Creative Writing

Dinika M. Amaral Published in The Iowa Review

Fordham's own Dinika M. Amaral has published the short story "No Good Deed Unpunished" in this winter's Iowa Review. The story also earned her the Review's Tim McGinnis Award.

Amaral earned her BA at Fordham before enrolling at New York University, where she received her MA and MFA. Her work has appeared in the Times of India and Golden Handcuffs Review and is forthcoming in the Denver Quarterly and Guernica. Amaral is currently a writing coach at NYU’s Stern School of Business and substitute-teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley.

Bricolage Call for Submissions

Bricolage, Fordham University’s student-run journal of Comparative Literature, has extended its call for submissions to the print journal to January 20th.

Published annually in the spring, Bricolage features both critical and creative writing in multiple languages –– the only Fordham University journal to do so. It also publishes photography and art.

Members of the student editorial board have control over both the structure and the content of the journal. The editors are currently looking for online and print submissions. See their guidelines here.

Suggested prompts for online submissions can be found here.

Questions should be directed to

Call for Submissions: Creative Writing Prizes

The Creative Writing Program is now accepting Fordham student submissions to the 2015 Creative Writing Prizes.  

  • Academy of American Poets Prize
  • Bernice Kilduff White & John J. White Creative Writing Prize
  • Margaret Lamb/Writing to the Right-Hand Margin Prizes
  • The Reid Family Prize
  • Ully Hirsch/Robert F. Nettleton Poetry Prizes

Deadline for submissions: February 7, 2015

The Golden Gloves Literary Competition

On December 3rd, ten creative writing classes touched gloves and competed in a super-literary battle.  Each class presented five minutes of work and this ranged from a film noir short film, to experimental hypertext and family memoir.

Professors Frank Boyle and James Kim judged the competition and selected Shannon Morrall's short story "The Adventures of Albert Price" from Amy Benson's Fiction Boot Camp class as the winner.  Read the winning story.

Stay Woke: Write Yourself In

On Friday, November 14, Fordham students, faculty and members of the public gathered together at both Rose Hill and Lincoln Center for Stay Woke: Write Yourself In

At Rose Hill, the Fordham b-Sides began the event on Eddie's, right outside of Dealy Hall with a rendition of The Beatles' "Let it Be" as well as the civil-rights song "We Shall Overcome." 

Attendees then moved to the McGinley Music room, where they held an engaged discussion on their personal experiences with race, their thoughts on events in Ferguson, and their feelings about identity, followed by a creative writing exercise.

Several hours later, at Lincoln Center, students, faculty, and community members met to hold a remembrance for Michael Brown and other victims of racialized violence in the United States. The group sang "This Little Light of Mine," processing from within Lowenstein, down 9th Avenue, and stopping at the famed Lincoln Center fountain. There, the group recited some of the names of the fallen, including Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and Kandy Hall, among others.

The group then silently returned down 9th Avenue back to Fordham University, where they sat down with other students, faculty, artists, and community members to talk about their experiences of race in the United States.  Following this the group took part in free-writing sessions and then shared their poetry and prose with the room. 

Artists from around the country joined the Lincoln Center group by writing in real-time on a Google Doc which was projected onto the front of the room.

The Fordham Creative Writing Program has documented this event through photos, video, and hand-written materials. To view this powerful archive, click here.

Fall 2014 Prose Reading

On November 5th, the Creative Writing Program's Prose Reading featured Fordham alumni  Chris Campanioni and Melissa Castillo-Garsow and Fordham Writer in Residence Amy Benson.

The three writers also spoke with students about the creative writing process.

"My stuff is self-reflexive and self-reflective," Campanioni said. He finds his inspiration in his surroundings, including his commute to the College of Staten Island. The Staten Island ferry, he said, is a source of inspiration as well as a way to and from work. Campanioni read from his new book, Going Down, which he called an exploration of the news industry and the fashion world. A former journalist and model, Campanioni explained that he feels all writing is, in essence, memoir.

Melissa Castillo-Garsow credits Fordham with a great deal of her life as a writer.

"I always tell people Fordham is my favorite school--and the other two are NYU and Yale, so that's some stiff competition," she said.

Castillo-Garsow's  connection to Fordham did not end when she began taking classes at other universities. Her new book, Pure Bronx, takes place in Fordham's own backyard, and was co-written with Fordham professor Mark Naison.

Amy Benson echoed Campanioni's sentiments about all writing having at least tinges of memoir within it. She hesitated to label her work as "fiction" or "nonfiction."

"I'll let you decide if it's fiction or nonfiction," she said.

Benson noted that much of her inspiration currently comes from themes of environmental distress as well as from artists, noting Phoebe Washburn in particular.

"We have caused disasters that only we can fix," Benson read.

After filling the room with prose, the three authors took questions from students.

Several students had questions about how the authors find inspiration.

"I find myself drawn to artists with an ecological bend," Benson said. When a student asked Benson how she avoided becoming overwhelmed by the plethora of potential environmental issues to writer about Benson chuckled. "Oh, it's overwhelming," Benson said.

When the authors were asked how they found their voice, all three had words of advice.

"I listen to a lot of music when I write," Campanioni said. "So those lyrics sometimes bleed into the writing."

Campanioni noted that he even acknowledges the bands that inspired him--including Joy Division, Talking Heads, and Nine Inch Nails--in the back of his books.

Castillo-Garsow credited her experience as a journalist as helping her to find her voice.

"I worked as a journalist," she said. "So I was drawn to two things: 1) dialogue and 2) place and setting. So I wander around where I think my characters are from and just listen."

Benson advised students to look within to find their own voice.

"Find the things in you that no one else has," she said.

Castillo-Garsow echoed this sentiment.

"Listen to the craziness in your head. It may not work [at first], but then it will."

Advice to Emerging Writers