Archive for July, 2013

Post-Grad, Post-Production: Kevin Conner and the Big Screen

July 31, 2013

M.A. alum Kevin Conner’s film, “Pitchfork,” is in post-production. The film began as a short film project during his time in the Screenwriting Foundations course taught by Ross Klavan. Conner says the film has a simple premise: “A no-luck farmer finds happiness again. It’s a basic love story, with just a few twists.”

Since graduating, Conner has continued working with artistic directors Todd Oravic and Ryan Wood, both recent undergraduate Wilkes students. “Working with Todd and Ryan has been great,” Conner says. “Their energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge made completion of the film possible. I learned an awful lot from them. They are two talented gentlemen.”

Conner is thankful for his time in the Wilkes program for connecting him with the greater writing community. “In my opinion, this is the great intangible of the Wilkes program,” he says. “We all need help from others to keep projects moving along, and the program provides writers with the community necessary to see ideas through. It’s a very valuable resource.”

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New releases for faculty member Ken Vose

July 24, 2013

Vose books

NORTHAMPTON HOUSE PRESS RELEASES FORMULA ONE RACING SERIES AS E-BOOKS

(New York) – July, 2013.  Northampton House Press has re-released the Pete Hawthorn Formula One series of racing thrillers, by former racing driver Ken Vose, for Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iPads, and other e-reading formats. 

Oversteer takes the reader into the glamorous and high-risk world of international Formula One racing. When driver Pete Hawthorn goes to Rio for the Brazilian Grand Prix, he sets in motion a chain of events that will solve a decades-old mystery: the disappearance of his father in the Brazilian jungle during the 1970 World Cup Rally. 

Dead Pedal is the sequel to Hawthorn’s Brazilian adventure. When three members of an exclusive racing society fall victim to a mysterious killer, questions arise as to whether their deaths were related to racing or to their wartime involvement with the WWII anti-Nazi resistance in France. The answer lies somewhere along the tortuous 1000 mile route of Italy’s famed Mille Miglia. 

Ken Vose spent twenty years in the film and television industry as an editor, producer, writer and director.  His screenwriting credits include Greased Lightning starring Richard Pryor as NASCAR race driver Wendell Scott. Vose, who resides in rural Pennsylvania, is currently at work on the third book in the series. Boost will take Hawthorn to the fastest racecourse on the planet – the Bonneville Salt Flats – to investigate the suspicious death of a fellow driver who crashed during a practice run for an attempt to set a new World Land Speed Record. 

Northampton House LLC publishes carefully selected fiction – historical, romance, thrillers, fantasy – and lifestyle nonfiction, memoir, and poetry. Its mission is to discover great new writers and give them a chance to springboard into fame. Watch the Northampton House list at www.northampton-house.com  and Like them on Facebook – “Northampton House” – to discover more innovative works from brilliant new writers.

For more information about Ken Vose and his other works, visit his website at http://kenvose.com/.   For more info: (570-685-7428).

Kickstarter success for producer Susan Cartsonis

July 17, 2013

Carrie Pilby

Wilkes faculty Susan Cartsonis, along with director Susan Johnson and producer Suzanne Farwell, have recently achieved success utilizing Kickstarter to fundraise. The team set a goal of more than $50,000 to be raised between Jun 18, 2013 – Jul 13, 2013. The goal was met two days prior to their deadline and funds continued to roll in for the final weekend.

Susan Cartsonis

Susan Cartsonis

The creative team was raising funds to adapt the novel Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner into a script. Carrie Pilby was among the first novels published by the Red Dress Ink imprint. In its first print run, the book sold more than 50,000 copies and was subsequently reprinted and published under various other imprints to keep up with international demand.

Susan Cartsonis, a member of the Wilkes film faculty, is known for What Women Want, Beastly, Where the Heart Is, and No Reservations.

More info about the Kickstarter campaign is available here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/braveartfilms/carrie-pilby-the-movie

More info about making Carrie Pilby into a film is online here: http://www.carriepilbythemovie.com

Sandee Gertz Umbach Earns National Recognition

July 10, 2013

pattern

Alum Sandee Gertz Umbach recently took 2nd place in the Working Class Studies Association’s national “Tillie Olsen” Award for Creative Writing for her published book of poetry, The Pattern Maker’s Daughter.

Each year, the WCSA issues a number of awards to recognize the best new work in the field of working-class studies. The review process is organized by the past-president of the WCSA, and submissions are judged by a panel of three readers for each of the five categories of awards. Comments from judges included this remark: “Sandra Gertz Umbach has a fresh way of seeing the everydayness of working lives.”

While in the program, Gertz Umbach worked with Neil Shepard. The alum says her mentor “helped me to push to the finish line on this book when at times it seemed impossible.”

Congrats, Sandee!

Todd McClimans: Grad Earns National Recognition

July 3, 2013

M.A. alum Todd McClimans has recently been honored with national recognition for his creative work. While in the program, McClimans worked with Lenore Hart and David Poyer on his alternate-history middle grade manuscript, Time Traitor. The manuscript has been declared one of five finalists in the 2013 National Association of Elementary School Principals Children’s Book Award competition.

“I couldn’t believe that my manuscript, Time Traitor, had been named one of the finalists,” says McClimans. ”I’ve been struggling to get my manuscript noticed in the slush piles of many agencies. Becoming a finalist let me know that I had written a viable story and that I do have a chance at achieving my dream.”

McClimans credits the Wilkes writing program for the development and success of his project. “I can’t overstate how much I learned from David Poyer and Lenore Hart,” the alum says. “Dave taught me how to take an idea from beginning to end with the dreaded outline, to hone my voice for brevity and exactness, to trust my story and myself, and to push through self-built walls. With Lenore, I learned to pull my language together and to further hone my voice to reach younger readers. I’m so grateful for their guidance, support, and friendship. I wouldn’t be here without them.”