Sewanee Writers' Conference

Alumni Updates


Maria Manilla

Tennessee Williams Scholar/Fiction/2006

I’m so happy to report that my collection of short stories, Still Life with Plums, was just published by West Virginia University Press. The book has been nominated for a Weatherford Award, and six of the stories have been nominated for a Pushcart prize. Sewanee friends can find me at or

Brenda K. Marshall


My second novel, Dakota, Or What’s a Heaven For, literary historical fiction set in nineteenth-century Dakota Territory, was released November 1, 2010, by the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies (North Dakota State University Press).  A chapter from the book, “In Which a Coffin Is a Bed, But an Ox is Not a Coffin,” was published in the Summer 2010 issue of the Michigan Quarterly Review.  The novel has been selected by the Midwest Booksellers Association as a Midwest Connections ‘Pick’.  For more information (excerpts, photographs, reviews, interview), please visit

Leslie Maslow

Walter E. Dakin Fellow/Playwriting/1999

I will begin a low-residency MFA Program in fiction at Bennington in January. My story “Mum” won the RRohife Trophy and was published in the Winter 2009 issue of Open City. My short essay on “Pär Lagerkivst’s The Difficult Journey: Guest of Reality II” appeared in the summer 2010 issue of Tin House.


Man Martin


Man Martin’s second novel, Paradise Dogs, is due out this summer from Thomas Dunne Books.

Brendan Matthews

Stanley Elkin Scholar/Fiction/2006

Last year started with good news when I heard that Richard Russo picked one of my stories for Best American Short Stories 2010 -- a story that first appeared in Cincinnati Review (thanks, Michael Griffith!). Two
other stories appeared online in The Manchester Review (in the UK, but do national borders exist online?) and Five Chapters.

Deirdra McAfee

Tennessee Williams Scholar/Fiction/1998

The short-short that won the New Millennium Writings Award appeared in January, as does a story in Big Muddy.  This was a big year for residencies; I received one at VCCA France in Auvillar from mid-August to early September, and another at The Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency during October, beautiful times of year for both—August in France was cooler than usual, and October in the Vineyard warmer.  I teach creative writing at The Visual Arts Center of Richmond, and persuaded them to show “Who Does She Think She Is?,” a documentary about women artists, for which I gathered and moderated a sparkling panel of local talent—a poet, an actress, two jewelers who collaborate, and an opera singer.  The film is something every artist should see.

Susan McCallum-Smith

Fiction/2001, 2002

Writing projects pile up on my desk, some underway, some in daydream only - a novel, a collection of memoir essays, a nonfiction book proposal requested by a publisher on a subject as yet undefined. Our daughters, Kate and Ellie, almost 18 months old, take precedence over everything, the most joyful minxes, and the most joyful reason for procrastination ever devised. Occasionally I sneak out to a workshop or a writing conference, and sometimes I pop up in an anthology (in City Sages, a collection of works by Baltimore writers, and in the latest Pushcart Prize), but more often I don’t. I blend fruit, steam vegetables, and fish for building blocks under the sofa.

Joshua Mehigan

Walter E. Dakin Fellow/Poetry/2005

Tennessee Williams Scholar/Poetry/2000

Poetry/1999, 2001

Hello, all! I miss Sewanee tremendously and mean to return as soon as I can! Meanwhile, I thought I’d write with my first news in awhile. I was lucky enough this year to receive a 2011–2012 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Also, this fall, I was happy to learn that Poetry magazine has given me the Editors Prize for best feature article of the year. The article, “I Thought You Were a Poet,” is on the subject of poets and madness. I hope you’re all well....

Susan Middaugh


A good year. My full-length play, Black Widows, was produced by Theatrical Mining Company for 12 performances this past summer as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival on the campus of the College of Notre Dame MD. Covered Bridge Theater Company produced my short play, Suite 510, April 8-10 at Cecil Community College. The Raymond C. Flores Festival produced my short play, It’s My Party!, June 5 in New York City and Lazy Bee Scripts in England has published my short play, Table for Two.

Marlene M. Miller


Last summer I was invited to participate in the Southampton Playwriting Conference on Long Island and had the opportunity to work with Emily Mann, Artistic Director of the McCarter Theatre at Princeton. The opening of my new play People was performed by the terrific actors from Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City.

David Philip Mullins

Stanley Elkin Scholar/Fiction/2008

In the past year, I’ve had stories published in The Yale Review, The Massachusetts Review, Fiction, Folio, and Ecotone.  In addition, I published a review of Justin Taylor’s Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever, titled “The Young and the Shiftless,” in Gulf Coast.  My story “First Sight” was cited as a “Notable Western Story of the Year” in Best of the West 2009, New Stories from the West Side of  the Missouri, and my story “Crash Site on a Desert Mountain” is forthcoming in the anthology Just to Watch Him Die, Stories of  Johnny Cash’s Reno.  Also forthcoming is my collection of linked stories Greetings from Below (Sarabande), which won both the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and the Walter Scott Prize for Short Stories.  Finally, I was recently hired as an assistant professor of creative writing by the department of English at Creighton University.

Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Walter E. Dakin Fellow/Fiction/2008

I’m still working on the novel I brought to Sewanee, but I have received some great funding, a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts fiction fellowship, and a fellowship to Yaddo. Nonfiction "overflow" from my novel is being published in the June 2011 issue of The Atlantic.

p.s. It was great to run into Kevin Wilson at AWP.