Select Page


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.




Happy Anniversary, Solstice!

You still have time to audit a graduate-level writing course during our upcoming summer residency. This residency’s offerings include two-hour Craft, Criticism, & Theory courses on humor in writing, writing emotion, writing book reviews, an introduction to comics and graphic narratives, and more. See our website for more information and to register.

Congrats to our New Graduates

On July 16, we celebrated the 26th commencement of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program. Our three new fiction graduates hail from Massachusetts, Virginia, and Vermont. Congratulations to Megan LedukeRhonda McDonnell, and Ellen Parent!
three Solstice MFA graduates, all white women, two with black hair, one with brunette hair

Visit Our Bookshop Affiliate Page

Did you know that Solstice has curated lists on Bookshop? Check out our affiliate page to view and order books by faculty, staff, writers-in-residence, consulting writers, alumni, and guests. 

If you’re not familiar with the site, Bookshop is an online book marketplace with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Bookshop supports indies by putting 10% of regular sales on into an earnings pool that is evenly divided and distributed to independent bookstores every six months.

Check Out Our YouTube Channel

Whether you missed one of our events or would like to re-live the experience, you can watch the recordings on our YouTube channel. Current videos include the Kitchen Table Reading Series, our residency readings, our writing and parenting panel, and more.


 (Virtual unless otherwise noted)

Assistant Director Quintin Collins and graduate Daniel B. Summerhill’s recording of their reading and conversation for The Notebooks Collective (founded by graduates Lisa Allen and Rebecca Connorsis now live on YouTube.

Founding Director Meg Kearney’s recording of her book launch for All Morning the Crows is now live on YouTube.

Writer-in-Residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s recording of her reading for Cultivating Voices Live Poetry: Poets Focus on Translation is now live on YouTube.

Founding Director Meg Kearney will read from her new book All Morning the Crows and be in conversation with faculty member Steven Huff on Thursday, Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. EDT in an event sponsored by Writers & Books of Rochester, New York. She also will read on Friday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. EDT for the YMCA of Central New York.

Graduate Alison McLennan will read from her new and old work on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. MDT at the Utah Arts Festival.


a zoom video conference session with several people

Here’s a snapshot from our virtual orientation that kicked off the summer 2021 residency!



Faculty member Kathleen Aguero’s poem “Difficult Child” will appear in Ibbetson Street #49, spring/summer issue. Her poems “At Sixteen Months; Brown and Gold” and “Fear Street” are included in I Can’t Breathe: A Poetic Anthology of Social Justice ed. Christopher Okemwa, Kristrech Theatre International.

Graduate Lisa Allen’s essay “It’s Complicated: A Midwestern Triptych” was published by Essay Daily in July as part of the site’s #Midwessay series.

Faculty member José Angel Araguz’s manuscript we say Yes way before you was selected for publication by Black Lawrence Press. This will be his fifth full-length poetry collection and due out in March 2022. Find out more in this profile, which includes an artist statement and excerpts of the upcoming book, on the Black Lawrence Press site. He also had two of his blackout poems included in the latest issue of Witty Partition.

Student Ellen Austin-Li’s poem “Portrait in Green” appeared in the summer 2021 issue of Rust + Moth. Her new chapbook from Finishing Line Press, Lockdown: Scenes from Early in the Pandemic, will be released Aug. 6.

book cover for lockdown: scenes from early in the pandemic by Solstice MFA studentEllen Austin-Li

Student Chris L. Butler’s published his debut micro chapbook BLERD: ’80s BABY, ’90s KID (Daily Drunk Press) on Aug. 2. He also published an essay, “Malcolm Gladwell and the Dangers of Light Skinned Privilege,” in Afros in Tha City.

cover image for Blerd: 80s baby, 90s kid by Solstice MFA student Chris L Butler

Graduate Jane Cawthorne’s new book, Impact: Women Writing After Concussion, (University of Alberta Press) co-edited with E. D. Morin, is out Sept. 15. On Sept. 9, Toronto International Festival of Authors will host the launch, which will highlight the contributions of several of the Toronto-based writers, and Jane will read from her essay in the collection, “Lost.” Impact attracted the attention of St. Michael’s Hospital Head Injury Clinic, which is now undertaking a new and innovative study about women and traumatic brain injury based on the contents. Jane was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts grant to support the creation of this work.

cover image for Impact: Women Writing After Concussion edited by Solstice MFA graduate Jane Cawthorne

Graduate Sam Cooke’s essay “Daylight” was published with The Manifest Station.

