VCCA_600• Stephanie A. Smith awarded VCCA Fellowship
• One of 25 Fellows in residence at a time
• VCCA one of world’s most prestigious artist communities

(Amherst, VA) – Stephanie A. Smith of Gainesville, FL, has been awarded a fellowship by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). The VCCA is located near Sweet Briar College in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in rural Virginia. Stephanie A. Smith will be among approximately 25 Fellows focusing on their own creative projects at this working retreat for visual artists, writers and composers.

A typical residency ranges from two weeks to two months. Each artist is provided with a comfortable private bedroom, a private studio and three prepared meals a day. Beyond the breakfast hour and the dinner hour, there are no schedules or obligations. This distraction-free atmosphere, as well as the energy that results from having some 25 visual artists, writers, and composers gathered in one place, enables artists to be highly productive.

Serving more than 350 artists a year (more than 4,000 since its inception), the VCCA is one of the nation’s largest year-round artists’ communities. VCCA Fellows have received worldwide attention through publications, exhibitions, compositions, performances, and major awards and accolades, including MacArthur grants, Pulitzer Prizes, Guggenheim fellowships, National Endowment for the Arts awards, Rome Prizes, Pollock-Krasner grants, National Book Awards, Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, and Academy Award nominations.

VCCA has been a wellspring of music, literature and the visual arts in the United States, providing residencies for artists from all disciplines during the most important and the least supported phase of their work: the creative phase. This is done by giving visual artists, writers, composers, performance artists, filmmakers, collaborating artists and those whose work crosses disciplines the crucial elements every artist needs—time and space to do their work.

A nonprofit organization founded in 1971, the VCCA is supported in large part by grants and private donations.

More information is available online at or by calling 434-946-7236.

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
154 San Angelo Drive
Amherst, Virginia 24521

Dear all — I just wanted to wish you all a good holiday season and be sure to invite you to my Rothman talk next February!

Stephanie Smith, 2015-2016 Rothman Faculty Summer Fellow (Department of English)

Wednesday, 10 February 2016, 4:00-5:00 pm, Walker Hall 200

Inspired by my commissioned short story, “Winter Studio, 1901,” (Monet and American Expressionism, UF Press, 2015) my next novel, STILL ICE, tells the story of a medical anomaly, a human-chimera named Cody Hoving, who is also the great-great grandchild of a forgotten female Impressionist painter, Irene Hendricks Hoving. In utero, Cody had a twin, until one embryo absorbed the other so that, at birth, the baby is a hermaphrodite; her parents chose to have the infant’s genitalia altered and Cody is raised female, but she never easily identifies as such; later, she reverts to being a man, going on to become the CEO of a successful Boston AI and soft robotics company. When his grandfather’s dies, Cody finds himself the owner of the Hoving family home on Martha’s Vineyard and so returns there, with the intention to sell. But as the terrible winter wears off, he becomes deeply—perhaps too obsessively?—fascinated by his lost great-great grandmother. As Cody uncovers Irene’s secrets, his own quest for viable AI poses an increasingly urgent dilemma: has he, like both Victor Frankenstein and his own great-grandmother before him, been chasing after a creation better left unmade?

This event is part of the 2015-16 Fellowship Brown-Bag Series, which features informal talks by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere’s Rothman Faculty Summer Fellows, Tedder Doctoral Fellows, and Rothman Doctoral Fellows. Fellows will speak for 20-30 minutes in length about their funded work, leaving ample time for questions and discussion.


Thames River Press
28th October 2013 Book Launch

Author Stephanie A. Smith reads from her Warpaint Trilogy with a selection from Baby Rocket. The Warpaint Trilogy is three intertwined novels written as stories that are connected in a style of historical literature or historical fiction. She reads from the section called “Shuttle” which centers on the main character Clementine Dance, who was abandoned as a child. Clementine was found hiding in a rocket ride near a grocery store, which is how she came to be called Baby Rocket. Her destiny is to regain her memory and learn of her family secrets. The section starts with a dismal scene at Florida’s Gainesville Airport a number of years ago.

After the book reading, students then ask the author several questions about the setting, how the characters are created, and whether they are based on real people. The method of interweaving the novels is explored, and there is a discussion of the time it takes to craft a good story.

