Life of a Writer: Summer Edition

July 7, 2022



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



STUDENTS


Theresa Anne Carey’s (SW) creative thesis screenplay MESTENGO won Best Original Action Adventure Screenplay at the Richmond International Film Festival and is currently a semifinalist in the Golden Script Competition. MESTENGO was written in her first semester at Spalding under the tutelage of mentor Sam Zalutsky and polished under mentor Larry Brenner, with copious notes and support from her Spalding classmates.


Lindsey Pharr (she/her) (F) has two pieces forthcoming in literary magazines. “The Nine O’Glock Shuffle” is due to be published in X-R-A-Y in November, while “Circe at the Strip Club” will be published in Bending Genres come August. You can find these pieces alongside other fabulous work at https://xraylitmag.com and https://bendinggenres.com. You can find Lindsey on Twitter @lindsey_a-pharr with specific publication dates in due time.



Melanie Weldon-Soiset (P) will be leading a virtual poetry workshop in partnership with Geez Magazine, a quarterly non-profit, ad-free, print magazine about social justice, art, and activism for people on the fringes of faith. The workshop will take place at 7:00 p.m. August 18 and will be in conversation with Geez 52: Poetics of Resistance. Melanie will facilitate discussion about the article “The Poetics of Gentle Resistance” by Adrian M. Downey, which explores the crucial relationship of anger, language, and poetry. Participants will use poems from the issue as a template to draft their own poems and will have time for optional debriefing. The workshop includes one round of empowering poetry feedback from Melanie, a copy of Geez 52, as well as possible publication on the website for Geez Magazine. For more information, and to register, click here.



ALUMNI



DG Footlights™ Gulf Coast region presented a series of ten-minute play readings via Zoom in May. These plays were selected from a submission pool that included writers from all of the states in the Gulf Coast Region of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle. Featured playwrights included Donna Gay Anderson (PW ’18) for her play Late Night TV.


Holly Beck (PW, SW ’20) recently accepted and started a position as a Procedure Writer and Readiness Liaison for Los Alamos National Labs. The labs annually receive 30,000 applications for approximately 900 employment positions, with an acceptance rate of 3 percent. Beck says she is incredibly excited to put her MFA to use for this “incredible career shift.”


Deborah Begel (CNF ’06) wrote a profile of wildlife photographer Carlos Porrata, who has been photographing birds, animals, and landscapes in the Point Reyes National Seashore for more than four decades. It appears in the July-August issue of New Mexico Kids Magazine in late June.


K.B. Carle (F’16) is excited to announce that her flash fiction piece titled “A Lethal Woman” was selected to be included in the upcoming 2022 Best Small Fictions Anthology. The story was originally published in No Contact Magazine.

Charlotte Rains Dixon (F’03) was named to the Longlist in the 2022 Stockholm Writers’ Festival “First 5 Pages” Prize in the category of Romance for The Bonne Chance Bakery and Snow for Christmas.

Tamara Grasty at Page Street Kids has acquired world rights to Malicia, a YA horror novel by Steven dos Santos (W4CYA ’18). Pitched as One of Us Is Lying meets It, and set in a diabolical Dominican thriller theme park, four stranded teens navigating friendship and queer love must survive their own secrets and the terrors at the haunted site of one of the grisliest mass murders in history. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency brokered the deal. In addition to his publication news, dos Santos has also been hired as a full-time professor in the English department at Broward College (Central Campus) in Davie, Florida, starting in Fall 2022!

Karen George (F ’09) had poems published in Main Street Rag, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Blue Heron Review, Verse-Virtual, Black Moon Magazine, and OyeDrum Magazine.


Alice Bingham Gorman’s (CNF ’05) essay “For the Love of Grits” is included in the anthology Breaking Bread: Essays on Food, Hunger, and Family, published by Beacon Press, May 2022. Learn more at www.alicebinghamgorman.com



Robin Heald’s (W4CYA’06) picture book, Whistling for Angela, illustrated by Peggy Collins, was released by Pajama Press on May 17. The book is about an adoption and learning how to whistle. It’s told from the older brother’s point of view and features the birthmother, front and center. “The very first draft of the book was written during my years at Spalding,” she says. “Another draft landed me my agent and, sixty submissions later, thanks to my agent’s persistence, it was acquired by Pajama Press. In total, I wrote thirty drafts. Eight editors had taken me through several revisions and had ultimately passed. I am thrilled.”


