August Newsletter

The Writers’ Loft

Middle Tennessee State University


August, 2013

Below you will find information related to the program and writing in general. Please send your updates to me at –Karen Alea Ford


The Conference is almost here! Registration deadline is Sept. 10th. Any late registrations will not get dinner.

Boulevard Grill is in walking distance, so let’s head there after!

Mentors Bill Brown and Jeff Hardin, along with student Tiana Clark, will read from their poetry, Sept. 27th starting at 7 at the Barnes and Noble off West End, right next to Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The reading is called Lyrical Brew.

We would like to put together some workshops and gatherings throughout the year that would be available to anyone. Please answer the poll below.


Bill Brown is currently tightening poems and seeking a new organizational principle for his current book manuscript for his editor in Denver. He continues to garner new publishing credits for the book’s acknowledgement page. Since May, he has new work accepted in Cleaver (Philadelphia), Red Rock Review (Nevada), POEM (Alabama), and Borderlands: The Texas Poetry Review (Austin).

Jennifer Chesak— Jennifer recently released her first children’s book, Behind the Glass with Sherman the Shark. The book aims to help educate children on the important role sharks play in the ecosystem. Chesak released the book during the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.” It’s available on Amazon and will also be sold in aquarium gift shops.

Jeff Hardin has poems appearing in recent or forthcoming issues of Unsplendid, The Southern Review, The Laurel Review, Sugar House Review, drafthorse, Moon City Review, Gingko River Review, and The Meadow.  His second collection, Notes for a Praise Book, recently appeared from Jacar Press and was reviewed in Mid-American Review and Chapter 16.  His website is


Please send in your recent publications, what you are working on, and life news!

Emily Davidson Nemoy–Since completing two semesters with the Writer’s Loft program, I have been published in NativeRelish and on  My mentor, Jennifer Chesak, was invaluable in helping me understand the breakdown of a magazine and how to fine tune my pitches.  I am now working with Jennifer on my first novella, One Simple Hour, which I hope to finish this year.


Michael Potts—Michael attended the Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, Kentucky on July 26-28, where his screenplay was one of thirty finalists. He also has two new publications: a second edition of his poetry chapbook, From Field to Thicket, and a full-length book of horror poetry, Hiding from the Reaper and Other Horror Poems.

On August 3, he held a successful book signing of those books along with his novel, End of Summer, at Hastings Books and Music in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Alberta Tolbert—“I am in my infinity +1 revision of Poppa’s War. Even my loyal golden retriever, Ulysses, (affectionately known around the neighborhood as U-Dog) has left my side.”

TESTIMONIALS (Send yours in. It might be used for press releases and marketing.

“When I enrolled at The Writer’s Loft, I was paired with a mentor who changed my thinking and writing to the point that I finally believed that I was a writer. If you secretly know this about yourself, come to the Loft and begin to believe it out loud.”

–Suzanne Robertson

“The Writer’s Loft program connected with my mentor, Jennifer Chesak, who gave me solid advice on how to get published.  Since working with Jennifer, I’ve been published online and in print. “

—Emily Davidson Nemoy (

“I have found the Writer’s Loft program at MTSU to be the most valuable of all the programs I have attended for improving my writing skills. The teachers go above and beyond the call of duty to help a writer achieve excellence.”

–Michael Potts

“Of all the benefits of the Loft mentoring program, one of the most valuable was to learn to read like a writer and apply to my own work. Thanks Linda and David!”

–Alberta Tolbert

“I found my voice. Before I signed up for The Writer’s Loft, I was unfocused, and after 3 sessions spread over a few years, I hit my stride.”

–Patty Outlaw

“Mentoring three emerging poets for the Writers’ Loft has been an intense, meaningful and joyful experience for me. It is deeply important that our writing community provides support to talented adults who wish to explore their experience with words.”

–Bill Brown, faculty

“The Loft gave me community as well as craft. It provided a way to understand the submission process, the business of publishing, what editors seek and how to find writer resources. Knowing other writers and sharing their accomplishments continues to provide incentive to keep the fires burning.”

