Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bad Writing: A Documentary by Vernon Lott - Rez Screening

This Indie film released last year will be shown at the Westside Campus Center (where rez eats) Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. We can order pizza, watch the film, and move on from there to the night's readings.
The film features interviews with Steve Almond, David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, Nick Flynn, and Lee Gutkind among many other writers.(Click the title of this blog to view trailer).

Please sign up on list posted on the Westside Campus Center wall or email me at, so we know how much pizza to order.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Map of Local Restaurants

Folks, you can find a map to 40 restaurants close to campus at the MFA web page under the Residency section ( to help you plan out your dinners. There will be hard copies of the map available at the residency.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fundraising Success for Burnt Twig

Burnt Twig Productions, the effort of MFA students Sara Lewis and Kristin Santa Maria, has successfully raised  well over their $5,000 target for the production of The Writing Life: A Documentary. The film is Sara's and Kristin's enrichment project, and I'm sure everyone will hear about it at the residency. They used the Kickstarter fundraising site to raise the funds from individuals. For more information and clips, see the blog...

Congrats and good luck to Kristin and Sara!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New "Approved Publisher" Guidelines - MWA

I thought you might be interested in Mystery Writers of America's (MWA) new "Approved Publisher" guidelines. They're now setting standards to include print on demand and e-book only publishers in this highly sought-after category. If your book is published by an "Approved Publisher" you qualify for "active membership" in MWA.

In the June-July issue of the organization's official newsletter, "The 3rd Degree," they wrote, "The publishing business is experiencing massive changes and if MWA is to remain relevant, we have to change, too. That's why we've revised our Approved Publisher criteria to make books published solely in e-book format or using print-on-demand eligible under certain conditions for MWA active membership... Self-published books whether they are published in print or as e-books, still do not qualify for MWA active membership."

Details are on their website:


The second open mic will be before WEDNESDAY's reading, not Thursday.

Open Mics for Students at Residency

There will be two open mic sessions at the residency, so be sure to bring some work to share! The first open mic will be from 3-4:30 on Sunday, and the second open mic will open the Thursday evening reading from 7:30-8. I hope as many students as possible will take advantage of this opportunity to let your peers and mentors get to know you and your work.

Monday, July 25, 2011

THE DAMNED HIGHWAY, now available

My latest novel, The Damned Highway, written in collaboration with Brian Keene, is now available. Theoretically, it comes out tomorrow, but amazon, Powell's, and many local bookstores are already stocking and shipping the title. The Damned Highway is part of a fiction/prose initiative at Dark Horse, the third-largest comic book publisher in the United States.

A bit about the book:

A hilarious, shocking, terrifying thrill ride across the American landscape, The Damned Highway pays homage to the gonzo journalism of Hunter S. Thompson and the uncanny terrors of H. P. Lovecraft!

Horror legend Brian Keene (The Rising) and cult storytelling master Nick Mamatas (Move Under Ground) dredge up a tale of drug-fueled eldritch madness from the blackest depths of the American nightmare. On a freaked-out bus journey to Arkham, Massachusetts, and the 1972 presidential primary, evidence mounts that sinister forces are on the rise, led by the Cult of Cthulhu and its most prominent member—Richard M. Nixon!

We're still six months out from the Presidential primaries and caucuses, but if you're curious as to what the future holds for these United States, you could do worse than buy one of these immediately. Actually, if you live in a swing district, buy twenty. When a canvasser knocks on your door and offers you literature about their preferred candidate, you can say, "Thanks, and I have a little reading material for you as well..."

Readers Needed

Hey Everyone! I'm in need of a couple of guys to read parts for my screenplay reading at the residency next week. It's scheduled for Thursday right after the agent meetings. Anybody interested?

Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Corporate Writer Workshop

Hi everyone! As Brian mentioned I'll be stepping in for Mark Misercola to lead The Corporate Writer workshop at residency. I've managed across all disciplines of corporate communications - executive, employee, media & PR, marketing, crisis and acquisitions. I'm also a social media geek. So as I get ready to "inspire" you here are a couple of housekeeping items I'd love for you to address:

  • Please email me at and share why you're attending the workshop, what your particular interest in corporating writing is, how you hope to apply what you learn (if you know!) and 1-2 things you'd like to take away from the session. Corporate writing is a broad topic and this will help me finetune the presentation to focus on what you're most interested in.

