Tag Archives: Tom Coash

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 March 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

This year, Stonecoast is thrilled to be launching two bi-monthly series:

The Stonecoast WISE Series, which kicked off at the January residency with “The Rhetoric of Rage”—a Task Before Us event where Stonecoast faculty, alumni, and guests discussed the use of rage in writing to fight oppression—continues this March with a reading from January’s Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting Workshop. Featuring alumni Stacie McCall Whitaker, Jeannie Mullins, Ellen Meeropol, and Dan McMinn, and a cast of brilliant professional actors from around the country, the event on Thursday, March 25th, at 7:00 p.m. EST will include a post-reading Q&A session with actors, writers, and directors on scriptwriting as a tool for social justice. Check the Stonecoast website next week for more information.

Alumni Master Class: Stonecoasters Demystify the Business of Writing is a collaborative, interactive series where alumni presenters share trade tricks, hacks, secrets, and valuable wisdom gained from life experience in the creative writing industry. Our first session was held in February, and featured Tom MacDonald, Candace Nadon, and Cameron Steiman discussing “Writing Habits.” Watch the video or peruse the resource list compiled during the session. We hope to see you in April as we tackle Self Marketing and Promotion!

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) musical, Stepping Into Fire, will be featured on Season 3 of the Latest Draft Podcast along with interviews of Tom and his collaborator, Jonathan Brielle. Tom will also be teaching his very popular “Developing Believable Characters Who Know What They Want” workshop as part of the San Miguel Writers Conference’s online literary season. March 9th and 11th. Sign up now!

Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) had his first western Massachusetts Floaters event on February 24th, a virtual reading and conversation with his friend Paul Mariani, poet, biographer of poets, former UMass professor, and University Professor Emeritus at Boston College. The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA, an independent bookstore that needs and deserves our support, hosted the event.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) is one of the artists included in A Brief Compendium of Cool. On March 9th, she’ll be part of a discussion on crime fiction at the Sturgis Library (via Zoom) with Steph Cha, Dan Chaon, and Rachel Howzell Hall; the event is free but does require pre-registration.

The New York Times Editors’ Choice novelist Cara Hoffman‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) story collection Ruin—an excavation of the American landscape revealing the beauty of outsiders and examining the varied ways the human conditions of isolation, despair, and joy connect us all—has been sold to Ramsey Kanaan at PM Press, in a very nice deal, by Rebecca Friedman at Rebecca Friedman Literary and will be published in spring 2022. Her nonfiction title Dream of No Nation: An Homage to Exarchia is forthcoming in 2023.

ALUMS 

Jillian Abbott’s (Popular Fiction, S’04) op-ed with Kathleen Wallace at the New York Daily News on the science of storytelling appeared on February 1st.

For his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) has received the British Fantasy Award for Best Audio, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor Setsu Uzumé, and all of PodCastle‘s fabulous associate editors.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction S’18) is pleased to announce that her story “The Certainty of Silence” is included in Twisted Anatomy: A Body Horror Anthology. This piece is a Bluebeard/Little Mermaid mash-up written as a protest against domestic violence. Proceeds from this anthology benefit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She is also thrilled to announce that the anthology Arterial Bloom, edited by Mercedes M. Yardley, made the final Stoker ballot for Superior Achievement in an Anthology! “Rotten,” a Snow White retelling, is the final story in the book. In other news, her interview of past HWA president Lisa Morton is included in the StokerCon 2021 Souvenir AnthologyThe Phantom Denver Edition, edited by Josh Viola at Hex Publishers. She also shared her hopes and dreams for women working in the horror genre during the online panel Females of Fright!, which was moderated by award-winning author Gwendolyn Kiste.  

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that the third installment of her mosaic novel Stories of Driesch will be released this month. The first two stories of the novel are already available as ebooks and online.  Every month of 2021 will include a new original story in this world, available to read on the Vernacular Books website or to purchase as an ebook. At the end of the year, the pieces will be published as a mosaic novel (ebook & print) by Vernacular Books.   

In this cyberpunk-ish city, consciousness is a commodity. And the self is an augmented, fractured creation. Death detectives work with memories in storied Limm-Glass. Children are outfitted with secondary Glassed-personalities. Black market operators acquire and traffic virtual Glassed-personalities, and man-made tools utilize modified and unmodified versions of both the living & the dead.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) will appear on the Fifth Estate livestream on Tuesday, March 2nd, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time to discuss an article he wrote on sex robots for their upcoming Spring Issue. You can listen to the stream here, or if you prefer hot, live video when it comes to talking about sexy smartbots, one will be uploaded at a later date.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) was the featured guest on February 22nd at 1:00 p.m. EST, on Queer Spirit on OUT Cast at WMPG radio, Portland, ME. Queer Spirit is a series of conversations exploring queer life and the power of the Sacred. Listen here to the 30-minute+ conversation between hosts Marvin Ellison and Tamara Torres McGovern and Gail as they talk about her recently published memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church. One reviewer describes the memoir this way: “This book is a gift. . . written with compassion, righteous anger, and deep insight about the turmoil that abuse generates and about the courage and tenacity required to disarm a debilitating curse and claim an authentic blessing.”

 Clifford Royal Johns’ (Popular Fiction, W’18) new novel, Velocity Blues, is now available for pre-order (paperback or Kindle) from your favorite bookstore (or Amazon). The novel was written at Stonecoast and was Cliff’s thesis work. It will be released in June.

The Best American Poetry site interviewed Alan King (Poetry, W’13) and his publisher about his upcoming chapbook, Crooked Smiling Light, which will be released in March; you can read the interview here. Alan’s chapbook was also reviewed in Auburn Avenue; read the review here.

In addition to co-editing a League of Women Voters book, publishing a poem and an essay, Linda Quinby Lambert (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) is a ghostwriter for LifeTime Memoirs. LTM is looking for ghosts and interviewers; if interested in PT work, see their website for vacancies in the U.S. and an application. Also, read Linda’s “Becoming a Ghost.”

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) participated in the Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting workshop with Tom Coash and Jeni Mahoney and loved it! The full-length version of her script Gridlock is in development with Silverthorne Theater Company, as a collaborative project with LAVA (Local Access to Valley Arts) in Greenfield, MA. Gridlock is a quasi-sequel to Ellen’s fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo. Who knew that writing for theater was so different from writing a novel, and so much fun!

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) story “Om Land Security” will be published in the next issue of The Clackamas Review and his poem, “That’s Not Right,” will be featured in the next Poetry Box anthology devoted to pandemic poetry. His story “Alex the Amazing” will appear in the next issue of Portland Magazine. Three of Bruce’s poems—“Sugarloaf December,” “Skating with the Eagle,” and “Cloud Skating”—will appear in the next issue of Aethlon: The Journal of the Sport Literature Association.

How do you keep going when everything seems stacked against you? Listen to award-winning author and illustrator Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction S’09) discuss how to foster a creative life on the Ferndale Library’s podcast “A Little Too Quiet,” and learn how she navigated her venture into children’s picture books with Gordy and the Ghost Crab. Also, Linda was featured on a livestream poetry event for The Detroit Writers Guild, Detroit Public Library, and Poets & Writers, reading with writers Arnold Johnston and Bill Harris. 

Richard Squires (Fiction, S’14) has published his short story, “Branching Off in Shadow Heights,” in the Winter 2021 issue of BigCityLit. This story was selected by the Stonecoast Alumni Committee to represent Stonecoast’s Fiction genre at the celebration of the Stonecoast program’s 15th anniversary in 2017, where Richard was beyond thrilled to read. Work on this story began during the program under Aaron Hamburger’s expert mentorship. Special thanks to Alexandria Delcourt (Fiction, S’14), who helped with the pesky, final, magical touches.

