Fit to Print: Spring 2013

by Tommy Hays, Executive Director, Great Smokies Writing Program

(From left) Cathy Agrella, L.J. Faulkner, and Terry Gess, after their readings at Malaprop’s in October 2012. The Writers at Home event celebrated the fall issue of The Great Smokies Review featuring works from the three fiction writers.

Julie Abbott is the new Submissions Editor of The Great Smokies Review. She replaces Judi Goldenberg, a founding editor, who leaves to spend more time, literally, at sea. Julie herself stays close to water, living at the edge of the Ivy River in Madison County. As a freelance writer and editor, she especially enjoys working with other writers to craft or refine their stories. A long-time member of the Great Smokies Writing Program community, she hopes to finish the novel she started a few classes ago.

A.K. Benninghofen had a story “Torque” published at Monkeybicycle. Also, in the fall, she was a writer-in-residence at Wildacres in Little Switzerland and in February she spent two weeks as a writing fellow at the Hambidge Center in North Georgia. She hopes to have her book, a collection of linked stories, completed by the fall.

Danny Bernstein’s third book, The Mountains-to-Sea Trail across North Carolina: Walking a Thousand Miles across Wildness, Culture and History was published by the History Press in February. For her appearances please see here.

Joy Boothe was a presenter at the 2012 Carolina Mountain Literary Festival in Burnsville, N.C. Her story “Pockets” was published in Gateway: The Creative Arts Journal of Mayland Community College and she was a reader at the Gateway launch. So far in 2013, a story “Fifty Cents” will be published in Gateway and a chapter of “Melmac,” a novel she’s finishing editing, is in The Great Smokies Review. The chapter title is “Skating Backwards with Elvis.”

Jaye Robin Brown has sold her YA novel, Sing To The Wind, to Harper Teen and it will be released fall of 2014, along with a second unspecified YA novel to release in 2015. Jaye worked with Joy Neaves in the GSWP.

Bill Caldwell’s poem “Dog Days” was selected for a poetry contest for KAXE radio, a public station on the Iron Range in Minnesota that he occasionally listened to when he lived in Minneapolis. It is now published on their web site.

Liz Canham’s latest book, Finding Your Voice in the Psalms, has just been published by Upper Room Books. It explores the Biblical psalms and suggests ways in which they meet emotional needs today. Liz also had an article published in Weavings and another will be published in November 2013 on the wisdom of aging; this one titled “A Harvest of Wisdom.”

Caralyn Davis’ story “Say When” appeared in Deep South Magazine. Her story “Saver’s Delight” was published in The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review. That story will be reprinted in the annual anthology, Eckleburg No. 18. Her story “Epiphany” appeared in Relief Journal. Her story “Wallow” was in Side B Magazine’s Anthology Issue. And her creative nonfiction essay, “Rules of Engagement,” was selected for publication in Superstition Review.

Nancy Dillingham’s (faculty) “Dreamland” is published in the current issue of Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel Contemporary Appalachian Literature, and her poem “Epos” will appear in the forthcoming publication Blue Ridge Parkway—Celebration.

Jen Fawkes’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in One Story, The Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review, Mid-American ReviewBarrelhouse, Tampa Review, and other journals. She won the 2013 Salamander Fiction Contest, the 2013 Washington Square Award in Flash Fiction, and her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA from Hollins University and a BA from Columbia University.

Robin Gaiser had her story, “Yellow,” chosen for an anthology called Drowning Allison and Other Stories published by Grateful Steps and released in ebook and hard copy in August 2012. Her story, “Angels,” was selected for publication in the winter edition of Minerva Rising.

Hollie Greene recently relocated to Avery County where she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Violet, and her parents. She has been accepted into the low residency MFA program at Queens College in Charlotte. She will begin classes in late May. She is both a long-time student and fan of the Great Smokies program.

Christine Hale has published excerpts from her just-completed memoir In Your Line of Sight: A Reconciliation. Three of these, “Failing to Fall,” “Watch Her Walk,” and “Souvenir,” appeared in Prime Number: A Journal of Distinctive Poetry and Prose, Issue #31, in January 2013. Another excerpt, “Milk,” appeared in Spry Literary Magazine, Issue #1, in December 2012.

