Stefanie Brook Trout

Author Page with Resources for Writers

Tag: gratitude

In Memory of Doug Tompkins

Sadly, Douglas R. Tompkins passed away yesterday after a kayaking accident in Chile. Most of the news headlines nutshell his bio as “North Face Founder” or “Founder of North Face and Esprit” because that’s what made him a billionaire, but he left the business world decades ago after his ecological concerns led him away from the consumerism of the fashion industry and into conservation.

I never had the opportunity to meet Doug, but he generously endorsed an advance copy of Fracture, and his own nutshelling of his bio made no mention of North Face or Esprit. Instead, he cited his environmental work as founder of Tompkins Conservation and the Foundation for Deep Ecology. So yes, let’s remember his success as an entrepreneur, but let’s also remember that he walked away from all of that to become a hero of the modern conservation movement.

I guess this post is my way of honoring Doug’s memory and the example he set for leaders of the twenty-first century. Our world is better because of him. Thank you, Doug, and thanks to all those who continue his work.

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Gratitude

Fracture opened for submissions a little over one year ago, and this Thanksgiving, I wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude toward those who have helped support the project.

I have to start with Taylor Brorby, my co-editor, since this book simply would not exist without him. The concept was his idea, and I am so grateful that he invited me to join him in taking this book from concept to reality.

Of course, Steve Semken of Ice Cube Press was the one who said yes when we pitched the idea, and Taylor and I are both so thankful to Steve for believing in us and in Fracture. The publishing world needs more people like Steve, and I’m honored to continue working with him.

Without all of our contributors, Taylor and I would have a pretty slim volume, and I am grateful for each of them as well as everyone else who submitted their work to Fracture. Thanks also to Samantha Futhey, a brilliant poet, wonderful person, and Ice Cube Press intern for her help with final copyedits.

Many thanks to Pam Houston for agreeing to write an introduction to the book and to everyone who gave us their endorsements (which can be found here on the Ice Cube Press website).

We are indebted to Bruce J. Miller of Miller Book Trade Marketing, who is the Ice Cube Press sales rep, for his support of the project. And thanks also to our distributors, all the book sellers, and the professors who are teaching Fracture in their college classes. Without them, Fracture would be a tree falling in the forest without anyone around to hear it.

Thanks to our partners at 350.org and Orion, to everyone who has pre-ordered a copy of Fracture, and to everyone else who eagerly awaits its release. Thanks to all of my friends, family, and colleagues that have supported me thought this project.

To the environmental writers and activists who came before us, to those who will come after us, to all who have the courage to speak: thank you.

Fracture Contributor List

Taylor Brorby and I received so many wonderful submissions to Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America and are very thankful to everyone who sent us their work! We are pleased to release our list of talented contributors:

Plus, the anthology will include work by the editors, Taylor Brorby and yours truly, and an introduction by Pam Houston.

Learn more on the Ice Cube Press website.

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Local Wonders Event

AMES

Sunday, May 3, 2015, at 5:00 pm
Design on Main, 203 Main Street

This weekend is the 2015 Local Wonders Community Potluck sponsored by AgArts. Last year, the attendees voted for two winners of the 2014 Local Wonders Grant, one of which was Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland. On Sunday, PG editor Lance Sacknoff will present on all the awesome things the AgArts grant helped us do. Find more details here.

Local Wonders

2014 Retrospective and 2015 Resolutions

I started this website in late 2013 because Mary Swander, the Poet Laureate of Iowa, told me that “As writers, we need to be hustling everyday.” The purpose of the site is to build a fan base by publicly sharing and archiving my professional accomplishments.

I’ve never been wholly comfortable with the level of self-promotion being an artist requires, but it’s part of the territory, and in 2015, so is blogging and social media. I know I am not the only writer who feels this way – it’s something I’ve discussed with my writer friends and colleagues extensively – but I think it’s important to mention every now and then. Because I’m not posting updates about all of my failures. Rejections don’t get a blog post. Nor do the awards I didn’t get. You won’t see me tweeting about not meeting my 2014 Goodreads goal or winning NaNoWriMo.

So as I celebrate some awesome things that have happened over the past year, it isn’t to brag or, worse, #humblebrag but to remind myself and others that, despite the setbacks that are perhaps more readily apparent in the day-to-day, 2014 was actually a pretty rocking year.

With out further ado, here are a bunch of things I’m looking back and feeling good about, a few things I want to work on, and a few things I’m just really excited about. I wish everyone a very happy 2015!

