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Welcome to the newest 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.




Writers Helping Writers Fundraiser Update

To date, we have raised more than $4,500 for need-based scholarships during our 2021 Writers Helping Writers fundraising campaign. Thank you to everyone who has supported this endeavor by donating, sharing the GoFundMe link, and attending our reading telethon event last month, when we raised more than $700 in one hour. 

The campaign runs through the end of the year. Contribute today to meet your year-end donation goals and support writers as they endeavor to write their stories in the best way possible. We’re so close to bridging the gap to our $5,000 goal. Help us reach and then exceed it.

Join Us for Our Writing For Young People Alum Reading 

On Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. EST, we’re hosting a virtual reading featuring three of our writing for young people alums who have published books in the past couple of years. Hear work from Heather Christie, Kimberly Kreines, and Kimberly Mitchell. Register here.

Solstice Fun Fact #15: 68% of Solstice students and alums are considered nontraditional (40+ years old)




Assistant Director Quintin Collins will read virtually with Tara Betts as part of the Cave Canem First Books Series on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. EST.

Student Ellen Austin-Li invites the Solstice community to the Dec. 7 virtual Poetry Night at Sitwell’s with featured reader (and past Solstice guest faculty member) Anders Carlson-Wee. The readings start at 7 p.m. EST with an open mic, so bring a poem to share. Anders’ reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Don’t forget to register.

Faculty member Kathleen Aguero will read in person and virtual on Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. EST as part of the Speak-Up Series at The Walnut Street Café, 157 Walnut St, Lynn, Massachusetts. An open mic precedes and follows this reading. Watch from home via Zoom. She will read on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. EST as part of the First and Last Word Poetry Series at Arts at the Armory Café, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, Massachusetts. She will read on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. EST as part of The Readers and Writers Guild series at Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham, 149 Asbury St., South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Graduate Andy Smart will be part of a book fair stage reading sponsored by Unsolicited Press at AWP 2022 in Philadelphia on Friday, March 25 from 3:15-4:30 p.m. EST.




Student Ellen Austin-Li’s poem “Ohio Song” will be included in the upcoming anthology I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing, Ohio’s Appalachian Voices. Her poem “Hemlock Ashwood” will be part of SOS Art’s project “Insideout: An Affirming Epiphany,” self-portraits by transgender individuals with response poems by Greater Cincinnati poets. The exhibit will take place at Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church from January through March and at the Fitton Center in June.

Student Chris L. Butler’s poem “Lenapehoking Potholes” was published by Hobart After Dark. His hybrid piece “Newcomer Elegy: A List of Things I’ve Yet to Do in Canada” was republished by Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations for Culture Days Canada.

Graduate Sam Cooke’s essay “A Florida Girl’s Guide to Hiking in the White Mountains” was published with AMC Outdoors. Her short story “Blackout” published with The Yard: Crime Blog. Her journalism piece “KIPP Massachusetts Public Charter School Centers Social Emotional Learning” was published in Boston City Paper’s Nov. 6 print issue.

Graduate Cathy Cultice Lentes’ poem “First Trip” has been accepted for publication in Volume 3 of Northern Appalachian Review. Her poem “The Wild” has been accepted for the anthology and performances of I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices

Graduate Dustin Grinnell published a long-form personal essay, “The Gift of Pain,” in The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review.

Graduate Debbie Merion published an essay, “A Pandemic Letter to My Grandchildren,” on Medium. 

Graduate Kimberly Mitchell recently published The Mystery of the Lost Greek Treasure through Vinspire Publishing. It is the third book in the Pen & Quin: International Agents of Intrigue series.

Cover image for The Mystery of the Lost Greek Treasure, a novel by Solstice graduate Kimberly Mitchell

Image from Vinspire Publishing

Writer-in-Residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s “Five Centos after Serhiy Zhadan” will appear in the January issue of The American Poetry Review. Her poem “Newton’s Cradle,” as well as co-translations of Natalka Bilotserkivets’ two poems (“Fish” and “[A stone smile frozen on the face]”) and Halyna Kruk’s three poems (“to Sylvia Plath,” “[in a dream that muddles tracks, a winter hare],” and “[the villas, sister, are all empty—on a spring ray, like on a spit]”) are forthcoming in a special MER VOX folio focused on Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American poets. The folio will be published on the Mom Egg Review website and is free to the public to enjoy in its entirety as of Dec. 15.

Graduate Faye Rapoport DesPres’ poem “Flight of Fancy” was accepted for publication by The Field Guide Magazine. Her 100-word fiction piece “Darkness” has been accepted for publication in Friday Flash Fiction.

Graduate Daniel B. Summerhill’s poems “sitting in a wicker chair against flower wallpaper in oakland heat,” “what i imagine my mother meant when she said I sound like one of those conspiracy theorist after i told her no one should be in prison,” and “enlarge my territory” were accepted by Anti-Heroin Chic and will be published in December; Daniel will be Anti-Heroin Chic’s featured poet for that month. His poem “mama,” which was selected by Hanif Abdurraqib as a runner up for the Spring Poetry Prize, will be published in Columbia Journal.

