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 kseltzer@st-peters-school.org

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.


Book Launch – Alum David Jackson Ambrose


State of the Nation Bookcover

State of the Nation
David Jackson Ambrose

Please join the author – David Jackson Ambrose – in celebrating the release of his debut work of fiction!


Where: Wooden Shoe Books

704 South Street.  Philadelphia PA

When:  Saturday, May 5, 2018

Time:  7 p.m. –  8:30 p.m.

There will be readings from the novel, free giveaways, refreshments and a book signing.

For more information about the novel, enter the author portal.

For inquiries about the event, contact Wooden Shoe Books: 215-413-0999



Publication Date: April 3, 2018

Author: David Jackson Ambrose (SJU Writing Studies Alum ’15)

Publisher: The TMG Firm

Format: Paperback, 978-0-9987-9939-1 ($17.95)

STATE OF THE NATION follows the day-to-day experiences of three friends as they navigate through a society that does not see them, at best, or at worst, sees them as degenerate bodies deserving extermination. The Atlanta Child Murders of the late 1970’s to early 1980’s serves as the undefined albatross that inhibits and prescribes behavior. The murders loom in the background of the story, hovering over the lives of three friends coming of age during a moment in American history that in many ways mirrors the present, as police violence perpetuated against Black youth continues to generate press. STATE OF THE NATION highlights the fact that missing black bodies were not an anomaly, it was the media attention of those particular bodies that was the anomaly, as black bodies were being defaced, defiled, and extinguished all over the country during that time. The Atlanta Murders were a continuation of neo lynching, a replication of an age-old American tradition reminding black youth that they are expendable. STATE OF THE NATION links elements of the Tuskegee Experiment of the 1940’s to the ever-present vulnerability of the black body, making use of the era in which the story is told, the cusp of the 1980’s, to hint at the beginning of the AIDS crisis, which began on the tail end of the Atlanta Child Murders.

Please come out and support David. Word has it our fearless leader, Tenaya Darlington, will attend.