Teaching Fellowships

Applicants can apply for Teaching Fellowships when they apply for admission to the MFA Program. 

If you would like to be considered for the Teaching Fellowship in either Composition or the Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC Fellowhsip), please submit a letter of application up to 1,000 words. Please describe your teaching experience or other relevant experience (i.e., editing, tutoring, coaching, professional writing, or any other distinguishing writing or mentoring experience), as well as your interest in and reasons for applying to the fellowship(s). One of your letters of recommendation should address your relevant experience.

Composition Fellowships

The Teaching Fellowship prepares three fellows, one from creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry to teach composition at the college level. Teaching Fellows spend the fall semester of their first year as interns in an English 4 undergraduate composition course.  They are mentored by an experienced compostion professor. After successful completion of the internship, each fellow is then able to teach his or her own composition course as a Lecturer in the fall semester of their second year.

The Fellowship pays a stipend of $5000 in the first year and approximately $5000 in the second year. Teaching Fellows are eligible for merit-based scholarships as well.

WAC Fellowships

The WAC Fellowship is a prestigious two-year appointment that provides students with experience in the Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (CWAC). Two WAC Fellows are selected from each genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction and Poetry. The Fellowship pays a stipend of approximately $4,000 in the first year and $10,000 in the second year. WAC fellows also remain eligible for the MFA Program’s merit-based scholarships.

The WAC Fellowship prepares Fellows to work with writers of all disciplines and levels. WAC Fellows spend their first semester learning and developing tutoring skills, completing training courses in minimalist advising and Writing Across the Curriculum pedagogy. As interns in the spring of their first year, they advise one-on-one sessions, teach workshops, and observe Writing Circles. Throughout the fall and spring of their second year, Fellows teach in CWAC as Writing Advisers and Writing Circle Facilitators.

Hear from past MFA Teaching Fellows:

"Getting to teach at St. Mary's was such an important and fulfilling experience, both as a teacher and as a writer. When I say "getting to," I mean it--by the time I graduated, I felt like the teaching fellowship was something I was lucky to have done. The fellowship allowed me terrific mentoring opportunities, the experience of planning and teaching my own course, and the chance to work with truly wonderful students."--Jill Kolongowski (Creative Nonfiction, MFA '14)

"Teaching at St. Mary's has helped me gain valuable experience working with an energetic group of students who are committed to learning (even when class starts at 8 AM!).  While I have taught at both the high school and college levels, I've picked up some great ideas and classroom methods from my mentor teacher along with the other Composition faculty members here!"--Maria Judnick (Creative Nonfiction, MFA '13)

"I was eager to teach, but there were so many things I didn't know about how a class really operated. My teaching fellowship gave me the opportunity to be mentored by a professor before I took the leap. Heading into my very first class, I knew I had learned the skills required to truly serve my students."--Mary Paynter Sherwin (Poetry, MFA '13)

"Working at St. Mary's as a Teaching Fellow turned out to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my entire MFA experience. I was nervous, at first, about teaching a class, but I had a great mentor who helped me become more confident about leading classroom discussions, and who helped me select readings, prepare syllabi, and organize course materials -- all things that remain useful to me now, as a college instructor."--Lain Hart (Fiction, MFA '12)

Internships

Internships

Students have the opportunity to pursue internships either for elective credit, a stipend ($2000 in the second year) or as an extracurricular activity. Internships are available in teaching composition, publishing, arts administration, teaching creative writing, or service learning. Though students are welcome to participate in more than one internship, the stipend and course credit are given for only one internship. Off-campus internships at publishing houses, with literary agents, or community engagement internships are also encouraged.

Teaching Internships

The Teaching Internship allows students to observe the conduct of a college course and to share the pedagogical activity of the supervising instructor. The student serves as co-teacher with a mentor teacher from the English Department and assists with an undergraduate course in composition, creative writing or literature. The student attends each course session and shares responsibility for instructing the class and responding to students' written work. Teaching internships are only available to second-year students.