Robert E. Stutts (Popular Fiction, S’10) was promoted to full Professor at Presbyterian College, where he is the Director of the Creative Writing Program and current Chair of the English department.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) poem “Mathematics and Language” will appear in the April edition of Sky Island Journal. Her poem “Imposter” will be featured on the website for Lily Poetry Review and also in the print version of the next issue. Lisa will be reading, along with Irish writer Geraldine Mills, at a virtual author event sponsored by the Irish Heritage Society of Milford on March 6th at 2:00 p.m. EST:

The IHSM Cultural Committee is thrilled to announce a reading with Geraldine Mills (direct from Ireland) and Lisa C. Taylor (now from Colorado) who have presented at the IHSM Clubhouse in the past. Geraldine will read from and hold discussion on her latest book, Bone Road, a verse memoir of her great grandparents’ immigration to America. She will be joined by her friend, and frequent collaborator, Lisa C. Taylor, who will read from her past and current poetry and from The Other Side of Longing, co-authored by Geraldine. Please contact Maureen Moore by March 5th at maureenmoore_2001@yahoo.com if you wish to attend, and she will send you the Zoom invitation link. Please type “Irish Author Event” in the subject of your email. 

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “Eve” was just published in the print edition of Night Shift Radio.

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W’09) debut poetry collection To the 4 a.m. Light will be released on March 26, 2021 by Finishing Line Press; to order, visit here. Read Adrienne’s blog at www.inkinthebranches.com. Find Adrienne on IG & FB @inkinthebranches. Click here to sign up for Adrienne’s newsletter.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) will be leading an online writing workshop at the Hudson Valley Writers Center on April 18th from 12:30-4:30 p.m. entitled “What’s Left Unsaid: Writing Around and In Spite of the Truth in Creative Nonfiction.”  For more details and to register, go here

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Community News & Updates February 2021

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Third semester) short experimental piece “Avian Elegies” has been nominated by Waterwheel Review for Best Small Fictions 2020. In addition, one of Shannon’s stories from her linked collection (a work-in-progress) was selected as a finalist in the fiction category of the 50th New Millennium Writing Awards.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) latest essay, “On Traveling While Black,” appears in the latest issue of december magazine (31.2). Issues can be purchased here. Also, on January 23, 2021, Faith conversed with writer Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) about her new book, The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention,on NYC Open Center LIVE, available to watch here.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing For Social Change) short play Thin Air is currently available online as a free podcast, by Lost Souls Monologues. Also, Tom’s play Raghead will be streamed online February 13 by Silverthorne Theater Company as part of their Short & Sweet New Play Festival.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) fifth book, Landslide, is a novel recently published with Knopf and named a “Most Anticipated Book for 2021” by Bustle, the New York Post, Biblio, and Medium, among others. Susan will be doing a virtual book tour that crisscrosses the country, with dates at Susanconley.com.

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) is thrilled about the recent cover reveal for his forthcoming middle grade fantasy novel, The Shadow Prince, with art by Eric Wilkerson. It pubs in September of this year!

Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) published a poem, “I Now Pronounce You Dead,” in the January 24th issue of The New York Times Magazine. The poem comes from his new book, Floaters, just released by W.W. Norton.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) will be appearing on a special pre-Valentine’s Day panel called “Love = Love = Love: Five Authors on Equal Love in Lit,” sponsored by Three Rooms Press, on Saturday, February 13th, at 7:00 pm. The panel will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. This lively discussion of equal love in literature by five award-winning LGBTQ authors—including, in addition to Aaron, Meagan Brothers, author, Weird Girl and What’s His Name; Aimee Herman, author, Everything Grows; Alvin Orloff, author, Disasterama; and Julia Watts, author, Quiver. Kat Georges, co-director of Three Rooms Press, will host. The discussion will explore: How love in literature has become more inclusive during recent decades; How each author addresses love in their writing and opens doors to acceptance of love without boundaries; Why literature can provide inspiration in times of loneliness and heartbreak; Different levels of love: from friendship to red-hot lust. Following the discussion, the authors will field questions from the livestream audience.

In Scriptwriting news, Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting, Writing for Social Change) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera just won four Broadway World Regional Theater awards for the 2020 TheatreZone production, starring Broadway’s Andrea McArdle. The awards are given by Broadway World for different regions of the USA. Tonya & Nancy won Best Production of the Decade of a Musical—for the Southeast Florida region—and also Best Director, Best Vocal Performance, and Best Setting Design. For updates, see www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

ALUMS 

Frank Ard (Popular Fiction, S’14) is thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of his first novel, titled Back to Zero, a coming-of-age story about a high school student who discovers an unbelievable power, only to learn it is more perilous than he ever imagined. The e-book will be released in late April 2021, with a paperback edition to follow. Additionally, Frank plans to launch a Kickstarter on March 2nd to produce a limited print run of a signed hardcover edition; follow the project here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is currently offering open registration for The Storied Imaginarium’s popular workshop Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Myth. This workshop meets in an online format once a week during March and April. Traditional fairy tales and myths are paired with cultural or scientific concepts in this generative writing experience. Past participants have published workshop stories in a multitude of anthologies and magazines, including Apex Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless SkiesClarkesworldDaily Science FictionEscape Pod, and Interzone. For more information, visit The Storied Imaginarium.  

Minerva Canto‘s (Fiction, S’18) memoir essay was published in A Short Guide to Finding Your First Home in the United States, an anthology of immigrant stories, essays, poems and art. The title of her story was chosen as title for the book itself, which celebrated publication with a book launch reading. Minerva also participated in a discussion about cultural identity and read from her work for Literary Voices, Music, and the Chicano Community event hosted by the Cheech Marin Center for Art & Culture, Riverside Art Museum and Inlandia Institute. In addition, Minerva’s 13-year-old daughter published a horror story, “Sunflower Trades” in Young Voices, an anthology by Culture Cult Press featuring stories from teen writers in India, Australia, Philippines, Canada, and elsewhere. 

Darcy Casey‘s (Fiction, W’19) short story “Bird Day” was long-listed and shortlisted for the 2020 Fractured Literary Micro Fiction Contest. While it’s still waiting to find a home, she’s pleased that it’s had a nice run of success with one of her favorite literary magazines, and is eager to send it out into the world again. Her weird, second person experimental piece, “How to Return a Phone Call,” has found a home at Midway Journal and was published in January. You can read it here and let her know what you think by reaching out through her website at darcyleecasey.com, because she’s not so sure she’ll write another second person piece again. Additionally, she is currently working hard on editing her first novel as a writer-in-residence at Jentel Arts Foundation, and will be through mid-February.

Lauren M. Davis‘s (Poetry, S’15) poem “The Flowers You Brought Back From Italy,” published by Wrath Bearing Tree, has been released; read it here.  

David A. Hewitt‘s (Popular Fiction, S’09) story “The Continuing (Superpositional) Adventures of Schrödinger’s Cat” appears in the inaugural issue of Underland Arcana, now on sale. 

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be the featured guest on February 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST, on Queer Spirit on OUT Cast at WMPG radio, Portland, ME. Queer Spirit is a series of conversations exploring queer life and the power of the Sacred. Hosts Marvin Ellison and Tamara Torres McGovern talk with Gail about her recently published memoir. As introduction, Ellison says, “We could easily have an extended conversation with Gail about the Pan-African justice movements and her activism as a white ally in southern Africa and back in the U.S., but today we’re talking about her more recent publication, a memoir entitled She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church. One reviewer describes the memoir, this way: ‘This book is a gift . . . written with compassion, righteous anger, and deep insight about the turmoil that abuse generates and about the courage and tenacity required to disarm a debilitating curse and claim an authentic blessing.’”

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Volcano” will be released February 22, 2021, in the anthology The Great Filling Station Holdup: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Jimmy Buffettedited by Josh Pachter and published by Down & Out books. Pre-order link is here.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is thrilled to be joining the SALT Institute of Documentary Studies faculty this March to teach Writing the Creative Profile, a five-day intensive that reaches beyond traditional profile writing to aim for the universal. Registration is open to the public, and the early bird special ends February 15th. Jenny’s story “Just Don’t Fall,” about pushing through fear to climb a frozen waterfall with outdoor mentor Toby Arnold, was published last month in Maine Magazine.

Photo credit: Andy Gagne Photography

Suri Parmar’s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short script “Vomit Comet,” which she wrote for a dialogue workshop with Stonecoast mentor Mike Kimball, appears in Issue 07 of Waxing and Waning: A Literary Journal from April Gloaming Publishing. Suri would also like to thank her fellow workshop participants—Erin Barker, AJ Bauers, Ella Carroll-Smith, Elisha Emerson, and Amy Burroughs—for their feedback, which she implemented in the final draft. 

