Good News from Great Smokies Students and Faculty

by Tommy Hays, Executive Director, Great Smokies Writing Program

Tina Barr’s new book Kaleidoscope is out from Iris Press. Her recent work was just nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been published or is forthcoming in: The Gettysburg Review, Brilliant Corners, Hotel Amerika, Broad River Review, Gargoyle, Kestrel, Tar River Poetry, Town Creek Poetry and elsewhere.

Kevin Baxter just had an article published in the Spring 2015 Issue of Teaching Tolerance Magazine for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The article was titled "A Hand To Hold."

Bob Brooks had his epic fantasy novel Justi the Gifted, published by Leo Publishing ( on January 16. It is available at and

Juliana Caldwell completed the MFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard College in February. She attended their low-residency campus in Port Townsend, WA, and enjoyed exploring the Pacific Northwest area.

Caralyn Davis has published the short stories “Color Blind” in Eclectica Magazine and “Belong” in Word Riot. She also published the essays “My Mama Kissed a Cockroach” in The Mindful Word, “My Mama Is a Demon” in Killing the Buddha, and “A Damn Fine Female Body Part” in The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review. See her “Writing vs. Writing essay in this issue of The Great Smokies Review.

Nancy Dillingham’s chapbook 1950: Poems was accepted by Finishing Line Press and will be published in September. She also has a poem “The Dead” in Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel,Vol. 18, coming out this spring.

Robin Gaiser is a finalist in the Grateful Steps short story contest with a piece titled "I'll Fly Away" which is also a chapter in her upcoming book Musical Morphine, Transforming Pain, One Note at a Time. Pisgah Press will publish Musical Morphine, and SpokenWord will record the audio book version. Additionally, Robin is preparing to record a CD of her healing music as part of the "package" with the book. She also has a short piece called "Took Out the Tattered" in a new women's anthology, Writing in Circles, a juried selection of writing from Peggy Tabor Millin's workshop retreat.

Rebecca Gallo has been accepted to a week-long summer writing workshop with Lauren Winner (Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life) at the Collegeville Institute. The workshop, all expenses paid, is specifically for those writing spiritual autobiography.

Terry Gess was awarded a writing residency at Cil Rialaig Artist Retreat on the coast of County Kerry in the West of Ireland in 2014.

Linda Gillespie’s memoir story "Imagine" was published in Pisgah Review, Issue 7.1, in April 2014.

Ginger Graziano has had a chapter of her soon to be released memoir, See, There He Is, accepted for publication. “Sweat” will be published in the Summer 2015 issue of Stone Voices. Website is

Hollie Greene is in her fourth semester of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Queens University. She writes monthly book reviews and features for All About Women magazine. She also writes for the Watauga Democrat and Mountain Times.

Christine Hale's short story "Lake Tomahawk" was announced in March as First Honorable Mention in the 2014 DANA Award for Short Fiction. Also "Desire, Broken," a creative nonfiction short-short, appears in the April print issue of Shadowgraph. And "Mother Lode," creative nonfiction, appeared in Role Reboot on March 23, 2015.

Marie Hefley has been invited to become a regular contributor to the Forest Companion magazine. Her first piece appeared in the March 2015 issue.

Mike Hopping’s second novel, rhythms on a flaming drum, was published in January by Pisgah Press. The official book launch took place at the Grateful Steps Bookstore in Asheville, with other readings to come. This novel and MacTiernan’s Bottle, his 2011 collection of short stories, were polished in the GSWP Prose Master Class.

Jeanne Howe’s poem "Irish Coffee" is to be published in the spring/summer issue of Common Ground Review, the literary magazine of Western New England University located in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Laurel Hunt was accepted into the Queens University MFA “One Book Semester” program. This program provides intensive critique and editorial review, working one on one with a senior editor from a major publishing house, to complete a book-length manuscript. Laurel drafted chapters of the manuscript over several semesters in Tommy Hays’ class.

Mickey Hunt’s short story "Genius" has been published in the online speculative fiction magazine Stupefying Stories Showcase.

Barry Kelly’s novel Hammer of Justice, a legal thriller, was published by Red Engine Press in January. The book is available in hardback and Kindle versions at Amazon. Signed first editions are available at his website,

Deanna K. Klingel's new middle grade historical novel, The Mysterious Life of Jim Limber, will be released in April. The book will make its debut at Appomattox, also in April, where the author will speak about historical fiction for young readers at the 150th anniversary of the surrender at Appomattox. Deanna will also moderate a Reading and Writing Discovery Workshop at Tri County Community College in Murphy, July 6-9, for rising sixth graders. She has had two poems selected for Milestone Art and Literature Review, 2015.

Linda Lowery is at work on four school/library nonfiction books for Grades 3 - 5, the first in a series called “Indian Nations of North America” and to be published by Lerner Books. The first titles, which will be released in fall of 2015, are Native Peoples of the Plains, Native Peoples of the Southwest, Native Peoples of California and Native Peoples of the Southeast.

Kim Winter Mako’s short story, “Please Come Back and See Us,” will be published in the spring issue of Sou'wester Journal. Also, her poem, “Lotus Flowers,” has been chosen as one of three runners-up in the Citron Review’s Carl Sandburg competition. Her poem, along with those of the other winners, will appear in the magazine’s summer issue.

Ron Manheimer’s latest book is Mirrors of the Mind: Reflecting on Author’s Biographies and was published by Jorvik Press. Also, a piece on spiritual development across the lifespan that takes off from the Coen Brothers’ movie A Serious Man will appear in a Cambridge University Press book in 2016.

