alumni news

WA Instructor, Penny Mickelbury, Announces Upcoming Release of Book

Join the Writing Academy blog in congratulating instructor Penny Mickelbury on the upcoming release of her latest book, You Can’t Die But Once, #6 in the Gianna Maglione/Mimi Patterson mystery series!

Police Lieutenant Gianna Maglione, a newly-minted Captain, is still recovering from a life-threatening gunshot injury as she finds herself and her Hate Crimes Unit assigned a new boss, and a new squad called Special Intelligence Mobile and Tactical Unit, which includes hate crimes. And Gianna’s colleagues in the group are diverse, quirky, loyal, and ready for teamwork. And Mimi Patterson, who quit her job as the lead investigative reporter for Washington DC’s top newspaper, is coaxed back to work after having quit rather than apologize to a racist, sexist homophobe as ordered by her new editor.

With hatred a bigger business than ever, taking different and uglier forms, Mimi and Gianna feel hopelessness, knowing that women are always prey for bullies and haters. Young girls—children, really—make even easier targets. Out of this harrowing and unimaginable ugliness, the women view their jobs and relationship with new eyes, realizing they might, after all, be able to improve some horribly broken young lives, heal their own traumas and become better, stronger, more loving women to and for each other.

Penny will lead the Writing Academy class in a discussion about writing Diverse Characters on December 19th.

Released by Bywater Books, You Can’t Die But Once, is available December 15, 2020.

Penny Mickelbury is the author of three successful mystery series and an award-winning playwright. She is a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, was a writer in residence at Hedgebrook Women Writers Retreat, and is a recipient of the Audre Lorde Estate Grant. In 2001 she was awarded the Gold Pen Award for Best Mystery/Thriller from the Black Writers Alliance, and the Prix du Roman d’Adventures from Les Éditions du Masque. In 2017, she was commissioned by the Jo Howarth Noonan Foundation for the Performing Arts to write a ten-minute play in celebration of “women of a certain age”.

Prior to focusing on literary pursuits, Penny was a pioneering newspaper, radio and television reporter, based primarily in Washington, D.C., wrote journalistic non-fiction, and was a frequent contributor to such publications as Black Issues Book, and the Washington Blade.

Penny is the recipient of the Audre Lorde Estate Grant and a Residency at the Hedgebrook Women Writers Retreat. She was also a 2019 Inductee with the Washington Post Metro Seven into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.

Mickelbury and her partner of 18 years live between Atlanta and Los Angeles.




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