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Life of a Writer

life of a writer News &Events



Theresa Anne Carey’s (SW) first-semester screenplay, THE LADY PIRATES, recently won the Best Feature Drama Screenwriting Award in the FilmDaily (UK) Screenwriting Competition.  In addition, The Lady Pirates is an Award-Winner in the prestigious London Film Awards, a Semi-Finalist in the Wayward FilmFest Screenwriting Competition, and an Official Selection in the Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival.


Darcy Cleaver’s (P/PW) play Circe and Ulysses will debut at Louisville’s Commonwealth Theatre with nine performances in early March. Darcy is eager to return to the Spalding residency this spring. You can follow her on Twitter @FoxyCankles.

Lenora (Lennie) Hay (P) recently had two poems“How My Father Changed Northern Minnesota” and “Malignancy”  published in December issue of BEATS, a publication of the Naropa University MFA Program. The issue’s theme was “home.”  She was just notified that the Shanghai Literary Review will publish her poem, “Below the Surface,” in their next issue  subtitled “adrift.” “Below the Surface” was revised as part of Greg Pape’s Summer 2017 Workshop.  You can follow Lennie here.


Natalie Mucker’s (CNF) creative nonfiction essay, “Ensō,” was recently selected as a winner of New Millennium Writings’ “Monthly Musepaper” contest, the theme of which was “Beginnings & Endings.” It has been published online and will also appear in a special print anthology after the close of 2018. Natalie is a second-semester student who began in fiction and recently switched to creative nonfiction. This is her first publication and her first literary award.


Taylor Riley (CNF) was a storyteller for the Louisville Storyteller Project in December at the Louisville Courier-Journal, where she told an adaptation of her essay “Love and a Toolbox.”  You can see the video here.  She writes a weekly feature for the CJ called Home of the Week. You can read it here. Her essay, “Beauty v. Brains” was recently selected to appear in the 2018 Santa Fe Literary Journal. In January, the Spalding MFA program awarded her the George Getschow scholarship to attend the Mayborn Literary Conference in Grapevine, Texas, for the second year in a row. She is also the social media copywriter graduate assistant for the MFA program. In December, she was inducted into the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society at Spalding University.  She will read her essay, “Namaste or Something Like It,” which was workshopped at the Fall 2017 residency, at Rabbit House Books and Notions in Versailles in late February.


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Priscilla Atkins (P ’08) has a poem, “Audrey,” in After Hours #35, a Chicago publication. Her chapbook Drinking the Pink (Seven Kitchens Press) was published in 2017.

Brandi Bradley’s (F ’14) short story “Ruthanne” was published in Louisiana Literature in January. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State University and crafts tweets about her REDNECK KID @bebebradley via Twitter. The story is accessible on the author’s website,, where she also blogs about books and boots. Follow her @brandibradleysboots on Instagram.

Kellie Carle’s (F’16), flash fiction story, “Tyn” was published on FlashBack Fiction under her pen-name, K.B. Carle, along with an audio recording of her reading the piece. An interview regarding the creation of “Tyn” is also available. Follow her on Twitter @kbcarle or visit her website, follow her  at her story website or on Facebook.

Kellie Carle

Elizabeth Dalton’s (F ’16) creative nonfiction narrative “Finding Home” will be

published Nov. 30 in the literary magazine Hoosier Lit. This fall she began a new appointment as Assistant Professor of Honors Humanities at the Ball State University Honors College. Additionally, her creative nonfiction essay, “Ripe,” was published in the spring 2018 issue of Glassworks.  You can follow her on Facebook.

Ann Eskridge’s (PW/SW ’08) play, Last of Ken, was selected to receive a staged reading by the New Route Theatre in Partnership with the Black Actors League of Illinois State University for the “Black Voices Matter: a celebration of community, connections and creativity” new play festival for 2018. The play was presented on February 24 and 25. All performances received staged readings at The Chateau Hotel & Conference Center in Bloomington, Illinois.  Last of Ken is a comedy that revolves around an African-American man, unwilling to take chances and risks, wracked with fears and phobias, who is unable to face the reality of fatherhood. He represses these fears until forced to confront his life choices, when his dead relatives hold an intervention because he is embarrassing them. Last of Ken will be directed by Gina Røyal Cleveland. Last of Ken was Ann’s creative thesis.