The release of the third book in the trilogy “Content Burns” is announced for March 1st, 2014. A second trilogy is announced to begin with “Strange Grace”, and perhaps a third to total nine books.

Explore the other parts of this website for reviews and more information on her books, appearances, and videos.

To purchase Baby Rocket or the entire Warpaint Trilogy, see Stephanie A. Smith’s newest books.


Baby Rocket

“Absolutely adore this book!”

“Like a Diamond in the Sky”

“Writing grabs you from chapter one. Page turner!” [more…]



Learn about life from the point of view of a writer creating fiction through historical literature. This video series by Stephanie A. Smith, author of the Warpaint Trilogy, explores how a good story is crafted through colorful characters and interesting settings that draw the reader into the historical scenery. Stephanie may even reveal her personal recipe for writing a heart gripping novel! This series would be greatly enjoyed by aspiring writers and fans of historical fiction.

WordSmith Chronicles – Episode 1

WordSmith Chronicles – Episode 2

Becoming a writer – Part 1 | View on YouTube

Becoming a writer – Part 2 | View on YouTube

Stephanie A. Smith’s book talk at the UF Smathers Library on her novel Warpaint, available on Amazon and Thames River Press


A new novel – Warpaint by Stephanie A. Smith


“Enjoyable read”

“Must read this novel about ‘a vibrato of three visions, fusing… into one'”

“A multilayered and enigmatic work” [more…]



The Martha’s Vineyards Times

By Gwyn McAllister
June 19, 2013

Baby Rocket, a novel by Stephanie A. Smith

Baby Rocket, a novel by Stephanie A. Smith

In her latest trilogy of books, author Stephanie Ann Smith has found inspiration in the Vineyard’s beauty and solitude, as well as its history.

Ms. Smith, a professor of literature at the University of Florida, has been spending time on the Vineyard for many years. She has participated in two residencies at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts (formerly Martha’s Vineyard Writer’s Residency) in the past year and a half and is currently back for a third time.

“It’s a great place to work for any artist because you have the gift that Justen [Ahren, Noepe founder and director] gives you of unrestricted time, and for inspiration you have the Island,” says Ms. Smith.

During her last stay she completed the second book of the trilogy, “Baby Rocket,” which was published this month.

Ms. Smith will be at the Oak Bluffs Library this Saturday, June 22, reading from her latest book and talking about some of the research she has engaged in on the Vineyard. “Baby Rocket” focuses on the search for identity by a woman abandoned as a baby. After the death of her adoptive father, the protagonist discovers some clues to her past and goes on a journey of discovery that eventually leads her to Martha’s Vineyard — the setting for the second half.

“My protagonist is trying to recover from some devastating information she discovers about herself and her family,” says Ms. Smith. “She comes to the Vineyard to collect herself and begin the healing process. It’s very much about recovering from a body blow having to do with her family.”

The third in the trilogy, “Content Burns,” which will be published in October, follows the stories of two women who have survived trauma of some sort. Both share a name — Content Burns — but are separated by three centuries. One woman is a 9/11 survivor; her predecessor, a Wampanoag, lives during the time of the Salem witch trials.


Read the newest novels by Stephanie A. Smith


A new novel – Warpaint by Stephanie A. Smith

is a haunting tale of friendship and rivalry between three women artists, who’ve known each other for years, who must come to terms with imminent mortality and artistic frustration: Liz Moore, born poor in Minnesota, fought her way to New York in the 1920s, but isn’t “discovered” until late in life; C.C. Davis, a well-to-do New Yorker is Moore’s only student, and rival, who, just after WWII achieves some small success, but feels, as she faces cancer in 2002, a failure; and Quiola Kerr, part Ojibwe, once C.C.’s lover, who is caught in the middle, and who, as a painter in the 21st century, has the most doubts about art’s value in an electronic world. In April 2002, all three meet a week before C.C.’s mastectomy at a MOMA retrospective for Liz Moore, but their reunion is tense. Still, they try to cope, until C.C. makes an unexpected and controversial choice, one which nearly breaks the bonds these three took so many decades to forge, and forces Quiola to try to confront Liz, who she believes deliberately sabotaged C.C.’s career.

