LGBT

LIVING IN 2020.

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My family is tucked away in the woods on a rural hillside, riding out all that the world is experiencing and surviving right now. It’s a contemplative time. I have a lot of privilege at the moment – a day job that continues through work at home, a healthy family, supportive – if physically distant – friends, food on the table, safe places to be outside, and a roof over our heads. We wish for everyone to stay healthy and safe. Stay creative if you can. Plan to vote on November 3rd, and take three friends with you when you go.

I started this year with a nice nod from the 2020 We Need Diverse Books Mentorship Program when I was named a finalist. I also made the 2021 wait list for the Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices – YA category. I continue to explore my writing interests with picture books, a couple of middle grade manuscripts, and even YA speculative fiction and the occasional flash nonfiction. I meet most weeks online for a craft talk with the Lost River Writers’ Retreat which always surprises me.  I’ve attended  a whole bunch of amazing digital craft workshops through SCBWI. Keep going, you. Here’s to dreaming big, especially now.

 

2019

This year I’m working on poetry for the first time ever and revising my manuscript and Facetiming my long-distance critique partner and organizing this summer’s CABIN READS with the Lost River Writers’ Retreat.  I’m also taking a lot of daffodil photos because they are vain like that. Happy reading. Happy writing. Happy Spring.

Some 2017 Favorites

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THE BOOK OF DUST, by Philip Pullman,  is another amazing journey from one of my all-time favorite authors, this time with baby Lyra and new and old characters to  protect her. I love this series, forever and ever.

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THE RIVER, by Gary Paulsen, a fast-paced survival story that follows his amazing story, HATCHET. I read it in one sitting!

 

 

 

1973 Newbury winner JULIE OF THE WOLVES, by naturalist Jean Craighead George. “‘Change your ways when fear seizes,’ he said, ‘for it usually means you are doing something wrong.’” I now feel I can survive the tundra. I already know how to live with wolves.

22089715_10159363988995641_8577156223246128293_nI vividly recall my kindergarten teacher handing us a form to indicate what we wanted to be when we grow up. There were different careers listed in the boy column vs. the girl column. (It was 1970.) The closest thing I could find that matched me was in the boy column, so I nervously picked it: Cowboy. I have definitely been fighting stereotypes ever since. Because no child should feel uncomfortable being who they are, my Read #3 is FLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES, fullof diverse authors and protagonists, just as it should be. My favorite so far is Tim Federle’s Secret Samantha, with a protagonist I would have loved as a kid. #weneeddiversebooks #representationmatters

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Cabin Reads Returns!

CABIN READS returned this summer – now in partnership with the nonprofit, youth-powered farm WARDENSVILLE GARDEN MARKET – with a second annual reading by the LOST RIVER WRITERS’ RETREAT.  Participants in this year’s loveliest of readings were:

MATTHEW ALBERSWERTH is a recent graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA for writers. He currently lives in his hometown of Washington DC.

JOHN COPENHAVER’S debut novel, Dodging and Burning, will be published by Pegasus Books (Pegasus Crime) in March 2018. For three consecutive years, he has been awarded an Artist Fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. In 2015, he won the Larry Neal Writers’ Award for short fiction, judged by Alice McDermott, and launched a new crime fiction column for the Lambda Literary website called “Blacklight.” His fiction has appeared in various literary magazines, including Glitterwolf and Gaslight. He is Lambda Literary Fellow and received his MFA in fiction from George Mason. He chairs the 7-12 English Department at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA. He lives with his husband and two insanely photogenic dogs in Washington, DC.

ERIKA NICHOLS-FRAZER is an MFA student in Fiction at Bennington College’s Writing Seminars, as well as the Communications Manager of the Children’s Literacy Foundation. She writes fiction, poetry, and the occasional essay, and her work has appeared in Runaway Parade, Haggard & Halloo, and Please Do Not Remove: A Collection Celebrating Literature and Libraries, as well as in several of the Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop’s anthologies. She also served as the poetry editor for that publication’s debut issue. Erika holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Waitsfield, Vermont with her husband, dogs, and chickens.

KAREN SOSNOSKI’S fiction and nonfiction, most recently in Argot Magazine, Sunlight Press (pending) and on Romper, explores what happens when people face their limitations through disability, illness, sports, or other intense encounters (such as art). Her work has also appeared in the LA Times, Poets and Writers, Word Riot, Grappling, Bitch, Radioactive Moat, decomp, Identity Theory, Chaffee Review, Yellow Mama, Psychology Today, Camroc Review and on Studio 360, This American Life and Boundoff. Berkeley Media distributes her documentary film, “Wedding Advice: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace.” Her story “Too Sweet” is published in the seventh anthology (Fall 2016) in the Grace & Gravity series of fiction by Washington, DC-area women. A mother, disabilities advocate, and Special Ed PTA board member, Karen is working on a novel Elizabeth Hillman’s Teeth about a poorly connected, adjunct English instructor who disavows her life-long meekness to avenge a famous artist she believes has stolen her destiny.

ROSS WHITE is the author of How We Came Upon the Colony and The Polite Society. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Tin House, New England Review, and other literary journals. He serves as the Poetry Editor for Four Way Review and Director of Bull City Press. The winner of the 2016 Larry Levis Postgraduate Fellowship from Warren Wilson College, Ross teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

CABIN READS

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Last night I launched CABIN READS, a recurring WV literary event here in my new hometown of Wardensville. Situated between North Mountain and the Cacapon River, our region is a stunning example of West Virginia’s best. Our first event was hosting a reading by the six authors of the LOST RIVER WRITER’S RETREAT. We heard heartfelt poetry, hilarious middle grade, compelling nonfiction, historical crime fiction, and riveting adult fiction. I love writers. I love how clever they are when they’re reading their work or when they’re choosing their stories over dinner. Thank you Retreat Founder John Copenhaver,  DeMisty D. BellingerJessica Hendry NelsonNoah StetzerKara Waite and pictured, Kate Hattemer. Our next CABIN READS event will be with my SCBWI friend and critique partner and debut PB author Dori Kleber. The schedule can be found right here.

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Everything’s coming up rainbows!

 

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Congrats, 2014 Rainbow Book List authors!

What’s a Rainbow Book List?  It’s “a joint project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.  The Rainbow Book List presents an annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through eighteen years of age.”

Check it out —> 2014 Rainbow Book List