Tuesday, August 31, 2010

About Manifesting Thought

About Manifesting Thought
The mission of ManifestingThought.Com is to provide a positive environment for D.I.Y. (do it yourself) artists of all styles and genres to showcase their work, and to encourage collaboration within the various art communities.
Our vision is to create a conscious movement of unified artists who do not feel it is necessary to conform to the typical ideals of what is considered art; giving a voice to unknown artists by providing a platform to exhibit new innovative works of art.

Code of Conduct

These are the rules to live by on Manifesting Thought….

1 ~ We will not tolerate any kind of slander or negative responses/opinions about someone’s work. Anything found as such will be removed from our site and further actions will be pending against that person. We are here to promote people and their art in a positive manner and therefore will not accept negativity or bashing on our site.

2 ~ This is a free site to all; however, all artists will be strongly encouraged to do at least one collaboration with an artist from another genre or within their own genre.

3 ~ There are no critics here. We are here to help and support you. Your moderators will be available to you and are here to help with any guidance or suggestions along the way. We encourage you to reach out to other artists or moderators for inspiration or collaborations. There is no project too big or too small.

4 ~ All art will be considered for the site even that of a dark nature, as long as it doesn’t promote negativity. Therefore, all art will have to be approved by a moderator before it is displayed on the site.

5 ~ When artists put their work in for submission, they will be asked to pick a category that they want their art to be displayed in. They will also to be able to post an autobiography of themselves with contact information to communicate with other artists on the site.

6 ~ If you do not see a category for your type of art submission, please post it in the miscellaneous section and contact us to suggest a new category that you feel would better suit your work.



For Release: Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Contact: Tanya Whiton, whitontanya@pmc.edu


The Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing of Pine Manor College is ranked #14 nationally among low-residency programs by Poets & Writers Magazine.

For more information, go to: http://www.pw.org/content/2011_mfa_rankings_the_top_ten_lowresidency_programs

We are pleased to announce the addition of four new fellowships for writers:

• The Dennis Lehane Fellowship for Fiction
• The Michael Steinberg Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction
• The Jacqueline Woodson Fellowship for a Young People’s Writer of African or Caribbean Descent
• The Sharon Olds Fellowship for Poetry

Fellowship recipients will receive a $1,000 award toward their first semester’s tuition; awards must be applied toward the winter residency/spring semester directly following acceptance. Fellowship applications are due October 15, 2010 (not a postmark date; materials must be received in our offices before or on October 15).

For more information, go to: http://www.pmc.edu/mfa-financial-aid

Registrations for “Writing for Stage & Screen,” a Solstice Seminar, are now open to the public. Designed to build upon and expand the concentrations of the Solstice MFA Program, the Solstice Seminars are two-day intensives that offer writers the opportunity to explore and deepen their knowledge of craft. “Writing for Stage & Screen” will take place on the Pine Manor College campus from October 29–30, 2010. Solstice MFA students and graduates are eligible for a 5% discount on tuition.

For faculty bios, seminar descriptions, and a downloadable registration form, go to: http://www.pmc.edu/solstice-seminars

Our alumni guest columnist this month is Laura Snyder, who writes on the subject of emotional risk-taking and character development.

To read Laura’s column, click here, or scroll to the end of the page.


Solstice MFA Director and poet Meg Kearney will be reading at the following venues in September:

• Saturday, September 11 at 3 p.m., Jabberwocky Bookshop, Newburyport, MA. www.powowriverpoets.com

• Wednesday, September 15 at 7 p.m., Gibson’s Bookstore, 27 South Main Street, Concord, NH. www.gibsonsbookstore.com

• Friday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m., College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI. www.springfed.org

• Saturday, September 18 at 6 p.m., Arts League of Michigan Virgil H. Carr Center, Detroit, MI. www.artsleague.com


MFA student Hannah Goodman’s column “It’s Not Our Fault,” appears in the current edition of The Jewish Voice and Herald.

For more information, go to: http://www.jvhri.org/opinion/guest-columnists/466-its-not-our-fault.html

Multi-genre writer Laban Carrick Hill’s forthcoming book, Dave the Potter, received a starred review from School Library Journal.

