Graduate School in English Roundtable Discussion Rescheduled

grad_school_logoThe roundtable discussion and Q and A session, “So You Think You Want to Go to Graduate School in English?” has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 22 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Cherry Hall 120. Mark your calendars now!

For more information about the session, see Kayleigh Brasher’s previous post from March 21st titled “So, You Think You Want to Go to Graduate School in English?

From the Advisors: Creative Writing Edition

[This post will be one of many introducing the English majors' advisers and what they do for us in the English Major community. Our advisers help us each and every day, sometimes behind the scenes. It is time for them to step into the limelight and let us praise them for all they do!]

Our inaugural interview is with Dr. McCaffrey, the Creative Writing Adviser. According to the English department website,images (1)

“Molly McCaffrey holds a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature from the University of Cincinnati and has been teaching at WKU since the fall of 2008. McCaffrey is the Pushcart-Prize nominated author of How to Survive Graduate School & Other Disasters, a collection of short stories about everyone from graduate students to Girl Scouts, from teenagers to retirees. These stories are set in Cincinnati, New Jersey, Indiana, Baltimore, East Berlin, and Washington, D.C., but all of them have one thing in common: they are stories about surviving the disasters and dysfunctional relationships we all have with friends, family, and lovers.

She is also the founder of I Will Not Diet (http://www.iwillnotdiet.com), a blog that encourages readers to reject dieting in favor of healthy living and a positive body image. McCaffrey created I Will Not Diet to reinforce the idea that we need to expand our notion of beauty and learn to like ourselves the way we are; she believes that the American obsession with dieting is one of the leading causes of obesity.

McCaffrey just finished work on You Belong to Us, a memoir about being adopted and meeting her biological family when she was thirty years old, and is now at work on a young adult novel.”

Continue reading

Serious About Applying to Graduate School Soon? Dr. Hale is Holding a Workshop for You!

gradappformMany of you have requested information about applying to graduate school, so our Department Head, Dr. Rob Hale has organized a workshop with Drs. Wes Berry, Tom Hunley, and Jeff Rice.  The workshop will be held Wednesday, November 20th at 3:00 p.m. and is designed for students who are in the process of applying or are seriously considering applying during the next cycle (November – March).

Be sure to RSVP with Dr. Hale via email at rob.hale@wku.edu by Tuesday, November 19th if you’re serious about applying to graduate school and would like to attend the workshop.

And for those who have a little more time, Dr. Alison Langdon is holding a series of workshops during the spring semester for juniors who are planning to apply next year.

In the meantime, here’s Dr. Langdon’s ideal timeline for applying to graduate school:

Spring of junior year:

  • Literature, Creative Writing, and EST students—take Senior Seminar/Capstone if possible
  • Begin researching programs
  • Speak to professors about providing letters of support
  • Start studying for the GRE

Summer between junior and senior year:

  • Hone your writing sample
  • Continue researching schools and narrow down choices
  • Take GRE (do so by August so there’s time to retake it if necessary)

Fall of senior year:

  • Professional Writing students—take Capstone course (students in other concentrations should also take Senior Seminar/Capstone if they haven’t already)
  • Write personal statement and get feedback, then revise
  • Provide professors with materials needed for letters of support (see Dr. Hughes’ and Dr. Jones’ guide to requesting letters of reference)
  • Submit applications to chosen programs

Reminder: Mandatory Registration and iCAP Workshop for Freshmen and Transfer Students is Today

Dr. Molly McCaffrey, Creative Writing Advisor

Dr. Molly McCaffrey, Creative Writing Advisor

Don’t forget the mandatory registration and iCAP workshop for freshmen and transfer students is today at 3:00 p.m. in Cherry Hall room 102.

Dr. Molly McCaffrey, our Creative Writing and current Professional Writing Advisor, orchestrated this workshop for students who are unfamiliar with using iCAP or who have not registered for classes on their own; usually these are students who are new to WKU (freshmen and transfer students), but the workshop is open to all English majors and minors – no matter what track they are in.

Contact: molly.mccaffrey@wku.edu

A Must Read for Creative Writing Majors Looking to Apply for MFA Programs

Dr. Lee Martin is the Pulitzer Prize Finalist author of THE BRIGHT FOREVER, and three other novels, including BREAK THE SKIN.

Dr. Lee Martin is the Pulitzer Prize Finalist author of THE BRIGHT FOREVER, and three other novels, including BREAK THE SKIN.

