Wilkes University

Revise This!

Revise This!   |   August 2015

Attention:  Alums and Faculty! PAY IT FORWARD — A Unique Scholarship Opportunity       

If you, as an alum or faculty member, know a writer who would be an excellent fit for our program, you have the power to pass along a $2,500 program incentive. This one time payment is used to offset tuition for their first term of study — an incredible benefit when you consider that most creative writing students pay tuition out of their own pocket. 

To PAY IT FORWARD, tell a fellow writer about the program and this award. Send us their contact information and we will track them through the admissions process. Or, simply ask them to reference your name when completing their application. The award will be applied to their first bill.

This is an incredible opportunity to bestow a significant gift onto a fellow writer and help jumpstart their career. This initiative was created for alumni/faculty of our program to bestow, so please invite more writers to join our community. Our next residency will be held from January 8 to 16, 2016, when we will also launch our first weekender series (January 8 to 10). Help us promote the program and PAY IT FORWARD. 

We congratulate our first PAY IT FORWARD recipient, Ronnie K. Stephens, who discovered our program through MFA alum Jason Carney. If you know someone you think would be a great fit at Wilkes, email or call Dr. Bonnie Culver at bonnie.culver@wilkes.edu or 570.408.4527 to let her know the name of the person applying for the program.

Creative Writing Community Workshops

Twelve creative writing workshops were implemented last year to introduce Wilkes University to the community in Mesa, Arizona. These workshops were so successful that five additional workshops are planned for 2015. We have also expanded these community workshops to the main Wilkes University campus. Following is a listing of these workshops, offered in Mesa and Wilkes-Barre:

Fall Workshop Opportunities – Mesa, Arizona

Creative Nonfiction: Your Story
  • 6:15pm – 8:15pm Tuesdays – Sept. 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13
  • Cost: $50/$30 student ID

“How do I turn my life into a story?” Join a community of writers who are dedicated to answering this question among others. Learn the various techniques used to convey emotion and memory through weekly workshops grounded in the tradition of memoir. Be encouraged. Write your story.

Fiction: The Untold Story
  • 6:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Tuesdays – Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24
  • Cost: $50/$30 student ID

Have you written a short story? Starting a novel? Don’t do it alone. Harness your curiosity by attending this class. Each week we will explore the elements of fiction through craft based discussion and workshop.

Fall Workshop Opportunities – Wilkes-Barre

Workshops in Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting, and Creative Nonfiction will be conducted in September and October. These five-week, non-credit workshops are open to the public and are appropriate for adults of any age or educational level. Registration is $45 for each five-week series. The workshops available:

  • Saturdays, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Sept. 12, 19, 26, Oct. 3, and 10
  • Instructor: Francisco Tutella

Learn the foundations of fiction writing. Whether you’re a new or established writer, expand your knowledge of the craft. In-class writing exercises and group workshops are designed to help improve work in a casual, supportive, and respectful environment. 

  • Tuesdays, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Sept. 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6 and 13
  • Instructor: Dawn Leas

Enjoy this introduction to poetry. Explore structure and language both visually and aurally through reading and discussing several American poets. Participants will also write and workshop original work. 

  • Wednesdays, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Sept. 16, 23, Oct. 7, 14, and 21
  • Instructor: Dr. Bonnie Culver (No meeting September 30)

Have an idea for a film, but don’t know where to start? This class will give you the basics of writing a screenplay, from formatting to structure to building great characters and using setting. Explore the world and craft as seen and used by the screenwriter.

Creative Nonfiction
  • Thursdays, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Sept. 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8, and 15
  • Instructor: Sam Chiarelli

Explore personal interests to learn the foundations of creative nonfiction writing. In-class writing exercises and group workshops will help new and established writers expand their knowledge of the craft. Workshop members will also be given instruction on how to create a platform for their work and how to cultivate productive habits for a life of writing.

Visit wilkes.edu/creativewriting for more information.

