Dept. of Congrats: March 2023 Community Successes by Info

Every month, we celebrate successes of all stripes! This month, Grubbies were published in literary journals across the country, won awards and prizes, secured book deals, and so much more. Our community is closing March 2023 out with forty-eight publications, eight awards and prizes, two book deals, and five book publications! Let us celebrate you: submit your good news to GrubStreet’s Department of Congratulations.



The cover of Boston Writers of Color Member and Instructor Elizabeth Santiago’s debut young adult novel, The Moonlit Vine, was revealed by Lee and Low in partnership with Las Musas. The book will also be released in Spanish as Claro de luna. Both the English and Spanish editions will be released May 30th. Sandra Kohler’s poems “Alive” and “Riddled” were published in ONE ART. Novel Incubator Graduate Louise Berliner’s first book, Texas Guinan, Queen of the Night Clubs, was released as an ebook and paperback after years of being out of print. She thanks Michelle Hoover and the incubator community for their loving support and encouragement. Ariel Balter’s short story “Coming of Age on the Upper East Side” was published in Big City Lit.

Mark Cecil’s debut novel, Paul Bunyan and the Beautiful Destiny, sold to Anchor Books (Knopf). He workshopped this book in Jenna Blum’s Advanced Novel Writing Class, easily the greatest writing class he has ever taken in his life. He shared that he would not have gotten a book deal without GrubStreet or Jenna! B. B. Garin’s short story “Sophie Baker’s Vanishing Act” was published in Luna Station QuarterlyJacqueline Fein-Zachary’s debut novel, Harvest Dreams, will be released on April 11th. Pete Prokesch’s flash-fiction story “My Old Man” was published in Fictive Dream. He thanks instructor Elena Britos and his classmates from “Writing Fiction from Real Life,” where he first wrote the story for an in-class exercise.

Memoir Incubator Graduate Jason Prokowiew told a story of transformation on WORLD Channel’s Stories from the Stage. He thanks his fellow Memoir Incubator alums, especially Lorena Hernandez Leonard, for sharing the opportunity and helping him through the process. He was also thrilled to share the stage with GrubStreet instructor Judah Leblang. Wendy Dodek’s essay “How To Receive Medical News” was published in The Ravens Perch. Kathy Chow’s essay “On Loving White Boys” was published in The Point. Tracy Geary’s story “Addled” was published in Revolute. This story is part of a novel-in-stories she has been working on since her last time attending the Muse and the Marketplace.

Essay Incubator student Paula Mathieu’s essay “I Thought My Kid Was A Picky Eater. Then A Therapist Had An Idea That Changed Everything” was recently published in HuffPost. She thanks Ethan Gilsdorf for his feedback on an early draft and for suggesting HuffPost as an option. Instructor and Consultant Nicole Miller’s long-form personal essay “An Early Bath” was published in The Switchgrass Review. Her long-form travel essay “Rhapsody on a Northern Light” was published in Litmag. Nicole is grateful to Dorian Fox and Alex Marzano-Lesnevich for their unwavering encouragement and insightful comments on earlier versions of these pieces. Tom Hess’ flash fiction story “The Homeowner” was named an award winner in the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition.

Kirsten Levy’s memoir Alzheimer’s Fantasy in the Key of G is a 2023 Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite in the category of New Nonfiction. She thanks her GrubStreet instructor E.B. Bartels and classmates of the 2019 “Memoir Builder” online class. Boston Writers of Color Member Leslie-Ann Murray was selected as a recipient of the 2023 BLM Residency at Paragraph Workspace for Writers. Boston Writers of Color Member Lisa Stringfellow’s debut middle-grade fantasy, A Comb of Wishes, is a Bram Stoker Award® Nominee for Superior Achievement in a Middle-Grade Novel. Katherine Sherbrooke’s essay “My Mother’s Last Lesson” was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti. She would like to thank Caroline Zaikowski and her fellow essayists in her “6 Weeks, 6 Essays” class for greatly helping her hone her work and find the courage to submit.

