Creative Writing

Writing Contest Opportunity for Fordham Students

An exciting opportunity for Fordham students, undergraduate and graduate, comes our way through The Suzanna Cohen Legacy Foundation (SCLF), an organization devoted to collecting and preserving narratives about forced displacement—past and present—of survivors, refugees, immigrants, and exiles, as well as individuals or groups who offered support and succor. 

This contest, offered for the first time, is open only to Fordham students, undergraduates or graduates in any of our programs or schools.  Four prizes, each of $750, are to be awarded to creative works in four categories: writing, performance, visual art, and mixed media. There is a possibility of eventual publication as well. Submission deadline is February 20th.

To submit, go here: Suzanna Cohen Legacy Foundation Prizes.

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SCLF is a nonprofit founded by the family of Edward Cohen, whose mother fled the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 and three years later came to Tehran, where she met and married her husband and lived for close to forty years. She was exiled for a second time because of the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s.  

The foundation's particular association with Fordham came about thanks to Kim Dana Kupperman, a former writer-in-residence in the English Department who wrote a novel about the family's story, entitled  Six Thousand Miles to Home: A Novel Inspired by a True Story of World War II.  

Call For Submissions: 2019 Creative Writing Prizes

We are now accepting applications for the 2019 Creative Writing Prizes. Submissions will be accepted until February 20th. 

Click on the titles of prizes to access guidelines and the online submission manager. 

Academy of American Poets Prize
Eligibility: Any Fordham student
1 prize of $100

Bernice Kilduff White & John J. White Creative Writing Prize
Eligibility: Rose Hill senior undergraduate students
1 prize Cash Amount to be determined.

Margaret Lamb/Writing to the Right-Hand Margin Prizes
Eligibility: Any Fordham student
1 prize of $100

Suzanna Cohen Legacy Foundation Prizes
Eligibility: Any Fordham student
4 prizes of $750

The Reid Family Prize
Eligibility: Any Fordham student
1 prize of $500

Professor Bly's Book Named Best of 2018

Congratulations to Mary Bly (pen name Eloisa James), whose novel Too Wilde to Wed has been named one of the ten best books of 2018 by Apple Books.


From Apple: “In 2018, Apple Books launched as a brand new app, making it effortless for iPhone and iPad users to discover and enjoy books and audiobooks. This year Apple Books celebrates works from a diverse group of authors,” including There There by Tommy Orange and American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Too Wilde to Wed, a novel Booklist says marries “potent sensuality with a deliciously dry sense of humor,” also debuted at #7 on the New York Times best seller list and was picked as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month.

Congrats again to Professor Bly on this fabulous accomplishment.

5th Annual Golden Gloves Literary Competition & Fair

On December 7, the annual Golden Gloves Literary Competition and Fair took place at the Lincoln Center campus. Creative writing classes across Fordham presented their work to compete for three prizes: Ram d’Or (Best in Show), Best Experiment, and the Audience Award. This year, the presentations were judged by Gina Apostol, winner of the PEN Open Book Award for her novel Gun Dealer’s Daughter, and recipient of the Philippine National Book Award.

Before the event, attendants enjoyed a pizza dinner and had the opportunity to attend a campus Literary Fair, which featured the publications Bricolage, The Ampersand, The Comma, and MODE Magazine. Staff members in these groups fielded questions from students interested in writing for publication.

The competition itself featured ten different creative writing classes: Performance Criticism, Poetry - What Good is It?, Essay is a Verb, The Stuff of Fiction, Poetry of Witness, The Good Life, First Flint, Writing the World, Writing for Teens in an Adult World, and The Outsiders: Reading and Writing Fiction about Outsiders, Outcasts, Exiles, and Rebels.

Taylor Shaw, FCRH ‘19, appreciated the diversity of voices and topics represented by the classes.

“Everyone brought something different to the table this year, and I really liked that the pieces covered a broad variety of topics,” said Shaw. “From hilarious parodies of guilty pleasure young adult novels to hard-hitting and chilling reflections on the Kavanaugh trial and its surrounding context, the different works kept us engaged and at the edge of our seats for the entire competition.”

Judge, Gina Apostol read a selection from her new novel, Insurrecto. She was followed by Writer in Residence Nyssa Chow, who presented her multimedia story on a hunger striker in Trinidad, as well as scenes from her Still.Life. Exhibition.

As a student in Chow’s Multimedia and Narrative Practice class, Shaw was grateful for the opportunity to hear, see, and be inspired by her professor’s work.

“As her student, it was really gratifying to get to see her brilliant work after such a wonderful semester,” said Shaw. “We had such a great opportunity to see the skills we’d learned in action.”

The Ram d’Or (Best In Show) award was given to Professor Nyssa Chow’s Essay is a Verb class for their poignant commentary on sexual abuse and feminism after the Kavanaugh trial. Best Experiment went to the students of Professor Sarah Gambito’s The Good Life, for their interpretation of a dialogue with the succulent plants they had nurtured over the course of the semester. Finally, Molly Horan’s class, Writing for Teens in an Adult World, took home the Audience Award for its rollicking tribute to the young adult fiction genre.

