Cara Bayles wins Chautauqua Journal Editors’ Prize

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I’m excited to announce that my friend and former classmate, Cara Bayles (Fiction 2013), won the Chautauqua Journal Editors’ Prize!  Cara first wrote the winning story, “Ostracita,” for a workshop with Leslie Epstein here at BU.  The piece will automatically be nominated for the Pushcart Prize as a condition of the contest.

Congrats, Cara! and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for the Pushcart.

Cara Bayles’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, Meridian (University of Virginia), Chautauqua Literary Journal, Ruminate, Trop, and the anthology Watching the Cash Roll in Since 2012. She received a 2014-2015 Steinbeck Fellowship at San Jose State University to work on her novel. She is also the recipient of a Leslie Epstein Global Fellowship in Fiction, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and a Tennessee Williams scholarship to attend the 2015 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is a graduate of Boston University’s MFA program. As an award-winning journalist, she’s spent the past six years covering the streets of Boston and the bayous of southern Louisiana.

Tara Skurtu to read at Poetry Festival in Romania

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Globetrotting poet Tara Skurtu (Poetry ’13) will be reading at Poets in Transylvania, a poetry festival in Romania!  The festival features an excellent line-up, including Tara’s former teacher Lloyd Schwartz.  (Robert Pinsky, also listed, had to pull out at the last minute.)  Tara went to Romania on a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and has recently returned on a Fulbright Fellowship.

Break a leg, Tara!

Book Coauthored by Stacy Mattingly Made into Movie

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In 2005, Stacy Mattingly (Fiction ’11) coauthored UNLIKELY ANGEL: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero with Ashley Smith. This Friday, September 18, Paramount Pictures will release a feature film based on the book!  CAPTIVE stars David Oyelowo (SELMA) and Kate Mara (“House of Cards”).  HarperCollins has re-released the book under the film title.


Watch the trailer below!

Hearty congratulations, Stacy!  We’re excited for you.

Stacy Mattingly is a U.S. writer and the founder of the Sarajevo Writers’ Workshop, a bilingual group of poets and prose writers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has led the workshop since 2012. Stacy holds an MFA in fiction from Boston University, where she was a Marcia Trimble Fellow, a Leslie Epstein Global Fellow, and recipient of the Florence Engel Randall Graduate Fiction Award. She has taught creative writing at Boston University, is slated to teach for Boston’s Grub Street, and helped lead the first Narrative Witness exchange (Caracas-Sarajevo) for the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. Stacy is currently writer-in-residence at the Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and has just completed a first novel, set in the Balkans.

Carla Panciera wins Grace Paley Prize

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Carla Panciera’s (poetry ’87) short story collection, Bewildered, was chosen by Pam Houston to receive the Grace Paley Prize for short fiction!  The book was published by the University of Massachusetts in the fall of 2014, and was the first collection to have been written by a Massachusetts writer since UMass began publishing winning titles from this series in 1990.

“What links these stories,” Panciera said, “is what links all of us: The desire to belong, the need to heal, the fear of what happens next.”

Congratulations, Carla!

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Carla Panciera received her MA in Poetry from BU in 1987.  She has published two collections of poetry. Bewildered is her first book of fiction.

Lucy Teitler’s play premieres in Pittsfield


We’re so happy to share that Lucy Teitler’s play Engagements is receiving its world premiere at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts!  You can buy tickets here.

Engagements received a terrific review in the Globe, calling Lucy’s writing “whip-smart” and “filled with memorable lines.”  Jeremy D. Goodwin writes:

What helps Engagements work — and it does so splendidly, on the whole — is that it doesn’t set out to be a generational anthem. Though it’s indeed au courant, this is no “The Big Chill” for Tinder users. At center, it’s the portrait of a fascinatingly complex woman…

Congratulations, Lucy!

Lucy Teitler (Fiction 2013) is a Contributing Writer at Motherboard, the tech section of VICE Media.  She has recently published a short story in Trop. Her play Engagements was produced at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York last March. 

Nina Palisano on list of Best New Poets, 2015

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We’re thrilled to announce that Nina Palisano (Poetry 2015) has been selected as one of 2015’s Best New Poets!  The full list, compiled by Tracy K. Smith, features fifty emerging poets and the titles of their winning poems.  Nina also won this year’s Academy of American Poets Prize at BU.  You can pick up a copy of the Best New Poets 2015 anthology this November here.

Congratulations, Nina!

Antonina Palisano holds a degree in religion and creative writing from Hampshire College, and is most of the way through an MFA in poetry at Boston University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the publications listed, as well as theMassachusetts Review, Potluck Magazine, Electric Cereal, and many others. She is an Elizabeth Leonard Teaching Fellow at BU, and lives in Medford, MA.

Jessica Ullian publishes essay in BuzzFeed Books


Jessica Ulliam (fiction ’09) has recently published a moving and insightful essay about the struggles of being both a parent and a writer.  Here’s an excerpt:

I write from this place of forced calm because the alternative is not to write at all. I could accept that the free-spirited imagination I once had has been forever subsumed by parenthood. But I fear that would bring its own hazards. My writing, however stunted, still brings me the peace that comes from recognizing and feeding a part of myself. In turn, I bring that peace to parenting, able to give more of myself to my children because I am still a writer, even if only half the writer I want to be.

Read the essay here.

Congratulations, Jessica!

Jessica Ullian’s essays and short stories have appeared in Slate, Slice, and Upstreet, and won recognition from Glimmer Train and The Review Review. She lives in Boston and is completing The Relief Season, a novel about hurricane relief workers. Follow her on Twitter at @jessicau.

Micah Nathan publishes essay in Vanity Fair


Micah Nathan (Fiction 2010) has published an essay re-visiting The Seven-Year Itch on its 60th anniversary. Read his excellent review of the Monroe film–and of Marilyn herself–here.

Read Micah’s VF essay about enjoying the finer things in life here.

Congrats, Micah!

Micah Nathan has written several novels, some ignored, most well-received. His short stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Bellingham Review, Glimmer Train, and others. He Tweets frequently, but not so often as to be annoying. Find him @micahnathan.

Lisa Hiton published in The Adroit Journal


We’re happy to announce that Lisa Hiton (Poetry 2011) has just been published in The Adroit Journal!  Click here to read her poems “In Response to Trees” and “Variation on Testimony,” each accompanied by an audio-recording of Lisa reading her work.

Congratulations, Lisa!

Lisa Hiton holds an M.F.A in Poetry from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Linebreak, and The Cortland Review, among others. She has received the Esther B. Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center, and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize.

Happy Friday.
















Today is the birthday of novelist and civil rights activist Pearl. S. Buck, the youngest ever female Nobel laureate.  Click here to read her wisdom on creativity and writing.

And here are some links to start off your weekend:

What the folks at the New Yorker are reading this summer.

The daily routines of some famous creatives.

A story by Stuart Dybek.

Some very comma mistakes, and how to fix them.

“Another Story About Me and Some Guy” by Kathy Fish.

An underrated Beatles’ song and its background.

A poem by Frank Stamford.

Calling all past Global Fellows! Submit your work to Harvard Book Store’s travel writing anthology.

Heads up: summer warehouse sale at Harvard Book Store on Saturday and Sunday.

Have a wonderful weekend!