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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.




The Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College welcomes members of the public to join us for our virtual reading series during our winter 2021 residency. These readings, which will happen via Zoom, are free to attend. Registration is required. Additionally, all of the readings will feature American Sign Language interpretation.

Check out the full reading series below. Visit our website to see faculty, staff, and guest bios. 

Sunday, Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m. EST: Guest Faculty and Writer-in-Residence Reading 
Hear from guest faculty and writers-in-residence of our winter 2021 residency. This reading will offer a sampling of their work, with each one giving a three-minute reading. Our readers include: 

  • Amy L. Clark 
  • Anika Aldamuy Denise 
  • Leah Falk 
  • Leah Henderson 
  • Lee Hope 
  • Beth Little 
  • Jennifer Markell 
  • Dzvinia Orlowsky 
  • Cammy Thomas 
  • Marjorie Thomsen 
  • Tanya Whiton 

Register here

Monday, Jan. 11, 7:15 p.m. EST: Graduating Student Reading 
This residency, four Solstice students will earn their MFA degrees. Hear them read from the work they crafted during their time in the program. Our graduating student readers include: 

  • Lisa Charnock 
  • Samantha Cooke 
  • Ashley Johnson 
  • Jim Naremore 

Register here

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m. EST: Solstice Faculty and Staff Reading 
Similar to our guest faculty and writer-in-residence reading, this one will offer a sampling of work from faculty mentors and staff at Solstice. Each reading will last three minutes. Our readers include: 

  • Kathleen Aguero 
  • José Angel Araguz 
  • Venise Berry 
  • Quintin Collins 
  • Nicole Terez Dutton 
  • Amy Hoffman 
  • Steven Huff 
  • Meg Kearney 
  • Brendan Kiely 
  • Anne-Marie Oomen 
  • Sandra Scofield 
  • Laura Williams McCaffrey 
  • David Yoo 

Register here


 (Virtual unless otherwise noted)

Writers-in-residence Lee Hope and Dzvinia Orlowsky are co-hosting the Solstice Literary Magazine Benefit/Riffs/Book Zoom event on Dec. 13 from 5-6:30 p.m. EST with readings, jazz, rap, and chat rooms with authors. Invitation to follow via email, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Director Meg Kearney will participate in a Virtual Panel Discussion Featuring New England Poets on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. Sponsored by the Worcester Public Library, the panel also includes Tim Mayo of Vermont and J.D. Scrimgeour of Massachusetts. All three will read aloud from their work, discuss what drew them to writing poetry and the struggles they’ve faced, and offer advice for aspiring poets.




Faculty member Kathleen Aguero’s poem “World Happiness Index, 2019” will appear in the December 2020 print edition of Solstice Literary Magazine – a Magazine of Diverse Voices.

Founding Director Meg Kearney’s poem “Mourning Doves in New York: 2001” appears in the fall print issue of Glimpse; and her poem “Starlings” appears in the current online issue of The Baltimore Review.

Graduate Karen Koretsky’s cyanotype print “Remnants of Summer” will be featured in the winter 2021 edition of Sheepshead Review: Journal of Art and Literature. Her essay “Supermoon” will be featured in the winter 2021 edition of Little Patuxent Review.

Graduate Vanessa Lewis recently finished her memoir manuscript A Little Bit of Love. She plans to publish it independently for January release. Preorder your copy

Graduate Elizabeth Mercurio’s poem “Ode to Those Who Lived Through Their Deaths” has been accepted for publication by The American Journal of Poetry and will appear in Volume 10 on New Years Day. Her poem “There is This Darkness Between Us” has been accepted for publication by arc 28- Journal of The Israel Association of Writers in English (IAWE) for its issue themed “The Kiss.”

Faculty member Josh Neufeld’s nonfiction comic “A Tale of Two Pandemics,” about COVID-19, the 1918 Spanish Flu, and persistent racial disparities, was published by Journalist’s Resource in mid-November. The piece has been covered by Columbia Journalism Review, the American Press Institute, and the Journal-ism blog, among others.

Writer-in-residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s poem “The Village Crow” appears in issue #112 of PLUME.

Graduate Allison Stone’s new collection of poems Zombies at the Disco is now available from Jacar Press.

Graduate Kim Suhr’s story collection Nothing to Lose is now available in ebook format from Amazon.



Director Meg Kearney’s poem “George Says Stop Writing About Yourself” was the Best American Poetry’s “Pick of the Week” for Nov. 30. 

Faculty member Sterling Watson spoke about his novel The Committee with Tallahassee, Florida, bookstore Midtown Reader, in an interview with Colette Bancroft as part of the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading, and in conversation with writer-in-residence Dennis Lehane for the Miami Book Fair.



Acacia Fiction Prize seeks collections of short stories, flash fiction, novellas, or any combination of fiction totaling between 40,000 and 75,000 words. The Acacia Fiction Prize winner is awarded $1,200, 20 author copies, plus publication and promotion by Kallisto Gaia Press. Runner up receives $100. All entrants receive a copy of the winning collection. Richard Z. Santos (Trust Me, 2020) will judge. The entry fee is $25. The deadline is Dec. 31Submit your work via Submittable.