 Learning Outcomes:

  • Interns will observe the conduct of a college course by attending each class session;
  • Interns will learn the rudiments of course planning, the writing of paper topics and examinations, grading, and classroom instruction.

Publishing Internships

Omnidawn Publishing (h Omnidawnttp://www.omnidawn.com/)

Omnidawn Publishing is seeking interns who specialize in poetry and/or fiction. In fiction, we are particularly interested in writers who have some interest in fabulist writing.

Overview of Omnidawn Publishing

Omnidawn Publishing is fiscally sponsored through the 2430 Arts Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We seek to support and expand our community of writers and readers through the work we choose to publish, which questions, in both form and content, the prevailing limits of convention. Our intent is to explore internal and external boundaries and push, with compassionate insight, the limits of risk.

Just as our name suggests—“omni” (in all ways and places) and “dawn” (the first appearance of light)—we publish creative works that open readers anew to the myriad ways that language may bring new light, insight, awareness, as well as a heightened respect for and appreciation of differences.

Omnidawn books are frequently reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Rain Taxi, Lana Turner, The Journal, Jacket, and Pleiades, and have been reviewed in Chicago Review, American Book Review, The Village Voice, The Midwest Book Review, The Poetry Project Newsletter, HOW2, The New Review of Literature, Small Press Traffic Newsletter, Electronic Poetry Review, Interim, and ARC (Canada’s National Poetry Magazine), as well as many other publications.

When we meet you for the first time, here's what we'd like to discuss:

When we meet with you:

--we can tell you about Omnidawn, 

--and more about working for us as an intern (though most of that is listed below), 

--and what we hope interns will gain from the experience of working with us. 

--and we'd like to come away with a sense of your interests, 

--and what you'd like to gain from this internship, and, 

--if you have a particular timeline in mind for working with us (ie: Do you have an end-date in mind, or are you interested in staying with us without a set date in mind now. Either is fine, we just are interested in your intentions at this point).

Here is some info about interning with for us:

General Expectations for Interns:

1. Specific Duties that are more mundane: 

-- staff and interns all have some areas of work that might be considered 'general press work'. These jobs are done during the week, when you are not with us, and then we all report at the monthly meetings. Some data entry, for instance. There aren't many of these tasks. (Ken and I handle all the incoming email ourselves, since this can become overwhelming if assigned to someone who isn't familiar with the processes we use.)

2. Specific Duties that are more creative/ more interesting: We feel it's very important for interns and staff to have creative projects. Here are some that are available, but there are others, depending upon an intern's skills and interests.

a)     Feature Writing: for those interested in writing, there are many sorts of writing assignments that relate to our Omnidawn online magazine: OmniVerse. It would be an enormous help to us if you'd be interested in doing some of this writing.  

b)    All articles are reviewed by Gillian Hamel and Rusty Morrison, so you don't have to feel that you are working without support.

We think of this kind of writing as a public service, that's the focus of OmniVerse, to provide insight into writing and works outside of Omnidawn. So we'd love to have you take on some small writing and or interview or review project. 

b) New Outreach of Social Media: for those interested in social media, we are always looking to broaden our reach. We are active on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest, but there are other social media outlets that we realize are growing increasingly important. We would be interested in talking about having some one who might take on another outlet or two and share our news there... this is an idea in its nascent form. But it might be exciting for the right person to help us move into other areas of social media...

c) Bookstore Outreach: for Staff or Interns who like the idea of making contacts with bookstores, we are planning to do some bookstore outreach. This lets interns represent us, and make good contacts with the indie stores that are interested in small press books. Knowing these people can come in handy. We give free copies of Omnidawn books to bookstores, and they usually love that, and so these calls can be a lot of fun. But it's still 'cold calling' and some folks don't like to do them. We were doing this last year, but stopped for a few reasons. It is something we will begin again in a few months.

d) Also, depending on an intern's skills, other options are available. We feel very strongly that an internship should give the intern excellent growth opportunities and contacts.

