Monday, December 24, 2007

Thesis Binders

I have two extra of the 1-1/2" thesis binders, if anyone is interested in purchasing them directly from me (if you order on line you must buy in bundles of 6). Let me know. I can bring them to residency with me.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Residency Schedule

The schedule for the January residency is available at the MFA web page--

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Roommate for 2008 AWP Conference

I am looking for a female roommate during the AWP Conference Jan 30-Feb 2 in NYC. I have reservations at the  Doubletree Time Square, 7 blocks from the conference site.

Contact me if you're interested at

Polly Giantonio

Workshop List Problems?

Some of you have reported problems with the workshop enrollment spreadsheet. I encourage everyone to go directly to the MFA web page ( IN A NEW BROWSER to confirm your enrollments. The link is near the top of the page.


Creative Writers Opportunities List

I am on this e-mail list (a mentor recommended it) and think it is a valuable resource. Of course, it does add extra messages to your box. Try it out and see if it works for you. Their info. below:

Looking for a gift for the writer on your list?
Give them the gift of the Creative Writers Opportunities List--a gift at no
cost to you or to them.

Here are instructions for joining the list. Feel free to forward this e-mail
to writer friends as a holiday gift they'll use all year.

Please note that the list will be on hiatus from Dec. 23, 2007 through
January 3, 2008, so any new subscribers will start seeing messages arrive after the
New Year.

To join CRWROPPS-B, send a blank e-mail message to
(replace (at) with @). You will be sent an e-mail with further
instructions on joining the list.


and click on "Join This Group." Follow on-screen prompts
to complete sign-up.

Happy Holidays from CRWROPPS-B!

Allison Joseph, Moderator
Creative Writers Opportunities List (CRWROPPS-B)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Workshop Enrollments

Please visit the link below to check the workshops you'll be in at the residency

then check the workshop descriptions for the prep work you need to do in advance of the residency

Reminder to Internship/Practicum Students

Please have your on-site supervisor for you internship or practicum mail or email an evaluation of your performance this semester to the MFA office. We need to receive it by Dec. 27 at the latest.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Summon Bind Banish" in Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch, edited by Paul Tremblay and Sean Wallace, is out now! The anthology contains my story "Summon Bind Banish", which was workshopped in our very own online multigenre workshop last year.

The book also got a neat review in Publishers Weekly, excerpted below:

"It may or may not be frumious, but this original anthology from Tremblay and Wallace positively revels in the “strange, dark, and unpredictable.” Nearly all the thirteen stories have both feet firmly in the avant-garde. Several tilt toward black-humored horror, and even the authors’ bios run to the bizarre. ... This corner of the genre is very much an acquired taste, but for those who dig that funky groove, this anthology more than delivers what it promises."—Publishers Weekly.

Friday, December 14, 2007

E-Publicist Needed for Brookfield Craft Center

FYI - I just received info on this Danbury-area media communications opportunity. If you're interested, the contact name is below.


E-Publicist Help Needed

Here at the Brookfield Craft Center, we're busy producing exciting programs and events for 2008 and beyond that support creativity and fine craftsmanship. We’re creating course catalogs, gallery posters, new releases and e-mail communications that help spread the word about the many opportunities for people to experience the richness and diversity of the contemporary craft world and the artists that make up the communities that Brookfield Craft Center serves.

We could use some help in getting this information out to the local, regional and national print, broadcast and electronic media. We're hoping to find a talented 21st century publicist-communications person with experience in electronic media communications as well as traditional print and broadcast media to help us on a project-by-project basis with these and other communication efforts.

If you have experience in media communications and a passion to support the world of fine craftsmanship, creativity and good design, we'd love to hear from you! Please contact me directly to explore this special opportunity.

Thanks so much,

Jack Russell, Executive Director
Brookfield Craft Center

P.O. Box 122
286 Whisconier Road (Rte 25)

Brookfield, CT 06804
203-775-4526 x102

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A call to the Sci-Fi followers

With the recent movie release of "I Am Legend" with Will Smith, I've been reading up on Richard Matheson since I had never heard of him before. I didn't realize that the movie, "What Dreams May Come" with Robin Williams was based on one of his books.

So for the Sci-Fi followers, what do you think of Matheson? Is the book "Dreams" worth reading or should I not bother?

Monday, December 10, 2007

April 29th at Whirligig

My story April 29th appears in the first issue of the new e-zine Whirligig.

For those who were involved in the zine scene of the early part of this decade, you may remember a paper litzine of the same name published by Frank Marcopolos (aka Brooklyn Frank). Marcopolos sold the name to J.D. Finch who has turned it into a combination ezine/print zine that does the welome, if unzinely, thing of paying its contributors some small amount.

Anyway, do check it out.

Click Me

Friday, December 07, 2007

Residency Workshops

MFA Students,

Laurel is posting the residency workshops to the MFA web page. Please review the workshops and email me your preferences (1st and 2nd) for each day. As usual, I will try to meet everyone's request, but it's usually not possible to meet 100% of requests for everyone.

Please email your preferences to me ( no later than noon on Wednesday, the 12th of December.


Staged Reading of Finding Patience


I'm pleased to announce a script reading of Finding Patience. It's a feature length screenplay that I began work on last semester. If you're interested in attending the reading, please rsvp. Below is the invite.

Happy Holidays!

Aaliyah Miller

The New York Chapter of the
National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

invites you to a Script Reading

hosted by
Arlene Dahl

Aaliyah Miller

Monday, December 17

Reception at 5:30

Reading at 6:00

Reservations required.

To reserve and for midtown location information
call NATAS at:

212 459-3630 X 204

Dietary Restrictions at Residency

Folks, if you're coming to the January residency and you have any dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, allergies, etc.), please let Laurel know ASAP (


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Connecticut River Review submission period

Hi Poets,

CRR, the journal of the Connecticut Poetry Society, is in open submissions now until the end of April. If you would like to see some of the work we have published, click here:

You might recognize a name or two...

Hope you'll consider sending me some poetry!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Online Contract Writing Job

If you're interested, contact:

Maureen Casey Gernert
Director Career Development Center
Western Connecticut State University
Phone: (203) 837-8266

Online Copywriter Contract position open

ITech Consulting Partners, LLC
Title: Online Copywriter
Location: White Plains, NY
Duration: 6 months++
Rate: up to $55/hr C2C or LLC; $48/hr. W-2
Our client, a Fortune 500 company with global presence, is looking for an online copy writer with experience in writing Advertising/Marketing pieces to work on concepting and copy for web sites and on-line advertising.
This person will work closely with the Interactive copy department head and Interactive CD in the development of compelling concepts and the delivery of effective promotional and marketing copy. The consultant will work in conjunction with the interactive creative group, project managers and account coordinators in the creation of dynamic interactive marketing and web sites for 10 world class brands.

Required Skills and Experience
• Promotional and site writing samples or URL’s required with resume submission.
• 3-5 years experience writing promotional and/or advertising copy
• BA/BS degree
• Ability to adapt writing to a variety of different brands
• Strong conceptual ability and excellent writing skills
• Good oral communication skills
• Understanding of interactive space
• High creative standards and a desire to do great work
• Positive attitude towards projects and co-workers
• Able to work in a fast paced, deadline driven environment
ITech Consulting Partners has successfully assisted Fortune 500 clients on their project needs as well as staffing augmentation. Our numerous placements cover a wide range of technologies and skill levels.
Visit our website at for more information about our company and a list of our hot jobs.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Don Snyder in WSJ

An excerpt from Don Snyder's forthcoming book, Goodbye Jack, will appear in tomorrow's (Saturday's) Wall Street Journal. Look for "Golfer's Journal."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Enrichment Presentations


Please let me know now if you plan to present your enrichment project at the January residency. As of now, I have Don Lowe and Lisa Smith-Overton down for presentations. Also let me know your media needs for your presentation (that includes you, Lisa and Don).


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Internship/Practicum and Mentors

For those of you who will be in the internship/practicum (third) semester in the spring: you may request a mentor as you usually would do for any other course. You will also need to arrange for an on-site mentor, who will vouch for your participation in the internship/practicum and will write an evaluation of your performance at the end of the semester. Your MFA mentor will work with you over the semester to reflect on the internship experience and to delve into wider issues that surround the particular internship (current publishing practices if you were working for a publisher, or issues in reading education if you were teaching reading to 2nd graders, for example). Prior to assignment of your MFA mentor I will advise you on internship issues, so let me know if you have any questions.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Internships, quite pleased with the work Marc Fitch did in his recent internship, has sent these two links in hopes of appealing to some of you who are doing internships this winter. Check out the links, talk to Marc if you have some questions about what he did there, and email Dan Doernberg, the publisher of, at if you have questions.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

"The Game Is a Tribute" in HOUSE UNAUTHORIZED

House Unauthorized, the latest in the Smart Pop series of books, is out and contains my essay "The Game Is a Tribute", in which I compare Dr. Gregory House to Sherlock Holmes.

