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Community News & Updates March 2019

CURRENT STUDENTS

After some winter residency prepping growing pains (read trauma), and mixed-genre “Extreme Workshop” epiphany, Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) wrote about the importance of reading outside our genre instead of doing her qualitative residency response. Happily for her, Brevity picked it up for their blog on the craft of writing.

FACULTY

The film version of Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) short play Raghead, directed by award-winning Vermont filmmaker Nora Jacobson, will be shown at the Bermuda International Film Festival in March 2019. Coash founded the popular Famous For 15 Minutes New Play Festival in Bermuda and continues to be an active part of the Bermuda Arts community.

Ted Deppe‘s (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) seventh book of poems, Riverlight, has just appeared from Arlen House in Ireland. It will take six months or so before Syracuse University Press assumes distribution rights in the US. Until then, anyone wanting a copy can send $20 to Ted and receive a signed copy. Mailing address until 1 May 2019 is Ted Deppe, PO Box 914, Trinidad, CA 95570.

David Anthony Durham’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) Roman vampire story, “Kneeling Before Jupiter,” is included in the anthology Unfettered III: New Tales from Masters of Fantasy, from Grim Oak Press, edited by Shawn Speakman (March 19). David appears in the anthology beside authors such as Terry Brooks, Lev Grossman, Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Robert V.S. Redick, Carrie Vaughn, and Tad Williams.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) has two books due out. War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between America and Hitler will be released by Macmillan Children’s Group on May 1, 2019. One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime will be re-released in paperback on April 1, 2019. Also, his essay on the first African-American world billiards champion, Cisero Murphy, will be published by ESPN on its website The Undefeated on March 6, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here has received a glowing review in Foreward Reviews: “A nostalgic, wrenching depiction of a youth in crisis whose sensitive, unsparing movements spark with realism… A tender self-reckoning, Nirvana Is Here brings the past full circle. Hamburger deftly reveals how incidents recede—even if they leave their mark—to bring new hopes into focus.” Check out the full schedule of his 10-city book tour here. Also, on Saturday, June 8, Aaron will be teaching a workshop on “Going to Extremes: How to Handle Scenes of Sex, Violence, Drugs, Ecstasy, and Other Intense Experiences” at the Fifth Annual Spring Writing Intensive at St. John’s in Annapolis.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will be a guest at two Australian Supanova comic conventions in April: Melbourne from April 5-7 and Gold Coast from April 12-14. She will be representing the new Sherlock Holmes anthology Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Was Not with her editor Christopher Sequeira, as well as other authors, for IFWG Publishing. The link is here.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was recently elected to serve as interim president of the Cave Canem Foundation Board of Directors effective March 31, 2019. A 501-c-3 non-profit literary service organization with administrative and programming headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, Cave Canem has grown from a gathering of 26 poets to become an influential movement with a renowned faculty, high-achieving national fellowship of over 400 and a workshop community of 900. Read the full announcement here. On March 2, 2019, Amanda will facilitate her workshop Empathy in Craft as part of the Sunstar Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, at Kelly Strayhorn Theatre. Amanda will be at the following panels and readings during the 2019 AWP Conference in Portland, OR:

  • March 28 – 6:30 p.m.: Women Writers in Bloom Reading with Amanda Johnston, Naa Akua, Lauren K. Alleyne, Keisha-Gaye Anderson, Wendy Angulo, Nívea Castro, JP Howard, Anastacia Renee, Kimberly Reyes, Alberta Abbey, 126 NE Alberta St, Portland, Oregon 97211
  • March 28 – 7:00 p.m.: Affrilachians at the Heathman with Amanda Johnston, Frank X Walker, Ellen Hagan, Shayla Lawson, Randall Horton, Crystal Good, and Mitchell L. H. Douglas, Heathman Hotel, 1001 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
  • March 29 – 6:30 p.m.: The Resistance is Femme (AF) Reading with Amanda Johnston, Patricia Smith, Ada Limón, Denice Frohman, and Anastacia Renée, Powell’s Books, Inc. (Powell’s City of Books) 1005 W Burnside ST, Portland, Oregon 97209
  • March 30 – 6:00 p.m.: Argus House Press Reading with Amanda Johnston, Teneice Durrant, Anastacia Renée, JR Toriseva, Angst Gallery, 1015 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98663
  • March 30 – 3:00 p.m.: Panel: 21st Century Innovations in Poetic Form with Amanda Johnston, Jaimee Hills, Dora Malech, Kimberly Ann Southwick, Jaimie Gusman, E146, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera was performed in concert version to a full house at the Lucille Lortel Theater in New York City on February 4, produced in association with Abingdon Theatre Company, drawing coverage in three features in Broadway World, including a “Photo Flash” feature of the show, as well in a feature plus a photo slideshow of the performance in Playbill.

