Melanie Pappadis Faranello

Publications & Awards

Selected Publications

Awards 

  • Winner of the 2022 Marianne Russo Award from Key West Literary Seminars for Novel-in-Progress: In Other Kinds of Weather
  • Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Fiction 2018, Connecticut Office of the Arts
  • William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition in Novel, In Other Kinds of Weather, Finalist, Novel Manuscript.
  • Winner of The Chapbook Award in Fiction, Searching Ana, The New School, NYC, Novel.  
  • Creative Community Fellow, 2019, National Arts Strategies
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination“At the Auditorium,” Fifth Wednesday Journal
  • Sarabande Books' Mary McCarthy Prize in FictionSearching Ana, Top Finalist
  • The Dana Awards for the NovelIn Other Kinds of Weather, Semi-Finalist, Novel Manuscript
  • Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction Contest,  top 25 winner
  • Whidbey Writers Contest in NovelSearching AnaSemi-Finalist, Novel Manuscript
  • PetrochorZine Reprint Award"Marionette", Short-Listed

Conferences

  • Bread Loaf Writers' Conference
  • Sewanee Writers' Conference
  • Wesleyan Writer's Conference, Full Scholarship
  • Key West Literary Seminars, Full Scholarship

NOVEL MANUSCRIPTS:

IN OTHER KINDS OF WEATHER, literary fiction ~85,000 words), is a novel that exposes the truths hidden beneath the sheen of suburban life where one man veers off course in effort to save his family from financial ruin and a single-mother struggles to recreate herself. Oakville, Illinois, a quiet upscale suburb outside of Chicago, is simmering with trouble. Amidst a new organic tattoo parlor, a boutique dog bakery, and Starbucks, Zelasko’s Jewelers remains a relic of the past and an emblem of Oakville. One resident, Frank Willis has lost his job as an art director at a large marketing firm in Chicago, and his family is careening for disaster: his teenage son is selling drugs, his father is declining in assisted living, and his wife has checked into an exclusive mental health facility in Arizona. Across town, newly-single marriage counselor, Rachel Stein struggles to protect her five-year-old daughter from an anti-Semitic bully as she delves into her clients’ forays into unschooling and naturist societies. Meanwhile, Fay Zelasko, widow to the recently deceased owner of Zelasko’s Jewelers, receives an unexpected visit from her estranged stepson whose shady business dealings threaten to tarnish the pristine reputation of the store and the town itself. When a spiraling chain of events brings Frank, Rachel, and Fay’s paths to collide one fateful night at Zelasko’s Jeweler’s, Frank is thrust into making an impossible decision to save his family. How far would you go to save the ones you love? IN OTHER KINDS OF WEATHER examines the cloaked normalcy of suburbia and questions how well we truly know what is going on behind our neighbors’ doors. It explores issues such as job loss and mental health while confronting the human potential to slip into moral ambiguity. An unflinching look at the darker times many families face while investigating the sacrifices we make along the way and the love required in the struggle to find our way through.

ANNA AND LOU (literary fiction ~70,000 words) interweaves the stories of a twelve-year-old girl in the 80’s and a thirty-two-year-old groundskeeper in 2000 as they search Chicago for their missing loved ones. In 1983, on the westside of Chicago, twelve-year-old Anna falls in love with her sixteen-year-old neighbor—a missing child who has mysteriously returned home after five years. When the quiet, solitary boy is discovered to be an imposter, he disappears, and Anna enters the world of child runaways, setting off on a mission to find him. In 2000, Lou, a groundskeeper for the Chicago Parks Department, is enamored by Anna, now 29, and they move in together despite Lou’s scars from his traumatic past. When Anna leaves for work one day and never returns, Lou becomes unhinged. As he embarks on a quest for answers, the power of repressed memories threatens his tenuous mental balance. Desperate for answers, Anna and Lou’s parallel searches gradually intersect in surprising ways and reveal difficult truths that cause both to question whether they’re searching for a real person or the idea of one. ANNA AND LOU casts a questioning light on the reliability of memory, and how well we can truly know one another, while exploring issues of identity, loss, mental health, and what it means to truly love someone.

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Short Story Collection: EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMETHING (literary fiction~ 49,000 words) exposes our human need for connection and explores the many ways in which we struggle to attain it. A newly retired couple moves to Indonesia to start anew, leaving behind their alcoholic adult son; a widow reconnects with an old high school flame and finds solace in a healing pool; a young boy grapples with his gender identity while his single mother struggles to redefine herself; a young man navigates a second marriage, the brink of fatherhood, and his ailing father’s decline with dementia. In each of these stories, we dive beneath the surface into the hidden corners of private worlds while the characters work to figure out how to best love one another and themselves.

Creative Non-Fiction Collection: THE SHAPE OF GRIEF (personal essays/hybrid~20,000 words) is a collection exploring the many facets of grief and loss in various forms. The collection includes pieces about the fraught intimacy of visiting a lifelong friend with an illness, reconciling sweet nostalgia with the weight of impending loss; recreating one’s identity after an unexpected parent loss; navigating changing friendships amidst a community’s school shooting; the loss of one’s homeland while adapting to living a new country; the complications of falling in love with a widower. These essays explore our humanity with vulnerability, weaving together vitality with loss, and heartbreak with love.

Non-Fiction Manuscript: Poetry on the Streets: A Public Art Project for Social Change: A Collection of Human Emotions By Everyday Passersby on the Street. A three year public art project engaging people on the street to write about a human emotion on a public typewriter along with their photographs. People of all walks life, backgrounds, races, ages, ethnicities share their words on human emotions.

Forward printed in published chapbook by contest judge and author, Dennis Cooper, for winning novel excerpt, Searching Anna. The New School Chapbook Competition

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