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Master Of Professional Writing Program News

USC Dornsife's David Ulin of the Master of Professional Writing program (far right) moderates a discussion about how the literary perception of Los Angeles architecture helped shape the city's identity. Ulin is book editor of the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. From left: Jon Christensen, Alice Kimm and Christopher Hawthorne. Photo by  Gary Leonard.

Tales from Two Cities

March 6, 2014

For nearly 90 years, Los Angeles’ architecture has been seized upon by the city’s critics as an easy target, a way to reinforce its reputation as a shallow place without roots. Unjustly so, argued USC…

Syd Field Tribute

In Memoriam: Syd Field, 77

November 21, 2013

Syd Field, lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing (MPW) program at USC Dornsife, whose 1979 book Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting has been the major reference tool for generations of writers, has died. He…

Giselle Rodriguez-Forté took a break from the Master of Professional Writing (MPW) program for an opportunity to work as an associate producer at Condé Nast Entertainment in Manhattan, N.Y. She graduates from MPW in 2014. Photo by Michael Lopez.

High Heels, High Ambitions

October 18, 2013

Giselle Rodriguez-Forté will be the first to tell you, she’s a sneakers girl. So it was a bit of a surprise when, searching for something to wear to her grandmother’s funeral, she laid her eyes on a pair of…

Vanessa Bell Calloway portrays Zora Neale Hurston at Bovard Auditorium in 2012. Photo by Chris Roman/Daily Trojan.

Letters From Zora

August 15, 2013

When three USC faculty members agreed to share a conference stage in 2012, it turned out to be much more than a typical academic panel. The gathering became the catalyst for a lasting collaboration and an opportunity to more…

Author Shoson Nagahara employed a gritty, proto-noir style in writing about Japanese immigrants living in 1920s Little Tokyo. This 1924 image, "Little Tokyo: An Alley" is one of the many historical photos printed in <em>Lament in the Night</em> (Kaya Press, 2012). Photo by Toyo Miyake, courtesy of Toyo Miyake Studio.

Lament in the Night

March 1, 2013

The man quietly passes through the shadows, hungrily seizing a half-rotten watermelon rind from the ground at the now-deserted marketplace, later retching miserably. After checking and rechecking his coin purse for any…

Mark Richard, a lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing program, has won a 2012 Pushcart Prize for his memoir and first book of nonfiction <em>House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer’s Journey Home</em>. Born a “special child” with deformed hips in rural Virginia, Richard chronicles his struggle with faith and the life that made him a writer. Photo by Jeff Vespa.

On Writing and Redemption

July 7, 2011

Mark Richard didn’t intend to write his latest book. He had originally set out to explore the death of Nat Turner, an early 19th-century slave insurrectionist in Southampton County, Va., where Richard lived as a boy.…

Amie Longmire and Krishna Narayanamurti, students in USC College's Master of Professional Writing Program, teaching a multi-genre writing course to freshman at West Adams Preparatory High School. The residency program is through a partnership with PEN Center USA's PEN in the Classroom (PITC). Photo credit Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody.

Discovering Their Voices

March 4, 2011

Writing reports on Charles Dickens’ novels, analyzing the theme of 1984 or ascertaining William Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter are assignments high school students have come to expect in their English classes. So,…