Weekender Program Launches in Wilkes-Barre January 8 - 10, 2016

Following the success of the Weekender Program in Mesa, Arizona, Wilkes will launch the Weekender Program on the main campus in Wilkes-Barre in January, 2016.

In lieu of the traditional eight-day residency, the Weekender Program delivers the same course work during four weekend classes (Friday-Sunday) over each six-month project term. Course work is delivered online, and the curriculum and requirements are the same as the low-residency delivery method, including faculty and staff.

Inaugural 2016 Term Weekend Class Schedule:

  • January 8-10
  • February 26-28
  • April 8-10
  • May 20-22

This format is an alternative for students whose schedule prevents them from attending the eight-day on campus residencies. For additional information, please contact interim associate director Bill Schneider at 570.408.4534 or bill.schneider@wilkes.edu.

AWP – Los Angeles, March 30 – April 2, 2016

The AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) 2016 Conference and Bookfair is taking place in Los Angeles from March 30 through April 2, 2016.AWp Logo

The Wilkes Creative Writing program is allotted 60 registration waivers, which covers only the cost of conference registration. If interested in attending AWP, you will be responsible for travel and hotel costs.

If you are planning to attend the conference and would like to reserve a registration waiver, please contact interim associate program director Bill Schneider before Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – bill.schneider@wilkes.edu or 570.408.4534

More information about AWP16, including a list of accepted panels and featured presenters, is available at https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/overview

Indie Lit Festival in Frostburg

The ninth annual Indie Lit Festival will be held in downtown Frostburg, Maryland with events on October 23 and 24, with a special Thursday, October 22 poetry slam at Dante’s Bar (14 West Main Street in Frostburg). Writers of any experience level are invited to bring self-written poems and verbally duke it out for cash prizes. It is $2 to attend and/or participate; registration begins at 7PM and the slam begins at 7:30PM.  For poetry slam guidelines, visit http://www.frostburg.edu/cla/contests-opportunities/poetry-slam/ 

With a projected turnout of 200 writers, artists, students, poets, and fellow faculty from neighboring universities, the Indie Lit Festival invites MFA students and faculty to this event as it has been an excellent resource for those who have attended in previous years.

The festival garners active participation from the community and brings together writers, editors, and publishers through a variety of panel discussions and roundtable sessions with topics that range from DIY Publishing and Starting a Press, to Fictive Poetry and Poetic Fiction. Many of those who attend the Indie Lit Festival do so to gain more information about the craft of writing and how to hone their creative voice. The festival will include a book fair setup where MFA programs, publishing presses, and editors can set up and use their knowledge and experience to connect with all those in attendance. 

The Indie Lit Festival will also be hosting readings of authors presented by editors and their presses. This year will feature readings from Michael Ratcliffe (Free State Review), Mark Brazaitis (Autumn House Press), Margaret Bashaar (Sundress Publications), and Michael Gerhard Martin (Braddock Avenue Books). Other writers who will be in attendance include novelist Steve Sherrill, author Tim Wendel, Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn, Nebula award winner Andy Duncan, and Guggeinheim Fellowship recipient Barbara Hurd among many others. For a full list of participating presses visit the website http://www.frostburg.edu/cla/indie-lit-festival/.

James Jones First Novel Fellowship 2015

A prize of $10,000 is given annually for a novel-in-progress by a U.S. writer who has not published a novel. Runners-up receive $1,000. A selection from the winning work is published in Provincetown Arts, and the winner also receives complimentary travel and lodging to attend the James Jones Literary Society Conference. This year the conference will be held at Wilkes University on November 5 - 7, 2015.

The 2015 James Jones Fellowship contest received a total of 623 submissions. The judges this year were Kaylie Jones, daughter of James Jones and novelist; Barbara Taylor, novelist and author of Sing In The Morning, Cry At Night; and Taylor Polites, novelist and author of The Rebel Wife.

Following are the top four novels as decided by the judges:

Winner ($10,000):

Josie Sigler, Portland, Oregon, is the winner of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship with her manuscript titled The Flying Sampietrini, a novel.