Elizabeth and Tonya & Nancy composer Michael Teoli

Becca Kotte as ‘Tonya’ and Sara Jean Ford as ‘Nancy’ onstage at the Lortel Theater in NYC

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) is delighted to have booked Stonecoast alum Melanie Brooks for “Four Wednesdays of Writing” at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. The four weekly sessions (March 20, 27, April 3 and 10 from 6:00 to 9:15 p.m.) will focus on Melanie’s essential book, Writing Hard Stories, and will provide a compassionate and supportive space for participants to engage in reading and writing exercises that begin peeling back the layers of their experiences and will help them uncover the powerful stories they have to tell. To register, click here. Also, Suzanne was honored to have her literary fairy godmother, Elinor Lipman, author of the newly released novel Good Riddance, include Suzanne’s first novel, Selling the Lite of Heaven, in this piece on books with happy endings.

Robert V.S. Redick’s (Popular Fiction) new story, “Thasha’s Cure for Cabin Fever,” will be published March 19, 2019, in the anthology Unfettered III from Grim Oak Press. The story is a return (for the first time in seven years) to the world of Robert’s Chathrand Voyage Quartet epic fantasy series.

ALUMS

On March 16, Lew Andrada (Popular Fiction, W’17) will present his academic paper “Nick Joaquín and the Tropical Gothic: How Magical Realism Explores Philippine Family Politics and Legacies” at the 40th Annual International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) in Orlando. He’s looking forward to hanging out with fellow Stonecoasters at the conference!

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be presenting his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Female Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He will also be chairing an academic panel, “Global Canons and Mythologies,” at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 14.

Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) was invited to present two seminars on memoir and dialogue at the 2019 Cape Cod Writers Conference, August 1-4. Anthony will also meet with participants in one-on-one manuscript consultations.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Bluebeard’s Surrender” can be found in the anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence alongside fellow Stonecoaster Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) and many other other fantastic writers. “Bluebeard’s Surrender” is about snakes, disastrous friendships, and the dreams of teenage girls.  Looking toward the future, in a exciting turn of events, Julie’s standalone novella, The Rampant, will be released this fall as a paperback and ebook by Aqueduct Press:

The Rampant is a queer-girls-in-love, coming-of-age short novel that involves a Sumerian Rapture in Southern Indiana. It’s also an intense narrative ride that is, by turns, harrowing, heartbreaking, and darkly funny.

Christianity it turns out got a whole lot of things wrong. It’s ten years since the hordes of old-world Sumerian gods, the Anunna and Anunnaki, arrived to kick off the end of the world. Massive tornadoes, tsunamis, government collapse: it all started out so strong, but the Rampant, the final herald of the apocalypse, failed to show. Both people and gods have had to adjust.

Sixteen-year-old friends Emelia Bareilles and Gillian Halkey have spent most of their childhood in a world filled with the echoes of lost friends, eviscerated family members, and dwindling hope. The world is an ugly broken place. Their only option is to travel to the Netherworld, collect the Rampant, and finally kick off the Rapture.

