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Community News & Updates April 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Stone House Readers’ Series is a weekly regular series for alumni, faculty, staff, and current students to share their writing live on Facebook. This is a program run by Troy Myers and Amanda Pleau, class of 2015, to give members of our community a casual and consistent opportunity to connect. Readers are scheduled in advance and are asked to bring 15 minutes of material. Here is the tentative lineup this month: 

  • April 4th: Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction), Bill Stauffer (Fiction), Ellie O’Leary (Poetry)
  • April 11th: Vanesa Pacheco (Poetry) and Meredith MacEachern (Fiction)
  • April 18th: Morgan Talty (Fiction) and Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction)
  • April 25th: Troy A. Myers (Poetry) and John Christopher Nelson (Fiction)

We have space for one more person to join the 11th, 18th and 25th of April, and are currently scheduling into May.

Stonecoast Review is raising money through a Givecampus campaign to fund their publishing costs and keep the journal alive and free-to-submit.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Third Semester) short story “If It Fits, Take It” has been accepted for the third volume of Archipelago, Volume 3: The Allegory Ridge Fiction Anthology, which will be published this summer.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) will be teaching his popular workshop “From Blank Page To Stage,” focusing on writing and producing short plays, in person at the beautiful Pyramid Lake Fall Writerfest, September 12-16, 2021, organized by Stonecoast alumna Ellie O’Leary. Registration open now. Very reasonable price! Come join us!

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Landslide (Knopf) was recently named a New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Best Book/Most Anticipated Book by Good Morning AmericaThe New York Post, Medium, Bustle, Biblio Lifestyle, and others. Her essay on boy silence recently appeared in LitHub. Her interview on the intersection of feminism and motherhood was published in The Woolfer. And her recent essay celebrating books with vibrant boy culture is here.  

Annie Deppe (Stonecoast in Ireland) has two poems in the March 30th issue of On the Seawall. Her third book of poems, Night Collage, is due out this spring from Arlen House in Ireland.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) was a weeklong (virtual) visiting writer at the University of Nevada Reno MFA Program. Thanks to Stonecoast faculty David Anthony Durham for the invite and Stonecoast faculty Robert Redick for moderating a Q&A in his fiction workshop!

Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) essay collection The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays Between Exile & Belonging will be published by NDSU Press in July of 2021. Debra has published several essays in early 2021, including “The Death of a Lost Dog” (The Iowan, March 2021); “At 79, My Mother Decides to Plant Trees” (Fourth Genre, 2021); “On the Ephemerality of Things: Thoughts on the Demise of a Literary Press” (High Plains Reader, May 2020). In addition, her poem “Winter Amaranth” was published by Prairie Public Radio in March 2021. She co-curated poems for the Iowa Telepoem Booth Project, which features 180 recorded poems from 93 Iowa poets that can be listened to by dialing in to the Iowa Telepoem Booth. The physical booth, which was initially installed at the Pottawattamie Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Center, has migrated to the Council Bluffs Library. The installation will be traveling around the state of Iowa over the year. The project was funded by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Debra was interviewed by Amy Butcher—along with Jamila Osman, Alexis Wiggins, and Torrey Peters—by VIDA Women & the Literary Arts following the release of The Best of Brevity anthology.  

Cate Marvin‘s (Poetry) fourth book of poems, Event Horizon, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in the spring of 2022.

ALUMS 

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Greg van Eekhout’s story “Spaceship October” for the March 11 episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here.

Ryan Brod‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) flash essay, “Solo,” appears in the spring issue of Tahoma Literary Review. You can hear Ryan read his essay at TLR’s soundcloud page.

The Bangalore Review published J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) poem “Last Night I Dreamed My Mother Was Carl Reiner and I was Sad She Died,” and Audiofile Magazine published J’s review of A History of Scars by Laura Lee. CRAFT Literary awarded J’s essay “The Last” Honorable Mention in their 2020 CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest—the award did NOT include publication of the essay, so it is VERY available if any editors are reading this! J thanks Stonecoast Instructor Susan Conley (with whom J never worked and only knew in passing) for directing e to Audiofile Magazine as potential venue for their audiobook reviews. 

teri elam‘s (Poetry, S’19) poetry manuscript “An Observation of Beautiful Forms” was a finalist for the  2021 Perugia Press Prize

Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17) is happy to announce the publication of his debut book Land of Outcasts, a fantasy-adventure novella featuring a gunslinger and a battle unicorn. The ebook releases April 6 and print copies will be available April 27 from most major retailers. Learn more about the book and find information about release events on Josh’s website

Rebecca Kightlinger‘s (Fiction, W’14) debut novel, Megge of Bury Down (the first draft of which was written at Stonecoast), is a finalist in the Independent Book Publishers Association‘s Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book in the category of Fiction. It is also a finalist in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards in the category of Audiobook: Fiction (Narrator: Jan Cramer). Winners will be announced in May. Thanks to all my Stonecoast workshop partners and to all the faculty members who endured all those rough, rough drafts!

Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10) and co-author Joseph Tachovsky were featured on C-Span Book TV Saturday, March 6, to discuss 40 Thieves on SaipanThe Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a story about Bill Knuppel, one of the principal Marine Scout Snipers in the platoon.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is excited to have won a paid fellowship for Spring 2021 at what has long been a dream pub of hers, Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life. While there, she is mentored by her favorite editor, working on several pieces, assigned and pitched, and getting an inside look at how a cutting edge cultural magazine operates from the editors’ pov. Here’s her little Passover story cum Passover granola recipe that was just published. She’s also happy that an excerpt from her memoir-in-progress is fresh up at the lit mag Dorothy Parker’s Ashes: Brazen Words by Witty Dames. Everything True, More or Less. 

After nine books and ten years of traditional romance publishing with Harlequin, Dorchester, and other mainstream presses, Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) has launched independent publishing company Ascendant Press. The first three books in her epic, hyper-sexy, reverse-harem space opera/sci-fi romance series will release wide starting in October 2021 with series debut Interstellar Angel, where Star Wars meets 50 Shades by way of The Hunger Games.

Forests Inside Us,” Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) piece on natural materials artist and environmental advocate Jordan Kendall Parks, was published in Decor Maine last month. “The Sky Where You Are,” her opera libretto on domestic violence and advocacy that premiered worldwide in 2020 as part of the Decameron Opera Coalition’s production Tales from a Safe Distance was added to the Library of Congress earlier this year. Jenny is excited to be teaching Am I You? Getting to the Heart of Your Characters, a character intensive for nonfiction writers at SALT Institute for Documentary Studies at MECA June 7-11th, 6:00-8:00 p.m. EST. The course will explore interview techniques that go for depth, using dialogue and voice to enhance characterization, profiling fascinating subcultures, and leveraging background research to locate and tap into the universal stories that run through us all. She’d love to write with any of you. 

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) will read new work and from American Dangerous (Backlash Press 2018) at Poems for Our Living and Breathing II (A Reading & Open Mic Series); this virtual event will be April 18, 2021, 5:00-6:30 p.m., led by Virginia Poet Laureate Luisa Igloria and sponsored by The Muse Writers Center.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his essay “Hattery: The Many Roles of a First-Time Teacher” was recently published in Voices of Practice edited by Sean Michael Morris, Lucy Rai, and Karen Littleton. The book is available through PressBooks.

A lyric essay in Waterwheel Review (“The Family Dollar“) followed by a crush of December deadlines kept Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W ’12) distracted through the winter, and now spring has brought a flurry of published stories:

Mary Katherine Spain‘s (Fiction, S’16) short story “Collision” will be published in the upcoming volume of The New Guard Review

Starting in May, Stonecoast alum and Tin House author (Night of the Living Rez, 2022) Morgan Talty (Fiction, W ’19) will be teaching a three-month mentorship with Writing Workshops DallasHe will be taking on six writers. For those interested, please find more information here. 

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “Then You Were Gone” was just published in the spring issue of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.

Sean Ulman (Fiction, ’05), who teaches writing in Seward, AK, published his debut novel Seward Soundboard with Cirque Press in November 2020. Well-known Alaskan author Nancy Lord wrote a review of the novel for The Anchorage Daily News. Here’s the novel description:

Lyrical vignettes broadcast the power of art in this novel set in the mountainous harbor town of Seward, Alaska. Like many of her fellow citizens, a woman attempting to resettle in her hometown—the Returner—turns to art and recreation when she feels overwhelmed by the rain, the wind, the dark or a “familiar chemical batch of unknown nonsense.” Citizens’ relationships with one another, the wilderness and the weather bounce to ironies, comedies and coincidences across a one-year cycle in the quirky seasonal town.

IG: @sewardsoundboard

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Community News & Updates November 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting Workshop: The Next Step – Rehearsing your Script! – Winter 2021!!

Instructors: Tom Coash (Scriptwriting/Playwright) and Jeni Mahoney (Scriptwriting/Artistic Director of the Seven Devils New Play Foundry)

A huge part of scriptwriting is learning to collaborate and glean valuable information about your script during the rehearsal process. Being in a room with really smart, talented people, all working together, readying your script for the public is an incredibly inspiring, unique experience. Scriptwriters, in this special, four-session, alumni workshop, will submit a ten-minute play/screenplay and during the course of the workshop will read, discuss, rewrite, and REHEARSE these pieces for an online, post-residency Stonecoast public reading. Taking advantage of the online residency possibilities, we will bring in professional, guest artist actors and directors from all over the country to rehearse each play individually in online breakout rooms. Writers will have one-on-one sessions with their directors, rehearsals with actors/directors, discussion of scripts with workshop members, and opportunities to observe other rehearsals. Come join us and see your script brought to life by some of the best talent in the country. All levels of scriptwriting experience welcome.

