Goodbye McGaw, Hello Winter Break!

Current MAE and MAWP students, congratulate yourselves on another quarter finished! Special congratulations to all of you who are graduating, and best of luck on your next adventures.

Main Staircase from the First Floor

As most Ex Libris readers probably already know, the end of the Fall 2011 quarter also marks the end of the English Department’s residence in McGaw Hall. Starting on Jan. 3 with the start of the Winter 2012 quarter, all classes and professors’ offices in the English Department (graduate and undergraduate) will be housed in the new Arts & Letters Building, located right next to the library at 2315 North Kenmore Avenue.

Although we’ve already linked you to the fantastic professional photos located at DePaul Newsline, last week some of the English faculty and staff got a special preview tour of the new building and we took a few more shots of our photogenic new home to put up on Ex Libris and our Flickr page (Did you know we had a Flickr page? We do!). Enjoy them!


And finally an update on Ex Libris: Ex Libris will not be updating over winter break, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check in. We’ve posted lots of great calls for papers, submissions, and writing contest entries over the last few months that have deadlines throughout December and January. So, if you’re working on something you want to get out there, browse our recent archives for places to send your writing and research (you can narrow your search by browsing by category on the right-hand side of the page). We will resume our regular blogging schedule on January 3rd.

Typical Professor's Office

And although we didn’t get the chance to publish any guest posts this quarter, come Winter Quarter we will be looking for students (and maybe alumni?) who are interesting in sharing a few thoughts on Ex Libris. If you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, why not sit down and write us something in the 300-600 word range? Maybe a summary of some interesting research you did, a great reading or conference you attended, or a great book you read or were gifted over the holidays?

Feel free to send ideas for guest posts as well as any announcements and news over the break to We look forward to reading them when we return in January!

Have a relaxing winter break and very happy holidays. See you in 2012!


More Places to Send YOUR Writing!

Playboy magazine (yes, that Playboy) is now accepting submissions for their 2012 College Fiction Contest. First prize for the winning story is $3000 and publication in Playboy magazine. Second prize is $500 and third prize is $200.The contest is open to all college students regardless of age.

Deadline for submissions is February 15th, 2012, and submissions should be typed, double-spaced, and 25 pages or fewer. Only online submissions will be accepted.

For complete rules and guidelines, and to submit your fiction, please visit the CFC Submission Page.

The brand new online literary magazine Literary Juice is announcing a call for submissions for its first issue, set to launch no later than mid-January. Literary Juice is looking for fiction, flash fiction, and poetry from both new and established writers that has not been published elsewhere.

Visit for details on how to submit and on what to expect from the up-and-coming inaugural issue.

And finally, something for our poets who are interested in an intensive poetry residence program this spring:

Poets House is delighted to announce its new Emerging Poets Residency Program. Funded by a generous grant from the Jerome Foundation, this program assists emerging poets by providing excellent poetry writing instruction and mentoring in the special environment of Poets House’s poetry library—with its unique archives and access to far-reaching programs and conversations with poets and poetry audiences. The program aims to deepen participants’ artistic practice by offering a robust professional network of poets and literary professionals, including special visits from editors and publishers, who will assist each writer with their artistic development and career.

The program includes weekly writing workshops, mentoring sessions, meetings with guest speakers, free access to Poets House’s events and archival resources and culminates in a final group reading. Transportation support is available for participants. The application process is competitive; tuition is free to those accepted into the program.

The deadline to apply for the program is February 15th, 2012 Please visit for more details and directions on how to apply.

Faculty News and a Short Story Award for New Writers

Congratulations to two of our DePaul English faculty for their recent accomplishments!

Prof. Hannah Pittard’s short story, “Orion’s Belt,” was read as the opening selection at the Selected Shorts event last week at Symphony Space in New York City. The story is one of thirteen commissioned from “emerging writers” to open the Symphony Space events held between October and June.  The event will be broadcast on NPR at a date yet to be announced.

Congratulations also to Prof. James Murphy on the publication of The Irish Book in English, 1800-1891, Volume IV of The Oxford History of the Irish Book.  Prof. Murphy is editor of this impressive volume (which includes 51 chapters divided into 11 sections) and author of the introduction and a chapter on “Novelists, Publishers, and Readers, 1830-1891.”

The deadline for the Glimmer Train Press Short Story Award for New Writers is coming up soon: November 30, 2011!


