Student/Alumni Success

Our students publish books, stories, essays and have had screenplays made into feature films. If you’re a current or former student with publication news, please let us know by emailing the Academic Program Director Frank Montesonti at

Recent Student and Alumni Success:

4/7/20: In the midst of the recent pandemic, first and foremost we hope that all our community is well and safe. Please feel free to reach out to us with any program-related questions or concerns. For NU-related pandemic updates, please check the NU Student Services’ COVID-19 FAQ page

One piece of good news: current student Jeremiah Sargent wrote in to let us know his apocalyptic novel Turn Red Tomorrow, written under the pen name Michael Zargona, is available on Amazon. Congrats, Jeremiah!

2/5/20: Two exciting developments from our alums:

Catori Sarmiento‘s research paper, “The Benefits of Equity and English: Special Needs Inclusion in Japanese Education,” was published in the International Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education. Check it out here. Congratulations, Catori!

David Long‘s thesis novel, The Road to Emerald Downs, set in the world of elite horse racing in the Pacific Northwest, has been published and is available at Barnes and Noble! Way to go, David!

1/28/20: DLG Publishing Partners, a press started by alum Michelle De La Garza has contracted alum Kristen Debler‘s novella, DreamWeaver for publication! Congratulations, Kristen!

1/20/20: Good news from MCW alum Diane O’Neill! She had an op-ed published recently in the Chicago Sun-Times. Congrats, Diane!

1/7/20: Happy New Year to our NU MCW community! We have some great news to start off the new decade.

The Chicago Writers Association’s Board of Directors selected Caroline Mansour‘s opening chapter to her novel-in-progress “Revisionist History” as the Second Prize winner in their 4th Annual First Chapter Contest. Her first chapter will be published in their online literary journal, The Write City Magazine. Congratulations, Caroline!

Also, Michelle De La Garza‘s thesis project, INDIGENOUS, was named one of the top 9 scripts of 2019 by the Female Film Festival. Way to go, Michelle!

11/22/19: We are giving thanks this year that Joy Cheriel Brown‘s book on screenwriting The Secret of Life Through Screenwriting is being published by Balboa Press! Congratulations, Joy! The book is available here.

10/11/19: Excellent news from recent MCW graduate Jon Hendricks, whose thesis Programmed Cell Death has been published. Congratulations, Jon!

9/24/19: Congratulations to Michelle De La Garza, whose screenplay Mary! Mary! was selected as a Top 5 script in the Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival Screenplay Competition. Way to go, Michelle!

9/18/19: Terrific news from Nancy Chen Long, whose book Wider Than The Sky won the Diode Editions Book Prize! Congratulations, Nancy!

8/7/19: Congratulations to Jennifer Shenefield, whose MCW thesis novel Chance in a Lifetime, has been published and is available on Amazon and elsewhere. Way to go, Jennifer!

7/25/19: Congratulations to Shari McGriff, whose novel The Awakening of a Seer won the Georgia Peach Award for Speculative Fiction, and which is available now! Happy to hear this great news, Shari.

6/24/19: Congratulations to Charlie Omer, whose poem “The Oyster Farmer” is forthcoming in Plough Quarterly. Way to go, Charlie!

5/14/19: Congratulations to Libby Kurz, whose chapbook, The Heart Room is being published by Finishing Line Press. You can pre-order it here! Congrats, Libby!

5/8/19: Excellent news on several fronts!

Zach Powers’ second book First Cosmic Velocity will appear from Penguin Random House in August. Pre-order now!

Catori Sarmiento‘s debut novel, The Fortune Follies, has recently won the first place award from the Chanticleer Cygnus Science Fiction Award.

Congratulations, Catori and Zach! We are excited for you both.

2/8/19: Exciting news from Patty Apostolides! She has been accepted to the PhD program in Education at the University of Cumberlands. Congratulations, Patty!

1/31/19: Terrific news from Tim Tarkelly! Spartan Press in Kansas City will publish his MFA thesis collection of poems: Gently in Manner, Strongly in Deed: Poems on Eisenhower. Congratulations, Tim!