Though saddened that this would be her last Golden Gloves, senior Evgenia Mantika, FCLC ‘19, expressed her appreciation of how the event brought the creative writing community together.

“Golden Gloves reminds creative writing students of the incredible community they are a part of,” said Mantikas. “It is a chance for us to be inspired by our peers, whether it be by expressing our voices politically or by writing brilliant young adult fiction.”

English Major is a Fiction Contest Finalist


Congratulations to English major Julia Gagliardi, FCRH’19, who has been named a finalist in the Southhampton Stony Brook Short Fiction Contest for her story “The Chapel of Love” and was recently among those selected as a Creative Writing Concentrator. 

Storytelling of all sorts is close to Julia’s heart––she writes powerfully and persuasively in creative writing classes about her Irish aunts and is a story-telling mentor and founding member of “Our Story,” an event featuring student storytellers who create and share their personal stories with a live audience.

The third “Our Story” event was held Monday, November 12 at Rose Hill, during which Julia told the audience, “This is a chance for students to share uninterrupted stories, share authentically, and share truthful stories from their life.”

For more on Julia, click here:

12/7: Golden Gloves Literary Competition & Fair

Join us on Friday, December 7th, as we celebrate student writing at the annual Golden Gloves Literary Competition and Fair.

In this year’s competition, student writers from every creative writing class will present a piece they have worked on over the course of the semester. Writers will have the opportunity to win one of three prizes: Ram d'Or, Best Experiment, and Audience Favorite.

The Literary Fair will feature publications from both Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses, including The Ampersand, Bricolage, and The Comma. Meet the editors of these esteemed publications and learn about student contributor opportunities.

The event will take place from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in the 12th Floor Lounge at the Lincoln Center campus.

Look forward to an evening of creativity and literary excellence!

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I Did It Wrong: How to be a Creative Person in the World, 2018 Mary Higgins Clark Chair

This past week, we were honored to host Lev Grossman as our 2018 Mary Higgins Clark Chair. Grossman is the New York Times bestselling author of the “Magicians” trilogy, now adapted into a Syfy original series. During his time in residence, Grossman delivered a lecture, conducted craft classes, advised students 1-on-1, and attended a High Tea with students and faculty at the St. Regis.

His presentation, titled “I Did It Wrong: How to be a Creative Person in the World,” addressed what he described as the “embarrassing or near-fatal mistakes” he made over the course of his writing career, as well as how such missteps could be avoided. In particular, he emphasized the importance of rejection, community, and knowing oneself as a writer.

“As much as [writing] is about finding your voice and honing your craft, it is about rejection,” said Grossman.

He spoke on his background as a writer, including growing up in a literature-loving household and his childhood enchantment with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Later, as an undergraduate, he repeatedly failed to be published in The Harvard Advocate, and after graduation, he traveled to Maine for an unsuccessful attempt at literary isolation.

“Art is rarely made by people on their own,” Grossman said of this episode.

It wasn’t until years later that he was able to find his voice, his genre, and his form: the humorous fantasy novel, as represented by The Magicians.

After the lecture, Grossman answered questions from the audience and signed books. Students such as Brielle Intorcia, FCLC ‘20, reacted positively to his presentation.

“I really resonated with the idea that writing is always together, with other people,” said Intorcia. “I had never thought about that before.”

Intorcia also expressed her appreciation for MHC events as an opportunity to glean insight from successful writers.

Over the two days that followed his presentation, Grossman continued offering insight in the form of craft classes and 1-on-1 advising at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center. In classes, he gave students practical tips on how to improve their writing, advising them to write like a reader, break rules, and remember that fiction isn’t rocket science.

Finally, on Wednesday, Lev Grossman attended High Tea at the St. Regis along with English department students, faculty, and prospective majors. Creative writing concentrator Ann Pekata, FCLC ‘20, enjoyed this chance to meet Grossman face-to-face after reading his novel.

“I read Lev Grossman’s book a couple years ago and thought it would be cool to meet him,” said Pekata.

She also appreciated the opportunity to network with other members of the English department, particularly in such a high-class setting.

“I gained some new friends at the table, so that was cool!” said Pekata. “I also discovered how much I love tarts.”

Going forward, the English Department and the Creative Writing Program hope to continue to provide students with opportunities to learn from accomplished writers such as Grossman, as well as the chance to come together as a department and discuss the literature that inspires us. Deep thanks to the visionary Mary Higgins Clark for making all of this possible.

Students, faculty, and the MHC Chair enjoyed tea, desserts, and each other’s company during High Tea at the St. Regis.

Students, faculty, and the MHC Chair enjoyed tea, desserts, and each other’s company during High Tea at the St. Regis.

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Lev Grossman signed copies of  The Magicians  for those in attendance of his lecture.

Lev Grossman signed copies of The Magicians for those in attendance of his lecture.

After his presentation, Grossman addressed questions from students and faculty in attendance.

After his presentation, Grossman addressed questions from students and faculty in attendance.