How to Apply:

Send the following to Rusty Morrison at rusty@omnidawn.com (and CC Sara Mumolo and Candace Eros Diaz):

1.. A resume or CV

2.. A one-page cover letter expressing your interest in interning with Omnidawn

3.. Optional: a writing sample of a) your creative work and b) a recent review or critical essay you’ve written. This could come directly from a class at SMC, or at other academic institutions.

You will receive an email confirming that we have received your application within approximately 24 hours. If you don’t, that is likely to mean that the email went astray. Please send again and/or call us at 510-237-5472.


MARY Mary Journal

Students can learn about small press internet publishing through internships with MARY, the Program's in-house web publication. Student interns assist with various elements of administration, editing, layout, publicity, and advertising.

Learning Outcomes:

  • develop a selection process for each genre;
  • attend meetings and act as the representative for his or her genre, selecting from submissions or soliciting work to contribute to the final issue(s).
Wave BooksWave Books (http://www.wavepoetry.com/)

Students will work with Wave Books Senior Editor and St. Mary's MFA Core Faculty Matthew Zapruder on specific editorial projects related to books, as well as other editorial and curatorial activities. Depending on what the editors are working on during the time of the internship, interns may assist in various ways with current, special or future publishing projects. Interns will also work on a public event scheduled at St. Mary's that will feature Wave authors. Finally, interns will have the opportunity to conduct interviews and write reviews with Wave authors, for possible publication. Wave Books publishes 8-10 books per year, mostly poetry but also books of translation or prose by poets, specializing in the work of mid-career authors. Internships begin Spring 2014.

Commitment:  One semester

Learning Outcomes:

  • learn about the editorial process, including manuscript discovery, evaluation, editing, and production
  • gain an understanding of the range of contemporary poetry being published now in electronic and print journals, and further understand the trends, influences and traditions that make up contemporary poetry publishing
  • refine and expand methods of discussing and evaluating poetry manuscripts and individual poems, especially in terms of readership and reception
  • observe first hand the particularities and specific challenges of editing a poetry manuscript for publication
  • become familiar with the work of Wave Books poets (backlist and current publications), including opportunities to meet poets and discuss their poetry and publications
  • assist with Wave Books' activities (book table, readings, other functions) at the annual Associated Writing Program Conference
  • assist with the planning and implementation of public events, including a college-wide discussion and reading at St. Mary's
  • have the opportunity to conduct interviews and write reviews for publication in nationally-recognized magazines

Caught in the CarouselCaught in the Carousel
Students edit and produce content, manage social media, and outreach with PR firms and record companies at Caught in the Carousel (CITC), an online monthly music magazine that boasts a global staff of over 40 writers who are located from California to Cyprus.  Over the years they've had everyone from novelist Rick Moody to the musician Devendra Banhat contribute to the site and every year their essays are nominated for the Best American Music Writing series.  Their contributors have drawn heavily from the MFA Creative Writing Program (from the class of 1997 to the current one) and they're very proud of their close ties with SMC.  
 

Community Engagement and Service Learning


We Care
We Care Services for Children

We Care was founded in 1960 by parents of children with severe developmental disabilities.  The founders (nine mothers) sought to establish an organization that would enable their children to receive a range of needed services within their own community.  At the time, no such agency existed.

Project Description One:

We would like to have a historical document about the creation and evolution of We Care; from our humble beginning in a local church to the Chaves family donation of nine acres where we currently have our community-based school.  We continually hear stories about how the community helped build We Care and from others who believe we changed their child’s life.  We believe it would be wonderful to capture the rich history of this agency.

The project would include reading some of the historical letters and files we have plus interviewing past families, board members, and the founding director.

Project Description Two:

We have many success stories about the children and families we serve.  The stories are used on our website, in our marketing materials, and soon to be social media efforts.  We would really like for the stories to “come alive” and I know this would be possible with the students in the creative writing course.