Why do we love Holmes, while we love to hate House? I suggest that the difference is one of narrative voice: Watson exists as both a sounding board and an apologist for Holmes, while House — the same imperious figure — is trapped in an egalitarian, postmodern culture with nothing but the gaze of the camera with which to plead his case. Check it out.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bad News: Norman Mailer Passed Away this Morning

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Saturday, November 10, 2007 -- 8:06 AM ET-----

Norman Mailer Is Dead at Age 84

Norman Mailer, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who was amajor presence in American literature for over seven decades,died of renal failure early Saturday, his literary executor said. He was 84.
Mailer died at Mount Sinai Hospital, said J. Michael Lennon,who is also the author's official biographer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Screenwriting Workshop with Leslie Dallas

November 12 and 19, 7:30 p.m. (each session will last 2 hours)

This course provides students with a basic working knowledge of the screenwriting process. It takes students from developing an idea to working up a treatment, developing a step-outline, and writing the first 15 pages of a script. Discussion of plot, character, conflict, dialogue and structure will enhance the writing workshop and provide critical skills. The emphasis will be on learning to write for the Hollywood market. This intensive workshop is for individuals who want to learn the craft of dramatic writing.

For the first meeting, please bring in three ideas for a screenplay (typed).

All students must sign up with the MFA office in order to participate. Call 203-837-9976 or 203-837-8878 or email Dr. Clements at or Laurel Richards at Students who sign up will be provided with workshop location.

Leslie Dallas is a screenwriter and story editor. She has been awarded the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, the Disney Fellowship, and the Jack Nicholson Prize in Screenwriting. Her work has been staged at the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Austin Heart of Film Festival. She is a graduate of the prestigious UCLA MFA program in Screenwriting, and has worked on numerous projects in television and for the studios. After living several lifetimes in Los Angeles, she was recently reincarnated in Connecticut.

Two-Day Workshop Outline

1. Openings
2. Three act screenplay and format.
3. Workshop: Discuss students’ three ideas for screenplays.
4. Class will decide which idea the student will develop into a script.
5. Discussion of treatments (two–page, double-spaced) vs outlines. Step outline of current film for structural review.
6. Character “bios.” Workshop with others.
7. Lecture on FIRST ACTS
8. Pitch first act ideas to class
9. Lecture: Scene construction; elements of a scene
10. Workshop: Scene activity; share with group
11. Lecture: Dialogue: Real dialogue for reel characters
12. Lecture: Movie themes—the deeper issues of storytelling.
13. What’s your movie REALLY about.
14. Discuss where you are as a writer.
15. INDUSTRY QUESTIONS: All the things you’ve wanted to ask but I kept putting off. Agents, submissions, how to break in, who to trust, etc.
16. The first 15 pages of your script

Thursday, November 01, 2007

MFA Get-together and Interview

Hey Everybody,

My partner and I are looking to interview writers, published and unpublished, about their experiences in the writing/publishing industry. We will be having pizza and drinks in room 213 of the West Side Campus Center on thurs Nov. 8th at 7PM. Please email me to let me know if you plan to attend at I think it will be nice reason to get together part way through the semester and a chance to vent about our frustrations with publishers and editors and also, hopefully, share some success stories. All students and proffessors are welcome to attend. The more the better.

Hope to see you there!

-Marc E. Fitch

CT Review Contests

Info below on poetry, essay, and fiction contests.


DEADLINE: Postmarked by December 7, 2007

Poems submitted will be considered for both contests. An individual poem can win only one contest and the winning poems will be published in the Spring/ 2008 Connecticut Review.
To enter the contests, you must be currently enrolled as a graduate or undergraduate student at SCSU, ECSU, WCSU or CCSU.
1. Submit two typed copies of up to five poems. The poems will be judged individually and not as a group.
2. Each poem can have no more than 34 lines (excluding title, but including stanza break). Line count must be on the top of both copies of each poem to have it considered.
3. One copy of each poem should have name, address, e-mail, phone number, school and current ACADEMIC STATUS. One copy should have no name or information. It will be sent to the national judge.
6. Include a cover letter with a brief biography that can be used for the Contributor's Notes if you win.
7. Your work will not be returned. Include a sase for results.
Send work to: Connecticut Review/ Leeds & Connellan Contests
Attention: Lisa Siedlarz, Managing Editor
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, Ct. 06515
Tony Morris, poet and professor at Armstrong Atlantic State University, Editor of Southern Poetry Review and President of the Georgia Poetry Society will judge both contests. He's published two books of poetry as well as articles and stories in national journals. He has a PhD in creative writing from Florida State University.


DEADLINE: Postmarked by December 7, 2007

An ESSAY and a SHORT STORY will be published in the Spring/ 2008 Connecticut Review. To enter one or both of the contests, you must currently be enrolled as a graduate or undergraduate at ECSU, CCSU, SCSU, or WCSU.
1. These are two separate contests. You can send an entry to both.
2. The essay can be creative non-fiction, scholarly or personal.
3. Submit contest entries in different envelopes- label with type.
1. Do not exceed 2500 words or your entry will not be considered. Word count must be on each copy.
2. For each contest, submit two typed copies of the work. Both copies should have the name of the contest. (Fiction or Essay) One copy should have your name, address, phone number, e-mail, name of school and current academic status. One copy should have no name or information. It will be sent to the national judge. Staple the named copy and the anonymous copy separately.
3. Include a cover letter with a brief biography that can be used for the Contributor's Notes if you win.
4. Your work will not be returned. Include a sase for results.
Send work to: Connecticut Review Essay Contest (or) Fiction Contest
Attention: Lisa Siedlarz, Managing Editor
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, Ct. 06515
Tony Morris, poet and professor at Armstrong Atlantic State University, Editor of Southern Poetry Review and President of the Georgia Poetry Society will judge both contests. He's published two books of poetry as well as articles and stories in national journals. He has a PhD in creative writing from Florida State University.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"A Sudden Absence of Bees" in Nature

This week's Nature magazine, a most unusual mix of popular consumer slick and peer-reviewed science journal, contains my short story A Sudden Absence of Bees, as its weekly "Futures" feature. Check it out.

There are very few slicks these days publishing fiction of any sort, much less "genre" fiction, and much much less fiction by unknown writers, so I'd strongly recommend that fiction writers in our program check out the submission guidelines. A collection of stories published in the magazine in previous iterations of the Futures column will be released in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Into The Wild

Last night my wife and I saw the film, Into the Wild. I’m a huge fan of Krakauer’s book and this is quite possibly the best film version of a great book ever. Don’t miss this movie! Completely soul-stirring. Into the Wild is about dreams; it’s about what is important. No car chases no futuristic bullshit no special effects. Sean Penn’s direction is chocked full of texture and nuance, and he pulls tour-de-force performances out of the entire acting ensemble. Hal

After the movie at home we got lucky (no, not THAT kind of lucky...). Flicked on the TV (usually a major mistake on “date night”) and a cable show called ICONOCLASTS came on and lo-and-behold it featured an hour-long documentary with Sean Penn and Jon Krakauer talking about Into the Wild. I’ve long admired Penn -- he’s his own guy -- but he rises even higher in my esteem since seeing these two productions. (I’d forgotten that he self financed a personal trip to pre-invasion Iraq and wrote several prophetic articles. At the time people called him a traitor. Every word turned out to be true. The most prescient? His article on “going into Iraq will be much easier than getting out.” Wonder why that never dawned on anyone else?)

Forget Puerto Rico: I hope the next residency is in ALASKA! Did I mention I liked this movie?
Don L.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Miranda Film Review

Miranda Literary Magazine will be reviewing a film in The Outsiders of New Orleans: Loujon Press. Might make a nice holiday gift for someone on your literary wish list.

Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb, now well into her nineties, tells the story of how she and her husband Jon Webb published the avant-garde literary magazine The Outsider from a small apartment in the French Quarter in the early 1960’s. By day Gypsy Lou sold paintings on street corner, and by night she set the type that introduced the world to the beat poet Charles Bukowski whose work Jon Webb also chose for their first two Loujon Press books– It Catches My Heart In It’s Hands and Crucifix in a Deathhand. The books are now rare collectibles, along with two others by Henry Miller, also hand-crafted and published by the Webbs.