Sandra Evans Falconer (P’05) was interviewed on December 6 by poet and playwright Grace Cavalieri for the Poet and the Poem radio series at The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Jeffrey Fischer Smith (PW ’17) and Julie Nichols’s (SW ’15) short film “Reservations” was

a selection in January at the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest in Polson, Montana; in February at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles; and at the Audience Awards 2018 Love Shorts Film Festival (online). The film is based on Jeffrey’s short play “Reservations,” which was written for his first Spalding residency. Jeffrey’s short play “A Dog Dreams” will be performed in March in Diez Minutos in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and at Longwood University Theatre’s Zero to Sixty Ten-Minute-Playwriting Festival in Farmville, Virginia. His full-length play (and thesis) “When the Son Is Shining” was a finalist for the 2018 Blue Ink Playwriting Award at American Blues Theatre in Chicago. In total there were 16 finalists (and one winner) selected from a pool of 606 submissions. “When the Son Is Shining” also had a public reading in December at The Word @ The Road Theatre in North Hollywood, California. More information about Jeffrey can be found on Facebook at

Karen George’s (F ’09) ekphrastic poem in response to Canadian artist Emily Carr’s painting Forest, British Columbia, 1931-2, was published in The Ekphrastic ReviewAdditionally, her found poem, “Eve Takes to the Air,” was published in Heron Tree.


Forest, British Columbia, by Emily Carr (Canada). 1931-1932.


Tara Goldstein (PW ’06) and her theatre company Gailey Road Productions has been invited to perform two plays at L Fest 2018 in Llandudno, Wales. Set between 1960 and 1986, Castor and Sylvie (written by Tara) is a story about the love and friendship between French philosopher, writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir (Castor) and her mid-life companion Sylvie Le Bon. The second play, Out at School, is a documentary theatre piece of about 40 minutes, based on interviews with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) families about their experiences in Ontario elementary and secondary schools. The piece contains 8 monologues, each of which is accompanied by a visual image created by artist benjamin lee hicks and an original song called “Pushing the Envelope” created by musician and songwriter Kate Reid from her engagement with the interviews and monologues.

Chris Helvey ‘s (F ’06) latest novel, Snapshot, has just been released by Livingston Press.


Leah Henderson’s (W4CYA/Fiction ’11) short story “Warning: Color May Fade” will be part of the YA Anthology Black Enough: Stories of Black Teenhood in America, published by Balzer + Bray/HaperCollins. The anthology will also include W4CYA faculty member Lamar Giles. Publication is set for winter 2019. Follow Leah on Twitter and at

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Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan’s (CNF ’03) book Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska

Mountain Corridor (Ember Press 2017) was reviewed by former Alaska Writer Laureate Nancy Lord for the Anchorage Daily News. In her review, Lord wrote, “The combination of broad-stroke information and intimate stories makes this a book for newcomers and old-time Alaskans alike.” In addition, Johnson-Sullivan’s book Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith (Ember Press 2012) is being produced for Alaska Public Media and PBS, with the film’s premiere scheduled for Fall 2018.

Marci Rae Johnson (P ’05) has poems forthcoming in Rhino and Main Street Rag. Her book reviews have appeared recently at Salon, Englewood Review, and The Cresset. She recently started working as a copy editor for Salon and will visit Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, in February to give a poetry reading and talk to classes about writing. She also works as a freelance editor in all genres. Visit Marci Rae at for more information.


KC Kirkley’s (F ’13) novella Ars Longa, Vita Brevis was published by The Paragon Journal in February and is available in paperback on Amazon. The novella is a part of the collection he wrote as his thesis while at Spalding.  Follow KC on and

Aimee Mackovic (P ’05) had a busy 2016 and 2017 with work appearing in Gravel: Trumped Up blog, a Prince tribute issue put out by Yellow Chair Review, and Shark Reef, among others. She was also shortlisted for the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her debut collection of poems, Love Junky, was released by Lit City Press in October 2017. Find her on Amazon, on Facebook at Aimee Mackovic, and on Twitter.

Michael Madden’s (F) short story “Midnight, the Stars, and You” was published in Issue 7 of Into the Void.


Mark Madigan (P ’17) has had several poems published recently: “Refuse,” a poem from his thesis, appeared in the November/December issue of The Broadkill Review, and “Helpless in Manila,” a poem workshopped during the Summer 2017 residency in Edinburgh, has appeared in the Mojave River Review.


Andrea Nasfell (SW ’15) is ramping up her attempt to be the most prolific Christmas movie writer ever. She just returned from the sets of two Christmas movies being shot for release in 2018 — Bethlehem Ranch (shot near Bowling Green, Kentucky) and Every Other Holiday (shot in Nashville). More details about the release of each when they are announced!

Scott O’Connor’s (F ’16) new book of stories A Perfect Universe was released on

February 13. (He worked on many of the stories while at Spalding.) In a starred review, Booklist wrote, “The ten stories gathered here are remarkable… With the popularity of short story collections on the rise, O’Connor’s addition to the ranks stands out and shines.”  Follow Scott at, on Twitter, and Facebook.

Mary Popham (F ’03) presented her program “Writing Your Life Story” to the Louisville Genealogical Society in January and to the Piankeshaw Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in September. She was a panelist on “Living the Writing Life: What Sena Taught Us” at the SenaFest in November; had her review of Overturned in The Louisville Review’s Fall 2017 issue; had an interview, “Everyone Has a Story to Share,” in Today’s Transitions’ Fall issue; had an interview and discussion of her short story collection, Love is a Fireplace, with the Metro Book Club in Louisville in August; did a reading from the book at City Hall during the Fairfield Homecoming in June; and presented a reading from the book as the program for the Woman’s Club of Louisville in June.