PJ Piccirillo’s (Fiction, S’04) The Indigo Scarf continues to gain traction. USA Today-bestselling author David Poyer says: “The story never falters, and the description certainly clearly evokes the time period and the mountains and valleys this author obviously loves. The escaped slave Jedidiah especially is a tormented soul; his story and ultimate fate sucked me in. …for the thoughtful reader it rings astoundingly true. This skilled and talented author should be much better known!” And Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04), author of The Trash Detail, writes: “Rich in illuminative detail, a deep sense of history, and a remarkable sense of place, this narrative is driven by beautifully drawn characters limned in exquisite prose. A literary page-turner of the highest stripe.” The Indigo Scarf is available from Sunbury Press,  Amazon, and bookstores. About The Indigo Scarf:

Based on the true story of two slaves who fled their owners with white women into the wilderness of north-central Pennsylvania, The Indigo Scarf interprets the little known legacy of slavery persisting in the north during the nineteenth century. Meticulously researched, the author’s work is informed by scholars in early American slave laws and northern black codes, by experts in post-colonial folkways, and by descendants who live to this day in the fugitive settlement their forbears established. While The Indigo Scarf relates the covert workings of sympathetic Quakers, the ruthlessness of a slave catcher, and the irony of a Revolutionary War veteran forced to face his daughter’s love for the slave Jedediah James, it treats the deeper theme of the spirit-breaking impact slavery has had across generations since abolition. Though shadowed in whiskey-making and timber-pirating, novel is a paean to devotion, testing the lengths a woman will go to save her man from a burning vengeance as he confronts the privations of a wild frontier while his former owner schemes his return. On a broader scale, the story is a testament to the perseverance and vision of pioneer women who devoted themselves to planting in their offspring the seeds of hope for liberty which may only be realized by descendants they would never know. Woven between scenes spanning a forbidden, historically based slave marriage on a plantation in Virginia’s tidewater region to a tragic liquor operation on the Susquehanna’s un-peopled and feral West Branch during the frontier decades after Pennsylvania’s last Indian purchase, the narrator’s own sub-tale culminates in her realization of how a pioneer-woman ancestor had destined her to break the generational chain of bondage.

 

An essay by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), which appeared in the Autumn 2020 issue, has been nominated by Tiferet Journal for a Pushcart Prize. A “Power Profile” interview with Lisa appeared in October on the blog of author Laraine Herring.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) Night of the Living Rez, a collection of interconnected stories of family and life in the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine, will be published in 2022 by Tin House. Books published by Tin House have made The New York Times’ and other national bestseller lists, won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, been long-listed and among the finalists for the National Book Award, and more. Morgan has also recently won a generous grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation to support his next projects. 

To Speak in Salt, the collection of poetry Becky Thompson (Poetry, W’21) worked on while studying at Stonecoast, was awarded the Ex Ophidia poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Hollis Summer Poetry Prize (Ohio University Press).  All praises to Becky’s mentors—Katherine Larson, Debra Marquart, and Chen Chen.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) flash fiction piece “After the Boston Marathon Bombing,” which was published in Gemini Magazine earlier this year, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her forthcoming memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, most of which was written during her time at Stonecoast, is now available for preorder via https://gina-troisi.com/.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) is pleased to share that three of his poems are forthcoming in Beatific Magazine. He is honored to announce that his song “The Damned (So Many More of Us Than Them)” was awarded SONG of the YEAR at the 2020 Manifesto Awards. Christopher records under the name “Preacher Boy.”

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Community News & Updates December 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST ALUMNI WINTER 2021 SCRIPTWRITING WORKSHOP:
THE NEXT STEP–REHEARSING YOUR SCRIPT!

As part of Stonecoast’s offerings at our January 2021 Virtual MFA Residency, alums are invited to sign up for “The Rehearsal Experience” with Stonecoast MFA faculty member and playwright Tom Coash and guest playwright-director Jeni Mahoney—a 3-day workshop with access to the entire winter residency. More information can be found here.  

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!

Workshop Dates: January 7th (one-hour introduction meeting) through January 10th, though participants will have access to the entire residency (January 7-17)
Workshop Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Cost: $1100, or $880 early bird discount for those who sign up before December 11th. A deposit will be required. 
Email Tom Coash for additional information. Email Lindsey Vazquez for questions and registration and to enroll. Space is limited! 

STONECOAST MFA ALUMNI READING SERIES

Join us for the first annual Stonecoast MFA Alumni Reading Series! Over the course of two sessions (December 2nd & December 9th), we’ll hear readings from twelve alumni authors who published a book in 2020. Additional information & RSVP:

Stonecoast MFA 2020 Alumni Reading Part I (December 2nd) featuring Kevin St. Jarre, Cynthia Kraak, Julia McKenzie Munemo, Ellie O’Leary, Anne Britting Oleson, and David Sloan

Stonecoast MFA 2020 Alumni Reading Part II  (December 9th) featuring Brenda Cooper, Terri Glass, Gail Hovey, Ellen Meeropol, Colin W. Sargent, and Joanna Solfrian

CURRENT STUDENTS

Darcie Abbene‘s (Fiction) essay “Go On, Then” was featured as an Editor’s Selection by Emma Bolden in Tupelo Quarterly’s Issue 22. In addition, Darcie’s review of Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis was recently published in Necessary Fiction.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) writes about meeting and getting naked with long-lost Finnish family in “A Family Project” in The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 12: True Stories from Around the World, edited by Lavinia Spalding and illustrated by Colette Hannahan.  

JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel, Nazaré, will be published by PM Press in Fall 2021. The novel tells the story of a peasants’ revolt, led by a homeless boy and a washerwoman, to topple a dictator.

Martín Espada‘s (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) new book of poems, called Floaters, is forthcoming in January from W.W. Norton. The book is now available for pre-order.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) wrote his latest piece on civil rights for ESPN’s The Undefeated: Bloody Police Assault on Miles Davis Feels Like it Could Have Happened YesterdayHis next book will be for young adults and is slated for release next year. 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, Writing for Social Change) review of Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s story collection Truthtelling appeared in The New York Journal of Books.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) forthcoming collection, The Best of Elizabeth Hand, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which called it “a superior collection [of] prose that elevates genre tropes to transcendent levels.  Readers will be blown away.” Her novel The Book of Lamps and Banners made BookPage’s Top 10 list for the year’s best crime & suspense fiction, and received more rave reviews from Crime Reads, Crime Fiction Lover, and The Portland Press Herald. She was recently profiled at LitHub, and her review of Lisa Robinson’s rock and roll memoir, Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls, just ran in The Washington Post.

This month Cara Hoffman (Fiction, Popular Fiction) signed a two-book contract with PM Press for a collection of essays and a collection of short stories; she will also be featured in their Outspoken Author series. Her most recent children’s novel, The Ballad of Tubs Marshfield (Harper Collins), was named an Indie Next pick; she was recently interviewed in Grist about the book. Her essay “The Evolution of Everyday Life” about the scientist and philosopher Peter Kropotkin will appear in LitHub in mid-December.

ALUMS

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) been invited to present a paper on the Curating the Self panel and moderate another panel at the Teaching Life Writing Conference, an international virtual conference on nonfiction and pedagogy at the University of Alberta, Canada, December 10-11, 2020. She’ll moderate the panel RT1 Life Writing Beyond the Undergraduate Literary Classroom at 8:00 a.m. MST on December 10, 2020.

Laurie Lico Albanese (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) has sold her novel Hester to Sarah Cantin at St. Martin’s in a two-book pre-empt deal. Hester, set in Salem 1829, is the retelling of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter told from the “real” Hester’s POV. Laurie started the novel while she was a student at Stonecoast working with mentor Susan Conley

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) published a ghost story written in her last workshop with Liz Hand. That story, “Gaze with Undimmed Eyes and the World Drops Dead,” was published in the anthology Terror at ‘5280, which recently won Best Anthology at the 2020 Best Book Awards (BBA) by American Book Fest. She also made an appearance at MileHiCon 52 as a speaker on the panels “Building SF & Fantasy Mythologies” and “Modern Age of Poetry.”

Wingless Dreamer, a publisher of books of poetry, published “Sticks” by J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) in their recent volume entitled Sunkissed. While J has had a string of published essays since graduating, “Sticks” marks the first poem that has been published.