1/4/19: Here’s a nice top of the year update: Diane O’Neill‘s story “Hector the Superhero” is in the January 2019 issue of LADYBUG. Congratulations, Diane!

11/30/18: Great news from Patty Apostolides! Her thesis, Helena’s Choice, has been published and is available here. Congratulations, Patty!

9/13/18: Excellent news from Sharon Cook! Two of her pieces have been accepted for publication at The Voices ProjectCongratulations, Sharon! We can’t wait to read them.

9/5/18: Congratulations to Melissa Grunow, whose essay collection I Don’t Belong Here has been published by New Meridian Arts Press. It is available online on Amazon and through Melissa’s website. Congrats, Melissa!

8/30/18: Terrific news from Kristen Debler! Her thesis manuscript has won the Native Writers Circle of the Americas First Book Award! Congratulations, Kristen!

6/18/18Joy Cheriel Brown has been named a columnist at Script Magazine. Congratulations, Joy!! Scroll down this page to find her bio.

4/9/18Diane O’Neill‘s poem “O Say Can You Hear” will be in the Journal of Modern Poetry 21: Dear Mr. President. The collection will be released at Poetry Fest at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago on April 28, and it will be available on Amazon and at Congratulations, Diane!

12/14/17: Student Success update – Holiday edition!

Amy George‘s third chapbook is available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. It will be released March 17, 2018. People can read the blurbs and order here.

Sheri Miller‘s small press, Perpetuity Publishing, is releasing their second title, Seven Seconds by Lisa Compton on December 22 (ebook, paperback, and hard cover). Seven Seconds is a paranormal crime thriller and is the first in a series. Sheri is currently working on her second novel, a follow up to Jeopardy Surface.

Diane O’Neill‘s poem “Thanksgiving Still Life” is in the holiday issue of the South Side Weekly.

Michelle De La Garza‘s book Finding Faith, published by Soul Mate Publishing, has just been put up for pre-order. It will go live on Jan 17th, 2018.

Congratulations, everyone! And here’s wishing you all a lovely holiday and a happy end of 2017 from all of us at MCW.

11/21/17: Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Some good news for our program to be thankful for:

Diane O’Neill‘s poem “Nighthawks” won third prize in the “Chicago: The Arts” category of the Poets and Patrons Chicagoland contest.

Michelle De La Garza‘s book Finding Faith (written under the pen name April A. Luna) is being released by Soul Mate Publishing in January 2018. It is book #12 in the Soul Mate Tree Series.

Congratulations, Michelle and Diane!

10/20/17 Bryan Pitchford has won several awards for his poems from the Florida State Poets’ Association, including 3rd place for his poem “Appreciation.” He has also published a number of poems on Twitterization Nation. Congratulations, Bryan!

10/3/17 Diane O’Neill‘s essay “Jerrie” and her poem “Chicago Spring, 1983” are in the annual Lit issue of the South Side Weekly. She has also had a nonfiction article, “Valentin’s School,” accepted by Highlights for Children.

Ed Bremson has excellent news as well. A television show in Japan, NHK World’s Haiku Master, named him Haiku Master of the Week! Check out the haiku and video here.

8/8/17 Blossom Thom‘s chapbook, #HashtagRelief, was reviewed in Montreal Review of Books. Check out the review here! And congratulations, Blossom!

5/23/2017 Vivienne Tailor has been accepted with a partial fellowship to the Culture Studies program with a concentration in film at Claremont Graduate University. Congratulations, Vivienne!

4/27/2017 Michael Blackburn has exciting news to report. He was accepted into the Ph.D. program in Literature at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Congratulations, Michael!

1/25/2017Sharon Cook has been on a publishing spree. Her poem Early Riser was selected for the GNU winter 2017 issue (Page 40).

Her poem Bird Feeding was featured in Entropy Magazine, December 2016 Issue.

Also, her poems The Problem with Getting Flowers and By Then were accepted by Nutshell Media Group for publication in March 2017 in their anthology The Narcissists Playbook.

Congrats, Sharon!