Tommy Hays’ (faculty) middle grade novel, What I Came to Tell You, his first novel set wholly in Western North Carolina, will be published in September and is excerpted in 27 Views of Asheville. His first novel Sam’s Crossing has been re-released by Simon and Schuster. He has an essay in Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers. He was the Sara Lura Matthews Self Writer-in-Residence at Converse College in January and was chosen for the Grace Creech West Lectureship at Brevard College in April.

Laurel Hunt’s creative nonfiction piece “Shunned” will be published in the spring 2013 issue of The Examined Life Journal, a literary journal of the University of Iowa College of Medicine. The essay was written and workshopped during Tommy Hays’ GSWP class.

Ric Hunter’s novel, Firehammer, has been accepted for publication in hard copy as well as E/Ibook format by Red Engine Press and will be released in advanced reading copy in April–May 2013. The work has been reviewed and endorsed by an august collection of generals and leading national authors. It is planned to be out in E/Ibook this summer and hard copy around the first of the year. Ric worked with Vicki Lane in the GSWP. Also his photos and feature article, “The Forgotten Coast,” have been accepted for the May–June issue of Southern Journal magazine. The piece focuses on Apalachicola, Florida, with the best beaches in North America and title of “Oyster Town, USA.”

Janet Hurley will have a feature article in next month’s Teachers and Writers Magazine about social justice and youth writing programs and also moderated a panel at AWP on the same topic. She served on another AWP panel, The Founders Toolkit, about establishing community based literary arts organization such as True Ink and Asheville Writers in the Schools.

Karen Lauritzen’s debut novel, Nothing Vanishes, Memoir of a Life Transformed, has been published by Sweet Woods Press. The book is available through her website, Amazon and Barnes and Noble in paperback. An ebook edition is currently available through Smashwords. Additional ebooks will appear soon on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The author has done book signings in Brevard and Black Mountain and is available to speak to book clubs in the area about her writing process and to read from the book.

Karen Luke Jackson’s poem, “A Triptych on the First Anniversary of My Mother’s Death,” received the 2012 Rash Award in Poetry and will be published in the 2013 spring issue of the Broad River Review. Her poem, “Promise,” appeared in the 2013 Spring issue of Eno Magazine, a publication of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Her poem, “A Thin Place,” won third place in West Jefferson (NC) Arts Council’s On the Same Page Literary Festival Page Crafter Prize. Her creative nonfiction piece, “Dotted Lines,” was published in the 2012 fall issue of moonShine review.

Susan Larson has a memoir excerpt, “Crossing the Midway,” in the 2013 edition of Gateways, The Creative Arts Journal of Mayland Community College. She was most recently a student in Christine Hale’s memoir class in Burnsville.

Gwenda Ledbetter’s one woman show, Old Woman in the Basement, was produced at NC Stage and has now been submitted for publication. She’s presently at work on stories about her husband who suffered from Alzheimer’s. She will be telling stories at the Flat Rock Theater on April 6.

Susan Lefler’s “The Gravedigger’s Wife Ponders” won the N.C. Poetry Society’s Poet Laureate Award. Another poem, “A Question of Angels,” won third place in their Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award. Also, in April, 2012, her poetry collection Rendering the Bones won Honorable Mention in the N.C. Poetry Council’s Oscar Arnold Young Award for the best book of poetry from a NC poet published in 2011. Dr. Newt Smith reviewed Rendering the Bones in the most recent issue of Asheville Poetry Review.

Constance Lombardo, who has written a graphic novel for young readers, is now represented by the agent Lori Nowicki of Painted Words. She took two semesters of Joy Neaves’ children’s book writing course in the GSWP.

Elizabeth Lutyens (faculty), instructor of the Prose Master Class in the Great Smokies Writing Program, will teach the fiction classes of UNC Asheville’s Write Now!, a two-week course in June for high school students. ( She will also lead the fiction workshop at the NC Writers Network’s 2013 Squire Summer Writing Residency, July 11–14, at Western Carolina University. The Residency is the most intensive of the Network’s conferences, with participants taking only one workshop (poetry, nonfiction, or fiction) and remaining with that group for the entire weekend. Registration information will be posted on its website ( in late April.

Al Lyons’ short story, “Saturday Afternoon at the Drive-In,” will be published in the June 15th journal of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature ( The first draft of this story was written in Dale Neal’s summer 2012 GSWP class, and Al looks forward to this summer’s GSWP flash fiction class with Beth Keefauver.