Warpaint features American women painters, native american or American Indian (Ojibwe) history; it has a lesbian couple at the heart of the story; it’s about trying to survive breast cancer and choosing suicide; it features New York City, Paris, Minnesota and Connecticut. The Indian character, Quiola Kerr, shows up in the next book…

Baby Rocket

“Baby Rocket”
is the name given to a child who, in 1966, is found abandoned in a rocket-ride on Cape Canaveral. Traumatized, she could not speak when the police found her, a few yards from her dead mother. So first responders called her “Baby Rocket.” As an adult, this child (Clementine “Lem” Dance) has no memory of this event. She discovers her past when her adoptive father, James Walter Dance, Jr. has a fatal heart attack. Lem, a women’s historian who is writing a book about the Mercury 9, while cleaning out her father’s apartment finds files that her father had been collecting in order to tell her the truth. Without him, she must piece together her story—why was she abandoned? What happened to her parents? How did her mother die? Who is her biological father? Doing so will take her from California back to the Tri-State area, where she now lives; to Florida, where she will find her mother’s roots, and her mother’s life-story. Finally she goes out to Martha’s Vineyard, where she will come to terms with what she can recall, and what she has uncovered about the wrenching facts of her early years.

Baby Rocket is about a woman’s historian, NASA, the Space Race, Marilyn Monroe, adoption, domestic abuse, amnesia and family secrets, evasions, lies; it, too, has a lesbian couple (Quiola reappears but she’s not central); takes place in Santa Monica, Cape Canaveral, Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard, and there is both murder and suicide in the story. The main character, “Baby Rocket” a.k.a Clementine “Lem” Dance shows up as a minor character in….

Content Burns

The newest novel – Content Burns by Stephanie A. Smith

Content Burns. The newest novel of the trilogy is about two women in the Burns family, both named Content; the first Content Burns is a Pequot Indian named Asawanuw (translates as Cornsilk) who survives the massacre at Mystic in 1637, to become a servant to a white Puritan family. She converts to Christianity, takes the name Content, and later marries David Burns; the second Content Burns is Content Abigail Burns or Cabbi, who survives 9/11 by accident (she trades restaurant shifts with a co-worker, who dies); the women will never know of one another, but they lead parallel lives of trauma and survival. This one takes place in NYC, Connecticut, Whidbey Island (off the coast of Seattle) and Martha’s Vineyard.

Genre of this trilogy: literary fiction, contemporary women’s literature, cultural heritage, historical fiction
Category: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Poetry

The Vineyard Gazzette

By Holly NadlerThursday
May 9, 2013 – 2:21pm

Going around the table, that's Anna Sequoia (author of 11 books), Sara Goudarzi (journalist), Sanderia Faye (novelist and folk-lore writer) me, Laurie Lepik (writer and craftswoman) and Jack Sonni (musician--he played for Dire Straits--and writer) and the picture is by Nan Byrne (documentarian).

Going around the table, that’s Anna Sequoia (author of 11 books), Sara Goudarzi (journalist), Sanderia Faye (novelist and folk-lore writer) me, Laurie Lepik (writer and craftswoman) and Jack Sonni (musician–he played for Dire Straits–and writer) and the picture is by Nan Byrne (documentarian).

They come from all over the country, staying for one or two weeks or up to a full month. They explore Edgartown from their home base at the former Point Way Inn. Some of them work in their rooms, others find a nesting spot in one of the many elegant downstairs parlors. For dinner they might bring home scallops from the Net Result, ingredients for a pasta Siciliana, and share the meal pot-luck style in the formal dining room, which is two stories high and lit up like a stage set.

What they all share is a huge talent for writing and a need to get away from their regular lives in order to dive deeper into the creative process. They are here as part of the Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency, which each spring and fall allows for up to nine writers at a time to live at the inn for $200 a week.

Professor Stephanie Smith of Gainesville, Florida, who arrived a day after the dinner on Wednesday, had just returned from a semester at Oxford teaching 19th century American literature. She read from the her novel of an intended trilogy entitled War Paint. The scene involved three female artists of varying ages, the oldest is 90, gathered at MOMA for an exhibition of one of their works.