Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hotel Arrangements

Just a reminder to those of you coming from out of town to make your hotel reservations for the January residency. In the past we have reserved a block of rooms at the Maron, but we discovered last residency that some folks were able to actually find cheaper rates for the Maron online that what they were giving us as a program! The Maron is the most convenient to the Westside Campus, of course, and you should be able to find good rates. I think someone last residency found an online price for the Maron in the range of $65 or so per night, but that was probably not a suite. Others have found good deals at the Super 8 nearby, and there's of course the more expensive but nicer Ethan Allen hotel. Anyone have suggestions for other nearby hotels with good rates?

AWP Intro Awards

Undergraduate and graduate students in the Writing Department are encouraged to submit to the WCSU AWP Intro Awards. Winners from WCSU will be entered into the national competition.

The AWP Intro Journals Project is a literary competition for the discovery & publication of the best new works by students currently enrolled in the programs of AWP. Winners at the national level will be contacted in the spring of 2012 and will receive publication in a participating journal and a $100 cash honorarium. Participating journals are Hayden's Ferry Review, Mid-American Review, Colorado Review, Puerto del Sol, Controlled Burn, Quarterly West, Tampa Review, and Artful Dodge.

Submit entries to Laurel Richards, secretary of the Writing Dept.

Entries must follow these guidelines:

• Each submitted piece must have a separate title page with the following information:

1. The title, author’s name, permanent address, email address, and phone number

2. The genre of the work (must be either fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry)

• Neither the author’s name nor any other identifying information should appear on the manuscript except on the title page.

• Translations are acceptable, but it is the translator's responsibility to secure publication rights.

• All submitted works must be unpublished and may not be under consideration elsewhere.

• Excerpts from novels are acceptable.

• No individual piece submitted may exceed 25 pages.

• Prose must be double-spaced and typed or printed on a letter-quality printer; dot-matrix is not acceptable. Poetry only may be single-spaced.

• Students may submit up to 2 works of fiction, 2 works of creative nonfiction, and 5 works of poetry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PR Internship in Governor's Office

Communications/Public Relations/New Media Political Internship Program

Office of the Governor of the State of Connecticut

Communications Department

Application Due Dates:

November 15 for Spring 2012
April 1 for Summer 2012
June 30 for Fall 2012


This internship will put you in the middle of the fast-paced, 24/7/365 Communications Department of the Office of the Governor in the State of Connecticut. Starting the day early by compiling and sending around news clips to the Governor’s staff; you may find yourself staffing the Governor at an event; researching and writing memos, advisories and press releases; updating the website and social media accounts; working with staff to prepare for, plan and execute upcoming events; and monitoring newspapers, blogs and social media for news stories.


Must be a fifth-semester college student or higher with a keen interest in pursuing the journalism, communications or political science fields. An ability to think-on-your-feet and pitch in wherever necessary is a must.

Email a cover letter, resume, and 3 writing samples to:

Colleen Flanagan
Director of Communications

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hotel for the Residency

Hey everyone!

I'm looking to share a room with someone and save some money, but I'll need the room Jan 2-8 (the full week) since I'm flying in and out.  Anyone interested?

Let me know,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mentor and Course Requests

Dear Returning Students (for Spring semester),

Please visit the MFA website Forms page to download and complete the Mentor Request form. You may email the form to me by Oct. 28. Even if you do not have specific mentor requests, please complete the form so that I will know which courses you want to register and whether you are registering full time or part time. Please also indicate on the form whether you will be attending the January residency.

New students: no need to fill out this form. I will assign your first-semester mentors.


"The People's Republic of Everywhere and Everything" in WEST COAST CRIME WAVE

Even two years ago, I would have never bothered submitting to an electric anthology. Ebooks had no market, and thus ebook markets didn't pay for short fiction. But with the widespread adoption of ebook readers, we're seeing some new publishers actually willing to pay in advance. Short crime fiction, like crime itself, often doesn't pay either, but West Coast Crime Wave did. Now that I'm living in Berkeley, CA I had the perfect setting.

My story, "The People's Republic of Everywhere and Everything" is about revolutionary politics, Internet memes, quantum computing, and Cotard delusion. The book itself is available on Kindle right now for a mere $3.99, and will hit Nook et al later this week. Unfortunately, there's no way to put an ebook on one's brag shelf, but I did find something to brag about in the introduction to the book by genius crime writer Ken Bruen:

I'll take that!