Riffing on fragments of historical text, including the Epic of GilgameshThe Rampant uses and refutes the known details and rules of the Sumerian underworld. As they travel through the lands of the dead, Emelia and Gillian meet loved ones and strangers trapped in a system they didn’t create. Each step makes them more determined to help create a better, godless world. In the end this is a story about the inequities of power, human self-determination, and the various ways in which we love each other.

Terri Glass (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) will be reading with others at a reception for the anthology Fire and Rain: EcoPoetry of California at AWP in Portland, OR, on Friday, March 29, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Morrison Room, Level 1, Portland DoubleTree Hotel. She would love to see any faculty or fellow alum there.

C-SPAN’s BookTV featured the Black Author Breakfast Party on its channel. Alan King (Poetry, W’13) was among those who presented at the event on February 1. This event kicked off the African-American Read In series for Black History Month. Here’s a clip of Alan reading his poemHere’s the full video.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is pleased to announce that she has sold her fourth novel, tentatively titled Her Sister’s Tattoo, and expects publication in spring 2020. She will be moderating a panel at AWP in Portland titled “Better Later? Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author.”

On March 22, Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will speak at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. In their workshop “Lives in Upheaval,” she and author Judy Goldman (Together) will discuss lives overturned by illness, mishap, grief, and how one survives and continues to live and love. In February, Catharine’s memoir, Now You See the Sky, was at the top the Portland Press Herald’s Best-seller list for Nonfiction.

You are invited to join Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) as she reads from Book One of Finding Petronella, her nonfiction book about walking across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer, on March 29 at Lincoln Street Center in Rockland, ME. The reading marks the culmination of Jenny’s six-month artist residency with the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, and will be featured alongside the art and performances of three fellow artists. Free and open to the public! Details here.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W ’05) will have her third novel, Tapiser, published on March 1 by B Ink Publishing. B Ink also published The Book of the Mandolin Player in 2016 and Dovecote in 2017. Tapiser is also dedicated in part to Rebecca Bearden Welsh (Creative Nonfiction, W ’05).

Kelsey Olesen (Popular Fiction, W’17) will present her academic paper, titled “Demon Husbands and Magic Kings: Controlling Relationships in Uprooted and Spinning Silver,” on Saturday, March 16, at 2:00 p.m. as part of the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, Florida. Her paper will examine authorial responsibility and analyze the romantic relationships in both novels through a feminist lens.

Much news from Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04):

  • On Saturday, April 20, at 2:00 p.m. at The Bangor Public Library, Bruce will be reading from and signing copies of his new short story collection The Trash Detail and new poetry chapbook Forms and Shades. This event is free and open to the public—no reservations are necessary.
  • On Thursday, April 25, he will be part of the afternoon and evening-long Poet/Speak at The Bangor Public Library. This yearly gathering of dozens of poets and many more dozens of fans is also free and open to the public. Curated with care by Kathleen Ellis, this event includes established poets, emerging poets, student poets and, when available, the local Poetry Out Loud winners. Light refreshments, too. Always a fun and friendly gathering. Contact the library for exact times and details.
  • On Saturday, April 27, Bruce will join friends and fellow songwriters Cormac McCarthy, Stan Sullivan, and Jim Mercik for a very special reunion concert and tribute at The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton CT. In addition to playing their own songs and reading from books and manuscripts, each will perform a song by their late friend and fellow musician Bill Morrissey. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and reservations may be made by calling 860.693.0263 during regular business hours. Expect surprise musical guests and perhaps a writer and a poet or two.
  • On May 25, Bruce returns to The Busy Bee333 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, for the wonderful series managed by former Portland Poet Laureate Marcia Brown (Poetry, S’04), where he will read from The Trash Detail. The program begins at 4:00 p.m. and will also feature a poet. Great place to grab some food and a beverage to enhance the experience.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) developed a new course, “Reading as a Writer,” she’s now teaching for Bay Path University’s MFA program, where she’s been Thesis Director for several years. Lisa will present a workshop on revision during the Montclair (NJ) Literary Festival on March 24. Her essay “How to Keep Loving Your Spouse: 30 Years of Small Gestures and Good Sex” was published on Valentine’s Day in Together Magazine.

