Cathie Pelletier Papers, 1959-2002

Click here for Container List

Volume: 18 linear feet (Please note: This collection is still being processed. Materials are described generally for the time being and a container list will be added when complete.)

Organization/Arrangement: This collection is organized into 12 series, and arranged chronologically where possible/appropriate.
Series I: Published Novels
Series II: Unpublished Novels
Series III: Short Stories
Series IV: Poetry
Series V: Screenplays
Series VI: Collaborative Writing Projects
Series VII: Miscellaneous Writing Projects
Series VIII: Correspondence
Series IX: Reviews, Tours and Clippings
Series X: Biographical Material
Series XI: Juvenilia
Series XII: Restricted
Biographical note: Born in Allagash, Maine, in northern Aroostook County in 1953, Cathie Pelletier began writing poetry and short stories while she was a student. She graduated from the University of Maine at Fort Kent in 1976 and in the same year published her first book, a poetry collection entitled Widow’s Walk.

Having already spent some time in Canada, in 1976 Pelletier moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she wrote her first novel, The Funeral Makers, about the residents of the fictional Maine town Mattagash. Not long after she arrived in Nashville, Pelletier met country music star Jim Glaser, with whom she lived and collaborated for a number of years until they separated.  Pelletier is now married to Canadian Tom Viorikic and divides her time between Tennessee and Maine.

Under her own name, Pelletier has published eight novels: The Funeral Makers (1986), Once Upon a Time on the Banks (1989), The Weight of Winter (1991), The Bubble Reputation (1993), A Marriage Made at Woodstock (1994), Beaming Sunny Home (1996), Running the Bulls (2005) and The One-Way Bridge (2013). She has also published two novels using the pen name K.C. McKinnon: Dancing at the Harvest Moon (1997) and Candles on Bay Street (1998). In collaboration with fellow writer Patsi Bale Cox and musician Jim Glaser, she published a compilation of Christmas memory essays by country music stars entitled A Country Music Christmas (1996), and with Grand Old Opry legend Skeeter Davis she wrote The Christmas Note (1997), based on Davis’s own childhood story. Her most recent collaborative effort is A is for Allagash (2010), written with her father, Louis Pelletier, about his 90 years as a denizen of the region.

In addition to authoring many magazine articles, songs and screenplays, Pelletier has also acted as literary agent for other writers.  The recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a 1990 Billboard Song Award, a 1992 New England Book Award, and the 2006 Paterson Prize for Fiction, in 2011 Pelletier became the first Waneta Blake Visiting Professor of Writing at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. She has presented at many regional writing workshops and events.

Description: This collection from an active, contemporary writer continues to grow. Now 18 linear feet, the materials span Cathie Pelletier’s life from elementary school in 1963 to 2003. In the collection are drafts and comments on manuscripts of published and unpublished work and collaborative projects, as well as correspondence, ephemera, clippings, and biographical material. The collection has a large correspondence series with traditional letters and cards as well as faxes, word processor and computer output and emails, which document the changes in technology during Pelletier’s career. In this series, she generously – often humorously – communicates with writers, publishers, songwriters and musicians, friends, fans, students of all ages and organizers of book festivals and events.

The material is organized into 12 series and arranged chronologically, where possible.  Series I: Novels, contains edited drafts of Pelletier’s published novels with handwritten notes on scraps of paper; Series II: Unpublished Novels, includes drafts and ideas for projects; Series III: Short Stories, contains short story manuscripts with edits and rewrites, some which were later included in her novels; Series IV: Poetry, has manuscript material with edits that spans many years, including her first published work in 1976; Series V: Screenplays, includes manuscript material for films and television productions of her novels and those of others, as well as communication documentation with others involved; Series VI: Collaborative Writing Projects, contains manuscript material and correspondence with co-writers and subjects of non-fiction books; Series VII: Miscellaneous Writing Projects, includes manuscripts by authors Pelletier was agent and mentor to, blurbs for jackets, book reviews, and articles by Pelletier; Series VIII: Correspondence, is arranged by date, correspondent, or general subject matter; Series IX: Reviews, Tours and Clippings, details Pelletier’s many speaking engagements, teaching opportunities, awards and successes; Series X: Biographical Material, includes family material; Series XI: Juvenilia, contains school papers and early writing; Series XII: Restricted.

