Life of a Writer: Fall Edition

EXCITING NEWS & UPDATES FROM SPALDING SCHOOL OF WRITING STUDENTS, ALUMNI, FACULTY & STAFF—ENJOY!



STUDENTS


Theresa Anne Carey’s (SW) screenplay, Swine Heart, polished under mentors Charlie Schulman and Larry Brenner, is a semifinalist in Table Read My Screenplay Austin, a quarterfinalist in ISA Horror Screenplay Competition, and a Top-25 finalist in NOLA Horror Film Festival. Her creative thesis screenplay, Mestengo, is a finalist in the Lake Charles Film Festival, and she recently participated in Stowe Story Sidewalk Narrative Lab in Birmingham, Alabama (virtually) with Mestengo.





Elana Gartner (PW) was accepted to participate in the Kennedy Center's Playwriting Intensive in October.






Andra Laine Hunter (PW), who will graduate in November, announces that her play Frankenstein/Monster has been accepted for publication by Next Stage Press, where it will join her holiday play Nutcracker: Krakatuk, which came out in August. Frankenstein/Monster, to be released Nov. 1, asks questions about the responsibility of a creator toward his creation, demanding that Victor ultimately take responsibility for his nameless monster and the havoc he wreaks on Victor’s friends and family. Elevating Elizabeth’s role to Victor’s equal provides a feminist perspective, and a chorus of angelic children guide the audience through the tragedy and tumult of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece.



First-semester creative nonfiction student John Mark Jennings announces the publication of his essay “A Verdant Voice in the Night” in the LUSH issue (Fall 2021) of Moonflake Press. In addition, his essay “Big Bend Moonrise” has been selected for publication in the Fall 2021 issue of Remington Review. John Mark is a writer and photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Contact him on Facebook @johnmarkjenningsphotographer and at www.johnmarkjennings.com



Quincy Gray McMichael, a third-semester creative nonfiction student, is grateful to announce the publication of two essays in the Greenbrier Valley Quarterly. “Try Martin & Jones,” which was published in the Spring 2021 issue, characterizes an iconic local hardware store and the man who keeps it going. “Music Heals,” which is featured in the magazine’s current Summer issue and is not yet available online, profiles one recovering addict alongside the story of Healing Appalachia, a concert created to help Appalachian people find recovery from addiction. See more of Quincy’s creative work at @vernal_vibe_rise and vernalviberise.com.


Suzanne Craig Robertson (F) was recently awarded second place in the creative nonfiction manuscript competition at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, presented by the Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. He Called Me Sister: Finding Family on Death Row recounts the life of Cecil Johnson and the 15-year relationship Suzanne and her family had with him, their friendship a mirror of society’s racial and privilege disparities. Using Johnson’s own poetry-filled memoir, news accounts, interviews and personal stories, the work casts doubt on whether Tennessee executed the right person. Earlier in the month, Suzanne also was recognized with two awards from the National Association of Bar Executives’ Communications Section (NABEComm) in the categories of Authored Articles (for “Stress, Law & Happiness”) and Excellence in Regular Publications, for the Tennessee Bar Journal, a print and online statewide legal magazine, of which she is editor.



ALUMNI



Stephen Brown’s new book, Stealing Renoir: A Mystery Thriller Where Art, Crime & History Converge, was released Sept. 15. Stephen (F ’17) gave a presentation on September 30 at the South Central Regional Library in Louisville.






Roy Burkhead (F ’04) was featured in the October 3 issue of The Tennessean, Nashville’s daily newspaper. Titled “Bombings in Belgium inspire Mt. Juliet man to look for his pen pal,” [subscription required] the feature story recaps Roy’s efforts to reconnect with his Flemish pen pal after a 25-year gap in communication.




Drema Drudge’s (F ’13) novel, Victorine, has been longlisted for the 2021 GOETHE Book Awards for Post-1750s Historical Fiction. She wrote and workshopped her novel

during her time at Spalding and is grateful to all her mentors and fellow workshop mates who gave her advice and encouragement. Victorine is a novel about the iconic model of Manet’s Olympia turned painter, virtually forgotten by history, until now. Sign up for Drema’s newsletter, Artful Fiction, at: www.dremadrudge.com and listen to her podcast, “Writing All the Things.”



Elizabeth Felicetti (CNF ’20) has signed with Eerdmans for her first book, working title, Blessed are the Barren: The Fruits of Infertility. Find Elizabeth on Twitter @bizfel, Facebook at Elizabeth Felicetti: Writer | Facebook, Substack, or at elizabethfelicetti.com.





Brittany Fonte (F ’07) and her screenwriting partner, Dr. Aviva Dove-Viebahn, have had their screenplay, Most Likely to Conceive, chosen as an official selection for LA Femme International Film Festival. This is their fourth feature film script and their eighth official selection for a film festival. Their third script, Love Hurts, will be out in select theaters and streaming platforms February 14, 2022.


Karen George (F ’09) was a finalist in The Women Artists Ekphrastic Contest held by The Ekphrastic Review. She had poems published in I-70 Review, four poems published in Writing in a Woman’s Voice: “The Call by Remedios Varo, 1961; Fledgling”; “Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns and Hummingbird, 1940”; and “Georgia O'Keeffe’s It Was Red and Pink, 1959”; poems in Verse-Virtual; and Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women. Her flash fiction piece appears in Persimmon Tree. Her third poetry collection, Where Wind Tastes Like Pears, was released in August and is available at Dos Madres Press. Karen was a featured reader in September at Poetry Night at Sitwell’s and Wednesday Night Poetry.




Robert X. Golphin (SW ’13) is a quarterfinalist in the 2022 WeScreenplay TV Pilot Screenwriting Competition for his half-hour drama, DERMIS.