Runners-Up ($1,000):

Reed Johnson, Takoma Park, Maryland, is the runner-up winner with his manuscript titled Love in the Afterlife.

Crystal Hana Kim, Chicago, Illinois, is the runner-up winner with her manuscript titled If You Leave Me

Honorable Mention: 

Jake Andrews, Iowa City, Iowa, for his manuscript, Fiat Vita.

Call for Writers: At the Inkwell

At The Inkwell LogoThe At the Inkwell series is looking for fiction/non-fiction writers. The reading series is presented throughout the year at the KGB Bar in downtown New York. Anyone interested should contact Taylor Ropas (New York City scout for the series): tbrynropas@gmail.com. For more information about the series, please visit www.attheinkwell.com.

The Wilkes Creative Writing Library Collection

What do you do when you have over 100 published authors connected to your writing program and you want to share that with the world? Start your own library collection. With over 1,500 published works by Creative Writing faculty, alums, and program partners from Wilkes University, we are creating a home for this expanding collection of work, which includes books, produced plays, and screenplays.

We have begun to collect copies of all published works by everyone connected to the Wilkes Creative Writing program. The E.S. Farley Library will house the Creative Writing collection.


Wilkes University Tenth Anniversary Celebration

 10 Years of Creative Writinguring residency this past June (June 19 – 26), we celebrated our 10-year anniversary with a slew of events including the 10-year anniversary gala, a ceremony dedicating our newly renovated building in the name of Dr. Harold Cox, alumni readings throughout the week, and special workshops taught by our program alums.

We kicked off celebrations with an evening reading on Friday, June 19, at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Centre featuring alumni and faculty who have new books launching this summer. We continued on Saturday, June 20, with the evening gala, marking the 10-year anniversary and bringing program graduates, faculty, and current students together to reminisce and celebrate. In addition to special presentations about the program’s history (including a compilation of videos produced by graduating classes, a photo exhibition, and a silent auction), we presented program founders Dr. Bonnie Culver and Dr. J. Michael Lennon with framed art pieces. Using photos from cohorts, residencies, and workshops over the past 10 years, MFA student and program graduate assistant Nathan Summerlin created a mosaic piece that depicts the newly named Dr. Harold Cox Hall. 

The program’s building dedication took place on Wednesday, June 24, at the newly renovated building at 245 South River Street, where a special ceremony was held to thank Dr. Harold Cox for his generous financial gift to the program as well as his many years of unwavering support. Since the program’s inception, Dr. Cox has taught the research methods course and has assisted numerous students, alum, and faculty in their search for those niggling details that enable our writing to bear the seeds of truth. 

During its first decade, the program has launched the careers of dozens of writers —including many from northeastern Pennsylvania. Throughout the week, beginning on Sunday, June 21, and continuing through Thursday, June 25, more than 60 alumni with published books, produced plays, and optioned screenplays, returned to Wilkes to share their work.

On Friday, June 26, we held our graduation ceremony and welcomed alum Morowa Yejidé as the keynote speaker. Yejidé’s novel Time of the Locust was a 2012 finalist for the PEN Bellwether Award and longlisted for the PEN Bingham Award. In celebrating her success, Yejidé also reminded what a harrowing climb the writing life can be: “There is no writing life. There is your life and how you fit writing into it.” Whatever works for you is what works for a writing life. In the low-residency program at Wilkes, we encourage our students to find the ways in which to embed writing in their daily life — to include it as one includes bathing, dressing, and eating.

Yejidé reminded us, “No one is going to fix your story. That’s up to you. You’re going to have to put in the work,” but also that, “No one remembers the critic.” With a decade behind us, those critics are silenced as we look ahead to the next successful 10 years.

Introducing Door is a Jar 

Door Is A Jar LogoFounded in 2015 by Wilkes alumni Ahrend Torrey and Max Bauman, Door is a Jar is a bi-annual online magazine of poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, drama, and artwork from everyday writers and artists.  It features writing that has cadence, personality, and uses familiar language that takes readers on a journey.

