Life of a Writer: 2019 Spring Edition

EXCITING UPDATES FROM SPALDING MFA STUDENTS, ALUMNI, FACULTY, AND STAFF ON PUBLISHING, PRODUCING, AND OTHER DOINGS – ENJOY!

STUDENTS

Holly (Baldwin) Beck’s (PW) short story “One Day” has been published in Z Publishing’s anthology America’s Emerging Literary Fiction Writers – West Region. Recently married, this is the first time “Holly Beck” is in print.

Andie Redwine-Becker (SW) was honored with a regional Emmy nomination from the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Her production team’s documentary, Clessie Cummins: Hoosier Inventor, aired on Indiana Public Media outlets in 2019. Andie served as the co-director, writer, and producer for the project. This historical documentary details the life and career of Clessie Cummins and the humble beginnings of Cummins Diesel, now a Fortune 100 company headquartered in rural Southern Indiana. You can follow Andie at: Twitter – @andieredwine and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndieRedwine/ 

Drew Dunlop‘s (CNF) new original play, “The Month of May,” had reading performances at the Darkhorse Theater in Nashville on April 10 and 17 as part of Act 1 Theatre Company’s One-Act Wednesdays series. The story features a young woman who decides to help an old widower end his mourning and find love again. Drew can be followed on Facebook and on Twitter: @TNDrew.

Victoria Z. Daly, Elana Gartner and Charlie Schulman at Pen Parentis

Elana Gartner’s (PW) play “Before Lesbians” was the recipient of 2nd Place in the 2018 Henley Rose Playwright Competition. As a result, “Before Lesbians” will receive a staged reading in Knoxville, Tennessee, the weekend of June 1-2. In addition, an excerpt of the same play was presented at a Pen Parentis event, focusing on playwrights who are parents, alongside Spalding professor Charlie Schulman and colleague Victoria Z. Daly. After the work was presented, the playwrights answered questions about playwriting and being a parent who is a playwright. Elana can be found at her website, on Twitter and Facebook.

Elizabeth Felicetti (CNF) has a poem, “That Time I Blessed the Rats,” in the new anthology Lingering on the Margins, published by Chop Suey Books. Felicetti honed this poem in a workshop during a cross-genre residency and named one of the rats after a fellow workshop participant, Connor. In addition to publishing poems about rats and church, Felicetti continues her new calling as a book reviewer, inspired by Lynnell Edwards’s excellent reviewing workshop in Spring 2018. She now reviews for Kirkus Reviews, episcopalcafe.com (Book Review: On Thomas Merton – Episcopal Cafe mentions the pressure she feels to admire Thomas Merton, due to the proximity of his monastery to Spalding), and The Christian Century. She still tweets @bizfel.

Lennie Hay (P) recently had a poem, “Continents’ Divide,” published in Odet, a journal of short fiction, essays, poetry and visual art.  Her poem also won Honorable Mention in the 2018 Romeo Lemay Writing Contest.

Dana VanderLugt’s (CNF) essay “Losing my Way” was featured on The Reformed Journal‘s blog, The Twelve, in March. Dana tweets @danavanderlugt and blogs at www.stumblingtowardgrace.com

ALUMNI

Deborah Begel (CNF ‛06) served as guest editor of the March-April issue of New Mexico Kids magazine.  Begel is also the proofreader for the magazine.

Kristin Brace’s (F ‛12) short story “Lavender” will appear in Issue 46 of Talking River. In March, Kristin gave a presentation to the Women’s City Club of Grand Rapids, Michigan, called “Where Does Your Story Start? Writing from a Place that Matters” and led participants in a writing activity.

Nancy Chen Long (P ‛13) is honored to report that an excerpt from her second manuscript, Wider Than the Sky, was selected as the winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Award. She was also a featured reader at the April 2019 Louisville Literary Arts InKY Reading Series.

Jeffrey Fischer Smith (PW ‛17) has adapted his short play “A Dog Dreams” for the screen, and the film is currently in post-production. Noah Blake is directing and will star alongside Allie Lind and Blitz the Dog. More info about Jeffrey can be found on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jfischersmith

Thea Gavin (P ‛05) had her poem “Definitely Home” (which first appeared in the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California by Scarlet Tanager Press) republished in the Spring edition of Flora, the magazine of the California Native Plant Society. She recently led a creative writing workshop as part of the annual “Art in the Park” day at Crystal Cove State Park, and she is looking forward to leading her fifth annual creative writing workshop for the Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute at Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim on June 7-9. Thea also founded and facilitates a monthly creative writing group for Orange County, California, writers called “Write Night;” Spalding alums in the area are welcome to join the fun (contact Thea via Messenger on Facebook).

