Award-winning weekend; and one last Sunday Shorts

At the annual awards banquet for UNO’s Creative Writing Workshop, Peauxdunquian Maurice Carlos Ruffin was presented with the Joanna Leake Prize for Fiction Thesis, awarded to the best fiction collection by a graduating MFA student, for his collection, It’s Good to See You’re Awake. In addition, great friend of Peauxdunque Che Yeun received the Ernest Svenson Fiction Award for her fantastic story, “Yuna.”

Che Yeun, winner of the 2013 Svenson Award for Fiction; and Maurice Ruffin, winner of the 2013 Joanna Leake Award for Fiction Thesis.

Che Yeun, winner of the 2013 Svenson Award for Fiction; and Maurice Ruffin, winner of the 2013 Joanna Leake Award for Fiction Thesis.

This weekend also held the third in the month-long series of Sunday Shorts short story readings at the Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road, featuring readings by members of the MelaNated Writers Collective and Peauxdunque. Terri Shrum Stoor and Jeri Hilt both read captivating stories to a standing-room-only audience. The last in the series is this Sunday, May 19, at 8 p.m., featuring readings by MelaNated’s Danielle Gilyot and Peauxdunque’s Tad Bartlett.

Terri Shrum Stoor reading at Sunday Shorts, May 12, 2013. Photo by Wayne Edelen.

Terri Shrum Stoor reading at Sunday Shorts, May 12, 2013. Photo by Wayne Edelen.

Sunday Shorts are halfway home

MelaNated Writers Collective and Peauxdunque Writers Alliance are halfway done with the Sunday Shorts Reading Series. In the dynamic art space of Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road, we’ve heard some fantastic stories read to an audience itself packed with some of the best writers in the city.

On April 28, L. Kasimu Harris waxed eloquent on the tribulations of being dumped in the digital age; while Sabrina Canfield wove a hypnotic spell about trains and baseball and distorted connections. On April 5, superhero Maurice Carlos Ruffin brought the house down with a chapter from his novel in progress; while jewel bush transported the room to the world of Layla in poignant, small-town Louisiana, where consequences of human fragility can be incredibly universal. And Gian Smith has provided incisive spark as he has led a Q&A session after each reading.

Two more nights in the Series, with award-winners galore taking Shorts to new heights: on May 12, a special Mother’s Day night treat with readings from Jeri Hilt and Terri Shrum Stoor. Then the Series wraps up on May 19 with Danielle Gilyot and Tad Bartlett. Doors open each night at 8, with readings starting at 8:30. Free admission.

Book release, another competition finalist, and more Sunday Shorts!

Tonight at Garden District Books, Bill Loehfelm has the release party for his fourth novel (first set in New Orleans and second in the Maureen Coughlin series), The Devil in Her Way. Book signing, reading, discussion, wine, and cheese start at 5:30 p.m. Bill was on the slate of readers for our inaugural Yeah, You Write! reading, reading from the first Maureen Coughlin novel; word on the street is that this new one is even better.

In other news, we’re excited to learn that Peauxdunquian Joselyn Takacs‘ story, “The New River,” was named a finalist in Narrative Magazine’s Winter 2013 Story Contest! Congratulations to Joselyn!

In Sunday Shorts news, the first installment, featuring readings from L. Kasimu Harris and Sabrina Canfield, went exceedingly well. Following each readings was a Q&A led by Gian Smith, which got to the heart of each writer’s storytelling process in a fascinating exchange with the writers and the audience. This week, May 5, show up to Red Star Galerie at 8 p.m. to hear readings and answers from jewel bush and Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Kasimu at Sunday Shorts Sabrina at Sunday Shorts