Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Stonecoast Celebrates Summer 2021 Graduates

Stonecoast is proud of our graduates! Please join us in celebrating the hard-won achievements of these twenty writers as they enter the literary world with an MFA in creative writing. RSVP to attend Stonecoast's Summer 2021 Graduation. 


Darcie Abbene entered Stonecoast hoping to focus on writing fiction but discovered she couldn’t help but write nonfiction, too. Her thesis reflects this split passion and is composed of stand alone essays, an excerpt from her novel, and an excerpt from a collection of essays she is working on. She has work in Tupelo QuarterlyParhelion Literary, and forthcoming in Whitefish Review. Darcie reviews books for Necessary Fiction, Split Rock Review, and Kirkus Reviews and is the managing and nonfiction editor at the Green Mountains Review


Trey Adams is graduating with a degree in fiction. His thesis, Gun-shy, spans short stories, poetry, and novel excerpts, exploring themes of addiction, trauma, loss, grief, and maladaptive love. His fiction is forthcoming in Gone Lawn (issue 42), and his poetry is forthcoming in The Shore (issue 10).


David Amburgey (he/him) is a disabled and mad writer living as a settler on the unceded and unsurrendered Rouge River Valley Tract of the Mississaugas of the Credit. He is graduating with a concentration in Popular Fiction (though as to what exactly is popular about it, he's not quite sure). His work gravitates towards themes of grief, isolation, and love. A little of said work can be found in DreamForge Magazine and the Worlds of Light & Dark anthology. He hopes to survive the pandemic and assures you he is 34% less humourless than his bio suggests.



Ben Boegehold is a poet and teacher whose writing has appeared in anthologies and online publications. A practitioner of what he has come to call "existential optimism," Ben writes poems about nature and family while taking part in the greater struggle of making meaning out of this crazy thing we call life. It's likely that if you've spent more than ten minutes in conversation with him, he has found a way to work in an enthusiastically paraphrased version of the Myth of Sisyphus. After he graduates, Ben hopes to publish his manuscript entitled "Almanac: Love Poems for the Unrepeatable World." 



Heidi Davidson-Drexel spends most of her time teaching middle school and parenting her kids. She writes every moment she can get and is currently working with characters who are driven by internal conflict and the things they don't yet know about themselves. She enjoys exploring the complexity of relationships and the many ways people confuse themselves. She's had a few short stories published, but is enjoying the opportunity to dig into the novel she worked on for her thesis. After graduation she plans to work diligently on her novel. She lives in Portland, Maine with her fabulous family. 


Aimee DeGroat writes literary fiction set in Maine. Most of her stories exist within the realm of rural, small-town life. Relationships, poverty, and gender are central themes and her work balances pathos and humor. She is an enthusiastic supporter of literary journals, particularly Stonecoast Review, which she worked on throughout her time at Stonecoast. She plugs it every chance she gets (buy your copy today at or Kelly's Books-to-go. Seriously, the writing in issue 15 is spectacular. It captures the angst we all were feeling last year). Aimee's writing has appeared on and in Islandport Magazine. 


Belicia (Popular Fiction) is currently at work on a novel-in-progress, two novellas, and is juggling a small circus of short stories. She primarily writes across the speculative genres and is eternally grateful to the popular fiction faculty at Stonecoast for all she has learned from working with them. 


Natalie Harris-Spencer is a fiction graduate with a proclivity for British spelling. She writes immigrants doing unexpected things in strange settings, fish women, food, ghosts, satire, and has recently dipped her toes into the traumatic waters of creative nonfiction. She was selected by Oyster River Pages as one of their Emerging Fiction Voices, and her work has appeared in the Archipelago Fiction AnthologyThe Dark CityStonecoast Review and more. Natalie enjoys surprise in fiction. And tea. 


Wren Andrea Heymann spent their time at Stonecoast editing visual art and poetry for the Stonecoast Review, learning from faculty across all genres, and writing and publishing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction pieces, so they don't fit easily into a box--however, their MFA from Stonecoast officially says "Popular Fiction," and they hope to publish their thesis project, titled Octopolis, as their first novel following graduation. Octopolis is a humorous science fiction novel set on the ocean floor off the coast of Australia and is told from the perspective of a curmudgeonly octopus named Herschel. Wren uses her background as a marine biologist to inform her work, making Octopolis and her other works scientifically sound while still entertaining readers with adventure, tragedy, and laughs. Wren also hopes to teach at the collegiate level after getting some more publications under her belt. Right now, their words can be found in the Stonecoast ReviewWaves to Sea, and an upcoming anthology from Ghost Orchid Press


Alexis Kaegi is a popular fiction writer currently based in Austin. She most recently presented a paper in the International Conference in the Fantastic and the Arts and has fiction forthcoming in Deep Magic magazine. Her thesis is a fantasy novella that follows a young mother on a mission to rescue her husband from a harsh sentencing in a foreign capital city. Like many of Alexis’ works, it’s about the courage of confronting truth and finding home. 


