October Student & Alum News

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October was another amazing month for our students and alums! Here’s a brief write-up of a few big highlights. (And thanks to Yennie Cheung for being the official archivist of the MFA!)

Alexandra Neumeister‘s first published story, “Hidden Depths,” was printed in the horror anthology CALIFORNIA SCREAMIN’. She signed at the anthology’s events at Mysterious Galaxy and Warwick’s in San Diego, where she also read. Another signing will occur at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA on November 5.

Andy Blumenthal has a story called “Breaking News: He Fakes His Orgasms” up at WRITERS RESIST.

Anna Lisa Larks read at LIT UP AT TOWN HALL in Lafayette, CA on October 4.

Anne Silva was accepted into the Disquiet International Literary Program Residency in Sao Miguel, Portugal. She was previously a scholarship winning fellow for Disquiet’s residency in Lisbon.

Ashley Mag Gabbert had such a great month, she needs bullet points for all of her accomplishments:

  • Her poetry manuscript BLOW (formerly I COULD GO TO SLEEP RIGHT NOW) was named a semifinalist for the 2017 Grayson Books Poetry Contest (finalists still have not been announced, so fingers crossed).
  • BLOW was also named a semifinalist with Sundress Press’s contest.
  • She has three pieces in White Stag Publishing’s #GHOSTMOTEL anthology. Two are poems entitled “Grief” and “Recovery,” and the third is an essay called “When Believing Is Seeing.”
  • Two more poems, entitled “Nightmare” and “Trouble Sleeping,” have been accepted in issue 47.1 of PHOEBE, due out late November.
  • Another poem called “Dark Matter” will be published in the Winter 2018 issue of Carve Magazine.
  • A fourth poem, “New Year,” was accepted for publication in BIRMINGHAM POETRY REVIEW.

Bill Ratner presented a story on October 7 at MONTAGE!, a night of stories, music, and improv from the Turbine Arts Collective.

East West Players staged a reading of Christine Ma‘s short play DO YOU REMEMBER at SUMMER SHORTS, an evening of original short plays by new and emerging playwrights at the Santa Monica Playhouse on October 27.

Darlene Kriesel organized OUT LOUD, a social justice arts event sponsored by New Hope Presbyterian Church in Orange, CA on October 15, which included a reading by our own Natashia Deón.

Douglas Wood‘s erasure poem “Silk Purse I” is up at WRITERS RESIST.

Congratulations to Gail Mackenzie-Smith, who won the Wise Words Writing Contest with her TV script INVISIBLE! Her essay “Monsters in the Conference Room” was also published by PURPLE CLOVER.

Heather Scott Partington interviewed UCRPD director Tod Goldberg about his book GANGSTER NATION at East Bay Booksellers (formerly Diesel Bookstore) in Oakland on October 5. She also had a review of Isabel Allende’s new book for Minnesota’s STAR TRIBUNE.

Jalysa Conway wrote the GREY’S ANATOMY episode entitled “Danger Zone,” which premiered on October 26. Check out the sneak peak TVLine.com wrote about it and her interview with PEOPLE.

Jeff Meyers‘s short story “That Time You Were, Supposedly, a Creep” was accepted by CANYON VOICES for their fall edition.

John Mattson contributed another list of underrated films for ROBERT PUPKIN SPEAKS. This time, he wrote on films from 1977.

Julia Watson‘s short film FOREVER HOLLYWOOD was accepted into the Fake Flesh Film Fest.

Kendall Brunson announced that her short film BOX will debut at the Loft Film Fest in Tuscon next month.

Lia Langworthy‘s essay “Thank You, F-You, Me Too” was published by Angels Flight Literary West.

The rough cut pilot of Lilliana Winkworth‘s web series KILL ME was named a finalist for Channel Fluxx’s Pilot Competition. The winner will be announced at a later date.

Liska Jacobs‘s upcoming debut novel, CATALINA, is picking up more momentum with write ups in the SHELF AWARENESS, the November issue of ELLE, POPSUGAR, and LA LA Magazine (which also name-dropped Natashia Deón). Liska was also dubbed an “author to watch” in Booklist. She also signed books at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) trade show in Los Angeles. 

Luke Yankee directed a production of Simon Stephens’s play PUNK ROCK at Cal State Fullerton, which opened on October 13. Stage Scene LA also bestowed a Scenie award on him in the category of Outstanding Direction (Multiple Productions) for his work on CRIMES OF THE HEART and SHIPWRECKED!: THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF LOUIS DE ROUGEMONT (AS TOLD BY HIMSELF).

Mackenzie Cox has been busy interviewing UCR writers for the DWARF + GIANT website. First, she interviewed Liska Jacobs about her upcoming book, CATALINA (which she also reviewed). Then she interviewed Yennie Cheung, Kathryn McGee, and photographer Tim Ronca about their upcoming book, DTLA/37 (where Kathryn also name-dropped fellow alum Stephen Jay Schwartz).

Maggie Downs as an article in THE INDEPENDENT called “Integratron: Here’s where to have a sound bath in a dome planned by aliens” and an essay in HEADSPACE called “Not a Mourning Person.”

Matthew Johnson‘s play LAZARUS RISING opened in Fontana, CA this month.

Max Gee‘s web series TALES OF BACON released a series trailer in October.

Megan Eccles‘s Instagram blog LITERATURE AND LIPSTICK was featured in BOOK RIOT.

Natalie Ferrigno was a guest on the podcast CEMETERY CONFESSIONS to discuss the book POST-MILLENNIAL GOTHIC by Catherine Spooner.

In addition to the aforementioned appearances, Natashia Deón spoke and led a workshop at Pasadena City College as their Writer in Residence for October. Her Writing Workshops LA seminar on writing backstory is also so popular that a second session has been scheduled for December.

Believe it or not, the list of Pam Munter‘s monthly awesomeness is even longer than usual:

  • The essay “The Hypnotic Danube” was published in VARNISH.
  • Another essay, “Lost in Loss,” was published in MATADOR REVIEW.
  • A third essay, “Mimi,” ran in ADELAIDE.
  • A fourth essay called “Hello, Dolly, Goodbye” was published in COMMUNICATORS LEAGUE.
  • One essay entitled “Romancing New York” was accepted into the first issue of a new journal called WILLOW.
  • A second essay called “Living with a Headache” was accepted into TINY TIM LITERARY REVIEW.
  • A third essay called “Glimpses Through Glass” was accepted by FOURTH AND SYCAMORE.

Rebecca Renee Marsh‘s essay “#MeToo” was printed in WRITERS RESIST.

Ruth Nolan was featured on DESERT DWELLERS TV. She’ll be reading her poetry this month at the Joshua Tree Experiential Arts and Writing Retreat.

Sandy Smith‘s story “Nephew” was published in the Fall 2017 issue of SKY ISLAND JOURNAL.

Stacy Bodus will be contributing an essay to Scribner’s AMERICAN AUTHOR series. Look for her analytical overview of author Sheri Reynolds next year.

Goodreads ran a contest to give away copies Tyrell Johnson‘s upcoming book THE WOLVES OF WINTER.

And finally, several of our UCR alums participated in this year’s LA Lit Crawl. Ruth Nolan hosted a UCR Palm Desert reading called “Heat It Up!” which also featured alums Darlene Kriesel, Douglas Wood, George D. Morgan, and Yennie Cheung. Meanwhile, Xach Fromson hosted a SHADES & SHADOWS reading called “Eat Your Heart Out” that was highlighted by LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS, LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE, and THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.

By | 2017-11-03T00:22:53-07:00 November 3rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on October Student & Alum News

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