Anne Maren-Hogan read in April at the Burnsville Library with Brent Martin, the author of three chapbooks and a current Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet.

Mesha Maren is the winner of the 2015 ThomasWolfe Fiction Prize. Please see Home Page, Taking on the Thomas Wolfe Prize, by Tommy Hays, for more on Mesha and the award. During a busy 2014 and early 2015, Mesha published writing in the following: “On Maryse Holder’s Give Sorrow Words,” Tin House (June); “Confluence” anthologized in Appalachia Now, ed. Charles Dodd White, Bottom Dog Press; “Eminent Domain” anthologized in Choose Wisely: A Feminist Anthology of Dark Fiction, ed. Joanne Merriam, Upper Rubber Boot Books; “Under the Valley,” Day One and Amazon Kindle Singles; and “An Active Pursuit,” The Los Angeles Review of Books.
She has won the following recent awards: Winner of the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize (2015); recipient of a fellowship from the Ucross Foundation (2014); recipient of the Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian Writing at Lincoln Memorial University (2014); recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation for work on a novel (2014).

Dwight Martin is in his second semester of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Queens University. Dwight helped choose creative nonfiction submissions for Qu: A Contemporary Literary Journal, the university’s online literary magazine.

Tina Masciarelli has been invited to become a regular contributor to Plough to Pantry magazine and has three stories coming out in the spring issue, to be released in May. She’s also been invited to join the Plough to Pantry advisory council to shape the content of future issues. Tina writes a monthly piece for Rapid River Magazine, the first of which was published in the April issue.

Darlena Moore’s short story, “What It All Comes Down To,” was named a finalist for the 2014 Broad River Review Rash Award.

Jon Michael Riley presented his novel, Dream the Dawn, in April at Malaprop's Bookstore and Café. The event included presentations by three other writers.

Pat Riviere-Seel’s poetry collection, The Serial Killer’s Daughter, has been turned into a stage production by Sherri Raeford, Artistic Director of Shared Radiance, a Shakespeare theater company based in Greensboro. The company presented performances in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Hickory this spring. Also The North Carolina Poetry Society has chosen to dedicate their annual anthology of award winning poems Pinsong to Pat. She is the past president of the NCPS and has continued to do volunteer work with the organization. Pat spent a residency at Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in January, and in September she will be the writer in residence at the “Yoga and the Creative Process” retreat at Lake Logan sponsored by the Cullowhee Mountain Arts Festival. For other events, check out her redesigned website that Britt Kaufmann in Burnsville designed:

David Schulman had a feature article, "Always on her toes," published in the Asheville Citizen-Times about a ninety-one-year-old dance teacher in Sylva.

Susa Silvermarie received a two-week writing residency at Wild Acres Retreat, a Conference Center in Marion.

Christine Simolke has a contract with an independent publisher in Los Angeles, Hawkins Publishing Group, for her historical novel Children of Italy. She’s just turned in her revisions, and the release date is summer 2016.

Brian Sneeden has published poems or has poems forthcoming in “Squatters,” Salt Hill, Issue 34 (forthcoming); “After a Suicide,” TriQuarterly, Issue 147; “The River of the Given,” Quarterly West, Fall 2014, Issue 83; “Last City,” Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2014, Vol. 90, No. 3; “Reconstruction,” Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 2014, Vol. 90, No. 3; “Stratis the Sailor at Eleusis,” Southern Humanities Review, (forthcoming);“Phthisis: A Letter,” Arion, 2014, Fall 2014, Vol. 22, No. 3; “Persephone,” Arion, Spring/Summer 2014, Vol. 22, No. 2; “Flamenco,” Harvard Review Online, April 7th, 2014; “Again is the First Time,” storySouth, Spring 2014, Issue 37 and “The Hermit, Having a Lantern,” The Hollins Critic, April 2014, Vol. 51, No. 2.

Eric Steineger recently had a poem published in The Kentucky Review titled "Reading Carl Sandburg, Drinking Newcastle." The poem was included in the annual print issue and should available at in the 2014 section.

Katherine Soniat’s poetry has been published recently in Pedestal, Tiferet, Superstition Mountains Review, Absinthe Poetry Review, Kakalak, Asheville Poetry Review, Hermes, Turtle Island Quarterly, Saint Katherine Review, and Southern Poetry Anthology: North Carolina, Volume vii. Katherine’s The Goodbye Animals, a 40-page hand-sewn chapbook from FootHills Publishing, was selected as the Winner of the 2014 Turtle Island Poetry Award.

Cathy Sky’s poetry won three awards in the 2015 North Carolina Poetry Society Contest: first place, Thomas H. Dill Award for Lemniscates; third place, Carol Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love award for Wing of the Fan; honorary mention, Poetry of Courage for Fish Magic. She will appear at the annual NCPS meeting at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines to read her poems at the end of May. Cathy’s chapbook, Blue egg, my heart, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014.

Jerry Stubblefield’s story, "From a Different World," was published in The Chrysalis Reader; a poem “A Noisy House with Tiny Lights" was published in Aries Journal of Art and Literature; and an excerpt from his novel in progress, The Paraclete, was published in The Great Smokies Review. He also had a two week writer's residency at the Weymouth Center (Southern Pines, North Carolina).

Alida Woods has had poems accepted in The Front Porch Review, an online journal, and the small press Westward Quarterly. She attended the Blue Flower Writing Conference in January, which featured poet Carolyn Forché.