Kaecey McCormick has poems forthcoming from ONE ART, Drunk Monkeys, and Poetry South. Their chapbook, Sleeping with Demons (Finishing Line Press), is now available on their website. Essay Incubator graduate Judy McClure’s essay “Copper Beech,” originally published in 2021, will be included in Rooted Two: The Best New Arboreal Nonfiction. She thanks her Essay Incubator cohort and Ethan Gilsdorf for feedback and support. Sona D. Mohammadi’s debut novel, The Sky Worshipers, published under her pen name, is now available as an audiobook on, Chirp, Audible, and Spotify. She thanks GrubStreet for the exchange of information and the support.

Boston Writers of Color member and Memoir Incubator Graduate Sara Orozco’s craft essay “What To Do When an Agent Ghosts You” was published in Brevity Blog. Sara is also the recipient of a Mass Cultural Council Grant. Christopher T. Vrountas’ poems “Lenten Eve, 2021” and “Meadow Aers” were published in Vita Poetica Journal. This is his first poetry publication. He was inspired by Michael Zendejas’ GrubStreet class on poetry and form. His advice to “trust your instincts” has been hugely encouraging. Memoir Generator student Iris (Yi Youn) Kim’s article “Asian American creatives say disclosing their layoffs to their families can be complicated” was published in NBC Asian America. Memoir Incubator graduate Tamara MC’s flash piece “I’m In A House Held Up By Wooden Beam” was published in Meow Meow Pow Pow.

Brenden Layte’s essay “A Eulogy for Psittacosaurus, Devoured by Deinonychus in the Colossal Book of Dinosaurs” was published in Rejection Letters. Instructor Mariona Lloreta’s short film “ALTARS,” which she wrote and directed in Boston, just screened at the Oscar-Qualifying Edmonton International Film Festival and the renowned Miami Film Festival. Sara B. Fraser’s novel Just River won the 2022 American Fiction Award for Humor/Comedy/Satire. She workshopped the book in a class taught by Lisa Borders. Giulietta Nardone’s itty-bitty story “Evergreen” was published in 50-Word Stories. Instructor and Boston Writers of Color Member Nancy Agabian’s novel The Fear of Large and Small Nations was named a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

Esinam Bediako’s essay “Body/Mind Braid” was published in the North American Review. The piece was also a finalist for the Terry Tempest Williams Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Esi thanks instructor Simone Dalton and all of her classmates in the “6 Weeks, 6 Essays” course for their support and inspiration. Instructor Diana Renn’s essay “Marcel in the Garden” was published in Flyway Journal of Writing & Environment. Jeffrey Feingold’s short story “The Box” will be published in Choeofpleirn Press’ annual anthology. His short stories “The Mirror” and “A Fish Story” were published in Meat for Tea. He has been booked as the featured speaker by The Writer’s Room of Boston on July 18th.

Paulette Stout’s second novel, What We Never Say, just received its fourth award recognition, A 2023 Distinguished Favorite in Women’s Fiction from the Independent Press Award. Neema Avashia’s essay collection, Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, is a finalist for a Lambda Literary’s Lammy Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography. This collection was largely written and revised in GrubStreet courses with instructors Dorian Fox, Ethan Gildsorf, Benjamin Rachlin, and E.B. Bartels. Loren King’s personal essay “Projected Back in Time as ‘Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ Returns” was published in American Theatre. She developed the piece in instructor Kim Adrian’s memoir workshop with the invaluable support of her ongoing writing group.

Federico Erebia’s debut novel, Pedro & Daniel (Levine Querido, June 6th) was called “stunning” in a Kirkus Starred Review. Lesléa Newman is pleased to announce the publication of her picture book, I Can Be…..ME!, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez and published by Lee & Low. The book celebrates creative gender expression and freedom for every child to just be themselves. Julie Petrini’s short story “Colliding” was published in CALYX. Julie thanks instructors Colin Corrigan and Caroline Belle Stewart and her classmates for their invaluable help. Marcia Yudkin’s personal essay “Lost or Found With Marcus Aurelius” was published in Modern Stoicism.

