mountain State Press and the poetry collection Boreal from Antrim House Books. He has won prizes and awards for his drama, short fiction, poetry, and songwriting, and his work has been published in dozens of journal and reviews in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. For twenty years he plied his trade as a singer/songwriter and for fifteen of those years traveled extensively with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. He was a long time friend and admirer of Bill, with whom he performed on many occasions. Pratt is the editor of the Annual American Fiction Anthology from New Rivers Press. Retired from performing, Pratt teaches Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Maine and to private students.

 

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