Solstice MFA News


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.


Apply Now to Get Your MFA with Solstice!

Now is the time to discover your writing community. We are taking applications for writers who want to start the program in July. Check out our website for application information.

Also, don't forget to check out our fellowship opportunities:

  • The Kurt Brown Fellowship for Diverse Voices (requires a short essay)
  • The Monica Hand Fellowship for Nontraditional Students
  • The Francis L. Toner Fellowship for Veterans
  • The Michael Steinberg Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction
  • The Jacqueline Woodson Fellowship for a Young People’s Writer of African or Caribbean Descent

While we didn't get the chance to officially attend #AWP20 in San Antonio, a few of our community members were there, including our poetry faculty member José Angel Araguz, who presented on a panel, and graduate Gabriel Cleveland, who staffed the book fair table for CavanKerry Press, where he is the managing editor. 
(Photo by José Araguz)



Faculty member José Angel Araguz was a featured poet alongside Cynthia Cruz for the “Poetry with Friends: an online reading” on March 25.

Writer-in-residence Dzvinia Orlowsky will read as part of the virtual reading: “Serhiy Zhadan and Friends 2020 - Poetry” on April 24.  For more information go to

(Images by Haymarket Books and Trinity University Press)


Faculty member José Angel Araguz has a poem, “La Llorona Watches the Movie ‘Troy,’” in the to-be-published-this-April anthology The Breakbeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNEXT from Haymarket Books. His poem “American Studies” appears in the recently published anthology Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, published by Trinity University Press on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Assistant director Quintin Collins' full-length poetry collection The Dandelion Speaks of Survival, which was his Solstice creative thesis, has been accepted for publication in 2021 with Cherry Castle Publishing.

Graduate Lisa Friedlander's flash story "Saturday Night Out" was accepted to 101 Words Flash Fiction. Her essay "Slips and Stockings" was accepted by PROEM for its spring issue.

Graduate Dustin Grinnell published an article, “How to Make Art With Aphantasia,” with The Aphantasia Network.

Faculty member Josh Neufeld’sGraphic Guide to the 2020 US Census,” a comics explainer about the census, was published by Journalist’s Resource (out of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center) in December 2019, and was republished by multiple outlets, including Poynter, the Burlington Free Press, What’s Up Rhode Island, Generocity, Streetsblog Cal, and others. A follow-up piece, “Differential Privacy: A Confidentiality Protection Plan for the 2020 Census,” was published by Journalist’s Resource in March. He also had three pieces published in Nick Flynn’s new book, Stay: Threads, Conversations, Collaborations (Ze Books). The three pieces, “Bag of Mice,” “Father Outside,” and “Cartoon Physics: Part One,” are all comics adaptations of Flynn's poems.

Writer-in-residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s poem “Lullaby” has been accepted by JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) for publication.

Graduate Faye Rapoport DesPres' creative nonfiction essay “Still Life with PTSD and Geese” has been accepted by Bending Genres for publication in the April issue.

Graduate Lisa Sullivan’s review of graduate Eileen Cleary’s debut poetry collection Child Ward of the Commonwealth appeared in the March issue of Pink Panther Magazine.

Graduate Daniel Summerhill's full-length poetry collection Divine, Divine, Divine, which was his Solstice creative thesis, has been accepted for publication with Nomadic Press.

Back in February, faculty member Amy Hoffman participated in a reading at the I AM Italian-American bookstore & cultural center in Boston’s North End.
(Photo by Jennifer Martelli)


Faculty member José Angel Araguz was a panelist for the “The New Faces of Indie Publishing” panel at this year’s Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in San Antonio, TX.

José Angel Araguz presenting at AWP 20. (Photo by Barrett Bowlin)

Graduate Joe Gannon will give a lecture on “Cultural Appropriation: what I owe it as a white writer,” based on an article he recently published in Mystery Tribune, on Saturday, April 25, 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Forbes Library in Northampton, MA.


Highlights from readings by our graduate Joanne Carota. (Photos by Mark Carota)


Assistant director Quintin Collins was nominated for the Best New Poets anthology by Glass: A Journal of Poetry for his poem "Delayed MBTA Train Home as Jimi Hendrix’s Stratocaster."

Director Meg Kearney was a finalist for the Pub House Books chapbook contest for her chapbook manuscript The Ice Storm.

Writer-in-residence Dzvinia Orlowsky has been invited to judge the 2020 New England Poetry Club’s Amy Lowell Prize for an outstanding poem of any length or style. For details, go to

Graduate Lisa Sullivan has been named Commencement Poet for the 2020 undergraduate Class of Pine Manor College.