Renee S. DeCamillis’s (Popular Fiction, W’14) short story “Bad Trip Highway” appears in the new horror anthology Wicked Women, which was published by NEHW Press in November and features all women authors and artists from New England. 

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) interviewed former Stonecoast faculty member James Patrick Kelly for Barnstorm, the University of New Hampshire’s official literary journal. You can read Jim’s thoughts on writing during the pandemic, how stories turn into movies, contemporary Chinese science fiction and other topics under this fall semester’s segment of “The Writer’s Hot Seat,” available online.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is pleased to announce that she was interviewed on Books Q&As with Deborah Kalb on October 31.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) has committed cozy with his mystery short story, “Death in the Lower Forty,” which is in the newly released anthology, Cozy Villages of Death.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) has a new video inspired by his poem “Gluttony.” The poem is from his forthcoming chapbook from Plan B Press.

40 Thieves on Saipan, written by Joseph Tachovsky and Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10), was awarded Winner in the Military History category of the American Book Fest competition.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’12) is delighted to share that she has signed with Bison Books, the trade imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, for publication of her memoir Uphill Both Ways: Hiking Toward Happiness on the Colorado Trail.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) recently had a flash essay published in Moment Magazine. She’s also pleased to finally see published the result of ten years’ work, The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, Volume 9: Catastrophe and Rebirth, where she was on the advisory board and did much of the research that resulted in the inclusion of literature and culture by Jews from Arab lands, often excluded from Anglophone, Ashkenaz-centric publications. (The dude standing on his head looks like Picasso, but it’s Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel).

Julia McKenzie Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) spoke to Dani Shapiro for the Family Secrets podcast about the secret at the center of her memoir The Book Keeper: A Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy.

J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes’s (Poetry, W ’11) latest poetry collection, was that you Boss?,has been accepted for publication by Wipf and Stock Publishers in 2021. The collection consists of psalm poems addressed to an unspecified higher power, and they rely heavily on an intimate language drawn from experiences of nature and life on a farm. The collection is dedicated, in part, to Maurice Manning, whose collection Bucolics had no little influence on the author.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) announces her first picture book, Gordy and the Ghost Crab, published by Writer’s Coffee Bar Press. Linda wrote and illustrated the text herself and created her own book trailer. The PreK-age 8 book also includes fun facts about crabs and a conservation message. Teacher’s guide available. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and bookstores nationwide. 

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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 September 2020

CURRENT STUDENTS

Darcie Abbene’s (Fiction) flash fiction “Burn” was published in Capsule Stories Autumn 2020: Burning Up. The story was inspired by the Hayman Fire, Colorado’s largest wildfire.

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction) short story “Fish Out of Water” will be published this month in the fourth annual Issue of Oyster River Pages, under their Emerging Fiction Voices category. In addition, Natalie’s ghost story, “Open Heart Massage,” has been selected for publication in the CultureCult anthology of science fiction, “Breathe.” Publishing details to follow.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) will be teaching a Character Development workshop as part of the terrific “A Literary Season Online” assembled by the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival. Although the Conference won’t physically be in Mexico this time (Covid cancel), this new online format makes the Conference available to everyone everywhere! Really exciting line-up of speakers and teachers (including Margaret Atwood among many others).

In August, Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was featured by New Rivers Press in their Writer’s Routine series. In script news: Elizabeth is one of the top 5% QuarterFinalist script writers, chosen out of over 7000 entries, for the 2020 Academy Nicholl Fellowships, which are run by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences/the Oscars. Finally, Elizabeth is “Riding for Food” via team Food Link. Elizabeth and her son are longtime volunteers at Food Link, which helps to feed those in need, and she aims to ride the entire MinuteMan bike trail by October 4th to raise much-needed FoodLink funds; please click here.

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) invites you to join her online September 10, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., when she’ll be talking narrative medicine, writing that has carried so many individuals (including Suzanne) along and through tough times. She’ll look at some great examples of the genre, and spend some time getting attendees started on their own.

 

 

ALUMS

The short film Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) adapted from her Creative Nonfiction book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, has been accepted by the SuperFest Disability Film Festival in San Francisco. A special film cut is being prepared to make the film fully accessible to viewers with visual and hearing impairments. Bailey has just completed the writing of a narrative script of audio descriptions, which will dovetail with the main narration. Audio descriptions tell the non-verbal action in a film along with the visual details in order to make a film accessible to those with visual limitations. Kiki Samko (Boston) has been cast as audio description narrator. Soundscape captions will also be added to the film for viewers with hearing impairments. This August marks the book’s 10th year in print, and Elisabeth will give a reading from the book for the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association’s 2020 conference this fall.

Neptune, a film produced by Allen Baldwin (Scriptwriting, W’19), is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, and Prime. Neptune features an all Maine cast and crew and is now being self-distributed through Baldwin’s company, The Story Board. The film is set in the late 1980s on an island off the coast of Maine; an orphan girl raised by the church becomes obsessed by the disappearance of a classmate, and her haunted dreams and visions propel her to push past her sheltered life. The film’s website is here.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for the Ignyte Award for Best Fiction Podcast for his work with PodCastle, alongside co-editors Jen R. Albert and Cherae Clark, assistant editor Setsu Uzumé, and former co-editor/special editions editor Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali. You can read the official announcement here and PodCastle‘s statement here. The awards are open to all members of the speculative fiction community, so please vote!

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is excited to teach a Creative Nonfiction course at the University of New England this fall. You can check out a profile he wrote in the most recent issue of The Drake magazine.

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) has an essay, “Hideous,” in the Embody section of The Maine Review.

Anthony D’Aries‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “No Man’s Land” will appear in the 25th anniversary issue of Sport Literate

Jaq Evans‘s (Popular Fiction, S’20) weird eco-gothic short story appears in Issue 2 of Fusion Fragment, and the poem generated in Katherine Larson and Deb Marquart‘s environmental workshop appears in Issue 20 of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17) and Daien Sanchez (Popular Fiction, S’18) have started a monthly livestream series titled Writers, Readers, and the Stories We Love. Featuring a new guest each month, each conversation includes discussion of writing craft, book recommendations, and storytelling across forms and genres. Information about upcoming streams can be found on Josh’s Facebook page. Past videos are available on his YouTube channel.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) is now an associate Creative Nonfiction editor at jmww journal. She recently published a piece in the How We Are blog, which features responses to life during the pandemic and features several Stonecoasters.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) has placed his novel Velocity Blues with Vernacular BooksVelocity Blues was written at Stonecoast and was Cliff’s thesis work. Expect it next summer.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is glad to announce that she has launched “Now You See Me”—an affordable author website building service. We all know it’s important to be “out there” in the virtual world, but not all of us are “tech-y” or willing to pay big dollars for our first site (until we sell our book for a great advance, at least.) Her rates start at $300 for a basic website, one that will shine and show off your work, personality, and esthetics. She promises personalized & prompt service. You can reach her at nblichtentein@gmail.com.

Tom MacDonald‘s (Fiction, W’09) short story “Nashua River Floater” will be published in crime anthology Coast to Coast: Noir, which is coming out on September 28; Tom was assigned the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, for his story. The anthology is edited by Paul D. Marks and Andrew McAleer. Later this fall, Tom’s 5th Dermot Sparhawk detective novel, Sleep Long, Sleep High, is due out.

John Christopher Nelson (Fiction, S’15) was featured on Episode 5 of DUM DUM Radio where he had the opportunity to chat with Julia Gibson and Taleen Kali, the fine folks behind DUM DUM Zine. You can listen to him BS and wax literary here.

A short piece by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is included in the new anthology Flash Nonfiction Food (Woodhall Press). She has work forthcoming in the next issue of Tiferet and in Adelaide Journal and was interviewed recently about memoir writing at A Healing Spirit. Lisa has expanded her one-on-one private teaching, coaching, and editing business, working with writers on book-length memoir, novel, short story, or essay manuscripts, or individual short pieces, proposals, query letters, and submission strategy. Details are here.

“The Fifth Direction,” an essay (and photos!) by Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) appears in the August issue of Terrain.org. It is an exploration of gender, violence, trauma, and reaching for a different way, in the context of the Alaskan wilderness.