–Peggy Duke


Ashley Loar

Jeff Hardin

Leisa Hammet

Karen Alea Ford

Jennifer Chesak

Michael Potts
Author’s Amazon Page:
Barnes & Noble:

Charlotte Dixon Rains

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

Emily Davidson Nemoy

Kory Wells

Candace White


PINOT & POETRY will begin on September 5 at 7:00 p.m. The location is still to be determined (it will be somewhere in Spring Hill) but will be posted on our website by the end of August. Living Writers Collective has been active in Middle Tennessee since 2007. Our poetry group will be dedicated to readings and education. It will be facilitated by award-winning poet Ramon Presson. Read more about it on our website at

Killer Nashville—Coming soon! Aug. 22-25 in Nashville.

Living Writers Poetry Month is taking place throughout the month of August. We are writing poetry every day in August—our pep rally as we prepare for PINOT & POETRY. You can read more about it on our website as well. The announcement is here:

Local poetry group–A subgroup of the Nashville Writers Meetup, open to all, meets on the third Saturday of every month at 2:00 pm at the City Limits Cafe in Bellevue (361 Clofton Drive).

Difficult Listening radio show— every Sunday from 10 to noon on WRFN, 107.1, Host David Harris reads from a novel in the first hour, then talks about poetry in the second hour. Listen and support.

New print journal in Texas looking for poetry and stories from undiscovered writers. Payment in issues.

Fiction, Poetry and Creative Nonfiction Contest                                                                 

Briar Cliff Review

SYNOPSIS:  The sponsor provides an award for the best poem, short
story, or creative nonfiction essay.

Deadline(s):      11/01/2013
Web Site:
Program URL:

OBJECTIVES:  The short story and creative non-fiction word limit
is 6,000. Winning pieces are accepted on the basis of first-time
rights. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but notify sponsor
immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.

All submissions must be accompanied by a $20 entry fee per story,
creative nonfiction essay, or three poems.

First place winners will be awarded $1000 plus publication in
Spring 2014.  (cas)

C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize                                                                                                     Poetry International

SYNOPSIS:  The C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize is an annual contest to
discover and publish the best poem entered. The winner will receive
$1,000 and publication in an upcoming issue of Poetry International.
All finalists will be considered for publication, as well.

Deadline(s):      11/16/2013

Web Site:
Program URL:

OBJECTIVES:  The purpose of the C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize is to
honor a great poet of the 20th century by publishing the best possible
poem found on annual basis.

An entry fee of $15 for up to three poems is required; additional
poems may be included for a reading fee of $3 per poem.

The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in an upcoming issue
of Poetry International. All finalists will be considered for
publication, as well.

New Rivers Press Many Voices Project Competition                                                          Minnesota State University Moorhead

SYNOPSIS:  The Many Voices Project is a distinguished annual
competition to find new and emerging writers. For the purposes of this
competition, an emerging writer is one who has not published more than
two books of creative writing with a commercial, university, or
national small press. Both the Prose Prize and the Poetry Prize this
year are national prizes.

Deadline(s):      11/01/2013

Web Site:

The submission period for entries is between September 15 and November
1, 2013. This is a postmark deadline.There is a $25 entry fee to enter
this book-length competition.

OBJECTIVES:  The purpose of this competition is to discover and
reward emerging writers of both poetry and prose.

This national competition is for emerging writers; defined as- one
who has not published more than two books of creative writing with a
commercial, university, or national small press. Any eligible writer
writing in English is eligible.

The two winning manuscripts will be published in the following
October; each author receives a $1,000 honorarium and a standard book

The Summer 2013 issue of drafthorse literary journal has been released and is available to view at

We are now seeking writing to consider for our Winter 2014 issue.

Drafthorse is a biannual online publication of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, visual narrative, and other media art where work, occupation, labor—or lack of the same—is in some way intrinsic to a narrative’s potential for epiphany. We are interested in how work, or the absence of it, effects people and communities on an intimate level. While we’re open to various interpretations, we expect the subject to be fundamental to your submission in some way.

Complete submission guidelines are available online at drafthorse/ submissions.shtml

Submission deadline for the Winter 2014 issue is October 31, 2013.

Follow drafthorse on facebook at to keep up with our latest news.

I have access to many contests and grants, including teaching English overseas, etc. If you would like more information, please contact me. –Karen



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