1/17/2017Blossom Thom‘s chapbook #HashtagRelief will be released in April 2017 by Gaspereau Press. More info at:

1/17/2017Sheri L. Miller‘s debut crime novel Jeopardy Surface will be released in eBook and print versions through all major retailers on March 1, 2017. (the kindle version is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.) More info about the novel and a preview excerpt from Chapter One can be found on her blog at

10/20/2016Zach Power‘s collection of short stories Gravity Changes is available for preoder from BOA Editions…/products/gravity-changes

10/18/2016Elane Johnson‘s “The Math of Marriage” won the Best Essay Prize in Creative Nonfiction’s spring issue (#59). Also, her “Midnight at the Arcade” won the Penny Fiction grand prize and will be forthcoming this fall in “From the Depths,” an anthology by Haunted Waters Press.

Elane received the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty (out of over 4,000 instructors) at Southern New Hampshire University, where she teaches in the Creative Nonfiction Masters program. Last but not least, Gotham Writers’ Workshop just hired her to teach Fiction writing, beginning in October, 2016. Congrats, Elane!

10/6/2016Sahag Gureghian has a children’s book coming out November 15th! Goodreads has a current giveaway which ends November 8th.Congrats, Sahag!

9/8/2016Ann Y. K. Choi was shortlisted for the 2016 Toronto Book Award with her novel “Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety.” Congrats, Ann!

8/17/2016Matthew Hefti talks about his book, “A Hard and Heavy Thing,” on Wisconsin Public Television. He will be teaching in the MFA Screenwriting program at SNHU. His first class will be in October. Congrats, Matthew!

8/8/2016Diane O’Neill has a poem, ”Are There No Workhouses?,” in the Lit issue of South Side Weekly. Congrats, Diane!

8/1/2016 — Terrific news from Pamela Drummond. Her novel, Perdition: Virago Series Book 1 recently won KindleScout, a program from Amazon where readers can read the first few chapters of unpublished novels and vote on the ones they think should be published. A novel with enough votes goes to the Kindle Publishing selection committee, and if it passes their selection process, the author receives a nice publishing/marketing package, an advance, and a five-year contract with opportunities to fast-track future novels directly to the selection committee. Perdition (written under P.M. Drummond) launched on July 19th, and by the end of the day, it had hit Amazon’s ebook best sellers list in two categories: Contemporary & Literature/Contemporary/Fantasy and Science Fiction & Fantasy/Fantasy/Humorous. 

In letting Prof. Montesonti know the amazing news, Pamela wrote, “I believe that the valuable skills I learned in the MFACW program are a large part of what made all this happen. So I’d again like to thank you and the MFACW faculty for your efforts and time. Also, if you can think of any way I can share encouragement with current and/or future students, I’d be happy to help. I had my doubts while going through the program, as some of my fellow students did, that I’d ever be able to “make good” on my education, including both the time and money invested. Between the sense of accomplishment I experienced yesterday and the lasting friendships I still enjoy with fellow students of the program, I can now put those doubts completely to rest.”

Thanks for the kind words, Pamela, and many congratulations on all of your well-deserved success!! We are so proud of you!

7/18/16 — Sharon Cook has recently received acceptances for not one but TWO poems! One poem, “Denial,” will be published by Silver Birch Press and another, “Playing Dress Up,” will be published by Mothers Always Write. Congrats, Sharon!

Kevin Killiany‘s novel Down to Dirt has been published by Evolved Publishing. Check it out here! Way to go, Kevin!

And finally, many congratulations to Val Serrano, whose novel The Archangel of Hamilton Beach has been released and is available here.

Thanks for the updates, everyone! Please keep them coming. We love to hear from so many successful students and alums!

7/7/16 — Michelle De La Garza has exciting news: her novel The Lost Chronicles of the 5th World was released in December 2015 through Soul Mate Publishing. She writes that, “my NU instructors were instrumental in helping me work out issues I had with a language I created for the book and some poetry, as well.” Michelle has another book called Seeking Mercy forthcoming in March 2017, also from Soul Mate Publishing. Congratulations, Michelle!!

5/20/16 — Stephen Carignan‘s book project The Sleeping Man is live on Inkshares! Check it out — Half of the profits will be donated to the Children’s Literary Initiative.