Filmmaker Wayne Ewing, well-known for his three documentaries about the late Gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson, has a new film, The Outsiders of New Orleans: Loujon Press, premiering at the Starz Denver Film Festival November 11, 2007. DVDs of the one-hour film will be on sFale for Christmas at If you or someone at your organization would like to review the film, please advise to whom and where we can send a screener.

(This isn't our review, just a synopsis)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

3 Contests for MFA Students

1) The Creative Nonfiction MFA Program-Off: DEADLINE COMING SOON!

One MFA student's work will appear in next year's Best Creative Nonfiction edited by Lee Gutkind. Winning piece will be chosen by Gutkind. Guidelines:
  • 3,000 words or less
  • No excerpts
  • Work must be previously unpublished
  • Student must be enrolled currently in an MFA program
  • One submission per person
  • Deadline: Nov. 1

Send submission and cover letter including name, university, and contat info to WW Norton, ATTN: Vanessa Hope Schneider, Creative Nonfiction MFA Program-Off, 500 Fifth Ave., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10110.

2) The Atlantic Student Writing Contest (Poetry, Fiction, Personal or Journalistic Essays)

First prize, $1,000; Second Prize, $500; Third, $250; Runners up in each category--one year subscription. Guidelines:

  • Must be currently enrolled grad or undergrad student
  • Work must be previously unpublished
  • No more than 3 poems or 7,500 words of prose
  • One submission per person per category
  • Deadline: December 1 postmark
  • Manuscripts must be double spaced
  • Cover letter must include title(s), category, word count, author's name, address, phone number, email address, and academic institution
  • ONLY THE TITLE should appear on the manuscript pages (no names, etc.)
  • Winners notified March 2008

Send entries to Student Writing Contest, The Atlantic Monthly, 600 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

3) Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Winner will be published with Penguin with $25,000 award. Deadline: November 5

Guidelines at

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dan Pope Workshop--Reserve a Seat While They're Available!

Don't miss this one! Dan Pope is the author of In the Cherry Tree ( a surprise hit in 2003) and a Writing Mentor in the MFA program. Dan will give a short craft lecture and workshop two student stories.

If you can't make the workshop, come to the reading Wednesday night in the Reimold Theatre in Berkshire Hall (midtown campus).

Support these MFA programs so we can keep funding coming in for similar programming!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Paid Internship--Danbury Public Schools

I forward this from Maureen Gernert of the WCSU Career Development Center--stipend is $7500...

Hi Brian,
This is the information that was forwarded to me by the Danbury School System person, Denise Gagne. I had asked for more of a job description. What I can tell you is that the biggest project they are working on is the Annual Report which is a writing project but also a marketing piece. They are trying to tell the school system's story. The person would be going out to the principals and gathering information for the report. They are likely to be working on other pieces with the view to marketing the school system to the general public (successes, accomplishments etc.). Someone with excellent writing skills but with a marketing slant or interest would be ideal.
Please share with your professional writing students and they can call me if they have some questions about this ( for background). They should forward their resumes to Denise Gagne (probably e-mail would be best) and identify themselves as students in the graduate professional writing program and were notified through the Career Development Center. I would also ask that they shoot me an e-mail if they apply so I am in the loop and can track the progress on this search.

Thank you for your help!

Maureen Casey Gernert
Director Career Development Center
Western Connecticut State University
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 837-8266
Fax: (203) 837-8540
----- Forwarded by Maureen Gernert/CDC/WCSU on 10/10/2007 12:20 PM -----
"Denise Gagne"
10/09/2007 08:34 AM



Good Morning Maureen,
As discussed last week, Danbury Public Schools (DPS) has an immediate need for an intern to perform a wide variety of marketing/public relations type work.
The prospective candidate should possess excellent communication skills and the ability to work with multiple projects simultaneously, without direction.
Presuming an October start date, the budgeting stipend for ths position will be $7,500 (through June 30, 2008) - no benefits.
You suggested that 2-3 MFA candidates may be a good fit for this opportunity. Please have their resumes forwarded to me so that I may set up interviews ASAP.
Thank you for your help in this matter. I look forward to working with you.
Denise Gagne
Director of Human Resources
Danbury Public Schools
63 Beaver Brook Road
Danbury, CT 06810
Telephone: (203)-797-4705
Fax: (203)-830-6560

Friday, October 05, 2007

Award-Winning Faculty

Peter Selgin's collection of stories, BODIES OF WATER, has won the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Prize and will be published by University of Georgia Press in the Fall of 2008.

DISAPPOINTED PSALMS, a book of poems by Brian Clements, has won the inaugural Colombian Poetry Prize from Meritage Press and will be published in 2008.

Post your recent publication news here!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kore Press Chapbook Competition

For female writers of short ficton, it's just a month away!

kore press chapbook competition


Lydia Davis


31 October


The 2008 Fiction Award Winner will receive $1,000 plus publication as a stand-alone short-story chapbook.


This competition is open to any woman writing in English, regardless of nationality.

Please submit one copy of a previously unpublished short story, a cover sheet, and a $15 reading fee payable to Kore Press. Please make sure your name, address, phone numbers and email address is on the cover sheet (see below).

All entrants will be notified of results via email. If you wish, you may send a self-addressed stamped postcard to confirm we received your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts cannot be returned.

Cover sheet should include:

* name
* address
* daytime and evening telephone numbers
* email address
* title of manuscript

Manuscripts must be:

* a minimum of 4,000 words and a maximum of 12,000 words
* on standard white paper, doublespaced
* paginated
* unbound
* anonymous (do not include your name anywhere on the manuscript)
* original fiction written by the applicant (translations are not eligible)
* unpublished at the time of submission

If the story is accepted elsewhere during our deliberation process, please notify us immediately.

Send submissions to:

Kore Press, Short Fiction Award
P.O. Box 3044
Tucson, AZ 85702-3044

Friday, September 28, 2007

AWP Registrations Slipping Away

14 gone... 11 left... Get 'em while the gettin's good!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tim O'Brien

From Kateri:

Sorry for the late notice, but I just found out that Tim O'Brien will be giving a talk at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, this Thursday, Sept. 27, at 5:30.
If anybody wants to go or needs directions, let me know, especially if you want to meet up--the Vassar Chapel is a huge place!

Here's the link for more info:


Internship Opportunities

Ridgefield and Bedford magazines are looking for editorial interns. If you'd like to get more info, call Lee Bodkin, editor, at 203-431-1708 (x. 111).

Friday, September 21, 2007

In Remembrance

All - I was saddened to learn the other day that two of my all-time favorite English professors that taught me during undergraduate studies at SCSU passed away recently. Dan Ort and Leanne Smith influenced my writing life greatly, and me personally. For all of you who have experienced my encouragement during workshops to "pump up" your writing, or to stretch what you can do with a particular sentence, or to maximize the power of the words you use to describe a scene, all of that came from Dan Ort. I still have a satire piece about dieting I worked on with him, all of his scribbles to push the writing even farther still intact. Leanne Smith was the type of professor who pushed you to express your own opinions. I'll never forget a paper I wrote for American Literature about The Scarlet Letter. Although my point of view was outside the conventional, I got an A because I articulated the position with tight writing.

There are many who influence us in our lives, who help us become who we are. Both of these professors were that for me. I always wanted to touch base with them to let them know what became of me and how they influenced my success in life -- and never had the chance, although both didn't live far away.

Here are some of Dan's books a friend emailed to me. I haven't read them in forever. But thought you might want to take a look.

$12.95, 72 pages
ISBN 0-914061-73-9
Two looks at the role of storytelling in the life of an ordinary and not so ordinary man, followed by a personal meditation on mortality and art and — astonishingly — amnesia.

$14.95, 128 pages
ISBN 0-914061-45-3
hardcover, limited edition, signed—$40.00
More clever essays on computers, cinnamon rolls, family life, and dying from the author of Ort Bran.

hardcover $20.00; pbk $14.95, 128 pages
hardcover: ISBN 0-914061-18-6; paperback ISBN 0-914061-12-7
Amused looks at hospitals, commercials, cocktail parties, cats vs. dogs, weddings, and a variety of contemporary phenomena from a wry personal viewpoint. Some of these essays were previously published in The New York Times, to which the author, a professor at South Connecticut State University, frequently contributes.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Recently Published Essay

I just had the following essay published in the September issue of Short Bites: The Vermont Shortbread Company E-zine. Hope you enjoy it!

