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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.


Discover Your Best Writing Self with Solstice

Are you ready to enter the next stage of your writing journey? The Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program offers concentrations in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, writing for your people, and comics & graphic narratives, as well as an optional Pedagogy Track that can prepare you to teach writing in higher education. We also offer postgraduate certificates and semester programs for those who already have an MFA degree.

We accept applications on a rolling basis. Writers who submit general applications by Nov. 8 may be offered a space in the winter 2021 residency/spring semester. Following that date, all acceptances will be for the summer 2021 residency/fall semester.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we waived our application fee for this enrollment period. Moreover, in addition to our low-res format that already allows you to study from the safety and comfort of your home during the semester, we recently completed our first-ever virtual residency. Should the need arise again for the January residency, we are fully prepared to hold it remotely, allowing you to continue your studies without compromising your health.

Learn more about our program, and contact us to learn more about joining the Solstice community.

Apply for a Fellowship

Do you know that Solstice has several fellowship opportunities for students who start the program winter/spring 2021? Here are the options:

The Francis L. Toner Fellowship for Veterans

Established by Solstice MFA Program student Mark Jednaszewski, the Francis L. Toner Fellowship for Veterans honors the memory of LTJG Toner, USN, who in 2011 was awarded the Silver Star (posthumously) for his service, gallantry, and self-sacrifice on behalf of his fellow officers in Afghanistan. The Fellowship provides either a $1,000 tuition wavier toward the recipient’s first semester or free room & board on campus for the first year in the Solstice MFA Program.

Genre-Based Fellowships

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, Solstice offers four $1,000 genre-based fellowships for students entering the program in the winter/spring semester:

  • The Dennis Lehane Fellowship for Fiction
  • The Martin B. Bernstein Fellowship for Poetry
  • The Michael Steinberg Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction
  • The Jacqueline Woodson Fellowship for a Young People’s Writer of African or Caribbean Descent

*Applicants who wish to be considered for any of our winter/spring 2021 Fellowships should submit the general application form by Nov. 4.



(Virtual unless otherwise noted)

Graduate Estela González
presented her essay “Open Triangle 2012” in the Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility reading. She also read her story “Cherán de las luciérnagas” at the Latin American Studies Association Congress in Guadalajara, México, in May.

Student Ellen Austin-Li invites the Solstice community to attend a monthly poetry series she curates and co-hosts, Poetry Night at Sitwell’s, on the first Tuesday of every month from 7-9 p.m. EDT. Come hear featured readers and share your own work during the Open Mic. The upcoming feature on Sept. 1 is Kentucky Poet of the Year and Kentucky Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour. The hosts post the Zoom link on the series FB page the day before the event. The event opens at 6:30 for “coffee talk” before the reading begins at 7.

Graduate Eileen Cleary will feature on Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. EDT as part of the Hyla Brook Virtual Reading Series, organized by the Hyla Brook Poets of the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire. She will also read at the NEPC Prize-Winners’ Reading (a virtual event) on Sept. 13 at 3 p.m EDT.

Graduate Faye Snider will host a “Favorite Poem Night” at the Lily Poetry Virtual Salon on Friday, Sept. 11 from 7-9 p.m. EDT. Attendees are invited to read and share a favorite or most meaningful poem. Presenters will have 3-5 minutes to read a chosen poem and say a few words, depending on the number of participants.

Director Meg Kearney will have a virtual book launch for The Ice Storm on Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. EDT. She will be introduced by Cornelius Eady. Additional details will be available on the Green Linden Press website in the near future.

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis along with consulting writer ML Liebler will host the 9th Annual Midtown Detroit Lit Walk on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2-4 p.m. via Zoom to Facebook Live on ML’s FB page.



Graduate Joanne Carota will join Linda Lowen in workshop presenting the inception to publication journey of her novel The Docks on Sept. 24 from 7-9 p.m. EDT.

Graduate Estela González participated in the Special Feminine Rising LGBTQ Pride Month Panel.