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis’s book Warrior Sister, Cut Yourself Free from Your Assault has been selected for publication by Library Tales Publishing and releases Nov. 1. She also recently finished ghostwriting a memoir for the Bastajians entitled Forget-Me-Nots: Armenian Refugee Stories, which will be published by Story Terrace, a company that pairs individuals and families with biographers.

Graduate Lisa Friedlander’s essay “Empire: The Dress” has been accepted for a forthcoming issue of Epiphany magazine.

Graduate Dustin Grinnell published a one-act play, “Two Clones in a Room,” with the online publishing company Fleas on a Dog. He published three healing-themed poems in Entropy Magazine.

Faculty member Randall Horton’s poem “preface to a traffic stop: sound” was selected by R. Erica Doyle as the American Academy of Poets Poem-a-Day for July 12.

Faculty member Brendan Kiely’s new book, The Other Talk: Reckoning with Our White Privilege, will be available from Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books on Sept. 21.

cover image for The Other Talk by Solstice MFA faculty member Brendan Kiely
Graduate Kimberly Kreines, along with her writing partner Jennifer Adams (collectively Perry George), recently published episode 1 of their novel Rise of the Aerolith on Kindle Vella; new episodes will appear each week.
logo for Rise of the Aerolith co-written by Solstice MFA graduate Kimberly Kreines


Graduate Alison McLennan’s story “Haunting the Street was accepted for publication in the Utah THRIVE125 Anthology.

Writer-in-Residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s poem “Wagons, Iron, Wood” was accepted by Ethel Zine for its winter issue. Her co-translations from the Ukrainian of Natalka Bilotserkivets’ poems “No Love is Happiness” and “Stumbling Among Stars” appear in Midway Journal. Her co-translations of Bilotserkivets’ poems “Herbarium” “Lake” and “Wine of the Lonely” were accepted by Lily Poetry Review.

Graduate Beth Richards’ essay “A Ring of Feathers” has been accepted for fall publication by Talking Writing magazine.

Graduate Alison Stone’s (she/her) poem “Visit” appeared in New York Quarterly.

Graduate Lisa Sullivan’s poem “On Frairy Street” appears in Burningword Literary Review. Her poem “My brother named his sons after our father” is forthcoming in Issue 30 of Evening Street Review. Her review of Assistant Director Quintin Collins’ debut poetry collection The Dandelion Speaks of Survival is forthcoming in the next issue of Lily Poetry Review.

Graduate Sarah Walker’s story “Skin Like You” was accepted for publication (online) by The Carolina Quarterly.


Solstice fun fact #14: to date, Solstice has hosted 10 cave canem partner poets



Writer-in-residence Grace Lin will lead an online session called “Putting Books to Work,” in which she will discuss how we can make multicultural children’s literature more mainstream, on Aug. 12 from 7-8 p.m. EDT in a free event sponsored by the The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Graduate Rhonda McDonnell will lead participant workshops at the Speculative Fiction Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp (Aug. 1-7) in West Bend, Wisconsin.





Faculty member José Angel Araguz was recently interviewed as part of Frontier Poetry’s “In Class” series of profiles of creative writing professors.

Assistant Director Quintin Collins was interviewed by Ruben Quesada for the Poetry Today column in The Kenyon Review, with his interview appearing alongside Jennifer Militello’s.

Graduate Maryann Jacob Macias received a starred Kirkus review for her upcoming picture book Teo’s Tutu.