This workshop is also open to writers who have not attended Stonecoast. So, please tell your friends. Space is limited, sign up asap! Contact Tom Coash (thomascoash@sbcglobal.net) or the Stonecoast office for more information: stonecoastmfa@maine.edu or 207-780-4423.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction) short story “Phrenology,” which she shared in David Anthony Durham’s “Grim Tidings” workshop last residency, will be published in the next issue of The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) wrote two episodes in the new HBO Max mini-documentary series A World of Calm, which premiered on October 1st and is designed for relaxation. Her episodes are #8 “Horses,” narrated by Kate Winslet, and #10 “Water,” narrated by Mahershala Ali. The trailer is available here. Faith also has an essay in the anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief & Comfort in the Time of COVID; sales go to benefit indie bookstores.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) was awarded an individual fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) new novel, The Book of Lamps and Banners, continues to receive rave reviews, including from The New York Times Book Review, which wrote, “Cass Neary is a remarkable heroine. As with Sherlock Holmes, her power lies in the act of seeing what ordinary people cannot, only where Holmes brings clues to light, Neary is content to linger in the dark. Her eye catches the liminal spaces between clarity and shadow so well I found myself rereading passages for the beauty of her way of seeing.” Oprah Magazine named Liz’s 2015 novel Wylding Hall one of the 29 greatest gothic novels of all time. In October, she taught at the NYC Writer’s Hotel virtual writer’s conference, and led an online workshop on supernatural fiction at Clarion West.  

Scriptwriting Instructor Jeni Mahoney, the Producing Artistic Director of Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, was featured in a recent American Theatre Magazine article celebrating the 20th anniversary of the program, which she founded in 2001. Since 2001, Seven Devils has supported the development of more than 220 plays, including Veils by Scriptwriting Faculty member Tom Coash, who now serves on the Seven Devils Board of Directors.

ALUMS

Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) short story “Dr. Catalyst,” which she workshopped while at Stonecoast with Liz Hand and fellow students, was turned into a 55-minute production by No Sleep Podcast. Her short story is featured in Season 15, Episode 5, and begins around the one hour, thirty-eight minute mark.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’16) has a piece of humorous horror titled “The Stages of Monster Grief: A Guide for Middle-Aged Vampires” in the anthology Coffin Blossoms, which was published by Jolly Horror Press in October 2020. She also appeared on the panels Building SF&F Mythologies and Modern Age of Poetry at MileHiCon 52. 

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) won Honorable Mention in Streetlight Magazine’s 2020 Essay/Memoir contest. A review of the essay “Finding Barbie’s Shoes” said, “J Brooke’s ‘Finding Barbie’s Shoes,’ an elliptical narration of how something as small as the foot of a Barbie doll can lead to consideration of topics larger and more painful. There is humor in this account, but also that edge of reality we all have to contend with. Its two poles inform each other.” The essay can be read here.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has stories in The Quilliad and Nightmare this month. She is also pleased to announce the one-year anniversary of the ephemera reading series. Join readers Kate Heartfield, Fonda Lee, and Vivian Li, and performer Kari Maaren, on November 18 at 7:00 p.m. EST.

teri elam (Poetry, S’19) had two poems published in Limp Wrist magazine: “On Writing A Fan Letter To Lynda Carter Circa 1975” and “On Being Called The N-Word In Atlanta, 2016: A Southern Ghazal.” Her ghazal has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. teri will also have two essays, “Memory as Dance: The Darktown Strutters’ Ball” and “In Praise of Greenwood,” included in the exhibition catalog for the upcoming Greenwood Art Project. This project will commemorate the centennial anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and the historic Black Wall Street.

Colleen Hennessy‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’20) essay “Motherhood in Irish Nonfiction: Abortion and Agency” appeared in the fall issue of Assay: Journal of Nonfiction Studies. The research and analysis arose from her third semester paper and graduation seminar at Stonecoast. 

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) annually writes a Christmas novella; On One Condition is available on the kindle app.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) is thrilled to announce that her short story “The Quilt” was published last month in Willows Wept Review. The story is about climate change, fracking, and the enduring nature of love, with a bit of magic realism and ancient mythology thrown in. Bonus points if you can determine what mythological figures and events it’s inspired by.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) recently had an essay in Past Ten, a literary project exploring the transformative power of time and the human condition to turn the unpredictable into art, by asking contributors, “Where were you ten years ago on this date?” She also had an essay out in The Forward, the country’s oldest Jewish newspaper (founded in 1897) about her recent reckoning with her misguided use of the Yiddish word schwartze, when she was a 23-year old convert to Judaism.

Nylah Lyman‘s (Poetry, S’10) poem “Noah’s Wife” has been accepted by Stonecoast Review for publication January 2021.

Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be opening her live online memoir classes to a new cohort this month. Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life is open for enrollment. This five-week live online course begins Thursday, November 12, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT. Memoir: Craft and Application also will be open to new students starting this month with Thursday or Saturday classes, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT. To apply or for more information, visit www.catharinehmurray.com or email her at writingwithcatharine@gmail.com

First Light,” Jenny O’Connell‘s(Creative Nonfiction, S’17) essay about finding home in the wild waters of Maine, appears in the November issue of Decor Maine. Her opera libretto on advocacy and domestic violence during quarantine, “The Sky Where You Are,” was produced by An Opera Theatre of Minneapolis and premiered worldwide last month as part of the Decameron Opera Coalition’s “Tales from a Safe Distance.” Tickets are available through the end of the year. 