5/10/16 — Ann Y.K. Choi‘s novel, Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety, was released on May 3, 2016 by Simon & Schuster. The book is available here and here are some great reviews in Publishers Weekly and the Toronto Star! Also, a story from Global News! Congratulations, Ann!! It was terrific having the chance to hear Ann read at the AWP, and the accolades are so well-deserved!

5/4/16 — Elane Johnson has excellent news! She won the Best Essay Prize for “The Math of Marriage,” in Creative Nonfiction, April 2016. The piece was chosen from 570 submissions by the magazine’s editors! Congratulations, Elane! Read more about Elane and her award-winning piece here in the interview with her, “We Can Only Navigate With What We Know,” Creative Nonfiction, May 2016

4/11/16 — Diane O’Neill‘s poem, “Selective Nostalgia,” will be in the Journal of Modern Poetry, Volume 19, that comes out this month. Congratulations, Diane!

4/1/2016 – National University Reading and Reception at the AWP! This year the Associated Writing Programs conference was held in Los Angeles. Though our MFA program is all online, many of you know that our faculty offices are in Los Angeles. In celebration of our program’s tenth anniversary and in appreciation of our current students and alumni, we hosted a free reception and reading for current students, alumni, and the public.

We had a terrific reading from the following students and alums:

Sherrie Miranda, author of Secrets & Lies in El Salvador
Weston Ochse, author of Seal Team 666
Ann Choi,  author of Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety
Sarah Carson, author of Buick City

Thanks so much to everyone who attended the event, especially to our readers and to Dean Richardson and Department Chair Janet Baker for making this possible!

1/5/16 — 2016 starts off with good news from our alums:

Krista Wagner‘s new thriller Rian Field is available for purchase here. Check it out! [Updated link – 1/20/16]

Daryl Horton‘s book, The Four Phases of Love: From Developing Love to Growing Old, is available here. And there’s a book trailer! Congrats, Daryl!

12/8/15 — As we get ready for the holidays here at the MCW program, we have some excellent news to report:

Brian Bergman‘s new novel Life in Harmony is now available here! Congrats, Brian!

Diane O’Neill (MCW ’08) has a new poem in South Side WeeklyPlease check it out here!

And last but not least, Michael Blackburn has published a haiku in the excellent and aptly named 50 Haikus, and a piece of flash published here at Zetetic. Congrats, Michael!

11/24/15 — Happy Thanksgiving edition of our super-sized Student Success updates!

Matthew Hefti‘s novel A HARD AND HEAVY THING will be published in January. It’s already earned a starred review from Booklist and has some great blurbs. Check it out here!

Elane Johnson’s essay, “The Other F Word,” which was published in the 2015 Hippocampus Theme Issue, was selected as a semi-finalist for The Mark Twain House 2015 Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Award! Congrats, Elane!

Ty Pruett has been teaching writing at Kaplan University, putting his MCW 600 knowledge to the test! And he’s writing a lot too — see his website for details.

A great update from alum Erin McKnight. She has started her own small press called Queen’s Ferry Press. Her goal was to create a sought-after home for fine collections of literary fiction. And QFP now houses many terrific authors’ titles. They have recently expanded into other genres of fiction and have just released the inaugural THE BEST SMALL FICTIONS, with Robert Olen Butler serving as guest editor; Stuart Dybek is set to assume the role for 2016’s anthology. Their titles have received awards and as recently as last week have also been shortlisted for international prizes. Check them out here!

Diane O’Neill has been on a publishing spree. Her essay “Age” appear in Still Crazy Literary Magazine‘s July 2015 issue, her poem “Language of the Unheard” was included the 2015 Lit Issue of the South Side Weekly, and her poem “Bestfriend” is forthcoming in next issue of The Shine Journal. Congrats Diane!

Bobby Steve Baker‘s first full length book, “This Crazy Urge to Live” came out in September from Linnet’s Wings Press. It has his poetry, photography and visual art. Congratulations!


Lisa Crayton’s book Reading and Interpreting the Works of Toni Morrison, will be released in 2016 from Enslow Publishing. She is a a co-author of six children’s book on various economic/financial literacy topics also to be released next year from Enslow. Lisa has contracts with Enslow for two other nonfiction books for kids, both scheduled for release in the Fall 2016!

