Tag Archives: Faulkner-Wisdom Competition

Brag thyself

This is a special edition “bragging on” post. A while back, I got some good news that I have been remiss in sharing with you until now. I did promise that I would brag on myself when the opportunities came along. So.

My essay, “Tango Face,” won the nonfiction category of the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

You might remember that in my last bragging on post, I listed all of my friends, including the Peauxdunque folks, who had been recognized at various levels of the  competition. When the announcement came, it went out just after midnight. I was falling asleep and didn’t see it, but thanks to the eagle eyes of some friends, I wasn’t in the dark for long.

It feels amazing to have accomplished something brag-worthy, and to be bragged on. So, thanks everyone for that and I look forward to giving you more opportunities to brag in the future.

Look for a big, regularly-scheduled bragging on post very soon.

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Can’t stop the brag

In Faulkner-Wisdom Contest news, Peauxdunquian Terri Stoor has won the top short story prize for “A Bellyful of Sparrow” and her essay “Bird Dog” is 2nd runner-up in the essay category. Congrats to Terri!

Fellow Peauxdunquian Amy Serrano has launched the website for Amy Serrano + Associates, a “global society of creative media and communications professionals that offer commissioned projects and in-house initiatives, the benefit of our group’s combined award-winning capabilities and superlative credentials.”

Helen and Joseph‘s film Flood Streets won Best Picture at the Action on Film Festival in Pasadena and a Gold Remi at WorldFest-Houston. They have been all over the place, screening Flood Streets at many film festivals. On October 14th, Flood Streets will have its local premiere at the New Orleans Film Festival. Check out the new trailer:

Jim Davis was interviewed by CHOW about the history of Cracker Jack prizes and his own collection, which is so extensive, he maintains a devoted website and has loaned it out for display.

James Claffey has an essay “Bolt the Door” up on Cobalt Review, a new literary magazine. And also, “Daisy Chain” is up on Shady Side Review

My review of A More Noble Cause, a biography of A.P. Tureaud is up at 225’s website. I can’t tell you how many times this book has come up in conversation since I read it.  A fascinating portrait of A.P. Tureaud, the Civil Rights/school integration movements and also, south Louisiana in historical context.

And this last bit is more of a tease than a brag. Peauxdunque Writers Alliance is working on something big, details to be divulged very soon, so stay tuned!

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Brag, baby, brag

Bragging on my friends and colleagues is my favorite thing to do! The awesome people in my life give me no shortage of opportunity to brag on them, either. Check it out!

I was so excited to hear that my friend (and former professor) Mari Kornhauser was tapped by Treme – the first female writer hired for the show. As good as the show is, man do they need her! My favorite quote from the article linked to above is this, which just exemplifies Mari:

“At the end of the meal, Overmyer asked Kornhauser, who has professional experience in feature filmmaking, what she thought about writing for television.

“I asked him, ‘Do you mean for your show?'” Kornhauser said. “When he said yes, I responded ‘Hell yeah. Who wouldn’t?'”

What she will add to the show goes far above and beyond the previously missing feminine touch. She’s a phenomenal writer and teacher and Treme is lucky and smart to have her on their team. I was already excited for the second season of Treme since it was an amazing experience to watch season one with friends at local bars and because Dave does some work for them. But now, I’m doubly – no, triply – invested in the show.

My friend Susan Broussard wrote a piece for the September/October issue of Belle Armoire about a purse that she and a friend made. Susan calls the purse a “sister” to one she made me. It looks almost identical, except for the beading. Check out these pictures I took of the article inside the magazine.

Maurice is going to be in a play on Sunday! He’s been rehearsing for it and I just got the invitation. Here are the deets:

You are invited to a reading of a new play by Robert Landy at Audubon Zoo’s Dominion Learning Center Auditorium  Sunday, October 17 at 2 p.m.
“Letters from Sing Sing” is about an extraordinary relationship between Michael, an incarcerated felon, an African-American man from the Jim Crow south of the 1950’s and Julia, a Caucasian woman, 30 years his elder, a volunteer teacher at Sing Sing, a philanthropist and prison re form advocate. Inspired by actual letters exchanged over a seven year period, the play delves deeply into the realities of crime and punishment and the redemptive qualities of relationship and love. Robert J. Landy, playwright, is a Professor of Educational Theatre and Applied Psychology, as well as the director of the Drama Therapy Program, at New York University. “Letters from Sing Sing” originated in his work in the prisons. Co-directed by Linda Cook, local arts educator/actress/drama therapist in CT and RI prisons, and Dr. Donald Brady, award-winning playwright/actor/director/social activist and Professor Emeritus from Loyola University, the play features Linda Cook as Julia and Maurice Ruffin, an award-winning writer and local attorney active in social justice causes, as Michael. This is a work-in-progress and constructive, critical feedback is invited. Following the reading, there will be an audience discussion with the playwright and a reception. Admission is free.

Speaking of Maurice, this is a two-fer on the brag front because I just got word that his story The Pie Man was the first runner up in the Faulkner-Wisdom short story category. The news hasn’t been added to the winners/finalists page yet, but will likely be updated soon. Congratulations, Maurice and everyone who was recognized in the course of the contest.

And in Nick Fox news, he has finally taken advantage of the newest technology in news/information/opinion dissemination and started a blog. So all of you stalkers-of-the-Fox can bookmark this link for your fix. I’m sure I’ll still brag on him on occasion. 🙂

My newest 225 piece is up on the website, a review of the book Treasures of LSU, which catalogues a grand multi-location celebration of LSU’s 150 anniversary by highlighting its treasures and history. This one made me really nostalgic for my time at LSU and I made a lot of incredible discoveries. One thing I realized was that I’d never actually seen the inside of the Old State Capitol Building and, as a result, I checked it out yesterday with some friends while I was in Baton Rouge. It’s a great book, so check it out.

I think that’s it, for the moment. But, knowing the incredible people in my life, it won’t be long till there’s more to brag on, so never fear. 🙂

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Brag is the word

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a little while. On the 28th, you’ll be able to catch Dave’s work on the National Geographic channel. He did the music for After the Spill: The Last Catch, a documentary about the aftermath of the oil spill and small fishing communities in South Louisiana.

After the Spill: The Last Catch Tuesday, September 28, 9 PM ET/PT

Produced & Directed by Jonathan Stack and Saralena Weinfeld
Edited by Brock Labrenz
Music by Dave Golden

So proud of Dave!

Tomorrow, September 2  6th, Readers and Writers is kicking off its new season with Allen Wier and Panthea Reid celebrating Best of LSU Fiction at 5 p.m. at the LSU School of Music Recital Hall.

This has been long overdue, as well, but several members of Peauxdunque, as well as friends of mine from LSU, have been recognized in the Wisdom-Faulkner Competition. As I did last year, I’m going to congratulate them here.

Shane Noecker, Susan Kirby-Smith and Peauxdunquers Tad Bartlett/J. Ed. Marston (on the short list of finalists for the novel category); Peauxdunquer Sabrina Canfield and Mark Spitzer (short list of finalists for novella); Jenn Nunes (short list of finalists for novel-in-progress); Susan Kirby-Smith again (semi-finalist for novel-in-progress);  Peauxdunquers Maurice Carlos Ruffin (finalist AND on the short list of finalists for two different short stories) and Terri Stoor (short list of finalists for short story); Tad Bartlett again (finalist for essay).

I may have more names to add soon as the finalists are all still anonymous until winners are named today.

And since others have been bragging on me, I have to step up and do it myself. I was recently promoted to assistant editor at Narrative Magazine, which is super exciting and makes me feel continually plugged in to the community of writers. Which is essential because I’ve been spending most of my time on the satellite planet of Harawood–the local film industry–lately. Much as I love my job–maybe because I love my job–it’s been so good to spend my free time reading critically. It brings me back to an important place and helps ground me.

Speaking of Harawood and my lovely job — Maurice just told me there’s a write-up on WWE Nola in today’s Times-Picayune. Luckily, somebody had left behind a copy of the paper and it was conveniently at my very own table at Cheers. WWE has been a blast to work for and I’m so proud to be a part of the movies they’ve made in New Orleans. Now I get to brag on them, as well. They’ve recently gotten a few write-ups in USA Today, as well.

I’ll leave you with a photo taken by Rachel Chotin at the Prelude Launch Party, of Maurice, me and a gentleman named Jason.

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Getting to brag on some friends

On Wednesday, I opened up my e-mail newsletter of Publisher’s Lunch and read a hysterical blurb for a recently-sold book, realizing that the recently-sold book is by one of my first fiction teachers at LSU! We’d caught up a few years ago at AWP and through Facebook, so I got to congratulate her the old fashioned personal way (if not old fashioned face-to-face) and now I’m congratulating her publicly and *commanding* all of you to write down the name of this book, cause you’re going to love it:

Robin Becker‘s BRAINS: a zombie memoir, the first-person account of a college professor-turned-zombie who retains his sentience and recruits others like him on a heroic quest to fend off the living while searching for the meaning of un-life, to Gabe Robinson at Harper, in a nice deal, for publication in Summer 2010, by Janet Reid at FinePrint Literary Management (NA).

Then, on Friday, it came to my attention that finalist results for the Faulkner-Wisdom awards were up on the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society website. Without further ado, congratulation shout-outs to:

Maurice Ruffin (short story finalist, still in the competition), Jenn Nunes (novel-in-progress finalist as well as short story semi-finalist), Jane Stubbs (novel-in-progress finalist), Susan Kirby-Smith (novel-in-progress finalist), Penelope Dane (novel-in-progress finalist), Mark Spitzer (novel finalist and husband to Robin Becker above), Missy Wilkinson and yours truly (finalists for the novel category).

In Maurice’s Facebook note “A Fine Time to Be a Teller of Tales,” he said something that really struck me:

…I think this news is proof that we have a strong community of writers in New Orleans. I also think that 100 years from now people will look back at the stuff we made and ask “what on Earth was going on in New Orleans?” “Jamey Hatley and Emilie Staat were coffeeshop mates?” “Maurice Ruffin knew Terri Stoor?” “Bartlett and Marston wrote a novel together…via the internet? That’s crazy.”

I’m so glad to be included in such a constellation of bright lights and so very proud of everybody, especially all those LSU folks. Jamey Hatley won the novel in progress award just a little while ago, as did my dear friend Mary McMyne, both of whose novels are *highly* anticipated. I can’t tell you how honored I’ve always been to be among such talented people, to get the chance to learn from them.

And then there’s Barb Johnson, who recently won the highly prestigious Gift of Freedom and whose book More of This World or Maybe Another is out in October. Write that title down as well.

And these are just a handful of the folks who have big, bright news about their writing at the moment. We have such a great community of incredible writers here in South Louisiana. I look forward to lots more news in the near and foreseeable future and I also anticipate seeing many of these folks at Words & Music and the Louisiana Book Festival, if not sooner. Can’t wait! Congratulations everybody!

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