14 Awesome Things that Happened in 2014*

  1. I met Bill Bryson.
  2. As the nonfiction editor for Flyway, I published some amazing environmental writing.
  3. I went to my first AWP and presented on two panels.
  4. I did three public readings of my nonfiction work.
  5. My essay “The Drawing” was picked up by Cardinal Sins and received an honorable mention in their “translation”-themed nonfiction contest.
  6. My poem “White Squirrel” won a campus prize for National Poetry Month.
  7. I received a Teaching Excellence Award for my undergraduate English instruction.
  8. Lance and Xav brought me on as an editor of Prairie Gold, which was published in July. There were several readings, including one I did as part of a radio interview with Lance and the Voice of Fairfield. We did a Goodreads giveaway and just got a great review in the Wapsi.
  9. After my one-year term at Flyway was up, I started interning at Ice Cube Press.
  10. I started a new job as the communications assistant for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, where I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of news writing, produce short films, and design publications.
  11. I had three short pieces picked up by Festival Writer.
  12. My Prairie Gold essay “Letters After Achilles” was excerpted on the Winged: New Writing on Bees blog.
  13. Ice Cube Press nominated “Letters After Achilles” for a Pushcart.
  14. I became a reviewer for the Review Review and had my first review published.

*More details about each of these highlights can be found in past News & Events posts or on either the Bio or Publications, Etc. pages.

4 Resolutions for 2015

  1. Read more.
  2. Write more.
  3. Polish and submit more.
  4. Hustle more, which includes actually posting on this blog (and more non-me content, like the mini-interview I did earlier this year) as well as sharing updates on my Twitter and Tumblr accounts on a semi-regular basis.

4 Things I’m Also Looking Forward To

  1. Lance and I are going to be speaking at the University of Northern Iowa and then reading as part of the Hearst Center’s Final Thursday Reading Series. (Details in the Public Events section of this publication.)
  2. AWP 2015! I’ll be helping out at the Ice Cube Press table, where several authors – including Prairie Gold contributors – will be doing book signings. And I’ll be joining Lance and Xav for a Prairie Gold editors book signing at the Flyway table.
  3. Reviewing submissions with Taylor Brorby for our Ice Cube Press anthology, Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America. (Submissions currently open! Guidelines here.)
  4. Finishing my novel and my MFA in Creative Writing and Environment. After that, I don’t know where I’ll go or what I’ll be doing, but I’m excited to find out.

Pushcart Nom

I am honored to say that Ice Cube Press has nominated my essay “Letters After Achilles” for a Pushcart Prize. I have nothing but gratitude for Steve Semken, not just for the nomination but for the opportunity to help produce Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland and for establishing a press with such a fierce commitment to Midwestern literature.

Writers’ Voices

First of all, I want to say thank you to Monica Hadley and Caroline Kilbourn at 100.1 FM, KRUU-LP in Fairfield, Iowa, for having Lance and me on the show this past Friday. It was both of our first time on talk radio, and we had a lot of fun talking about Prairie Gold with the mother/daughter duo. Thanks also to Monica for mentioning us on her blog.

If you missed the live broadcast, which also included me reading an excerpt from my nonfiction essay “Letters After Achilles,” they’ll be re-airing it Monday (tomorrow) morning at 8:00 CST. You can listen live on their website.

If that’s just not going to work for you (because you’ll be at work, say, and you’re a responsible employee who stays on task), they’ll be archiving it on Writers’ Voices, so check back there at a later date.

I do want to take the opportunity to make a couple minor corrections to my bio, which has changed since the final draft of Prairie Gold was sent to the printers. While I very much enjoyed my two years as an undergraduate English instructor at ISU, as of May 2014 I’ve (temporarily) hung up my teaching hat and have been trying my hand in a new field: multimedia communications. As the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture‘s communications assistant, I write news releases and feature stories, manage their social media, post updates on their website, design publications like their quarterly newsletter, and other fun stuff like helping produce a video for STRIPS, a cutting edge sustainable agriculture practice.

Likewise, I am no longer the nonfiction or social media editor for Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment. In order to give all of ISU’s Creative Writing and Environment graduate students the opportunity to serve on the editorial staff, Flyway positions are one-year appointments. I want to make sure credit for all of the wonderful work Flyway is currently doing goes to the right people: Adam Wright is now the nonfiction editor, and Erin Schmiel has taken over social media.

Of course, you can always find the most up-to-date information about what I’m up to on my Bio/Home page.