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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.




In Memoriam: Laban Carrick Hill

The Solstice MFA Program community mourns the unexpected death of friend and former faculty member Laban Carrick Hill. Laban, an award-winning novelist, poet, and picture book writer, taught writing for children and young adults for the Solstice Program from 2007 through 2011. His writing and his actions, including the founding of a poetry project in Ghana, were focused on equity and social justice for all. He also had a terrific sense of humor, which anyone who studied with him or took his classes (which almost always included various props) will attest to. We’re grateful for all he contributed to the world of literature and social activism, and to the Solstice community. Read his obituary in Seven Days.


 (Virtual unless otherwise noted)

Founding Director Meg Kearney will be in conversation with Granite State Poet Maudelle Driskell in celebration of National Poetry Month on April 5 at 7 p.m. EDT, sponsored by Hobblebush Books and Gibson’s Bookstore. Registration is required.

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis will host Pink Panther Presents: An Author Talk with [Graduate] Kim Suhr on April 8 at 4 p.m. EDT, which will live stream at Pink Panther Magazine—Women’s Art and Writing.

Graduate Daniel Summerhill will give a featured reading as part of the Museum of African Diaspora Lit open mic event on April 8 from 6-8 p.m. EDT.

Writer-in-Residence Dzvinia Orlowsky will read on April 15 at 5:00 p.m. EDT as part of “Zhadan & Friends, 2021,” sponsored by Yara Arts Group and the Ukrainian Museum in New York. Serhiy Zhadan is an award-winning poet of the post-independence generation in Ukraine. Watch the live stream when it airs, or check out the recording after the event.

Faculty member Kathleen Aguero will read on April 17 at 1:30 p.mEDT as part of the Boston National Poetry Month Festival (Passcode: 115950).

Graduate Daniel Summerhill will read on April 17 at 6 p.m. PDT/9 p.m. EDT to celebrate the publication of his latest poetry collection Divine, Divine, Divine. This event will also feature readings by Assistant Director Quintin Collins and poets Daniella Toosie-Watson and W.J Lofton. Find out more about this virtual event and register on the Nomadic Press website.

Graduate Faye Snider will host Lily Salon’s Third Favorite Poem Night via Zoom on April 23 at 7:30 p.m. EDT to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Founding Director Meg Kearney and Assistant Director Quintin Collins will join Chloe Martinez for a Lit Youngstown New Book News Series reading on April 25 at 7 p.m. EDT. To watch the stream when it airs or view the recording later, visit Lit Youngstown’s YouTube channel.

Graduate James Anderson will be the featured author on May 21 at 7 p.m. EDT as part of the arts and lecture series of YMCA of Central New York’s Downtown Writer’s Center. This virtual event is free and open to the public. Learn more on the YMCA’s events page and register today.


Solstice fun fact #12 new solstice grads have tackled a 35-page critical thesis and delivered a craft lecture



Student Ellen Austin-Li‘s poem “Touch” was accepted for publication by Main Street Rag.

Graduate Eileen Cleary premiered the cover for her second collection of poems 2 a.m. with Keats.

Cover image for 2 a.m. with Keats by Eileen Cleary

Assistant Director Quintin Collins premiered the cover for his upcoming debut collection of poems The Dandelion Speaks of Survival, available now for preorder from Cherry Castle Publishing.

Book cover for The Dandelion Speaks of Survival by Quintin Collins

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis recently published Pink Panther Magazine, Volume 12, Number 1, along with graduates Jennifer Gentile and Lisa J. Sullivan. She also recently finished ghostwriting a memoir for the Schadens entitled The Good Times, which is set to be published by Story Terrace in May.

Graduate Melissa Ford Lucken’s first non-fiction book The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Riverdale was released on April 1 by Riverdale Ave Books.

Cover image for The Binge Watchers Guide to Riverdale by Melissa Ford Lucken

Graduate Faye Rapoport DesPres’ flash CNF essay “Swallow” was accepted for publication by Pioneertown.

Founding Director Meg Kearney premiered the cover and preorder link for her forthcoming collection of poems All Morning the Crows, which won The Word Works Washington Prize.

Cover image for All Morning the Crows by Meg Kearney

Writer-in-Residence Dzvinia Orlowsky’s co-translation from the Ukrainian of Natalka Bilotserkivets’ poem “Elegy to a July Storm” appears in Mom Egg Review Vol.19.

Graduate Daniel Summerhill’s new collection of poems Divine, Divine, Divine is now available for preorder from Nomadic Press. 