Vernon Lickfeld is graduating with a concentration in fiction. His thesis project, a short and perhaps unfinished novel-in-stories called Olympus Wrestling, is a reimagining of classic Greek myths as stories about the behind-the-scenes of a fictitious wrestling promotion. He hopes to go on to teach high school or college writing, and has been motivated and inspired by the WISE program at Stonecoast to not only write but to work in service of the community. 



Katie Luo is graduating with a concentration in Popular Fiction. Her works float on a spectrum of science fiction and fantasy; her stories tend to focus on people trying to belong somewhere in bizarre or isolating universes. Her thesis contains both scripts and short stories, as she's always had an unwavering love for film & media production as well as books. After graduation, she's looking forward to getting more of her work out into the world, keeping in touch with the Stonecoast community, and fervently praising every dog she comes across in her travels. 


Pamela Martineau’s fiction thesis, Rogue River, tracks an abusive therapeutic boarding school and the teens and mother who turn the tables on its sadists. Pamela lives in Portland, Maine where she moved in 2019 after living in California for 30 years. When she is not writing fiction or querying agents, Pamela is pimping herself as a freelance writer, talking on the phone with her two adult sons, or hiking on the Maine coast with her narcissistic cocker spaniel. She served as fiction editor of the Stonecoast Review this semester. 


Judy McAmis is a poet, yogi, and nomad. She has lived in many places across America and has settled (for now), in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Her many experiences traveling around the country and meeting interesting people have informed her poetry. After graduating, she hopes to begin submitting her work for publication. Her poetry focuses on universal feminist issues, hauntings of all sorts, and loss, peppered with a bit of dark humor. 


Cody Mower is writer from the woods of Maine. He runs both reading and writing groups for veterans through the Maine Humanities Council. His piece "Ghosts" won an Honorable Mention in the premier veteran anthology Proud to Be, Vol.9. Other non-fiction work has been published in Moxy Magazine and Entropy Magazine. He has also written a small travel blog called Eventually Everything about life on a traveling bookmobile. Fiction work has appeared in Ghost Orchid Press, Love Letters to Poe, The Dread Machine, and The Society of Misfit Stories. 


Marisca Pichette (Popular Fiction) writes about monsters, queerness, body horror, and the natural world. Her projects at Stonecoast spanned short stories, novels, and nonfiction, with a few poems lurking in the corners. While in the program, her work was published in PseudoPod, Apparition Lit, Daily Science Fiction, The NoSleep Podcast, Room, Channel, and Metaphorosis' Best Vegan Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2020, among others (links at She had the honor of presenting alongside Stonecoast faculty, students, and alumni at ICFA 42 in March 2021, and can't wait to attend in-person conventions again. Post-graduation, she is looking forward to launching her debut novel: a postcolonial fantasy centering queer assassins, forthcoming with Heroic Books in 2022. 


Dyani Sabin is a popular fiction writer, and spent her time at Stonecoast merrily sampling genres while working on her thesis novel, a punk-noir space opera full of gladiators, bird-robots, and minimum-wage labor. She works as a freelance science journalist and as the project manager for an indie book cover design shop. Post-graduation she hopes to publish her novel, become wealthy enough to buy the rescue horse she's been stalking, and retreat into the wilderness where she'll become a witch with a cottage garden full of edible plants.


James Sarafin is a popular fiction writer who works in the mystery, science fiction, and fantasy genres. His work has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Year’s Best Science Fiction , 33rd ed., and other publications. He hopes his thesis, The Dark Season, a mystery story set in Alaska, will become his first published novel. 


Kelly Shetron is a nonfiction writer. Her thesis, Holding Patterns, is a lyric memoir investigating ancestral inheritance, orca whale culture, and the impacts of settler colonialism. After graduation, Kelly plans to continue to write at the intersection of journalism and memoir. When she isn't working on her own projects, Kelly is also a ghostwriter and developmental editor for published authors. 



Michael Stevens is a popular fiction writer—and thanks to Stonecoast, a playwright as well! After graduating, he plans to study literature at the University of Dallas while continuing to write literature of his own.