Rediscovering Coffee, Cafes, and the Art of Conversation

By Anne Witkavitch

Lately I've been doing something new: Reconnecting with people in my life. Somehow most had become impressionistic blurs as I raced by them at top speed, running in life's perpetual marathon, sprinting towards a finish line with about as much success as trying to walk up a down escalator with my feet tied together. The catalyst for this rediscovery has been a little dark bean from Columbia.

Grind it, brew it, smell it, swig it - I'm not talking about the tinny, watery, brown liquid in a cup variety. I mean "real coffee," the rich, roasted brew whose aroma arouses a desire to sit, savor, and sip its delicious blend in the company of others. I readily admit my addiction to this aromatic cup of comfort -- hot or cold -and it has become a must-have staple in a life of ups and downs, opportunities and challenges, fast lane cruising and slow Sunday driving.

A good cup of coffee used to mean nabbing a java from one of a multitude of Starbucks kiosks lined up in the airport concourse. Today it no longer feels politically correct to drink my coffee on the run. Coffee has become a revelation for me and I am born again in my desire to feel it flow through my veins. I have made coffee in my life somewhat of a social custom, much like it is in Europe, and it provides me with the perfect excuse to slow down and give myself a break.

I now schedule early morning catch-ups over coffee with my friends, a pleasant, peaceful way to start any day. I regularly visit the coffee shop at work to grab a cup and socialize with colleagues I rarely see come out from behind their laptops, except to get their midday caffeine fix. My husband and I often rock in our chairs on the front porch, lingering over a late night cup, warming our hands around the base of our mugs as we share that rare moment of together time while the children sleep soundly in their beds.

Whether it is the desire for caffeine, company, or conversation that enchants me, I'm not quite sure. I do know that coffee has raised the bar on my quality of life - and, oddly, has also exponentially increased the number of holiday cards I am sending this year.

Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." My little friend, the bean, has taught me to slow down and smell the coffee. As I saunter and sip my favorite house blend, I notice that the people in my life are now, at last, coming into focus. For now, I'm content with stepping off the fast track and joining the fun walk instead.

Anne Witkavitch is a Connecticut-based writer, whose musings about being a 21st century mother juggling family, career, and graduate school while pursuing her publishing dreams can be found on her blog: There's nothing she loves more than to enjoy her cup of coffee with a thick slice of Vermont Shortbread!


Hi All,

I am working toward publication of my work in Lit Mags and journals, and decided to create a blog for other "pre-emerging" writers like me.

Interested in sharing your experience in submitting work and/or other info. of interest to pre-emerging writers....? Check out Chrysalis and let me know. Tech help/suggestions appreciated as well. I'm a rookie.

Hope you are well.



Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dates for January Residency

The January residency, in Danbury, will take place from January 1-7.

January 1 will be a travel day with the welcome convocation in the evening.

January 7 will be a travel day only.

There will be a full schedule of activity on January 2-6.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

January Residency

The January residency will be in Danbury. The hope is for Puerto Rico in January 2009. Details forthcoming on January 2008 residency dates.

Dan Pope at WestConn

Reading Oct. 24, 7:30 pm, Reimold Theatre
Student Fiction Workshop Oct. 25, 7:00 pm

Dan Pope is the author of In the Cherry Tree (Picador, October 2003). His stories have appeared recently in McSweeney's (No. 4), Gettysburg Review, Night Train, Witness, Crazyhorse, Iowa Review, and other magazines. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, where he attended on a Truman Capote Fellowship. He is a winner of the Glenn Schaeffer Award from the International Institute of Modern Letters and a grant in fiction from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.

Dan Pope’s brilliant novel chronicles a childhood summer lived beneath the rumblings of an unhappy marriage. An ethnography of American suburban boyhood circa 1974, In the Cherry Tree takes you back to when you could name every actor on “The Big Valley,” wield dialogue from The Poseidon Adventure as a secret code to baffle the uninitiated, sing “The Night Chicago Died” from start to finish verbatim, and pronounce with absolute confidence that Elton John ruled and John Denver sucked. In lucid, deceptively simple prose, Pope explores childhood’s ardent faith in things worth knowing, just because. And in the necessity of judgments, the endless listing and rating of athletes, pop stars and movies - creating systems of order and value by which to live, while the Mom and the Dad, as Pope’s narrator calls them, battle it out in the next room.

Tender yet unsentimental, raucously funny, In the Cherry Tree evokes not only a time and place, but a kind of imagination that adulthood almost inevitably extinguishes in us all. You may not realize how much you’ve forgotten about being twelve years old until this novel reminds you. Anyone who was young in the suburbs a quarter century ago will be transported instantly back - for better and for worse - to familiar ground. Thought you’d left 1974 behind forever? Ready or not, here you go.

"In the manner of Alice McDermott’s That Night, or Evan Connell’s Mrs. Bridge, Dan Pope’s small, deft novel turns suburban malaise into both comedy and elegy. It’s a gem."
-- Rand Cooper, author of The Last to Go

"Dan Pope's novel doesn't capture the world of twelve-year-old boys in the 1970s so much as it liberates it. Filled with music, cars, obtuse older siblings, parents who are struggling with their own demons, and (increasingly, tentatively) girls, In the Cherry Tree gets every nuance right--the alliances and rivalries, the exuberance and sorrow, but above all the brilliant mix of intelligence and unintelligence that characterizes preteen life."
-- Ben Greenman, author of Superbad
Participation in the Student Workshop is by permission. Mr. Pope will deliver a brief craft lecture and will discuss two student stories. To attend, students must contact Prof. Clements, MFA in Professional Writing, Berkshire 117, Seating is limited. Students who want their stories or excerpts considered must submit them to Prof. Clements no later than noon on Monday, October 8.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Journals Looking for Work

Two well respected literary journals, The Missouri Review and Sycamore Review, are looking for submissions in poetry, fiction, short plays, and creative nonfiction. Both publications are also sponsoring awards that range from $1000 to $3500. Check them out at and

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Free AWP Registration

As sponsors of this year's AWP conference (see, the MFA program receives 25 free student registrations.

If you would like to attend the conference, please email a request to me. First-come, first-serve.


Attention all Fourth-Semester Students

To graduate at the end of this semester, you must fill out an application for graduation form (available at and submit it to the Graduate Studies office by October 1.

Thesis proposals should be in my hands (or my inbox) when I arrive at the office Monday morning at 8 am.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kerouac: Your good isn't good enough

Maybe this will help take the sting out of rejection.
The New York Times' David Oshinsky discusses how scholars have recently gone through the Alfred A. Knopf Inc. archive and discovered some eye-openers in the rejection pile.

Some highlights:
  • Jack Kerouac: “His frenetic and scrambling prose perfectly express the feverish travels of the Beat Generation. But is that enough? I don’t think so”).
  • Vladimir Nabokov's “Lolita”: Too racy
  • James Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room”: “hopelessly bad”

Komunyakaa in New Haven

Yusef Komunyakaa will read at the Beinecke on Thursday, September 20, 4 pm. This event is free and open to the public. The Beinecke Library is located at 121 Wall Street, New Haven. Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa is the author of many collections of poetry, including Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999, Talking Dirty to the Gods, Dien Cai Dau, and Neon Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977-1989. He has received awards from the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, where he served as a correspondent and managing editor of the Southern Cross.For more information about and examples of Yusef Komunyakaa's work please visit:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 Website of Connection - This won't make you feel good.

Being that it is 9/11 - I was watching Link TV about the women who lost their husband's at Ground Zero and how they spurred on the 9/11 report which was tainted by the administration and their hand picked committee cronies. Long story short, an independent journalist started asking questions about what the President knew and didn't know. He started connecting news articles, TV reports, and information and connecting them together. While one of these articles alone wouldn't mean much to casual news viewer/reader like us, when you connect the articles and draw out a clear pattern - we were wide open for attack and little was done to stop it. Take a look at the website and read some of the articles as they connect. I truly believe without the internet and the interconnection of stories, media, and information, this could never be clear in a slush pile of paper documents. This is a good example of what we are discussing in the OMG concerning how new technology offers a new view of media and reading.

Even if you are skeptical, take a look and explore, it is an amazing compilation regardless of what you make of the connections.

Let me know what you think.

Be well,
Ron Samul

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dana Fradon, New Yorker Cartoonist

From Dean Vaden-Goad,

Mr. Dana Fradon, well-known cartoonist for the New Yorker Magazine, will speak at WestConn's Midtown Campus on Thursday night, Sept. 27th, 7:30 pm, Science Building 125 (auditorium)
Free to all. Reception to follow.