Door is a Jar aims to be a bridge from heart to heart, from life to life.  It aims to embrace everyone, redefining what art and literature is, making it understandable and enjoyable for anyone willing to sit down and read.

Look for a future post in The Write Life blog for the genesis and ambitions of this new literary magazine, and check out Door is a Jar magazine at http://www.doorisajarmagazine.com

Faculty Notes

Faculty member Phil Brady recently published the following:

Books:To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet (Broadstone Books 2015); Poems and Their Making: A Conversation (ed.) (Etruscan 2015). Periodicals: At Length, “Book VII Redaction” from To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet; The Literary Review, “Book XII The Etymology of Queens” from To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet; Poems and Their Making “Book X Wiretap” from To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet, an essay about making the poem; Best American Poetry Blog, “D. M. Spitzer May I Publish You;” Best American Poetry Blog, “Basketball at 60;” Best American Poetry Blog, “The Sea is Wild Tonight” reprinted from By Heart: Reflections of a Rust Belt Bard (University of Tennessee, 2008).

Brady also received the Ohio Governor’s Award in Arts Education; was named Distinguished Professor at Youngstown State University; and Etruscan Press (which Brady co-founded and serves as executive director) was named one of five finalists for AWP’s 2015 Small Press Award.
Phil Brady

Faculty member Susan Cartsonis produced The Duff, which was nominated for five Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie Comedy; Choice Actor – Robbie Amell; Choice Actress – Mae Whitman; Choice Movie Villain – Bella Thorne; Choice Movie Liplock – Mae Whitman & Robbie Amell. Susan attended the awards ceremony with her teenaged niece, Amelia Nicot, on August 16, and is proud that The Duff won for Best Villain.

Program Director Bonnie Culver’s 10-minute play “GPS” was included in the winter Piney Fork Short Play Festival held in NYC. Directed by faculty member Gregory Fletcher, “GPS” was named the “Number 1 Play of the Festival” and the cast was invited to reprise the play as the headline feature in the summer festival.

Faculty member Gregory Fletcher's short play “Family of Flechner” was selected to be included in the upcoming anthology The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2016, published by Smith & Kraus, Inc. 

Faculty member J. Michael Lennon’s “Mailer’s Letters: A Colloquy at the Strand Bookstore,” a transcript of a Lennon-Morris Dickstein conversation about Lennon’s edition of Mailer’s letters recently published by Random House, will appear in Vol. 9 of the Mailer Review, out in fall 2015. His review of the new biography of Gore Vidal by Scranton native Jay Parini is slated to appear in TLS this fall. 

Faculty member and MFA alum Lori A. May is presenting a talk on literary citizenship at the Montana Book Festival this September. Her book The Write Crowd: Literary Citizenship & the Writing Life has been nominated for an award, with public details to come at a later date.

Faculty member and MFA alum Taylor M. Polites' short story "Armory Park" was published in the Akashic Books anthology Providence Noir, edited by Ann Hood. The story was republished in August in the literary magazine Voice and Eye. Polites has also launched a new venture in partnership with writers Ann Hood and Hester Kaplan dubbed Goat Hill, offering creative writing workshops, talks, seminars, and sociability.

Faculty member Juanita Rockwellwas awarded a 2015 Rubys Artist Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance to write the script, lyrics and music for Little Patch of Ground, a play with songs.

Faculty member Neil Shepard's seventh book of poetry, Vermont Exit Ramps II, will be published in September 2015. The collection features 50 poems and 50 photographs composed along the highways and back roads of Vermont. Shepard also delivered a poetry lecture in June called "The Art of Concealing and Revealing in Poetry," which will be televised on Vermont Public Television in the coming months, and he will be reading from his new books this fall at Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH; Phoenix Books in Burlington, VT; and the Spectrum Reading Series in NYC. He will also be teaching in the first Rhodes Scholar's poetry program at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY, this fall.