Rhiannon J. Taylor (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) had two short stories published in August: “A Most Professional Demon” has been published by Translunar Travelers Lounge in issue 3 (available online and in ebook) and “Oresa” has been published in Beyond the Stars: Infinite Expanse (available in ebook, print forthcoming).

Two poems by Meghan Vigeant (Creative Nonfiction, S’20), “East Troy Street” and “She Writes the Kama Sutra,” appear online in the summer issue of Hole in the Head Review.

Anne Witty (Poetry, W’10) published a feature essay in the September 2020 “Best of Maine” issue of Down East Magazine, in which she reflects on her home territory of Seguinland in mid-coast Maine. She also has a piece entitled “The Double Portrait” forthcoming in The New Guard Review X.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates August 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

This year’s Boston Poetry Marathon is taking place online from Thursday, August 6, to Saturday August 8. Stonecoast alumna Bridget Eileen (Poetry, S’09) returns as artistic director of the event for the fourth year running. With the this year’s virtual format, even more Stonecoasters will be taking part: former faculty Kazim Ali, Richard Hoffman, and Dennis Nurkse, along with alums Amy Alvarez, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Jessica de Koninck, Vanesa Pacheco, and Christine Tierney.

The event also includes Lloyd Schwartz, Danielle Legros George, Dorothea Lasky, and Eileen Myles, among many notable participants. Friday night will be a special look back on the history of the Boston Poetry Marathon and include a tribute to the late Kevin Killian from Lee Ann Brown and Tony Torn. The organizing team includes Bridget Eileen; the other artistic director, Suzanne Mercury; and two new organizers, Xtina Strong and Christina Liu.

In total, close to 150 poets will be reading their work during the three-day event. More information can be found here.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Darcie Abbene’s (Fiction) craft essay “Zen and the Art of Prickly Writing” is online at Parhelion Literary Magazine.

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction) creative nonfiction essay that she read at the Stonecoast Winter Residency open mic has been published in The Satirist. “The Great British Guide to Dining Out in America” is written by a Brit who moved to the U.S. two years ago and has been figuring out how to eat successfully here ever since.

 

FACULTY

JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) essay “Black and Blue: The Uses of Anger” and his poem “Six Epitaphs for the Jazz Man” were published in July in the literary/arts journal The Bored Friday Project: Volume Five. His short story “Nazaré” will appear in the literary magazine A Public Space in the fall.

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) was recently elected to the Seven Devils New Play Foundry’s Board of Directors. New Stonecoast Scriptwriting instructor Jeni Mahoney is featured in this excellent American Theater magazine article about Seven Devils, one of the best new play development groups in the world.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) latest novel, Landslide, will be published by Knopf on February 2, 2021.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) forthcoming novel The Book of Lamps and Banners received a starred review from Kirkus, saying, “Cass Neary is a tough, self-destructive character who still exudes compassion, courage, and love for the beauty and the pain of life—even more so because she recognizes its impermanence. Part Club Dumas, part The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, all punk attitude and beautiful ache.” Recent reviews include Ursula Hegi’s The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls for The Washington Post.

Katherine Larson (Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) has been awarded the 2020-2021 Sowell Collection Fellowship. Offered in conjunction with colleagues in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Libraries, the purpose of this award is to foster creative work and expression in the spirit of Texas Tech’s Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community and the Natural World. Writing with a profound respect for the grandeur of the land, Sowell Collection writers are deeply engaged with questions of land use and the nature of community, the conjunction of scientific and spiritual values, and the fragility of wilderness.

Diane Seuss (Poetry) has been named a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow. Her fifth book of poems, frank: sonnetswill be published by Graywolf Press in March 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

ALUMS

Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) second novel of the Jack Harper Trilogy—Perish—will be published this October 13, 2020 by California Coldblood Books, an imprint of Rare Bird Books.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Prashanth Srivatsa’s story “Seven Dreams of a Valley” for the July 2 episode of Beneath Ceaseless Skies. You can listen to it here.

On July 27th, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor’s (Poetry, W’10) poem “After Robert Fuller” was the featured poem for the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day email. Cheryl’s latest book, Mama Phife Represents, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books in 2021.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a story in Lightspeed this month entitled “The Bone-Stag Walks.” She is also a finalist for the Aurora Award for her work co-chairing the ephemera reading series; the Auroras will be streamed live at 7:00 pm ET on August 15th.

Darcy Casey (Fiction, W’19) has two recent publications: her flash CNF “My Sister and Other Big Things” was a finalist to the Big Sky, Small Prose Flash Contest and is published in issue 92 of CutBank. She also has a flash fiction piece, “Portrait of a Young Woman During Quarantine,” in the June 2020 issue of Brilliant Flash Fiction.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) is chairing his very first conference panel on nonbinary gender in science fiction at next year’s NeMLA. The conference takes place in Philadelphia, March 2021, and is currently planned to be a hybrid (meaning presenters can join remotely via Zoom or in-person), and he encourages any current Stonecoast students or alumni interested in academic scholarship in the area of Gender and Women’s Studies to submit a proposal by September 30th.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has three articles in the 2021 Harris Farmer’s Almanac, now in the magazine section of your favorite drugstore, grocery store, or bookstore.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been writing for Peril on Gorgon, a noir mystery set in the Outer Worlds that will be available on September 9th. His next project is Avowed, a new game in the Pillars of Eternity setting that will one day be available on Xbox and Windows 10.

Linda Morrow’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) book Heart of This Family: Lessons in Down Syndrome and Love will be available for pre-order/purchase in August 2020. The book description:

1966, the Beatles and Leave It To Beaver reign, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights rage, feminism is unheard of, and Linda’s first baby is diagnosed with Down syndrome. Determined to raise Steve at home, along with his two younger brothers, Linda tries to fulfill cultural norms as a homemaker, a woman whose voice is seldom heard or valued. But it isn’t in her nature to be meek.

Linda struggles to provide Steve an education at a time when disability rights don’t exist. Her advocacy focuses first on integrating him into the community, then, as he grows into adulthood, landing a real job and independent living.

Over these same decades, Linda learns to advocate for herself as well, starting with a career in public school education. When she unexpectedly falls in love with a woman, her life path takes unforeseen turns. Linda must dig deep to accept her new identity before she is read to meet her true solvate. Throughout, unwavering love for all her sons is her lodestar.

“The Fifth Direction,” an essay (and photos!) by Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) appears in the July issue of Terrain.org and can be found here. It is about commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska—and it troubles the waters.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) short story “Chuligani” has been accepted for the summer issue of Solstice Literary Magazine, due out in August 2020.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) hosted two successful literary Zoom events featuring Irish writers in July. The first was with Alan McMonagle, author of the new novel Laura Cassidy’s Walk of Fame (Picador). The second event took place on July 21 and was part of the Virtual Irish Arts Expo, sponsored by the Irish Heritage Society of Milford, and it featured both Lisa and Irish writer Geraldine Mills, whose new verse memoir, Bone Road, was a focus. Lisa’s review of this collection was just published in Live Encounters, an online Irish review site. Additionally, Lisa has a new poem forthcoming in Bacopa Literary Review; it will be included in a collection to be published in late 2021. The biggest news of all is an offer on Lisa and her husband’s longtime home in Connecticut and a pending move to Mancos, Colorado, a tiny mountain town in the Four Corners area. Lisa and her husband will be heading to Colorado in early September to join their daughter and son-in-law in this gorgeous area near Mesa Verde National Park. They will be in a temporary space until November when the renters of their house will move out. Internet may be erratic during this transition time.

Eugenio Volpe (Fiction, W’05) was interviewed in The Massachusetts Review as a contributor to their summer issue.

Adrienne S. Wallner (Poetry, W’09) has signed a publishing contract with Finishing Line Press for her first poetry collection, To the 4 a.m. Light.  Several poems in her book were created and honed during her time at Stonecoast.  Adrienne’s work can be found here.

Lindsey Wells‘ (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) article “Spokane’s Riverfront Pavilion” was published in the July issue of Parks and Recreation Magazine.

 

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Community News & Updates March 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST AT AWP 2020
Are you attending AWP 2020? Stonecoast MFA will host a gathering from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at The Rose Bush (2301 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, Texas 78212). We’ll have free appetizers, a short reading in honor of our new WISE (Writing for Inclusivity and Social Equity) program, and plenty of time to socialize and reconnect. The venue is BYOB. We hope you’ll join us!