10/1/2015   Sahag Gureghian will teach a continuing Education and Pre-College course at Otis College of Art and Design Fall 2015: Self-Discovery through Writing.

5/27/15 Elane Johnson has had essays published in Hippocampus Magazine and Superstition Review. Congrats, Elane! She also won Current Newspaper‘s Halloween Writing Contest with her story “Murdoch’s Mansion.”

4/29/15 We’re excited to report that J.N. Chaney‘s novel The Amber Project has been released and is available here. Way to go, Jeff!

4/16/15 Terrific news! Matthew Hefti has sold the novel that he was working on as his thesis project at NU. Congratulations, Matthew! Here are the details:

3/23/15 Alumna Melissa Grunow (January 2015) was accepted into the DISQUIET Literary Program where she will write and participate in workshop sessions with other participants for two weeks in Lisbon, Portugal this summer. She was also recently invited to be a submissions reader for Creative Nonfiction magazine. Congratulations, Melissa!

2/19/15 Sherrie Miranda’s novel, Secrets and Lies in El Salvador: Shelly’s Journey, is available for sale here. Congratulations, Sherrie!

2/13/15 Many congratulations to Eric Moberg, whose manuscript entitled “Chaotic Identities in Bernardo Carvalho’s NINE NIGHTS” was accepted for publication in The Explicator. Way to go, Eric!

12/3/14 Congratulations to Elane Johnson, whose essay, “Porn Star,” was published in the anthology Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly (March, 2014).

Also, we are so happy to share good news about Weston Ochse’s Seal Team 666 series. SEAL Team 666: Age of Blood won the 2014 New Mexico – Arizona Book Award for Best Science Fiction Book. The SEAL Team 666 series is published by St. Martin’s Press and has also been optioned by MGM Films and has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attached as the lead actor and as a producer. Way to go, Weston!

11/4/14 Exciting news from Valerie Zane! Her screenplay, PROFESSIONAL MAID OF HONOR, which she wrote in Professor Seth Sherwood’s Advanced Screenwriting class, tied for the Grand Prize in the Big Story Screenwriting Competition! Congratulations, Valerie!

Also, many congrats to Khadi Johnson on the release of her YA historical novel, Gilded Girls. It’s available for purchase here. Congrats!

8/27/14 Congratulations to Krista Wagner on her debut novel, Intent, which is available here on Amazon! Very exciting, Krista – congrats!

7/7/14 Ed Bremson, NU ’09, has two great pieces of news: His collection With Dreams of Summer Stars (poems, haiku and tanka) was published in Taiwan. And he edited a collection of about 250 Mongolian haiku, The Nature of Feeling, which was published June 30 in Mongolia.

6/17/14 Alum Robert Hammond explains the upside of being an adjunct instructor online – teaching graduate students while at the beach in Mexico! Check out his blog post here.

6/4/14 Congratulations to Justin Piatt on the success of his indie comic Super! – Justin and his comic will be at Comic Con in July. Check out his terrific work here!

Eric Moberg‘s students recently won the 2014 Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative Student Project Award for their website: Congratulations to Eric and his students!

David Hayes has recently published several books including, Weird Little Kid (2014) – Source Point Press Cherub (2014) – Bizarro Pulp Press, Pegged (2014) – Dynatox Ministries, and Die, You Zombie Crackers! (2013) – Bizarro Pulp Press. He teaches various college courses at several universities. Everything he has been up to can be found at

5/29/14 Soon-to-be-alumnus J. Lloyd Morgan‘s novel Bring Down The Rain, his NU thesis project, is being published by Pendr Publishing and is available here. Congratulations!

4/23/14 A glowing review for Anil CS Rao‘s novella Bright Lights, Big Buddha was published here. Congratulations, Anil!

4/1/14 Kenya Airways’ in-flight magazine, msafiri, recently featured Stanley Kenani‘s fantastic story “Clapping Hands for a Smiling Crocodile.” The story is from Stanley’s book A Memory This Size and Other Stories, published for the Caine Prize by New Internationalist in the UK.

3/7/14 We are very happy to announce that Joe Masser‘s excellent short story “The Neversink Hotel” was published this week in Crack the Spine.

