Parting Words by Don Corcoran

Corcoran Head shot

Don Corcoran

Parting Words about Writing Studies from Don Corcoran

1. Do you have any parting words or shout-outs to share with current students and faculty?

Embrace the practicality of the program and if you are getting a Master’s degree to further your career goals, constantly be working toward publishing. Use the expertise of your peers to broaden your writing horizons. There is a lot of talent and passion here. Don’t waste the opportunity.

2. Which Writing Studies course or course reading was most interesting or useful to you? Why?

I am a huge fan of the group workshops. When you have 10 other people reading your writing you get a great deal of valuable feedback. Whether it be poetry, fiction, or literature, revision is the life of writing. This is where we hone our craft. If there is a significant workshopping element, you can be certain you will walk away with something you are proud of.

3. How do you plan to use your Master’s Degree in your career?

This is the bridge to my doctorate degree. I wanted to take something that allowed me to write and develop my platform. I don’t think there is a single class that didn’t inform my thesis. Plus, I can supplement my income with part-time teaching.

4. Do you have any tips for future students about choosing classes, juggling the workload, or writing a thesis?

The first draft is a small part of the final thesis. Don’t sweat the initial writing. Just write it. Sit down. Come to it with a plan. Bang it out. Revise. Use the information you’ve gathered from your classwork. Ask others to help read it. But get it done to leave time to have a polished product.

Great advice.  Thanks, Don!

 

 

SJU Writers – Check out this Post-Graduate Writing Fellowship Opportunity!

AMERICA LAUNCHES FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

Fr. Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., with Edward I. Koch, Mayor of the City of New York.

Fr. Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., with Edward I. Koch, Mayor of the City of New York.

America Media announces the establishment of the Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Post Graduate Writing Fellowship

America Media is pleased to announce the creation of the Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Post Graduate Writing Fellowship. The newly created fellowship offers the opportunity for three recently graduated students from Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and Canada to work at the offices of America Media in New York City for one year.

“Through the O’Hare Fellowship, we are looking to support a new era of young and gifted writers, providing them with challenges and opportunities to grow both personally and professionally,” said Father Matt Malone, S.J., Editor in Chief and President of America Media. “It’s a chance to live in New York City, the media center of the world, and to work at a dynamic and growing organization such as America Media.”

O’Hare fellows spend one full year working at the offices of America Media, where they will generate content for America’s multiple platforms: print, web, digital, social media and events. O’Hare fellows enjoy a rich personal and professional experience through ongoing mentoring and other opportunities. Fellows meet regularly with America’s editorial staff, including James Martin, S.J., editor at large of America and a New York Times best-selling author, in order to cultivate their skills and professional networks. At the conclusion of the program, O’Hare fellows are uniquely suited to pursue successful careers in the Catholic media or other forms of professional journalism.

O’Hare fellows receive housing at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, health care coverage and a monthly stipend for living expenses during the 12 months of the program. Applications open December 1, 2015 and close January 31, 2016.

The Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Post Graduate Writing Fellowship is made possible through the generosity of William J. Loschert, Fordham University College of Business Administration, Class of 1961, and a member of America Media’s board of directors.

For more information regarding the O’Hare fellowship and how to apply, please visit oharefellows.org

About America Media: America Mediapublisher of America magazine, is the leading producer of multimedia content for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking. It provides a smart Catholic take on religion, politics and culture. Founded in 1909 by the Jesuit order as America magazine, it now offers content on multiple print and digital platforms including –America Digital, America Radio, America Films and America P2P (events). http://www.americamedia.org.

Parting Words – SJU Writing Studies Student Ryan Latini

Latini Headshot

Ryan Latini

 

 

In our new “Parting Words” column, we ask recent and emerging graduates to share a few words about their experience in the Writing Studies program at Saint Joseph’s University.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any parting words or shout-outs to share with current students and faculty?

The late Francis F. Burch, S.J. was my friend, mentor, and invigorated in me a sense that even if everything has been done already, written already, it is my job to get out there and do it better—write it better. This was all during my undergrad at SJU. He wrote one of my letters of recommendation to the writing program after I met with him at end of 2011 or early 2012 for our last dinner together at the Jesuit Residence. He would tell me stories, and who knows if they were true, but we deal in fiction, and I feel I inherited from the man a tradition of storytelling.

My ever-patient thesis advisor Tom Coyne for not holding any punches in his insistence on rewriting and rewriting again, and his respect of writing as a craft—showing me how to couple impulse and craftsmanship.

Dr. Jo Alyson Parker for putting together probably the most interesting reading lists I’ve encountered. If you want to explore the dynamic forces behind narrative and the fictive dream, then she should be your go-to. Our exploration of temporal elements in her course inspired the structure of my thesis.

Dr. Jason Mezey and Joe Samuel Starnes for their kindness to me over the years.

Which Writing Studies course or course reading was most interesting or useful to you? Why?

Martin Amis’ Time’s Arrow and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. I read both in Dr. Parker’s class: “Experiments in Narrative: Narrative and Time.” Amis’ novel turns chronology on its head, but at the same time, a simple narrative twist in temporality can turn good and evil on their heads as well. The book gave me chills. Mitchell’s novel stuck with me because—aside from being a pleasure to read—it created a world so vast in space and time, the likes of which I don’t think have been seen since Tolkien. It was inspiring.

How do you plan to use your Master’s Degree in your career?

I’d like to throw my hat in the adjunct professor ring. Once I complete my course work, I’m going to pursue freelance gigs in my free time.

Do you have any tips for future students about choosing classes, juggling the workload, or writing a thesis?

Cancel your cable. Delete your Facebook account. Do the work. Do all of it. Then do it over. There is time enough, and if you want to write, you will make the time. Read as if your life depended on it—your life might not depend on it, but the quality of your writing does. Steal style, follow the steps of the greats, and then, when your legs are strong enough, take off on your own path. Listen to the men and women teaching the classes, because if you (or I) truly knew what we were doing, then we would do it at home and save a buck. It’s a favor to yourself to leave your ego at the door.

Thanks for contributing, Ryan!

Graduate Writing Studies Professor Melissa Goldthwaite and the Four Questions

This is the second in our series “Four Questions,” featuring SJU Writing Studies professors.  Meet Dr. Melissa Goldthwaite, who will be teaching ENG 642, “Style,” in spring 2016.

Photo Credit: Howard Dinin

Photo Credit: Howard Dinin

Artemis - MG2

Her Happy Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your current writing project? (Or do you have a link to a recent publication you’d like to share with our grad students?) 

I’m finishing two essay anthologies for Norton; they should be out in January: http://books.wwnorton.com/books/webad.aspx?id=4294990902 and http://books.wwnorton.com/books/webad.aspx?id=4294990755

I’m also editing a collection on Food, Feminism, and Rhetoric.

What are you reading, for work or pleasure?

I’ve been reading (or rereading) several food memoirs: Linda Furiya’s Bento Box in the Heartland, Diana Abu-Jaber’s The Language of Baklava, Kim Sunée’s Trail of Crumbs, Shoba Narayan’s Monsoon Diary, and others.

What are you listening to (music/podcast/radio program)?

Today, I’m listening to James Taylor’s latest release, Before This World. Although it’s new, it reminds me of his music from the 70s. Part of me will always be stuck in the 70s.

When you’re not on campus, where’s your happy place?

My happy place is wherever my dog is–usually at home in a room painted bright blue and decorated with children’s toys (many, yes, from the 70s).