Thursday, May 28, 2009

They Said I Am A Finalist

My short story, The Butcher, the Surgeon and Me, has just been named a finalist in March 2009 Glimmer Train Fiction Open.


I want to thank Don Snyder for first saying out that the story had potentials when he read the initial draft. I specially thank Dan Pope for taking the time to read the story during the residency and pointing out the direction to take it.

Since I entered it for the Fiction Open, I have worked on it with Mark Sundeen. Thanks to Mark, it is now in far better shape to meet the world.

Anyone who knows the Glimmer Train people should warn them. If they keep giving me ideas, I may start believing.

… and may start practicing The Big Speech.

I want to thank Brian for accepting me into the wonderful MFA program at Western Connecticut State University. I thank all the staff of our great program for grooming me even when I appeared hopeless. I want to thank my colleagues for encouraging me and resisting the temptation to run me out of town. This Obel Prize is for you all.… blab bla bla.


Enrichment Presentations

If you need to present your Enrichment Project at the August residency, please let me know ASAP--preferably by tomorrow--so I can get you on the schedule.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Miranda Spring Issue is Available in Print and Online

Miranda Literary Magazine Spring 2009 is circulating. Check it out, submit your work, check out our anthology publication and other news. Have a great summer.
Ron Samul / WestConn MFA Grad 2008 / Miranda Magazine
p.s. Internships and other programs available.

Top Small Press Seeking Marketing Director

Sarabande Books, an independent, nonprofit, literary press established in 1994, is seeking a Marketing Director/Development Assistant. We are looking for an individual with a strong commitment to contemporary poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as superior organizational and public relations skills. Minimum BA, MFA, and /or experience desirable. Candidates must be self-starters and highly attentive to details and deadlines.Job responsibilities include marketing and publicity for each of ten annual titles, attendance at three annual book conferences, and twice yearly visits to NYC book reviewers. Some fundraising activity is also involved, depending upon need: assisting Editor-in-Chief Sarah Gorham with letter campaigns, tracking donors, and two-to-three small local parties.The position includes full-time salary, health, dental, and retirement benefits, private office equipped with a Mac, and ample marketing budget.Sarabande's work atmosphere is busy, but friendly. Vacations are generous and staff turnover is extremely rare. Louisville is an affordable, culturally rich, medium-sized city.Please send letter, resume, three phone references, and a list of your top fifteen favorite contemporary poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction titles, by June 15 to:Sarah Gorham (replace (at) with @)

Possible Internship Opportunity

Hi There West CONN folks,

I graduated from this program last May (2008) and am now working with one of my then thesis advisors, poet and teacher Cecilia Woloch, on a couple of her projects. See for more info. on Cecilia.

We are looking for someone who has skills using (or would like to learn) and perhaps even social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to help out with managing/updating of the online "homes" of Cecilia Woloch (, and her small poetry press, Fortunate Daughter (

Perhaps that is you, and you would like to learn more about how you might help us AND potentially earn credit for your WestCONN internship (or maybe even enrichment project?) at the same time. If so, email me at


Carmen Palmer

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Was great to have so many of this year's grads participating in commencement this year! Congrats to all, and here's hoping everyone got home safe and sound. See (most of) you in August...


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Graduate Commencement - 5/22 - Arrive by 6:15PM


For those of you participating in the graduate commencement this Friday, the 22nd:

I couldn't find info on when we needed to be at the O'Neill Center, so I talked to Chris Shankle of the Graduate Studies office. He said to please let folks know to be there no later than 6:15 PM. They'll line us up alphabetically within degree.

Congratulations to all new graduates!


