Foreman Captures Literary Honors

Wheeling native Robert Long Foreman’s manuscript, “Weird Pig,” has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Nilsen Literary Prize awarded by Southeast Missouri State University Press.

The prize includes $2,000 and publication of the winning manuscript by the University Press. “Weird Pig,” which is Foreman’s first novel, will be published in October 2020.

Officials representing the competition have described the novel as a “kaleidoscopic portrait of America, seen through the eyes of a crazed animal who insists on making himself at home there.”

Excerpts from “Weird Pig,” and stories featuring the title character, have appeared in 10 magazines, including Barrelhouse, The Collagist and Copper Nickel, where three of the tales won the magazine’s Editor’s Prize. In addition, one “Weird Pig” story was selected by Aimee Bender for inclusion in “Best Small Fictions 2018.”

Foreman is the author of “Among Other Things,” a collection of essays, which was published in 2017 by Pleiades Press after winning the inaugural Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose. He has won a Pushcart Prize for fiction and has won contests at The Cincinnati Review,Willow Springs, American Literary Review and The Journal.

He also has published short stories and essays in a number of magazines.

Foreman is married to Stefanie Wortman, a published poet. They have two daughters and live in Kansas City, Missouri.

He is a son of Noel and Anne Hazlett Foreman of Wheeling.


Last weekend, Shan Cawley, a former Weirton resident and 2016 Weir High graduate, gave a TED Talk at West Virginia University’s annual TEDxWVU event.

Organizers of the event said she spoke of how “higher education saved her life.” Cawley is a published author and recipient of The Daily Atheneum’s Top 10 Most Influential People at WVU.

Cawley is a first-generation college student from a low-income household. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in literature and cultural studies, then earn a doctorate.


When conductor John Devlin, a candidate for music director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, arrives in Wheeling to prepare for Friday’s Masterworks concert, he may experience weather “shock.”

He will be traveling from sunny Honolulu, Hawaii, where he has lived and worked for the past six months.

Devlin, who does yoga four times a week, spends some of his free time getting to know Honolulu.

During a recent telephone interview from Honolulu, he related, “I got rid of my car here. I bike everywhere. I enjoy exploring this city on my bike.”

He said and his wife Camille like to engage in “wonderful conversation over a great meal.”

Honolulu certainly boasts great venues and opportunities for adventurous dining.

Devlin observed, “The food scene here is unbelievable. There are live fish auctions. Sushi and Asian cuisine here have been an amazing experience. It’s been so fun to explore those cuisines.”


Devlin, who spent several years living on the East Coast, is a fan of the New York Yankees and the New York Giants.

He knows that he is going to visit a hotbed of supporters of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but is undeterred in his sports team allegiance. “I like a good debate,” Devlin quipped.


“Burden of Genius,” a documentary chronicling medical pioneer Dr. Thomas Starzl’s journey in organ transplantation, will have its first public theatrical run April 12-18 at Carnegie Science Center’s Rangos Giant Cinema in Pittsburgh.

Considered the “father of transplantation,” Starzl performed the world’s first successful liver transplant in 1967. He perfected the experimental procedure after joining the University of Pittsburgh in 1981.

“Burden of Genius” has won best documentary prizes at the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Raw Science Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Appropriately, the public showings of the film in Pittsburgh will occur during National Donate Life Month.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at:


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