Cover image for Divine, Divine, Divine by Daniel Summerhill

Writer-in-Residence Renée Watson’s middle-grade novel Ways to Grow Love will be published by Bloomsbury on April 27. This is the second book in the Ryan Hart series.

Cover image for Ways to Grow Love by Renée Watson




Graduate Heather Christie was recently hired by Drexel University to join its MFA in Creative Writing faculty as a mentor and lecturer. 

Founding Director Meg Kearney will participate in a school visit to the Alton School District in NH on April 20–April 22. She looks forward to talking and writing poetry with students pre-K through Grade 8.

Graduate Jonathan Todd will speak on a panel about writing comics as part of the virtual events of the Boston Comics in Color Festival at on April 22 at 11 a.m. EDT.





Graduate Lindsey Applegarth is uploading recordings of short stories to a Google Drive folder. She also is uploading recordings of energy work on the emotions and issues that arise from the stories.

Assistant Director Quintin Collins joined Salamander Magazine staff as a poetry reader.

Graduate Sam Cooke‘s story “Songs About Forever,” published by Tempered Runes Press, received 2nd place for the 2020 Valhalla Fiction Award.

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis has earned a Five Years of Service Excellence Award from Saginaw Valley State University.

Graduate Daniel Summerhill’s poem “Sunday in Oakland” was a finalist for the Stephen A. Dibiase poetry prize and will be published on their website.


Quote by Solstice faculty member David Yoo: What's driven my writing is to try to write from my perspective, which has been so sorely underrepresented, and add to the limited set of examples, the sort of definition of what it is to be an Asian-American male


Blink-Ink seeks stories about water (in about 50 words) for its themed issue #44 (no poetry). Water is the key to life. It is the first prerequisite for all living things of our world. Access to clean water is a basic right, yet the usual marauders would claim it as another commodity for barter. Coleridge famously wrote of desperate scarcity surrounded by excess. The Big Bopper splished and splashed in celebration. There is no entry fee. The deadline to submit is April 15Submit your work via email. 

Book of Matches seeks poetry (max. three poems or six pages), fiction and nonfiction (max. 2,100 words), and translations of the former for its second issue. There is no entry fee. The deadline to submit is April 12Submit your work via email.

Breakwater Review’s annual Peseroff Poetry Contest seeks previously unpublished poetry (up to three poems). There are no restrictions on content or form: “it’s all poetry.” All entries will be considered for publication in the forthcoming issue. The judge is Chen Chen, author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award. The winning entry will be awarded $1,000 and publication. The entry fee is $10. The deadline to submit is April 15Submit your work via Submittable. 

The English Department at Wheaton College Massachusetts seeks applicants for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor, with a specialization in children’s and young adult literature. A demonstrated ability to teach under-represented areas in children’s and young adult literature, especially African American literature, literature of the African diaspora, or Latinx literature is preferred. An ability to teach departmental courses outside of children’s and young adult literature is also expected. The successful applicant should maintain an active record of publication in the areas of children’s and/or young adult literature and culture. A Ph.D. in English or a closely related field and undergraduate teaching experience are required. Candidates close to completion of their degrees may be considered, but Ph.D. must be in hand by July. A review of applications will begin April 2, and the position will remain open until filled. Submit your full application via Wheaton’s online application system

2021 Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize seeks previously unpublished manuscripts (70–120 pages) of original poetry by an author of Asian heritage residing anywhere in the world. The prize judge is Dorothy Wang, author of Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry, which won the Association for Asian American Studies’ award for best book of literary criticism in 2016, and co-founder of the “Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK” (RAPAPUK) research initiative, based in the UK. Five finalists will be announced in July and the prizewinner in August. The winning manuscript will be published in spring 2022 by Gaudy Boy, an imprint of the NYC-based literary nonprofit Singapore Unbound. The winner will receive book publication and $1,000. The entry fee is $10. The deadline is May 15Submit your work via email.  

2021 Oversound Chapbook Prize seeks previously unpublished poetry manuscript submissions between 15 and 30 pages (individual poems may have been published). The contest judge is Timothy Donnelly, author of The Problem of the ManyTwenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit, and The Cloud Corporation. The winner will receive $1,000 and 25 copies. The entry fee is $18 with a subscription to Oversound included. The deadline to submit is April 30Submit your work via the Oversound Submission Manager.

Pigeon Pages seeks previously unpublished fiction (max. 3,000 words) for their annual fiction contest. This contest will be judged by C Pam Zhang, author of How Much Of These Hills Is Gold (Riverhead Books, 2020). The winner will receive $250 and publication in Pigeon Pages. Honorable mentions will receive $50 and publication. All submissions will be considered for publication in the general journal. The entry fee is $10. The deadline to submit is April 15Submit your work via Submittable. 