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) has a new story titled “Lady of the Slake” in Upon a Once Time, a color print anthology of reimagined fairy-tale mash-ups published by Air and Nothingness Press. Suri’s story is an interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans” combined with the Arthurian literary cycle. 

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has poems in two anthologies released in October: “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgments” appears in Show Us Your Papers from Main Street Rag Publishing, and “Le Rire ” appears in its original French alongside his English translation in The Very Edge Poems from Flying Ketchup Press.

J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) was made Canon Poet of Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Charleston, South Carolina, on October 11th, 2020.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) short story “Chuligani,” published in Solstice Literary Magazine, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Kevin’s novel Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle will launch virtually at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10. Hosted by Longfellow Books of Portland, Maine, and Encircle Publications, Kevin will be joined in conversation by author Bill Roorbach. To register in advance for this meeting please use this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06) is currently writing a series of weekly essays: “2020: Life in the Time of Pandemic.” Her blog site is Kathleensullivan.substack.com. The essays are the process notes of a poet, a psychotherapist, a grandmother, three quarters of a century old as she makes sense of this extraordinary moment in history.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short story “The Name Means Thunder,” which originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Georgia Review, was selected as a Distinguished Story for The Best American Short Stories 2020

The Learned Pig published Darlene Taylor‘s (Fiction, W’17) “Haunting Stones” essay as a Root Mapping feature. The essay can be read in the online journal here. Also, Darlene won a D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship; she plans to complete the work noted in “Haunting Stones” as part of the fellowship. Separately, as part of her continued service to the arts community, Darlene has been named an Advisory Board member of The Clifton House located in Maryland. The Clifton House honors creative work and the legacy of Lucille Clifton in the Baltimore home where she lived with her family and wrote poetry.

Meghan Vigeant‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) flash non-fiction story “Don’t Live Past Ninety, Dear” appeared on Multiplicity‘s blog in October. 

Stonecoast fiction alum (W’19) sidney woods was honored that “Monsoon” was recently published in Brilliant Flash Fiction (under pen name sid sibo).  

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Community News & Updates July 2020

FACULTY

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) wrote his latest piece on sports and civil rights for The Nation: “When the KKK Played Against an All-Black Baseball Team.” His next book will be for young adults and is slated for release in 2021. Doomed: The Tragic Story of Sacco & Vanzetti tells the controversial story of two Italian anarchists convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here received a Bronze Medal in the 2019 Foreword Reviews Indie Book Awards!

Elizabeth Hand’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) novel Curious Toys is a finalist for both the Locus and Shirley Jackson Awards. The Book of Lamps and Banners, the fourth Cass Neary novel (due in September), has received great advance trade reviews, including a starred review from Booklist.  Hand recently wrote about John Garth’s The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth for The Washington Post.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) story “Faithful Sister” was published in Daily Science Fiction on June 17.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is one of six writers who formed the group Writers Against Racial Injustice to raise funds for The Equal Justice Initiative. The group started with a goal of raising 10K and have wound up raising over 50K, with help from many supporters including Stonecoasters and coverage in The Boston Globe, Shelf Awareness, and a feature article on June 24 in Publishers Weekly. The fundraiser is running through July 4th; donations are welcome here.

The publication date for Robert V.S. Redick’s (Popular Fiction) new epic fantasy novel, Sidewinders (sequel to Master Assassins), has just been announced: it will be on the shelves on May 4, 2021, from Talos Press.

 

ALUMS

One of Jillian Abbott’s (Popular Fiction, S’04) students, Hastride Eduoard, was profiled for the animation project she submitted for her final project in Jillian’s ENG 384 RC Writing for Electronic Media class (Hastride’s video is at the end of the article).

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is thrilled to announce that her short story “A Seed Planted” has been translated in Japanese for Night Land Quarterly Vol. 21 “The Fantasy of Sky Realms.” This short story was originally included in the anthology Hath No Fury, edited by Melanie R. Meadors. She also has a reprint of her flash piece “The Landscape of Lacrimation” included in the Weird Dream Society: An Anthology of the Possible & Unsubstantiated in Support of RAICES, edited by Julie C. Day. Both of these stories were originally drafted during her time at Stonecoast.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has been long-listed for the Sunburst Award for her story “When the White Bird Sings,” published last year in Augur. In addition, the ephemera Reading Series is a finalist for the Aurora Award, under Best Fan Organizational.

Ed Boyle (Fiction, W’09) will have a story, “The Keeper of the Marsh,” published in the July issue of The Scarlet Leaf Review.

