SJU Writing Studies Blog

Summer 2019 Course Offerings

Summer I: (CRN 20784)

ENG 669: Poetry Writing Workshop (Area III)

Mondays & Wednesdays 18:30-21:45

Instructor:  Professor Eleanor Stanford

Poetry, many would agree, is language at its most intense and most alive. It asks us to push ourselves linguistically, spiritually, emotionally, with more intensity than perhaps any other genre. What better form, then, for any writer to learn from and engage with? In this course, we’ll read across a wide variety of styles, time periods, and cultures. We will consider what we can learn from these poems, as readers, writers and as human beings, that we can apply to other aspects of our work and our lives, and will try our hands at writing many different kinds of poems as well. We will cover meter and form (organic and received), and engage deeply with some of the greatest contemporary poets. By the end of the semester, you will be able to both identify and compose poems in various forms and metrical patterns; to read and discuss a poem on its own terms–structural, thematic, emotional, musical; to offer helpful feedback on classmates’ poems, based on the elements of poetic composition we’ll examine in the class; and to revise your own work using these same elements. This class will have a workshop element as well as an academic one.


Summer II: (CRN 20964)

ENG 640: Experiments in Narrative (Area II)

Hybrid class – Online/ Thursdays in person – 18:30-21:45

Instructor:  Dr. Kay Cosgrove (Gomes)

In this course, students will carefully study specific approaches to craft and technique in creative writing, from long form narrative to minimalist poetry. Through detailed critical reading, analysis, and diagramming, students will explore the scaffolding that underpins creative writing, with special attention to form and genre. By analyzing the craft techniques used by other creative writers, students will learn to apply such approaches to form and technique effectively in their own work.

Spring 2019 Writing Studies Courses

ENG 560: Rhetoric Then and Now (Core Class)  
(CRN 71430)
Mondays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.
Dr. Owen Gilman

How do writers use rhetoric? How do we balance attention to genre, purpose, audience, context, and our own sense of style? In Rhetoric Then and Now, we will consider these and other questions, exploring rhetoric’s classical origins and studying the work of 20th and 21st century rhetorical theorists in order to understand how rhetorical concerns shape our own writing practices. This course will be discussion-based and include a workshop component. Students will write a series of response papers and conduct a semester-long project exploring the relevance of rhetorical theory to their own writing or area of interest. As we motor along in life, we see rhetoric at work every day, in a wide variety of ways–in political discourse, in advertisements, in public relations campaigns, in films, in poems–and always the goal is to have impact on an audience, to move the audience in some way. If you have writerly ambition, you and rhetoric will be mighty close kin. (Core Course)

ENG 673: Screenwriting Workshop (Area III)
(CRN 17433)
Tuesdays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.
Professor Tom Coyne


In this class, we will learn how to present story in a specific, challenging, and rewarding format that may be unknown to you, but the fundamentals of good screenwriting are the same as all good creative writing — detail, dialogue, character, voice, precision, and imagination. We will develop and locate our most cinema-ready narratives, and learn how to tell them via camera and microphone. We will read screenplays, write screenplays, and discuss the craft and conventions of professional screenwriting. We will study three-act structure and the fundamentals of dramatic storytelling, and we will look at a number of professional screenplays to guide our discussion of form and craft. Each member of the workshop will develop his or her own screen project from an initial concept/pitch to a full-length, feature screenplay. The class will also look at the business of screenwriting and discuss the overall development of screen projects. No screenwriting experience required. (Area III) 

ENG 620: Bestsellers and the Contemporary Literary Marketplace (Area I)  
(CRN 17431)
Wednesdays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.
Dr. Kersti Powell

Bestsellers and the Contemporary Literary Marketplace will give you an opportunity to explore the most recent trends in contemporary British and Irish fiction. By focusing on marketing and the literary canon, this course will give you an opportunity to reconsider contemporary literature from a new and exciting perspective. Each novel on our reading list will facilitate a case study of a different marketing issue. Thus, we will read John Banville’s Booker-Prize-winning The Sea in order to study literary prizes and their effect on marketing and to highlight the crucial part that literary reviews can play in “making of an author.” Zadie Smith’s and Arundhati Roy’s first novels will help us to investigate literary celebrity culture, race and gender; Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (2015) to explore the rise of small publishing houses; and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004) to illustrate how daily talk shows can promote a difficult text to the status of a bestseller. We will finish the semester with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which returns us to such vital thematic issues as race and immigration but also allows us to study how the rise of young adult fiction caused the reconfiguration of bestseller charts. (Area I)



Job Opportunity!

Director of Marketing and Communications

Beginning: September 10, 2018

St. Peter’s School, an independent, coeducational, non-denominational day school, is seeking to hire a full-time Director of Marketing and Communications. Founded in 1834, St. Peter’s School is located in Center City Philadelphia and serves 200 students from Preschool (age 3) through Eighth Grade.

The Director of Marketing and Communications will manage the internal and external communication for the School. Their primary responsibility will be development and implementation of mission-aligned marketing content that is consistent with the vision of the School. Working as a part of a team, the Director of Marketing and Communications will bring their voice, experience in non-profit and best practices to the role, engaging community members in the ongoing branding of the School.


  • Work collaboratively under the direction of the Head of School and with the Administrative Team to forward the mission, vision, and philosophy of St. Peter’s School
  • This individual must be a proactive self-starter, a creative problem-solver, a strategic thinker, and an extremely organized, detail-oriented multi-tasker
  • The Director of Marketing and Communications reports directly to the Head of School and works closely with the Advancement Director and the Admissions Director
  • Coordinating the planning of the School’s annual Auction
  • Experience in publications design and production across multiple print, web, and social media channels
  • Working with the Advancement Team to strategize and implement the school’s marketing and communication plan
  • Collaboration with Head of School, Board, and Administration to develop and implement a comprehensive branding and external messaging initiative to articulate the School’s mission and program to the broader community
  • Keeping the school’s brand image at the forefront of all communications and marketing efforts
  • The design, production, and distribution of various print and digital marketing materials
  • The design, implementation, and on-going refreshment of the school’s social media outreach and website
  • Parents’ Association outreach and engagement
  • Alumni outreach and engagement
  • Weekly coordination of the School’s digital Newsletter
  • Communication management and regular reporting to the Head of School

Minimum Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree and five years of independent school or non-profit communication experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, sufficient to perform the essential functions of the job.
  • Experience in or knowledge of the culture of independent schools, especially a (PS, PK, or) K through Eighth Grade school.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and networking skills.
  • Experience managing social media in a professional setting.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Publications experience is a plus.
  • Ability to work evenings and occasional weekends as needed.

If interested, please send resume and cover letter to:

Kate Seltzer, Assistant Head of School

St. Peter’s School is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic background, age, disability, or military service in its hiring, employment or other programs and activities.