For more information, go to: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/reviews/pretograde4/885579-319/preschool_to_grade_4.html.csp

Multi-genre writer Randall Kenan edited The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin, now available from Random House.

For more information, go to: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307378965

MFA student Jim Kennedy’s essay “End of the Line,” a finalist in the Creative Nonfiction MFA “program-off,” will appear in the September issue of the magazine.

For more information, go to: http://www.creativenonfiction.org/

MFA graduate Faye Rapoport-DesPres’ essay “Forty-Six” appears in Ascent, and her essay “Belonging” is forthcoming in September on InterfaithFamily.com.

For more information, go to: http://readthebestwriting.com/ and/or www.interfaithfamily.com.

Multi-genre writer Sandra Scofield’s story “Dreaming in Italian” appears in the September issue of Main Street Rag.

For more information, go to: www.mainstreetrag.com.

Fiction writer Sterling Watson’s latest book, Fighting in the Shade, is forthcoming from Akashic Books.

For more information, go to: http://www.akashicbooks.com/

Young people’s writer David Yoo’s short story, “A Fistful of Feathers,” appears in the forthcoming anthology, Guys Read: Funny Business.

For more information, go to: http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Guys-Read-Funny-Business-Jon-Scieszka/?isbn=9780061963742


MFA student Carol Owens Campbell attended a Master Fiction Workshop and Summer Intensive Class taught by Joshua Kendall, a senior editor at Viking/Penguin, August 1–7 in Brooklyn, NY.

MFA student Hannah Goodman is teaching a Journal Writing Workshop, September 25 from 1–5 p.m. at the East Bay Chamber of Commerce, 16 Cutler Avenue, Warren, RI.

For more information, go to: http://www.hannahrgoodman.com/classes.html.

MFA graduate Liza Kollman was recently hired as an adjunct professor of Composition at the Minnesota School of Business in Plymouth, MN.

MFA student Melissa Ford Lucken recently accepted a full-time teaching position at Lansing Community College in Lansing, MI. Her paper, “Exclusionary Institutional Structure or Cultural Clash, Why do First and Second Generation Immigrants Dropout?: A Comparison of One Group in Two Different Countries” will be included in The Immigration & Education Nexus: A Focus on the Context & Consequences of Schooling.

MFA graduate Faye Rapoport-DesPres will be teaching an adult education course, “Writing the Personal Essay,” for Lexington, MA Community Education.

MFA Writer-in-Residence Mike Steinberg was prose-writer-in-residence at the Chautauqua Writer's Center in July, where he taught a week-long workshop on “Utilizing Voice and Persona in Creative Nonfiction.”


The Writers Project of Ghana (a NGO co-founded by MFA faculty member Laban Carrick Hill) is now broadcasting weekly on Sunday nights at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

For more information, go to: http://www.citifmonline.com/site/

Randall Kenan was recently interviewed on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition about James Baldwin’s life and work and his role as editor of The Cross of Redemption: the Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin.

To hear the interview, go to: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129281259&sc=emaf

Multi-genre writer Anne-Marie Oomen’s book An American Map: Essays was listed as part of an article on “Innovative University Presses and the Books You Want From Them,” on the Huffington Post.

For more information, go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anis-shivani/anis-shivani-university-press_b_668299.html#s129259


The MFA Blog is a discussion about writing and writing programs: http://creative-writing-mfa-handbook.blogspot.com/

By Laura Snyder

In her forward from Best of Tin House: Stories, Dorothy Allison wrote, “Large-souled narratives — attempts to fully understand individuals and communities, to portray us fully and with compassion — enlarge us.” Such a narrative, she explains, “…takes us inside someone we have never imagined before or pulls us inside someone we have always dismissed or held in contempt and makes us see this person in new and deeper ways.”

I believe portraying characters fully involves taking risks. As writers, this means facing our fears and reckoning with our experiences fully and honestly. To develop our characters, I believe we must confront our vulnerabilities, or what I refer to as our “hot spots” — emotions and experiences that make us uncomfortable.

