SJU Writing Studies Author Showcase – Save the date!

Our fabulous literary magazine, The Avenue, has assembled some impressive talent for an Author’s Showcase, to be held on October 13 at 7 p.m. in Mandeville Hall, Room 313.  Alums and current students will present some of their work.  Come and enjoy this special evening with us!

Writers Showcase Flyer (final)





A big thank you to Dan Rousseau and Don Philbrick for making the showcase happen.


Call for Digital Chapbook Submissions

Essay Press Chapbook Contest-2


Essay Press is now reading for its first digital chapbook contest, to be judged by Essay authors.

Submissions are open from August 15 through November 1, 2015. Selections will be made by January.

Judges: Dan Beachy-QuickRosebud Ben-OniAmaranth BorsukJulie CarrMina Pam DickJennifer Kwon DobbsJoe HarringtonLily HoangKrystal LanguellDavid LazarShane McCrae and Jessica Smith.



Each of these 12 judges will select one digital chapbook for 2016 publication. Each judge will write an introduction to his/her selected work. Essay will then release a new winning chapbook each month in 2016.

They particularly welcome manuscripts that extend or challenge the formal possibilities of prose, including but not limited to: lyric essays and prose poems or poetics; experimental biography and autobiography; innovative approaches to journalism, experimental historiography, criticism, scholarship and philosophy. Simultaneous submissions, multiple submissions, collaborative manuscripts, digital and hybridized text/art manuscripts are all encouraged.

The ideal manuscript will run roughly 30 to 50 pages, though no manuscript will be denied consideration on account of being too short or too long. They will consider all submitted manuscripts for additional publishing possibilities. The reading fee is $8.

To contribute to live discussions, and for updates, follow them on Facebook & Twitter.

For guidelines and to submit, as well as to browse their existing digital and print catalogs, visit

Go ahead – give it a shot!

SJU Writing Series Continues with Writer Seamus McGraw

mcgraw frackingbookbettingfarmbook






Environmental journalist Seamus McGraw will be on campus on April 16th to read from and discuss his new book, Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories from the Front Lines of Climate Change .


3:30 Cardinal Foley Center “Betting the Farm on a Drought: A Reading and Conversation on Climate Change”

6:30 Cardinal Foley Center, “The Space Between the Pages: A Look at the Stories Behind the Stories”

Here are two recent pieces he wrote for the New York Times.

Read the Kirkus review for his new book here.

 Please try to support the Writing Series by attending this event.  It should be informative as well as lively!

Fall 2015 Courses Unveiled!

Here they are – thanks for your patience.

Fall 2015 Writing Studies Courses



ENG 550: Practice of Writing/CRN 41212

Professor Tenaya Darlington

This course is designed as an introduction to the Writing Studies M.A. Program, and it allows students to explore a variety of genres while they explore career options within the writing/publishing world. Students will literally “walk in the shoes” of different writers, playing the role of columnists, reporters, editors, poets, and fiction writers. At the end of the course, students will reflect on these different roles and begin brainstorming a possible thesis project in one area.

(Core class)



ENG 620: Horror in Literature & Film/CRN 41740

Dr. Paul Patterson

From the horrors of Hell in Dante’s Inferno to the meta-narrative of Joss Whedon’s and Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods, this course explores the production, reception, aesthetics, politics, and evolution of the horror genre in both fiction and literature.  In this course we will explore the shifts in the genre’s paradigm as landmark films and books are considered and contextualized.  We will read the literary works and films against the historical, political, and industrial settings in which they were produced.  The course will move in chronological order through the films, beginning with the classic films of the 1930s and 40s. We will next examine Cold War politics and how it influenced the genre, then the apathy of the Clinton ’90s as reflected in such films as I Know What you Did Last Summer and Scream. We will conclude by considering the trauma of lost bodies in both Dante’s Inferno and such post-9/11 films as Speilberg’s War of the Worlds, George Romero’s The Land of the Dead, and the 2006 remake of The Omen. The literary works of Dante, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Colson Whitehead, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski, Brian DePalma, David Cronenberg, Joss Whedon, and Mary Harron, among others, will be studied.

(Area I)



ENG 641: Writing Through Race, Class & Gender/CRN 41789

Dr. Ann Green

Most of all, I have tried to understand the politics of they, why human beings fear and stigmatize the different while secretly dreading that they might be one of the different themselves.  Class, race, sexuality, gender—and all of the other categories by which we categorize and dismiss each other—need to be excavated from the inside. —Dorothy Allison.

In this writing workshop, students will explore how writers of a variety of sexualities, genders, social classes, and races have incorporated reflections on the subject position of the writer.  We will read a variety of writers—among them James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Nancy Mairs, and Alexandra Fuller—as we explore how race, class, and gender are inflected in the stories people tell.  Students will write creative responses to the texts we read, and we will workshop these in class. For the final project, students will write a piece of memoir, an essay, a short story, or a piece of a novel.

(Area II)



ENG 675: Speculative Fiction Workshop/CRN 41788

Professor Carmen Machado

In contemporary literature, “realism” is often used as shorthand for “literary.” The implication, of course, is that serious writing only happens within a faithful representation of reality. But this is a strictly modern idea… and a false one. Literature is historically filled with ghosts, gods, magic, talking animals, and the walking dead. Some of the most powerful and popular storytelling of our time has examined the nuances of the human condition in our own future, in alternate realities, and on other worlds. In this course, we will read and discuss different kinds of fantastic literature, and use those influences to tell our own stories. Students will learn techniques to help them weave their own supernatural tales, bust through genre tropes, and explore their obsessions. Throughout the semester, we will be reading and discussing a variety of published pieces of speculative fiction. These examples are not meant for intimidation or rote imitation: instead, think of them as small flames illuminating certain parts of a dark room, in which you too will be lighting your own candle. You will be encouraged to consider how these authors approach character, form, description, dialogue, setting, and plot and also how you might do the same in a fresh and exciting way.

(Area III)




6:30 – 9:10 p.m.

ENG 443 Grant Writing/CRN 42110

Professor Maureen Saraco

Open to grad students with permission from the director.  (Area III)