Jennifer McLean’s book of fiction, Small Brown Bird: stories in praise of folly, is now available at Jennifer wrote most of these stories while in the GSWP Prose Master Class led by Elizabeth Lutyens. Watch for readings in the Asheville area.

Lynn McClure has had haiku in two recent issues of Frogpond, the journal of Haiku Society of America. She also had a group of haiku in the current Asheville Poetry Review. She will be doing a workshop in April on haiku and aging in Chapel Hill for the NC Haiku Society.

Jennifer McGaha’s (faculty) recent publications include pieces in Little Patuxent Review, Still, Literary Mama, Blue Ridge Country Magazine, Switchback.

Miriam McNamara graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts in July 2012 with a Masters in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She’s currently seeking representation.

Elaine Percival has a short story coming out in Gateways: Mayland Community College’s Creative Arts Journal, 2013. The story is called “The Lady in the Back Seat” and it began its gestation in a writing class with Marjorie Klein. This will be the second volume of Gateways, 2012, and her poem, “The Orchard Song,” was included in it. Her poem was adapted into a song by a local musician and will be released on a CD this summer.

Virginia Redfield’s memoir Night Bloom, which has been published as ebook on Amazon, has now found an agent. Virginia recently moved from Asheville to New Orleans where she now lives next door to her daughter, son-in-law, and their ten-year-old son. She has signed up for a writing class at Loyola.

Bryan Robinson has signed with Gale/Five Star Publishers to publish his debut mystery, Limestone Gumption, this fall. Praise for Limestone Gumption, set near the Suwannee River in North Central Florida, where he once lived, includes this: “With its blend of humor and dark plot, the novel is reminiscent of Pat Conroy and Fannie Flagg. Witnessing beauty and brutality in a small southern town, the fast-paced twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat or make you fall out of it laughing.”

Fran Ross (faculty) has published an article, “Cubicle Mind versus art-making: Exploring the tensions,” in Volume 3, Number 3, of the Journal of Applied Arts & Health. This journal is a publication of Intellect, Ltd., published in Great Britain,and supported by the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association,

Sara Shea is waiting to hear on MFA applications, but recent good news includes the fact that her poem “White Egret” won an honorable mention in the 2013 Robert Frost Poetry Contest, and her short creative non-fiction story “Shine” is a finalist in the 2013 Writers at Work Fellowship Competition. Sarah spent January in Florida, participating in the Key West Literary Seminar. She was inspired by her Great Smokies Advanced Prose Writing Class to work on these and other writing projects.

Megan Shepherd’s first novel, The Madman’s Daughter (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins), was launched in January and international editions have been spotted in bookstores in Australia and Canada. The book, which is the first in a YA gothic thriller trilogy, will soon be released in the UK, Spain, and France; foreign rights have also sold in Brazil, Turkey, Slovakia, Taiwan and China. It received a starred review from School Library Journal and was Seventeen Magazine’s book of the month. She also sold a second trilogy, a YA scifi called The Cage, which will release starting summer 2014. Megan took classes with Joy Neaves and Maryedith Burrell in the GSWP.

Katherine Soniat’s (faculty) sixth collection of poems — A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge — was recently published by Dream Horse Press.

Georganne Spruce published the paperback of her memoir, Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, in 2012. In February of 2012, it was published as an ebook on Kindle. Georganne has just completed three successful book signings at Malaprop’s, Accent on Books, and Grateful Steps Bookshop. She also has an article “Thank You, Betty Friedan” in the March issue of Western North Carolina Magazine and her article “Arming High School Teachers — Really?” was just published online at She’s also been writing an inspirational blog for the last two years at

Martha Vining, product developer at Blue Ridge Ventures, has written one of the chapter introductions for the next ASAP guide regarding local food. One hundred thousand copies of this annual guide are distributed around four hundred WNC locations. She took Jennifer McGaha’s class, ‘A Feast of Memories’ last summer.

Nancy Williams (administrator) writes a weekly column for the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Sarah York just published a second edition (paperback) of her book, Remembering Well: Rituals for Celebrating Life and Mourning Death. For more information see her website, The book can also be purchased from the publisher.

Leni Zumas (former faculty), who is now an assistant professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Portland State University, published a novel, The Listeners, in 2012 (Tin House Books).

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