Nikki Sambitsky (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) is back teaching again at the amazing Storyteller’s Cottage in Simsbury, CT! This time, she will be teaching writers how to be fearless in their writing. The workshop will go over some beautiful, strong, powerful essays by Genevieve Hudson, Mary Ruefle, Marcos Santiago Gonsalez, Julia A. Cohen, Michele Filgate, and others, and discuss what makes both the essays and the writers fearless, ways in which these writers approached difficult subjects, how they wrote about the topics they did, as well as literary devices, forms, and structures that enabled the writers to gain emotional depth and power in their writing. During the second half of the workshop, students will use what they’ve learned from studying these essays to craft fearless work of their own. This workshop is recommended for any writer who has been having trouble getting to the heart of an issue and is finding that they’ve been writing around a difficult situation. “Unapologetically Fearless” will run on Saturday, March 16, from 12:00-4:00 p.m. For more information, click this link.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) memoir The Angle of Flickering Light was a finalist for the 2018 Autumn House Press Full-Length Contest in Nonfiction. Her flash nonfiction piece, “Suicide Note,” was published in Iron Horse Literary Review‘s NewsFlash Series. Her essay “Nowhere Else But Here” recently received an Honorable Mention for American Literary Review‘s 2018 Nonfiction Contest.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction S’11) has a short story, “Church Camp,” accepted for the Spring 2020 issue of Trajectory, a Kentucky-based journal. On March 8 in Raleigh, she is keynote speaker at the NC State Conference of Colonial Dames XVII Century, sharing excerpts from Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives, an anthology that she co-edited with Elizabeth Searle in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates December 2018

CURRENT STUDENTS

S.M. Mack (Popular Fiction) has published her award-winning short story “The Carrying Beam” and Dan McMinn (Popular Fiction) has published his short story “Public Awareness” alongside original stories and poems by the rest of the Clarion class of 2012 in their fifth collection. Titled The Blue Volume, this collection will help support The Clarion Foundation’s essential work. In The Blue Volume, a Nepalese witch tempts her daughter to black magic, sinister (but cute) robots hound a homeless squatter, one man fights reconciliation to the end of the world and another reaches reconciliation with The Thing, a medieval barber bleeds female patients to feed his monstrous creation, and a princess emerges scarred from the test of the pea. The Blue Volume is available on a PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT basis. Pay nothing. Pay everything. It’s up to you. All proceeds, after hosting fees, will benefit The Clarion Foundation.

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) has a new story in the Wild Cards collaborative novel Texas Hold ‘Em, edited by George RR Martin. He’s also very pleased that his yearlong stint as a World Fantasy Award judge concluded last month with the announcement of the winners at the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be teaching a class on Andre Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name at Politics & Prose bookstore, January 7th, 6:00-8:00 pm. We’ll do a deep read of this contemporary classic and compare it to the film version.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Tamra Wilson‘s (Fiction, S’11) Idol Talk anthology has events forthcoming in NC, including on December 1st when Idol Talk readers perform in High Point, NC, and then attend a concert by Peter Noone (Herman of Herman’s Hermits), the iconic rock star who wrote the introduction to Idol Talk. In February, Elizabeth and Boston area Idol Talk readers including Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) will perform at a reading-and-music fundraiser for Women’s Lunch Place, a Boston day shelter for homeless women. Also in February, a new performance of the concert version of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera will take place in New York City. For details and updates, see http://www.elizabethsearle.net.

Elizabeth Searle, Caitlin McCarthy, Lisa Borders, and Suzanne Strempek Shea read from Idol Talk at Worcester Public Library in Worcester, MA, on November 3rd.

