Yes, we are still mostly staying inside with our pod, but I still have a lot of exciting things coming up that I think many of you will enjoy too.
First, I am so excited that my new YA novel, JUDE BANKS, SUPER HERO, will be published by Penguin on May 18. It's available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, or your favorite independent book store. Here's a description of the book, which will appeal to adults too:
Katie was Jude's favorite person in the world. And not many brothers say that about their sister and mean it. But to Jude, Katie was everything--the person who made him learn how to say "I love you" in every language, who performed dramatic readings of Romeo and Juliet, who obsessed over every item on the diner menu looking for the most authentic diner meal. The one who called him "Jude Banks, Superhero," because to her, Jude was the best.
She was also the person who died. Out of nowhere, and without a goodbye. And Jude believes he was the one who killed her.
Now, twelve-year-old Jude must figure out what life looks like without his favorite person. With Mom checked out, and Dad just trying to do his best, Jude enters a world of grief youth groups and dropped-off lasagnas. It's only when he meets a girl named Clementine, who also lost a sibling, that he begins to imagine a world where maybe things might be okay. But Clementine is nursing a terrible guilt, and even though Katie called Jude a "superhero," he isn't sure he can save her.
In her signature prose, Hood crafts an extraordinary story of grief and resilience, asking the important question: How does a family begin to heal?
I will be posting Zoom events as soon as I get the schedule.
Lots of Zoom conversations coming up!
I will be talking with Jeff Porter, whose memoir PLANET CLAIRE is the second one I've published in Gracie Belle Books, my line of grief memoirs with Akashic Press. If you haven't yet read PLANET CLAIRE, I know you will love it as much as I do. It's sad and funny and hopeful and romantic. The Zoom talk is through Buffalo's fabulous bookstore, Talking Leaves. Details here: https://www.tleavesbooks.com/
On Friday, April 9, at 5PM I will be at the fabulous Brattleboro Literary Festival's Cocktail Hour via Zoom with Julia Cooke discussing the good old days of being a flight attendant! Julia has a new book coming out about all things Pan Am, and my own memoir about flying for TWA, FLY GIRL, will be out in May 2022. So fasten your seat belts and join us! Details available at https://www.brattleboro.com/downtown/brattleboro-literary-festival/
Then on May 7, I am Zooming via Porter Square Books with Danielle Dreilinger to discuss her fascinating new book, THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOME ECONOMICS: HOW TRAILBLAZING WOMEN HARNESSED THE POWER OF HOME AND CHANGED THE WAY WE LIVE. Details here: https://www.portersquarebooks.com/
And teaching, teaching, teaching! All via Zoom, of course.
One of my favorite writers conferences to teach at was the Iceland Writers Retreat in Reykjavick. Iceland is an extraordinary country and IWR is an extraordinary conference. Like everyone else, they are going to be online this year, and I am lucky enough to be teaching a workshop on my favorite writing device, the objective correlative, AND to be on a panel. The workshop is on May 1 at 12:45 and is followed by a Q and A. The panel is at 4:15 that same day. Details and registration are here: https://www.icelandwritersretreat.com/
I am teaching a month long online workshop on Writing the Personal Essay through the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown's online classes, 24Pearlst. The dates are April 12-May 7. I love teaching this class and if you want to try your hand at or improve on writing personal essays, please join me here: https://web.fawc.org/24-pearl-street/workshops?tid=All&field_acdemic_year_tid=164&field_session_value=All
Speaking of The Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, I was scheduled to teach a memoir workshop there for a week last summer, which got moved to this summer, which got moved to online this spring. I miss being in that beautiful, special place but am delighted to Zoom my class the week of May 10-14 from noon-2. Registration here: https://web.fawc.org/
More immediately, Hester Kaplan and I are teaching our prompt based lunchtime workshops for fiction and non-fiction writers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon-1, weeks of March 1 and March 8. Very few spots still open so email me here to save one!
Yes, there's more exciting news!
The low residency Newport MFA that I founded and co-direct is accepting applications for our June residency, which will be online. But things are looking good for us to resume in person for the next one in January 2022. Our guest faculty in June includes bestselling, twice Oprah Book Club writer Jane Hamilton and award winning essayist and non fiction writer Emily Bernard! Applications and information here: https://salve.edu/graduate-studies-and-continuing-education/mfa-creative-writing
And last, but certainly not least, mark your calendars for the Newport MFA Weekend Writers Workshop, June 25-27, with award winning, best selling writers Andre Dubus III (teaching Fiction), Nick Flynn (teaching Memoir) and David Yoo (teaching YA). Registration is not open yet but I will post link here as well as on Instagram and Facebook as soon as it is!
A busy spring, albeit from my sofa! Not too busy to immerse myself in reading Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Bowen novels, keep knitting my Wool and the Gang's Julia sweater Billie Jean, and take Annabelle on college visits--tours have been suspended so we are just driving around campuses to see what she does and doesn't like.
Stay safe, everybody! I hope to see you at some of these events or workshops!