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Life of a Writer: Spring Edition



Theresa Carey’s (SW) creative thesis screenplay Mestengo (written under the tutelage of mentor Sam Zalutsky and polished under mentor Larry Brenner) is on a roll these days! Mestengo has been selected by Stowe Story Labs for their 2021 Sidewalk Narrative Story Lab, and also won the prestigious Gold Remi Award for Screenwriting/Family Adventure Category, from WorldFest Houston, the oldest independent film festival in the country (where the likes of Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee got their starts). Mestengo is also a Quarterfinalist in Sedona International Film Festival (winners announced late May), and in the running for best screenplay at the American Screenwriting Conference. Additionally, her screenplay Swine Heart (polished with

mentors Larry Brenner and Charlie Schulman) is a Quarterfinalist in BlueCat Screenwriting Competition, a Finalist in the Irvine International Film Festival Screenwriting Competition, a Semifinalist in Filmmatic’s Horror Screenwriting Competition, a winner at the Horror Independent Film Festival, as well as an Official Selection in the Oregon Scream Week Horror Festival and the Chicago Indie Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.

Elana Gartner’s (PW) play Runtime Error (a semi-finalist for the 2021 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference) received its world premiere reading virtually through Transformation Theatre, Inc. on May 11.

Synopsis: Tal is trying to get a competitive internship when he approaches his college advisor and mentor for an introduction to the company. The famous Professor Carson is all too willing to make the introduction but for a terrible price. While hiding his experiences from everyone in his life, Tal tries to figure out what he could have done differently. A play inspired by the #MeToo movement and the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Runtime Error explores similar themes for men and how they cope or don’t. Tickets available at Transformation Theatre, Inc.

Playwright Andra Laine Hunter (PW) has been busy! Her play The Abbey of the Holy Lonesome was included in Imprint Theatreworks’ First Impressions Festival on March 26.

Her play Perseids was performed as part of the Women & Science Theatre Festival with Central Square Theatre in April. And her play Zoomy Desert (working title) will be included in the ScriptWorks Out of Ink Festival in May. She is also proud to be included in the pilot group of playwrights in the Open House program through One House Theatre.


Lynda A. Archer (F ’05) is delighted to have her first nonfiction essay, “This Year I Need Good Cheer,” published in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, First Person Essay, March 8, 2021.

April J. Asbury’s (F ’11) first poetry chapbook, Woman with Crows, is now available for preorder from Finishing Line Press. Additional poems will appear in the new edition of Artemis Journal and the Virginia volume of The Southern Poetry Anthology by Texas Review Press, and her poem “Off the Path” placed second in a contest sponsored by poetry Society of Virginia. Her short story, “Witnesses,” will appear in the upcoming edition of Floyd County Moonshine.

Holly Baldwin Beck’s (PW/SW ’20) TV pilot In Eden is a Top 100 Semifinalist/Drama Category in the Table Read My Screenplay Genre Competition, 2021. She was also selected to give two presentations at the National WIC Association 2021 Annual Conference.

Larry Brenner (SW ’10) and Andie Redwine (SW ’20) are excited to announce the launch of their new podcast Once Upon a Disney, an educational yet whimsical look at narrative Disney features from the 20th century. Each week, the duo breaks down a Disney film with an eye to structure, characterization, and a highlighted literary device. Special writer guests choose their favorite movie to tackle and add their own spice to the conversation. You can find this new podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Jessica Evans’ (F ’15) recent chap, Phantom Griefs and Kitchen Magic, which explores intergenerational trauma focusing on a family in Appalachia, has been selected for publication by Shanti Arts Press. She read with FBomb NY on May 7 to promote the book.

Catt Foy (F ’13) lost her husband of 27 years on March 12, 2021. Richard Martin Haskell (Rick) had attended one of the low-residency sessions with Catt in the spring of 2012 for her graduation ceremony.

He died after a five-year battle with breast cancer. On a lighter note, Catt published her first novel Bartleby: A Scrivener’s Tale in 2019 on Amazon. Reviews are welcome.

Tiffany Golden (W4CYA ’20) has been signed with Christa Heschke of McIntosh and Otis, and her picture book I Want to Be Big! is being published by Page Street Kids in winter 2023.

Lynn Hoffman (SW & W4CYA ’15) In April, Lynn's Three Mothers received a Zoom reading by the Depot for New Play Readings. In May, The Caravan Theatre Company will give a Zoom reading of Lynn’s newest play, Martha and Me.