Student Megan Leduke will teach a free six-week online class, Piecing it Together: Structure and Plot in Fiction, on Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. EDT from Sept. 2 to Oct. 7. See her press release for more details and, register here! 



Graduate Eileen Cleary’s poetry collection Child Ward of the Commonwealth received an honorable mention for the NEPC’s Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize.

Director Quintin Collins received an honorable mention among trampset’s Best of the Net nominations for his poem “The Water I Come From.”

Faculty member Anne-Marie Oomen won the Solstice Literary Magazine summer contest for her nonfiction piece Four Winds.

Graduate John Theo’s screenplay Nicky and the Saint, A Christmas Story was a semi-finalist at the Atlanta Screenplay Awards.

Writer-in-residence Renée Watson’s book Piecing Me Together has been optioned for a film adaptation by Warner Horizon. 

Consulting writer Jacqueline Woodson was interviewed by Rudine Sims Bishop for Language Arts.


The 20th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions seeks full-length poetry manuscripts with a minimum of 48 pages and a maximum of 100 pages of poetry. This prize is open to writers who have not yet published a full-length collection of poetry. The winner receives publication and $1,000. This year’s final judge is Aimee Nezhukumatathil. The entry fee is $25. The deadline is Nov. 30. Submit your work via Submittable or via mail by following the instructions listed on the site.


Cherry Tree seeks creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for its seventh issue. Contributors receive $20 and two copies. Send no more than five poems, five flash prose pieces, or 20 total pages of prose. Submissions are $3 each. The deadline is Oct. 1. Submit your work via Submittable.


Driftwood Press seeks fiction, poetry, photography, graphic narrative, interviews, and experimental and hybrid forms submissions. This includes submissions for its magazine, as well as full-length works for publication. Driftwood also has contests and pays contributors for magazine publications. See the website and visit Submittable to review individual calls for submission, entry fees, deadlines, and more.


Into the Void is open to submissions of fiction, flash, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art for Issue #17. Payment is $10 per poem/flash/art or $20 per long-form prose piece, a contributor copy, and a one-year online subscription. Submissions are free until the publication reaches its monthly limit in Submittable. After that point, submissions are CA$4.95. You may submit up to one short story, one creative nonfiction essay, three flash fictions, four poems, or 12 images. The deadline is Sept. 7. Submit your work via Submittable. 


Manzano Mountain Review seeks previously unpublished flash prose, poetry, short prose, and art/images for its chiaroscuro-themed issue. Send one to three pieces for poetry and prose submissions (max 10 pages for poetry and 3,000 words for prose). Longer prose submissions are up to 3,000 words, and you can submit one to three images. The deadline is Sept. 15. Send your submissions to


Parhelion is accepting poetry, fiction, flash, and creative nonfiction submissions for its fall 2020 issue. Send up to 10 pages of poetry, stories and essays of 5,000 words or fewer, and flash under 1,000 words. The deadline for general submissions is Sept. 30. Additionally, Parhelion is accepting short stories and flash up to 1,000 words for a special Halloween issue. The editor is not looking for a lot of gore, violence, aliens, vampires, and bizarre things like that. Ghost stories are particularly welcome. The deadline for this issue is Sept. 27. The submission fee is $3. Submit your workvia Submittable. 


The Peter Porter Poetry Prize from Australian Book Review seeks submissions of previously unpublished poems. This year’s judges are Lachlan Brown, John Hawke, A. Frances Johnson, and John Kinsella. First prize is AU$6,000, and four shortlisted poets receive AU$1,000. Submit one poem of not more than 70 lines written in English. The entry fee is AU$15 for ABR subscribers and full-time students and AU$25 for nonsubscribers. The deadline is Oct. 1.  Submit your work on the ABR website.


The Philip Levine Prize for Poetry from Fresno State University and Anhinga Press seeks full-length poetry manuscripts of 48-80 pages. The winner receives $2,000 and publication. This year’s final judge is Cathy Park Hong. The entry fee is $28. The deadline is Oct. 1. Submit your work via Submittable or by mail.