Tara Goldstein (PW ‛06) launched her new book Teaching Gender and Sexuality at School: Letters to Teachers in March. In the book, Tara addresses a full range of issues facing LGBTQ students and families at elementary and secondary school. She talks to teachers about how they can normalize LGBTQ lives in the curriculum, challenge homophobic and transphobic ideas, and build an inclusive school culture that both expects and welcomes LGBTQ students and their families. The book contains two of Tara’s research-informed play scripts: Snakes and Ladders (which she worked on at Spalding) and Out at School, a verbatim theatre script of monologues that Tara’s research team has created from video interviews with LGBTQ families about their experiences at school (www.lgbtqfamiliesspeakout.ca). Out at School will be performed at the Toronto Pride Festival in June.

Diana McQuady’s (F ‛14) short story “Flaming Star” will appear in the 2019 Columnes River Journal, to be published in May. In February, her painting “Before and After” won first place in the Amateur Mixed Media category of the U.S. Bank Celebration of the Arts Exhibit at the Western Kentucky University Museum in Bowling Green, where it hung until April 4. Additionally, “Fortune’s Son,” a chapter excerpted from Diana’s novel, Painting Over Mistakes, has been accepted for publication in the April 2019 online issue of The Write Launch

Heather Meyer‘s (PW ‛16) MFA thesis play, The Hired Man, had a public reading at LA’s Theatre of Note. It’s the second time this theatre has held a reading of this play. This play also had a reading in Minneapolis on April 2.

Marilyn and her brother David

Marilyn Millstone‘s (PW ‛16) Spalding MFA thesis play Proprioception recently won AACT NewPlayFest 2020. It will premiere at Rover Dramawerks in Plano, Texas, in April 2020 and be published by Dramatic Publishing. Two of Marilyn’s monologues have been selected for The Best Women’s Monologues of 2019, published by Smith and Kraus: a comedic monologue from her one-act play Birthday Girl, which premiered at the 2018 Silver Spring Stage One Act Play Festival; and a dramatic monologue from her soon-to-be-produced full-length play Proprioception. Her short play Compos Mentis was  produced for the ninth time March 30-April 7 as part of the Dorset [Vermont] Players 16th Annual One-Act Play Festival. Marilyn also occasionally writes creative nonfiction, and an essay she wrote entitled “Bingo”–about her younger brother David (pictured here with Marilyn)–won second prize in the 2019 Bethesda Magazine/Bethesda Urban Partnership essay contest; she received her prize and read her essay aloud at an awards ceremony at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency on April 26.

Portia Pennington’s (SW ‛18) thesis screenplay, Written By Elodia Jane Wilder, is a quarterfinalist in the Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship. Elodia was also a selected project at the 2018 Stowe Story Lab in Stowe, Vermont. Pennington’s one act play, Talley Road, won the 2019 Kentucky Voices competition and will receive a staged production in May. Finally, her new full-length play, Stories We Do Not Tell, received a staged reading at Public Theatre of Kentucky.

Julia B. Rosenblatt‘s (SW ‛18) short play “Good Meeting” is being performed in the Third Annual Writer’s Voice Ten Minute Play Festival on May 10 and 11 in New York City, directed by Spalding MFA dramatic writing faculty member Charlie Schulman.

Maria Steinmetz (W4CYA ‛14) received the 2019 Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction from Ivy Tech Community College for the Lawrenceburg and Batesville, Indiana, campuses.  She has been teaching English composition and creative writing at Ivy Tech since 2015. Currently, she is also serving as the editor for the Lawrenceburg campus’s spring literary journal, Wordmongers, an annual publication of students’ poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and photography.  

FACULTY & STAFF

The view from Darvill’s Bookstore in Eastsound

Dianne Aprile (CNF faculty) will read on May 3 at Seattle’s Jack Straw Cultural Center. On April 5, Dianne read at Darvill’s Bookstore on Orcas Island as part of the annual Orcas Island Lit Fest.

Charlie Schulman (Dramatic Writing faculty) is thrilled to announce he will be producing Spalding alum Julia B. Rosenblatt‘s (SW ’18) “Good Meeting” in the Third Annual Writer’s Voice Ten Minute Play Festival May 10 and 11. This is the third year in a row that a Spalding playwright has been represented in this festival with a very strong play. (By the way, all of the application fees were waived this year–so thanks to all who submitted plays.) Additionally, his short comic play “The Marketplace of Ideas” will be presented in Program B along with new plays by Michael Roberts and Joy Behar.

Katy Yocom is having fun getting ready to launch her debut novel, Three Ways to Disappear, in July. She has readings coming up July 26 at Village Lights Bookstore in Madison, Indiana; August 1 at Carmichael’s Bookstore and August 22 at Spalding at 21c reading series, both in Louisville; August 9 at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida; and Wordier Than Thou reading series in Tampa, with more events in the works. She is also setting up workshops, classroom visits, and university readings.  


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