Michael Jackman (P ’12) had three poems published in the North Meridian Review.

Angela Jackson-Brown (F ’09) was recently awarded the 2021 Alabama Library Association Alabama Authors Award – Poetry. The award and an honorarium were given to Angela during a virtual event in April. On April 13, Angela’s novel When Stars Rain Down was released. When Stars Rain Down has appeared on many “Best of” lists including Buzzfeed and Parade Magazine. It recently received a starred review in Library Journal.

Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan’s (CNF ’03) book, Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith (Ember Press 2012) was made into a documentary that is now available on PBS for streaming. You can watch it free of charge. Kaylene had a poem and video accepted for publication in Alaska’s 49 Writers Broadside Invitational. The short film aired throughout the month of April at the Anchorage Public Library in honor of National Poetry Month. In addition, three of Kaylene’s poems were recently read on the Wild Moon Rose radio hour for the local PBS affiliate in South Bend, Indiana (WVPE FM). The program is produced by Spalding alum George Schricker.

Mary Knight (WFCYA ’13) recently completed a 7-year project, co-authoring the upcoming NCTE professional development book for teachers: CoreEmpathy: Literacy Instruction with a Greater Purpose. Due to be published this May, the book presents an approach to teaching reading and writing that simultaneously cultivates empathy in the classroom as it develops literacy skills. Although its focus is on grades K-6, the story-based approach benefits student writers of any age while inspiring teachers to live their greater purpose. The idea for CoreEmpathy began at Spalding when Mary gave her graduate lecture on “The Power of Empathy in Young Adult Literature and How to Evoke It.” Since then she has greatly deepened her understanding of the role empathy plays in creating emotionally engaged writing—an understanding that she shares in writing seminars and as a writing mentor for the Carnegie Center’s Author Academy in her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.

Mary (right) and Christie (left)

The picture here is of Mary and her co-author Christie McLean Kesler, a literacy specialist and senior instructor at Western Washington University. They are pushing “SEND” on their completed manuscript to NCTE, a moment from two years ago. Both authors are delighted that CoreEmpathy is about to be born and are looking forward to sharing it with the educational world. For more information on CoreEmpathy or to inquire about teacher trainings, please feel free to contact Mary at

Jessica Love Kim’s (WFCYA ’16) latest novel, This Is For Tonight (published under the name Jessica Patrick), was released on May 4 by Swoon Reads/Macmillan. This YA novel follows up-and-coming YouTuber Andi over a life-changing weekend at a music festival,

where she deals with grief, college plans, identity, and her attraction to a rival influencer. Early versions of This Is for Tonight were workshopped at both the Prague/Berlin and Rome summer residencies. You can follow Jessica on instagram (, Twitter (, or her website (

Samantha Marchant (PW ’15) is participating in the Workshop Theater‘s Spring Intensive workshopping her script And the Four Last Things. She has two digital readings coming up in June: an excerpt from Stintz Milestrip Center for the Bechdel Group’s Shortlist Sundays on June 6 and “She Sells Sea-shells” for The Skeleton Rep(resents) Feast/Famine Salon on June 26.

Andrew Najberg’s (P ’10) book The Goats Have Taken Over the Barracks was released by Finishing Line Press in March. Individual poems appeared in In Parenthesis and HASH Journal, with another forthcoming in Stoneboat.

Aaron F. Roe’s (F ’13) debut novel was released on April 1. His novel follows Damian Kurt, a seventeen-year-old who has one goal: to write his father’s story and prove that he was a saint and to become a saint himself to be reunited with his father in heaven. Saints and Martyrs is a young man’s journey toward maturity—letting go, accepting Earthly life and finding the strength to begin a new life and love that brings healing and hope. Aaron teaches English and Communications at Bow Valley College. He lives with his family in Calgary, Alberta. Saints and Martyrs is his first novel.

Bob Sachs (F ’09): The pandemic saw Bob writing more and sending out stories to more literary magazines. In the last 13 months, he’s had 17 short stories published. You can read more about Bob at his website

Mervyn Seivwright (P ’19) started the New Year published in Volume 10 of The American Journal of Poetry. From late February to March, his work was published in Auroras & Blossoms Creative Literary Journal and in The Fourth River Literary Journal.

Mervyn ended early spring by being a Finalist to the University of Montana's Cutbank 2021 Genre Contest for Poetry and received an “Honorable Mention” at the 31st Israel Voices 2020 Reuben Rose Poetry International Competition along with reading at their virtual ceremony out of Israel.

