Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Celebrating the Stonecoast MFA Class of Winter 2022

Stonecoast salutes our winter 2022 graduates! Read about the newest writers entering the literary world with an MFA in creative writing, and join us in celebrating their hard-won achievements at the Winter 2022 Graduation. 


Shannon Bowring’s fiction has appeared in numerous journals, has been nominated for a Pushcart and a Best of the Net, and was selected for Best Small Fictions 2021. She was also a Finalist for the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance 2021 Maine Literary Awards. During her time at Stonecoast, Shannon was actively involved with the Stonecoast Review, working her way up from first reader to Editor-in-Chief. Post Stonecoast, she will act as a Contributing Editor for Aspiring Author, a website, created by fellow Stonecoast alum Natalie Harris-Spencer, that is devoted to offering business advice to writers in all stages of their careers. Shannon is thrilled (and still a bit shocked) to say that as of December 2021, she now has an agent who believes her linked fiction collection (AKA her Stonecoast thesis) is a real book real people will want to read. 


Julie L. Brown is graduating with a concentration in Popular Fiction. A Seattle-based author, she has published three novels under the pen name J. L. Brown: Don’t Speak, Rule of Law, The Divide, and a short story, “Few are Chosen,” all part of a political thriller series featuring mixed-race FBI agent, Jade Harrington. Julie’s thesis was an excerpt from her alternative-history novel, which she plans to revise for publication after graduation, all the while remembering to let go of the outcome and enjoy the journey. She is grateful to the Stonecoast faculty for making her a better writer. 


Lucas Carroll-Garrett is a popular fiction writer from Tennessee trying to use elements of the fantastical to explore the human condition. His thesis is a small-scale fantasy adventure novel dealing with different kinds of loss, the dynamics between siblings, and “family-friendly” necromancy (with some swordfights thrown in for good measure). Other speculative fiction experiments of his can be found in Ghost Orchid Press and the upcoming issue of Galaxy’s Edge Magazine


Kenny Craig enjoys taking common tropes and turning them on their head, as well as combining unusual genres. His main ambition after graduation is to entertain others with his writing.


Jillian Hanson is a poet living and working in southern Maine. Her eco-spiritual-somatic thesis, Everything More Wild, More Humble, offers poems about nature, wonder, crisis, the body, the divine Feminine, and what it is to be both daughter and mother. She loves to experiment with somatic processes to access creative inspiration, which was the topic of her third semester research project. When she’s not writing poems or wandering around in the woods (while dictating poems into her phone), Jillian works as a creative consultant, publications editor, and writing group leader for Blue Sky Black Sheep. After graduation, she plans to start submitting poems for publication like crazy. And she hopes to finish a new collection of erasure poem/mixed media collages that she’s been working on lately to take her mind off the pandemic. 


Creative nonfiction writer Catherine Palmer is a work in progress. In her 50s, she bought an old farmhouse in Vermont, hired a life coach, quit her job, and spent a year discovering what it is that makes her whole. She is currently working on a memoir about reinventing a life—in the middle of it. In 2020, Stonecoast Review nominated Catherine’s essay “Knock Wood” for the Pushcart Prize, and she recently launched her freelance career, with articles published in AARP’s online magazine, The Ethel. After graduation, Catherine plans to continue cultivating her literary and commercial writing career.


Claire Salcedo is a popular fiction writer, as well as a teacher and musician. Her music most recently appeared in the award-winning documentary Promised Land. She writes science fiction and fantasy, with a focus on intergenerational epics, folklore and myth, and disabled, queer narratives. Her thesis, The Seven Sisters of Ossira, is a space opera following a family of seven queer, disabled sisters as they work to help overthrow the colonial entity that's invaded their home.


Judy Sandler is a creative non-fiction writer from Baltimore, but spends as much time as she can in Maine. She spent her time at Stonecoast learning the difficult lessons of how best to tell her story. She now keeps Anne Lamott’s advice in her mind all the time: “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Her thesis, How Did We Get Here?, explores the themes of family, addiction, and mental illness. Her essays have been published in Hags on Fire, Grown and Flown, and Pangyrus. She also served as the CNF editor of the Stonecoast Review for the past two years. After graduation she hopes to work on her memoir, return to the teaching of writing, and simply remember the joy of the steady practice of writing.