Students and faculty in Art, Illustration, Writing, Communication, English, Psychology, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Business -- and everyone who likes good humor and reading -- will be interested in hearing and seeing what he has to offer us. Mr. Fradon has spent his whole career working for the New Yorker Magazine. His cartoons are so well regarded by the magazine, they are printed the week they are drawn and written -- pretty uncommon success.

He will join us to talk with us about making this kind of career and what life is like as a cartoonist for a major magazine. We would love for you to come, bring your friends and neighbors (and bring your classes)! It will be a very nice evening.

To read more:

PAID Graduate Resarch Assistant Opportunities

WestConn will be partnering with several community groups to deliver a "community health report card", which will deliver a report and website posting managed by the university. This project creates the opportunity for several graduate research assistants who possess one or more of the following skill sets:

1. research skills (collect, verify and report on data from a variety of sources)
2. technical skills (work with University Computing to prepare materials for the website)
3. editing and writing skills (prepare final report)

Please share the attached position announcement and application with your students. The time commitment would be approximately 15 hours per week, but is flexible. The university would like to have the students in place by the end of the month.

[please contact Brian immediately for application if you are interested in pursuing this... that means you, especially, Laura Tuite]

WLAD Internship

From the university Career Dev. Center:

We have a posting for a co-op internship with WLAD for their news area. If you have any students who would consider an un-paid internship in media, with an emphasis on news writing please tell them to come to the Career Development Center, Student Center 227. This opening is available for this Fall.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Connecticut River Review

Greetings writers! CRR is the poetry journal of the CT Poetry Society. I am the new editor of the journal and invite you to submit poetry. Our reading period is October to February. You can snail-mail to me at:

Lisa Siedlarz, Editor
CT River Review
53 Pearl Street
New Haven, CT 06511

or you can e-mail submissions to me at:

Also, is anyone interested in interning with me? I could use a reader.


Thursday, September 06, 2007


Some of you might remember that piece I read at the residency late one night at the pub called "Being," or as you might remember it, "that thing about the elephant."
Anyway, it was published today at a place called A Cautionary Tale.

Read the story here

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Richard Thompson

If any of you are interested in witnessing the masterful collaboration of story, poetry, and song I recommend Richard Thompson’s gorgeous ballad, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. I have admired this song for years, and you can see Richard Thompson, a genius guitar player, perform the hell out of it on UTUBE. Some great lines:
“And if fate should break my stride, then I'll give you my Vincent to ride”
“Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world, beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl”
“Now Nortons and Indians and Greeveses (and Harleys)won't do, they don't have a soul like a Vincent 52”

SEE it here:

For all you Denis Johnson fans

The New York Times gushes in its review of Denis Johnson's new novel "Tree of Smoke."
Good morning and please listen to me: Denis Johnson is a true American artist, and “Tree of Smoke” is a tremendous book, a strange entertainment, very long but very fast, a great whirly ride that starts out sad and gets sadder and sadder, loops unpredictably out and around, and then lurches down so suddenly at the very end that it will make your stomach flop.
Read the entire review here.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Writers Needed at EBSCO

EBSCO Publishing is seeking writers to create authoritative, in-depth summary articles on hundreds of topics in the field of Education for their electronic database products. EP ( is one of the leading academic publishers worldwide and is an authoritative source for research materials.

The essays currently needed address the major subject areas in Education for academic study and research, with the aim of making them interesting and accessible to a wide variety of readers. Articles are mostly targeted to college undergraduates. Essays need to be between 2,500 and 3000+ words in length (approx. 8+ pages) and should be well-researched and documented in appropriate citation style (APA Style).

Minimum writer requirements are a Masters or Ph.D. (or present enrollment in a Ph.D. program) in Education, or a related inter-disciplinary program. Writers will be compensated on a per-article basis and will receive a by-line and short biographical note. Preference will be given to those who can commit a significant amount of time to this program beginning immediately through September / October 2007. Please apply online at: EOE M/F/H/V.k

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Over and Under Dogs

Leona Helmsley willed her lap dog, Trouble, 12 million dollars. Somewhere between her and Michael Vick is some middle ground with regard to human/animal relationships.

Leona. Back when I was a chronically unemployed actor in New York I once picked up some Christmas season doorman work at Lord & Taylor department store. Must have been around 1987, 1988 maybe. After Leona and her assistant walked out of the store and I had helped them into a car, the assistant, a guy in his forties, popped back out and handed me a business card. He said, “Leona would like you to work for her.” The talk on Leona wasn’t so hot even then, so I didn’t call. Wish I had.

I’d wax on but my beagle, Chompers, is an 8-1 longshot with a German shepherd up the road. Bets due by noon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Author Tom Wolfe to Speak in New Haven

For anyone within driving distance of New Haven and who is a Tom Wolfe fan, you may be interested in a lecture at Yale on September 10 at 6:30 p.m. called "From Bauhaus to My House". The speakers are author Tom Wolfe and Professor Peter Eisenman, an architect. It's open to the public and it's free.

For more information here is the link to the calendar page:

David Gonzalez of NYTimes to Appear at WestConn

Monday, August 27, 2007

Online courses

Some of you no doubt have discovered that WebCT Vista is having problems. It's been reported to University Computing. I'll let you know when the problems are resolved.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Carmen started it!

Some of you may have been on hand one evening when Carmen Palmer announced to us at the Pub that Castro had died...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Handbags and Gladrags

Greetings and Air Kisses!
A lot of guys wouldn't post this, but then, I'm not a lot of guys. I'm just one guy, a guy who -- and I think anyone who knows me knows this -- thinks, lives, and breathes fashion from every stylish pore. No, not abandoning the dream of publishing a significant novel, but in the meantime I take whatever $work$ comes my way. Plus, isn't it just fabulous!!!!! Here's one of the articles I wrote recently for these folks.
Dazzling Wishes!

New Sentence Available--HELP NEEDED

Sentence 5 is now available (see info below). All members of the program are welcome to a free copy--you can pick one up in the MFA office, or we'll mail you one at your request (please email request to me).

Since there are no interns on staff at the moment, I am in desparate need of help stuffing, labelling, and stamping envelopes to get copies out to contributors and subscribers. If anyone is willing/able to help one weekend day or one evening, I'll buy the food and beverages during/afterward. And if anyone is interested in interning this semester, just let me know--you're guaranteed to learn how literary journal publishing works.


Sentence 5 is now available, including:

Feature section on The Prose Poem in East-Asia, edited by Steve Bradbury with co-editors and translators Don Mee Choi, Jeffrey Angles, Andrea Lingenfelter, Sawako Nakayasu, and Hiroaki Sato; translations of Lu Xun, Shang Qin, Liu Kexiang, Hsia Yu, Xi Chuan, Jiao Tong, Hung Hung, Ye Mimi, He Chuanfu, Ch’oe Sung-ja, Yi Yon-ju, Kim Hyesoon, Kasuya Eiichi, Takahashi Mutsuo, Suzuki Shiroyasu, Ito Hiromi, Hirata Toshiko, Yuko Minamikawa Adams, Abe Hinako, and Tatehata Akira.

Prose poems by Joe Ahearn, Kazim Ali, Erica Anzalone, Sally Ashton, Edward Bartók-Baratta, Bill Berkson, Raymond L. Bianchi, Daniel Borzutzky, Geoff Bouvier, Jenny Browne, Christopher Buckley, Kevin Cantwell, Peter Conners, Mark Cunningham, Chloe Daimyo, Jon Davis, Neil de la Flor, Carrie Etter, Kass Fleisher, Charles Fort, Angela Jane Fountas, James Fowler, Alex Galper (translated by Mike Magazinnik and Igor Satanovsky), Christine Gelineau, Daniel Grandbois, James Grinwis, Kelle Groom, Maurice Kilwein Guevara, Richard Gwyn, Tanesia Hale-Jones, Kalev Hantsoo, Kevin Haworth, Karen Holman, Brooke Horvath, Ann Howells, David James, Brian Johnson, George Kalamaras, Luke Kennard, Jill Khoury, Rauan Klassnik, Michael Koshkin, Richard Kostelanetz, David Lazar, Robert Hill Long, Sandy McIntosh, Michael Meyerhofer, Steve Myers, Andrew Neuendorf, Ed Orr, Virgilio Pinera (translated by Alexander Cuadros), Emma Ramey, Jessy Randall, Kristin Ryling, Catherine Sasanov, Liana Scalettar, Siobhan Scarry, Jim Scrimgeour, Ravi Shankar, Jay Snodgrass, D. E. Steward, Julia Story, Robert Strong, Wayne Sullins, Eileen Tabios, Steve Timm, Nick Twemlow, Alexandra van de Kamp, Monique van den Berg, and Mark Yakich

Joe Ahearn reviews Daniel Rzicznek, Sally Ashton reviews Noah Eli Gordon, Brian Brennan reviews Gloria Frym, Thomas Fink reviews Sheila E. Murphy, Brooke Horvath reviews Etal Adnan and Sherwood Anderson, Matthew W. Schmeer reviews Skip Fox, Ellen McGrath Smith reviews Elizabeth Willis, Rebecca Spears reviews John Olson, Jerry McGuire reviews Peter Johnson, Chris Murray reviews PP/FF: An Anthology; and an essay by Brian Johnson.