Libby Cudmore (Creative Nonfiction/Popular Fiction, S’10) has sold her second story, “A Brief History of Local Warfare,” to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Her first, “All Shook Down,” is scheduled for publication in the September/October issue of EQMM.

teri elam’s (Poetry, S’19) personal essay “On Asking Mama To Pray for Me” will be included in the forthcoming anthology, Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19 which is raising money for indie bookstores. Stonecoast professor Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) is a contributor as well.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) new book of poems, Being Animal (published by Aldrich Press), is now available for purchase through kelsaybooks.com and Amazon. These poems observe and embody a vast array of animals from the honeybee to the mountain lion in poems that celebrate their beauty, grieve their loss, and reflect on their wisdom. For a signed copy, please visit www.terriglass.com. Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older than Words and Endgame, says, “A love for wild nature suffuses this beautiful collection. Poetry can serve no more important purpose than to rekindle our love of those who are wild.”

Barbara P. Greenbaum (Fiction, S’05) has had poems published or accepted for publication in Main Street Rag, Clementine Unbound, Green Hills Lantern, and Arcturus. She has also launched a website with co-editor Pit Pinegar dedicated to providing writing exercises for those who need them. The exercises were contributed by writers who teach. Anyone who has published work and teaches and is interested in contributing an exercise can contact her at barbarapgreenbaum@gmail.com for more details.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is happy to announce that her memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church, will be published by Exposit in August. Many people at Stonecoast helped in the writing of this book. Here’s what fellow alum Elliot Long (Creative Nonfiction, S’10), now with the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, has to say about the memoir: “In She Said God Blessed Us, Gail Hovey introduces us to a firebrand who confronts her world with a fierceness and determination to fight for change. As she participates in several of the pivotal social justice movements of our times, from the fight against American racism in the 1960s to the campaign to end South African apartheid in the decades that followed, Hovey grows to recognize how abuse of power also shaped her young life—abuse at the hands of her religious mentor. Wrenching and celebratory, Hovey’s memoir depicts a long struggle to move through guilt and pain toward a peace she can claim as her own.” For more information and to order an advance copy, please visit Gail’s website.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has won the Neosho Arts Council’s short story contest for her story “December 1, 1969.” Judge Kevin Dilmore said, “A relatable protagonist and a suspenseful construction make this story a compelling read from the beginning. Backstory is introduced at a great pace just when readers will benefit the most from it. This is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read, and images from this will stay with readers for a long time.”

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created four new poetry videos. The videos for “Beacon” and “Into the Light,” inspired by the poems of the same names, go into Alan and his wife’s battle with lupus, Alan doing a kidney swap to help his wife, and their surgeries. “Heartbreak is Unavoidable” is inspired by Alan’s poem “This Good”; and “A Poem for My New Born and George Floyd” is inspired by Alan’s new poem “The Land of Innocence,” which he wrote for his one-month-old daughter and George Floyd. You can watch the videos here.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is especially happy to have an essay, “Saying Goodbye to Seafood,” published in Tablet Magazine, where her writing has been rejected several times in the past. This reminded her to never give up and to submit, submit, submit.

Julia Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) and Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be hosted by World Fellowship Center for a virtual reading and conversation about Writing from a Family Legacy on Monday, July 6, 7:00-8:00 p,m. Julia will read from her debut memoir The Book Keeper and Ellen from her new novel Her Sister’s Tattoo. Details and link here.

An excerpt from Julia McKenzie Munemo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) memoir The Book Keeper appeared on Public Seminar in June.

dg nanouk okpik’s (Poetry, W’10) poem “If Oil Is Drilled in Bristol Bay” was featured in the Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day email on June 5, 2020.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) will have her poem “That Poetry Thing” in the Summer 2020 issue of Ibbetson Street Magazine.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “La Ride,” written in French, will appear with his English translation in the forthcoming anthology from Flying Ketchup Press. His poem “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgements” is forthcoming in Main Street Rag’s anthology Show Us Your Papers. And his poem  “My Grandfather’s Sky” will appear in North Scene Poetry Press’s anthology of poetry about 9/11.

The prose poem “Mountain” by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) will appear in the Fall/Winter issue of New South.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that as of today he is the Assistant Principal at Hinsdale Middle High School in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. In writing news, his essay “Hattery: The Many Roles of a First-Time Teacher” was accepted into Voices of Practice to be published later in 2020.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) has signed a new book deal for his novel Celestine with Encircle Publications. It’s expected to be in bookstores in May 2021.

Genevieve Williams (Popular Fiction, S’14) has a short story titled “The Sea of Stars” in the new anthology Retellings of the Inland Seas from Candlemark and Gleam, edited by Athena Andreadis; and, an essay titled “Ghosts, Grimoires, and Dealing with Demons: Hellblazer’s Real-World Magic” in the new book From Bayou to Abyss: Examining John Constantine, Hellblazer from Sequart, edited by Lou Tambone and Rich Handley.