2/24/14 Congratulations to Carol Scrol, who published a poem and a photo in EkphrasIS Three: Poetry, Short Prose, Visual Art by PXM & IS Press, Port Townsend!

2/14/14 Excellent news from Melissa Grunow. “Home,” her creative nonfiction essay, was published in Write to Woof, an anthology to benefit Almost Home, a no-kill animal shelter in Michigan. A flash fiction piece, “Binoculars” was published in issue 8 of The Adroit Journal. “Love Where There Is No Love,” a haibun, was published in issue 24 of riverbabble. And last but not least, Melissa was recently hired as a book editor with Grey Wolfe Publishing, an independent press in Michigan that publishes fiction, memoir, and children’s books. Congratulations, Melissa!

2/7/14 Good news from Jeffrey Johnston! His short story collection If Walls Could Write and Other Stories is now available in paperback and Kindle editions. Check out his site for more details. Congrats, Jeffrey!

1/13/14 Congratulations to Aaron Harris, who since graduating in 2011 has had three books published with a fourth on the way this spring, all from Lamp Post Publishing, Inc. in San Diego. Check out more info at Aaron’s site here. Congrats, Aaron!

Congratulations also to Sharon Carmack, whose latest essay, “Daughtered Out,” was published in the recent issue of Portland Review.

10/29/2013 Big congratulations to Chris Thompson, whose final thesis was a juvenile fiction adventure story: Mason’s Miracle, which Fountain Blue Publishing has agreed to publish! Anticipated release is sometime in the spring of 2014. Chris wanted to thank all her instructors at NU who helped make this happen!

Also very exciting news – and more congratulations – for Candace Kelly, who has been teaching at Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio, and at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. We’re also so pleased and excited to hear of our alums who move into the teaching ranks. Congrats Candace!

10/11/2013 Congratulations to Lisa Clark, who recently won the Maria Pia Forte Prize for a creative nonfiction piece that began in an NU MCW course. Way to go, Lisa!

9/27/2013  Anil CS Rao, MFA ’14 made FHM India’s top comics list for 2012! Anil is a screenwriting candidate who wishes to specialize in comics. His Final Thesis (pending approval) will be a sequel to his INDIAN TIME TRAVELER book and is titled BHARATHI. He hopes to launch the title at Angouleme France Comic Con in 2014. Congrats Anil!

9/07/2013  Congratulations are in order to Anna Cates, who won two first place awards for fiction from the Fresh Ink Group:  Anna also has an article coming out in The  Tower Journal in a few months. Congrats Anna!

7/25/2013 Lots of great news this month! Antoinette McCormick had two poems published: “Sixteen Ways No One’s Written about Scooby Doo” in The Camel Saloon and “Ever After (A Paradelle)” in The Glass Coin. Both poems were written in an NU Seminar in Poetry!

Antoinette is also starting a new online literary journal called Black Mirror Magazine.  It will be a monthly publication, featuring short fiction and poetry by new (or relatively “new”) authors. She heartily encourages her fellow NU students to submit!

Creative nonfiction student Melissa Grunow also had two recent creative nonfiction publications – “Chorus,” published in Ohio Edit, and “Hamtramck” published in Eunoia Review.  Congratulations Melissa!

6/14/2013 Congratulations to alum Tracy Saville, who has used her experience at National to build Possibility Media Group.

6/12/2013 Aneta Cruz‘s debut novel, Heartbreak Hotel, will be published by Black Opal Books on September 14, 2013!!  Congratulations, Aneta!

4/16/2013 Congratulations to Robert Hammond!  His latest novel, THE LIGHT is now available as an eBook on smashwords: and will soon be released in paperback on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.   Check out the 1 minute YouTube trailer:

3/5/2013 More good publications news!  Congratulations to Antoinette McCormick, for her recent publication in Mad Scientist Journal.

2/26/2013 Congratulations to Jameela James, who recently had a poem published in The Shine Journal.

