Wilkes University

Revise This!

Revise This!

M.A. and M.F.A. Grads Walk in Spring Commencement

Creative Writing Graduates Group Pose

Photo credit: Patricia DeViva
From left to right, Tara Marta, Danie Watson, Margaret Hall, Karley Stasko, Jeffrey Alves, Robert Peck, Maura Maros, Donald Granza, Michelle Byrnes and Joseph Bryan.

Congratulations to the graduates of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing, who were awarded their diplomas at the spring commencement ceremony at Wilkes University:


  • Jeffrey Alves – Creative nonfiction
  • Rodney Annis – Fiction
  • Jeremiah Blue – Creative nonfiction
  • Margaret Hall – Creative nonfiction
  • Crista Mallecoccio – Playwriting
  • Tara Marta – Fiction
  • Kathleen Rosa – Fiction
  • Camika Spencer – Playwriting
  • Karley Stasko – Screenwriting
  • Danielle Watson - Fiction


  • Joseph Bryan
  • Michelle Byrnes
  • Deborah Canon
  • Donald Granza
  • Jennifer Judge
  • Maura Maros
  • Robert Peck
  • Ronnie Stephens (diploma awarded during the 2018 winter commencement ceremony)

Congratulations to each of these members of our Wilkes writing community, and welcome to the newest members of the Wilkes Alumni Association!

Wilkes Ranked Third Best Online Creative Writing Program

Best Colleges Website Screenshot

In April of 2018, BestColleges.com released the "Best Online Master's in Creative Writing Programs" and we're proud to announce that the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University was ranked number three. The rankings were based on academic quality, affordability and online programming. Academic quality made up 50% of the score, while both affordability and online programming made up 25% of the score respectively.

Wilkes and Etruscan Books Take Flight

Wilkes Side Bookmark

Wilkes Bookmark

In March of 2018, Wilkes University and program partner Etruscan Press entered into a partnership with United Airlines with their initiative Books on the Fly--an outreach partnership based at Boston Logan International Airport where passengers on long-distance flights can chose a free book before they board.

Books on the Fly was created by two United Airlines employees, Jen Ruffini and Bob Di Rice, who noticed books piling up in their break room—going unread. Ruffini and Di Rice had the idea to load these books onto a cart and hand them out to passengers at the gate before their plane boarded.

The Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University and Etruscan were the first outside partners to donate books to the initiative. Each book donated by Wilkes and Etruscan comes with a bookmark highlighting the program and the press, as well as QR codes for passengers to scan and learn more about Etruscan and the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing.

"This innovative partnership provides a wonderful opportunity to share the talents of the Maslow Family program's faculty, alumni and publishing partners with a new literary audience," says Dr. Bonnie Culver, co-founder and program director.

To date, Di Rice estimates that United Airlines has given away over 1,500 books to passengers.

"I think there's a psychological aspect to having a book, something tangible, when you travel," Di Rice said. "It can be comforting. And when you watch the customers talk with each other about the books they've read, you see their faces soften. It's like the stress disappears."

Books on the Fly carts are popping up at United Airlines gates around the country with more and more books making the trip across the country.

AWP Provides Special Discount for Recent Grads

AWP cartoon

Photo credit: AWP

Now through June 30, 2018, recent graduates of AWP affiliated creative writing programs are eligible to continue their membership with AWP at the deeply discounted student rate of just $49 for the first post-graduate year—a 35% savings. AWP's extraordinary benefits include:

• Access to all of AWP's online benefits, including the AWP Job List and Writer's Calendar • Eligibility to apply for the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program • Deep discounts on registration for #AWP19 in Portland, Oregon • A one-year subscription to the AWP magazine, The Writer's Chronicle • Access to AWP online webinars, including the new Writer to Agent Web Series • Discounts off the Award Series entry fees

Join online today, and AWP will begin your individual membership from the date your personal or school membership expires. Simply enter the code MFA18 + The Name of Your School. (i.e., MFA18 Wilkes University) and select the $49 student rate at checkout. This offer is only valid through June 30, 2018.

While making your purchase, as a recent or prospective graduate you can also opt in to AWP's special monthly email series on "Life after the Degree." Each month, starting in late April, AWP will be discussing a different topic from the writing life, guiding you to resources that can help, and presenting advice from respected teachers about those "critical next steps" to becoming the writer you want to be.

Take advantage of this great discounted rate today!

Faculty News

Shorts and Briefs cover

The second edition (revised and expanded) of Gregory Fletcher's Shorts And Briefs (a handbook on how to write short plays) will be published by Northampton House Press in June 2018.






Book Cover

Faculty member Jean Klein (owner) announces the merger of two dramatic publishing companies: the new site of Blue Moon Plays and HaveScripts is officially live as of February 2018. The Blue Moon Plays imprint publishes new, original, and provocative comedies and dramas for contemporary community, regional, and professional theater. HaveScripts serves the educational and community theater marketplace: scripts that educate and inspire schools, senior, populations, spiritual communities, and community theaters. The press is at about 90 scripts right now—including some Wilkes faculty members and alums—and are continuing to grow at www.havescripts.com). In January 2018, Refraction of Light by Jean Klein was read on Playwright's Night at the Maslow Foundation Salon Reading Series. A reading in NYC by the Transcendence Theatre Collective on March 14, 2018 followed the Wilkes reading. A play based on William Heyen's Holocaust poetry—Distant Survivors by June Prager— and published by Blue Moon Plays was featured at a book fair on April 14, 2018, at Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie, NY, with readings and music to launch the publication of this stage adaptation.