ALUMNI WORKSHOP AT THE STONECOAST 2020 SUMMER RESIDENCY
This June, Stonecoast will once again offer a personalized writing experience for our Alumni. Held in conjunction with the Stonecoast summer residency, Elizabeth Hand will lead workshops that get alums to immerse in their writing within a peer setting again. This post MFA workshop is open to fiction writers of all stripes—short stories, novels, mimetic fiction, genre fiction, autofiction, meta-fiction et al. Participants will focus on both old and new work, with an aim towards polishing the former as well generating new ideas and expanding notions of what fiction is and can be in the 2020s. The conference fee includes four 2.5-hour workshop sessions, plus full access to all presentations, seminars, readings, pop-up classes, receptions, and special events. Participants will also have the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with a literary agent.

  • Dates: June 21-25, 2020
  • Cost: $650.00 workshop fee, plus room and board (~$750 for 4 nights) or commuter fee ($285). Includes daily lunches and afternoon tea at the Harraseeket Inn.
  • Contact Lindsey Vazquez  to reserve your spot! Only 8 slots are available, and we expect this workshop to fill quickly. Once your participation is confirmed, a non-refundable deposit will be required to confirm your place in the workshop.

Testimonials from Susan Conley‘s Winter 2020 Alumni Workshop:

  • “One year post-graduation, Susan Conley’s alumni workshop was just what I needed. The workshop gave me the opportunity to drop into an intensive working environment and hit the ground running. The benefit of working with a seasoned Stonecoast instructor and writers who share a common language of craft and critiquing was invaluable—not mention the amazing support. I will definitely do this again and highly recommend it.”  ~Lee Bodkin
  • “Being back at Stonecoast was such a gift—from the workshops to the seminars, returning to Maine to write and be with ‘my people’ was just the motivation I needed to return to my heart’s work. The writing during those mornings was some of the better writing I have done in months.” ~Heather Wilson

Martha McSweeney Brower (Creative Nonfiction, W’19) shared this information for anyone interested in submitting to Maine Seniors or Maine Women:

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer’s (Fiction) short story “Labor Day Weekend” is due to be published this Spring in Volume 2 of Allegory Ridge‘s fiction anthology, Archipelago, due out April 21st. Allegory Ridge is a magazine for open-minded millennials that publishes travel writing, short stories, poetry, artwork, photography, and personal essays. More details to follow.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction), a.k.a. The Viking Jewess, recently had a food essay published in The Canadian Jewish News, which was fun, because when she had originally submitted a version of it to a Maine food pub, they asked her to remove references to her Jewish background, which made her (pissed off) pull the submission. You can read the brief food essay here.

 

FACULTY

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) play Bubble, Bubble will be produced in Sydney, Australia, as part of the worldwide Short & Sweet Festival. His short musical Stepping Into Fire will be produced at the National Performing Arts Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about sports, crime, and social issues. In February, he wrote a feature for ESPN’s The Undefeated: Rube Foster was the Big Man Behind the First Successful Negro Baseball League. His next young-adult book is due out in 2021; it will tell the controversial story of Sacco & Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists wrongly convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) talks about his novel Nirvana Is Here and all things Nirvana in an interview with Rolf Potts for the podcast Deviate.

The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Boston Review recently profiled Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) and her novel Curious Toys. On February 29th, Leap Day, she and bestselling Swedish novelist Niklas Natt och Dag appeared at The English Bookshop in conversation about their fiction (and a mutual fascination with artist Henry Darger). Hand’s new story “The Owl Count” will appear in the forthcoming issue of the literary magazine Conjunctions.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) was invested into the august company of the Baker Street Irregulars, a worldwide literary society whose 300 members devote themselves to the Sacred Writings (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of Sherlock Holmes).  Her investiture name is “Beryl Garcia,” a character in the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. She was invested in January at the annual Baker Street Irregulars Dinner at the Yale Club in New York City. In other news, Kymera Press, Nancy’s comic-book publisher, is holding a Kickstart to create a trade paperback out of four of her comic book adaptations of short stories written by women during the long nineteenth century. Nancy also wrote the introduction for three books:

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, which is the debut offering of the Horror Writers Association’s Haunted Library.
  • Across the Universe, edited by Michael A. Ventrella and Randee Dawn. This anthology collects short stories starring versions of the Beatles in alternate universes.
  • Gentlemen Prefer Domino Lady, an anthology featuring short stories about a pulp character from the 1930’s. She has also written short stories and comic books starring Domino Lady in the past, and is currently working on a commissioned DL story for Moonstone Books.

The February 2020 TheatreZone production of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, starring Broadway’s Andrea McArdle, was reviewed as an “exemplary show…Seeing a scandal unfold never felt so good.” Elizabeth received a generous shout-out in the same review: “It all seemed bizarre beyond belief nearly 30 years ago, and someone had the brilliant idea to deliver it in a joyous theater package. We can credit playwright Elizabeth Searle for that and thank you, thank you, thank you.” Elizabeth was thrilled to work with Andrea, the original ANNIE, who earned raves in her dual role as the Mom(s). The show received media coverage in the Naples Daily News, including an interview with Elizabeth, and on the Naples ABC affiliate, Channel 7, featuring an interview with the show’s stars. New productions are in the works; for updates and pictures, see www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Above: Elizabeth and Broadway great Andrea McArdle as well as Tonya & Nancy leading ladies Whitney Winfield (Nancy) and Nikki Miller (Tonya) and producer Paul Boghosian from the Feb 2020 production of Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera

 

ALUMS

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is happy to announce that her story “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” was selected for the Third Flatiron Best of 2019 anthology with an illustration of the Rusalka on the cover. You can listen to “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” as a free podcast, too. Also, Elizabeth’s short story “Just Beyond the Shore” was included in the Stoker-nominated anthology Nox Pariedolia. This sale is especially sweet because a long-ago draft was included in Elizabeth’s submission to and workshopped at Stonecoast!

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) has a fiction essay among the top seven finalists for the North American Review’s 2020 Kurt Vonnegut Prize.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a story in the upcoming anthology Invisible Threads, from Apex Publications. Engaging a wide array of marginalized creators, Invisible Threads interrogates and deconstructs the social, cultural, and economic ties that hold us back. The Kickstarter runs until March 18th—see here for more information and backer rewards! She will also be assisting at the PodCastle booth at Toronto ComiCon, March 20-22. Come listen to PodCastle episodes and catch a hilarious live show!

Lauren M Davis (Poetry, S’15) is teaching courses in English writing, creative writing, and philosophy at the University of Saint Francis and Indiana Institute of Technology.

Teacher/Pizza Guy, poetry collection by Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09), has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2020. Here is a link to an article about it in MEA Magazine.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created two videos for his poems “Beacon” and “Into the Light.” Both poems were inspired by his experience as an organ donor when his wife lost kidney function because of lupus.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been nominated for a Nebula Award for his writing on The Outer Worlds, a dark sci-fi satire about consumerism and corporate greed in space, full of fun shooty combat and opportunities for creative roleplay. His fellow nominees include Leonard Boyarsky, Kate Dollarhyde, Chris L’Etoile, Daniel McPhee, Carrie Patel, Nitai Poddar, Marc Soskin, and Megan Starks. This is the second year the Nebula has recognized video game writing.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction. S’18) published an academic article, “First-Person Adolescent Storytellers and Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. The article is a re-constructed version of her third-semester project. It begins with the opening line: “I first discovered Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style while preparing for a fiction workshop with Breena Clarke at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA creative writing program…”

Emily Levang’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’19) article “Can We Protect Nature by Giving It Legal Rights?” was recently published in Ensia.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) will be a featured reader at the upcoming AWP on a panel discussing novels about families torn apart by history and war. Her essay on the same subject, “When They Take the Children,” was recently published in Mom Egg Review. Her fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, will be published on April 7, 2020.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Last Rites” appears in the February March issue of Portland Monthly Magazine, on newsstands now, and two of his poems, “I Know Why a Man” and “In this year of stingy snow and illness,” appear in the most recent edition of The Maine Edge.