  • 1st place wins $1,200, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies.
  • 2nd-place: $500 and possible publication.
  • 3rd-place: $300 and possible publication.

Other considerations: Open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared in any print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Entries, of course, must not have appeared in any print publication.)

Word count: Most submissions run 1,500 to 6,000 words, but can go up to 12,000.

Reading fee is $15 per story.

Results post on January 31. Winning story will be published in Issue 86.

Sumbit online at

One final reminder for current students: Graduating soon? Don’t forget to check Campus Connect for information about your Degree Conferral. Degree Conferral deadline dates for the year have recently been updated. You can view them on the LAS website.

Threshold, Radio DePaul, Chicago Book Expo, and More!

We are pleased to announce that graduate student Meredith Boe and undergrad Sally Wiegel have been selected as editors for Threshold Literary Journal; and that grad students Colin Harris and Marcy Farrey have been selected as hosts for the Radio DePaul creative writing show.  Both Threshold and the Radio DePaul show will be looking for great student work quickly into the Winter Quarter.  So take some time this winter break to put your poems, essays and stories through one more draft, and start getting ready to apply.

Details will be posted on Ex Libris as we get them, so check back frequently to find out when and how you can submit your work!

Tonight is the kickoff of the 2011 Chicago Book Expo‘s Preface Reading Series. This curated series offers a different literary event at a different Uptown location each night from Nov. 14th-18th. See the full lineup here.

The main event takes place this weekend, Nov. 19th & 20th at Uptown Goldblatt’s Building (former Borders Books), 4720 N. Broadway. The Book Expo will feature a variety or events and workshops, many of them free, including a book fair featuring 40 small Chicago Publishing companies. Visit the Chicago Writers House website for full schedules and information.

Arcadia, a semi-annual literary magazine, is now accepting submissions for volume 4, due out in spring 2012.  As always, they are looking for great short fiction, poems, drama, and creative nonfiction, but they also pride ourselves in not ascribing to a certain aesthetic.  So if you have work that defies categorization, send it their way.  In short, Arcadia is looking for the best work we can find, no matter the medium or genre.  For more information on submission guidelines, visit

And finally, if you missed last week’s Career Panel for English Students, or if you enjoyed it so much you want to see it again, you’re in luck! Prof. Chris Green has provided us with video of the event. You can watch it here

Career Panel for English Students

Spotlight on: Christine Sneed

If you’ve been diligently reading the faculty news bits in Ex Libris this quarter, you’ve probably noticed Christine Sneed’s name come up more than once. Which is why when we rPortraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cryeceived yet another exciting piece of news about her award-winning first book, we decided it was high time to turn the Ex Libris spotlight on our very own Prof. Christine Sneed.

Ploughshares has just announced Christine Sneed as the winner of the twenty-first annual John C. Zacharis First Book Award for her first book, a collection of short stories entitled Portraits of a Fewof the People I’ve Made Cry. The $1,500 award, which is named after Emerson College’s former president, honors the best debut book by a Ploughshares writer, alternating annually between poetry and fiction. From Zacharis Award judge Ladette Randolph:

“Sneed’s Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry is a sophisticated collection. Linked by a common theme of male-female relationships—often sexual, always unbalanced—the stories are mature, beautiful, and devastating testaments to the ways we betray ourselves and each other. No word is out of place, no detail unnecessary. There isn’t a story here that isn’t a gem.”

But you don’t just have to take Ploughshares‘ word for it. In 2009 Portraits was awarded the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Awards Series. It also received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the “first fiction” category, and was named one of the “Seven best books of 2010” by Time Out Chicago book editor Jonathan Messinger.

Another story of Sneed’s,  “The First Wife,” was chosen for the 2012 PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories anthology, set for publication in April 2012. The story was originally published in the Winter 2011 issue of New England Review.

What’s next for Christine Sneed? Well for one, she will be teaching Eng 492: “Writing Fiction” at DePaul during the Winter quarter. But in even more exciting news, Bloomsbury Press recently acquired her novel-in-stories, Little Known Facts, which tells the story of a Hollywood actor and his family. Publication is set for Spring of 2013.

You can learn more about Christine Sneed at, and if you see her around the English Department, make sure to congratulate her on her many awards and achievements!