Monday, October 17, 2011

MFA Spring Registration

You may have received an email message from the university within the last week about Spring registration. Please IGNORE that message. I will be providing you with instructions on your registration in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout in the next day or two for my call for mentor requests.

Creativity Discussion

Dear Colleagues,

Please join John Briggs and friends in a discussion on Fostering Creativity in Our Writing:

Wednesday, October 26, at noon

Midtown Student Center, room 202

As you probably know, John is one of WestConn's three Distinguished Connecticut State University Professors. He is author of Fire in the Crucible: Understanding the Process of Creative Genius (Phanes Press, 2000).

Bring your lunch, and BRING YOUR STUDENTS!!!

I hope to see you there.

Patrick Ryan

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Steve Almond Reading at Real Art Ways

Hello All,

Steve Almond is going to be reading from his new book God Bless America this Tuesday, October 18, starting at 6 pm at Real Art Ways in Hartford. He will be playing the book trailer Sara Lewis and I made for him. Tickets are $5 to get in, see for more information.

The trailer is up on Almond’s site, You can stay updated on our projects at

Thanks and hope to see you guys there!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nice haircut! Did you have a coupon for the pet shop?

Here's a picture of my dog with my author copies of my latest book, Insults Every Man Should Know. It's a little quickie gift book from Quirk Publishing, but will surely be legend in the ten-dollar joke book market segment. It also paid for my trip to Scotland earlier this year, and at only 15,000 words didn't take much time to write. I just did 2000 words every Sunday for seven Sundays, and then filled in some front and back matter.

Can't complain! If Richard Yates could write promotional material for Remington Rand, I can do this.

A Challenge from Roger Boylan and Flann O'Brien

Now, read this fine article from Roger Boylan and and tell me if you don't want to go out and read some O'Brien...

Monday, October 10, 2011

New MFA Web Site

After you've taken a look at the link to Don's book, check out the new look of the MFA web page, with new content on the way...

Don's _The Winter Travelers_ Out at Last...

...sure to be a new Xmas classic...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Has anyone used Scribd?

Hi Everyone,

I finally took a few minutes to check out – very interesting. For those who don't know, it is a social network built around online publication for writing. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with it, either as a reader or publisher. I would like to find out what you think of Scribd as a self-publishing platform.


WCSU Email Addresses

Hello all,

This is a reminder that WCSU has (again) required that all official program-related email communication among students and faculty take place via university email addresses. Thus, any future official email communication from me will be to your WCSU email addresses. This applies to everyone, but is of particular relevance to current thesis students...


Just in time for Halloween...DEMONS!

My latest short story, "The Coda of Solomon" appears in Demons, edited by the seminal splatterpunk writer and editor John Skipp.

Demons is part of a series of phonebook-sized anthologies that combine classic reprints, more recent previously published stories, and new fiction, with the idea of demonstrating how a classic horror trope (zombies, werewolves, and now demons) have been used over the centuries. This one includes work by classic authors Lovecraft and Poe, plus stories by some of the best living authors: Neil Gaiman, David J. Schow, and William Peter Blatty.

Check it out!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Coffeehouse Readings

Tonight, Oct. 6, there will be an open mic and faculty feature reading at the WCSU Coffeehouse, 8 pm at Alumni Hall. Jeff Schlict, Bill Joel, Jane Gangi, and I are the faculty readers. I encourage you all to come and read something at the open mic! There will be a signup sheet at the back of the room. Also... I need a couple of volunteers who might be interested in doing some quick, kinda wild improvisation at the event tonight. If you might be interested, please email me ASAP ( Sorry for short notice...


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Reading at Italian American Museum

Join me for a reading from my novel (and MFA thesis)
Of Asphalt and Earth
Thursday, November 3 @ 6:30
Italian American Museum
115 Mulberry Street
(Corner of Mulberry and Grand Streets)
New York, NY 10013
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Hey Everyone

Just added a new post to my blog Six Loose Cannons. I also just completed a new author's website for myself, it is a work in progress. The website was one of the projects I completed for my writing in the second genre class this semester. Check them out if you like, no pressure.