Founding Director Meg Kearney’s poetry collection All Morning the Crows ranked on SPD’s poetry bestseller list in April, May, and June. A review of the book by Susanna Lang appears in RHINO Poetry.

Graduate Megan Leduke joined The Paper Store’s corporate team as its Social Media Content Creator. In her off hours, she also contributes to Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices as its Administrative Editor. She attributes her employment to her internship with the Solstice MFA Program, where she learned necessary skills and discovered her passion for social media marketing.  

Writer-in-Residence Dennis Lehane’s six-episode drama In With the Devil, starring Greg Kinnear, Sepideh Moafi, Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, and Ray Liotta, is under production with Apple Studios. He is adapting a book by James Keene and Hillel Levin for the series, which he will executive produce.

Graduate Marilyn Marquez recently started an online writing consulting business called Blue Cat Consulting. Services include editing for all stages of your writing project (developmental to proofreading for creative, academic, and professional writing), query critiques, help with outlining, college essay assistance, help with cover letters (critique, revision, proofreading, etc.), web content creation (including blogs and social media posts), fact checking (for web content but also for drafts), and resume design. Email for more information. 

Graduate Alejandro Ramirez‘s article “Safety, Compensation and Accountability at Nashville Construction Sites” won first place in the Feature Story category at the 2021 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Awards.

Graduate Kim Suhr’s short story “Everything Burns” took second place in the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters’ annual fiction contest.

Graduate Teresa Sutton received a Best of the Net nomination from Reunion: The Dallas Review for her poem “Venus Wishing for More Than a Half Shell.”

Writer-in-Residence Renée Watson appeared in a CBS News segment called “Why diverse children’s books are important tools for teaching kids about themselves and others.”


Quote by Solstice MFA faculty member Laure-Anne Bosselaar that says I really believe that the best way to teach a student is to teach them to teach themselves.



Angel Rust, a queer-led online magazine, seeks poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, with a particular interest in transgressive or experimental short stories, strong-hearted essays or critiques, and radical poems in any form, for its second issue. Send up to four poems. Fiction submissions are 3,000 words or fewer. Nonfiction should average 1,000 to 2,000, but this isn’t a firm limit. All submissions are free. See the site for more guidelines, and submit your work via email or Google Drive.

Black Lawrence Press is seeking interns to assist with an upcoming anthology. Each intern will be responsible for reading recent issues of literary journals in search of poems that match the anthology’s theme. This is an unpaid opportunity, but the work can be completed remotely and on the interns’ preferred schedules. Applicants should send their resumes and cover letters to by Aug. 31. This internship will require 5-10 hours of work per week and will conclude on Dec. 31.

Book of Matches seeks previously unpublished works of poetry (max. three poems or six pages), fiction (max. 2,100 words), nonfiction (max. 2,100 words), and translations (max. one translation at a time) for its third issue. Book of Matches desires neither COVID-related nor overtly political work. There is no entry fee. The deadline to submit is Aug. 10Submit your work via email.

Chestnut Review (“for stubborn artists”) seeks poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography. It offers free submissions for poetry (three poems), flash fiction (<1,000 words), and art/photography (20 images). Submissions of fiction/nonfiction (<5,000 words) or four to six poems are $5. Published artists receive $100 and a copy of the annual anthology of four issues (released each summer). The deadline for the upcoming issue is Sept. 30Submit 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.

Fiction Southeast announced its Fiction Southeast Editors’ Prize. Entries for the should be approximately 1,500 words or fewer. Feel free to submit multiple stories, but please do not submit multiple Word documents as one submission or one text document containing multiple stories. Instead, please submit each story as a separate entry (so that you complete an individual submission process for each story). Submissions should be unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are welcome. All entries will be considered for publication in Fiction Southeast. The winner receives $200 and publication, and three runners up receive publication. The entry fee is $10. The deadline is Aug. 31Submit your work via Submittable.