Publishing Event at DePaul: CityFiles Press

This Monday, Nov. 14th, the English Department and the Visiting Writers Program are hosting a very special event. At 6 p.m. in the new DePaul Art Museum, join Prof. Miles Harvey for a conversation with writers Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, the founders of CityFiles Press.

Frustrated by the creative constraints of working with traditional publishers, Cahan and Williams founded CityFiles Press in 2005.  Their wildly ambitious and stunningly beautiful books include the brand new The Lost Panoramas: When Chicago Changed its River and the Land Beyond, a collection of photographs of Chicago and its surroundings from 1894- 1928, many of which have never been seen before. The Lost Panoramas uses 21,834 of these photographs to tell the story of Chicago before, during, and after the reversal of the Chicago River.

Booklist has just given The Lost Panoramas a starred review, calling it

(T)he latest volume of discovery from Williams and Cahan, the eloquent archival sleuthing duo…Williams and Cahan profile the players, elucidate the technological innovations, track the politics, and document the beneficial and catastrophic consequences of this massive and hubristic tinkering with nature.

This short video tells the fascinating story behind the book–which is based on a century-old cache of 22,000 glass-plate negatives– and gives a look at some of the photographs published in The Lost Panoramas.

For those interested in seeing Cahan and Williams’ work first hand before the event, Prof. Harvey has generously agreed to leave his own copy of The Lost Panoramas at the front desk of the English Department, along with Cahan and Williams’ previous work, Edgar Miller and the Handmade House.

We hope you can make it to what is sure to be a fascinating look at the publishing industry through the unique perspective of Cahan and Williams and CityFiles Press.

Upcoming Writing Contests

Many of us are polishing up our revisions for final portfolios, and many more are looking forward to a long winter break with lots of extra time to write. But where are you planning to send all of your fantastic poetry and prose? Check out these upcoming writing contests, and start getting your writing ready to send in!


The quarterly literary journal American Short Fiction invites all prose writers to enter their sixth annual Short Story Contest. All entries must be unpublished and 6,000 words or less, typed and double-spaced. The contest entry fee is $20, which includes electronic access to the contest issue.

The contest judge this year is Justin Cronin, author of the critically acclaimed best-seller The Passage and Mary and O’Neil, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize. First prize in the contest receives $1,000 and publication; second prize receives $500.

All entries are considered for publication. Contest deadline: December 8th 2011. Complete guidelines can be found at:


The Annual Poetry of the Sacred Contest is now accepting submissions. First Prize will win $500 and three Honorable Mention Prizes, $100 each. Winning Poems will be published in The Merton Seasonal, a publication of scholarly articles about noted spiritual leader Thomas Merton and will be posted on

Submit only one unpublished poem, in English, 100 lines or less. Type your name, address, phone number, email address, and the title of your poem on a cover page. Attach one copy of your titled poem to the cover page. Submit your poem on a separate page with no identifying information.

Poems will not be accepted via email. The poem must be sent through the postal service  to: Merton Institute, 415 West Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, KY 40202. Include the $15 submission fee payable to The Merton Institute.

Poems will be judged on literary excellence, spiritual tenor, and human authenticity.

Deadline  is January 31, 2012. Winners will be announced by email by April 1, 2012. Please visit the Institute website for more information, and contact with any questions.


The 2012 Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all writers over 16 years of age. Stories can be on any theme or subject and entry can be made online . Entries must be previously unpublished with a maximum length of 3,000 words. The entry fee is £7 (about $11) per story. The deadline for entries is March 31st 2012.

1st £1000 (about $1570) plus £150 Waterstone’s gift card
2nd £700 ( about $1100) plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card
3rd £400 (about $630) plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card
17 further prizes of £100 (about $150) will be presented to the writers whose stories appear on the shortlist. All 20 shortlisted writers will have their stories published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 5. The winning story will also be published in Bristol Review of Books and Venue magazine.

The 20 shortlisted writers will be invited to an awards ceremony in Bristol in July 2012 when the winners will be announced and the anthology launched. Any shortlisted writers unable to attend the awards ceremony will be sent their anthologies and prize money.

Judging panel : Ali Reynolds (literary consultant, former Random House editor), Bidisha (writer, broadcaster, critic), Anna Britten (writer, journalist at Venue Magazine), and Chris Wakling (novelist, Creative Writing tutor)


And of course, don’t forget the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival we posted about earlier. The deadline for their Fiction Contest is fast approaching…

Best of luck to all DePaul writers!