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Life of a Writer: Early Spring Edition



Theresa Anne Carey’s (SW) creative thesis screenplay, MESTENGO, was a Semi-Finalist in Sundance Table Read My Screenplay in Park City, Utah, and is a Finalist in the Beaufort International Film Festival 2020.

Elizabeth Felicetti (CNF) is the new book reviews editor for Episcopal Cafe. Latest review is here:

Jasmine Lomax (P) has had her poem “SO I HAD A MOUSE PROBLEM, RIGHT” accepted to the Sante Fe Literary Review for Fall of 2020 (a celebratory reception will be held in Sante Fe this October for any nearby Spalding friends interested in joining the party!) Jasmine has also been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes; nominations include her poem “Negative Space,” as featured in Peach Velvet Mag, and “Elegy for the Black Man Who Survived a Police Encounter Today,” as featured in Collective Unrest. Visit her portfolio at or her blog,, for her yet-to-be-published work.

Joy Neighbor’s (PW) 10 minute radio play All I Got has been accepted for the March performance of The Whiskey Radio Hour in Chicago. She will be directing and performing in it. ((Happy Dance!!))

Dana VanderLugt (W4CYA) was featured as a guest writer on The Twelve blog at the end of November. In an essay titled “What is Left Behind” she reflects on her current research and writing project, which is a YA novel-in-verse inspired by the story of German World War II POWs who were interned on what would later become her family apple orchard. You can find Dana on Twitter @danavanderlugt and Instagram @dana_vanderlugt. Check out Dana’s website,


Alicia Anthony (F ’16) released her debut novel, Inherent Truth (Drury Lane Books), on January 14. A gripping psychological thriller about the cost of truth and the price we pay for love, it is the first in a new series, much of it penned while Alicia was a student in the program. A Golden Claddagh Award finalist, Inherent Truth is now available in both ebook and paperback at your favorite online retailer.

Catherine Berresheim (CNF ’13) was a presenter at the University of Arizona’s Conference on Writing and Well-Being, January 9-12. Cathy conducted a workshop titled “Writing for Their Lives: Lessons Learned on Death Row.” The first part of the presentation covered the common genres, themes, and motifs of prison literature. The second portion explored the unique lessons learned from these writers who have been locked up for decades. Participants learned how this writers’ group fosters a sense of community engagement that creates meaningful relationships and inspires positive emotions in an otherwise oppressive and punitive environment.

Nancy Chen Long (P ’13) is over the moon that her second manuscript, Wider than the Sky, was selected for the Diode Editions Book Award. She is also delighted to report that four poems from Wider than the Sky were recently published: “Wordlust” and “Learning to Barter with God the Way My Mother Barters With the Fishmonger Over Yesterday’s Spoils” in the Issue 26 of Smartish Pace, “Return to Terra Firma” in the Fall 2019 issue of Menacing Hedge, and “Dolce Domum” in the Indianapolis Review. In addition, two poems from “Tell Me What You See,” her poetic sequence based on the Rorschach inkblot test, appeared in the Indianapolis Review: “1-Mothra” and “2-Mirror, Mirror.”

Drema Drudge (F ’13) is delighted to announce the upcoming release of her debut novel, Victorine, by Fleur-de-Lis Press on March 17, 2020.

Barry Drudge (F ’18) performed in late February in the opera “The Invention of Morel,” composed by Stewart Copeland, the former drummer and co-founder of the band The Police. The opera is based on a 1940s science fiction novel by Argentinian author Adolfo Bioy Casares.

Carolyn Flynn (F/CNF ’12) celebrated the recent publication of a novel excerpt from I Don’t Remember It That Way on The Petigru Review. She says she is writing the novel because she is fascinated with selective forgetting—of ourselves, our shared past and our collective history, as families and as a country. Apparently, 2019 is the year of novel excerpts being published, because in February 2019, the first chapter of Searching for Persephone was published on The Write Launch. Recently, Flynn’s Ireland Writing Retreat along the Wild Atlantic Way was featured on The Write Life’s “45 Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend in 2020. She’s been obsessed with Ireland since a 2018 trek with the poet David Whyte. Find her at

Barry George, P ’09, won the 2019 Nagoya City Board of Education Haiku Award, judged by Koko Kato, editor of the Japanese haiku journal Ko. His winning haiku is “even the small shells/ cast long shadows/ winter beach.” He also received Honorable Mention in the 2019 Harold Henderson contest, the annual competition sponsored by the Haiku Society of America. An interview with Barry on the tenth anniversary of his Wrecking Ball and Other Urban Haiku is featured in the Accents Publishing Blog.