Although I am aware of my hot spots, I have rarely addressed them in my work. My experience of alienation is one such area of vulnerability; I grew up in one of four Jewish families in an unwelcoming community in upstate New York. Rather than address the covert prejudice I experienced, I chose to circumvent these issues by portraying characters who lacked the identifying characteristics of family, heritage or community.

This was not the only hot spot I chose to ignore: my mother was very secretive about her past, and though I didn’t know the cause, as a child I sensed her suffering. Later I learned that my grandmother was schizophrenic, and that both she and my grandfather committed suicide. When my mother was nineteen, she found her father gassed to death in the basement. Blaming herself, my mother abandoned her dreams and cared for her abusive, mentally ill mother.

When I married, the specter of schizophrenia resurfaced. Schizophrenia has ravaged many of my husband’s family members, the most recent victim being my nephew. Although schizophrenia may have devastated my family, mental illness has been conspicuously absent from my stories. I am unsure of how to describe a person’s transformation from a child with seemingly unlimited potential into an angry, delusional adult, or how to explain the effects of his illness on his family.

But in spite of my fears, I am committed to bringing my experiences more fully into my writing. In the past six months, I’ve filled over two hundred pages with notes and free writes in an attempt to create truth from characters that have so far eluded me. I refuse to give up. I will continue to dig deeper, to explore and expose dormant shame, anger, and helplessness.

But uncovering vulnerability isn’t enough. To create a large-souled narrative, I must also incorporate vulnerability into realized characters. This means avoiding stereotype; it means writing with compassion, but also with razor-sharp precision.

My guides in developing fully rounded characters, and in taking the kinds of risks I must take as a writer, are the authors and stories I admire. In “A River of Names,” Dorothy Allison immerses us into a family whose poverty of spirit is so deep, its members brutalize each other and respond to the deaths of siblings, cousins, and sons with horrifying apathy. In Bastard Out of Carolina, Ms. Allison meticulously explores a mother’s decision to stay with her husband, even though he has just brutally raped the daughter she claims to love. In Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin immerses us in his narrator David’s shame; unable to accept his homosexuality and his feelings for Giovanni, David destroys the man he was meant to love. In each of these instances, the authors imbue their work with compassion and unflinching honesty.

Accepting Dorothy Allison’s premise, we must conclude that all experiences and therefore all stories are vital to fully understand the total human experience. She writes, “…short stories, novels and memoirs intersect to form a reality as powerful and as full as human history itself…You want your story to meet all other stories, to become a part of the great human narrative, to shape how people think about themselves and their history.”

These words inspire me to explore my fear, anger and shame. Rather than avoid difficult subject matter, I plan to delve more deeply into the issues that attract, but at the same time repel me. By taking personal risks, I move closer to perfecting my stories. Only through honest, aggressive persistence will I someday create stories worthy of inclusion into what Dorothy Allison refers to as the “great human narrative.”

Note: Dorothy Allison was a guest faculty member at the January 2010 Solstice MFA Residency.


Río Grande Review has issued a call for submissions on the theme of kitsch and camp, with a deadline of September 21, 2010.

For more information, go to: www.riograndereview.com

Real Simple invites writers to enter its Third-Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest, with a deadline of September 24, 2010.

For more information, go to: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/second-annual-life-lessons-essay-contest-00000000013682/

One by One Press announces a call for poetry submissions, with a deadline of September 30, 2010.

For more information, go to: http://www.onebyonepress.com

The Millay Colony for the Arts offers one-month residencies to six visual artists, writers and composers each month between the months of April and November. The deadline for application is October 1, 2010.

For more information, go to: http://www.millaycolony.org/residencies

The Vermont Studio Center announces its fall fellowship application deadline, October 1, 2010.

For more information, go to: www.vermontstudiocenter.org/fellowships

Auburn University announces its 2010 Auburn Writers Conference, on the theme of “The Child on the Page: Writing For and About Children,” to be held October 8–9, 2010.

For more information, go to: www.auburnwritersconference.org.