ALUMS

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) published his short story “The Dream” in the fall issue of Cornell University’s EPOCH Magazine.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) appeared on the November 20th episode of PodCastle as Fixer, in Natalia Theodoridou’s story, “Fixer, Worker, Singer” (available here). In addition, his paper “Mischief in Their Hearts: Female Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” was accepted for presentation at the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in March 2019.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is pleased to announce that her essay “Mapping the Collective Body of Frankenstein’s Brides” was included in the collection Birthing Monsters: Frankenstein’s Cabinet of Curiosities and Cruelties. This essay came out of her third semester project, which she worked on under the direction of Cate Marvin. Parts of this paper were originally presented at the 2018 International Conference for the Fantastic Arts, and it was also recently accepted for presentation at StokerCon in May 2019!

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) narrated “Prerogative of the Gods” by Nathaniel Green and “Between Battles” by Mary Soon Lee for Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #38. She enjoys narrating and has found opportunities to do so many different ways—she’s happy to chat with you if you’d like to learn more about narrating. Also, Karen is thrilled to have been included in a Speculative Poetry Reading at University of Northern Iowa on November 12th. The reading celebrated Speculative Poetry Month (November) and featured the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association president Bryan Thao Worra’s amazing poems. You will enjoy his hilarious quotes in this article about the event. Also, Karen’s voice can be heard narrating Corey Mallonee’s Oz-inspired story “Radio Free Heartland” on the Cast of Wonders young adult podcast. Viva Stonecoast!

Karen at the Speculative Poetry Reading at University of Northern Iowa on November 12th.

Debbie Lynn Smith’s (Popular Fiction, S’08) graphic novel Gates of Midnight: Warrior of the Gate was awarded Best Graphic Novel by the Book Publicists of Southern California.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay “Tiger Lilies” will be published in issue 9 of Young Raven’s Literary Review and a haiku has been published in 50 Haikus, Issue 14. She will also read at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA, January 27th, 2019, from the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has sold a short story to weekly magazine Woman’s World. Her story will be in the issue to hit newsstands the first week of January.

Rebecca Kightlinger‘s (Fiction, W’14) debut novel, Megge of Bury Down, published by Zumaya in paperback and ebook versions, is now available as an audiobook on Audible.com.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) co-wrote The Forgotten Sanctum, which releases on December 13th; this is the last planned major DLC for Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire: “When a violent tremor shatters the islands of the Deadfire, the greatest wizards in Eora seek out the aid of the Watcher. The archmage Maura has vanished into the depths of a newly opened dungeon located in the Black Isles and threatens to awaken what lies forgotten there. Follow Maura’s trail and determine the fate of one of the Deadfire Archipelago’s most closely-held secrets.” You can read more about The Forgotten Sanctum here.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was thrilled to be nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her essay “The Sparrow’s Song,” which appeared in The Sunlight Press in July. She has another essay, “Memento Vivere,” slated for publication on December 1st in the Winter 2018 issue of Still Point Arts Quarterly.

Danielle Letourneau (Popular Fiction, S’15) is thrilled to announce that her paper “Pejorative and Polarizing Perceptions: The Fight for the Abolition of Genre Prejudice” has been accepted for presentation at the 2019 conference of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. The paper was her third-semester project, worked on with the wonderful Liz Hand.

More than a hundred people attended the book launching of Tom MacDonald‘s (Fiction, W’09) fourth crime novel Murder in the Charlestown Bricks. The event took place at the Navy Yard Bistro in Charlestown, kickstarting the publication. Tom’s December appearances are listed below. The books are $15.

Saturday, December 1
Nahant Golf Club
1 Willow Road
Nahant, MA
12:00- 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 11
John Curtis Free Library
534 Hanover Street
Hanover, MA
7:00 p.m.

Monday, December 17
Adams Street Library
690 Adams Street
Dorchester, MA
6:30 p.m.

This month Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be joining poet Elizabeth Austen at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle on December 5th at 7:00 p.m. for a reading and discussion of her new memoir Now You See the Sky. On December 6th at 8:00 a.m., she will lecture at Seattle Children’s Hospital for the doctors and staff at Grand Rounds on using writing as a tool for healing.

R.M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) novel, The Dollmaker of Kraków, has been nominated for the Carnegie Award in the United Kingdom.

