Solstice MFA News

CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. — June 16, 2020 — The Solstice Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College is proud to present 2020 Vision – Writing Social Justice for Today, a virtual panel happening during its July 2020 residency. This event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14 from 3–5 p.m. EDT. Author and teacher Sheela Chari will moderate a diverse roster of writers and activists, including Solstice faculty members David Yoo, José Angel Araguz, Iain Haley Pollock, Randall Horton, and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich; our writer-in-residence Renée Watson; and guests Shonda Buchanan and Ibtisam Barakat.  

At this very moment, in the midst of a global pandemic, people across the country and world are speaking out for justice online and in the streets. From issues of police brutality to matters of climate change, we are compelled to contribute our voices to the collective calls for advocacy and policy changes. As writers, how can we use our platform to respond in times of crisis? How do we derive the authority, expertise, and the imagination to write about social issues while maintaining our allegiance to the creation and manifestation of art? This panel will seek answers to these questions and more.

"This might be the most important conversation we can be having now as writers and artists,” Sheela said. “What will we choose to write about? How can art make a difference? Our choices will shape the values of our generation."

To RSVP to this event, complete this form. This event is free and open to the public; registration is required. 

Solstice MFA June 2020 Newsletter


Welcome to the latest edition of the Solstice MFA Program newsletter, Write This Moment! Here are the latest happenings from our writing community, as well as some opportunities for writers of all genres.



Do you already have a master of fine arts in creative writing degree? Do you have a book-length manuscript that could use some help with the final touches? If so, check out our Post-Graduate Semester program. Whether you want an exchange of three packets or five, this option can give you the guidance you need to bring your project into the submitting stage. The deadline to apply is June 8.


Congratulate Our Newest Writer-in-Residence, Lee Hope

Solstice is proud to announce that Lee Hope, one of our advisory board members and editor-in-chief of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, has joined our roster of writers-in-residence. Lee was instrumental in founding our program, and through the years she has been a constant supporter of the Solstice mission. We are thrilled to welcome Lee to this role and look forward to her recurring visits to teach during our residencies.


Student Rebecca Connors read from her chapbook Split Map on May 21 as part of Minerva Rising Press' Virtual Reading Series (photo by Patrick Connors).

Graduate Kat R. Vann (they/he) will read on Sunday, June 28 at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT during Pride Month for Sundress Publications' Poets in Pajamas Virtual Weekly Reading Series. You can tune in and view the reading schedule here: Poets in Pajamas Schedule and Broadcast Link.

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Graduate Lisa Allen's hybrid piece, “Notes for My Daughter As She Preps for Her Most Public Sexual Assault,” originally published in Lily Poetry Review's inaugural print issue, was featured on the Lily Poetry Review blog. Her prose poems "In Prison, She" and "In the Down of the House of the Man on the Stoop" have been published in Issue 31.1 of december.

Student Ellen Austin-Li had two poems accepted for publication in New Verse News ("This is Not a Safe House") and Memoir Mixtapes ("Matala").

Assistant Director Quintin Collins' poems "See What Had Happened Was" and "Kick Back on the Moon" have been accepted for publication in Gumbo Media's digital zine on Afrofuturism, forthcoming in September.

Graduate Lisa Friedlander's essay "My Enchiladas, Muchacho?" will appear in the May/June issue of The Revolution (Relaunch).

Graduate Garvan Giltinan's novel Titty Kitties was released in March from Thicke and Vaney Books. Listen to his interview on Bizarro podcast Bizzong.

Graduate Dustin Grinnell published a short story, "The Healing Book," in Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

Writer-in-residence Terrance Hayes edited Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems by Wanda Coleman, which is now available from Black Sparrow Press.

Graduate Mark Jednaszewski’s flash, “Bird of Paradise,” has been accepted by Mineral Lit Magazine for publication. He also co-wrote a photo-essay called “Urban Garden” with Jennifer Hwang. It was featured in Issue 8 of Profound Experience of Staying at Home: a Quaranzine.

Solstice MFA Program Director Meg Kearney has had three poems accepted for publication by Glimpse, formerly a Canadian literary journal that will now be published in the United States.

Graduate Karen Koretsky's essay "Finding Gray Matter" will be published in the Spring 2020 issue of The Writer's Rock Quarterly; A Journal of New Writing.

Graduate Kemal Onor’s short story “The Shadow” has been accepted by Constant Readers for publication.

Writer-in-residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s translations from the Ukrainian of Natalka Bilotserkivet’s poems “We’ll Not Die in Paris,” “Wine of Angles,” “The Water Trembles,” “Rose,” and “Jazz” have been accepted for publication in Subterranean Fire: Selected Poetry of Natalka Bilotserkivets, forthcoming from Glagoslav Publications, London - Oosterhout.

Graduate Daniel B. Summerhill's poems “Congregation" and "Kumi and I Freestyle" have been accepted by Obsidian Arts and Literature for publication in its spring issue.

A look into the past courtesy of our July 2015 residency. Graduates from the left: Alexa Hudson, Jennifer Gentile, Vanessa Lewis, and Olivia Cahoon.


Graduate Heather Christie has been accepted into the Doctor of Fine Arts Program at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Her supervisor will be the best-selling author Carolyn Jess-Cooke, and her studies begin in the fall of 2021.


Graduate Joanne Carota, author of THE DOCKS, was featured in the Cape Cod Times.

Graduate Vanessa Lewis has been appointed the features/blog editor for Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.