Mêlée Live is currently accepting poetry submissions from matriculated MFA students for its inaugural issue. The deadline is November 1, 2010.

For more information, email: uspocobooks@gmail.com

Creative Nonfiction Magazine announces its annual “MFA Program-Off” Contest for essayists, with a deadline of November 5, 2010.

For more information, go to: http://www.creativenonfiction.org/thejournal/submittocnf.htm#MFA

Literary Laundry is accepting poetry, short fiction, and one-act play submissions, with a deadline of December 1, 2010.

For more information, go to: http://www.literarylaundry.com/submissions

As an undergraduate institution consistently ranked among the most diverse in the country, Pine Manor College emphasizes an inclusive, community-building approach to liberal arts education. The Solstice MFA in Creative Writing reflects the College’s overall mission by creating a supportive, welcoming environment in which writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to take creative risks. We strive to instill in our students an appreciation for the value of community-building and community service, and see engagement with the literary arts not only as a means to personal fulfillment but also as an instrument for real cultural change.

For more information, visit www.pmc.edu/mfa

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gorgeous Girl


Check out this amazing site of a 15-year-old book reviewer named Milla Barbosa from Brazil who I recently had a chance to speak to.

Milla Barbosa
Camilla, 15 anos. Sou uma pessoa que ama ler e escutar música. Leio e escrevo por que me sinto livre para pensar e dizer o que quiser. E escuto música por que elas falam muito por si próprias. Como diz uma frase de Robert Browning: Quem ouve música, sente a sua solidão de repente povoada.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Artist Profile: Francesca Zimmerman

Artist Profile

Francesca Zimmerman

Francesca Zimmerman is 15-years-old and is going into the 9th grade. Francesca grew up in Somerville, MA, and loves to write poetry because it helps her express the way she feels, and it gives her something to do in her spare time. She also enjoys singing and dancing, and she loves hanging with her friends and using her cell phone. Francesca says, “Most of my poems are based on love, breakups, life, and the issues a typical teenager faces.”

Here are some of Fran's poems. Check back for more of her work!


You've made me cry once more. What else
does my life have in store? These emotions I have are strong. Why can't
these feelings move on? Those words you said
made me feel so sad. I wish there was something
that we had. We are just friends it's always the same. In my chest
I feel great pain. My eyes tear up, my face turns red, so many thoughts
roaming in my head. I'll find another someday in my life. I'm moving on
till I find someone right.


Friends should be real friends.
Friends should not be fake to you.
Friends would not hurt you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fancy Girl By Jasen Sousa Query Letter, Synopsis, and Introduction

Query Letter

Dear Prospective Literary Agent,

Fancy Girl is a young adult novel written in free verse about a 19-year-old single mother who is struggling to raise her daughter inside of the Mystic Housing Projects.

The novel is told from the perspective of Deanna Keight, the young female protagonist trying to find some sense of stability and morality for herself and her daughter in an unforgiving environment. This is a story of a young woman without any opportunity who tries to lift herself out of poverty by the only means she can find, selling her body.

Along the way she confronts violence and abuse, the drug addiction of a friend who brought her into the life, an attack and kidnapping by the father of her daughter, and the death of the one man who seemed to really care. By the end of the narrative she begins to discover who she really is and who she wants to be. This is a story not just about courage, but the maturing of self under the worst circumstances possible.

Fancy Girl is complete at 17, 132 words. I’m twenty-seven, and live in Somerville, MA. I have an M.F.A. from Pine Manor College in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and am the founder of a small press that publishes poetry books for young adult writers.

Thank you for your consideration. I hope to hear from you.

Kind Regards,

Jasen Sousa

Book Synopsis

Fancy Girl by Jasen Sousa is a lyrical urban tale comprised of a novel in free verse which tells the coming of age story of Deanna Keight, a teenage single mom who is struggling to raise her daughter Madelyn inside of the Mystic Housing Developments in Somerville, MA.

Without the support of her family members, Deanna finds herself alone and depressed trying to raiser her daughter, and find happiness inside of the gritty Somerville projects.