Robert E. Stutts (Popular Fiction, S’10) has a story in the October issue of See the Elephant, “The Unreal World Too Strangely Near” (one of his thesis stories, with thanks to Nancy Holder and Jim Kelly for their mentorship)—and, yes, he forgot to include his own news in the November post!

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) short story “Consorts” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The New Southern Fugitives. This story was included in her recent collection, Impossibly Small Spaces, published in early November 2018. Lisa will be reading at libraries and venues in New England. For information, visit www.lisactaylor.com.

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W ’09) poem “Ticket Stub” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Stoneboat Literary Journal.

 

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Community News & Updates September 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates June 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

 

Pitch 2018

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

Jim Kelly and Sheila Williams at the Nebula Awards ceremony.

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Community News & Updates January 2018

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) essay “Biophilia at my Bedside” was just published in the anthology Nature, Love, Medicine. The anthology, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Torrey House Press, includes essays by twenty-three writers including Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jane Hirschfield, and thich Nhat Hanh.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited her story “The Scarlet Cloak” was reprinted in Like A Woman, a domestic violence benefit anthology. Her short story “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow” was published in December’s issue of Gamut Magazine—classmates will recognize this story as inspired by her thesis novel-in-progess The Sleeping Boy. This just in: Factor Four Magazine will be publishing Karen’s science fiction short story “To Infinity and Beyond” in their inaugural issue. With this sale, Karen’s happy to announce she is applying to SFWA. She’s serving as a guest editor for Pseudopod Podcast for March 2018 and hope you all tune in to listen to the five awesome stories she selected (with the associate editing help of fellow ‘coasters Shawna Borman, Erin Roberts, and Cecelia Dockins). Her poem “Fire Lover” will appear in February’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, with an accompanying narration. Karen also has been narrating stories by others. Karen has created a recording of Penelope Evans’ “Wasps Make Honey” for a forthcoming episode of Escape Pod and Evan Dicken’s “The Taking Tree” for Pseudopod.

Illustration for Karen’s story “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow”

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) puts her memories of being a bookseller to use in a flash fiction story for the anthology Welcome to Dystopia edited by Gordon Van Gelder from OR Books. (Shh, most of the story I didn’t have to make up!)

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Re-stitched” can be found in the January edition of Split Lip magazine. “Re-stitched” is about two sisters, Alicia and Stephanie, their family dysfunction, and the impurity of human flesh. It’s about as creepy as you’d expect…

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) Terri’s poem, “Violet Green Swallows” was published in Young Raven’s Review, Issue 6. Her poem “Cow Tipping Tuesday” will be published in the 2018 San Diego Poetry Annual and her haiku in the Spring Issue of The Fourth River.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez (Poetry, W’08) received the 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama for her play Words That Burn. The play dramatizes the WWII experiences of conscientious-objector William Stafford, Japanese-American internee Lawson Inada, and Chicano Marine Guy Gabaldón in their own words. The play premiered at Milagro Theatre in Portland, Oregon, in September of 2014 in commemoration of the William Stafford Centennial, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the 70th anniversary of the rescindment of Executive Order 9066 (incarcerating Japanese-Americans). Words That Burn was also produced in 2017 at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp, Washington, and the Linkville Playhouse in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Alan King’s (Poetry, W’13) Point Blank was reviewed in The Washington City Paper, Auburn Avenue, and Run Tell That Magazine.

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) third collection of short fiction tinged with crime and the supernatural, Acres of Perhaps, will be appearing in April 2018. It is available now for preorder from Lethe Press if you would like to support the small press.

