April Student & Alum Success!

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April showers bring…well, lots of publications and productions, looks like, as our students and alums have once again filled a years worth of accomplishments in just 31 days. If you have news you want to share, please pass it along to palmdesertmfa@ucr.edu. And thanks, as ever, to Yennie Cheung for cobbling together this exhaustive listing!


Annie Connole‘s essay “This Neighborhood: After the Election on Fascination Road” was published in ZIM ZUM.


Ashley Mag Gabbert‘s poem “Bush” was published in STIRRING LIT. She also read at CARVE magazine’s Spring 2018 launch party on April 28 at Deep Vellum Bookstore in Dallas.


Charles Thompson‘s Pen & Paper Writing Workshops held its first Readings in the Park event at Brand Park in Glendale on April 15. Featured readers included himself and fellow teachers/alums Sara Marchant and Senta Scarborough. They also had a booth at the LOS ANGELES TIMES Festival of Books, which included Lia Langworthy.


Deedie Runkel‘s memoir SCONE BY SCONE: TALES FROM AN INNKEEPER’S LIFE was released on April 10. Deedie and her book were featured the Ashland’s DAILY TIDINGS.


Eli Ryder and John Flynn-York‘s AUTOMATA REVIEW was mentioned by Barnes & Noble’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog in its roundup of best short stories of March. Eli’s story “The Only Thing That Matters” was printed in ON THE PREMISES.


Francesca Lia Block will be discussing her new book THE THORN NECKLACE: HEALING THROUGH WRITING AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS at Skylight Books in Los Angeles on May 8. BUST named the book one of its “11 New Books By Women To Read This Spring.”


Grace Jasmine‘s essay “48 Hours” was published in MEMOIR.


Kaitlin Hulsy‘s flash fiction story “Golden Wheels” was published in STORYLAND.


Karen Howes‘s new play, STARRY NIGHT, was read at the Palisades Playwrights Festival in Pacific Palisades, CA on April 10.


Katherine MacDonald‘s promotion as Paramount Animation’s VP of Production and Marketing was mentioned in DEADLINE.


Kathryn E. McGee and Yennie Cheung signed copies of their book DTLA/37: DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES IN THIRTY-SEVEN STORIES at the SPAWN booth at the LOS ANGELES TIMES Festival of Books on April 21.


Kit-Bacon Gressitt and Sara Marchant‘s WRITERS RESIST unveiled the cover of their upcoming anthology with RUNNING WILD PRESS.


Jaime Parker Stickle and Pam Munter are in the 2018 ADELAIDE VOICES ANTHOLOGY, which is out now. Jaime’s piece is called “My Insides-Out,” and Pam’s is “Becoming a Real Girl.”


Jay Paul Deratany was covered by DEADLINE in its article “‘Foster Boy,’ Legal Thriller About Foster Child, Has Surprising Real-Life Turn Of Events,” featuring Jay’s upcoming movie and his work as an attorney.


Jeff Eyres will be at Litfest Pasadena on May 19, hosting THE TABLE: CANDY, produced by Natashia Deón and featuring readings from Jillian Lauren, Seth Fischer, Jian Huang, Antonia Crane, and others.


Jeff Girod was named the director of communications for UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.


Jeff Meyers served as guest co-host on the PROJECTION BOOTH podcast.


Jenn-Anne Gledhill‘s article “Adults Can Have Bullies, Too” was named one of CHICAGONOW’s top 20 articles of March 2018.


Jo Robbins received a full-time, tenure-track position Phoenix College. She previously had served as an adjunct at the school.


Liska Jacobs read at Third Place Books in Seattle on April 2. She was also featured on the LOS ANGELES TIMES Festival of Books panel “Crime Fiction: The Dark Side” on April 22 (you can also check out her author portrait from the festival in the LA TIMES). Liska also contributed to Naomi Huffman’s “How to make a book” guide for MCD/FSG. Her book, CATALINA, was also reviewed in MINOR LITERATURES and BROOKLYN PAPER.