Deborah Reed Downing (F ’03), a faculty member of the English Dept. at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, received the Betty Gabehart Award for first prize in fiction from the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. Her short story “Fish and Wildlife” was published in the Fall 2017 issue of Appalachian Heritage Journal.  

Nicholas Siegel’s (F ’13) story “The Locus” was recently published in The Molotov Cocktail: Prize Winners Anthology Volume 3.  Additionally, his story “Cold Reading “was accepted for publication in the 2018 issue of Palooka.

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Kathleen Thompson (F ’03) participated in an author reading and book signing with two other Alabama writers at the Autauga-Prattville Public Library on February 20. She read from her latest prose/poetry chapbook, Time & Distance.  Find Kathleen at on Twitter, at  and at her blog.

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Amy Watkins (P ’06) was a top ten finalist for the first ever City of Orlando Poet Laureate program.  Follow Amy at

and Twitter: @amykwatkins

LOAW photo Troy Wilderson

Troy (T. E.) Wilderson’s (F ’17) short story, “The End of the Route,” will be published by the Notre Dame Review in July in their Summer Issue No. 46. Troy’s story will be included in her work-in-progress short story collection Telling Stories. Her full credits can be viewed on her website: She is @MizGolightly on Twitter.


Heather Wyatt, (P ’09)  would like to announce that her creative nonfiction manuscript, My Life Without Ranch, will be released by 50/50 Press in Fall/Winter 2018. Her debut title tackles the relationship that many have with food and the dangers in which people evaluate success and failure when it comes to the love they have for themselves and their bodies. Follow Heather @mylifewoutranch, @heathermwyatt, and


Dianne Aprile (CNF Faculty) was the featured presenter at the Our Lady of Lourdes


First Communion

Legacy Dinner in Louisville on Feb 10, a fundraiser for the Louisville parochial school where she first learned the pleasures and challenges of writing. Dianne wrote about her first day at this school in her book, The Things We Don’t Forget. She read one of her essays and spoke on some of the early classroom influences that led her to a writing career. Dianne is a participant in an ongoing volunteer rug-making project, sponsored by Refugee Welcome Mats. The Seattle-based organization grew out of a belief that we must do more to counteract the lack of acceptance of newcomers to the US. Each welcome mat is delivered to newly resettled refugee families in Washington state. Find out more at

Susan Campbell Bartoletti (W4CYA Faculty) signed with the children’s booking agency The Author’s Village.


Debra Kang Dean’s (P Faculty) poems, “Rearing” and “Out of Bo(u)nds,” will appear in the forthcoming issue of Moon City Review, which will be available at AWP in Tampa.  “Summer’s Skies,” “They Blaze    Brown,” and “Black     Winter,” three renku written with Robin Lippincott, are forthcoming online in Diode Poetry Journal’s 11th anniversary issue in March.  “You Don’t Say” and “Whole Cloth” are forthcoming online in April on the CDC Poetry Project page.

Lesléa Newman (W4CYA Faculty) is pleased to announce that her short story, “A Letter to Harvey Milk” has been adapted as a musical (with 18 original songs) and is having its off-Broadway debut! The show will run from March 6th through May 13th. The show focuses on Harvey Weinberg, a 77-year-old widower and Holocaust survivor, who takes a creative writing class at his local senior center. When he writes a letter to Harvey Milk as an assignment, his teacher, a Jewish lesbian, opens up to him and both their lives change in unexpected ways. More information can be found here:

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Elaine Orr

In connection with her new novel’s launch (Swimming Between Worlds, April, BerkleyPenguinRandomHouse), Elaine Neil Orr (CNF/F Faculty) gave a Eureka talk in Atlanta on February 20  at the spring meeting of the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Association. Her topic was “What Books and Other Objects Tell.”  . Find Elaine on Facebook at Elaine Neil Orr author and Twitter at @elaineilorr. Swimming Between Worlds “A perceptive and powerful story told with generosity and grace.” Charles Frazier

Robin Lippincott

ROBIN LIPPINCOTT (F/CNF Faculty) is thrilled to report that three renku he wrote with Debra Kang Dean have been accepted by and will appear in the March issue of Diode Poetry Journal. Writing these renku was a lifeline that Debra threw out to Robin during a difficult time, for which he is profoundly grateful.

Rebecca Walker (CNF Faculty) is a writer for One Mississippi, the Amazon TV series starring Tig Notaro. The show was promoted as “For Your Consideration” for Emmy nominations in the Comedy Series and Episodic Comedy categories. Walker was mentioned in a Vanity Fair article, “Tig Notaro’s Second Act Is One You Should Be Watching,” by Yohana Desta, published September 1.


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