Raleigh Review seeks poetry and flash fiction. Payment is $15 per work used, paid on publication, plus one copy of the issue for those with an address in the U.S. Send four to five poems and works of flash fiction up to 1,000 words. For poetry, the editors typically do not publish avant-garde or language poetry and have a general aversion to unnecessarily exclusive work. For flash fiction, they prefer flash fiction with narrative elements. The submission fee is $3, and the deadline is Oct. 31. Submit your work via Submittable. 


Rockvale Review seeks poetry submissions for its seventh issue. Send up to three poems. Don’t send song lyrics or greeting card verse, poems with explicit language, or poems that are overtly political, sexual, or discriminatory. The editors are unlikely to publish rhyming verse or translations. Submissions are free. The deadline is Sept. 30. Submit your work via Submittable.


Sky Island Journal seeks poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. For poetry, send three to four poems. For prose, send one to two works up to 1,000 words each. The submission fee is $3.99, and the deadline is Sept. 30. Submit your work via Submittable.



Student Ellen Austin-Li’s poem “Ventilate” appeared in the Aug. 7 edition of New Verse News. 

Graduate Eileen Cleary co-edited an anthology of poetry responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, entitled Voices Amidst the Virus (Lily Poetry Review Books), which is slated to publish in September. 

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis will publish Pink Panther Magazine, Volume 11, Number 2 on Sept. 8 with fellow graduates and magazine editors Andrea Davies, Jennifer Gentile, and Lisa J. Sullivan. 

Graduate Lisa Friedlander’s essay “Elbow Dance” will be published by Tiny Spoon for the fall “Solitude” issue. 

Graduate Hannah R. Goodman’s essays “The Changing Nature of Friendship Over 40”  and “I Weep For What My Kids Have Lost In This Pandemic, But Celebrate What They’ve Gained” were published on the Scary Mommy website. 

Graduate Jennifer Grant’s essay “Silent Flight” has been accepted for publication by Borrowed Solace journal. 

Faculty member Amy Hoffman’s essay about the Coronavirus pandemic, Stonewall 50, and AIDS, “Love One Another or Die,” is included in the Boston Review anthology The Politics of Care. 

Faculty member Randall Horton’s article “The awakening of the American white mind” appears in Salon.

Director Meg Kearney’s new poetry chapbook The Ice Storm is now available from Green Linden Press. 

Post-graduate semester student Samantha Kolber’s debut chapbook Birth of a Daughter is now available from Kelsay Books. 

Graduate Karen Koretsky’s essay “Suspended Among Cumulus Clouds” was accepted for publication by Assure Press for the fall edition of Iris Literary Journal. 

Writer-in-residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s co-translation from the Ukrainian of Natalka Bilotserkivets’s poem “Elegy to a July Storm” has been accepted by Mom Egg Review, and her co-translations of Bilotserkivets’s poems “Passionate People,” “Technically Speaking,” and “Night Planes” have been accepted by Periodicity Journal of Poetry and Poetics. 

Faculty member Josh Neufeld’s comics piece, “Food Riot? FOOD RIOT: A Visualized Excerpt from The Art of Cooking: A (Mock) Dialogue Between Julia Child and Craig Claiborne,” done in collaboration with (his mother) Martha Rosler, appears in e-Flux Journal #110 (June 2020). His comics piece “Supply Chain Superhero” appears in Pandemix: Quarantine Comix in the Age of ‘Rona, a benefit anthology for The Hero Initiative.

Graduate Andy Smart’s essay “No Justice, Just Peace” has been accepted for publication by Sleet Magazine. 

Graduate Sarah Walker’s short story “Townie” was accepted for publication by Bull: Men’s Fiction. 


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


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’s “Graphic 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.

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.


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


#AWP20 in San Antonio

#AWP20 in San Antonio

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...