Lon Varnadore was interviewed on the JIGGY JAGUAR show about his book MOSTLY HUMAN. He also signed at the Black Chateau booth at the LOS ANGELES TIMES Festival of Books on April 21. He’ll be reading in North Hollywood on May 12 at Black Chateau’s Beach-Bound Book Bash, which is hosted by our own Xach Fromson.


Luke Yankee served as one of the talent coordinators for a staged reading of the final episode of SCANDAL at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. His memoir JUST OUTSIDE THE SPOTLIGHT: GROWING UP WITH EILEEN HECKARD is now available in paperback through Back Stage Books.


Michelle Castillo‘s poem “Auntie Virgie” was featured in the EAST JASMINE REVIEW’s National Poetry Month feature at the Ovitt Family Library in Ontario, California.


Natashia Deón led a one-day writing workshop for Phoenix College and then read from her novel GRACE at First Draft Book Bar in Phoenix on April 19. She also moderated a panel at the LOS ANGELES TIMES Festival of Books on April 21 entitled “You Go Girl: Women in Charge.” She also spoke at the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors on April 14.


Pam Munter‘s new play THAT SCREWY, BALLYHOOEY HOLLYWOOD was read at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis on April 3. Her essay “Beverly Park” has also been reprinted in DOWN IN THE DIRT’s anthology AT MIDNIGHT.


Precious Rasheeda Muhammad announced that she’ll be teaching a four-week course with Antioch University entitled “Writing the Community: Write to Effect Change!


Ruth Nolan wrote an article for Riverside’s PRESS-ENTERPRISE called, “Iconic desert writer Edward Abbey remembered in 50th anniversary celebration,” which was picked up by San Bernardino’s SUN TELEGRAM. Another article called “Are We Loving the Desert to Death?” ran in the DESERT SUN. She also presented FIRE IN THE MOJAVE: STORIES FROM THE DESERTS & MOUNTAINS OF INLAND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA at the Palm Springs Library on April 11.


Sandy Smith‘s first published nonfiction piece, “The Muse Is a Cat Lady,” was published by BREVITY.


Sara Marchant appeared at the Bay Area Book Festival on April 29 to read with other contributors to the anthology ALL THE WOMEN IN MY FAMILY SING. She also discussed her novella LET ME GO at the Fallbrook Library on April 17.


S.H. Mansouri‘s story “Three Times a Ronin Shouts” will be included in an upcoming anthology from The Society of Misfit Stories. His story “What Machines Don’t Know Won’t Hurt” was also purchased by Paper Dog Books for their upcoming anthology THE INTERNET IS WHERE THE ROBOTS LIVE NOW.


Shaun Sanders announced that his first two books under the name Ray Swift are out now. You can get KILLING FLOOR and THE TELL on Amazon.


Stacy Bodus was voted Outstanding Part-Time Faculty at San Diego State’s Inland Valley campus. She also created and directed the school’s Future Teachers Conference this month.


Suzy Fincham-Gray‘s memoir MY PATIENTS AND OTHER ANIMALS was released on April 9 from Spiegel & Grau. Stories about Suzy and her book ran in the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, NEW YORK POST, USA TODAY, NPR, KPBS, PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, and DAILY CITIZEN. Suzy also appeared on Open Book with Tod Goldberg and Maggie Downs. She’ll be at Fallbrook Writers Read on May 8.


Tom Gianakopoulos‘s article “The Center of Documentary: A Windy City-Style Education at Columbia College Chicago” was published in DOCUMENTARY.


Tyrell Johnson‘s THE WOLVES OF WINTER was featured in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S Must List, as well as THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (which thinks someone should snatch up  the movie rights) and WORKING MOTHER’s  list “16 Me-Time Spring Reads for Working Moms.”


Will Rian has a story in STATEMENT MAGAZINE this month.


Xach Fromson‘s Shades and Shadows reading series held a special LOS ANGELES TIMES Festival of Books event, “Truth to Power: Genre Fiction in Post-Face America” at the Last Bookstore on April 21. He also announced that he’ll be bringing Shades and Shadows to Seattle on June 30 with a reading at University Bookstore, featuring Tyrell Johnson.



By | 2018-05-08T18:46:09-07:00 May 8th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on April Student & Alum Success!

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