Forthcoming features: The Prose Poem in Italy (#6) edited by Luigi Ballerini and Gian Lombardo, Native American Prose Poems (#7) edited by Dean Rader

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Online Workshops

Dear MFA-ers,

The syllabus for each online workshop should be available on Vista on Monday, August 27. Log in then and check it out.


Monday, August 20, 2007

"Lovecraft's Brattleboro" in Rue Morgue #70

The new issue of the Canadian horror magazine Rue Morgue has the content typical of it: mostly features about low-budget horror films (and books, and games, and music) but it also contains a travel section: "Travelogue of Terror." This month's feature is by yours truly, and I write about my old stomping grounds of Brattleboro, Vermont. In addition to being known for public nudity, Brattleboro is the setting of H. P. Lovecraft's novella The Whisperer in Darkness. Check it out at a newsstand near you.

Internship/Practicum Letters

Dear 3rd-Semester Students,

Please have your internship/practicum host send me a letter confirming your internship/practicum this semester. I need to receive that letter no later than Sept. 7.

Much thanks,

Wednesday Night Poetry

Hello fellow WCSU writers, for those of you who are local, and want to have a night of poetry, please consider coming to the Wednsady Night Poetry Series (WNPS) at Bethel's Molten Java coffee house this Wednesday, August 22nd. The night kicks off at 7:30 with an open mic. And then there is a featured poet - which just happens to be ME!!! I can't take all the credit, I am the co-feature. WNPS asked me to invite a student to read with me, so I asked SCSU graduate student Val McKee to feature with me.

If anyone needs directions, click here:

Hope to see you all (Or as Mary Ann says - Ya'll) if not at the reading then at Chris's shindig on saturday.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Miranda Literary Magazine for Internships & Enrichment

It was nice to spend the week with everyone. Thank you all for your time, creativity, and your friendship. Miranda Literary Magazine is a growing online source for fiction, poetry, essays, articles, books, reviews, podcasts, and visual art. As you consider your enrichment project or your internship, consider working with Miranda Literary Magazine, or Miranda Films, as part of your work. We can tailor our needs to fit your course outline. If you are looking for two hours a week as a course supplement, or an internship opportunity, we can make it work. Areas of interest include, web editing, marketing, public relations, content and slush pile editing, promotional materials, and more. Below are some of the projects we need help in. If they don't interest you in your direct coursework, tell us what does.

I mention the length or scope of the some of these projects because of time commitments. Some are very extensive, some are interactive.

  • Links Editor - developing links and networking with other websites. (course supplement)(Sorry Taken)
  • Editor's Blog Editor - further developing the editor's blog to make it more useful to promote the magazine and our contributors. (course supplement)
  • Miranda Films Blog Editor - managing content on the Miranda Films news and reviews. (course supplement)
  • Contributors Director - creating a master list of all the contributors to the magazine and a brief bio. (internship)
  • Public Relations Manager - creating an email list of all our contacts, and writing press releases, news, and articles. Also must plan the best way to deliver this content i.e. email, postcards, events (AWP in New York), ect. Acting spokes person for the magazine.(internship)
  • Reading Board Manager - get more out of our reading board, from recruitment to reading submissions. How do we make the reading board members feel important?(Enrichment)
  • Sectional managers - work in dedicated sections to help the fiction, poetry, or arts sections with the work load. (course supplement)
  • Podcasting Director - creating a plan for recording, producing, and publishing podcasts out to our readership. (course supplement)
  • International Development Director - create a plan for attracting writers and artists from all over the world, engaging translators, and other outlets to find work that we can present from other countries. (enrichment)
Please feel free to contact with any questions or ideas. Carmen Palmer is also very active in our project development and she is a good source of ideas and inspiration.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Residency Fees

Thanks to everyone for a great residency! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

As many of you noticed already, the $750 residency fee was not included on the bill you received at registration. You will be billed for the residency fee later.

I hope for news soon on Puerto Rico...

Magazine Seeks Work from MFA/PhD Students

Submission Guidelines:
student MUST be enrolled in a master's or PhD program at the time the submission is

only hard copies are accepted

submissions will not be returned

notification of acceptance/rejection will be via email. Please make sure you have a current
email address on EACH PAGE of your submission.

poems limited to 300 words, double spaced, 12 pt. font, 3-5 poems per submission

fiction/non-fiction pieces must not exceed 10 pages, double spaced, 12 pt. font

10 minute plays/scenes should be limited to 11 total pages since the first page will usually
be mostly taken up by character listing/setting description. (If you are submitting a scene
from a full length play, please be sure it can stand on its own.)

an e-mail address must be supplied for the student, as well as the student's advisor's
contact information (to verify student status)

simultaneous submissions are allowed, but we must be notified immediately upon
acceptance elsewhere

please wait to hear back from us about a submission before submitting anything else
we will not publish any previously published work, translations, or tv spec scripts for
existing shows, additions/alternate scenes for exisiting shows/movies/plays-- only
original screen/stageplays

payment for works accepted: 2 copies of publication in which the work appears.

RCR gets first publication rights and then rights revert back to the author. However, all
works published by RCR may be archived on our website.

response times: We will shoot for 4-6 weeks, however, please keep in mind that we are
students, too. If you have not heard from us in 12 weeks, feel free to contact us regarding
your submission.

current submission period/deadline(s): October 31, 2007 is the deadline for our inaugural,
Spring 2008 issue.

submissions must be mailed to the following address:
The Red Clay Review
c/o Jim Elledge, Director, MA in Professional Writing Program
Department of English, Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road, #2701,
Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Through The Monkey Glass"


I think it's safe to say that we have rounded third base on this residency. In the midst of the madness, I'd like to trumpet a new story of mine that was published Wednesday.

It's at Susurrus Magazine: The Literature of Madness and is called "Through the Monkey Glass." It's the story of what happens when a man at home on administrative leave sees a great ape walk past his kitchen window.

I was also the featured writer for this issue of Susurrus, which basically consists of a short interview that goes deep on my inspiration and motives. Or something like that.

here's a link to the mag

Monday, July 23, 2007

Residency Workshop Preparation Reminder

Please check the Workshop Preferences document at the MFA page ( for prep instructions for each of your workshops. You may have received additional prep instructions by email, but you still need to check the Workshop Preferences doc.

August Residency Schedule

The schedule for the August residency is available at the program web page-- As you see on the schedule, you will have a session with Francine Prose on Friday afternoon. I encourage you to read some of her work and take advantage of the time with her by having questions and comments at the ready.

We also have scheduled a panel on Writing News for Online Media, featuring Jason Leopold from Check out the site and take a look at Jason's memoir, News Junkie, which will be available at the residency.

Most of our activity, including our dorm (Pinney Hall), will be on the Westside campus this time. The evening readings will be at Midtown or off-campus. We have reserved the pub in the new Westside Campus Center for an after-hours (10-midnight) cash bar, so you don't have to worry about driving off-campus (or driving back to campus after visiting bars). The pub will also be equipped with a mic and reading stand, and students are invited to take advantage of this time/space for readings.

Check out the schedule and let me or Laurel know if you have any questions.

See you soon!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Let Google Help You Promote Your Book

So, I am sure you know by now that I am a fan of the Google products and I suggest anyone who doesn't have a Gmail account and all it offers, please let me know. As for something different, there is a new Book Promotion aspect to Google that might interest people who have or may eventually have a book to sell. The link below will take you to the screen to get some more information.

Hope it helps - I didn't have time to get into all of it - so if someone wants to write a review or tell me how it works - that would be faboulous.

See you all in two weeks. Is that a score of days? Almost.

This is the Link. Click me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I will be sending fall mentor lists to students today via email, with the exception of those of you in the thesis semester--you all got your thesis advisors as requested.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sunken Garden Alternative Podcast

What will spring up
to fill the void left
by the disappearance
of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival?

Find out today on the Colin McEnroe show.
4:10 p.m. segment.