One day, Deanna is approached in the park by Alissa, a local neighborhood new breed of independent prostitute who offers to teach Deanna the tricks of the trade so she can save up enough money to move out of the projects, to get out of Somerville, and find peace in a new environment.

Without many options available, Deanna accepts Alissa’s offer as she is even more desperate to disappear from Somerville as she has recently found out that the father of her child, Machine Gun Mike, who is away doing time in jail, will be getting out earlier then expected. Machinegun Mike becomes enraged, and jealous after learning that Deanna has been selling herself, and has plans to come home and reunite with Deanna and Maddy so that they can be a family.

At night, Deanna leaves Maddy in the care of her elementary school crush, Johnny J, the only guy in her life that she trusts. Johnny J goes along with this plan at first as he sees it as a logical way for Deanna to save up enough money, but over time, his feelings for Deanna grow, and he becomes disgusted with the idea of sitting at home while strangers feel up every inch of her body.

Fancy Girl is the story of a young teenage mother living in an unforgiving environment, and her journey to do whatever she has to in order to secure a new, and better life for herself, and her daughter.

Introduction Sample


The Playground

Madelyn bursts,
like water out of a gutter,
down the slide, toes up,
and I sit watching her
on a wooden bench,
that’s what good mothers do.

Some girl, her heals sinking
in soggy woodchucks, still strutting
and I see it’s Alissa,
the one every Somerville guy
has on speed dial.

“You be Deanna, right? she asks.
“I be, different things, to different people,” I say.

She sits down next to me, and my wandering eyes. Short,
short skirt, and stockings, careful
not to let splinters stab her thighs.

Maddy smiles and waves
from the top of the slide, our project
building standing behind her.

“She’s beautiful,” Alissa says.
Maddy crash lands and says
to the older boy who plays
without anyone watching him,

“Bet you can’t go down faster than me!”

“She has your eyes.”
“She has my everything,” I say.
“She was lucky. Being born
with all of my beautiful genes,
not her father’s.”

“I heard things have been rough
for you lately with your mom dying
and all. If you’re looking for a way
to make some extra cash, I might be able to help
you out,” she says.
“I know it’s not easy to make it out here on these streets.”
“Plus, it gets lonely. I would love to have someone to hang with.”

The buildings of the Mystic Projects draw a shadow
over Alissa’s face, she looks away from me, sparks a Newport,
and blows smoke towards a setting Somerville sun.

A Number’s Game

Money’s not easy
to come by. I wonder
how having the lights
on for the entire month would be like?
Letting Maddy watch
her shows?

How hard could it be?
Guys do it all the time right?
That hit and run stuff. I just
need to leave my feelings at home.
I just need to think more like a guy,
and not have love be part of sex. Yup.

I could stack up the money
faster, get Maddy
out of the projects, out of Somerville.

It’s just sex, right?
Jobs are hard to come by these days.
I would be stupid if I didn’t at least try.

Where did I put Alissa’s number?

My Pimp?

“Are you going to be my pimp?” I ask.

“No, honey. We are a new breed
of call girl. We don’t answer to nobody,
except ourselves,” Alissa says.
“All you have to do is post your ads
like I do on Craigslist, and your just drive
yourself to the appointment. You keep all the money
you make. I’m just here to help
you out. I mean, if you wanted to slip me some cash
for tutoring your ass, but trust me, I don’t expect
nothing from you.”

“I don’t own you,
and no one owns me.”

“True beauty
is being free.”

First Things First

My eyes are open wide, can’t blink,
the rest of my body is frozen too. What
is this chick doing to my gear? She’s raiding
my closet and tossing my clothes out onto the floor like junk.

“We’re going to have to get you
into some new clothes. Those,
Timberlands, sweatpants, and wife beaters
are going to have to go,” Alissa says.

“No guys, especially the rich ones, are going
to pay top dollar for some female thug.
You need to become a lady,
and quick.”

“And stop sitting like a dude
with your legs all open.
The only time a girl should have
her legs open is when she’s on her back.

“Making men wonder what you got under there
is what it’s all about.
“Keep them crossed and closed
until you get you hands on those
money rolls.”

