SJU’s Writing Studies Graduate Program

Have you ever thought about a Master’s Degree in Writing Studies?

The graduate writing studies program combines a traditional literature-based master’s degree with a creative writing program by offering a wide variety of courses and providing students with a highly flexible, unique academic experience. At Saint Joseph’s University, writing studies students engage in diverse styles of writing, including short story, poetry, press releases, reflections on teaching writing, plays, adolescent literature, autobiography, biography, personal essays, and grant proposals.

In addition to taking classes in areas of writing and culture, rhetoric and composition, and professional writing, students have the opportunity to gain significant professional work experience through credit-bearing internships. Class sizes are small (fourteen students or less) and include dynamic workshops, allowing students to hone their writing skills. All faculty are practicing writers in the genre they teach, giving students a sampling of professional experience. Additionally, writing studies students publish a student-authored literary magazine, The Avenue, featuring fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Upon completion of the M.A. program, students have found success in careers as editors, publishers and teachers. Saint Joseph’s writing studies students have been widely published in national news outlets such as USA Today, Huffington Post, Italian VOGUE, Ebony Magazine and many more. As graduates of the Writing Studies program, students’ words can impact communication and truly change the world.

To learn more about the program, visit their website. You can also contact the Director, Tenaya Darlington (, for information. Spring 2017 course offerings are below. (Undergraduate students require director and instructor approval to register).

Rhetoric, Then and Now (ENG 560) Dr. Grace Wetzel

Poetry Today (ENG 600) Dr. April Lindner

The Writing Teacher Writing (ENG 635) Dr. Melissa Goldthwaite

Creative Nonfiction Workshop (ENG 668) Professor Eleanor Stanford

Check out what alumni of the program are doing now!


Gonzo Girl Author Coming to SJU

Cheryl Della Pietra, former assistant to Hunter S. Thompson, has written a novel based on her experiences while working for him.

Cheryl Della Pietra Flyer

Check out some of the reviews for her book, Gonzo Girl:

Gonzo Girl is a thrilling fictionalized (just barely) account of working with a true genius—until the celebrity-filled, drug-fueled partying becomes too much.” (Entertainment Weekly (Must List selection))

“A margarita-fueled, miniskirt-clad cautionary tale of lost literary innocence.” (Vogue)

“Gonzo Girl is good, fast fun, like a thrill ride in a red convertible. A 1973 Chevy Caprice Classic, to be exact. You know the one.” (Newsday)

“Full throttle from page one, this bildungsroman is a unique and mesmerizing tale about a young woman who must test her own limits and find her own voice to actualize a certain version of the American dream.” (

“Fascinating.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“While the novel dishes out plenty of illicit good times, Della Pietra also manages to bring moments of poignancy to the narrative. . . . Della Pietra ultimately steers her story to a believable, satisfying, and moving conclusion.” (Publishers Weekly)

This is a not to be missed event!  Sponsored by the English Department.

SJU Writing Studies Author Showcase – Save the date!

The SJU Writing Studies graduate program has assembled some impressive talent for an Author’s Showcase, to be held on October 13 at 7 p.m. in Mandeville Hall, Room 313.  Alums and current students will present some of their work.  This event is brought to you by their literary magazine The Avenue.  Come and enjoy this special evening with us!

Writers Showcase Flyer (final)


A big thank you to Dan Rousseau and Don Philbrick for making the showcase happen.

SJU Writing Series Continues with Writer Seamus McGraw



Environmental journalist Seamus McGraw will be on campus on April 16th to read from and discuss his new book, Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories from the Front Lines of Climate Change .


3:30 Cardinal Foley Center “Betting the Farm on a Drought: A Reading and Conversation on Climate Change”

6:30 Cardinal Foley Center, “The Space Between the Pages: A Look at the Stories Behind the Stories”

Here are two recent piece s he wrote for the New York Times.

Read the Kirkus review for his new book here.

Please try to support the Writing Series by attending this event.  It should be informative as well as lively!

