The Writer's Insider
Vol 2. Issue 1 Fall 2017
In This Issue:
Rowan Writing Arts Spotlight:
Sometimes, just by looking at someone's picture, you can tell how they are as a person. Jason Luther, just as this image implies, is a fun and friendly guy (he likes his students to call him by his first name, as he doesn't think "Mr." or "Professor" fits his personality). He is also one of the new professors working in the Writing Arts Department.
Hailing from Buffalo, New York, he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees at SUNY in Fredonia, his Master's Degree at the University of Nevada in Reno, and his Ph.D at Syracuse University, where he has spent the last twelve years teaching courses in writing pedagogy, historiography, and self-publishing. He is also the former director of the Syracuse University Writing Center.
Luther first learned about Rowan from Dr. Rachel Shapiro, who was an alumnus of Syrachuse who kept in touch with him. In the summer of 2015, they co-presented at the Computers and Writing conference in Rochester, NY, where Luther also met former Rowan professor Bill Wolff. Luther told Wolff that he had heard great things about Rowan, to which the elder professor had only positive experiences to add about his time working there. So, last fall, when Luther was on the job market, he got an email from Interim Dean (at that time) Sanford Tweedie saying that someone had mentioned his name, and that he would be a good applicant. This took Luther by surprise, and he mentioned to Tweedie that he was intending to apply due to the school's good reputation, and that the job matched his specialization.
Now at Rowan, Luther teaches Writing, Research, and Technology, as well as Introduction to Writing Arts. As a professor, he works with students to develop a historical and critical sense of composition, to see writing as a technological activity as well as the product of socio-technical systems.
Luther has also just finished co-editing a special issue of Community Literacy Journal on self-publishing and is working on an edited collection called DIY Composition.
When we interviewed him last month, one of our questions was if he had any ideas that could usher the Writing Arts Department forward. He mentioned that a DIY Publishing class would be something useful:
"As writing is becoming more entrepreneurial...students are finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs...One thing that DIY Publishing can do is teach students how to be entrepreneurial, how to not wait around for someone to sponsor their writing, but to sponsor their own writing."
He believes that the more students are familiar with the structure and obstacles that come with getting their own work out into the world, the better they can be in the long run.
As someone who currently has him as a professor, I encourage prospective students to consider registering for one of his classes. He is, just as the image implies, a fun and friendly guy, who is continually looking to the future of writing.
If you'd like to speak with him, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information taken from: academics.rowan.edu/ccca/departments/writingArts/faculty.html
Rowan Writing Arts Spotlight:
Megan Atwood loves cats. If you ever visit her office, you'll see cat decorations everywhere. It's as close as she can be to bringing an actual cat to her office. Thankfully, she also has countless novels lining the bookshelf in her work space, mirroring a rich background in literature which she is bringing forth in her new job.
With a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Iowa and Master's Degree from Hamline University, Atwood has had over 35 books published, her most recent being a young adult horror novel called The Devils You Know (Soho Teen) and a middle grade book series called Once Upon a Winter (Simon & Schuster). She has seventeen years of experience in the publishing industry, having worked as an acquiring editor, developmental editor, managing editor, and literary agent. She is also an enthusiastic proponent of We Need Diverse Books in the children's literature community.
She was looking from tenure track jobs, which are extremely hard to find- especially in creative writing and that specialized in writing for children. She eventually saw the ad for Rowan, and immediately felt like it was meant for her. Rowan also mentioned publishing, and as someone with seventeen years of publishing under her belt, she was very excited to bring any experience she could for that, and possibly come up with courses for publishing (more on that later).
Now at Rowan, she teaches Creative Writing I and Genre Writing, as well as special topic courses in publishing and writing for children.
Outside of teaching, her current contracted projects include two more books in her DEAR MOLLY, DEAR OLIVE series(which are available at Target), and the third book in Once Upon a Winter. Additionally, she is working on a young adult sci-fi novel.
Similarly to the interview mentioned in the Luther piece, we asked Atwood if she had any ideas that could move the Writing Arts Department forward. She said that she sees innovation in the future, and that she was amazed that Rowan is interested in writing for kids literature:
"I think we can do a lot with that. I see that the M.A., and I mean man, would I love to turn that into an M.F. A. or to have a program like that...I think that would be great."
Matching her enthusiasm, Atwood had a few more ideas up her sleeve:
"I think we can do a lot with publishing... I'd like to start a C.U. G. S. for publishing or for a Master's Degree, to talk about book editing and all the stuff that goes into the production of the book, and how it gets made."
She also mentioned an interest in different types of narrative and all the possibilities that can stem from them, including pod-casting:
"My dream would be to have a graduate level pod-casting course in fiction, and that was actually cross-departmental, so that we had, you know, voice actors coming in, we had writers doing the writing, we had our production people doing the production, and putting something together that's out in the world."
One of the things she loves about Rowan is that they're very interested in making sure that whatever is done is applicable and can be used in the real world:
"I can't think of anything better than putting out a pod-cast, or editing real manuscripts, or working with someone as an editor to really make it seem like, 'okay, I know how to do this now'".
While I haven't taken a class with here, from the interview in which I met her, she seemed like a fun cat-loving woman who was enthusiastic about teaching. Other students that I know who have taken her say that she is an awesome professor with very engaging classes, and they all recommended prospective students to consider registering for one of her classes.
I encourage you to check out Megan's tour dates and latest goings on at mc-atwood.com/.
And if you'd like to speak with her, her is email address is email@example.com.
Information taken from: