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Greetings,                                                                                       Nov 12, 2015


Lincoln Michel, whose debut short story collection Upright Beasts was just published, has written what must be one of the most thorough and thoughtful essays on how to submit and get published in literary magazines. The 6,400-word piece is aptly named “The Ultimate Guide to Getting Published In a Literary Magazine.” Michel, the editor-in-chief of Electric Literature and the co-editor of Gigantic Worlds (an anthology of science flash fiction) sets the piece’s tone from the get-go:
In this essay, I will attempt to tell you everything I’ve learned about submitting and publishing in literary magazines. Here’s the first thing: When you publish a book of stories that were published in literary magazines, you have to pitch essays like this one. Here’s the second thing: “Write what you know” is horrible advice for fiction writing, but really good advice for essay-to-promote-a-book writing. And pretty much the only thing I know about is literary magazines.
+ READThe Ultimate Guide to Getting Published In a Literary Magazine

Publerati, the Maine-based ebook fiction publisher of MWPAers such as Ellen Conney and Susan Sterling, has begun a holiday campaign around the idea “You Read. We Donate.” Between now and December 11, for every Publerati work of fiction in ebook or print-on-demand format sold, the publisher will donate 100% of the publisher's share to help Worldreader spread literacy in developing nations.

+ READPublerati Donating 100% of Publisher Proceeds to Worldreader for the Holidays

We love celebrating in the successes of MWPAers, from publications to awards to fellowships and on. Here is some of the celebration-worthy news we’ve heard about recently:

+ On the heels of releasing his short collection of Millikeninterconnected vignettes Cream River, Douglas W. Milliken’s essay "A Weapon or a Crutch” about (in part) how the collection came to be was published online by Glimmer Train. The essay, which frankly discusses the author’s own battles with depression, anxiety, and alcoholism, was then cited on the blog of Jane Friedman, former Writer's Digest publisher and editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review.

+ The town of Pittsfield, Maine recently selected Kathryn Miles’s Superstorm—a finalist for the 2015 Maine Literary Award in Nonfiction—for its 2015 Persis Smith Community Reads program. Miles visited the Pittsfield Public Library last week.

+ Frank O Smith just reviewed Tess Gerritsen's latest, Playing with Fire, for the Maine Sunday
RielleyTelegram. His conclusion? The mystery is wrapped around a story so heartbreaking it reminded him of William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice.

+ Earlier this year, American Fiction: Volume 14, edited by MWPAer Bruce Pratt won a Midwest Book Award in the category “Fiction: Short Story/Anthology” from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. In late October, the publisher, New Rivers Press, hosted celebratory readings at three different venues over three days.

+ The Riellys of Westbrook are now an official trifecta of published authors: with this month’s release of Brendan Rielly’s debut novel, An Unbeaten Man, he joins his son Morgan who was 17 when his Neighborhood Heroes: Life Lessons from Maine’s Greatest Generation, and his father Edward who has nearly thirty publications to his credit, including biographies, poetry collections, children’s books. The American Journal recently profile the family in “For Westbrook’s Rielly family, writing’s right.”

Changes in the traditional publishing industry have made it increasingly incumbent on writers to find the means to produce and promote their own work. This workshop will examine one writer’s DIY publishing project, Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine, through original concept, layout and design, finding funding, getting editorial input (crucial!) and, finally, printing, publication, and the book’s launch.
What Writers Need to Know
About Turning an Idea into a Book

Instructor: Tanya Whiton
Date & Time: Saturday, November 14 | 1 PM to 3 PM
Location: USM’s Glickman Library, Portland
Tanya Whiton—a former MWPA board member—is the Associate Director of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program. Her book Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine, a collection of travel essays created in collaboration with photographer Heidi Killion, was published in 2014.

We didn’t have a winner last week, so we’re keeping the contest open! Some folks noted Kate Flora has won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction twice and others mentioned Maria Padian has won the Maine Literary Award for Young People’s Literature twice…but look closely at the question below!

MWPAer Barbara Baig recently released Spellbinding Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Achieving Excellence and Captivating Readers (Writer's Digest). Want to win a free copy? Spellbinding Sentences is the first writing instruction book based on current research in the field of expertise studies, where scientists have demonstrated that expertise is not the result of innate talent, but of good coaching, dedication to practice, and imitation of models of excellence. Sentences shows aspiring writers how to use these methods to improve their ability to write powerful sentences that keep readers turning pages. Ursula K. Le Guin says “I hope young writers find this book and profit from it! I give it the Vulcan salute—‘Live long and prosper!’”

+ TO WIN A COPY In last week's Peavey, we mentioned Lily King was one of just two writers to have won the Maine Literary Awards for Fiction twice. Who is the other author? Send your answer to with the subject line “Spellbinding Sentences” by Saturday, November 14 at 9 AM. We’ll pool the correct responses and draw a winner at random.

+ READ Spellbinding Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Achieving Excellence and Captivating Readers

“Who owns the story, the person who lives it or the person who writes it?”—Roxana Robinson

+ READ “The Right to Write” by Roxana Robinson from the New York Times

PeaveyBanners TAKE HEART
 Edited and Introduced by Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair

G. Hennessey of Lisbon chose this favorite entry from an earlier column, citing the “tiers of time” in Bruce Guernsey’s poem, which oscillates “between day and night, coolness and warmth, plans and dreams.”

To read “The Hands” by Bruce Guernsey, please click here.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is edited and introduced by Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair. Take Heart is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Questions may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at or 207-228-8263.

Give and Take Web Banner

Registration Open Until Dec. 10

McNair Author Photo

Wesley McNair Reads at the York Public Library

DATE Saturday, November 21
TIME Doors at 6:30 PM | Reading at 7:00 PM
LOCATION York Public Library

The MWPA is celebrating its 40th anniversary with an ongoing series of celebrations across the state from June 2015 to June 2016. As Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair's tenure draws to a close in this season of Thanksgiving, McNair's reading will put aside life's conflicts and imperfections, gathering his listeners around the common table of poetry to share one of poetry's oldest inspirations: gratitude. How do you sing the praises of cigarettes, or reveal the blessings of a stroke, or celebrate a troublesome family dog? McNair finds a way in these poems of a grateful heart.

Join the MWPA and York Public Library for one of McNair’s final readings as the Maine Poet Laureate. Refreshments and a book signing will follow McNair’s presentation.


What Writers Need to Know About Turning an Idea into a Book

Instructor: Tanya Whiton
Date & Time:
Saturday, November 14 | 1 PM to 3 PM
Location: USM’s Glickman Library
, Portland


A Presentation on the Business of Writing

Instructor: Celia Johnson
Date &
Time: Saturday, January 30 | 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: USM’s Glickman Library, Portland

Mayfield-150x150FROM BOOK TO EBOOK
A Tutorial on How to Publish Your E-Books Yourself

Instructor: Katherine Mayfield
Date & Time: Saturday, February 6 | 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: USM’s Glickman Library, Portland

A Two-Part Business of Writing Workshop

Instructor: Celia Johnson
Date & Time: Saturday, February 13 & 20 | 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location: USM’s Glickman Library, Portland

A Presentation on the Business of Writing

Instructor: Celia Johnson
Date &
Time: Saturday, March 5 | 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Auburn Public Library

Aside 6


Live at SPACE!


DATE Friday, November 13
TIME Doors 7 PM | Show 7:30 PM
LOCATION SPACE Gallery, Portland

A brisk, engaging, and varied evening of readings, conversation, performance, book talk, deep thoughts, bad advice, cartooning, and belly laughs! The cash bar won't hurt, either.

Bill and Dave's Cocktail Hour—the always eclectic and sometimes inspired literary blog by authors Bill Roorbach and Dave Gessner—comes to life at SPACE Gallery. Come take part as guests Kate Christensen, Bill Lundgren, and Kathryn Miles join Bill and Dave themselves—live and in-person!—for an evening of literary fun.

Tickets available at the door on the day of the event, on a first-come, first-served basis. Cosponsored by the MWPA.

PeaveyBanners EVENTS

TODAY THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12 at 5 PM Join the Maine Community Foundation for its annual Inspiring Philanthropy event at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. MWPAer Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine, will speak beginning at 5:30 p.m. Registration begins at 5 p.m., and a reception and cash bar will be 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free but attendees must RSVP. INFO

TODAY THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12 at 7 PM Lisa Hayden presents Laurus at Longfellow Books in Portland. INFO

Kate Clifford Larson presents Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter at Longfellow Books in Portland. INFO

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13 at 7 PM Erica Bartlett reads from and discusses her memoir, Winning the Losing Battle: A True Story of Weight Loss and Transformation at the L.L. Bean Flagship store in Freeport. INFO

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14 12 PM to 3 PM Carl Johnson signs copies of From Beer To Beards, Boston Baseball's 2011-2013 Roller Coaster Ride at Annie's Book Stop in Laconia, NH. INFO

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15 at 2 PM The Jesup Library in Bar Harbor will host a mixed program of music, poetry and fiction readings, and a demonstration of turned wooden bowls. The presenters, Leonore Hildebrandt, Donna Kausen, Brian Dyer Stewart, and Robert Froese are members of the Flat Bay Collective, a group of local artists from Harrington, Addison, and beyond. INFO

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 at 2:30 PM Jane Karker will teach a free Intro to Marketing Maine Authors Publishing’s Rockland office. Call or e-mail to sign up. INFO: 594-0091 or

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 at 4 PM The University of Maine Honors College presents a fall poetry reading to celebrate debut chapbooks by Danielle Walczak and Randy Nichols in Colvin Hall at UMO. INFO



THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19 at 7 PM Bryan Wiggins presents his novel Autumn Imago at the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth. INFO

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20 at 7 PM Don't Pump Gas In The Presence Of My Corpse is an entry into Cream River, Douglas W. Milliken's new book of stories. Books, signature cocktails, readings, musical performance and special guest appearances will make this less book launch and more parallel universe travel at SPACE Gallery in Portland. INFO

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21 at 7 PM Lowry's Lodge Monthly Reading/Poetry Series presents Claire Hersom and Gibson Fay-LeBlanc at Continuum for Creativity in Westbrook. INFO

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21 at 7 PM A special MWPA fortieth anniversary celebration reading with Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair at the York Public Library. INFO

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 from 11 AM to 1 PM Carl Johnson signs From Beer To Beards, Boston Baseball's 2011-2013 Roller Coaster Ride at Bayswater Books in Center Harbor, NH. INFO

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 at 3:30 PM Crime writer Brenda Buchanan reads from Cover Story at the Blue Hill Public Library. INFO

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 from 4 PM to 6 PM The Westbrook authors’ night at the Westbrook Community Center will feature roughly a dozen authors, including Brenda Buchanan, Mike Sanphy, Steve Webster, Ray Richardson, Kim Fernald Ramsey, Brendan Rielly, Edward Rielly, Morgan Rielly, and Holly Hautula, author and widow of horror writer Rick Hautala, and more. INFO


Brown Bag Lecture Series
More Info
NOVEMBER 18 Kate Christensen How to Cook a Moose


 * If you would like to submit an EVENTS listing,
please follow the submission guidelines below *

Books vs Ebooks BANNER


An Oxford Debate on Books vs. Ebooks!

DATE Wednesday, December 9
TIME Doors 6:30 PM | Show 7 PM
LOCATION SPACE Gallery, Portland


In less than a decade’s time, the advent of ebooks and increasingly affordable ereaders has disrupted publishing and traditional bookstores—ebook sales skyrocketed 1,260% between 2008 and 2010. Some believe this signals an uncertain future for print books. Others contend the print book is here to stay for the long haul—they accounted for 80% of all book sales last year, while ebook sales fell by 10% over the first half of 2015. Join us for another raucous evening of our new series of MWPA Oxford Debates: An Oxford Debate on Books vs. Ebooks!

THE MOTION FOR DEBATE “Ebooks will eventually supplant printed books entirely.”

Arguing in favor of the book will be Don Lindgren, antiquarian bookseller and owner of Rabelais: Fine Books on Food & Drink. Taking a stance for the ebook will be Caleb Mason, the founder and publisher of Publerati, a literary fiction imprint based in Portland.

This free event is co-presented by SPACE and the MWPA and made possible thanks to the generous support of the Kirby Family Foundation.

PeaveyBanners LIT NEWS

+ CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS The forthcoming anthology I’m Good...No, Wait...I’m Great: Survivors of sexual trauma tell their stories of claiming pleasure, intimacy, and good sex is seeking submission of essays. Contributions in the collection may also be a result of interviews with the editors, or written in collaboration with the editors. Prose may be up to 7500 words in length. Accepted submissions will be paid in a combination of fee and books. The anthology will be published by Portlyn Publishing (an imprint of Animal Mineral Press) as an ebook, audiobook, and print-in-demand book. FMI contact editors Cathy Plourde, or Catriona McHardy MORE INFO 

+ NEW ARTIST RESIDENCY Opera House Arts (Stonington Opera House) has launched a new artist residency program or individuals and groups of artists creating works of theatre, performance, dance, film and opera, including but not limited to playwrights, theatre companies, collaborative ensembles and performance artists. MORE INFO 


Discounted Subscription Rate
Your membership in the MWPA entitles you to a special subscription rate of up to 69% off the newsstand price of Poets & Writers. That’s like getting 8 issues FREE! 

+ Click HERE to subscribe for 2 years (12 issues) for $22.00 (or $1.83 an issue) or 1 year (6 issues) for $12.00 (or $2.00 an issue). 

We hope you’ll take advantage of this generous offer Poets & Writers has extended to the MWPA membership.

The MWPA is excited to offer its new member seals. The seals were created for all members who want to publicly acknowledge their affiliation with, and their support of, the MWPA. In addition, by posting the MWPA member seal on your website, and linking the image back to the MWPA website (, you will be helping to raise the profile of our organization and strengthen the growing network of members, partners, and connections. 

+ Click HERE to download your member seal in various sizes and in either white or blue.

These handy guides for members include listings and contact info for literary professionals and writing groups around the state.

+ Click HERE for the Literary Professionals Guide

+ Click HERE for the Writing Groups Guide.

PeaveyBanners FINALLY

While the phrase “Mission Moment” can sometimes feel a little cold, it’s important for all organizations to pause and acknowledge and reflect amidst the hectic pace of everyday. I like to think of these mission moments as “Why-We-Do-What-We-Do” moments and it’s a privilege to share a couple with you here.

Mary Anne Moisan attended our 2015 Harvest Writers Retreat at the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport in late October and worked with memoir instructor Elizabeth Peavey. One week after the retreat was over, Mary Anne was feeling the full impact of the weekend sinking in, and wrote her instructor a note:
Hi Elizabeth,

I just wanted you to share with you the impact your workshop is having on my writing. I sat down on my day off to write, a habit/routine I hope to develop. I have much more confidence that I can write with some intent re: the process of writing vs. writing what is essentially a journal of my thoughts and feelings.

I sat down with another piece, similar to “Painting Nails,” and was able to look at it with more clarity. I enthusiastically took out my hatchet and hacked away to the core of the "situation and the story.”

And I even set up my own reminders, based on the invaluable information you shared with us, that I can prop up next to my laptop as I write.
And Mary Anne attached the photo above.

Mitch Sturgeon is confined to a wheelchair by Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. His blog Enjoying the Ride chronicles his every day but his memoir-in-progress The Apple Didn't Fall… will tell his life’s story. Two days after working with Monica Wood at the 2015 Harvest Writers Retreat, Mitch began his blog entry “Learning the Craft” this way:
I’m doing everything I can to learn the craft of memoir writing, short of going back to college. I may have only one book in me, and I want to get it right. A couple of months ago, I found the perfect opportunity.

Monica Wood is a beloved Maine author, writing instructor, and now playwright. She has published seven books, and her eighth will be released in April of 2016. I devoured her memoir, When We Were the Kennedys, and became a fan. After I saw her play, Papermaker, this summer in Portland, my admiration grew all the more. When I learned that Monica would be teaching a two-day seminar on memoir writing at the 2015 Harvest Writers Retreat, I couldn’t sign up fast enough.
Read the rest of Mitch’s blog here.

In the meantime, I’m here if you need me. Give me a call or drop me a note via email or snail. Every call gets returned and every note gets answered.

Onwards & Have Fun, 
Joshua Bodwell
Executive Director

Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance
Glickman Family Library
314 Forest Avenue, Room 318
Portland, ME 04101


Join the MWPA by clicking HERE.
Join the MWPA on Facebook by clicking HERE.



We would like to help publicize your literary events and news. Please help us achieve this by following the few simple guidelines below when submitting your events and news.

> FORMAT Please send your EVENT listing pre-formatted* to match the format of the listings above; we request EVENT listings please be as concise as possible and include a hyperlink where interested readers can find more information. (*We will make every effort to run event info that has not been pre-formatted but can neither guarantee it, nor take responsibility for any errors introduced during re-formatting.)

Please send NEWS blurbs of 25- to 100-words and include a hyperlink that leads to more information.

> SCHEDULE The Peavey is published every Thursday morning. NEWS and EVENT listings must be submitted by Wednesday morning to be considered. EVENTS are listed roughly two weeks in advance and will run in consecutive issues of the Peavey in the weeks proceeding the event.

The Peavey is not able to include listings for fee-based workshops and events; events with “suggested donations” will be considered.

> SEND Please send your news or event info to with the subject line “Peavey Listing”

The Peavey is proofread and copy-edited by Dana M. Pearson.


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Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance
Glickman Family Library
314 Forest Avenue, Room 318
Portland, Maine 04102

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