Kathryn T. Jones (CNF’19) will have a flash essay on her beloved dog, Jack, in Readers’ Notes, Ruminate 62, Spring-Summer 2022, with the theme “on open hands.”


Mark Madigan (P ’17) had three poems published recently: “First Haircut of the Pandemic” appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Tar River Poetry; “Smitty’s” appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Third Wednesday; and “The Writing Shed” appeared in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review.


Quincy Gray McMichael (CNF ‘22) announced the publication of her essay “Growing from Labor to Leisure” in The Pleasure Issue of Yes! Magazine (Summer 2022). When not at her writing desk, Quincy stewards her farm, Vernal Vibe Rise, on Moneton ancestral land in the mountains of West Virginia. This article draws from her hybrid memoir, which explores obsession and overwork through a blend of poetry and prose.


Heather Meyer’s (PW ’16) full-length horror-comedy, self-care satire Eat, Slay, Leave will be produced by 3rd Act Theatre Company in Oklahoma City this October. She has co-written the surrealistic play Finger-Lickin’ Good being produced at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August 2022. She recently finished a commission of the play The Piano: A Midwest Haunting for DalekoArts in Minnesota. She’s a writer (and plays the Hot Dog Witch) for the second season of Noodle Pie Island, a children’s show on YouTube. Learn more on her website at heathermeyeronline.com.


Angie Mimms’s (CNF ’15) flash essay “Arboriculture” appeared in the summer edition of Still: The Journal.


Andrew Najberg (P ’10) reported he has had a good year, with many publications in poetry and fiction. Fiction publications include “The Day the Sky Split Open,” forthcoming in The Colored Lens Summer 2022; “The Robots Inside Us,” forthcoming in Utopia Science Fiction August 2022; “Something to Believe In,” forthcoming in Symposeum June 2022; “The Boy with Star Shaped Eyes,” in The Bookends Review March 2022; “What Lemons Tasted Like,” in Psychopomp Magazine in February 2022; “The Glory of Steve,” in Literary Parrot #2 Winter 2021; “Table for Two,” in The Wondrous Real July 2021; and “The Saddest Missile,” in Fleas on the Dog Issue 9 Summer 2021.


Suzanne Craig Robertson (F ’22) was named to the Longlist in the 2022 Stockholm Writers’ Festival “First 5 Pages” Prize in the category of Historical Fiction for Changing Horses. Her Spring 2021 mentor, Angela Jackson-Brown, was instrumental in helping craft those pages, which were also part of her graduation chapbook.


Savannah Sipple’s (P ’08) short story “Ballers” was just published in Still: The Journal’s Pride issue. The story is an excerpt from her novel-in-progress. Savannah also recently served as faculty at Lincoln Memorial University’s Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. She is an Associate Professor of English at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.


Heidi Taylor (P ’20) recently submitted Bustout for Mattel Aquarius to Cronosoft for publication. Its release date will be sometime in late 2022 or early 2023. In tandem with Bustout, she designed the cassette cover for Warp Factor, a text-based Star Trek action-adventure title developed by Dr. Roy Templeman. Its release date will be in the same time window as Bustout but is leaving the release order up to Cronosoft. Doomsday Defender is now available. She also has an interview with Retro Gamer Magazine in a forthcoming issue.


FACULTY & STAFF


Dianne Aprile (CNF) is a featured reader at the July 21 edition of the literary series, Voice & Vision, presented by Spalding’s Naslund-Mann School of Writing, The Louisville Review, and 21C Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville. The in-person event takes place from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the hotel. Other readers include poets Sarah Gorham, Nana Lampton, Kristi Maxwell, prose writer Lynn Slaughter, and Flying Out Loud reading series host Steve Cambron. For more info, visit Voice & Vision - 21c Louisville (21cmuseumhotels.com). Also, starting July 19, Dianne partners with collage artist Larry Calkins to teach Image & Text, a 6-week online class (Tuesdays 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern). To register, visit Kirkland Arts Center.