The project would include reviewing our collection of stories and re-writing them for impact.  Also, it may include interviewing current and alumni parents to get additional stories.

Sometime Project:

We, as all nonprofits, write to foundations and other funders about our program services and why funding is needed.  It would be wonderful to have our past proposals read and revamped to be more compelling.

Lafayette Senior Services

Interns will facilitate a creative writing workshop at Lafayette Senior Services. The class focuses on documenting a life story through writing prompts and exercises and discussion of manuscripts.  Seniors are invited to attend Saint Mary’s Afternoon Craft Conversations, normally open only to MFA Candidates. An interest in working with the senior population and memoir is strongly suggested.  The internship will culminate with a anthology of work and a reading from the seniors at Lafayette Senior Center.

Check out the Memoir Workshop Blog!

Lafayette Seniors Citizens
Lafayette Seniors Citizens
Lafayette Seniors Citizens
River of Words

River of Words is a linked network of people throughout the United States and the world who are committed to teaching the art and poetry of place to young people.  Founded by activist Pamela Michael and then-US Poet Laureate, River of Words promotes environmental literacy through the arts and cultural exchange. ROW reaches thousands of educators and young people around the world through its annual art and poetry contest.  Interns work to coordinate the annual youth art and poetry contests, as well as the ceremonies that invite young people to understand their watershed. Interns will also work to publish the River of Words annual anthology.   

Learning Outcomes:

  • sort, enter data, discuss, evaluate, and acknowledge entries to the annual contest;
  • generate and mail awards and recognition certificates to contest participants;
  • design and prepare the contest anthology for publication;
  • plan for and assist with ROW award ceremonies in Washington D.C. and on SMC campus.
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of AmericaCrohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

Interns are given the opportunity to recruit and interview patients, family members, and volunteers in order to give voice to their personal journeys with chronic illness. They then are able to shape interviews and craft stories for web/print publication in order to build awareness, education and strengthen the community of patients, physicians, families, volunteers and donors. Interns encourage the sharing of these personal narratives to bring dignity to the lives of those affected by IBD.

Graduate and Professional Studies

The College’s rigorous education engages intellect and spirit, awakening the desire to transform society. Working with the College’s outstanding faculty, our students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make meaningful and relevant contributions in a rapidly changing world.

2014-2015 Graduate Student Reading Series

Fall Readings
Wednesday, October 22nd 2014, 7:30-9:00  

Hagerty Lounge

Janine de Boisblanc (Creative NonFiction), Nestor Gomez (Creative NonFiction), Melissa Burke (Poetry), Andrea Babinec (Fiction), and Joseph Schneider (Creative NonFiction) 

 

Wednesday, December 3rd 2014, 7:30-9:00

Hagerty Lounge

Marlene Decker (Creative NonFiction), Amanda Kuehn (Creative NonFiction), Nicholas Cuzzi (Poetry), and Ryan McKinley (Fiction) 

 

Spring Readings
Wednesday, February 25th 2015, 7:30-9:00

Hagerty Lounge

Germana Fabbri (Creative NonFiction), Mariah O'Seanecy (Creative NonFiction), Kelly Gemmill (Poetry), Julie Gesin (Fiction), and Anne Marie Nguyen (Fiction)
 

Wednesday, March 25th 2015, 7:30-9:00

Hagerty Lounge

Simon Neely (Poetry), Ani Tascian (Creative NonFiction), Elizabeth Wright (Creative NonFiction), Andrew Shigo (Fiction), Tara Galvez (Creative NonFiction), and Mary Cisper (Poetry)


Wednesday, April 15th 2015, 7:30-9:00

Hagerty Lounge

Andrea Firth (Creative NonFiction), RJ Ingram (Creative NonFiction), La'Vonnda Haynes (Poetry), Jeff Marcus Wheeler (Fiction), and Michael Caligaris (Fiction)

 

Special thanks to Jeff Marcus Wheeler, our Graduate Student Reading Series host for the 2014-2015 year.

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