Access Restrictions: All correspondence is restricted and is not available with consent of the author. Series XII is restricted.

Please cite as: Cathie Pelletier Papers, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine

Container List:

I. Published Novels

This series contains material from Cathie Pelletier’s seven novels published between 1986 and 2005 using her own name (The Funeral Makers, Once upon a Time on the Banks, The Weight of Winter, The Bubble Reputation, A Marriage Made at Woodstock, Beaming Sunny Home and Running the Bulls) and two novels written between 1997 and 1998 using her pen name, K.C. McKinnon (Dancing at the Harvest Moon and Candles on Bay Street). Included are handwritten, typed and computer drafts, marked editor’s copies, galleys, page proofs, research notes, faxes, emails and numerous handwritten notes.

II. Short stories

This series is mostly undated, but contains material spanning 1976 to 1998. Some of the stories were later incorporated into her novels. There are typed manuscripts with edits and handwritten notebook pages as well as multiple drafts of some stories.

III. Poetry

The series includes early writing and continues through 1978 and is primarily typed manuscripts. In 1976, her first published work, a poetry collection, Widow’s Walk, appeared and her process organizing and editing that book is apparent in this series.

IV. Screenplays

Beginning with the success of The Funeral Makers, Pelletier began writing screenplays for her own work and that of others at the request of agents and others in the Hollywood movie industry. Material in this series includes drafts with handwritten notes, edits and Internet research. Some include computer clipart, photos, color and fonts. Notable are screenplays for: A Marriage Made at Woodstock with George Stevens, Jr. and Michael Stevens from 1995-1998; and The Funeral Makers original draft from 1994 and revisions in 2000 and 2005.

V.  Unpublished novels

These unpublished manuscripts dated 1997 to 1998 include drafts and notes for work by Pelletier under her own name and as K.C.McKinnon.

VI. Collaborative writing projects

This series attests to Pelletier’s work ethic and resolve to write. Contained in this series are manuscripts, proposals and book ideas dated 1991 to 2001. Faxes, and then email exchanges, read as conversations in the real time sense afforded by the technology. She worked on script projects with George Stevens Jr. and Michael Stevens from 1997 to 1999.

Pelletier formed Nashville Books to promote, publish and/or act as agent for books written by others. Included are edited manuscripts from this endeavor, among them subsequently published work by Carl Hileman, Rosemary Kingsland, and Tony Bramwell. During this time she collaborated with Nashville agent/writer Patsi Bale Cox on non-fiction books centered around country western musicians, including her former partner Jim Glaser. Together Cox and Pelletier produced A Country Music Christmas and worked on Louisiana Man.

VII. Miscellaneous Writing Projects

Requests for jacket comments and book reviews and articles by Pelletier.

VIII. Correspondence

In this series are letters, cards, handwritten notes, faxes and emails. Spanning Pelletier’s college years from 1969 to present, the correspondence covers her dealings with publishers, permissions, contracts, authors (Jim Glaser, Stephen King, Richard Russo, Kurt Vonegut, Carolyn Chute, Sis Deans, Lynn Flewelling, Wesley McNair, Adriana Hamlin Knowles, Marge McGraw, Myra McLarey, Sandford Phippen, Annie Proulx, Linda Tatelbaum, and many others), Nashville Books, literary and songwriting awards, friends and fans.

IX. Reviews, Tours, Clippings

This series contains material from Pelletier’s scrapbooks as well as reviews of her books, book tour plans, interviews with the author, clippings from local and national newspapers and magazines, and publicity from literary festivals, and teaching engagements.

X. Biographical

This series contains material about the large Pelletier family in and around Allagash, Maine and Pelletier’s strong attachment to people and place. Included is a family history and clippings about family members and reunions.

XI. Juvenilia

This large collection of school papers saved by Cathy’s mother includes many school papers from early grammar school on.

XII. Restricted

Watch a 2009 MPBN "A Good Read" interview by Sandy Phippen with Cathie Pelletier.