News About Us

June 17, 2013

Portland Magazine Founding Editor & Publisher is Awarded Ph.D. in Creative Writing

colin08Colin W. Sargent has earned his Ph.D. in Creative Writing. Dr. Sargent successfully defended his dissertation at Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK. His research is in cognitive literary studies that explore reading as an out-of-body experience. The result is both a 380-page novel and a companion exegesis, The Negative Mirror. “Instead of reflecting, it allows you as a reader to disappear completely into a fictional universe,” Sargent says. His external examiner was novelist Dr. Martin Goodman (Look Who’s Watching), director of the Philip Larkin Centre at University of Hull; his internal examiner was Dr. Jayne Steel (screenplay for the BBC Audience Award-winning psychological thriller Frozen). His Ph.D. mentor Dr. George Green (HoundHawk) is the Creative Writing Ph.D. Program Director at Lancaster University, and his supervisor is Dr. Lee Horsley, a senior lecturer in English at Lancaster and an international expert in crime fiction (The Noir Thriller).

Sargent earned his bachelor’s degree in English at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. He was a member of the inaugural graduating class of 2004 at the Stonecoast MFA Program, University of Southern Maine; is a former board member at Maine Writers and  Publishers Alliance (MWPA); and served for five years on the board of trustees of Maine Reads. Sargent is a Maine Touring Artist and was named a 2002 fellow in literature by the Maine Arts Commission.

His first novel, Museum of Human Beings (McBooks, 2009), stalks the imaginary life and times of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Sacagawea’s son. His new novel, Hiding Nothing, takes place in Italy in 1903 and Boston in 1922, where his main character, Raffi Peach, is a clairvoyant concierge at the Parker House and séances are the social media.

Featured by MediaBistro for daring to go “beyond the usual” and selected for the New York Public Library’s permanent collection for its “original regional coverage and literary merit,” Sargent’s Portland Magazine, est. 1985, has just released Summerguide 2013, a newsstand favorite which sets records in ad pages and covers conceptual terrain such as “Dream Islands,” “Wabi-Sabi Maine,” and the first short story published by playwright John Cariani (Almost, Maine). For 27 years, Portland Magazine has offered original fiction, featuring stories by writers including Mameve Medwed, Sebastian Junger, Diane Lefer, 2013 Midland Authors Award-winner Jack Driscoll, John Buffalo Mailer, Rick Moody (The Ice Storm), and interviews with Maine-connected writers “from Stephen King to Marguerite Yourcenar to Annie Proulx. We have also published stories by emerging stars such as Joan Connor (AWP winner for History Lessons) and Morgan Callan Rogers (Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea).”

Sargent sought the Ph.D., the culmination of five years of concentrated study, “so I could take the magazine’s writing to the next level and at the same time demystify the process for our contributors, many of whom connect with their first readers with us.” Among the Portland Monthly alumni who’ve met with publishing success: Hannah Holmes (The Secret Life of Dust), Jason Brown (Driving the Heart), and Gwen Thompson (Men Beware Women). “There is such great talent in and around Maine. I love sharing it with our audience,” Sargent says.

For more information, visit

October 15, 2012

Portland Magazine congratulates our former intern Gwen Thompson on the publishing of her novel Men Beware Women. Click here for more info on Gwen and her fabulous work of fiction.

October 12 Portland Press Herald Business section:


• Portland Magazine won nine national prizes at the American Graphic Design Awards for design excellence by Graphic Design USA.

Editor & publisher Colin Sargent has been accepted into the doctoral program at Lancaster University in the UK as a part-time distance-learning student.

He’s working on a new novel as his PhD dissertation in creative writing. In 2004, he earned his MFA in creative writing as part of the first graduating class at the Stonecoast MFA.

After two hardcover printings this year, Museum of Human Beings, Colin Sargent’s novel about Sacagawea’s son, the expedition papoose of the Lewis & Clark Voyage of Discovery, is coming out in paperback on November 1, 2009. Celebration readings will include two readings and book discussions at L.L. Bean in Freeport. For more appearances, visit

PORTLAND – Nelson returns as Senior Advertising Executive at Portland Magazine

Anna Nelson of Portland has been named Senior Advertising Executive at Portland Magazine. A 2004 graduate of the University of Maine at Orono, Nelson has spent 5 years refining her media sales skills. In the past year Nelson has spent her spare time helping her husband-to-be with his breakfast and lunch restaurant, Brea Lu Cafe. This is Nelson’s second tour with Portland Magazine, and she’s looking forward to setting new records with the new team.

Congratulations to our 2006 editorial intern Esmé E. Deprez for her new position as reporter of Business Week.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     16 September 2009

Portland Magazine Wins 5 National Prizes at the 2009 American Graphic Design Awards

New York—Portland Magazine captures five prizes at the prestigious national American Graphic Design Awards for design excellence in ceremonies conducted in Manhattan by Graphic Design USA.