EcoTheo Review seeks poetry, prose, and visual art that explore questions of nature and spirituality from within and outside all religious traditions. Poets are invited to submit three poems at a time. Fiction and creative nonfiction submissions are up to 5,000 words. Send poetry submissions to Crystal Brandt, the poetry editor, at Fiction submissions go to Manik Perera, the fiction editor at Email nonfiction editor Julie Wan at EcoTheo Review also takes reviews of chapbooks and full-length collections of various genres. See the site for further details. Submissions are always open.

Gival Press is hosting three contests in 2020: the Gival Press Novel Award, the Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award, and the Gival Press Short Story Award. The Novel Award deadline is May 30, and the prizes are $3,000 and book publication in 2021. The Oscar Wilde Award for the best LGBTQ poem deadline is June 27, and the prizes are $500 and online publication. The Short Story Award deadline is Aug. 8, and the prizes are $1,000 and online publication. Check out the press's Submittable page for fee information and to submit your work.

Miami Book Fair is offering fellowships in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction to support writers working to complete a book-length project within a year. The fellowships include a $41,000 stipend, mentorship with a nationally established author, and strong literacy community support in Miami during the year-long residency. There is no application fee. Check out the website for formatting guidance, eligibility requirements, and other submission details. Emerging writers can apply via Submittable by April 30.

NewPages takes submissions for reviews. Send flash reviews (100-200 words is great; 300 words max) on the latest literary magazine, book, or individual piece(s) of writing you've read recently and would love to share. Send something short and sweet, but with substance. NewPages is fond of small presses and new magazine issues or work, the more recent the better. The usual ethics apply: no gratuitous promotion of friends, family, current teachers, publishers you have submitted works to, etc. If you know the author but believe your review is a fair critique, please disclose that relationship. Send reviews to Assistant Editor Katy Haas ( with "Review" somewhere in the subject line.

The Own Voices Chapbook Prize from Radix Media is an annual contest dedicated to the discovery of two timely English-language, chapbook-length poetry collections from poets of color who are yet to publish a full-length book. The winning collections will be published in a print run of 250 copies, and the poets will receive $500 and 25 author copies. Poet Aria Aber, author of Hard Damage and winner of the 2018 Prairie Schooner Book Prize, will guest judge. The winners will also get to work closely with our in-house designers to conceptualize their book covers which will be letterpress printed. Manuscripts should be 20–40 pages. The entry fee is $10, and submissions close May 31 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Submit your work via Submittable.

Oyster River Pages is a literary and artistic collective seeking submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts that stretch creative and social boundaries. It believes in the power of art to connect people to their own and others’ humanity. Because of this, the publication seeks to feature artists whose voices have been historically de-centered and marginalized. Additionally, its Emerging Voices section seeks new voices in fiction from those who have published fewer than two publications and who meet its submission criteria. Check out the website for full submission guidelines, and submit your work via Submittable through May 31.

Palaver seeks creative and research-based writing that defies the confines of a single discipline. It accepts art submissions in any medium, including video, still image, and multimedia. Prose submissions are 30 pages and one story or essay max. Poetry submissions are up to five poems. For multimedia, send up to ten file uploads of visual art/multimedia. Submissions are free. Submit your work via Submittable through Sept. 14.

Pigeon Pages is seeking submissions for its spring fiction contest, judged by Julia Phillips, author of Disappearing Earth. The winner receives $250 and publication, and honorable mentions win $50 and publication. Send previously unpublished fiction of up to 3,000 words. The submission fee is $10, and you can enter through April 15. Submit your work via Submittable.

Solstice Literary Magazine, a magazine of diverse voices, relaunched its blog, which is now called Solstice Features. If you'd like to submit writing for the blog, contributor submissions can be up to five pages long. Solstice requests that blog submissions be accompanied by a brief bio, an author headshot if you want one included, and any images you would like to include in your blog. Images should belong to you; however, if you send an image from another website or from a Google images search, please include a link back to the page from which the image appeared so the blog can give credit. Send Jpeg images that are no larger than 2MB. Submit your work via Submittable.

The Under Review seeks literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction with a sports slant, nod, backdrop, or undercurrent. The publication welcomes all interpretations of what qualifies as "sports" writing and is very interested in non-traditional approaches. Prose submissions are capped at 5,000 words, and poetry submissions are limited to five poems. For short and flash creative nonfiction, submit up to three works with a maximum total word count of 8,000. Submissions are free. Submit your work via Submittable through May 1 for the summer issue.


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