SJU Writing Studies Blog

Job Opportunities!

Thanks to alum Liz Kukielka (’13), we have been given a head’s up about some openings at her company,  MJH Associates, a healthcare communications company in New Jersey. Here’s the skinny from her:

There are two new positions open at MJH for any current or former students who may be interested.

Email her at work ( or at home ( if you are interested. If you send her a resume and cover letter directly, she will pass it on to HR.


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)