The American Graphic Design Awards is a nationwide juried competition from one of the most respected design industry resources. The awards have been presented for over three decades, and the judges are composed of industry leaders in all aspects of graphic design.

Graphic Design USA’s prize announcement of the awards, including the individual issues of Portland Magazine that received the honors:


You have been selected as a winner in the 2009 AMERICAN GRAPHIC DESIGN AWARDS.

For more than four decades, Graphic Design USA has sponsored national design competitions that spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. The American Graphic Design Awards is the biggest and broadest of these, open to everyone in the community: advertising agencies, graphic design firms, corporations, institutions, publishers and more. It honors outstanding work of all kinds and across all media.

For the fourth straight year, we saw a remarkable 8,000+ entries; of these, a highly selective 15 percent are recognized with Awards of Excellence.

Portland Magazine, Winterguide 2008
Portland Magazine, February/March 2008
Portland Magazine, Summerguide 2008
Portland Magazine, December 2008
Portland Magazine, February/March 2009

Again, congratulations and best wishes.
Gordon Kaye–Editor/Publisher, Graphic Design USA            Rachel Goldberg–Awards Director

“Some magazines may win around two to three multiple awards, but it’s very difficult to win five,” says awards director Rachel Goldberg, noting “I believe Portland Magazine’s awards for excellence in publication design are the only ones north of Boston.”

Portland Magazine also won multiple American Graphic Design Awards for Design Excellence in 2007 and 2008, as well as six national graphic-design awards for front cover art direction at the annual Maggie Zine Awards sponsored by NewsStand Resource magazine of Greensboro, North Carolina, including First Prize and Best in Show.

“It’s a great way to open our silver anniversary celebrations to begin our 25th year,” says Robert Witkowski, Portland Magazine’s design director.

The full list of award winners will be published in the December 2009 GDUSA Design Annual. Previous publication winners include Condé Nast’s SELF, USA Today Weekend Magazine, and BusinessWeek.


Attention: Events & Culture Listings Editors

mohbBook Signing & Reading Schedule

Museum of Human Beings (McBooks, hardcover, $23.95)

The acclaimed new novel by Colin Sargent about the fantastic life and times of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Sacagawea’s son, famous “expedition papoose” of the Lewis & Clark Expedition…Whatever happened to that boy?

Visit for background info and a media page with downloadable cover art & author photo.

Please include in your books, arts, and entertainment calendar. **For book-cover art and updates, visit “Media” at

3 November, 7 p.m., Reading & Book Discussion, Dyer Library, 371 Main Street, Saco, Maine 04072. Visit or call 283-3861.

29 November, noon to 3 p.m., Reading and Book Signing, L.L. Bean Retail Store, Main Street, Freeport, ME 04032.

5 December, 2 p.m., Reading & Book Signing, Borders, 430 Gorham Road, Maine Mall, South Portland, Maine 04106, 207-775-6110

13 December, noon to 3 p.m., Encore Reading and Book Signing, L.L Bean Retail Store, Maine Street, Freeport, ME 04032.


“Spellbinding”—starred review in Library Journal

“Stylish”—Publishers Weekly

“Heart-Wrenching”—Smithsonian Institute

“Rich with unusual historical detail.”—Denver Post

“The sweeping American adventure novel “Museum of Human Beings” by Portland publisher, playwright and poet Colin Sargent is one of the most satisfying works of fiction that I have read in years.”—Maine Sunday Telegram

Playwright Sargent’s debut novel is a stylish look at the fate of Sacagawea’s baby son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the first Native American to tour Europe—as a curiosity and entertainment, of course. Twenty-four-year-old Sacagawea, though married, becomes William Clark’s lover while helping guide the Lewis and Clark Expedition; after she dies on the trail, Clark adopts her son, Baptiste. Soon, Clark establishes his home in St. Louis, as well as a garish museum dedicated to his expedition, and sets to educating his new son. Soon, Baptiste is traveling Europe under the protection of Duke Paul, a cruel man who, when he isn’t exhibiting the boy to royal courts, repeatedly rapes young Baptiste. Six years later, Baptiste returns to America (astonishingly, still accompanied by Paul), where he confronts Clark over his mother’s mysterious death; unsatisfied and restless, Baptiste heads west and finds work as a fur trapper, an Army scout and gold prospector. Increasingly haunted by his mother, Baptiste revisits her in memories and visions that lend themselves nicely to Sargent’s lyrical prose. With historical cameos (Beethoven, Kit Carson, Washington Irving) and an impressively rounded portrait of the laid-back, introspective, nomadic Baptiste, this novel will satisfy fans of American history.