Carolyn O’Doherty‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) debut novel, Rewind, will be released April 10, 2018. The novel, published by Boyds Mills Press, tells the story of a group of teenagers with the ability to freeze time. The sequel will be published in Spring 2019.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) recently attended Continuum Music’s Urgent Voices multimedia performance in Toronto, featuring the debut of From the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, an operatic work for which she write the libretto. The Birmingham-based composer, Scott Wilson, was also in attendance. The Canada Council for the Arts has provided Oliver, Wilson, and Continuum director Ryan Scott with funding to develop the project.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) play Radio Silent has won the 2017 Meeting House Theatre Arts Lab’s annual new play contest and will receive a staged reading on January 20 at Schoodic Arts for All in Winterport, Maine. Pratt also won the award last year for his play The King of France. Several of his plays are among those being considered for full production next spring.

In addition to winning one of the South Carolina State Poetry Society contests, Steve Rhodes’s (Poetry, W’11) poem “Inheritance” won First Prize in Still: The Journal’s annual poetry contest.  He and his wife, Ann, moved to Charleston, South Carolina, three years ago. Steve recently completed his third poetry collection, What You Don’t See, and is looking for a publisher. He is currently working on a prose and poetry memoir. This past summer and fall he was invited to give poetry readings as part of hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park led by the singer/song-writer Doug Peters. Great fun.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) poem “Thirteen Ways of Killing the Captain’s Son” was published in Selkie Zine, issue 5. You can find it here.

Kathleen Saville (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has been invited as a speaker to the Match 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book to share her memoir Rowing for My Life: Two Oceans, Two Lives, One Journey, published by Skyhorse/Arcade Publishing in February 2017. Information on how to attend the Festival is here.

Olive L. Sullivan‘s (Fiction/Poetry, S’15) poetry collection Wandering Bone is now available on Amazon or directly from the publisher, Meadowlark Books. Several of the poems in this book were written as part of her second semester project with Jeanne Marie Beaumount.

Karrie Waarala (Poetry, S’11) has three poems—“Memory of Museum of Memory,” “How to Remember,” and “The Morning After”—in the current issue of Blackbird. Her poem “Death Spends Halloween at the Country Bar” was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Escape into Life, where her work was featured in July. And her short story “High Side” appeared in Five on the Fifth earlier this year; this was her first fiction publication.

Marco Wilkinson’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay, “Hidden Light, Wooden Ladder, Bucket of Clay, Pillar of Water,” will appear in issue four of the Bennington Review. His nonfiction manuscript, Madder, was the first runner-up in the 2017 Red Hen Press Non-Fiction Prize, judged by Mark Doty.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) was published in Vol. VI of The New Guard. “Dearest Mum” is part of The Dream Letters, an ongoing feature of the journal. Wilson’s fictional letter is excerpted from a novel-in-progress based on her great-grandmother, an orphan train.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Sarah Mack (Popular Fiction), publishing under S.M. Mack, won first place for the Katherine Patterson Prize for Young Adult Writing for her short story “The Carrying Beam.” The story was published online in Hunger Mountain, The VCFA Journal for the Arts, and is available here.

Illustration for Sarah’s story “The Carrying Beam”

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) just renewed the film option for Gabriel’s Story with Redwave Films, as well as the film/TV option for Pride of Carthage with Sonar Entertainment. His short story “All the Girls Love Michael Stein” will be republished in The Stonecoast Review and was recently published in translation in the Polish SFF magazine Nowa Fantastyka. He’s also signed on as one of the judges for the 2018 World Fantasy Awards. Details here via Locus.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him (New Rivers Press) is forthcoming as an AudioBook in 2018, recorded by Stonecoast alum Tanya Eby and her Blunder Woman Productions. Both Elizabeth’s opera and her rock opera about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan will be produced in early 2018, at the time of the Winter Olympics. In January, the operetta group Mixed Precipitation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will present Tonya and Nancy: The Opera—a one-act opera with libretto by Elizabeth and music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross—on Lake Harriet for the Art Shanties. Meanwhile, in New York City at 54Below on February 13th, Broadway stars sing a concert version of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, a show which will be recorded as a CD from Broadway Records and which has recently received coverage from Playbill and Broadway World (you can read the Broadway World article here). For updates, see: www.elizabethsearle.net

 

 

 

 

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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 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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