Adanna Literary Journal seeks poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, short plays, essays, book reviews, and interviews for its next print issue What Women Need for a “Women on Politics” special edition. This publication will be a reflection on American culture and society looking back on the last four years and what our hopes and dreams are for the next four years to come. Please submit only unpublished pieces. For poetry submissions, please send no more than six poems at a time. Limit prose works to a maximum of 2,000 words, no more than one piece in a submission. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. See the full submission guidelines. There is no entry fee. The deadline is Dec. 31. Submit your work via email to

Club Plum Literary Journal seeks flash fiction, prose poetry, hybrid works, and art for Volume 2, Issue 1, scheduled for Jan. 15. Send your pain. Send your fury. Send your strange. Unsure if your work is a prose poem or flash fiction? Send it their way. See the website for submission guidelines. The deadline is Dec. 31. Submit your work via email to

Essential Voices: A COVID-19 Anthology seeks poems, stories, recipes, or works of art that reflect upon the experience of COVID and COVID-related issues in your life. While the pandemic has ravaged our world, certain populations have been impacted more deeply than others. Essential Voices strives to give voice to those who have been silenced. For poetry, submit one to three poems. For essay/nonfiction/fiction, submit one piece up to 5,000 words, double spaced. For recipes (or other short prose pieces), submit one piece, a maximum of two pages. The press will send each contributor one complimentary copy of the paperback edition of the published volume. Additional contributors copies will be available at a discount. There is no entry fee. The deadline is Dec. 31. Submit your work via email to

Jelly Bucket seeks poetry, prose, or text-as-art that captures, explores, reflects, reports, ruminates upon, or dialogues with social justice as it relates to the African American experience and Black Lives Matter. For its 11th print issue, Jelly Bucket will feature a special section—guest edited by 2009 National Book Award Finalist Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon—dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. Work from Jelly Bucket has appeared in the Best American anthology series and is annually nominated for the Pushcart Prize anthology. The entry fee is $2. The deadline is Dec. 15Submit your work via Submittable. 

The Massachusetts Book Award seeks compelling works of Massachusetts fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s picture books/early readers, and middle-grade/young adult literature. Authors must be current residents of Massachusetts. One award winner will be named in each category. Those authors/books are celebrated in an awards event at the Massachusetts State House or, if need be, through a virtual event. All award and must-read books are added to Special Collections at the State Library of Massachusetts, promoted throughout the Commonwealth, and featured at the National Book Festival. There is no entry fee. The deadline is Dec. 31Submit your work via the Mass Book Award Entry Form.

Nobody’s Home: Modern Southern Folklore seeks submissions of personal essays, memoirs, short articles, opinion pieces, and contemplative works about the ideas, experiences, and assumptions that have shaped life below the old Mason-Dixon Line since 1970. The project, founded in 2020 by writer-editor Foster Dickson, is a forthcoming online anthology of creative nonfiction works about the prevailing beliefs, myths, and narratives that have driven Southern culture over the last fifty years, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Please see the submission guidelines. The deadline is Dec. 15Submit a query for your work via the contact page.

NOMADartx Review seeks fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, interview, and reviews that address creativity and the creative process. NOMADartx is an emerging global creative network dedicated to sharing and amplifying creative potential, regardless of genre. Its “Industry Specials” column also provides a place for contemporary creatives to share wisdom (individual or collective) toward building success in their fields of practice. The publication currently considers work that addresses these themes in any way, with a special call for work about routine, ritual, and repetition (or their opposites). The entry fee is $3. The deadline is Dec. 20Submit your work via Submittable.

Prairie Schooner seeks a managing editor with a master’s degree in English or a related field plus three years of relevant publishing or literary experience. From the job posting: “The managing editor coordinates the implementation of all tasks related to the production, marketing, business management, web presence, event planning, and distribution of Prairie Schooner, as well as coordinating the production of numerous books and chapbooks each year in conjunction with our partner project, the African Poetry Book Fund.” If you love literature and want to make a mark in the world of lit mags, opportunities like this don’t come around every day. View the full posting for additional details and to apply.

The Press 53 Award for Short Fiction is awarded to an outstanding, unpublished collection of short stories. Press 53 publisher and editor-in-chief Kevin Morgan Watson will serve as the judge. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash advance, publication, and 50 copies. The winner and finalists will be announced by May 1, with publication in October 2021. The entry fee is $30. The deadline is Dec. 31Submit your work via Submittable or by mail. 

The Reading Works Short Short Story Contest seeks short short stories using 100 words. Topics include ants, bowling, the 1940s, and water. Seven prizes will be awarded, including Best of Contest ($100), Best of Category ($50), Best Youth Story (authors 14 and younger, $50), People’s Choice ($50). The submission fee is $10. Reading Works is a 501(c)(3) community-based literacy program that provides free reading, writing, and English acquisition tutoring to teens and adults. Proceeds from the contest support literacy programs. See the full submission guidelines. The deadline is Jan. 15Submit your work via the Reading Works website.




The Conversation — Life Sentences — What Creative Writing by Prisoners Tells Us About the Inside

GeekMom — Muse of Nerds: Robots and Creative Writing

HuffPost  Tales Of A Former Girl Rapper by Elizabeth Acevedo

Literary Hub — A ‘How to Write’ Craft Syllabus From Non-White, Non-Cis Writers

PBS NewsHour — Joy Harjo will serve a rare third term as U.S. poet laureate

The Washington Post — Best children’s books of 2020 reveal a growing diversity

Wired — Screen Share: A College Teacher’s Zoom Journal



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