Peauxdunque on the 2016 Faulkner-Wisdom lists

Continuing a growing tradition of Peauxdunquians winning and placing in the various categories of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (administered by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society), 2016 sees another slew of folks from Peauxdunque placing in the competition. Seven different Peauxdunquians placed nine pieces in three of the competition categories!

  • In the novel category, Emily Capdeville was on the short list for her novel, Where Ground Gives Way to Water. Emily won the gold medal in the novel-in-progress category last year for her manuscript, Search a Dark and Empty Space. Also in the novel category, Susan Kagan’s novel, Ruxandra: Granddaughter of Vlad the Impaler, placed as a semi-finalist.
  • In the short story category, Hayley Lynch‘s story “Horsewomen” was named a finalist, as well as “The New World” by Liz Gruder and “Way Station” by Susan Kagan.
  • In the novel-in-progress category, Hayley Lynch was on the short list with her manuscript, Hunter’s Moon; and Alex Johnson was also on the short list, with Skylakes Fall. J.Ed. Marston placed as a finalist with his manuscript, Dispossession. Sabrina Canfield made the list of semi-finalists, with To the Place Where They Go.
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A Peaux/Real World!

PeauxRealThe New Orleans Fringe Fest has grown and evolved into the Faux/Real Festival, two and a half weeks of theater, music, dance, art, and writings on the edge. And this year they have given over their writers’ space, the Faux/Real Cafe, to the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, on Wednesday night, November 11, from 6:30 to 9:30.

What happens when eight writers leave their personal podunks and come to New Orleans and start getting fo’ real? Come to the Faux/Real Cafe to find out! Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Cassie Pruyn, Zach Bartlett, Terri Shrum, Andrew Kooy, Emilie Staat, Tad Bartlett, and Caroline Goetze take the stage at 6:30 (along with a special spectral appearance by Susan Kagan), and the verbal slings and arrows don’t stop flying until 9:30. Cafe Faux/Real is a venue set up just for the Faux/Real Festival, where coffee and drinks and books will be for sale while the readings go. THIS READING IS FREE, though all Faux/Real events can be attended with a Faux/Real Button ($5 gets you an awesome collectors’ button that also happens to get you into more than two weeks of premier art out beyond the boundaries).

See you there! (At 2161 N. Rampart)

The Writing Process Blog Tour: Susan Kagan

When Peauxdunquian Cassie Pruyn participated in The Writing Process Blog Tour over on her personal blog, we decided in the land of Peauxdunque that this site would be a great place to collect entries in that project from our own very varied group of writers. So, first up is Susan Kagan. Below are her answers to the standard round of questions on writing process; watch this space for future Peauxdunquian entries!

1) What are you working on?

SK: I’m currently writing a science fiction novel about a man-made pandemic.

2) How does the work differ from others of its genre?

SK: The story is told from the perspective of both the protagonist and
antagonist. Both are sympathetic and three-dimensional characters,
though I think I’m giving my protagonist a lot more obstacles to
overcome.

3) Why do you write what you do?

SK: I haven’t committed to a genre, so I write what interests me at the
time. I’ll probably be fairly promiscuous in that respect until I find
a franchise character to hang a series of novels upon.

4) How does your writing process work?

SK: The process starts at a high level where the work exists as nothing
larger than a paragraph explaining the whole story arc. Next, I end up
drilling down to the chapter level, with a sentence for each of the
major scenes. Next, I write whatever scenes strike my fancy for a
while before settling in to hash it out in sequence. From a class I
took several years ago, I got the best advice which was to allow
yourself a shitty first draft. That’s what I’ve been doing, much to
the chagrin of my critique group. They get to see the shitty first
draft and all subsequent drafts as I workshop the hell out of it until
it’s no longer horrible.

Keep an eye out for Susan’s book, Avoiding a Perilous Path: Basic Wiccan Ethics, scheduled to be released by Left Hand Press in early 2015.

A busy start to 2014 in Peauxdunque

There’ve been lots of doings in the land of Peauxdunque to begin 2014.

