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Master Of Professional Writing News

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…

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…

<em>Cleopatra</em> was a critical flop, but starred Elizabeth Taylor as the most powerful woman in the ancient world. USC Dornsife's M. G. Lord discusses <em>Cleopatra</em> in her new book, <em>The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice</em> out Feb. 7.

Behind Those Violet Eyes

February 3, 2012

Just for a hoot, M. G. Lord and a group of friends rented a mid-century modern house in Palm Springs, Calif., for Memorial Day weekend. Lord had brought a box of Elizabeth Taylor movies, and popped in a DVD. “We were…

Brighde Mullins, program director of USC College’s Master of Professional Writing Program, was awarded a 2010 USA Fellowship for literature. Photo credit Cam Sanders.

Honoring the Artist

January 4, 2011

For playwright and poet Brighde Mullins, it’s usually a powerful image that incites narrative. Recently, it was the captivating description of a young Phillis Wheatley — a slave who became the first…

Allison Doyle (middle) shares a laugh with Saxon Burns, also a student in USC College's Master of Professional Writing program, and Kate McCarthy, whom she's been friends with since their undergraduate days as English majors in the College. Photo credit Pamela J. Johnson.

A World of Difference

December 10, 2010

Growing up in Omaha, Neb., as an "insider-outsider," a Korean adoptee raised in an otherwise genetically-connected family of five, I discovered that writing was a way to organize the thoughts and ideas whirling around in my…

Thai American writers Pimone Triplett (left), Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Prince Gomolvilas and Ira Sukrungruang share their life experiences at an event hosted by USC College's Master of Professional Writing (MPW) and PEN USA. Photo credit Megan Christopher.

One Night in Bangkok

July 9, 2010

Quoting from his memoir, Talk Thai: The Adventures of a Buddhist Boy, Ira Sukrungruang summed up the theme of the evening, his tongue firmly in cheek. "I am Thai. Thais are superior to any other race," the University of South…

Sandra Tsing Loh, lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program and host of <em>The Loh Down on Science</em>. Photo credit Tatjana Loh.

There's Nothing to Fear (It's Just Science)

July 8, 2010

Why, oh why, do average laypeople so fear science? Is it some worrisome association with the Nobel Prize, a gloomy hatch of dour bearded Swedish men in lab coats? Is it the sharp sense memory of formaldehyde, recalling the…

Holly Payne ’97 today, fully healed 15 years after surviving a drunk driving accident. Photo credit Cindi Kinney.

Writing to Forgive

February 23, 2010

"If I am alive, I am going to write." Holly Payne '97 spoke these words as she lay on the edge of a road beside a cemetery. Seconds earlier, she stopped to assist two stranded cyclists. A passing pickup truck struck all…

Devon O’Brien is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing (MPW) program.

An I of My Own

January 27, 2010

“What was it like for you…?” This is a question my editor at the Los Angeles Times never asked me back in 1989, after my luncheon interview with a young and unknown Australian movie actress. So, I will tell…

Kristin Hanggi, a graduate of USC College's Master of Professional Writing program and Tony nominated director, will direct a new movie musical based on the book series <em>Dear Dumb Diary</em>.  Photo credit Pamela J. Johnson.

Don’t Stop Believing

July 20, 2009

Curled in a blanket, Kristin Hanggi was in her Manhattan apartment journaling, anxiously listening to the Tony Award nominations. The USC College alumna hoped that Rock of Ages, the metal musical she directed, would earn a…