Jessica Shrout’s (W4C ’13) marketing and writing work received honors at the Woman’s Press Club of Indiana 2021 Professional Communications Contest. The 12 samples awarded included six First Place, four Second Place, one Third Place, and one Honorable Mention award. The First Place pieces will go on to compete at the national level and those results will be announced in June. In the meantime, Jessica is ghostwriting a monthly newspaper column for a client and awaiting publication of another ghostwritten article in a nationally published magazine for a client out of Quebec. She’s also edited a book, School Leadership: Learner-Centered Leadership in Times of Crisis, for a client that was published this January.

Rosanna Staffa’s ( F ’14) novel The War Ends at Four will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2023. Most recently, her story Animal with Wings was selected to be included in the Best Short Fiction 2021.

Skye Wallin (SW ’15) recently premiered his debut feature documentary, American Gadfly, with the Ashland Independent Film Festival. American Gadfly is a winner! With a

95% positive rating, Gadfly won the 2021 Audience Award. The film follows a group of tech-savvy teenagers who draft 89-year-old Senator Mike Gravel to run in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. Following Ashland, American Gadfly will screen in person (May 28-29) and virtually (May 31-June 6) at Telluride MountainFilm Festival. If you are interested in attending (this one or future screenings), please sign up for their newsletter for ticketing information and updates at Skye was recently interviewed about the film on HillTV.


Beth Ann Bauman (W4CYA) participated in SCBWI Montana at their virtual spring conference in April called Bloom! at which regional advisor Precious McKenzie (’20) moderated a YA roundtable discussion with Stacie Ramey (’18), Steven dos Santos (’18), and Beth.

Karen Mann, Administrative Director, is currently taking a Science Fiction and Fantasy class through the Carnegie Center in Lexington with Brittany Jackson. She recently took a one-day class, also through the Carnegie Center, with alum Claudia Love Mair called “Writing Diversity Right.” Karen started a book club with a friend a year ago, and this month’s read is The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate it into English. Karen highly recommends this version.

Lesléa Newman (faculty, W4CYA) was featured twice on Lilith Magazine’s blog, “When Poetry Held Me Together” and “An Unexpected Expected Death”.

Jeremy Paden (literary translation) has recently published English-to-Spanish translations of poems by Ada Limón in the Chilean poetry journal Revista Altazor. His own Spanish-language poems have recently been featured in Vislumbre, a new literary journal from Mexico. His full-length manuscript of English-language poems world as sacred burning heart has just been published by 3: A Taos Press. And Under the Ocelot Sun/Bajo el sol de ocelote, a bilingual picture book about migrant caravans published in 2020, co-won the 2020 Premio Campoy-Ada in the category of Picture Books with Special Cultural Content. This is literary award for given out by the North American Academy of the Spanish Language in support of quality literature for children and young adults.

Charlie Schulman (PW/SW/TV/Musical Theater)is thrilled to get out of his house and back into the rehearsal room. His two brand new plays, Married Life and Toxic Family

Reunion (written for the same cast of three actors) will be workshopped for four weeks and receive two fully staged performances in repertory by The Cincinnati LAB Theatre NEW WORKS FESTIVAL on July 22nd and 24. Rehearsals begin in June with Spalding alum/LAB Artistic Director Elizabeth Harris acting in both plays. Charlie and Michael Roberts are completing post-production on the streaming version of their Off-Broadway musical Goldstein (Not for commercial use). Charlie and Michael are hoping to create new licensing opportunities and revive the several productions of Goldstein in both the United States and abroad that were postponed due to COVID. Charlie also recently completed a Comedy/Horror/Thriller screenplay called The Adjunct. This past year he has worked on several writing-for-hire projects for Jordan Skopp, an independent consumer advocate focused on Distracted Driving and Foul Ball Safety. Charlie also continues to work as a Script-Consultant/ Producer for Joy Behar’s Off-Broadway-bound comedy Crisis in Queens.

Katy Yocom (F ’03, Associate Director) was beyond delighted to win the Phillip H. McMath Post-Publication Book Award in April with her debut novel, Three Ways to Disappear. As

the award recipient, she took part in a panel on novel writing and a reading at Arkatext Literary Festival, held virtually on April 8 by the University of Central Arkansas’s Creative Writing program. Earlier in April, she visited alum Jamey Temple‘s (F ’07) creative writing class (virtually) at University of the Cumberlands, in Williamsburg, Kentucky. In May, she read as part of the Flying Out Loud reading series, held (virtually) in Louisville.


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