Learning How To Walk

A large set of stairs
leads from The Mystics
up to the elementary school
where us project kids get educated.

Alissa says this will be the perfect place
to learn to walk in heels.
My feet fear what is left of the stairs,
the railing shakes, empty cup cake
wrappers, half-drunk bottles
spilling with the butts of urban models.

I fall up the stairs a second time, blood
drips, not sure if it’s coming from my knee
or my mind. My toes are not used to being confined,
no room to wiggle. My feet are having the life
sucked out of them, I continue the climb.

I reach the top of the stairs, down below
Alissa, she claps, punches her fists in the air.

“You go girl!”

I Can Get Used To This

Alissa gave me
a bunch of old dresses that
are getting too small

for her. I have been
trying them on before my
first appointment. I

like getting dressed up.
It feels like I always have
somewhere important

to go. It beats going
to sleep in the same sweats you
throw on in the morning.

I think I can get
used to this. Getting fancy
each night of the week.

For Sale

Nobody dreams
of selling herself for money. I never
thought that would be me, only something
those other girls do.

I went to high
school like every other girl
in my neighborhood, well at least
up until sophomore year.

I did my homework,
got decent grades and even
played JV b-ball.

I wanted to be the first
person in my family
to go to college.

Yeah, that was my dream,
but back then,
dreams were supposed to
come true a lot more
than they do now.

Sounds of the City

There are a lot of
sounds from my childhood that
I don’t really want
to remember,

like when my dad would stomp his feet
on his way to the refrigerator,
or the way he would bang the table
and make the silverware jump
because his supper was too hot,
or too cold.

When my window’s open
car alarms, horns, exhausts,
and bumping systems boom, but

fade when the church bells ring.

All my distractions disappear
for a few seconds,
and all I can think about is


My Madre.

Some Proof

As a little girl
all I ever

was to be beautiful
and have girls stare at me
the way I used to stare at them, jealous
of their pretty dresses and shoes.

To have someone look at me
and wish they looked like me,
even if it was only for a short time.

I wanted,
even it was only for a day,
to be the prettiest girl in Somerville.

I wanted
my dad to think I was pretty.

I wanted
my mom
to think I was pretty.

I wanted
my friends
to think I was pretty.

I remember
the same pair of sneakers I had to wear
for two years.
I remember
the blisters that became part of my feet.
I remember
the dress with a stain on the waste
that I got pretty good at hiding with my empty purse.

When you come from an ugly place
you tend to spend most of your life

proving you’re not ugly.

Somerville, My Hood

In my neighborhood,
nobody really knows
who they are.

Like Phil Bailey.
A 40-something-year-old dude
with coke bottle glasses, and a backwards
Bruins cap who plays ball with the kids at the playground,
and then recruits them to sell drugs for him.

Like skinny-ass Sherri.
A twenty-something year-old lady
who looks like she is fifty, but still
dresses like she’s a teenager. A straight-up
case of what living in Somerville does
to a person’s skin, and to their soul.

Like the Sledgehammer or Zoo-Nikki,
two old school Irish cats who pretend they’re mobsters
roughing people up in their scaly caps,
jean shorts, and white sneaks always with no socks,
that they wear no matter what season it is.

Like Megan.
She’s a chick in her twenties
who doesn’t have a home of her own. Her
parents kicked her out for stealing the TV
and sofa and selling them for a hit. You
can still find her roaming around her crib,
trying to find new ways to break in.

Like Cadillac Chris
who’s in his twenties and is covered
with the worst tats you have even seen! You know,
the ones that are done by a friend of a friend for cheap money
at a house party. They ain’t even black, they’re like green,
now that’s gangsta! I guess…
Yup, Cadillac Chris with his green Cadillac
logo tattooed over his heart. Everyone needs
to love something, right?

Like me.

In Somerville, sometimes you just become things
to be something.

You feel me?

I Won’t Miss You, Slumerville

I’m going to get
up out of this place, and I
don’t care how many

nasty men I have
to bang, and blow to save enough
cash and get out of

for good.