Dr. Molly McCaffrey says, “Lee Martin has written possibly the most important piece you’ll ever read about when to apply to an MFA program in creative writing.”

Dr. Martin, a Creative Writing Professor at The Ohio State University, was inspired to write “Applying for an MFA Program? Woa! Not So Fast” on his blog, The Least You Need to Know: A Blog about Writing, Publishing, Teaching, and Other Stuff, after one of his undergraduate students asked him if he thought she was ready to apply for MFA programs. Read the three things he advises any undergrad creative writer to do before applying for an MFA program.

 

Need Help with Registration and iCAP? Dr. McCaffrey is Here to Help!

Dr. Molly McCaffrey will be holding a registration and iCAP workshop for all English majors on November 8th.

Dr. Molly McCaffrey will be holding a registration and iCAP workshop for all English majors and minors on November 8th – Be sure to RSVP below!

On Friday, November 8th at 3:00 p.m. Dr. Molly McCaffrey will be holding a registration and iCAP workshop for students in Cherry Hall 102.

This workshop is for students who are not used to using iCAP or who have not registered for classes on their own; usually these are students who are new to WKU (freshmen and transfer students), but the workshop is open to all English majors and minors – no matter what track they are in.

RSVP to molly.mccaffrey@wku.edu by Wednesday, November 6th!

[Creativewriting-list] New Lit Minor

Dear English majors,

Good news—the Board of Regents approved the new minor in literature this summer.This minor is ONLY for English majors in the creative/professional writing tracks and for those majoring in English for Secondary Teachers. Non-English majors still need to minor in “English.” I’ve attached the corresponding worksheet (see “lit minor pdf” link below). Just like the professional and creative writing minors, six hours can be duplicated between the English major and the lit minor.Thanks and see you soon!

 

Molly McCaffrey, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Creative and Professional Writing Advisor

lit minor pdf

English 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric

Dr. Jeffrey Rice provides us with some information about a class he’ll be taking over next semester.

A native to the gray midlands of Ohio, I came to Western in the fall of 2011 as the newest Professional Writing faculty member. For the past three years, I served as the First-Year Writing Coordinator at the University of Florida, where I taught writing classes, trained graduate teaching assistants in composition pedagogy, performed program assessment, and developed a symposium on rhetoric and pedagogy.  

During my brief time at WKU, I have found some interesting, driven, and incredibly inspiring students. Their writing has made me laugh out loud, given me pause, and haunted my thoughts for days on end. More importantly, they have challenged my pedagogical philosophy and given me the courage to teach writing in radically different ways. In many ways, I consider my students my colleagues, and they influence my research accordingly. To that end, I am currently working on a few projects, including a new business writing textbook and an article that rethinks what the rhetorical concept of logos means in contemporary digital writing environments. 

On a more personal note, I am somewhat of a “foodie,” and love to travel to new places and partake in new gastronomic adventures. These interests culminated this past summer when I spent time in the Florida Keys snorkeling, diving, and eating all kinds of new food (Don’t worry, Hemingway’s multi-toed cats were not harmed in any of these pursuits). Unfortunately, these hobbies can also have repercussions. After I told another Ohioan that I thought “Skyline Chili was overrated,” I was promptly asked to never return to the state. Similarly, strangers in metropolitan airports often mistake me for “that guy on Mythbusters.” My apologies to those who have tried to sell my autograph on eBay.

ENG 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric
Fall 2012
MWF 9:10 am-10:05 am
Dr. Jeffrey (J. A.) Rice

Rhetoric, or the systematic study of persuasion, is really about the myriad of relationships we have with language. Accordingly, we’ll spend half of our time in ENG 412 reading theories of rhetoric and determining how our relationships to language shape–and are shaped by–politics, love, religion, technology, industry, and cultural convention, to name a few. We’ll spend the remainder of our time applying these theories to our writing, and specifically to developing desktop publishing practices. In this applied section of the course, we’ll learn how to write persuasive documents (essays, pamphlets, newsletters, manuals, primers, etc.) for a variety of purposes and audiences by frequently workshopping, peer-reviewing, and presenting on our work. 

Required Texts (available through WKU bookstore or Amazon.com):

  • Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric
  • Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, Rhythm Science
  • Joseph M. Williams, Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace

Recommended Texts (available through Amazon.com):

  • Cedric Gemy,  Scribus 1.3.5: Beginner’s Guide