 

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Community News & Updates May 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST MFA VIRTUAL WRITING SERIES
In an effort to connect our community and continue learning together from afar, Stonecoast is launching a monthly writing session led by a faculty member or guest instructor! Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) kicked off our first session in April with a fantastic Mindfulness and Creative Writing class. We are thrilled to present Susan Conley (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) on Monday, May 18th, with “Voice Across Genre: Tone and Pitch and How to Really Say What You Are Feeling,” followed by Justin Tussing (Stonecoast Director) on Monday, June 8th, with a pre-residency generative writing session.

Information and Zoom links will be distributed to current students and faculty via email, and to the greater community via the Stonecoast Portland Meetup group and the Friends of Stonecoast MFA Facebook Group. If you are unable to access any of these platforms, email Special Projects Coordinator Jenny O’Connell (jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu) to be added to the list.

You can also receive weekly writing prompts from faculty on the Stonecoast Facebook Page.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer (Fiction) has been selected by Oyster River Pages for publication under their “Emerging Fiction Voices” category, established to showcase new writers who are just beginning to submit their work to journals. Her short story “Fish Out of Water” will be published in the Fourth Annual Issue of Oyster River Pages, due Summer 2020 (publication details to follow). ORP is a literary journal that embraces the reality that the personal has become the political and actively seeks to publish those who bring balance and diversity to historical institutions of power.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) recently had another piece up on the Brevity blog about how the lockdown has provided her with a much welcomed focus on writing, stripped of the otherwise regular and non-essential diversions. She has also embarked on a new project and is looking for contributors: If you know someone who is a Jew by choice, the planned anthology Our Stories, Our Tribe: Personal Essays by Converts to Judaism is looking for diverse voices in essays between 1500-4000 words. Email Nina (nblichtenstein@gmail.com) if you would like a copy of the Call for Submissions to share.

 

FACULTY

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was happy that her novel We Got Him was chosen to be featured in April on Snowflakes in a Blizzard, which highlights books by Indie press writers. As noted in this piece, We Got Him, which was published by New Rivers Press, is also out in a 2018 audiobook version—published and narrated by star Stonecoast alumna Tanya Eby and her audiobook company, Blunder Woman Productions.

 

ALUMS

The film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, adapted by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) from her memoir of the same title, won a Special Jury Mention from the ÉCU—The European Independent Film Festival in Paris, and an Honorable Mention from the USA Film Festival’s International Short Film & Video Competition in Dallas, Texas.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) made a guest post called “The Sophomore Book” about writing her next book on Fantasy Cafe for Women in SF&F Month. She also had a new poem published by The Free Library of the Internet Void called “Remember.” And AAWW Radio posted Breaking into Speculative Fiction, a panel discussion with Jenn and Malka Older, moderated by Tim O’Connell.

j brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) essay “Hybrid” was the Nonfiction Winner for Columbia Journal’s Womxn’s History Month Special Issue.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that she has found a means to get out and share her book The Bone Cutters during this pandemic. From May 11 to June 11, Renee is doing an online book tour, where her work will be featured on 50+ blogs. There will be a video reading, an interview, an excerpt or two, as well as free giveaways. Here is the link to find out how and where to check it all out. Stay safe, everyone!

teri elam’s (Poetry, S19) poetry manuscript was recently named a semi-finalist for the Two Sylvias Press Wilder Prize. During April, a film based on her poem “Butterflies” premiered during Visual Poetry Project’s online film celebration of National Poetry Month.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was thrilled to have her essay “Faith in a Seed,” about motherhood and the extinction and rebirth of the American chestnut tree, published in the current issue of Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Harlem in Havana” was released April 7, 2020, in the anthology The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchelledited by Josh Pachter, published by Untreed Reads. Anthology authors Alison, Alan Orloff, and Elaine Viets taught a class on Writing Suspense via Zoom on April 26, 2020.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) and Robin Talbot (Stonecoast Associate Director) invite the Stonecoast community to a Virtual Book Event at PRINT Bookstore in Portland on May 13, 2020, at 7:00 pm. Co-hosted by Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance (MWPA) via Zoom, Ellen will read from her new novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, and talk with Robin. To register, visit here or here.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) stories “Sola Fide” (originally featured in the summer 2016 issue of Able Muse), “Avoidance,” and “Meaning As Use” are all featured as the fiction portion of Lights, the inaugural issue of Pleasure Boat Studio‘s new zine, available as a free PDF. John also read his story “Good Friday,” originally featured in Volume VI of The New Guard, on Good Friday for West Seattle’s own Pegasus Book Exchange.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) recent tribute to the late, great Ryan West—which doubles as an ode to the ultimate frisbee community—was published in Ultiworld magazine. Her essay “Valley of the Bulls” won the 2019 Appalachia Journal Humor in the Wild Contest, and is now available in print. An outdoor contributor for Maine Magazine, Jenny’s profile on camp owner and adventurer Chloë Rowse was published in March, and she has a forthcoming feature on ice climbing in Maine later this year. In April, Jenny signed with agents Jamie Chambliss and Steve Troha of Folio Literary Management, who will represent her book project, Finding Petronella

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) was recently awarded a media grant from the Ontario Arts Council for her experimental short You’re Smart, her first foray into non-narrative filmmaking. While production is presently on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she hopes to complete her film in the following year.