Publishers Weekly

Authors on Museum of Human Beings

“Yikes, there’s a market for this. It’s timely, it has feminist appeal, it has race appeal, it’s so American. The direction of American Literature has been from the East Coast to the West. There’s a new trend reversing this, a trend that whispers, ‘Somehow we are weary itinerants. Somehow the dream has failed.’ Museum of Human Beings is an unraveling of the patriarchy. It’s spooky like Hawthorne with a Toni-Morrison-like sense of place. It’s a huge and important story.”

Joan Connor, AWP Award winner, for History Lessons

“In pulsating prose that triggers all of the senses, Museum of Human Beings takes us on a spirited journey to discover the far-flung life of Sacagawea’s son. Smart, imaginative, and historically-informed, this novel contains heartbreaks of many dimensions, all of them believable and thought-provoking. It captivated me, start to finish.”

Bunny McBride, Pulitzer nominee and author of Women of the Dawn and Molly Spotted Elk: A Penobscot in Paris

“Magic. There is real heart to Museum of Human Beings, real depth and humanity, and in addition a plot that propels this reader forward. Full of polish and authority, as well as a story both cared-about and clearly imagined. I stand to applaud his talent. He’s the real thing.”

Jack Driscoll, How Like an Angel

“A grand and interesting romp through history, an intriguing, masterfully written novel about a little-known person in history, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the child of Sacagawea.”

Michael C. White, Soul Catcher

• According to the June 29 2009 edition of Mainebiz “Portland Magazine recently set an all-time advertising sales record of $229,619 with its Summerguide 2009 issue.”

June 4, 2009

Ahead of the Recovery Curve
Portland Magazine breaks all advertising records with Summerguide 2009


Award-winning Portland Magazine, the city magazine for Maine, launched Maine’s summer with a big splash by setting an all-time advertising sales record of $229,619.22 with the highly anticipated Summerguide 2009 issue. “This is the biggest magazine we’ve had in 23 years-232 luxurious pages that convey the three-dimensional, enveloping, dynamic panorama that is our beautiful state,” says founding editor and publisher Colin Sargent.

“This is dazzling proof that print media-if the ideas and images are seductive and stunning-is thriving. The reader gets the opportunity to stop, take a deep breath, and gain complete control of the experience…linger as long as desired over an image that sparks the imagination. We are an important component of the new media. We are the observation point-a tangible scenic outlook/rest area-on the information highway. There’s a reason why other representatives of new media, including The Printed Blog and electronic media such as the Food Network and Oprah have chosen to make a print version of their products: They recognize there’s no substitute for the experience of being drawn into a gorgeous magazine layout while you feel an incredible story sweep you away. The electronic world must have a beautiful front door, living room, and lounge. Portland Magazine has won 15 national design awards in the last three years; continued promoting fiction, with stars like Sebastian Junger, Sarah Graves, and Rick Moody contributing; and always provides an extraordinary perspective.”

Summerguide 2009 issue features interview with Rachel Nichols, the Maine native who is lighting up the screen in this summer’s blockbuster movies Star Trek and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Portland Magazine’s classic story “Dream Islands” features complete islands for sale off the smoky coast of Maine.

“We’re grateful to our advertisers, who support and enhance this experience for our readers, for having the foresight to share in the benefits of connecting with them. We’re also grateful to the many members of Maine’s artistic community who so wonderfully express themselves here and appreciate the support of our advertisers.”

“We’re having fun here, and it shows,” Sargent says.

•March 2007 

Portland Magazine wins national cover award for the third time! Congratulations. You’ve done it again! Your cover, Portland Magazine, February/March 2006, placed 1st in Category 3 – Circulation 10,000 to 74,999,in the 2006 NewsStand Resource cover contest. Your winning cover is featured in the spring 2007 issue of NewsStand Resource which will be distributed at the annual MPA Retail Conference in early March.

In addition, your winning cover (along with all winning covers placing 1,2 or 3 in all categories) is entered into the Readers’ Choice Cover Contest (winners to be announced in April 2007). The top three covers will befeatured in the Summer 2007 issue of NewsStand Resource which will be distributed at the annual PBAA Convention in late June.

A formal press release will go out to the industry early next week. We will
mail your plaque and certificate with a copy of the spring issue shortly.


Frances Becker
NewsStand Resource

• March 2007 

Multiple fiction contributor John Michael Cummings, who published his first short story with Portland Magazine in 1991, is getting his debut novel published by Penguin in early 2008. The House of My Father is a modern-day, coming-of-age literary novel about a troubled boy who finds a father figure in the abolitionist John Brown. For more info about the author, visit

• March 2007 

Account Executive and writer Colin S. Sargent has recently been accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy in Transnational and Comparative History program at Northeastern University. Colin will pursue his ambition to become a university professor starting in Boston this fall.