Teaching Opportunities for New Graduates


STA provides personal service as you search for a great teaching job.  They are your advocate in a competitive job market.

They are looking for teachers, counselors, coaches, administrators and all PK-12 positions.

  • Thousands of positions available in private & independent schools
  • Certification not required for most middle- and high-school jobs
  • Certification is required for elementary teaching positions
  • Math, science, and language majors strongly encouraged to apply
  • Placement services are always FREE for candidates

They will be meeting students at:

Delaware Valley Education Consortium

Greater Philadelphia Teacher Job Fair 2015

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks

Wednesday, March 18

9:00AM to 3:30PM

Southern Teachers Agency

Great jobs for great teachers!



The St. Joseph’s University Writing Series Continues…

…with a visit from poet, professor, and punk rocker, Gerry LaFemina.


Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Foley Center

Please support the Writing Series!  It should be an entertaining evening.

Here is some information about Gerry from his website:

Gerry LaFemina believes poetry is the highest art form; believes everyone should rock out with a guitar at least once–even if they can’t play; believes teaching is a calling; believes the New York City subways are beautiful (even if they smell badly); believes in love, bigfoot and other mythic creatures; believes in the power of a good meal, a good night’s sleep, good wine, etc; believes laughter is a type of prayer….

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, LaFemina holds an MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University as well as an MA in Literature with an emphasis on Twentieth-century Literature from WMU. He has taught at Nazareth College, Kirtland Community College, West Virginia University, Wheeling Jesuit University and Sarah Lawrence College. He directs the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing at Frostburg State University, where he is an Associate Professor of English.

Gerry LaFemina’s poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, The Sun, North American Review, among other journals, and in various anthologies including American Poetry: The Next Generation, and The Best of the Web 2013. His awards and honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Bordighera Prize in Poetry, the Anthony Piccione/MAMMOTH Books Poetry Prize, an Irving Gilmore Emerging Artist Foundation Fellowship, and Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs Individual Artist Fellowship.

Gerry LaFemina’s fiction has appeared in Colorado Review, American Fiction, Bellevue Literary Review and other literary journals. He received the North American International Auto Show award for the story “Proofreading America” and the Renaissance City Fiction Prize for “Consolation Prize.” He’s currently at work on a new novel and a new collection of stories.

Graduate Arts & Sciences Spring Open House


Join us for our Spring Open House on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.! This event will be held on our main campus, 5600 City Ave. in Mandeville Hall. This is a great opportunity to learn about Saint Joseph’s University (SJU), our campus-based graduate programs, and to meet with faculty, admission representatives, and student support services such as financial aid and career development, and much more.

The event has a flexible start so feel free to come anytime between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. to enjoy light refreshments, take a campus tour, or to speak to our support service representatives. Individual program presentations begin at 6:00 p.m. and run until approximately 7:00 p.m. 
The $35 graduate application fee will be waived for all who attend the event. Please be sure to register and check-in to have this fee waived. 
Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to a short survey. Please complete this survey before the event and you will be automatically entered to win a SJU Gift Basket which includes a 7″ Kindle Fire HD. Don’t wait, register and complete the survey today
For assistance with online registration or questions about the event, please feel free to call a member of our friendly admission staff at (610) 660-3131 or send an email to

Find Your Inner Author: Consider the SJU Writing Studies Graduate Program

Did you know that St. Joe’s has a graduate writing studies program?  Many of our alumni have gone on to do great things.  Visit our site and discover all the interesting courses available, as well as something about the professors who teach in the program.

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 Here is a list of some of our alumni and their success stories.  Prepare to be impressed!  The Writing Studies Graduate program really paid off for them.


Danielle Bullen (’06) is now Senior Editor at ADVANCE Newsmagazines, a healthcare publishing company with multiple trade journals. She focuses on Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy titles, writing for both print and online, and managing social media accounts.