Memoir Generator graduate Liz Kinchen’s debut memoir, Light in Bandaged Places: Healing in the Wake of Young Betrayal, will be published by She Writes Press on September 5th. She thanks GrubStreet for the classes and support along the way. Ann Russell’s story “Vertigo” was published in Hare’s Paw. She thanks Jane Dykema for her class on flash fiction and Shelby Kinney-Lang for his “6 Weeks, 6 Stories” class. Viktoria Shulevich’s humor piece “Our Holistic Retreat Will Completely Change You Into the Perfect Person You Already Are” was published in Points in Case.

Shannon C.C. Nedelka’s flash fiction piece “Trauma” was published in West Trade Review. This is her first published piece. She’d like to thank her Advanced Short Fiction Workshop classmates for their support and instructor Katherine Yeh for the prompt that resulted in this piece. Instructor Shubha Sunder’s novel Optional Practical Training, a coming-to-America story told through conversations, was accepted by Graywolf Press. Pete Prokesch’s one-sentence, flash-horror story “Things in Pairs” was published in Flash Fiction North.

Bev Boisseau Stohl’s book Chomsky and Me: A Memoir will be published in hardcover by OR Books in July. The paperback is in its second printing. Bev honed her writing skills in GrubStreet classes and at Muse conferences, and she is grateful for her writing group, which grew from Judah Leblang’s excellent 2017 memoir writing class. Caroline Wampole’s flash piece “The First Music I Ever Heard Was the Music of My Mother’s Voice” was published in SmokeLong Quarterly. She thanks the ongoing support of fellow writers she met through Writers in Progress in the Pioneer Valley. She also received a Mass Cultural Council Cultural Sector Recovery Grant.

Essay Incubator instructor Ethan Gilsdorf’s essay “A connection with a stranger reminded me how to play” was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti. Ethan would like to thank the example of fearlessness and hard work of his Essay Incubator students for inspiring him. Tamara MC’s interview with Michelle Dowd, author of the recently released memoir Forager: Field Notes On Surviving A Family Cult, was published in The Coachella Review. Garcia-Barrio’s essay “Vivid vengeance” was published in Persimmon Tree. Instructor Shelby Kinney-Lang’s story “Heart” was published in the Santa Monica Review.

Annie Tan was recently featured on WGBH’s and World Channel’s Stories From The Stage episode “Defining Moments.” She also was accepted to the Tin House Summer Workshop and was announced as a finalist for the de Groot Foundation Courage To Write grant. Joy Baglio’s inverted ghost story “They Could Have Been Yours,” originally published in The Missouri Review, was reprinted in Apex Magazine. She is also the spring 2023 writer-in-residence at Jack Kerouac’s Orlando house, where she’ll be working on finishing a novel and short story collection. The residency is through The Kerouac Project.

Boston Writers of Color Member Sofia Romero’s story “Palomita Azul” was published in Chestnut Review’s Winter 2023 issue. Ellen Zhang recently published a poem, “Couple Moments Beyond Ellis Island,” in The Shore Poetry. She is grateful for the support from instructors and classmates from Kelly Dalke’s 2022 GrubStreet writing course. Alta McDonald presented at Stories from the Stage, a storytelling program at WGBH. Her story was an adaptation of an essay that she wrote in a class taught by Ethan Gilsdorf. Her story featured an experience with a loon who was her swimming companion when her life was falling apart. 

Memoir Generator Student Iris (Yi Youn) Kim was accepted to the Tin House Summer Workshop. Short Story Incubator Graduate Frankie Concepcion’s short story “Aftermath” has just been published as a chapbook by Bottlecap Press. She thanks her instructors and fellow students at GrubStreet for their guidance and feedback on early drafts of this story, which took 4 years to write! Lisa Braxton’s book review on Truth Tellers: The Power and Presence of Black Women Journalists Since 1960 was published by Story Circle Network. Len Abram’s song “Everyone Has A Story” is now available on YouTube and other platforms.


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