Parting Words by Don Corcoran

Corcoran Head shot

Don Corcoran

Parting Words about Writing Studies from Don Corcoran

1. Do you have any parting words or shout-outs to share with current students and faculty?

Embrace the practicality of the program and if you are getting a Master’s degree to further your career goals, constantly be working toward publishing. Use the expertise of your peers to broaden your writing horizons. There is a lot of talent and passion here. Don’t waste the opportunity.

2. Which Writing Studies course or course reading was most interesting or useful to you? Why?

I am a huge fan of the group workshops. When you have 10 other people reading your writing you get a great deal of valuable feedback. Whether it be poetry, fiction, or literature, revision is the life of writing. This is where we hone our craft. If there is a significant workshopping element, you can be certain you will walk away with something you are proud of.

3. How do you plan to use your Master’s Degree in your career?

This is the bridge to my doctorate degree. I wanted to take something that allowed me to write and develop my platform. I don’t think there is a single class that didn’t inform my thesis. Plus, I can supplement my income with part-time teaching.

4. Do you have any tips for future students about choosing classes, juggling the workload, or writing a thesis?

The first draft is a small part of the final thesis. Don’t sweat the initial writing. Just write it. Sit down. Come to it with a plan. Bang it out. Revise. Use the information you’ve gathered from your classwork. Ask others to help read it. But get it done to leave time to have a polished product.

Great advice.  Thanks, Don!



SJU Writers – Check out this Post-Graduate Writing Fellowship Opportunity!


Fr. Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., with Edward I. Koch, Mayor of the City of New York.

Fr. Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., with Edward I. Koch, Mayor of the City of New York.

America Media announces the establishment of the Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Post Graduate Writing Fellowship

America Media is pleased to announce the creation of the Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Post Graduate Writing Fellowship. The newly created fellowship offers the opportunity for three recently graduated students from Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and Canada to work at the offices of America Media in New York City for one year.

“Through the O’Hare Fellowship, we are looking to support a new era of young and gifted writers, providing them with challenges and opportunities to grow both personally and professionally,” said Father Matt Malone, S.J., Editor in Chief and President of America Media. “It’s a chance to live in New York City, the media center of the world, and to work at a dynamic and growing organization such as America Media.”

O’Hare fellows spend one full year working at the offices of America Media, where they will generate content for America’s multiple platforms: print, web, digital, social media and events. O’Hare fellows enjoy a rich personal and professional experience through ongoing mentoring and other opportunities. Fellows meet regularly with America’s editorial staff, including James Martin, S.J., editor at large of America and a New York Times best-selling author, in order to cultivate their skills and professional networks. At the conclusion of the program, O’Hare fellows are uniquely suited to pursue successful careers in the Catholic media or other forms of professional journalism.

O’Hare fellows receive housing at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, health care coverage and a monthly stipend for living expenses during the 12 months of the program. Applications open December 1, 2015 and close January 31, 2016.

The Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., Post Graduate Writing Fellowship is made possible through the generosity of William J. Loschert, Fordham University College of Business Administration, Class of 1961, and a member of America Media’s board of directors.

For more information regarding the O’Hare fellowship and how to apply, please visit

About America Media: America Mediapublisher of America magazine, is the leading producer of multimedia content for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking. It provides a smart Catholic take on religion, politics and culture. Founded in 1909 by the Jesuit order as America magazine, it now offers content on multiple print and digital platforms including –America Digital, America Radio, America Films and America P2P (events).

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