Anthony Calabro (’12) was recently named Associate Editor at Clinical Orthopaedics, a peer-reviewed journal based in Philadelphia. He is also a contributor to Hoop76, a Philadelphia 76ers website affiliated with ESPN.

Emily Czerniakoski (’08) served as a National News Correspondent in Washington D.C. following her M.A. in Writing Studies. She is now the co-founder of her own media company for kids, CaRu Entertainment. 

Clare Herlihy Dych (’06) started as a grant writer for the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia after completing her Writing Studies M.A. She recently took on a new role as Associate Director of Development for Penn Medicine.

Kim Krol (’13) was promoted to Managing Editor of Global Traveler and is currently in charge of launching a new travel website aimed at twenty-somethings. For freelance opportunities, contact

Randy Lobasso (’07) is on the masthead at Philadelphia Weekly as a staff writer. You can follow his articles on PhillyNow.

Bernadette McBride (’06) has published her second collection of poetry with Aldrich Press, titled Food, Wine, and Other Essential Considerations–an Alphabet since graduating from the Writing Studies M.A. program. Her poem, “Flying Lessons,” was recently featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. Visit her blog to learn more.

Marisa McClellan (’06) completed her M.A. in Writing Studies and now blogs professionally for numerous food-based websites, including the Food Network. She is currently on tour for her second book, Preserving By The Pint.

Camille Moore (’14) is now the Assistant Director of the Writing Center at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa.  Her duties include overseeing TRIO/Student Support Services, which is a federal grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It provides academic support to students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, are first- generation college students, and/or individuals with disabilities.  She will also plan workshops and other events to promote the Writing Center.

Lana Morelli (’12) left law school to get her M.A. in Writing Studies and now works as a legal reporter. She also teaches writing as an adjunct professor at Delaware County Community College and Neumann University. Her blog is still going strong at

Colleen Mullarkey (’12) phased out of medical writing after receiving her Writing Studies M.A. and is now the Assistant Director of Publications at her undergraduate alma mater, La Salle University.

Jackai Musonge (’09) returned to Cameroon after completing his Writing Studies M.A. and began work for a telecommunications regulatory agency. He was recently appointed Bureau Chief. His manuscript “International Student Part One: Journey to America,” was recently accepted by a publishing company in South Africa.

Elishia Peterson (’13) published her first poetry collection, titled “Black Roses: Five Women and Their Mental Breakthrough,” in November of 2014 through 2 Pens & Lint.

Justin Rademaekers (’09) went on to complete a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at Purdue University. He was recently invited to join the faculty at West Chester University as Assistant Professor of English.

William Shelton (’14) is now writing a column for the youth supplement of Philadelphia Gay News.


Support the SJU Writing Series – Dr. April Lindner Reads From Her New Book LOVE, Lucy

aprillove lucy best cover




The very talented Dr. April Lindner, Professor of English here at SJU, will read from her new novel LOVE, Lucy on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 during Free Period at the Library.  Read on for a brief description of the book, as well as the terrific reviews the book has received.






I could just disappear–lose myself in Florence.

The thought gave Lucy a delicious little shiver.

She could go anywhere, pick a new name for herself, become a whole new person.

She could learn Italian, apply for a job in a cafe, and never go home again.

I could be whoever I want to be.

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician.  After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.”  But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over too.

In this coming of age romance, due out in January 2015, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.


“April Lindner brings on the feels with her usual charm. Love, Lucy is another romantic winner from this amazingly talented writer.”—Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and the Heather Wells mystery series

Love, Lucy hits all the right notes…This is a great coming-of-age story, perfect for Sarah Dessen fans or those who enjoy books with a summer romance.”—VOYA (starred review)

“A contemporary romance with surprising depth in its coming-of-age elements, this modern update of E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Lindner’s reimagined classics.”—SLJ

“This intelligent love story will resonate with readers who are themselves balancing the thin line between making lives of their own and seeking parents’ approval. A good read-alike recommendation for fans of Jennifer E. Smith or Stephanie Perkins.”—Booklist