Afternoons With Colin McEnroe
Listen Live @

The Afternoon Drive broadcast weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. from the glittering shores of Lake Salhany, located within the boundaries of the Off-World Colony, a lush and verdant brownfields reclamation site bristling with mutant wildlife.


Elizabeth Thomas
Drive-By Interview;
For New
Wally Lamb Book
Bonnie Foreshaw,
Friends In Enfield,
Iyaba Mandingo ...

Colin McEnroe with Andy Thibault
Detective Andy Thibault joins Colin to talk about having a poetry reading here at the Off World Colony.

  • Podcast of the segment

  • Colin's WTIC page

  • WTIC link

  • Elizabeth Thomas

  • Iyaba Mandingo

  • I'll Fly Away

  • Colin's Blog

  • Recent Enfield Blast

  • Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    Fashion Writing Opportunity--

    An "outfit" in Danbury,, is looking for writers to do fashion stories, interviews with designers, news pieces, etc.

    If you have any interest in learning more, take a look at the website and let me know if you want to get in touch with the contact.


    Monday, July 09, 2007


    I got this information in an e-mail. Thought I'd share...

    Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation


    · To commission an artist to create new work
    · For an artist residency resulting in new work

    Grant Amount: $12,500 max
    Deadline: September 4, 2007

    Eligibility (This is a summary--see web site for details!):
    · Artists may not apply directly
    · Commissions or residencies resulting in new work beginning after January 1, 2008; up to a year to complete the project
    · Artists and sponsoring arts organizations based in the Hartford area
    · Work must be presented to the public (organizations may apply later for presentation funding)
    · Organizations may apply for both a Creation of New Work grant and a grant under our regular grant program in the same year

    Criteria for award: Artistic excellence and potential of the project to advance the artist’s work; quality of the collaboration; potential impact on and benefit to the community

    FULL DETAILS & GUIDELINES for the Creation of New Work Intitiative at

    To discuss a potential project, call Elizabeth Normen, executive director, at (860) 233-0228.

    Tuesday, July 03, 2007

    Francine Prose at WestConn Literary Festival

    I will be distributing full schedules for the residency next week, but wanted to give everyone a heads up that Francine Prose will be meeting with you all in the afternoon and giving a reading in the evening of Friday, August 3. First-semester students will be reading Ms. Prose's Reading Like a Writer in the Online Multigenre Workshop this semester. I encourage you all to read that book in advance of the residency week.


    Monday, July 02, 2007

    August Residency Workshop Preferences

    All students attending the August residency: Please follow the link below to find descriptions of your workshop options, then complete the form and return it to the MFA office as soon as you can. The sooner we get everyone's preferences, the more time everyone will have to do the prep work.

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Essay Posted to Amity Observer

    I recently entered an essay contest for our local paper on "What My Father Taught Me" in honor of Father's Day. I didn't win but my essay did show up on the website of the Amity Observer and I was able to give it double duty by posting it to my blog The Eclectic Writer.

    Maybe next year I'll need to take some tips from Daniel Asa Rose and come up with something that has a bit of edge to it! :)

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Upcoming from Daniel Asa Rose

    Daniel will have the cover of this Sunday with a grouchy Father’s Day piece. And he'll have the cover NEXT Sunday of the Washington Post Book World with a racy interview with Annie Dillard. Check 'em out!

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Enrichment Projects

    If you have completed your enrichment project and want to make a presentation at the residency, please let me know.

    Those of you who have been in the program for one semester should have a plan for beginning your enrichment project this Fall, if you have not begun already.


    Thesis Semester

    Those of you heading into your fourth semester in the Fall should already have a good handle on the direction of and plan for completion of your thesis projects. There will be a panel session at the August residency on the thesis process; several graduates and I will be there to answer any questions you have. At some point this summer I will distribute to you the updated Thesis Advisement Guide. If you have not yet queried your preferred thesis advisors about their willingness/availability to work with you in the Fall, you should do so immediately.


    Third-Semester Internship or Teaching Practicum

    Those of you heading into the third semester in the Fall should be preparing for your internship or teaching practicum. Here is the course description:

    The program requires students to share their understanding as writers with others who want or need to write. The student will work as a teacher or coach of writing under the tutelage of a qualified mentor. Alternatively, the student may participate in an internship to gain hands-on experience in a chosen field. The student will be required to keep a journal of his or her experience and to write a substantial evaluation of the experience.

    The actual internship/practicum is the most important part of this course; the course is essentially a feedback shell wrapped around your internship/practicum. In reality, you will have two mentors--your on-site supervisor (who will be asked to write an evaluation of your performance at the end of the semester) and your faculty mentor. Your faculty mentor will require you to keep/post journal entries or short essays about your experience and will discuss those entries with you.

    If you do not already have an internship or practicum arranged, you should arrange it as soon as possible. If you need help with ideas, feel free to give me a call.

    Please let me know what you'll be doing (and if you've already told me once, please remind me).


    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    Tim O'Brien at the Woodbridge (CT) Library

    Catching up on our local newspapers and this caught my eye. Thought some of you would be interested...

    Tim O'Brien - Book Discussion
    Part 4 of 4 in the Series: Inventing a Life: Memoir and Fiction
    At the Woodbridge Library in Woodbridge, CT...join the book discussion on Thursday, June 28 at 7 pm led by Yale Dean Mark Schenker. Tim O'Brien, a finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, author of "The Things They Carried" writes of the weapons and good-luck charms carried by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam here represent survival, lost innocence and the war's interminable legacy. Call 389-3466 to register.


    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    Looking for a Thrill(er)?

    Michael Jackson doesn't appear on the guest list, but Thrillerfest sounds pretty interesting! This NYC conference on writing thrillers was advertised on a recent Publishers Lunch. I know nothing at all about it, but thought I'd post the link in case anyone with special interest in the thriller genre wants to check it out.


    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    New Registration Options

    Dear MFA Students,

    Please check your email for an important announcement that requires your response. Beginning with Fall 2007, you now have a variety of enrollment options; you will be able to choose the option that suits you best for your financial needs. I have emailed you an attachment that outlines the differences between the options. If you have any questions about your options, please don't hesitate to get in touch.


    Friday, May 18, 2007

    Interesting Article at Poetry Foundation Website on Blogging

    For those of you poets (and others) interested in blogging, here is a helpful article, by poet Shannon Compton, on the benefits of blogging.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    August Residency Dates

    The August residency will run from July 28 through August 5 (travel dates inclusive). The opening dinner will be scheduled for 7 pm on July 28. On August 5, there will be no activities--it is simply a travel date. There will be activities through the evening on August 4. The residency is a day longer this time to incorporate a reception for our graduates and other activities.

    We look forward to seeing everyone in a few months!

    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    Blog This!

    Hi everyone. Sometimes I can post to this site, sometimes not. Oh well, the joys of the virtual world!

    I know you are probably tiring of my raves about the blog. However, as I build traffic to my blogsite The Eclectic Writer I am amazed at the network I am building for my writing.

    For example, reading Brain, Child: The Magazine for Working Mothers on line I came across a fantastic personal essay, Weaning Ella, by Jill Christman. I liked it so much, in fact, I googled Jill's contact information -- she's the Chair of creative writing at Ball State University -- and mentioned I liked the article so much I was going to link to it on my blog.

    I got the nicest note in return and established a contact! She also told me about her memoir,
    Darkroom: A Family Exposure. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds intriguing. As many of you are memoirists, I thought you might be interested.

    On another note, on a recent posting to the MFA blog I mentioned having a commentary I wrote for a Time magazine blog posted on the site. Checking back in, I saw that there was one comment to the post -- and it was from Lisa Cullen, the journalist who works for Time and writes the blog! Lesson learned is that my linking back to the MFA site brought Lisa here. So again, there is tremendous exposure you can build for your work and to get yourself known.

    If anyone is truly interested in blogging in support of their writing ambitions or to help build their platforms (there, you knew I couldn't finish this without referencing the platform) let me know. Time has been tight lately, but I wouldn't mind doing a mini-workshop to share my learnings if anyone was interested. Informal but informative.


    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    8 Poets & Writers @ Natural Foods Market Sunday

    May 6 / Fiddleheads Natural Supermarket
    For More Information Contact
    Fiddleheads Market
    55 Village Green Drive
    Litchfield, CT 06759


    * Barbara Parsons, Couldn't Keep It To Myself, Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters, HarperCollins, edited by Wally Lamb; forthcoming: I'll Fly Away; Further Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters, HarperCollins, edited by Wally Lamb.

    * Martin Schiller, Bread, Butter And Sugar: A Boy's Journey Through The Holocaust And Postwar Europe, Hamilton Books.