Pink Panther Magazine is now accepting submissions of art, poetry, short fiction, and personal or trending topic essays by women for Volume 12, Number 2, which releases Sept. 8. The deadline for consideration is Aug. 15Submit your work via Submittable.

Plane Tree Journal seeks creative nonfiction (max. 5,000 words) for its third issue. Genre work is more than welcome and encouraged. Wow the editors with whimsy, reimagine the familiar, introduce them to the strange. There is no entry fee. The deadline to apply is April 15Submit your work via Submittable. 

Post Journal seeks flash fiction (max. 1,500 words), fiction, and creative nonfiction (max. 10 pages), poetry (max. five poems), graphic literature (max. 10 pages), and art (max. three images) for its fourth issues “The Queer Sacred.” The editors seek works that document the gorgeous mundane, the quiet revelation, a catalogue of queer life—the painful, the potent, and the promiscuous—that, together, blazes off the page. There is no entry fee. The deadline to submit is May 1. Submit your work via Google Forms. 


Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices seeks previously unpublished Fiction or Nonfiction (max. 23-pages), and poetry (max. 3 poems) for their annual Spring Literary Contest. The Fiction Prize winner, judge TBA, will recieve $1,000. The Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize winner, judged by Tim Seibles, will receive $500. The Michael Steinberg Nonfiction Prize, judged by David Mura, will recieve $500. The entry fee is $18. The time to apply is April 5 – May 25Submit your work via Submittable. 

South 85 Journal seeks fiction (2,000-5,000 words), nonfiction (max. 6,000 words), and poetry (max. four poems or eight total pages, one page per poem). The entry fee is $3. The deadline to apply is April 15Submit your work via Submittable. 


The Southampton Writers Conference offers MFA students a 10% discount if they use the promo code MFA2021 for the upcoming virtual conference. The conference will run from July 14-18 and will feature a variety of workshops, panels, talks, readings, and more. Attendees can experience workshops led by Melissa Bank, Billy Collins, Melissa Febos, Emma Walton Hamilton, Major Jackson, Matthew Klam, Julia Phillips, Roger Rosenblatt, Paul Tremblay, Frederic Tuten, and Maryrose Wood; attend panels and readings with Mateo Askaripour, Sarah Bedingfield, Stephanie Cabot, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Suzanne Gluck, Donika Kelly, Marissa Levien, Dennis Norris II, and more; and participate in “beyond workshops” in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, horror writing, picture books, and middle grade/YA. The deadline to register is April 15Register online


Speckled Trout Review, a biannual independent literary magazine, seeks previously unpublished poems (max. 4) for its online spring issue. In the publication’s short time, it has published former poet laureates; Pushcart Prize nominees; Best of the Net recipients; and contributors whose work has landed in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, POETRY, Tar River Poetry, ThreePenny Review, and numerous anthologies. There is no entry fee. The deadline for the spring 2021 (3.1) issue is May 1Submit your work via email. 

Stillhouse Press seeks submissions for two opportunities:

  • Experimental Writing Contest seeks full-length manuscripts of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that bend and blend genres, ignore the boundaries of form, or push the limits of voice and style. The contest judge is Matthew Fogarty, author of Maybe Mermaids and Robots are Lonely, which Kirkus named one of the best books of 2016. The winner will receive a prize of $500. All submissions will be considered for publication. The submission fee is $25. The last day to submit is April 15Submit your work via Submittable. 
  • Stillhouse Press Disabled Writers Anthology seeks fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction for its first anthology that will highlight and amplify the work of writers living with invisible, visible, and/or stigmatized disabilities. Novel and memoir excerpts are welcome. Previously unpublished work is preferred but not required. The entry fee is $5. The deadline to submit is May 31Submit your work via Submittable. 




American Academy of Poets — 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month at Home or Online

Boston Review — Straight Down to the Bones: Legendary Black Arts Poet Sonia Sanchez Discusses the Ancestral Influences On Her Work and How Art Can Give Us Strength

The Creative Independent — On the Physicality of Writing with Natalie Diaz

The Dallas Morning News — In Burma, ‘they have come for the poets’ by Christopher Merrill 

UN News — First Person: Poetry and the Pain of Loss and Leaving; A Voice From Syria

The Washington Post — Independent Bookstore Owners Look Back at a Year Spent Trying to Stay Afloat



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

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