Ten Piscataqua Writers 2022

An Anthology from the Watershed
6″ x 9″ 272 pp. Trade Paperback, $25 retail
Forthcoming May, 2022

Crowdfunding Rewards
All rewards include backer and patron names recognized on this page below (donation amounts are not revealed), and free shipping in the US (to one address).
• Donation without Reward (no book) $1 or more
• ePUB Download $10 or more Donation
• 1st Edition Paperback (shrink-wrapped), $20 or more Donation
• 6-Pack, 6 shrink-wrapped copies (buy 5 get 1 free) $100 or more
• Collector’s Edition, signed by editors and writers, $150 or more
• Patron, name printed in book plus Collector’s Edition, $500 or more

Crowdfunding Goal $5,500
Donated so far $2000

Downloadable form here to donate by mail.

The Writers 

Many thanks to all the wonderful Piscataqua writers who answered our Call for Entries and sent in website links and folders of images for portfolio consideration. We regret we could not include everyone. The ten painters below were chosen not only for outstanding achievement, but also to represent a wide diversity of style, subject matter, media, and geography. You’ll find no two portfolios in this book are alike. By no means are we saying these are the best ten painters in the region, rather we think these are ten diverse and outstanding painters the community should know about and celebrate. Please come see some of the work up close and meet them at our exhibit and book signing event at the Portsmouth Public Library in early November, 2021. Most anthologies are a collection of different writers all working in and exploring a particular form. A collection of essays for example, or short stories, or poems. Our anthology is built around a different idea, showcasing a group of outstanding local writers, both established and emerging talents, and working in a variety of forms. In other words, not the “best 10 writers” but rather a diverse sampling of writers we believe the regional community should know about. With any success, we hope to be able to provide a snapshot on the state of writing in the region on an annual basis. 

Back in July we launched our Call for Entries asking for writers living anywhere in the Piscataqua watershed to submit a chapter’s worth of writing which we loosely defined as 15 to 30 pages. A writer could make up to 3 separate entries and each entry was assigned an editor depending on whether it was fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Songwriting was assigned to the poetry editor and playwriting was assigned to the fiction editor. Our deadline was midnight October 31, Hallowe’en, and altogether we took in about 50 entries. 

Thanks to all the terrific Piscataqua writers who sent us entries for consideration.  There were so many excellent and publishable submissions we’re sorry we couldn’t include more of them, but finally, here are the results. 

Author, storyteller, and Yankee humorist Rebecca Rule of Northwood chose the three fiction entries for the anthology:

  • An excerpt from Stratham writer Mary Duquette‘s unpublished debut novel titled And that Divine Eye. It’s about a mute, rebellious 15-year-old, who was sucked up in a tornado as a baby. And survived, though the rest of her nuclear family did not. She’s being raised by an aunt and uncle, who love her dearly, but . . . 
  • A collection of fast, funny, and authentic short shorts from Portsmouth writer Clark Knowles who teaches creative writing at UNH. These remarkable stories stand alone but include recurring characters and themes that create a much larger arc. Bonus: The collection, called Emporium, is set in the seacoast and includes many local references.
  • Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction writer James Patrick Kelly of Nottingham offers Grandma +5ºC, a cautionary tale set in a not-so-distant Western NH future extrapolating the trends of climate change and pandemic that we are all experiencing, but too many of us fail to accept.

Portsmouth resident and retired technical writer and editor Gerald Duffy chose the following 4 nonfiction entries:

  • Portsmouth writer Merrill Black‘s collection—Girl Walks into a Bar and Other Essays—stretches from life in a much seedier 1970s version of Portsmouth to the pandemic that is still with us today. Brutally honest in her accounts, Black doesn’t flinch from the raw material of her early, troubled beginnings and the journey to a better life.
  • Cathy Wolff, a resident of Kittery Foreside, writes that as an adult she made a living writing for universities, newspapers and the Associated Press (“he said, she said, police said allegedly…”). Now, when she can break away from the demands of her cats and garden, she writes essays. Included here are How to Punch and Other Essays.
  • Searching for Dinah Tuck is about a young African-American woman born into slavery on Star Island not long before the Revoutionary War. Stratham writer Mary Ann Cappiello‘s chronological account strives to stitch together Dinah’s life from the historical record while entering its mysteries with curiosity and compassion.
  • Narrative journalist and travel writer Christina Keim from Rochester contributes Two Essays. “Dispatch from Tiger Leaping Gorge” describes a trip to China that tests both her physical ability and her resolve to live life. “My Missing Piece” explores her complicated relationship with her mother who became seriously ill as a young woman. Moving through time until the illness and subsequent death of her mother, Keim works through difficult material in a search for self-knowledge.

Jessica Purdy, Poetry and Creative Writing Instructor from Exeter and author of three books of poetry, has chosen three entries for the anthology:  

  • Rollinsford poet S Stephanie‘s What We Brought on the Journey: 16 Poems are deeply felt, show great skill in form, and their strong voice rises to the challenge of depicting universal concerns, often with the observation of local settings. 
  • From Bill Burtis in Exeter comes Liminal and Other Poems. Carefully crafted poems that reflect New Hampshire settings and emotional resonance in their skilled depictions of familial and environmental relationships.
  • Also from Exeter, poet/author and singer/songwriter Todd Hearon offers an eclectic chapter titled Ensemblings, which includes a verse drama that premiered at the Boston Center for the Arts, and songs as well as poems that showcase authentic voices and rhythmic precision.

Congratulations to our ten featured writers, and thanks again to all the regional writers who submitted entries. 

We are still recruiting a creative team to help with the production and crowdfunding of the anthology. These are all profit-sharing positions similar to our arrangement with the featured writers. In particular we are looking for social media admins and content creators for our crowdfunding efforts, and an event planner to organize and coordinate readings and book signings, as well as a few other jobs. For more info check out the Gigs page.

Crowdfunding will begin here on this page, in our newsletter, and on our social media platforms in early January 2022 and run through March. We expect to publish in April with our first book signing later that month or in early May.

If you haven’t already and want to follow the progress of our projects with periodic updates, please subscribe to Ten Piscataqua News.


The Crew



Martha & Jeff Clark
TVC Systems
Bob & Karen Graham