Writer-in-residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s interview with Rob McLennan for his blog "12 or 20 questions" series is up.

Graduate Lisa Sullivan has been commissioned by photographer Donna Parker to write ekphrastic poetry for a coffee-table photography book on the lotus flower.

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The Awakenings Review seeks previously unpublished poetry, short stories, nonfiction, photography, and art by writers, poets, and artists who have a relationship with mental illness: either self, family member, or friend. Individuals are encouraged to submit a body of work for review. With poetry, that means no less than three poems, or up to five pieces of poetry, or one short story (no more than 5,000 words) per issue. If this limit is exceeded, the entire submission may be returned unreviewed. Authors should include a cover letter describing their experience with mental illness. While this information is voluntary and its absence will not preclude your work from being considered, if your work is accepted for publication, you will be asked to submit a short biography where the publication would like you to supply this information. Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. Email submissions should be in a .doc or .docx format attached to an email sent to Include the word "submission" in the subject line. Send snail mail submissions to The Awakenings Review, P.O. Box 177, Wheaton, IL 60187.

Chestnut Review (“for stubborn artists”) invites submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography year-round. It offers free submissions for poetry (three poems), flash fiction (<1,000 words), and art/photography (20 images). For fiction/nonfiction (<5,000 words) or four to six poems, submissions are $5. Published artists receive $100 and a copy of the annual anthology of four issues (released each summer). Notification in fewer than 30 days or your submission fee will be refunded. Submit your work via Submittable.

Fiction Southeast runs a "Story of the Month" series. The editors select one short-short story (under 1,000 words) to feature on the front page of the website for the entire month and be listed on the Stories of the Month Page, as well as the Fiction Page. The winner also receives $50. Runners up receive publication. Submissions can include more than one story, but they must be in a single Word doc. The submission fee is $10. Submit your work via Submittable.
Minerva Rising Press is now accepting submissions for its online women’s magazine, The Keeping Room. The editors want to publish your short stories, essays, free writing, poetry, and photo essays related to women’s wisdom, lessons learned, self-care, bodies, relationships, and community. Writers selected for publication will be paid $25 via PayPal. Fiction and creative nonfiction pieces may be up to 5,000 words in length and may include facilitating original artwork or photography. Poets may submit up to three original poems (free verse or traditional form) and may include facilitating original artwork or photography. Artists should submit their artwork in the form of a photo essay. Photo essays should include at least three to give original images incorporating the artist’s medium of choice (i.e. painting, collage, photography, ceramic, etc.). Artwork may include original facilitating captions or writing. Submit your work via Submittable.

Longleaf Review seeks previously unpublished poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions. For fiction and CNF, you may submit one piece <5,000 words or three flash pieces <1,000 words each. For poetry, you may submit one to five poems. Longleaf pays $20 per author in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. All authors in the current issue will also receive free priority registration for the journal's next Weekend Workshop Intensive. Submit your work through the appropriate Google Form on the Longleaf website by June 10.

Parhelion seeks features, including book reviews, author interviews, articles on writing, literary events, and other related topics. Send only one article, essay, or book review at a time. Submissions should be 1,500 words or less, with an emphasis on less. Visit Parhelion's Submittable to see more extensive guidance from the features editor and submit your work.

PEN America offers several grants and fellowship opportunities for writers. These include The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Grant for Children’s and Young Adult Novelists, PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants, PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History, the Emerging Voices Fellowship, and Writing for Social Justice Fellowship. Visit the PEN America website for upcoming deadlines, submission guidelines, and more.

The Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize is open for submissions of previously unpublished poems. The prizes are $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. The top five receive publication in Red Wheelbarrow Magazine. Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar will judge this year's contest. The entry fee is $15. Submit your work via Submittable by Aug. 15.

Swan Scythe Press is now considering manuscripts for its 2020 Poetry Chapbook Contest. The winner receives $200 and 25 perfect-bound chapbooks. Submit a manuscript of 20-32 pages of poems that includes a title page with author’s name, address, phone number, and email address and a second title page without personal identifiers, book title only. The entry fee is $18. Submit your work via Submittable or mail your manuscripts to 1468 Mallard Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 by June 15.

The University on New Orleans Press is now accepting submissions for its Publishing Lab Prize. Now entering its sixth year, the UNO Press Publishing Lab is looking for full-length fiction manuscripts for this year’s prize. The selected author will receive a $10,000 advance on royalties and a contract to publish with UNO Press. There is no word limit or limit on subjects covered. The submission fee is $28. Submit your work via Submittable through Aug. 31.

Volney Road Review seeks previously unpublished prose, poetry, art, photography, and comics for issue 3.1. Send three to five poems (no more than three pages per poem in a single document), one piece of fiction or creative non-fiction up to 3,500 words, or five to eight pieces of artwork. Volney Road pays $10 per accepted piece. Email your submissions as attachments to In the subject of your email, please write SUBMISSION: [Your Last Name, Genre] (ex: SUBMISSION: Jones, Poetry). Submit your work by Aug. 1.


As an undergraduate institution consistently ranked among the most diverse in the country, Pine Manor College emphasizes an inclusive, community-building approach to liberal arts education. The Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program reflects the College’s overall mission by creating a supportive, welcoming environment in which writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to take creative risks. We strive to instill in our students an appreciation for the value of community-building and community service, and see engagement with the literary arts not only as a means to personal fulfillment but also as an instrument for real cultural change.


Quintin Collins
Solstice MFA Assistant Director

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