Effective January 3, 2022, Rob Kaiser (CNF ’10) will join the Western Kentucky University faculty, full-time, as a journalism professor in the School of Media.



Editor-in-chief at Salon.com Erin Keane (P ’04), owner of Shape & Flow Writing Studio Kimberly Crum (CNF ’03), and Bonnie Omer Johnson (F ’04)—along with Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour—were selected from a field of more than 900 applicants as presenters for #AWP22 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on March 23-26, 2022. The topic for their panel is “How to Publish a Literary Anthology.”





Alice Jennings (P ’14) is pleased to announce the publication of her third chapbook of poetry, Quilling Will, by Assure Press. One hundred percent of net proceeds will be donated to Afghan Refugee Aid.






Mark Madigan (P ’17) has had several acceptances this year. A poem, “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” appeared in Issue 18 of Panoply, and a short nonfiction article about collecting “Pub Ashtrays” appeared in the Sep/Oct 2021 issue of Beer Cans & Brewery Collectibles. Another poem, “Crushable,” is scheduled to appear in Vol. 35 of The Northern Virginia Review.




Diana McQuady’s (F ’14) short story, “Plan B,” appeared in the October 2021 issue of The Write Launch.




Andrea Nasfell (SW ’15) is a new adjunct faculty member in the USC School of Cinema and Television, teaching Feature Film Screenwriting to the production MFA students. (She would like to thank Jody Lisberger and the teaching seminar for all the application prep work she made us do, which was absolutely used!) She also has a new TV movie, The Vows We Keep, airing on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries this October.




Joy Neighbors’ (PW ’20) first ten-minute play, All I Got, will be performed this fall in Chicago, in-person before a live audience, and aired on the Whiskey Radio Hour. Joy has also accepted the position as editor of the Indiana Genealogical Society’s Quarterly Journal. Contact her at Quarterly@InGenSoc.org if you have articles or material relating to Indiana ancestors and Hoosier genealogy.


Bob Sachs (F ’09) is the winner of the 2021 Tiferet Journal Writing Contest in Fiction. The winning story, “Old Times,” is about a group of 80-year-old high school friends who get together in Chicago for a reunion, during which several aspects of the protagonist’s life are challenged. The story—his 46th published since graduation—will be published in the Winter edition of the Journal. Bob gives many thanks to Murzban F. Shroff, the final judge of the contest. See more about him and the runners up and finalists. In other news, the current issue of Waxing & Waning, a literary journal, contains Bob’s story, “My Birthday Celebration.” Read the story on his website at www.roberthsachs.com.


Mervyn Seivwright (P ’19), in this late-summer-to-autumn season, had six poems published in five publications. These publications are I-70 Review Literary Magazine, African American Review, and Allium, A Journal of Poetry & Prose in America, as well as Black Sunflower Poetry Press and Cry of the Poor 2021 Anthology, Culture Matters Ltd in England. Connect with Mervyn on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at https://www.clippings.me/mervynseivwright.




Heidi Taylor (P ’20) recently received credit for her graphic artwork in “Doomsday Defender,” the third action-packed title from Cronosoft for Mattel Aquarius by Dr. Roy Templeman. The release date is to be announced, but other Aquarius games are available.




Troy (T. E.) Wilderson (F ’17) has a forthcoming short story, “Telling Stories,” which will appear in the Fall 2021 issue of The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought. A 2019 McKnight Writing Fellow, T. E. has recently completed a short story collection, God Willing, and the Creek Don’t Rise. She is @MizGolightly on Twitter.





FACULTY & STAFF


Kathleen Driskell’s essay, “Keats in Your Time of Pandemic,” which first appeared in Appalachian Review in the summer of 2020, and which was awarded the Denny C. Plattner Award, was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2021. With Katy Yocom, she has co-edited a new anthology of essays from the MFA faculty blog, Creativity & Compassion: Spalding Writers Celebrate Twenty Years, to be released November 16. On September 22, she served as a panelist on “Publish or Perish: A Panel Discussion on the Quandaries of Open Access and ETDs,” a panel at the annual USETDA 2021 national conference. She presented AWP policy that states MFA theses should never be openly accessible online or otherwise, in order to protect MFA students’ copyrights. In early November, she’s headed to Philadelphia to lead the fall regular meeting of the Board of Directors of AWP to discuss the annual conference, which will take place in person in Philadelphia, March 23-26, 2022. AWP Conference early-bird registration opens in October.


Karen Mann, Administrative Director, recently took a class with Jennifer Mattox at the Lexington Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, “How to Write a Novel in 30 Days in Preparation for NaNoWriMo.” Karen has recently read the latest novels by three of the School of Writing’s faculty: Wiley Cash’s When Ghosts Come Home, Angela Jackson-Brown’s When Stars Rain Down, and Eleanor Morse’s Margreete’s Harbor. She hopes all of you will read them too!


Nancy McCabe’s essay “Crimes Against Property” appeared in Another Chicago Magazine.


Katy Yocom and Kathleen Driskell have co-edited a new anthology of essays from the MFA faculty blog, Creativity & Compassion: Spalding Writers Celebrate Twenty Years, to be released November 16. All proceeds support scholarships for School of Writing students. Katy recently resumed doing book-related appearances, her first since the pandemic shutdown began. She appeared in September at the Kansas Book Festival in “Fierce Attachments: Mothers and Daughters,” a panel with novelist Becky Mandelbaum and moderator Laura Moriarty. She served as Spectrum Series visiting writer at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, in Bradford, Pennsylvania, as the guest of Nancy McCabe, who directs the creative writing program there. In October, she visited a branch of the Louisville Free Public Library to speak with the book discussion group about her novel, Three Ways to Disappear. She also read as part of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga reading series with Andrew Najberg (P ’10).