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 tdarling@sju.edu.

Note Change to Course Number for Spring 2016

Sorry for the confusion, people!  ENG 679 is the correct course number for Writers at Work.  The cross-listed course on Writing for Digital Platforms will use ENG 675.

Mondays 6:30-9:15 p.m.

ENG 679 Special Topics: Writers at Work (Area III: Professional Writing) Professor Tenaya Darlington

This course is designed to set your professional life as a writer in motion. Over the course of 15 weeks, you’ll meet a series of working writers from around Philadelphia who will visit our class. During these visits, you’ll have the opportunity to network with professional writers and learn about possible career paths, from public relations to publishing. Each writer’s visit will tie into a different writing assignment so that you can begin building a portfolio of professional work (likely assignments will include: a press release, a review, a book proposal, an edited manuscript, plus a professional resume and bio.) At the end, you’ll develop an online portfolio that you can use as a calling card.

Head’s Up – Another Course Added for Spring 2016

 

jana llewellyn

Mondays 6:30-9:15 p.m.

ENG 675 Writing for Digital Platforms

Professor Jana Llewellyn

Writing for Digital Platforms is a new course that explores the changing role and style of writing in our digital age. In addition to practicing multiple genres of internet writing (journalistic writing, marketing writing, business writing, personal writing), students will develop a theme-based blog which they promote through social media. The end of the course will require an open-ended project where students submit to one or more digital publications based on their mastery of various forms of online writing.

Note: this course is cross-listed with our Professional and Liberal Studies (PLS) program – 5 seats are open to graduate students. Professor Llewellyn is a blogger for Huffington Post and the editor of the online literary journal, The First Day. She also teaches at Temple and Rowan University.

 

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

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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.

Writing Studies Spring 2016 Courses Offerings

Tenaya Darlington

 

Mondays 6:30-9:15 p.m.

ENG 675 Special Topics: Writers at Work (Area III: Professional Writing) Professor Tenaya Darlington

 

This course is designed to set your professional life as a writer in motion. Over the course of 15 weeks, you’ll meet a series of working writers from around Philadelphia who will visit our class. During these visits, you’ll have the opportunity to network with professional writers and learn about possible career paths, from public relations to publishing. Each writer’s visit will tie into a different writing assignment so that you can begin building a portfolio of professional work (likely assignments will include: a press release, a review, a book proposal, an edited manuscript, plus a professional resume and bio.) At the end, you’ll develop an online portfolio that you can use as a calling card.

 

Goldthwaite

Photo Credit: Howard Dinin

 

Tuesdays 6:30-9:15 p.m.

ENG 642 Style (Area II: Rhetoric & Composition)

Dr. Melissa Goldthwaite

 

 

From the words and figures of speech you choose to the sentence lengths and punctuation you use (or don’t use), style is central to writing. In this course, we will study the history of style from a rhetorical perspective and then move to the work (nonfiction, fiction, and poetry) of 20th and 21st century writers to explore the use of style in contemporary writing, including your own. A discussion-based seminar with a workshop component, this course depends on a high level of preparation and participation. In addition to reading, you will write a series of short papers and conduct a semester-long project of your choice. Your project can be creative or analytical.

 

lockridgeWednesdays 6:30-9:15 p.m.

ENG 620 Special Topics: 21st Century Black Literary Imagination

(Area I: Writing & Culture)

Dr. Aisha Lockridge 

 

Working in tandem, the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement sought to free Black people as a whole from the terror of white law while the leaders of the Black Arts Movement sought to free Black artists from the tyranny of white editors. The mark of their respective successes, the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the significant number of Black writers holding forth a Black Aesthetic, suggested that these successes would usher in a radically different era of freedom and opportunity for all Black Americans, ultimately improving their collective quotidian experiences. Over 50 years later, African American literary critic Michelle Wright argues succinctly: “There is no progress; there is only the infinite possibilities of the present.” Taking up this challenge and resisting a purely progress narrative, we will anatomize literature and literary criticism written after 1964 identifying common themes, styles, imagery and artistic strategies emerging at the end of the 20th century and into the 21st, focusing particularly on newer areas of African American literary inquiry including: Afro-Pessimism, and Post-Soul Memoir, and Contemporary Narratives of Slavery. The question consistently framing our inquiry: How are Black writers in this era articulating concepts of freedom and citizenship as raced and gendered subjects despite the consistent pressure of monolithic ideas of Blackness and ethnic absolutism on their work? Likely primary texts will include: Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, Percival Everett’s Erasure, Mat Johnson’s Loving Day, Kiese Laymon’s How to Kill Yourself and Others in America, Thylias Moss’ Slave Moth, Suzan-Lori Parks’ The Red Letter Plays, and Jay-Z’s Decoded.

 

brennan

 

Thursdays 6:30-9:15 p.m.

ENG 560 Rhetoric Then and Now (Core Class)

Fr. Tom Brennan

In Rhetoric Then and Now, we will consider the origins of rhetoric (with particular focus on the classical system as defined and influenced by the Sophists, Plato and Aristotle) and then move to the work of 20th and 21st century writers and rhetorical theorists to consider the ways classical rhetoric’s concerns about persuasive practices (such as the relationship between language and knowledge and theory and practice, as well as ethical considerations, theories and practices of education, and the importance of style) have been transformed but are still very much alive today. Students will write a series of reading response papers and conduct a semester-long project (which will be workshopped by the class) exploring the relevance of rhetorical theory to their own area of interest.