1/7/2013 Exciting news from Karen Devaney.  She had her first novel published by an Italian publisher. Juliana’s Truth can be found at Amazon UK as well as at In addition, her short story collection entitled The Chronicles of Nurse Noelle can be found on Amazon. And in January her children’s series The Legend of B.B. Fibber Pants will be available on both e platforms and in print.  Karen also has been teaching full-time at DeVry University – English, Literature, writing, and speech classes in both Center City, Philadelphia and Manhattan.  Congrats, Karen!

11/19/2012 Congratulations to Joy Cheriel Brown, whose thesis script, CITY OF LITERATURE, was a finalist in the One in Ten Screenplay Contest.  It finished in the top 10 out of 497 scripts.  Congratulations, Joy!

8/1/2012 Congratulations to Robert Hammond, whose book Ready When You Are: Cecil B. DeMille’s Ten Commandments for Success is now available in paperback and Kindle editions at Amazon.  See the book trailer here.

5/21/2012 Congratulations to Sharon Carmack, whose essay, ”From the Other End of the Speculum,” has won Honorable Mention in the Creative Nonfiction Contest sponsored by Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art. Check it out at:

3/23/2012 Leigh Mackelvey has a poem in the new issue of Blood LotusCongratulations, Leigh!

3/6/2012 Christopher Vera has published an e-book of poetry called “Transmissions to the Mystic Nebula.”  Check it out at: Amazon.

2/26/2012  Sharon DeBartolo Carmack has accepted an invitation to serve on the Editorial Board of Steinbeck Review.

1/24/2012 Judy Roberts has begun teaching screenwriting at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada.  Congratulations, Judy!

1/12/2012 Amy George reports the publication of two chapbooks of poetry.
The Fragrance of Memory, 2010, Amsterdam Press
Sacred Fires and Ebullient Flames, 2011, Red Ochre Press

1/10/2012 Sharon DeBartolo Carmack has an essay titled “Switched at Midlife” in the January 2012 issue of Hippocampus Magazine

Sharon also has a literary criticism essay titled ”A Very Poisoned Cream Puff: The California Eugenics Movement through Steinbeck’s Cannery Row in Steinbeck Review 8 (Fall 2011):53-67.

Ed Bremson’s chapbook “Regrets: ten prose poems” was published by . He won the award for most liked haiku of December 2011 in the Collaborative Photo-Haiku Project. His poem “Pascal’s Advice” was published as part of the Montreal Prize contest. He had several haiku, haiga, and poems published in online journals. He is an active participant on Twitter, and a regular blogger at

Lisa Crayton had thirty devotionals included in the book Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, a 356-day devotional released in September 2011 from Worthy Publishing.  Atlanta Parent and Northeast Pennsylvania Parent reprinted Lisa’s articles on “Reviewing Kids’ Online Grades” in their January 2012 issues.

Lisa also accepted an invitation to be on the faculty of the 2013 “Writing for the Soul” Conference, and will teach a four-hour “Continuing Class” on author marketing, and an hour-long workshop on maximizing freelance income.   The Conference is sponsored by the Christian Writer’s Guild, for which she has served as a mentor for its beginner and intermediate non-fiction courses since 2003.

Diane Mierzwik had an essay published at Exterminating Angel Press:

12/6/1011 Karen Devaney reports she has been published in Meanderings; A Collection of Poetic Verse by Diversion Press 2010, and “The Legend of B.B. Fibberpants” is forthcoming from Black Rose Writer.

11/15/2011 Christina Querrer’s (M. Christina Madison) new chapbook The Art of Exporting is out on  Dancing Girl Press

10/18/2011 Weston Ochse reports the following publications and news:

“Since 2009, I’ve had one mass paperback published by Abaddon Books (Oxford, England). Titled Empire of Salt, it’s a zombie novel that was released worldwide. It sold out in the U.S. in 4 months, but is still available in Canada and the U.K. I was contracted for and turned in another paperback novel to Abaddon. This one is called Blood Ocean and will hit the streets in Feb 2012. I’ve also recently been contracted by St. Martin’s Press to write SEAL Team 666. Not only will this be a worldwide release, but it will also first be published in trade hardcover, prior to a mass market paperback. I’ve also recently had my first collection of short stories published titled Multiplex Fandango. Thanks to Prof Napoli’s instruction, the screenplay I worked on in his class eventually won the Buffalo (NY) Screams International Horror Film Festival Original Screenplay Award. Next week I’m getting interviewed by NPR for a Halloween special.”