Karen George (F ’09) had poems published in Charge Magazine, Unlost, a Journal of Found Poetry & Art, Unlost Journal, and Thimble Literary Magazine, as well as a short story in The Louisville Review.

Bobby Harris (F ’17) has a short story, “The End of Things,” published in the February 2020 issue of Teleport Magazine.

Lennie Hay (P ’19) recently had a poem, “My Father’s Loaves and Fishes,” accepted for publication in the Bryant Literary Review’s 2020 edition. Lennie also had two poems, “The Whole World Is Watching” and “The Certainty of Hard Chairs,” published this past summer in The Boom Project, Voices of a Generation, an anthology edited by two Spalding alumni, Kimberly Crum (CNF ’03) and Bonnie Johnson (F ’04).

Lynn Hoffman’s (SW and W4CYA ’15) full-length play, Three Mothers, has been selected for a reading on April 26 at The Depot for New Play Readings as part of its 2020 season. She sends a special “thank you” both to Jeffrey Fischer-Smith “for making me aware of this opportunity and to my Spalding mentors (Kira, Charlie, Sam, and Gabriel) and peers for their thoughtful feedback in response to this piece.” Also, Lynn is the recipient of a 2020 CT Artist Fellowship Grant in playwriting. Special thanks to Kira Obolensky for offering Dramashop in Fall 2014, which was the beginning of Lynn’s playwriting journey at Spalding.

Alice Jennings (P ’14) is pleased to announce that her poem “Returning to America Upon the Queen Mary (Last Rites, 1947)” will be published by Harbinger Asylum in its 2020 Winter edition on JFK. In addition, the ORIGAMI POEMS PROJECT recently published her micro-chapbook Poems of Short Things online. Print your own copy and have fun folding your book at ORIGAMI POEMS PROJECT.

Rosanna Staffa (F ’13) will have her CNF piece “Lucretius” published in the next issue of Blood Orange Review, and her story “The Words to Say It” will be included in Volume 22 of JuxtaProse.

Amy Watkins’s (P ’06) third chapbook, Wolf Daughter, was released in January by Sundress Publications. It is about parenting a teen-aged girl at this moment in American history, only the girl in this story has turned into a wolf. Follow Amy on Facebook and on Twitter: @amykwatkins


Brian Corrigan, left, and Kareem Badr in “Heartland.” [Photo by Jody Christopherson]

Gabriel Jason Dean’s (PW/SW Faculty) play, HEARTLAND, was named one of the top 12 productions of 2019 by

Leah Henderson’s (W4CYA Faculty) new book, The Magic In Changing Your Stars, has an upcoming release date of April 7. Featuring an all-African-American cast of characters, and infused with references to black culture and history, this work of magical realism is sure to captivate and inspire readers.

Lesléa Newman (W4CYA faculty) has received the 2019 Sydney Taylor Silver Medal for Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story, awarded by the Association of Jewish Libraries. She has also received the Sydney Taylor Body of Work Award, a lifetime achievement award. Gittel’s Journey also received the 2020 National Jewish Book Award, given by the Jewish Book Council. In addition, Leseléa penned an essay on being invited and then “uninvited” to speak about Gittel’s Journey because of…..well, read on to find out why: (also reprinted in our weekly blog). You can follow Lesléa on Facebook and on Twitter: @lesleanewman.

Katy Yocom’s novel Three Ways to Disappear has been named a semifinalist in the Screencraft Cinematic Book competition. Her upcoming book tour schedule includes the following stops:

  1. March 5, San Antonio, Texas: Spalding off-site reading and reunion (Come on out if you’ll be at AWP!)

  2. March 10, Ames, Iowa: Pearl Hogrefe Distinguished Visiting Writer series, Iowa State University

  3. March 11, Cedar Falls, Iowa: University of Northern Iowa

  4. March 12, Atchison, Kansas: Atchison Public Library (Katy’s hometown!)

  5. March 16, Lawrence, Kansas: TBA

  6. March 19-21, Chattanooga, Tenn.: Meacham Writers’ Workshop


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