New Name, Same Program

I'm pleased to announce that our program will henceforth be known as the "MFA in Creative and Professional Writing." We decided to change the name because we found that some potential applicants saw "professional writing" and thought that we ONLY did business communications. The addition of "creative" will better represent what we actually do in the program.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't Forget To Duck: Peter McEachern On Trombone @ Mark Twain House

Peter McEachern Last Year
At Young Writers Annual Celebration

-- Photo By Robin Gourd

  • May 09 Updated Posting @ Young Writers Trust

  • Peter McEachern
    Returns With Jen Allen Big Band
    5:30 - 6:45 PM Sunday, May 31, 2009
    Reception For Connecticut Young Writers Trust
    Mark Twain House & Museum

    Peter McEachern has toured and recorded three CDs for Polygram with Blues legend Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown; has worked and recorded with minimalist composer Lamonte Young, and is featured on several important CDs: Insomnia with the Thomas Chapin Trio on Knitting Factory Works and Song for Septet with the Mario Pavone Septet on the New World Countercurrents label. Song for Septet was chosen one of the "Top Ten Jazz CDs of 1995" by The New York Times. Mr. McEachern also recorded a Mass for Mass Trombones (77 trombones) by composer Wendy Chambers.

    The Peter McEachern Quintet was chosen to perform at the 1995 Discover Jazz Festival by The New England Foundation for the Arts, and was chosen to receive a fellowship for music composition by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts 2001. Mr. McEachern's current projects include the Litchfield Jazz Festival summer music camp, freelance gigs, and composing a piece based on the life of abolitionist John Brown.

  • Jazz Scene Heating Up @ Twain House

  • !!!~@#~$%^&****** rsvp by May 21: Young Writers Blast @ Twain House
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    A Note About Registration

    1st and 2nd Semester Students:

    If you haven't already, you will be receiving some communications by mail from the Grad Studies office with instructions on getting registered for the Fall.

    Ignore them!

    I handle registration of all MFA courses, so you need do nothing other than respond to the query I put out about mentor preferences (1st semester students need not respond with preferences, I assign mentors for you in the first semester).


    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    my book is on this blog!

    This is so exciting!

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    Tips to Reduce Stress By Writing

    Hi everyone. I think many of you know that I'm a contributing editor, "resident sanity expert," and blogger for . I invite you to check out my latest Sanity article titled, Pack a Journal: The Write Way to Less Stress. My guest "expert" is none other than WestConn's own Elizabeth Cohen.

    I also invite you to continue checking in on my ongoing blog, The Eclectic Writer. Anyone whose phone is ringing off the hook these days with solicitors might be interested in my recent post.

    Thursday, May 07, 2009

    August Residency Hotel Info - CORRECTION!!!!!!!

    In my May 5 post, which I have since taken down, I stated that the August residency dates were August 1 - August 9 and that your hotel stay would total 8 days, check-in 08/01, check-out 08/09. That was incorrect - my apologies.

    The August residency dates are August 1 - August 8 and your hotel stay will total 7 days, check-in 08/01, check-out 08/08.

    Here are correct calculations for your total hotel cost: $69 x 7 = $483 + 12% = $540.06

    This rate will be held until July 1st. After that, the rate will return to $89 which is WestConn's normal discounted rate - still a great price, but...

    Here are the hotel address and contact info:

    Maron Hotel & Suites
    42 Lake Avenue Extension
    Danbury CT 06811
    Phone: (203) 791-2200
    Fax: (203) 791-2201

    P.S. There are a limited number of suites available in our block for $79. The suites all have a sofa bed in the sitting room area, television in both the bedroom and the sitting room, and some of them also have two double beds instead of one king. Anyone looking to keep expenses to a minimum by halving the cost, grab a roomie and ask for a suite when you call to reserve. $79 x 7 = $553 + 12% = $619.36/2 = $309.68

    If you booked a suite with two double beds, you might even be able to squeeze three people in and bring down that total even further. Something to consider.

    P.S.S. One of our new students, Kimberley Moore, is interested in possibly sharing a room. You can email her @

    See you there!

    Tuesday, May 05, 2009

    Our MFA Grads are Good Resources!

    As you may have noticed, there are links on the right side of the blog window to a number of blogs from some of our grads (if anyone has other blogs to link up here, let me know).

    Many of you will find a lot of useful hints and info on these blogs, so check them out. Why not start by taking a look at Colleen Wright's blog?