6/7/2011 Sharon DeBartolo Carmack has an essay, ”Family History Narrative,” in the Spring 2011 issue of Creative Nonfiction.

4/15/2011 Brian A. Dougherty has reported that been offered a book deal with Newmarket Press for his book Trojan Horse, which was his MFA thesis project, and is in the negotiating process for a multi-book deal!

We are also proud that he has given back to the community by launching a collaborative learning program for Oakland Country Jail inmates enrolled in prep courses for the writing sections of the GED and has seen a 25% rise in success rates due to the program.

Robert Hammond is happy to report that his NU thesis script, C.B. DeMille won First Place at Los Angeles New Wave Int’l Film Fest.

3/14/2011: Leah Taylor’s new non-fiction book The Death of the Tip can be seen at

1/11/2011: Heather Ann Schmidt is going to teach a poetry workshop and advanced creative writing for Southern New Hampshire University.

Bob Baker’s chapbook, “Numbered Bones,” is forthcoming from Accents Publishing.  Bob’s chapbook was the runner-up in Accents’ 2010 chapbook contest, and is heading to press soon!

Jerry Tunde Olasakinju’s poem “Scourge of Modernism” was published in December 2010 in India’s Taj Mahal Review.  Congratulations, Jerry!

Matt Chupp had a creative non-fiction piece, “Bleed Out,” published in the September 2010 issue of Eclectic Flash, a journal started by NU’s own Brad Nelson.  Brad is also a recent nominee for the Pushcart Prize.

12/4/2010:  Elane Johnson, story in Superstition Review 

11/5/2010:  Michelle Curtis.  Interview with poet Carol Guess

11/1/2010: Karl Rubinstein.  Review of “The Norton Case” by The Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch: October 2010.

10/31/2010: Susie Clemons was invited to teach English Comp, Literary Based Research and Public Speaking at Shaw University.

10/20/2010: Melissa Dodds.  Stories in Skive Magaine, Literary House Review, Orchard Press, and Green Silk Journal.  Here is an article in the Del Mar Times about her new Novella:

10/14/2010:  Sahag Gureghian.  Reports Sahag: “Three Little Words” has been awarded one of the top places in the Genre category of the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Additionally, “Lies My Mother Told Me” placed even higher in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category.

8/4/2010: Jeff Carey JrTurning Pages (Poetry), Published by Agogeebic Press

May 2010: Sharon DeBartolo Carmack.  “Flesh on the Bones: Turning Dry Ancestral Details into a Life Story.”  in Brevity.
Publications before 2010:

Penny Wilkes, Whispers from the Land.  Travels in Spain.  Poetry and photography.  Finishing Line Press, 2006

Heather Ann Schmidt. Chasing Lou Hoover.  Poetry.  Village Green Press.

Jim McKeown, Special Comment Feature, NPR affiliate KWBU.

Sahag Gureghian.  “Lucinda’s Spell” and “Three Little Words.”  Danse Macabre, literary journal.

Anna Cates. Essay in Fringe Magazine.  Short stories: “Apocalypse 25 or The Gay Priest” & “A Very Merry Christmas or The Lady with the Lopsided Haircut” in Victory New Journal.

Jeff Carey Jr.  Poems.  Poetic Monthly Magazine.

Sian Lindsey.  2nd Place, PSH Contest, 2009.

Elane Johnson.  Non-fiction essay, Brevity.  Pedagogy Piece, featured speaker at 2010 AWP Conference in Denver.

Lisa Crayton
,  “Money and Financial Fitness,” chapter six of “Our Voices: Issues Facing Black Women in America.”  Lift Every Voice/Moody Publishers. 2009

“I Want to Talk With My Teen About Money Management.”  Standard Publishing. 2006

“A Student’s Guide to Toni Morrison,” Enslow Publishers, 2006.

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. You Can Write Your Family History. Genealogical Publishing Co. 2008.

Carmack’s Guide to Copyright and Contracts: A Primer for Genealogists, Writers, & Researchers. Genealogical Publishing Co. 2005.