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.

Sunday Shorts starts in four more days! Plus, more Peauxdunque recognition …

The Sunday Shorts Reading Series starts this Sunday, April 28, at Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road. MelaNated Writing Collective denizen (and Peauxdunquian) L. Kasimu Harris kicks off the series with his fine new short story work, and the opening session of the series will be capped off by the hypnotic fiction of Peauxdunque’s Sabrina Canfield. Doors open at 8, readings start promptly at 8:30, and will include Q&A with the authors following each reading. Check out the Reading Series’ Facebook event page here.

L. Kasimu Harris (photo by Kate Cauthen).

L. Kasimu Harris (photo by Kate Cauthen).

Sabrina

Future installments of the series will feature jewel bush and Maurice Carlos Ruffin on May 5; Jeri Hilt and Terri Shrum Stoor on May 12; and Danielle Gilyot and Tad Bartlett on May 19.

In other Peauxdunque news, this week Tad Bartlett’s short story “Riding in Cars at Night” was included on the Honorable Mention list for the February 2013 Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers. Tad will be reading at the Sunday Shorts series on May 19.

Sunday Shorts Reading Series

MelaNated Writers Collective and Peauxdunque Writers Alliance are partnering up for Sunday Shorts, a month-long reading series featuring short stories from MelaNated and Peauxdunque writers (MelaDunque? PeauxNated?). Every Sunday evening from April 28 through May 19 will feature another pair of writers at the Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road in New Orleans. Doors open at 8:00, with readings beginning at 8:30.

April 28: Sunday Shorts starts with L. Kasimu Harris (MelaNated & Peauxdunque) and Sabrina Canfield (Peauxdunque).

May 5: Readings from jewel bush (MelaNated) and Maurice Carlos Ruffin (Peauxdunque and MelaNated).

May 12: Readings from Jeri Hilt (MelaNated) and Terri Shrum Stoor (Peauxdunque).

May 19: The series concludes with Danielle Gilyot (MelaNated) and Tad Bartlett (Peauxdunque).

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.

Come see what’s happening in Peauxdunque. Really, you could spend a whole day with us.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything happening in the land of Peauxdunque. It’s a wild and varied place, populated by writers who never stop. Since our last update in the far-distant past of early December, here’s the latest:

Tom Carson‘s novel, Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter, has been re-released by River House Publishing in a two-volume set: Cadwaller’s Gun and Carole Lombard’s Plane.

Emily Choate has published a fantastic Q&A with Roger Hodge, new editor of Oxford American, on Chapter 16.

Liz Gruder‘s YA fantasy, Starseed, has been released by WiDo Publishing.

Terri Stoor‘s award-winning essay, Bird Dog, has been published in Quarterly West.

The first season of Denise Moore‘s excellent web series, Neutral Grounds, is now available for viewing.

Tad Bartlett‘s essays on the Oxford American website have taken a short break from the “Food and …” series, and now include an essay on music and the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, run in conjunction with the magazine’s Louisiana Music issue.

J.Ed. Marston published an op-ed piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on progressive development of communities of technology entrepreneurs in Chattanooga.

At the beginning of February, Peauxdunque took the show on the road for their annual retreat, this time to Peauxdunque, Tennessee. Another post will follow soon. Come back to visit!

Peauxdunque reads at Words and Music

Yesterday, November 28, six Peauxdunquians read from their fiction and nonfiction, and a seventh was the emcee, during a session of the 2012 Words and Music Conference at the U.S. Mint in New Orleans. The emcee for the event was Peauxdunque’s own Terri Stoor, who was the 2011 gold medal winner in the short story category of the Faulkner-Wisdom writing competition, awarded by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society in conjunction with the Words and Music Conference.

Terri Shrum Stoor emcees the Writers Alliance reading at the 2012 Words and Music Conference

The first reader was this year’s gold medal winner in the essay category of the Faulkner-Wisdom competition, Peauxdunquian Emilie Staat, who read from her beautiful winning essay, “Tango Face”:

Emilie was followed by Tad Bartlett, who read an excerpt from “Addressing You,” his short story that was a finalist in the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom competition:

J.Ed. Marston then read an excerpt from “The Truth Project,” a novel he collaboratively wrote with Tad, and that was on the short list for finalists in the novel category of the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom competition:

Next up was Sara Paul, who read an excerpt from her historical fiction about a young scientist moving into New Orleans to conduct some experiments at the turn of the last century:

Maurice Carlos Ruffin followed, reading an excerpt from his current novel project, from a narrator looking back on the former city of New Orleans:

Rounding out the afternoon’s reading was Janis Turk, who brought the “music” into the Words and Music Conference with her reading of a minute in the day of New Orleans:

Great readings by all, and Peauxdunque looks forward to the final four days of an excellent conference!

Another Peauxdunque publication, and a reading

Peauxdunquian Emily Choate‘s story “Thunder Sometimes, Never Bells” will be published in an upcoming issue of The Florida Review! “Thunder Sometimes” was previously named to the short list for finalists in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition. A beautiful story; we’ll update when the issue is available.

A host of Peauxdunquians–Tad Bartlett, J.Ed. Marston, Sara Paul, Matt Robinson, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Emilie Staat, Terri Shrum Stoor, and Janis Turk–have been invited to read from recent work during the Words & Music Conference in New Orleans on November 28, at 3 p.m. The reading will be in the Second Floor Black Box Room at the U.S. Mint, 500 Esplanade Avenue.

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

… And More Good Peauxdunque News

In addition to recent publication and competition credits for members of the group, Peauxdunque is thrilled to announce that Peauxdunquian Terri Shrum Stoor is now represented by Jeff Kleinman of Folio Literary Management. We’re certain Terri will prove to be another fine feather in Jeff’s cap.

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