We’d first like to congratulate Annelyse Gelman, winner of one of our Under 25 scholarships in 2015, for getting her poem “Conch” published in the October 14th issue of The New Yorker. At the conference, Gelman enjoyed working with Indigo Moor and Lisa Locascio, lauding Locascio’s talk on reading and interiority as one of the best she’d ever attended. “It felt like a perfect exploded view of someone’s else’s mind,” Gelman says. “I’m so grateful to have begun friendships with these two amazing writers at MCWC.”
Locascio, too, has some exciting news to share: her first novel, Jutland Gothic, will be published by Grove Atlantic in 2018. Although Gelman may have known her as faculty, Locascio started at MCWC as a participant in 2012. She attended Steve Almond’s fiction workshop where she met Kara Vernor, initiating a relationship that helped foster both women's successes.
Those friendships led to further literary adventures. "Shirin suggested we come back to Mendocino and do a weekend writers' retreat," Vernor recalls. "The goal was to write something new with a set of interlinking story prompts. We wanted our aggregated pieces to be something like the book Finbar's Hotel, or the movie Four Rooms—each segment having its own plot line but occurring in the same time and place. I returned to MCWC in 2012 and submitted the story I wrote on that retreat to Steve Almond’s fiction workshop where I met Lisa Locascio, a fellow participant. I received great feedback all around and the story, David Hasselhoff is from Baltimore, went on to find a home at Smokelong Quarterly."
Vernor has since had her short fiction published in many literary journals such as Hobart, matchbook, Paper Darts, and Necessary Fiction. In 2016, her first fiction chapbook, Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song, was published by Split Lip Press. Vernor also hosts Get Lit, a reading series in Petaluma, with author Dani Burlison, whom she befriended at MCWC. Authors who've read at Get Lit include many MCWC alumni and faculty, including Lisa Locascio this past January.
"Having connected with Lisa on social media as well," Vernor says, "I saw she was editing Golden State 2017: The Best Fiction and Nonfiction from California, which features writing about life in the Golden State. I thought the story I’d brought to Steve Almond's workshop, about a woman from Montana who makes a pit stop in Mendocino en route to the California she’d seen on TV, might be a fit. Fortunately, Lisa and her team agreed, and the story was accepted for the anthology, due out in April 2017 from Outpost Books."
“For me, MCWC is the gift that keeps on giving,” Vernor says. “I mean, seriously: giving and giving and giving. I have been, and continue to be, deeply grateful for the friendships, the growth, and the opportunities it has enabled.”
You never know whom you might sit next to in a MCWC workshop, what panel will inspire you, or which speaker will become a friend. This is something that makes MCWC so special. We’re proud of all our participants who have gone on to great success, and who come back—sometimes as faculty.
Lisa Locascio, Kara Vernor, and Michael David Lukas (whose latest novel, The Forty-Third Name of God, is forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau) will all be returning as faculty at MCWC 2017, teaching an Emerging Writers' workshop, a Flash Fiction seminar, and a Novel Writing workshop respectively. We're delighted to welcome them back, and encourage you to make plans to meet them.
• John Lescroart, past MCWC faculty and board member, for his new novel, Fatal, coming out this January
• Joycelyn Trigg, our most recent Carmen Etchenberry Freund scholarship winner, for her poem published in Caylax
• Kate Erickson, Treasurer and Board Member, for being published in this year’s Chicken Soup for the Soul, Christmas edition
• Devi Laskar, 2016 conference participant, for being named a finalist in the 2017 Press 53 Award for Poetry, for Leave Your Gods at the Door
Do you have a story to share or an exciting announcement? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
November 17th, 6 p.m, at the historic Mendocino Hotel, the California Writers Club hosts poet Indigo Moor's “Writing to History and Culture: Using the Tools of the Present to Illuminate the Past." Free and open to the public. WritersMendocinoCoast.org.
We're looking for artists' submissions for publication in the Noyo River Review. Artwork must be submitted electronically as RGB, TIFF, or JPG image files, with a resolution of 240 dpi or higher, and with minimum dimensions of 5 inches x 7 inches. Artists can submit up to 3 images before November 30th as e-mail attachments to email@example.com.
Past faculty Reyna Grande is having her 3rd annual Christmas toy drive. You can donate here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/3rd-annual-christmas-toy-giveway-in-iguala-mx-mexico#/
And here's your opportunity to help make sure marginalized voices get heard: we are looking for a donor to meet a $288 dollar-for-dollar matching grant to fund a MCWC Diverse Voices scholarship. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you're in the position to help or for more information!
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