Three short pieces from sid sibo’s (Fiction, W’19) in-process collection Familiar: Stories have been awarded the Neltje Blanchan Memorial award from the Wyoming Arts Council for best writing “informed by a relationship with the natural world.” Two other stories from the collection have earned Honorable Mentions, one of which, “Bull,” will be published online in Cutthroat magazine. The pen name can be traced to Stonecoast 2019 alum sidney woods.

Patricia Smith’s (Poetry, S’08; former faculty member) poem “Now He’s an Etching” appeared in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day email for Thursday, April 16th.; the poem can be read and heard on the poets.org website.

Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07) was featured in April’s Voyage LA, an online magazine celebrating the artists and eccentrics that define Los Angeles. The profile features no revelatory bombshells, but there are some fun photos.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) will have upcoming poetry published in Lily Poetry Review and Soul-Lit. Her book review of Rebecca Foust’s The Unexploded Ordnance Bin was published in Mom Egg Review in April. Lisa’s short story “Lucky” was shortlisted in the 2020 Fish Short Fiction contest, judged by Colum McCann. She has been a mentor through the AWP W2W program this spring, working with a fiction writer from Georgia. And Lisa will have a new collection of poetry published by Arlen House/Syracuse University Press in the spring of 2021.

Rhiannon J. Taylor’s (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) dark fantasy/horror story “What You Lost in the Wildermere” has been published by Arsenika in their sixth issue. Additionally, her story “Parasites” is forthcoming from Frozen Wavelets.

As reported by Locus, Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) won the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF), which sends a fan from North America to CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon. Paul Weimer, the North American DUFF administrator, said, “With ConZealand being a virtual Worldcon this year and Corvid-19, Erin will not be traveling to New Zealand this year, but hopes to travel to Australasia in the DUFF tradition in 2021, health and world events permitting.” Erin will also take over from Weimer as the new North American administrator.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) is now the nonfiction editor at The Los Angeles Review. He is looking for fresh, engaging essays; in particular at this moment, he’d love to read about life during COVID-19. You can submit here.

 

 

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Community News & Updates February 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Alumnus Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07) has undergone heart surgery in January and some Stonecoasters are among those supporting a GoFundMe effort right now to help with expenses. If you’d like to donate, visit Jacob’s Big Dumb Heart.

BOSKONE 2020

This year’s Boskone—New England’s longest running science fiction convention—features many Stonecoast faculty and alumni on the program participant list, including: KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16), Julie C Day (Popular Fiction, S’12), David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction faculty), Theodora Goss (Popular Fiction faculty), James Patrick Kelly (Popular Fiction, Playwriting faculty), Mur Lafferty (Popular Fiction, W’14), Robert V. S. Redick (Popular Fiction faculty), Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W’18), and (of course!) Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09). Word is that many other Stonecoasters will be in attendance as well. Feel free to join us! Boskone – February 14th to 11th at the Westin Waterfront Hotel, Boston.

FACULTY

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) interviewed novelist Garth Greenwell about his new novel Cleanness for Electric Literature.

In 2021, New Rivers Press will publish Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) next poetry collection, Gratitude with Dogs Under Stars: New & Collected Poems. Her poems have recently been included in three anthologies: “Come November” in Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, edited by Elizabeth Dodd, Simmons Buntin, and Derek Sheffield (Trinity University Press, 2020); “Dylan’s Lost Years” in Stone Gathering: A Reader 1.1 (Summer 2019); and “How Bad News Comes” in Send My Roots Rain: 52 Weeks of Poetry to Heal Your Grief, edited by Kim Langley (Paraklete Press, 2019). She published an essay, “The Unhappy Hour,” in Ascent Magazine in November 2019. Debra received a small grant ($4000) from Iowa Arts Council to complete a Poet-Laureate-in-the-Schools initiative in the 2019-2020 school year, and she was interviewed by Frontier Poetry in May 2019. In addition to writing, Debra did quite a lot of speaking:

Cate Marvin (Poetry) received the 2020 Maine Artist Fellowship Award in Literature (in this case, poetry) from the Maine Arts Commission.

More recent-vintage Stonecoasters might remember the collaboration seminar Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) and painter pal Susan Tilton Pecora gave at a winter residency a few years back on a book project to benefit their neighbor, Blue Star Equiculture. The draft horse rescue will be closing in a few months due to a lack of donations and volunteers so Suzanne and Susan have turned their work into a series of notecards (each featuring painting and essay) to more quickly help pay final bills at the 11-year-old draft horse rescue. The set of ten blank notecards, priced at $25, includes five different signed images and essays from throughout the rescue’s history. Checks should be made out to Susan Tilton Pecora and sent to her at PO Box 195, Thorndike, MA, 01079; pay via PayPal at sess7@comcast.net. All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged by Blue Star Equiculture, a registered nonprofit. Please note on checks or on PayPal payment how many sets of cards you’d like. The horses and their humans, including these two longtime friends and neighbors of Blue Star, thank you.

