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: and

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).


Seven Things You Can Do with an SJU Writing Studies Degree

Our illustrious director, Tenaya Darlington, put this piece together.  Read on.

Writing Studies Students and Alums

Writing Studies Students and Alums






Every year, we follow up with our Writing Studies graduates to find out how they are using their skills from our M.A. program to further their careers. Below you can read about some career options that our students have pursued, from editing to writing for businesses to teaching classes and writing grants. If you’re a current student, consider exploring a position in one of these areas.







  1. Become a writer or editor at a magazine or publication. Many of our recent graduates edit or write for trade publications, including a law magazine, a health magazine for the nursing sector, and a university alumni magazine. Writing Studies graduate Pete Sanchez is a staff writer for The Catholic Star Herald in New Jersey.
  1. Write grants for organizations and university research centers. Our Grant Writing class taught by professional grant writer Maureen Saraco partners students with nonprofit organizations around Philadelphia to gain hands-on experience writing actual grants. Writing Studies graduate Clare Dych started with a city nonprofit and worked her way up to the position of Associate Director of Development for Penn Medicine.
  1. Teach writing. Our graduates work in a variety of teaching fields, from leading workshops for kids at Mighty Writers in Philadelphia to teaching in private high schools, colleges, and universities including Neumann University and Philadelphia Community College.
  1. Write for digital publications. Our graduates write or have written for such publications as Food Network Magazine, Vogue, Huffington Post, and Serious Eats.
  1. Work in the Communications sector. Our graduates are employed by start-ups, PR firms, advertising agencies, talent agencies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, universities, city organizations, foundations, and financial firms. One Writing Studies graduate, Mark Chalmers, was recently promoted to Vice Provost of Jefferson University.
  1. Run a Writing Center. Students who gain experience in our Writing Center at Saint Joseph’s University learn valuable one-on-one communication skills, plus management experience. Two of our graduates now run writing centers at major universities.
  1. Become an author. Our graduates author novels, cookbooks, and collections of poetry. Marisa McClellan, of the popular canning blog foodinjars, will soon release her third cookbook. Since graduating from our program, she has started her own freelance writing business and is now a full-time food writer. She also has a new podcast, Local Mouthful.


Tenaya Darlington is the director of the Writing Studies M.A. program at Saint Joseph’s University. You can reach her at

Four Questions for SJU Writing Studies Professor Carmen Machado

So… What do they do when they’re not teaching class?

Many of you have asked about the people who are teaching you to be better writers.  In an effort to satisfy your curiosity, our illustrious Director, Tenaya Darlington, came up with four questions for the faculty currently teaching Writing Studies courses.  The first to volunteer is Carmen Machado, who is teaching Speculative Fiction this semester.  Thanks, Carmen, for your input!

Carmen Machado Headshot

Professor Carmen Machado











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?)

Right now, I’m working a book of experimental essays, a handful of short stories, and a novel. (I always have more than one project in progress!) My most recent publication is the reprinting of my story “Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead” in Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015, edited by Joe Hill & John Joseph Adams.

What are you reading, for work or pleasure?

I’m always reading! Some recent favorites have included Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You, Annie Liontas’ Let Me Explain You, Lincoln Michel’s Upright Beasts, Heather O’Neill’s Daydreams of Angels, and the Saga series.

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

I listen to a lot of NPR. I’ve also been loving the new albums from Lana del Rey, Florence & the Machine, & Chvrches.

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

My front porch, with a mug of coffee and a book.

My Twitter account is here and my website is here.

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


Dr. April Lindner

love 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





A Writing Series Event – Don’t Miss It!

Books that Cook



A great literary event featuring three of our esteemed English professors! Come with an appetite!

Join us THURSDAY FEBRUARY 5th at 6:30pm in the Forum Theater (Campion Student Center) for a reading to satisfy all appetites: BOOKS THAT COOK: The Making of a Literary Meal, featuring readings from SJU’s own Dr. Melissa Goldthwaite, Dr. April Lindner, and Tenaya Darlington. Our SJU cast will be joined by Howard Dinin and Dr. Goldthwaite’s co-editor, Jennifer Cognard-Black. The event is free and open to the public, and copies of the book will be available for purchase. See you there!

Originally posted on Facebook by Dr. Paul Patterson.