Leah Henderson (W4CYA) recently spoke with Tavis Smiley on his podcast about the first community-led Memorial Day, her picture books A Day for Rememberin’, Together We March, and Daddy Speaks Love along with a few other topics she holds near and dear.


As Prose-Writer-In-Residence at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York, July 9 - 16, Roy Hoffman (F, CNF) is leading a workshop in fiction and nonfiction, “From Inspiration to Page: Our Creative Journeys,” reading from his novel, The Promise of the Pelican, at 3:30 p.m. July 10 at Chautauqua’s Hall of Philosophy, in tandem with Poet-in-Residence Charlotte Matthews, and delivering a “brown bag” lunch lecture titled “Inspiration: Where Stories Come From” at 12:15 p.m. July 15 at the Writers’ Center. At 6:00 p.m. July 18 at New York City’s Mysterious Bookshop, Roy is presenting The Promise of the Pelican, interviewed by author Charles Salzberg. An hour-long radio interview with Roy about the novel, conducted by historian Walter Edgar, will be featured on “Walter Edgar’s Journal,” South Carolina Public Radio, airing at noon on July 8. The podcast is available on Apple and Spotify.


Angela Jackson-Brown (F) was a fiction panelist for the Library Journal Day of Dialog on May 5. On June 8, Angela was in conversation with historical fiction author Denny S. Bryce at E. Shaver Bookseller in Savannah, Georgia. On June 14, she was on a panel called “What’s New in Historical Fiction” hosted by History Through Fiction.


Lee Martin’s (F, CNF) story, “Happy Birthday, Honey Vanlandingham,” included in Coolest American Stories 2022, was one of four stories from the anthology featured on The New Short Fiction Series, L.A.s longest-running spoken-word series, on June 29. Screen Actors Guild actors read ten-minute excerpts from each story.

During an event sponsored by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance in May, Eleanor Morse (F) won the 2022 Maine Literary Awards for Fiction for her recent novel, Margreete’s Harbor. The book was published through St. Martin’s Press and is available in hardback and in audiobook, narrated by Tavia Gilbert. (Gilbert was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year by Booklist, as well as receiving an Audie Award for Best Female Narrator.)


Lesléa Newman (W4CYA) was recently featured in a video produced by Holyoke Media in which she discusses her newest children’s book, Alicia and the Hurricane: A Story of Puerto Rico/Alicia y el huracán: Un cuento de Puerto Rico. She also appeared at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she was accompanied by former Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, for a bilingual reading. In other news, read about the origins of Lesléa’s groundbreaking picture book Heather Has Two Mommies, written more than thirty years ago, in an article on BookRiot.


Kira Obolensky (PW) presented at the Women Playwrights international conference on creating connections with audiences and her work with Pandies Theater in New Delhi. Her new play, The Maidens, was a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.


Elaine Neil Orr’s (F, CNF) memoir in present tense is currently featured in Appalachian Review and will also appear in the next print issue of the journal.


Maggie Smith (P) has a picture book forthcoming from Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins in Winter 2024. My Thoughts Have Wings, a bedtime story about replacing the insecurity, fear, and sadness that sometimes surface at night with good thoughts, happy memories, and things to look forward to, is being illustrated by SCBWI Portfolio grand prize winner Leanne Hatch. Smith also has new poems forthcoming in The Nation, Plume, and elsewhere.


In May, Katy Yocom hosted the Young Writers edition of Voice and Vision, a reading series presented by Spalding’s Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing in collaboration with The Louisville Review and 21c Museum Hotel. The reading featured faculty-nominated undergraduate writers from area universities. In June, Katy co-hosted Voice and Vision with Lynnell Edwards, in a reading featuring MFA alumni Jason Cooper (CNF ’21) and Jasemine Reed (P ’19), among others.