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) joined a full voice cast to narrate Kyle Kirrin’s story “Yo, Rapunzel!” for the January 28th episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is pleased to announce a new story, “Nightmare Spinner,” in Way of the Laser: Future Crime Stories, edited by Eric Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W’12) and Joe McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) (Vernacular Books) and two reprints: “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow,” in Weird Dream Society, edited by Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18), Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12), Chip Houser, and Steve Toase (The Post-Apocalyptic Writers Society); and “Cadaver Feet,” in The Binge-Watching Cure II: An Anthology of Horror Stories, edited by Bill Adler, Jr., and Sarah Doebereiner (Claren Books, October 2019).

Sunspot Literary Journal chose the opening to one of J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) essays, “Before and After,” as finalist for their Inception Contest (voted one of 2019’s Best Writing Contests by Reedsy) and published eir essay in the most recent issue. Of possible interest is J worked on this piece second semester at Stonecoast and received editorial suggestions from Stonecoast Director Justin Tussing on it, which e incorporated.

Susan Casey’s (Fiction, W’10) book Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief is being released on February 14, 2020. The book launch is at the Frontier Café on February 15th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Links to register here and here.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) will be reading from her horror/psychological thriller novella The Bone Cutters on Saturday, February 22nd, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Lewiston Public Library. The event is free to the public and will conclude with book sales and signing. Renee is also thrilled to announce that she has signed a comic book deal with Phi3 Comics. She has been commissioned to write the book #4 finale, “Gateway of Destruction,” for the current Spiralmind storyline of “Muses’ Rise.” Publication date is TBD.

teri elam’s (Poetry, S’19) poem “High School Dancerettes at Half-Time” was published in the Winter 2019 issue of Prairie Schooner. teri’s poem “Butterflies” (a reflection on the criminalization of school-age black girls) was chosen as part of 2020’s Visible Poetry Project and will be brought to the screen by filmmaker Christina Sloan Stoddard.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S ’11) is delighted to announce that her memoir, worked on at Stonecoast and beyond, will be published this fall by Exposit/McFarland. The title for this story of the long reach of childhood sexual abuse by a seminary-trained woman is still being worked on, as the publisher says it’s a hard book to title. Watch this space.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be conducting a writing workshop on writing in first person on February 15th at 2:30 p.m. at the Capricon science fiction convention (February 13-16, 2020). He will also be a panelist at the convention on the following panels:

  • Detectives in the Wild – Thursday, 5:00 p.m.
  • Nonfiction for Fiction Writers – Friday, 10:00 a.m.
  • Lessons I Learned as a First-Time Novelist – Friday, 8:30 p.m.
  • How Not to Kill Yourself over a Deadline – Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Publisher – Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) sold a mini-mystery, “Who’s That Valentine?”, to Woman’s World magazine, which is in the issue that hits your grocery/drugstore checkout lines on February 6th.

Rebecca Kightlinger (Fiction, W ’14) announces that a new, enhanced edition of Megge of Bury Down: Book One of the Bury Down Chronicles will be released by Rowan Moon on February 1, 2020, in advance of publication of Book Two of the series this summer. The book’s epigraph is from a poem by Annie Finch.

Fiona Lehn (Popular Fiction W’15) has a new speculative novel, Transformation Junkies, published by Wicked Publishing. Click here to read more about the project, and here to view the book trailer.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) sold the short story “Wind Gets Her Own Place” to Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

Matthew Quinn Martin (Popular Fiction, S’10)’s film (co-written with director Doug C. Williams) Being is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray nationwide, exclusively at Wal-Mart (with more big box stores and streaming to follow). The film starts Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate SG-1), Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Millennium), Ahd Kamel (Collateral), Robert Burke (BlacKkKlansman), Jason Iannacone (The Irishman), and James St. Vincent (The Price). The trailer can be viewed here.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is pleased to be a featured presenter at AWP in San Antonio. She will read from her forthcoming novel Her Sister’s Tattoo and talk with Donna Hemans, Aimee Liu, and Kristen Young, about themes of families torn apart by history and war. Ellen’s recent New England ARC tour was featured in Shelf Awareness on January 10.

On February 22nd from 10:30 to 12:30, Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be at the Belfast Free Library teaching Memoir 101 through the Maine Writers and Publishers’ Alliance. The workshop is free to MWPA members and $5 for non-members.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) will have her fourth novel, Cow Palace, published by B Ink Publishing in March of this year. She is also gratified to have had her fourth poetry chapbook, Magic Somewhere Else, contracted by Clare Songbirds Publishing, to appear at the end of the summer.

Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) was invited to the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for a residency in writing. There, nested in the Great Smoky Mountains, she worked on a long essay she is composing about commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, what that experience gives her to understand about gendered violence, and how we might alchemize it into something transformative and new.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) has signed a new book deal for his novel Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle with Encircle Publications, with a publication date of November 6, 2020.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Where You Linger” appears in the January/February issue of Uncanny Magazine and is available to read free online later this month.

 

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