Opportunities: Literature Classes in Summer and Fall 2020

Please spread the word that the English department is offering literature courses in the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters. These range from literature survey courses to really interesting special topics courses on storytelling or dystopias. I’m listing the Summer classes below, and more information about the Fall classes is available here.

ENG 2001 (Intro to Lit I-Fiction)
ENG 2002 (Intro to Lit II-Drama)
ENG 2003 (Intro to Lit III-Poetry)
ENG 2170ID (Intro to Studies in Maleness and Manhood)
ENG 2400 (Films from Literature)
ENG 3402 (Topics in Literature). This course will be taught by Prof. Goodison with the topic “Storytelling in Film, Art, & Design.” Students will study a selection of contemporary short fiction, short film, and art to discuss techniques of storytelling. They will then apply some of these techniques to create their own photography, sound, video, sketch, or multimedia project.

Opportunity: COVID-19 Stories Extra Credit

The OpenLab runs a student-focused blog called The Buzz. You’re invited to share your own stories related to COVID-19. If you’re interested in sharing your experiences with other students via The Buzz, I’m happy to give extra credit (adding points to a project or replacing a missed weekly writing assignment) for your participation.

To earn the extra credit, you’ll need to write a piece that’s at least 250-words long (longer is certainly okay) that responds to the prompt included below. Then, email your writing to me so that I can give you feedback. Finally, revise your essay and then follow the directions on this post to publish your work on The Buzz. The prompt is below:

You are invited to share your story on The Buzz, offering others a glimpse into your experience. You might share a story about yourself or your loved ones who are grappling with distress or describe how your everyday life and routines have changed due to health concerns and requirements for physical distancing. You might also write about ways that you have managed to find a sense of contentment or learned new strengths or skills you didn’t know you had.

Opportunities: Comforting Content for COVID-19 Coping

Mose has an expression of curiosity.
Mose has an expression of curiosity.

The OpenLab created a new project site called “Comforting Content for COVID-19 Coping.” It’s essentially cute videos and photos of animals. I’ve added some things of my cats Mose and Miao Miao. Others have added links and other content with more posts to be published soon. If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here. And, if you’d like to contribute, there are directions about how to on this page.

Opportunities: Counseling for City Tech Students

I think it’s safe to say that everything about what we’re now going through and dealing with is difficult, hard, and stressful.

City Tech has a Counseling Center staffed with helpful and caring folks who want to help students face these challenging times. While they currently can’t meet face-to-face, they have other ways of talking with students online or over the phone. Up-to-date information about contacting them is available on the City Tech Counseling website here.

Also, NYC Well offers counseling for all New Yorkers via text, talk, and chat through their website. They also maintain a curated list of wellness apps that offer support for a variety of things.

Opportunity: New Yorker Article Referencing E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops”

Philip Burkhard emailed me a link to this article in The New Yorker magazine that references the story that we read in the unit on Proto-SF, E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops.” Read it here.

If you find things related to the class–articles, videos, etc.–please send them my way and I’ll share them back out with the class!

Opportunity: Guest Lecture on Physics and Science Fiction

I gave a lecture on “Physics and Science Fiction” to the Spring 2020 Modern Physics class led by Prof. Darya Krym. I discuss some things that we won’t have a chance to cover in our class. If you have the time, I would encourage you to watch the video. It might give you some ideas for your research paper. More about the guest lecture including my presentation slide deck can be found here.

Opportunity: Arizona State University Climate Fiction Contest

I recently received an email about this very cool fiction writing contest sponsored by Arizona State University. If you enjoy writing stories, consider writing one (or using one that you have already written) that in some way relates to climate issues and send to this contest. The prizes are nice, and winning would be a nice addition to anyone’s resume.

In general, consider submitting to writing opportunities and contests. Investigate who is running the contest and focus on no-fee submissions in most cases. There’s no entrance fee and its sponsored by a prestigious school.

Hello all! I’m writing to share that the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University recently launched our third Everything Change global climate fiction writing contest.

We’re looking for short stories of 5000 words or less, across all genres. The first place winner will be awarded $1000, and nine finalists will receive prizes of $100. There is no entry fee, and the contest is open to anyone age 18 or older, anywhere in the world.

The winner and finalists will be published in our third Everything Change digital anthology, which will be free to read and share. The submission deadline is April 15, 2020. Our lead judge is Claire Vaye Watkins, winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and author of the acclaimed climate fiction novel Gold Fame Citrus. 

Opportunity: City Tech’s New Writing Center

When you need help with your writing in our class or another, I would recommend in addition to seeing me during office hours, you should visit City Tech’s new Writing Center. When you visit, come prepared with the assignment that you are working on and some of your writing for the assignment. Bring something to write with and on. The Writing Center helps you improve your writing ability through one-on-one help. They aren’t an editing/copy editing service. Writing Centers follow the principle behind this proverb: “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Location: LG-27

Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10am-6:30pm and Fri. 10am-3pm

Opportunity: Literary Arts Festival

One thing that I like to recommend to all students is to enter writing competitions. Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, entering and potentially winning a prize in a writing competition gives you important accolades that you can include on a resume, talk about during an interview, and prove to potential employers that you are an effective communicator (which is one of the MOST sought after qualifications in any field). Don’t sell yourself short–enter these contests with your work from class or writing that you’ve done on your own. Sometimes you will win and a lot of times you will lose. However, if you never enter, you obviously stand zero chance of winning anything, so please consider entering your work in writing competitions.

City Tech has a long-running competition built into the annual Literary Arts Festival. The deadline is March 1 for submissions. Details are available here.