Student/Alum Notes

MA graduate Molly Barari ‘15 received a scholarship to attend Sue William Silverman's memoir writing workshop at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers' Conference in August.

MFA alum Maxwell Bauman ‘14 recently published a free eBook, a supernatural thriller titled Graven Image: Sculpt Me.

MA alum Cheryl Bazzoui ‘14, writing under the pen name Ann McCauley, had her essay “Focused Writing Time” published in July/August Working Writer Newsletter and a review of The Search for Anne Perry by Joanne Drayton in the July/September Writer Advice Newsletter. Cheryl is an associate book reviewer for StoryCircle.org, and her most recent book reviews include: War Creek by Susan Marsh on April 2, 2015, The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward on April 18, 2015, Stella Rose by Tammy Flanders Hetrick on May 15, 2015, and My Autistic Awakening by Rachel Lee Harris on July 1, 2015. 

MA student Jeremiah Blue ‘15 was privileged to win the Arizona state title for slam poetry at the Copper State Poetry Slam on August 8. The event took place at Firecreek Coffee Company in Flagstaff, Arizona. The annual event is the definitive state championship for slam poetry in Arizona. Jeremiah was the Executive Director for the event in 2013 and 2014, organizing and hosting it in downtown Phoenix. Normally a team event, it was converted into an individual competition for this year. It was a three round, traditionally timed and scored poetry slam event. Jeremiah advanced to the final round, with a .5 deficit to the first place poet. However, with a higher scoring poem in the final round, he emerged the victor of the event, collecting a cash prize and the title of Copper State Poetry Slam Champion.

MA alum Jennifer Bokal’s ‘10 novel, The Gladiator’s Mistress, was released on July 12. It debuted at No. 3 in the Kindle’s Ancient World Historical Romance category and within two days it moved up to the No. 1 position, where it has remained. Her second book in The Champions of Rome series, The Gladiator’s Temptation, will be released in late 2015 or early 2016 by Montlake Romance. Currently, Jen is hard at work on the third book in the series entitled The Gladiator’s Redemption

MFA alum Tom Borthwick's ‘09 short story "Silencing the Machine" was published by Theme of Absence and a previously published short story entitled "Welcome to the Singularity" has been turned into a screenplay and is in the process of being filmed. The film, Solacium, will wrap production in September 2015. Promotional videos and information can be found on the Solacium Facebook page or at www.solaciumcorp.com.

MA student Melody Breyer Grell’s ’15 essay, “Billie Holiday, Cabaret, Hall of Fame,” appears in issue 9/10/2015 of Cabaret Scenes.

MA alum Renee Butts '08 published her novel Siren Slave under her pen name, Aurora Styles. 

MFA alum Tara Caimi ‘10 read from her memoir Mush: From Sled Dogs to Celiac, the Scenic Detour of My Life and presented on a panel of first-time authors at “HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers” held August 7 - 9, 2015.

MA alum Jim Craig's ‘10 maiden crime fiction novel, Blue Lines Up In Arms , written under his penname James Craig Atchison, will be published by Sunbury Press on September 18. Sunbury Press has also contracted for the sequel to this series, Blue Lines & Old Money (his Wilkes 'capstone' project), which is targeted for March 2016 release.

MFA alum Craig Czury ‘08 has been co-hosting an exciting new poetry series, recently touted as "rural intellectualism at its finest." The Old School Poetry Series, at The Springville Schoolhouse Art Studios in Springville, PA, has featured many notable poets including Kerry Shawn Keys, Rick Kearns, and Maria Jacketti. Upcoming poets include: Mischelle Anthony (September 13), Michael Jennings (October 11), and Michael Czarnecki and Sue Spensor (November 14). Take a country drive to be part of the most spirited and happening literary scene in northeast Pennsylvania. Visit www.craigczury.com for details.

MA student Wendy Lynn Decker ‘15 has been invited to the yearly New Jersey Association of Librarians at the Ocean Place Hotel in Long Branch, New Jersey, to showcase her young adult novel, Sweet Tea, in the "Author's Alley." This event takes place on the weekend of November 13 - 15. Visit wendylynndeckerauthor.com for more information.