Susan Kagan has inked a book deal with Left Hand Press for her book, Avoiding a Perilous Path: Basic Wiccan Ethics, a book examining every mundane aspect of ethical behavior in a Wiccan’s life, from birth to death and all the epiphanies and drudgeries in between. Publication will be no later than early 2015.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has learned that his short story, “Catch What You Can,” will be published this May in issue 11.2 of Redivider.

New Peauxdunquian Geoff Munsterman has been all over the place, presenting readings from his new collection, Because the Stars Shine Through It, including at the AllWays Lounge, at the “Meet the Authors of Lavender Ink” event at Faulkner House Books, and as a featured author, along with Maurice, at the upcoming Pine Street Salon hosted by Rodger Kamenetz and Moira Crone.

Tad Bartlett learned in January that his short story, “Superpowerless,” received an Honorable Mention designation in the November 2013 Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers.

Emily Choate continued her great series with Chapter 16, posting a review of Charles McNair’s Pickett’s Charge, his first book since his Pulitzer-nominated Land O’ Goshen nineteen years ago.

Tom Carson continues to write his insightful film and cultural criticism for The American Prospect and GQ, including his touching obituary in GQ for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

And L. Kasimu Harris had a successful solo exhibition of his photography at the Bellocq lounge, titled “Dreams Do Come True.” Proving the truth of that title, Kasimu also emcee’d the “Haute & Handmade” event, a showcase of Southern costume couture, at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on January 24.

MORE TO COME!

On a rise over a holler

Writers Camp is where Peauxdunque repairs at the beginning of every year, to reflect on the past year and recharge for the coming one. Usually an overnight to a place appropriately called Hopedale, 2013 saw us take a whole weekend instead. Gathering from all points Peauxdunquian, eating at a place (appropriately) called Dreamland on the way up, taking roads northward pointing, dwindling steadily in lanes and traffic until it was dark, twenty degrees, on a one-lane, moss-covered track at the bottom of a holler, next to a brook, icy water over rocks, and the GPS saying, “You’ve come as close to your destination as you can travel by car. You must now exit the car and walk.” Up a rise that felt like a mountain but surely wasn’t, until all the travelers were together. Susan Kagan, who had secured the hilltop retreat from a good soul; Emily Choate over from Nashville; J.Ed. Marston over from Chattanooga-way; Janis Turk flown all the way up from San Antonio; and Denise MooreTerri StoorMaurice Ruffin, and Tad Bartlett the long drive up from New Orleans. At a place not near any other places, nameless, now called, appropriately, Peauxdunque, Tennessee.

Late into the night, twice, a whole day in the middle, and a far-too-short morning on the end, plus the long hours of driving up and back, there was solid talk about writing and reading and words. There were plans discussed, theses, novels, stories, essays. We took time to be silent and to write, to wander the hillside over fresh snow and under old stars. Below is a slideshow of some photos from our time, taken by Terri, Maurice, Emily, and Tad. We invite all to share; but I particularly invite Peauxdunquians to come back and view them and remember the times in Tennessee over the next year, when you’re feeling momentarily adrift. One more year, then we’ll do it all again.

Peauxdunquian Wins Essay Prize

Peauxdunquian Emilie Staat has been named the winner of the essay category of the 2012 William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition, announced on William Faulkner’s birthday, September 25! Emilie will receive the prize and the gold medal at the Faulkner for All Ball during the Words and Music Conference, taking place in New Orleans from November 28 through December 2.

Last year’s winner in the short story category, Peauxdunque’s Terri Stoor, was also a finalist in the essay category this year. Tad Bartlett and Maurice Ruffin were finalists in the short story category; and Emily Choate was on the short list for finalists and the semi-finalist lists in the short story category. J.Ed. Marston and Tad were on the short list for finalists in the novel category; and Susan Kagan was on the semi-finalist list in the novel category.

The full list of winners and runners-up in all categories:

  • Novel, Judged by Jeff Kleinman, Folio Literary Management: Winner: Jerusalem As a Second Language, by Rochelle Distelheim of Highland Park, IL; First Runner-up: An Organized Panic, The Author Has Asked to Remain Anonymous; Second Runner-up: Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence, David Samuel Levinson, Durham, NC
  • Novella: Winner: Inspection, Daniel Castro, Madrid, Spain; Equal Runners-up: Albert’s Lark: A Concerto for Black Hole, Gary Bollick, Clemmons, NC; The Odd Sea, Petra Perkins, Highlands Ranch, CO; The Saltonfell Case, Alice Leaderman, University Park, MD
  • Novel-in-Progress, Judged by Deborah Grosvenor, Grosvenor Literary Agency: Winner: A Boy Called Riot, Kim McLarin, Mattapan, MA; First Runner-up: Chiaroscuro, Jennifer Steil, London, England; Equal Runner-up: Lower Case Love, Geoff Schutt, Gaithersburg, MD; Ridgeland, Paul Byall, Savannah, GA
  • Short Story, Judged by Short Fiction Writer and Novelist Justin Torres: Winner: The Bottom, Alison Grifa Ismaili, Baton Rouge, LA; First Runner-up: Longingly,Milly Heller, New Orleans; Second Runner-up: And The Sun Sets on Walker Street, Will Thrift, Columbia, SC
  • Essay, Judged by Narrative Non-Fiction Writer, Andrew Lam: Winner: Tango Face, Emilie Staat, New Orleans, LA; First Runner-up: Fossils, Elsie Michie, Baton Rouge, LA; Second Runner-up: April’s Fool, Mary Ann O’Gorman, Ocean Springs, MS
  • Poetry, Judged by Laura Mullen, Poet and Writer-in-Residence, Louisiana State University: Winner: Aftermaths, Peter Cooley, New Orleans, LA; First Runner-up: Sugar Maple, Judith White, Chevy Chase, MD; Second Runner-up: Words Then Space,James Bourey, Dover, DE; Third Runner-up: Last Will and Testament of L. J., Jennifer Bartell, Columbia, SC
  • Short Story by a High School Student: Winner: Leigh Vila, Metairie, LA,  New Orleans Center for Creative Arts; First Runner-up: The Cult of Happiness, Ryanne Autin, Metairie, LA; Second Runner-up: Misery, Agony, Heartbreak, Tyler DeSpenza, New Orleans, LA; Third Runner-up: History, Sophia Derbes, Mandeville, LA

Faulkner-Wisdom lists released

The 2012 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Competition lists of finalists, short lists for finalists, and semi-finalists have now been released for all categories, and Peauxdunqians and friends are scattered throughout the lists again this year, with four continuing on into the final round of judging.

In the Short Story category, Peauxdunque will seek to defend the gold medal won in 2011 by Terri Shrum Stoor, with Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Tad Bartlett each having a story on the list of finalists that will be judged by fiction phenom Justin Torres. This is Maurice’s fourth consecutive year with at least one story on the list of finalists, including his placing as first runner-up in 2010. This is Tad’s third year with an entry on a finalist list, with a finalist entry in the essay category in 2010 and in the poetry category in 2011. In addition to the finalist list, Maurice, Tad, and Emily Choate each have stories on the 2012 short list for finalists; and Emily has an additional story on the semi-finalist list in the category.

In the Essay category, Terri Shrum Stoor and Emilie Staat each have entries listed as finalists, which will go on for final judging. This is Terri‘s second consecutive year on the finalist list in this category, following her second runner-up entry last year.

In the Novel category, Tad and J.Ed. Marston have a co-written manuscript on the short list for finalists; and Susan Kagan has an entry on the semi-finalist list.

Other members of associated New Orleans writing communities have also made a mark on the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom lists. Friend of Peauxdunque Kiki Whang has a semi-finalist entry in the short story category, as does former UNO MFA-er Jamie Amos and former poetry winner Jenn Nunes. Also on the short list in the novel category is Amy Conner, an alum of James Nolan’s writing workshop. Congratulations to all! Updates as we know them …

Sabrina, Terri, Emilie, Tad, Maurice, and J.Ed. at Words and Music in November 2010