New issue of Fairfield University's Mason's Road spotlights award-winning literary piece



"The moon fell on things, turned them silver and black, hid what moved and lit what stayed, so that all the world seemed to be made of frozen trees and shining land, and Doug's body next to me, his black coat awash in moonlight."

Image: C. Joseph JordanThe scene is set for the ending of the prize-winning creative writing piece published in the second issue of Mason's Road, a new literary journal sponsored by Fairfield University's MFA in Creative Writing program. C. Joseph Jordan, author of the award-winning "A Way in the Wilderness," penned those lines under the editorial guidance of Chris Belden, Fiction Co-Editor.

"Some stories hit you right between the eyes from the opening sentence on," says Belden, part of the 31-member graduate student editorial team that worked together to publish Issue #2. "That's how Joseph's story hit me. Of course there are always a few adjustments to be made, editorially speaking, but Joseph's final revision absolutely knocked us out. I'm very proud to have worked on this piece."

Jordan, who describes himself as an "engineer of fiction," will be awarded $500 on April 1, 2011, and will read from his work along with other published contributors. The writing contest ran for the first two reading periods of Mason's Road, a literary journal designed to motivate established and aspiring writers to become "lifetime learners of the writing craft." The first two issues focused on "Voice" and "Settings," and were published during the program's last summer and winter residencies, respectively.

The latest issue of Mason's Road features new poetry from Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Philip Schultz, along with new work from 26 other talented writers. To spark conversation and delve deeper into the theme of "Settings," the journal also features an audio interview with MFA faculty mentor and best-selling memoirist Da Chen, along with theme-focused craft essays and writing exercises.

"I've been associated with literary journals for over 20 years," explains MFA Director Michael White. "Mason's Road is not only one of the very best journals I've worked with, but its dual vision is unique, combining great literature and teaching the craft of writing. Like our Fairfield Book Prize, it is a remarkable teaching tool for our MFA students."

For Issue #3, a new editorial team has been formed with Ioanna Opidee, a fourth-semester Fairfield graduate student, as Editor-in-Chief, and Tess Brown, a graduate from the first student cohort, as Managing Editor. The editorial team - which includes genre editors and readers of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, drama, audio, and craft essays - will be looking for submissions that consider the opportunities and complexities of "arc."

"We will be looking for work that takes risks, incites an emotional journey, and spotlights our craft theme of 'arc,'" says Brown. "Mason's Road is so exciting because of its fusion of established and emerging writers - this online journal is a true community with limitless possibilities."

Adds Opidee, "I think the strength of Mason's Road is in its sense of community, of facilitating and engaging in a dialogue about something we care deeply about - great literature. As readers and writers, we are constantly learning and teaching, teaching and learning. Our focus on particular craft elements allows us to frame and give context to our conversations, to look closely at an individual element of our craft while reflecting on how that one element contributes to the whole of the artwork. This focus is meant to open up conversation and to broaden our sense of each element's potential contribution to our work as writers - no matter what genre we're working in."

Issue #3 will also mark the first issue of Mason's Road that will sponsor a $1,000 Writing Contest based on its theme. Details of the Submission and Contest guidelines are available at http://masonsroad.com.

Fairfield University is planning a celebration of the first year of publication on the evening of April 1, 2011, when Jordan will be presented with his prize and read from his work. All Mason's Road contributors are also invited to read and celebrate with the editorial team, University administration, and greater community.

Photo credit: Andy Jordan

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Media Contact: Mark Gregorio, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, mgregorio1@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 1, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 220