After the Parade, a second book of poetry by Dana Robbins (Poetry, W’13), was published by Moon Pie Press of Westbrook Maine. The book is available for purchase here.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), has a flash list essay, “Marriage by the Numbers,” in the 10th anniversary issue of The Writers Circle Journal. She has additional essays forthcoming in Tiferet Journal and Flash Nonfiction Food. In late April, Lisa will appear on a panel presentation, “The Borderlands of Grief,” at The Calandra Italian American Institute’s Annual Conference in New York City with authors Nancy Caronia and Joanna Clapps Herman.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W’19) story “The Citizenship Question: We the People” will be published this spring in The Georgia Review‘s special issue on the 2020 U.S. Census. Talty’s two short craft essays, “Story, Speak” and “One-Edit,” will also appear in Shenandoah.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “A Hunger” was recently published in Sycamore Review (Issue 31.1).

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poems “We Take Our Color From The Mines,” “The Sea Was Never A Friend To Us,” and “We Are Forced To Face One Another” have been accepted for publication by The Write Launch and will be included in the March 2020 issue. Additionally, Christopher, under his performance name “Preacher Boy,” has just released his 12th album, entitled See No Evil (Coast Road Records). The album is now available across all digital music platforms. Coast Road Records has published an Enhanced Lyric Booklet to complement the album’s release, which is now available for Kindle or as a free PDF.

 

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Community News & Updates January 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

News from Stonecoast
Join the Stonecoast MFA community for a week of inspiring readings and discussions with Stonecoast’s award-winning faculty and guest writers, January 10-13th and 15-18th at the historic Harraseeket Inn in downtown Freeport, Maine.

The weeklong series includes flash faculty and guest readings, a conversation on the possibilities and perils of adapting one’s work for the stage, and a discussion of the inaugural WISE common text. The residency concludes with the Winter 2020 graduation ceremony.

A detailed schedule of the week’s events and readers can be found here.

CURRENT STUDENTS

In November, Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) was invited to Ottawa, Canada, to give a book talk on the occasion of the International Memorial Day for Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands. It was in connection with the recent publication of her translation from French to English of the novel For the Love of the Father by French-Tunisian-Jewish writer Chochana Boukhobza. Nina is also happy to share that her essay “Ink Stains and Blood Stains: The Spring of My Becoming” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming Hippocampus anthology tentatively titled “INK” due out in 2020.

FACULTY

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead will be produced in North Hollywood by Actors Workout Studio, as part of their terrific TABOO Festival January 10 – February 8, 2020.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is now available as an audio book!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) sold a stand-alone psychological thriller, Baby Go Bang, to Mulholland Books/Little, Brown. Her novel Generation Loss has been optioned by British production company Fremantle.

Cara Hoffman‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) children’s novel Bernard Pepperlin was a Kirkus Best Book of 2019 and Audiofile’s Best Audio Book of the Year.

Broadway icon Andrea McArdle (the original Annie) will star in a new 2020 production of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. The production is being fully produced by longstanding Equity theater TheaterZone and is opening on February 6, 2020; it was featured in two recent articles in Broadway World. Further productions and a possible tour are in the works for 2020/2021; see the website for updates.

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) film short adaptation of her memoir The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating heads next to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival (CA), Victoria Film Festival (BC), and Kinofilm 16th Manchester International Short Film Fest (UK). The film also received a Jury’s Choice Award from the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, which tours throughout 2020.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is a finalist for the NESFA Short Story Contest. The story she submitted was one of the first pieces workshopped at Stonecoast with David Anthony Durham. The winners will be announced at BOSKONE 57 in February.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) has had her essay “Alibi Bar, 1968” published in Atticus Review‘s “Super Unknown. Stories About Songs” series. Two of her poems have appeared in The Comstock Review, one in the Spring/Summer issue and one in the Fall/Winter. She has been awarded a writing residency in May at NES in Skagastrond, Iceland, to work on her current project—a literary journey across the North Atlantic. From there, she will go on to the Hebrides. She and Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, ‘10) were on a panel at the WORD Conference in Blue Hill, Maine, with Jaed Coffin discussing the ethics of memoir.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) piece “Flyover Country” can be found in the January/February issue of InterzoneFirst lines: “Lovers are like flash floods, car collisions, aneurysms: always a possibility but never exactly expected. A small-plane pilot for AeroFix Corp, Sam arrived in my bed via a tray of purple pansies and a convoy of trucks intent on invading the Verona Municipal Airport.” Richard Wagner created the amazing illustration. This will be Julie’s 7th story with Interzone and her 8th with TTA Press.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) was thrilled to see her essay “Rose” up on Diagram this past year. She wishes all Stonecoasters the very best for 2020.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S17) has an essay in the January-February issue of Good Old Boat, available at newsstands now.

Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) is co-writing dialogue and lyrics for Take The High Road, a musical produced in Denver during 2020. The show will combine repurposed melodies from musical theater and popular music with an original story of a real estate developer who locks horns with, and falls for, a community activist fighting his attempts to build a resort in her idyllic mountain town. The show is being produced by Magic Moments, a company that for over thirty-five years has created large-cast, high-quality musical productions that give performers with a broad range of special needs, both physical and developmental, opportunities to work alongside seasoned professionals. Rehearsals begin in January for performances in late March 2020.

Fiona Lehn (Popular Fiction W’15) has a new speculative novella, Lift-Off, published by Devine Destinies. Click here to read more about the project and here to view the book trailer.

Kristin Leonard‘s (Fiction, S’18) poetry was published in Maine’s Best Emerging Poets 2019 anthology. Her short story, “Jason’s Daddy,” was published in The Showbear Family Circus.

The Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, will host Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) on January 11th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for Writing the Stories of Your Life, a free workshop on writing memoir. Catharine will then offer a Six-Week Series for Women at the Good Medicine Collective from January 13th to February 17th; Writing to Heal will incorporate small group support, instruction and practice for using writing as a way to move through loss. On January 26th from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Catharine will join with Deb Cook to offer Winter’s Deep Peace Practice: Yoga Nidra and Writing, a morning of deep rest and integration. Participants will move from Yoga Nidra into a quiet hour of meditative journaling supported by prompts and guidance.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to share that her long-form essay, “Plume: An Investigation,” will be published in the January 2020 issue of True Story. The essay was started during her time at Stonecoast and has been modified from her Stonecoast thesis.

Jenny O’Connell’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) flash nonfiction piece “How to Sleep in an Airport,” published last spring in Hippocampus, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize! This November, she spoke about positive risk-taking and her 2014 solo trek across Finland to a packed Camden Opera House at Midcoast Pecha Kucha night. You can watch her speech here.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has poetry in or forthcoming from The Cafe Review, Coal City Review, and Connecticut River Review and anthologies from Main Street Rag and Flying Ketchup Press. On January 25, Bruce will be offering a seminar entitled “Creating Your Novel in Ninety Minutes” at the Blue Hill Library; this is open to the public but limited to twelve participants. Contact Hannah Cyrus at the library for more information. Bruce will also be teaching a seminar for Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance at the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott on February 29 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on learning to inhabit your fictional characters. Contact Hannah Perry at MWPA for details.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W‘14) doesn’t have much on the writing front, but just completed a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and is now certifiable (exactly) as a school principal. He was also recently accepted into the Harvard Principal’s Center for a Certificate in School Management and Leadership. He has also, also, been accepted to a residency at the University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center this April. While he’s delighted, it all sounds way fancier than it is, he promises.

Patricia Smith, former faculty member and member of the Stonecoast 2008 class in poetry, has been named a Distinguished Professor for the City University of New York, the highest rank in the state’s university system.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Where You Linger” will appear in the January/February issue of Uncanny Magazine.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W ’19) short story “The Blessing Tobacco” will be published this January in TriQuarterly. The story will also be excerpted in Literary Hub: The Best of the Literary Internet. 

Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17) received an award for a fellowship grant as an individual artist in literary arts from the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities. She is completing research and writing that expands her short story “Piper’s March” into a novel (“Piper’s March” was published in Kweli Journal in 2018). In other news, Darlene will moderate a panel during the 2020 AWP Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The panel also features Breena Clarke of Stonecoast and authors Rion Amilcar Scott, Jacinda Townsend, and Crystal Wilkerson. The authors will discuss how fiction writers use historical imagination to create characters from little-known histories. “They Must Have Felt: Imagining Emotional Landscape and Place” is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2020, from 12:10-1:25 p.m. in Room 205, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) was honored to be a part of a holiday reading in Orleans, MA, on December 27th with Tom Daley, Christine Jones, and J. Barrett Wolf, music by Jordan Renzi, sponsored by Voices of Poetry. Lisa has officially named her workshop offerings Whitewater Writing. She will offer an all-day writing retreat with a catered lunch on January 4th in Connecticut—snow date: January 11. This retreat is nearly full but contact Lisa if you are interested. Lisa is a fiction editor and interviewer for Wordpeace, an online magazine created by Lori Desrosier (the founder of Naugatuck Review). In the upcoming issue, Lisa interviewed Maida McKenna, founder of Word Scientists, a literacy organization in Nepal; and Kevin Brodie, an award-winning playwright who is currently working on a play about American Indian Schools directly related to time spent on a Shoshone reservation with his grandfather. This issue should be out in late February or early March. Lisa also writes book reviews; her latest review was on Look Look Look by Calista Buchen (Black Lawrence Press) and appeared in the Mom Egg Review in December. Western Stonecoasters: Lisa and her husband Russ will be moving to Colorado (near Durango) in late summer 2020. She would love to organize some readings and make contact with writers who live in that area. Finally, Lisa will be at AWP in San Antonio March 4-8 and would also like to meet up with Stonecoasters.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) is pleased to share some of her efforts guest editing “Root Mapping” at The Learned Pig. Published features include new work from Rick Bass (Faculty: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) and in January, a new essay by Catharine Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17). Submissions are welcome as the journal series continues in 2020.

 

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Community News & Updates December 2019

FACULTY

The French translation of JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Damnificados, entitled Les Dévastés and translated by Camille Nivelle, has won the Prix Révélation de Traduction from Société des Gens de Lettres. The ceremony takes place in Paris on December 3rd, 2019.

Stonecoast faculty member Tobias S. Buckell (Popular Fiction) and co-author Paolo Bacigalupi won the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection with The Tangled Lands, a fantasy novel told in four novella-length parts about a land crippled by the use of magic. Buckell also sold new novel The Musketress to Audible Originals: in a far-future world where reading has been forbidden by mechanical archangels a general’s daughter and fugitive librarian search for world-changing secrets found in ancient, lost books.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) monologue, “Blind Dog,” was produced in New York City by The Playground Experiment as part of the Faces of America Monologue Festival in support of the ACLU. “Blind Dog” has also been published in the Faces of America Anthology.

The paperback edition of Susan Conley‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Elsey Come Home has been published by Vintage. Susan’s forthcoming novel Landslide will be published by Knopf in February of 2021.

Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has edited and published a new anthology entitled What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump from Northwestern University Press.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) received two special mentions, in both fiction and creative non-fiction, in the 2020 Pushcart Prizes: his short story “Refugees” (published in The Bennington Review) and his essay “Sweetness Mattered” (published in Tin House) were both honored.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) profiled Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry for the pop culture site Please Kill Me. Her novel Curious Toys was named one of autumn’s best reads by Real Simple Magazine, as well as one of 2019’s best books by the Chicago Library, and was featured in Maine Women Magazine. Forthcoming reviews include Priya Sharma’s Ormeshadow, Tade Thompson’s The Survival of Molly Southborne, and Craig Laurance Gidney’s A Spectral Hue for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Several chapters for Lauren Marie Schmidt‘s (Poetry, Writing for Social Justice) YA novel-in-progress, The Players, are forthcoming in the following journals: North American ReviewMobius: The Journal for Social Change, and The MacGuffinClick here to learn more about the project and here to read samples.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has a new short film, produced via LGBT Toronto Film Festival. The five-minute short, Sister Kin, is based on a studio recording of a single scene by Elizabeth. The ‘Screenplay Short’ film will screen at LGBT Toronto Film Festival in 2020. A longer short film, Four-Sided, also based on Elizabeth’s novel, has been an official selection at nine festivals so far this year and will screen next in Chicago. Elizabeth’s feature-film script has been recognized at 20 festivals or competitions. Elizabeth looks forward to leading Stonecoast’s first hands-on Screen Your Short seminar for students wanting to write and shoot a short film. For updates on Elizabeth’s film projects, see www.afoursidedbedfilm.com

 

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) film short adaptation of her memoir, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, won the Best International Short Award at the Kerry International Film Festival in Kerry, Ireland.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poem “Lepus antilocapra” in HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. VI, edited by Stephanie Wytovich. This piece found its final form under the guidance of Cate Marvin. In other news, her short story “Gaze with Undimmed Eyes and the World Drops Dead” is featured in the anthology Terror at 5280′. This piece originated from a ghost story prompt in workshop with Liz Hand.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a story in Lightspeed Magazine this month: “The Path of Pins, the Path of Needles” is available from December 5th. Her flash piece “By Jingly Bell, By Velvet Mouse” also came out from PodCastle recently.

Jessica de Koninck (Poetry, S’11) has a poem, “Good Humor”, in the most recent edition of Glassworks. Its online segment, “Looking Glass,” includes her reflections on the poem. Her poem “Crazy Eights” appears in the most recent edition of Presence. “Lullaby Ghazal” is in Southword (Munster Literary Center), and her poem “Revisiting the Psalms” is included in the anthology A Constellation of Kisses from Terrapin Books. Finally, her poem, “Pastoral”, was the daily poem on SWIMM on Friday, November 29, 2019.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) was featured on the literary journal Barnstorm‘s website; you can read the tale of how he sold his first short story here.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) poems “The Girl Who Became So Still” and “The God Hour” will be published in the New Rivers anthology Wild Gods: The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was honored to have her essay “Persistence Is the Thing with Fins” selected for inclusion in A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, which comes out this month from Littoral Books. A book launch party will be held on Sunday, December 8th, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Space Gallery in Portland, Maine. Also, Andrea was also thrilled that her short story “The Quilt” was short-listed for the Peaceful Dumpling Environmental Writing Prize.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ‘06) has recent essays published in Ms Magazine“No More Coat Hangers”—and Lilith Magazine“When Life Imitates Your Own Art.”

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) short-fiction pieces “Avoidance,” “Meaning As Use,” and “Sola Fide” (the last of which was originally published in Able Muse, summer 2016) will be featured in Pleasure Boat Studio’s first biannual zine this December. Additionally, John will read “Sola Fide” at a Soul Food Coffee House event this December 19th.

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) is elated to announce that her live-action/animated film Rialia (2019) is an official selection at the National Screen Institute of Canada’s Online Short Film Festival and was their weekly featured film. Her short film The Bakebook (2017) will also be screening in Italy at the CineCiok Festival.

Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) had his novel, Soon the Light Will be Perfect, recently reviewed in The Portland Press Herald. The reviewer noted that the novel is “a beautiful exploration of what it means to come of age in difficult circumstances.”

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) was selected to participate in the third annual Poets and Artists in Dialogue at The Grosse Pointe Congregational Church in Michigan. Two of Linda’s poems are published with accompanying art in the full-color book. The reading is January 9th, 2020.

Mary Katherine Spain (Fiction, S’16) has been awarded semi-finalist status in the Machigonne Fiction Contest sponsored by The New Guard Literary Review. Her short story “Collision” will be published in Volume IX of The New Guard Literary Review in 2020.

An anthology of poems and essays on the climate threat by Maine Writers, A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, edited by Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’13) and Meghan Sterling, has been published by Littoral Books and can be purchased online here—or at the publication party at Space Gallery on December 8th in Portland. All Stonecoasters and their friends are invited! Also, The Portland Phoenix recently published an article about the anthology.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W’19) short story “Earth, Speak” will be published this December in Shenandoah‘s winter issue; the editors of Shenandoah have also nominated the story for a Pushcart.

Allister Timms (Popular Fiction, ‘13) has published his novel The Killing Moon with PS Publishing, the UK’s foremost specialist genre publisher of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The artwork for the novel is by Italian artist Daniele Serra, winner of the 2017 British Fantasy Award for Best Artist. The Washington Post has included The Killing Moon in its “Best Horror Fiction of the Year.” Allister Timms is from Wales and now lives in Belfast, Maine, and teaches Literature at Husson University in Bangor. Allister can be found at https://allistertimms16.wixsite.com/home

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