    * Shouhua Qi, New: Red Guard Fantasies and Other Stories (San Francisco: The Long River Press, 2007); When the Purple Mountain Burns (San Francisco: The Long River Press, 2005). Forthcoming: a novel about American Korean War POWs who chose to go to China at the time of armistice (1953).

    * Sharon Charde, Bad Girl at the Altar Rail, Flume Press; Four Trees Down From Ponte Sisto, Dallas Poets Community Press; editor, I Am Not A Juvenile Delinquent, anthology by the creative writing students of Touchstone, a residential treatment facility for female adolescent offenders in Litchfield, Ct.
    Forthcoming, Branch In His Hand, Backwaters Press.

    * Oscar De Los Santos, Hard Boiled Egg (Fine Tooth Press, 2004) and Infinite Wonderlands (Fine Tooth Press, 2006).

    * Jessica Treat, A Robber in the House (Coffee House Press) and Not a Chance, stories and novella (FC2, 2000).

    * Louis Colavecchio, forthcoming, You Thought It Was More: The Real Providence Brought To Life.

    * Franz Douskey, Rowing Across The Dark, University of Georgia Press. Forthcoming, The Unknown Sinatra.

    The readings follow a reception at 10:30 a.m. by the Litchfield High Jazz Combo.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Jerry McGuire on Campus Wednesday, Thursday

    Poet and multimedia artist Jerry McGuire will read and screen his work Wednesday at 7 pm in Science 125.

    On Thursday, 7 pm in SC228, McGuire will conduct a discussion session with students on the topic of producing multimedia works.

    Both events free and open to the public.

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Peter Lyons Retirement Celebration

    The WestConn Dept. of English invites students and mentors from the MFA in Professional Writing to a poetry reading and farewell celebration in honor of Dr. Peter Lyons, retiring Chair of the department.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2-5 pm, Warner Hall, 1st Floor

    Food and beverages will be served. Contact Prof. Clements if you would like to read something in honor of Dr. Lyons.

    CLMP Press and Magazine Directory

    A great resource for submitting fiction, poetry, and or finding a publisher. Check out the C.L.M.P. website for ordering information.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Harlan Coben--Free Tickets

    If you are in the Danbury area and interested in mysteries, you might want to take advantage of this offer:
    Harlan Coben, a popular mystery writer, will speak at the Ethan Allen this
    Sunday at 2:30 pm. I am offering complimentary tickets to students so we can
    fill the room.Please talk this up to your classes. Mr. Coben is a witty,
    enjoyable speaker. Students should email : to reserve
    a ticket. They must do this by 5 pm Wednesday, April 18.

    Coben is the author of the novels Promise Me, The Innocent, and No Second Chance. A new book, The Woods, is due for release today.

    For more information call 203-796-8061

    Local Yocals' Workshop: New Date

    The Professional Writing Program Workshop has been rescheduled!

    Please make every effort to join us (bring something you wish to read and receive comments on, and make copies), the more the merrier!

    Monday, May 07, 2007
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM SC 226 (student center on the mid-town campus)

    Please email me,, with confirmation of your attendance, and/or any questions you may have.

    See you then!
    Tonia Schachter

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    Graduate Student Conference

    Two or three of you have been to this conference in recent years. Perhaps you can post your opinions here about the experience you had.


    > The 10th Annual Writing By Degrees Conference is
    > seeking creative and
    > academic submissions demonstrating or contemplating
    > the craft of writing.
    > Conference Dates: September 27-29, 2007
    > Submission Deadline: August 20, 2007
    > Keynote Speakers:
    > Chimamanda Adichie
    > Vijay Seshadri
    > Guidelines:
    > All applicants must be currently enrolled as
    > graduate students in order to
    > be eligible. Submissions may fall into one of the
    > categories below:
    > Creative Submissions:
    > Creative prose, fiction or creative non-fiction
    > should be of a length to be
    > read within a 20-minute period (roughly 10-12
    > pages); please submit the
    > entire piece to be read.
    > Poetry submissions should be 10 pages.
    > Note: Authors of creative submissions accepted by
    > Writing By Degrees will be
    > invited to submit the works to a special Fall
    > edition of the journal Harpur
    > Palate, although acceptance for publication is not
    > guaranteed.
    > Academic Submissions:
    > Please submit a 1-2pp abstract.Possible Academic
    > Submission Topics:
    > the craft and/or practice of writing
    > creative writing pedagogy
    > creative writing versus composition
    > the avant-garde in poetry or fiction
    > Hardcopy submissions may be sent to:
    > Writing By Degrees
    > Department of English
    > Binghamton University
    > PO Box 6000
    > Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
    > Please Note:
    > Writing by Degrees no longer accepts e-submissions.
    > Please include your
    > email address with your submission for
    > correspondence. Hardcopy submissions
    > will only be returned upon request, and only if
    > accompanied by a
    > self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.
    > Upon acceptance of your submission, there will be a
    > $50.00 conference fee.
    > Questions or comments? Email us at
    > For more information, visit:

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Legal Talk Radio Show Re; Imus

  • Legal Talk
  • New Post @ Crime & Federalism Re; Imus

    also @
  • Cool Justice



    Note: This column was posted originally @ Crime & Federalism.

    In Defense Of Imus, Free Speech & Flaming Assholes


    Forget all that lawyer talk about what the First Amendment really means.

    Free speech means you can be an asshole, bigot or coward. Look around. Is there any shortage of these types on network news or talk shows?

    If lawyers knew so much about the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment or Any Amendment, we might actually have free speech. Warrants or probable cause would be needed before the corporate government and its minions - aka the fascists among us -- could squelch free expression or invade our privacy.

    The Pretend News Networks and their corporate advertising masters struck a blow for thought control when they fired Don Imus. Who's next? Probably someone who is not a gazillionaire like Imus.

    Is Don Imus a jerk? Well, yeah. Does he spew racist venom under the cover of humor? Seems to me he does. It is wearisome and offensive. So what.

    The proper antidote would have been to challenge Imus to have tough and witty black guests who would be in his face. I'm not talking about Jessie "Hymietown Spit In White People's Salad" Jackson, whom I actually voted for in a Connecticut presidential primary some years ago. Nor am I talking about Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton, whom I seriously considered voting for the last time around.

    Like Imus, Jackson and Sharpton are mixed bags. They have some virtue and a lot of bullshit and larceny in their hearts. They are what they are and whatever low level of integrity they might have, it probably adds up to more than the combined amount of all the network bosses.

    The curative for darkness of the heart or mind is sunlight. We need more free expression, not less. Imus might have responded to such a challenge. Maybe he is capable of some transformation, as we all are. We'll probably find out when he goes on satellite radio or some other venue.

    I lost respect for Imus over the years not because of his insults, but because of - underneath it all - his sucking up to fellow jerks like Phony Joe Lieberman. Imus became the wise ass punk who kissed big white butt. He lost his edge and became a dinosaur.

    Many years ago, before WFAN existed, I called in to the I-Man and actually got through on station whatever it was. I asked him, "Are you white? Are you naked?" I recall him reaching out to housewives and asking these probing questions of the day. The I-Man was quick, slapping me with a sarcastic line and cutting me off. Time to get quicker, I thought.

    I have not watched or listened to Imus much recently. Still, I loved the way he beat on the Irish and the church. Where have you gone, Cardinal O'Connor and the lottery numbers? Maybe Billy Sol Hargus has been reincarnated into Rush Limbaugh …

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    Contribute to our Online Workshop

    I am running an online workshop where writers come, read the weekly assignment, post on the forum, work on the writing assignments, and send their work for feedback. For students in the area, we will also have a monthly two hour workshop in person for those interested.

    If anyone is interested in contributing an article, a module or weekly lecture with links and prompts, or anything else that you might want to add to our course work. I started this course as phase one of my enrichment project and now I would like to take it up a notch. This would be a great opportunity for writers who are interested in teaching, online publishing, or academic work. We will start a new session in May but if you would like to contribute, we could add your work in anytime. Please keep us in mind. Our first few weeks will be free to work out the kinks and then we will be charging $30-40 a month to be in the course. It will run continuously. If I make money, we will be glad to pay you for your contribution. It all depends on how many are in the system and how much of a weekly module you provide. Beyond the payment, we would be very pleased to have you participate, share your expertise, and build up your teaching resume.

    Be well and let me know if you are interested in Creative Collaborations.
    Ron Samul

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Workshop for Local Yocals: Date and Time Information

    The MFA workshop for local writers will take place on Monday evening, April 9th, at 7pm. We will meet in the Student Center on the midtown campus in room #226.

    Please let me know if you will be attending!