J. Michael Lennon's essay on the library of Norman Mailer, "The Naked and the Read," was published in the March 7 issue of the (London) Times Literary Supplement.It will eventually appear in his memoir-in-progress about Mailer's last days in Provincetown, MA.

Nancy McKinley read from her short story "After All Danger of Frost" at a celebration event for the This Land is My Land exhibit, Museum of Art, Fort Collins, CO.

Audio rights to David Poyer's Deep War have sold to Dreamscape (same publisher that bought Hunter Killer last year). The publication date will be December 2018, to coincide with the hardcover publication.

Alumni and Student News

Molly Barari (M.F.A. '17) has been accepted into the Doctor of Education program at the University of South Dakota for the summer 2018 semester. She will focus on Adult and Higher Educational Leadership in her doctoral studies.

Her Rocky Mountain Hero Book Cover

Jennifer D. Bokal (M.A. '10) is now writing a series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. The first book in the Rocky Mountain Justice series, Her Rocky Mountain Hero, was released in November 2107. The second book, Her Rocky Mountain Defender, was an April 2018 release. Rocky Mountain Valor, the third book in the series, will be released in September 2018. Aside from writing, Jen keeps busy teaching online classes and is the President of the Southern Tier Authors of Romance (a chapter of Romance Writers of America).

Aurora D. Bonner (M.A. '17) has been invited to attend the Summer Workshop at Tin House this July for creative nonfiction. At Tin House she'll have the opportunity to hear and learn from Dorothy Allison, Camille Dungy, Melissa Febos, Tayari Jones, Lidia Yuknovitch, and others. Aurora's review of In the Cemetery of the Orange Trees by Jeff Talarigo will appear in the Colorado Review. She has been asked to become a regular reviewer there.

Sam Chiarelli (M.F.A. '16) had his essay "When the Leaves Forget to Be Green" published by Longridge Review.

Richard Fellinger (M.F.A. '10) published an op-ed on banning assault weapons in the Lancaster paper.

Rachael J. Hughes's (M.F.A. '12) memoir of Us Girls: My Life without a Uterus will be published by Big Table Publishing in May 2018. Us Girls: My Life without a Uterus is a project that Hughes worked on at Wilkes with Dr. J. Michael Lennon.

Lori A. May (M.F.A.'13) has new writing in Canadian Traveller, Explore Magazine, and Seattle Post. This spring, she is participating in a few conferences on the west coast and conducting local workshops in Seattle.

Tara Marta (M.A. '18) had her short story "Strangers No More" published in Adelaide Literary Magazine.

Dana Miller (M.F.A. '13) has been signed by Northampton House Press for her new romantic novel, tentatively titled Twisted Fate.

Jonathan Pierce's (M.F.A. '16) publication "PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly," an Army technical bulletin, won the Most Improved Publication of 2018 for switching from a printed format to a mobile app format and adding videos and other interactive content to our publication The Secretary of the Army which annually holds a competition among all of its official publications and their editors. In June, Pierce will be recognized as the Editor of the Year for leading the effort.

Sara Pisak (M.A. student) will be featured in Glass Poetry Press' Journal. Her review of Valerie Fox's news chapbook Insomniatic [poems] was published online March 25th as well as in their April issue. Sara's work can also be found in the upcoming issue of Moonchild Magazine for a poetry/art collaborative feature.

Dania Ramos's (M.A. '10) play Hielo placed third in the Henley Rose Playwright Competition and was selected for Teatro Vivo's Austin Latino New Play Festival. Her one-act play Silent Aurora was one of six works in Continuing the Conversation: An Evening of Short Plays Inspired by Current Events produced by Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre.

Book Cover

Nisha Sharma (M.F.A. '13) received a Kirkus starred review for her YA rom-com My So-Called Bollywood Life, as well as mentions in Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, Paste Magazine, NYPL, Publisher's Lunch Spring Buzz Books, Hypable and more. She went on tour from May 15-20 and her final stop was on May 20 in Wilkes Barre, at the Barnes & Noble Arena Hub Plaza. The event included a discussion of her book with mentor Cecilia Galante.





Book Cover


Ronnie K. Stephens (M.F.A. '18) has recently joined At the Inkwell as a staff book reviewer, and he has already published reviews in non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Working with Edelweiss and NetGalley, Stephens is working to establish himself as a steady reviewer of recent and forthcoming titles. On the creative front, Stephens finalized the cover of his debut novel, The Kaleidoscope Sisters, and set a publication date of August 21, 2018 with his publisher, Oddities KJB.

Pamela Turchin (M.A. '17) presented a portion of her MFA thesis "Cut the Ending, Revise the Script, The Man of Her Dreams is a Girl: The Evolution of Lesbians in Literature From 1886-2018" at the 2018 Women's and Gender Studies Conference at Wilkes University on April 10.