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Creative Writing News

The Moor's Account author Laila Lalami, who earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from USC Dornsife in 1997, speaks Arabic, Spanish and French in addition to English. Her linguistics training informs her writing. “When you’re a writer everything you experience goes into your writing,” Lalami said. Photo courtesy of Laila Lalami.

Estebanico’s Turn to Speak

July 29, 2014

In 1527, Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez led 600 men across the Atlantic Ocean to what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States. Their goal was to claim land for the Spanish crown. From the get-go, the…

Senior Lucy Tew, holding her American Girl doll Kirsten, took the initiative and landed an internship with the international American Girl doll company, which informed her senior capstone project. Photo by Erica Christianson.

She’s an American Girl

March 3, 2014

On Christmas Day, 6-year-old Lucy Tew opened a gift from her grandfather and discovered a doll — a young pioneer girl from the mid-1800s named Kirsten. This wasn’t just any doll, but an American Girl. Instantly…

Alumnus Anthony Marra's debut novel was longlisted for the National Book Award in fiction, among other laurels. Set in wartime Chechnya, the story was inspired by his study abroad in Russia, which exposed him to Chechnya and ignited a keen interest in the country, its culture and history. Photo by Smeeta Mahanti.

A Constellation of Accolades

December 17, 2013

It’s not bad when the fiction editor of The Washington Post names your first novel his favorite book of 2013. And when President Barack Obama is caught on camera purchasing said novel, that’s also pretty…

Dana Johnson, Judith Freeman and Richard Rayner, all USC Dornsife writers and faculty members, share the same muse: the city of Los Angeles. Photos by Cody Pickens.

Los Angeles by the Book

October 22, 2013

It was the 1970s and Judith Freeman was living in Sun Valley, Idaho, a ski instructor and horse wrangler by day, an aspiring writer by night. She’d never set foot in Los Angeles, yet she knew instinctively she needed to…

David Treuer, professor of English in the Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature program, joined the faculty in Fall 2011. A Pushcart Prize winner, he has written five books of fiction and nonfiction. He’s interested in Native American literature, the 20th-century novel, modernism and creative writing. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: David Treuer

May 7, 2013

Born to an Austrian Jewish father and American Indian mother, David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. His siblings range from a brother who has straight, jet black hair and dark…

Contestants have their ups and downs on a boss-employee edition of the game show Wipeout Tuesday, July 10 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Photo by Mike Weaver.

USC Dornsife Student Takes on Wipeout

July 9, 2012

As the director of USC Orientation Programs, Tom Studdert is used to helping incoming freshmen and transfer students overcome obstacles. But when he and USC Dornsife creative writing student Matt Schaefer became contestants on…

Brighde Mullins has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work as a playwright. Her latest play is titled <em>The Bourgeois Pig</em>, a story about a photojournalist in the Vietnam War who becomes a paparazzo in Hollywood.

USC Dornsife's Brighde Mullins Named Guggenheim Fellow

April 25, 2012

Brighde Mullins, director of USC Dornsife’s Master of Professional Writing program, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work as a playwright. Mullins will use the fellowship to spend the Fall 2012 semester…

Deborah Harkness, professor of history in USC Dornsife, and Dana Gioia, Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC, will be featured speakers at the inaugural USC Writers Conference this Friday. Harkness photo by Marion Ettlinger. Gioia photo courtesy of Dana Gioia.

The Business and Craft of Storytelling

April 16, 2012

Dana Gioia, Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC, and Deborah Harkness, professor of history in USC Dornsife and author of the best-selling book, A Discovery of Witches, will be featured speakers at the…

USC Dornsife alumna Bonnie Nadzam has been awarded The Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize for her debut book, <em>Lamb</em>. At left, Nadzam, who graduated with a Ph.D. in creative writing from USC Dornsife in 2011, stands with The Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize Award. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

USC Dornsife Alumna Wins Prize for Debut Novel

April 10, 2012

When Bonnie Nadzam began to develop characters for her dissertation in USC Dornsife’s Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing program, she could not have predicted the shape they would eventually take. It wasn’t…

"Sleep Log," written by Alain Borer and translated into English by Mark Irwin, tells the story of a sick and delirious traveler sailing from France to Tahiti. The text, which combines historical narrative, travelogue and poetry, is based on a voyage made by Borer. Irwin and Borer are both professors in USC Dornsife.

Vast Waters of the South Pacific

February 29, 2012

The ocean never finishes in the wake of boats. An unceasing torment infinitely prolonged that I would not wish on my worst enemy. Especially since my worst enemy is myself. Amid a vast ocean, in the belly of a ship, a…