MA student Kayleigh DeMace’s ‘15 short story, “Emma,” has been accepted into an anthology entitled Let's Not, And Say We Did, to be published by Last Syllable Books.

MA alum Cindy Dlugolecki ‘11 had three staged readings of short plays over the summer and one scheduled for the fall. Oyster Mill Playhouse in central Pennsylvania featured Paper Trail in a festival of original works over Father's Day weekend. Her Birthday Surprise premiered in the Dorothy Darte Center during the tenth anniversary celebration of the Wilkes Creative Writing program. Birthday Surprise had a second staged reading in August during the Cicada Festival in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania, and will be produced as a staged reading a third time at the Hershey Area Playhouse in September.

MFA alum Brian Fanelli ‘10 will be part of a poetry panel/reading at the Italian American Studies Association's conference in Washington, D.C. in October. In addition, Brian recently had poems published in Paterson Literary Review, and he has poems forthcoming in the fall issues of Poetry Quarterly and Ishka Bibble.

MA alum Donna Ferrara ‘14 has had short stories published in Adanna, r..k.v.r.y, The Diverse Art Project,the MacGuffin, and The Evansville Review this summer.

MFA alum Patricia Florio ‘11, founding member of The Jersey Shore Writers, had a great night at the KGB Bar in Manhattan on July 8, 2015, reading from the Shore Writers latest anthology Darkness Falls at the Jersey Shore. They tell tales of noir taking place in the towns of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Atlantic City. The book can be purchased on Amazon.com. In July 2015, Patricia was notified that her nonfiction story “Missing” will be published in Door Is A Jar magazine.

MFA alum Vito Gulla's ‘13 short story “Galacta” was published in The Subtopian: Selected Stories: Volume 2, and his story "High Score" is forthcoming this September in The Big Click.

MA student Jennifer Jenkins ‘15 is a new graduate assistant in the marketing communications department at Wilkes University.

MA alum Mark Levy ‘08 had a story, “Juggling with Sherlock’s Friend,” published in the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Issue 15. He also had a number of his legal advice columns for videographers published in Videomaker Magazine going back some 20 years. The Mensa Bulletin has scheduled publication of his essay on outwitting automatic toilets and other appliances in men’s rooms in October 2015. Mark is working on a book of 120 humorous pieces to be published by Bon Fed Publishing LLC entitled Trophy Envy, that comprises seven years of essays à la Andy Rooney which were broadcast on the NPR show, Weekend Radio.

MA alum Deborah Makuma ’13 is now a full-time English faculty member at Arizona State University in the Writers' Studio Program. 

MFA alum Ginger Marcinkowski's ‘11 first mystery short story, “Invisible,” was just named the winner of the 2015 Arizona Writer's Mystery Contest. 

MA alum Gale Martin ‘10 had two eBooks purchased and republished by the Encore imprint of Amazon publishing: Grace Unexpected and Who Killed 'Tom Jones’? in 2015. Her novel Who Killed 'Tom Jones'? was also named a finalist in the 2014 Chanticleer Book Reviews Mayhem and Murder category. In August, she presented a session at Hippocamp15 called Arachno-cyber-phobia, in which she documented the challenges, surprises, and rewards of cultivating an online presence. 

MFA alum Vicki Mayk's ‘13 essay "Letting Go of My Mother" appeared on The Manifest-Station web site (the manifestation.net) in July 2015. She completed a two-week writing residency at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in July, where she worked on her nonfiction book-in-progress and was a featured reader at Poetluck, the colony's monthly reading series for the community. In August, she presented the workshop "Writing Grief: Re-Storying The Lives of Those We've Lost" at HippoCamp, the nonfiction conference started by alum Donna Talarico-Beerman. Vicki presented along with MFA alum Heather Taylor and MA alum Tiffany Hadley. This fall she will once again be teaching a memoir workshop for St. Luke's Hospice in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 

MA alum Todd McClimans's ‘12 second time travel/historical novel Time Underground was published by Overdue Books, an imprint of Northampton House Press.

MA alum Lori M. Myers' ‘09 theater for young audiences musical "Cinderella and the Lone Prince" was produced by Gretna Theatre, a professional summer stock theater in Mt. Gretna, PA. It was also performed at Weathervane Theatre, a professional theater in Whitefield, NH. Lori will be moving to New York where she will be teaching writing at Dominican College. 

MA alum Christoph Paul ‘14, under the pen name Mandy DeSandra, published a Bizarro Erotica book Kirk Cameron & The Crocoduck of Chaos Magick which was a break out book in July, being covered by Gawker, AV Club, Wonkette, Jezebel, Vocativ, and VICE. The follow up Ravished by Reagansaurus, inspired by fellow Wilkes student P. Casey Telesk, was published in mid-August. Christoph also published an article "Bizarro Fiction and the Literary Community" in Otter Magazine http://ottermagazine.com/article/bizarro-fiction-and-the-literary-community/ and will be publishing a How-To Twitter book with Riot Forge titled Social Media for Anti-Socials: #HowToUseTwitter. He is also publishing his humor fiction book A Confederacy of Hot Dogs for small press Dynatox Ministries. Finally, Christoph has joined the staff of ThatLitSite.com and ThatLitPress and will be editing and publishing Walk Hand In Hand Into Extinction: Stories Inspired By True Detective.

MFA alum Adrienne Earle Pender ‘11 has been selected by the Eugene O'Neill Foundation Board to be the third Tao House Fellow in the Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Program at Tao House. Adrienne will spend three weeks at Tao House in September working on her play that will explore the relationship of O'Neill and her relative, actor Charles Sidney Gilpin, who starred in the premiere of O'Neill's play The Emperor Jones in 1920.

MFA alum Laurie Elizabeth Powers ’13 was awarded the Louisiana Jury Best Screenplay for her short script "The Importance of Sex Education" at the 2015 Hollyshorts Festival in Los Angeles, CA. The prize comes with a $10,000 production grant to shoot the film in northern Louisiana courtesy of the Louisiana Film Prize (http://lafilmprize.com), effectively green lighting the film. You can follow the film and production news at http://www.importancemovie.com

MFA alumni Sarah Pugh ‘10 and Cory Brin's ’10 original television series pitch, "The Department," was chosen as one of the ten finalists in the ATX Television Festival Pitch Competition, after submitting a 90-second video and a sample pilot script. They pitched their concept live to a panel of industry professionals on June 5 in Austin, Texas. The pitch was very well received, despite not winning the grand prize. The winning pitch had puppets. They can't compete with puppets.

MA alum Dania Ramos's ‘10 middle grade novel WHO'S JU, published by Northampton House Press/Overdue Books, won the 2015 International Latino Book Award for Best Young Adult eBook and placed second for Best First Book, Children/Youth. 

MA alum Lynne Reeder's ‘10 short story "Marked" won first place in the East Meets West: American Writers Review spring contest, and appears in their Spring 2015 edition. Lynne also won a third place for her poem "Unbridled" and an honorable mention for her poem "Innocence" in the 14th annual Sophie B. Choice Awards for Poetic Excellence.

MFA alum Joseph J. Schwartzburt ‘13 is proud to brag about Seersucker Live's inaugural writing workshop in historic downtown Savannah, Georgia, February 3 – 7, 2016. Featured faculty includes nationally renowned authors Amelia Gray, Arna Bontemps Hemenway, and poet Patricia Lockwood. For more information: www.seersuckerlive.com/workshop

MFA alum Morowa Yejidé's ‘12 novel Time of the Locust has been released as an audiobook and can be obtained athttp://www.morowayejide.com/time_of_the_locust_audiobook. The Time of the Locust paperback edition will be released by Simon & Schuster/Atria books October 6, 2015.

MA alum Marlon James’s ’06 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.