Graduate Sarah Walker’s story “The Long Way Home” was accepted for publication by CutBank

Writer-in-Residence Renée Watson’s forthcoming biography She Persisted: Oprah Winfrey, which is illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint and part of the series inspired by Chelsea Clinton’s best-selling book, will be published by Philomel Books on Dec. 21.

Cover image for She Persisted: Oprah Winfrey, a biography by Solstice MFA writer-in-residence Renee Watson

Image from Philomel Books


Solstice fun fact #18: 1 in 5 Solstice students opt into the Pedagogy Track.



Graduate Dustin Grinnell led creative writing workshops at the 2021 Extreme Imagination Conference

Graduate Daniel B. Summerhill gave a talk called “The Poet’s Duty” at the Central Coast chapter of California Writers Club in Pacific Grove, California, this past November.



Student Chris L. Butler received Pushcart Prize nominations from Daily Drunk Press for his poem “This One Time At Peer Review” and The Poetry Question for his essay “Andre 3000 Reminds Us of the Power of Heartfelt Art.” 

Graduate Kimberly Kreines accepted a position as Senior World Builder at Firewalk Studios, a ProbablyMonsters studio, where she will create the world, characters, and narrative for its forthcoming AAA video game.

Graduate Alison Stone’s poem “After Vesuvius” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Slipstream Journal. Her poem “Persephone’s First Season in Hell” was translated into Russian for Журнал Лиterraтура


Quote by Solstice faculty member Steven Huff that says "Most of the courage and perseverance that a writer needs comes from one's self, from seeking out the company of other writers, taking classes, reading widely and deeply, and writing."


The American Journal of Poetry seeks general non-themed packets of up to six poems. Poems must be previously unpublished both online and in print. The fee to submit is $5. There is no deadline. Submit your work via Submittable. 

Bayou Magazine seeks submissions of one to three poems for the 2021-2022 Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry. Poems must be original and previously unpublished. All entries will be considered for publication. The winner will receive $1,000 and a one-year subscription. The fee to submit is $20. The deadline is Jan. 1. Submit your work via Submittable.

Center for Book Arts seeks chapbook manuscripts of up to 21 pages of poems or 450 lines for a single long poem for its annual chapbook program. The winning manuscript will be selected in May 2022 with a limited print run of 100, a cash award of $500, and a weeklong stay in Austerlitz, New York. The fee to submit is $30. The deadline is Dec. 15. Submit your work via Submittable.

Crosswinds Poetry Journal seeks submission of one to three poems for its 2022 contest reading period. Poems must meet the guidelines of 66 characters per line, 30 lines per page, and 60 lines maximum per poem. The entry fee is $5. The deadline is Dec. 31. Submit your work via Submittable.

CRAFT Magazine seeks creative nonfiction with a maximum word count of 6,000 for the 2021 CRAFT CNF Award judged by Ira Sukrungruang. Subgenres include literary nonfiction, lyric essays, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and experimental prose. Academic essays will not be accepted. Submissions must be previously unpublished work only. The first-place winner will receive $1,000 plus publication. Two finalists will receive $300 plus publication. All winners receive all fourteen titles in the Graywolf Art of series. The fee to submit is $20. The deadline is Dec. 31. Submit your work via Submittable.

New Ohio Review seeks essays up to 20 pages for the Editor’s Prize for Nonfiction. The winner will receive $1,000 plus publication in issue 31. Eric LaMay will judge this year’s contest. The fee to submit is $21. The deadline is Dec. 15. Submit your work via Submittable.

Nowhere Magazine seeks essays, long-form fiction, short stories, poetry, and narrative nonfiction for the 2021 Fall Travel Writing Prize. Authors can live anywhere in the world and range in status from novice to accomplished. Submissions may be previously published or unpublished as long as they have not won a competition. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication. The entry fee is $20. The deadline is Dec. 15. Submit your work via Submittable. 

Palette Poetry seeks submissions of one to three poems for the 2021 Previously Published Poem Prize. The poems may be of any length but must be previously published either online or in print. The poems must not have won an award for $500 or more. The first-place winner will receive $3,000, publication, and an interview. The second-place winner will receive $300 plus publication. The third-place winner will receive $200 plus publication. The fee to submit is $20. The deadline is Jan. 17. Submit your work via Submittable.

PRISM International seeks short fiction with a maximum word count of 4,000 for the 2022 Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction judged by Heather O’Neill. Entries must be original and previously unpublished both online and in print. The fee to submit is $30 for Canadian entrants and $45 for American/International entrants. Black and/or Indigenous writers may submit for free. The first-place winner will receive $1,400 and publication. The second- and third-place winners will receive $600. The deadline is Dec. 21. Submit your work via Submittable. 



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