Haunted Waters Press seeks submissions of fiction, flash fiction, and poetry to be considered in the 19th issue of the literary journal From the Depths, the 2nd edition of its fiction anthology Tin Can Literary Review, and online publication in SPLASH! Works selected for print publication will receive payment and an online interview. Recipients of 2021 HWP Awards receive cash awards, print publication in From the Depths, and a featured author interview. Works appearing in SPLASH! enter the HWP Print Pool for future offers of paid publication. The entry fee is $15 for fiction, $10 for flash fiction, and $10 for poetry. The deadline to submit is Aug. 31Submit your work via Submittable. 

Massachusetts Reading Association seeks proposals related to literacy for its in-person 2022 conference, scheduled for April 3-4. Full guidelines are available online, and notices of accepted proposals will go out by Oct. 22. Presenters receive free registration for the day they present at the conference and an annual MRA membership. They also receive a discounted $150 fee for attendance on a second day. Proposals are due by Aug. 24. Submit your materials online.

Nobody’s Home: Modern Southern Folklore, a work-in-progress online anthology of creative nonfiction, seeks personal essays, memoirs, short articles, opinion pieces, and contemplative works about ideas, experiences, and assumptions about the prevailing beliefs, myths, and narratives within Southern culture below the Mason-Dixon line in the late 20th and early 21st century. Query the editor before submitting. The deadline to submit is Aug. 16

Parhelion seeks short story and flash submissions for its annual Halloween issue. The editors want wonderfully creepy, give-me-the-shivers, keep-me-up-at-night stories—bonus if the setting is Halloween/fall. Think Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw or Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery or the way ghosts haunt the living in Jesmyn Ward’s Sing Unburied Sing. Send previously unpublished work of approximately 3,500 words. Submissions are $3. The deadline is Sept. 9Submit your work via Submittable.

Pink Panther Magazine is now accepting submissions of art, poetry, short fiction, and personal/trending topic essays by women for Volume 12, Number 2, which releases Sept. 8. The deadline to submit is Aug. 20Submit your work via Submittable.

Split Rock Review seeks poetry, short creative nonfiction and fiction, comics, hybrids, book reviews, interviews, photography, and art for its fall 2021 issue. See the site for submission guidelines in each genre. The first 300 submissions in August are free. The deadline is Aug. 31Submit your work via Submittable.

The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow seeks writers working on a short or long work of nonfiction focusing on how they (the writer or another) have managed, and continue to manage, mental illness for its 2021 Real People, Real Struggles, Real Stories: Writing About Mental Illness Fellowship. For the purposes of this fellowship, the writing should be nonfiction and can take the form of memoir, personal essay, profile, or biography. The successful application will demonstrate insight, honesty, literary merit, and the likelihood of publication. This personal story should offer not just insight and awareness, but most important, hope. Stories focused on relationships, family life, travel, employment, civic contributions, passions, along with the barriers, fears, and stigmas faced, are encouraged. The fellowship winner will receive a two-week residency of uninterrupted writing time to focus on the work in addition to housing and European-style gourmet dinners. The application fee (nonrefundable) is $35. The deadline to apply is Aug. 30. The winner must complete the residency by Dec. 31, 2022Submit your application via the online form.




ESPN — Louisiana teen Zaila Avant-garde correctly spells ‘Murraya’ to win Scripps National Spelling Bee

Guernica — Living Memory: Black archivists, activists, and artists are fighting for justice and ethical remembrance — and reimagining the archive itself

Harper’s Magazine — [Letter From the United States] Home Country by By Héctor Tobar

How to Human Podcast — Creation: Starting and Doing with Anne Lamott

Kirkus — The Art and Commerce of the Blurb

Literary Hub — Maggie Smith on How to Revise Poems without Losing the Initial Spark

The Nation — ‘We Have to Make Our Nation Confront What It Doesn’t Want to Remember’: A conversation with Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen

National Endowment for the Arts — Breaking the Chain: Cave Canem Creates a New Landscape for Black Poetry



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

Best CBD Gummies in 2021

Best CBD Gummies - Best CBD Gummies for Pain - Peninsula Daily News Best CBD Gummies for Anxiety - Redmond Reporter Best CBD Gummies for Sleep - The Daily World