  • The basics of business writing are simplicity, clarity and audience. If you can, grab and peruse a copy of William Zinsser's On Writing Well before the workshop. This isn't required reading but it will add more depth to the discussion (and it's a quick read).

  • I regularly post interesting articles and links to my FB page for Anne W Associates. Feel free to "Like" the page if you're on Facebook. I'll also email links to articles that make interesting reading prior to the course.

If you want to know more about me visit my LinkedIn page

I look forward to seeing you at residency!

Residency Welcome Coffee (and Dessert)

I hope everyone in the Danbury-area (new and returning students, graduates, faculty) will drop by the residency for sweet, caffeinated welcome between 7:30 and 9:00 on Saturday, July 30. If you have a guitar and feel like coming by and playing a song or two for us, you're welcome to do so (that means you, Don Lowe) (and even you, Whitey Lewis) (and you, Adam King, wherever you are) (and, oh, if you insist, you, too, Don Stitt)!

We will be in The Daily Grind in the Westside Campus Center.

New Student Orientation at the Residency

Dear Incoming MFA Students,

I look forward to meeting you all at the New Student Orientation session at 4pm on Saturday, July 30. This session will provide you with useful information about the residency week and about the fall semester, which begins immediately with the conclusion of the residency. We will talk about your relationships with your mentors, your syllabus composition, work and evaluation expectations, and any other program-related issues you would like to discuss. So come prepared with questions. As I'm sure you've seen on the schedule, there will be a separate session Sunday afternoon to orient you toward Blackboard and your various WestConn computer accounts.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NY Times Opinion Pages: The Price of Typos

Hello MFAers,

I thought some of you would find the following commentary on typos interesting.


Important News on Tuition Waivers

The university, in consultation with the CSU System office, has reviewed the use of tuition waivers in the MFA program. Tuition waivers are applicable in cases where the student has been admitted to a program and there is "space available" in particular courses. It has been determined that individual mentorship courses do not meet the criteria for "space available", but that the online workshops do meet the criteria.

Therefore, as of the end of the Fall '11 semester, the university will no longer accept "space available" tuition waivers for the one-on-one mentorship courses but will accept them for the online workshops. This policy applies to Senior and Employee waivers, but does NOT apply to veteran waivers, which are not contingent upon space availability.

Again, this policy begins AFTER the end of Fall ’11; waivers will be honored for the Fall semester.

If you have concerns about the effect of this policy on your academic plan, please give me a call, 203-837-8876.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Workshop Leader

Mark Misercola, who was scheduled to offer "The Corporate Writer" at the residency, will be unable to make it due to a suddenly scheduled professional commitment at his place of employment. Anne Witkavitch, who many of you know has a stellar background in corporate communications, has graciously agreed to take the workshop, so it will run as scheduled under Anne's guidance. If you are signed up for that workshop, you need do nothing else.

Friday, July 08, 2011

P.J. Moretti's American Adolescence is Now Available on Lulu

American Adolescence is a collection of stylistically diverse poems that explores what it meant to be young in America during the first decade of the 21st century when America itself was going through a coming of age. Alternately utilizing both satire and stark honesty, American Adolescence deals with a myriad of issues relevant to “Generation Wi-Fi”, including: the struggle for originality, coming to terms with contemporary society and culture, war and Bush’s America, young love, and growing up.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Ride to the Rez

Hello MFAers!  I post today to humbly ask for a ride from the airport (Bradley).  I'd be more than willing to give a little money to anyone driving that way (rental/personal car).  Or, if anyone knows of a convenient train/bus line...?  Please let me know!  I appreciate any help from the locals~

PS- Renting my own car/renting a car service are not within my (limited) budget.  I also expect a taxi to be just as expensive an option. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

"Dreamer of the Day" in SUPERNATURAL NOIR

My latest short story, "Dreamer of the Day" is now available in the wonderful new anthology Supernatural Noir.

It's a book well worth checking out. In addition to my story, there's work by Brian Evenson (director of the MFA program at Brown University), famed multi-genre author Joe R. Lansdale, and crime writer Tom Piccirilli. A good mix of aesthetic agendas of the sort necessary to combine dark crime fiction with the fantastical.