Faculty News & Newcity’s Summer Guide

In Faculty News: Please join the English Department in congratulating Kathleen Rooney for being named 2013 winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry for her novel-in-poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012).

A review in Booklist noted the following of Robinson Alone: “Rooney’s syncopated wordplay, supple musicality, and cinematic descriptions subtly embody… Robinson’s sardonic grace under pressure. An intricate, psychologically luminous homage, tale of American loneliness, and enthralling testament to poetry’s resonance.” Congrats, Prof. Rooney!


Curbside Splendor Publishing is holding their second monthly Salon Splendor event tomorrow, Thursday, May 16th, at 7:30 p.m., and one of the evening’s featured readers is DePaul’s own Christine Sneed. The show will take place at Madame Zuzu’s, 582 Roger Williams Ave. in Highland Park.

The theme this month, Passages, will be taken on by authors Christine Sneed, Jac Jemc, and Scott Garson. The night will end with live music by house band Good Evening.

The series is confirmed through October, on the third Thursday of each month. Space is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. RSVP at sarah@madamezuzus.com.


Next week, Newcity, Chicago’s free weekly alternative newspaper, is publishing their annual Summer Guide, and they’re looking for submissions. According to head editor Brian Hieggleke, “It’s one of the most free-wheeling issues we publish all year, on one of our favorite subjects, summer in (and around) the city.”

Newcity is looking for a wide range of meditations on the season, from the trenchant essay to the wistful memoir, from the dream state to the concrete. While they are not actively soliciting poetry, they’re not ruling it out, either.

They are also looking for learned and practical insights into summer (how to pack a proper picnic for Pritzker Pavilion, how to make the perfect summer cocktail, how to bbq on the lakefront), regional travel service pieces (what’s shakin’ at the House on the Rock? Is Detroit really the Chicago of the future?), and even itsy bitsy bon mots about a few of your favorite things about summer in Chicago. Please be specific in your pitch letter.

See summer.newcity.com for an archive of previous summer issues and see their guidelines page for more information. The deadline for copy for the Summer Guide is Saturday, May 18th, but sooner is better.


Call for Papers, Gulf Coast Writing Contest, & More

The DePaul English Department is excited to announce a Call for Papers for the Fourth Annual Spring English Conference. This student-run conference, formerly known as the EGSA Conference, will be held on the afternoon of Friday, May 3rd, 2013 in Arts & Letters Hall.

We encourage all DePaul English graduate students to submit their works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, literary studies, and more by April 2nd, 2013.

Click over to the Spring Conference page on Ex Libris to get complete guidelines on how to submit your work. You can also browse archives of previous years’ conferences…and don’t forget to stay tuned to Ex Libris to hear about our keynote speaker!

The DePaul English Conference is an excellent opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to showcase their work among a positive, supportive community of DePaul faculty and peers. If you have never publicly read your work before, consider this student-run conference. We look forward to making it a rewarding event for everyone involved!

Submissions and inquiries can be directed to: depaulenglishconference2013@gmail.com. 


A final reminder that tomorrow, Friday, March 8th, is the last day to submit your creative work to Threshold, Depaul’s literary arts magazine!


The DePaul Humanities Center extends its invitation to a reading with author and DePaul faculty member Christine Sneed on Wednesday, March ChristineSneed 03-13-13 finvers feb27fin13th, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in room 314 of the DePaul Student Center. Prof. Sneed will be reading from her new novel, Little Known Facts, recently featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. (You can read Ex Libris’s recent writeup of Sneed’s new book here.)

Christine Sneed teaches creative writing at DePaul University. Her first book, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry, was a 2009 AWP Grace Paley Prize winner, a finalist for the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Award, winner of the 2011 John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares, and winner of the Chicago Writers Association 2011 Book of the Year. The San Francisco Chronicle also chose Portraits as one of the fifty best fiction books of 2011.  Her short fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals, including PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Meridian, and Pleiades.

All are invited to attend this unique opportunity to hear from a gifted writer, one of DePaul’s own, reading from just-published work for free.


And finally: There’s only one week left to submit to the annual Gulf Coast Prizes–the Gulf Coast Prize Contest closes March 15th. The contest awards a total of $6,000 to poets, essayists, and fiction writers. This year’s judges are Stanley Plumly (Poetry), Maggie Shipstead (Fiction), and Darin Strauss (Nonfiction/Lyric Essay).

The winner in each genre receives $1,500, and there are two $250 honorable mentions in each genre. The winners will appear in Gulf Coast 26.1, due out in Fall 2013, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on the Gulf Coast website as Online Exclusives.

Gulf Coast is accepting submissions both via the online submissions manager and via postal mail. The $23 reading fee includes a year-long subscription to Gulf Coast. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2013. Only previously unpublished work will be considered. Fiction and nonfiction entrants may submit one piece, up to 7,000 words; poetry entrants may submit as many as five poems, up to ten pages. Multiple entries (or entries in more than one genre) are allowed, but entrants must pay a separate reading fee each time. Click here for how to enter.

Faculty News: Christine Sneed’s Debut Novel

In Faculty News, congratulations to Prof. Christine Sneed. This week marked the release of Sneed’s debut novel, Little Known Facts. From the official press release:

sneed_little_known_factsThe people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature—his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, his colleagues in the film industry—long to experience the glow of his flame. Anna and Will are Renn’s grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less-important extensions of their father. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them.

From Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist Christine Sneed comes the debut novel LITTLE KNOWN FACTS (Bloomsbury / February 12, 2013 / $25, hardcover), which peels back the layers of fame, family, and identity surrounding a charismatic Hollywood star. With each chapter from the point of view a different person caught in Renn’s web of celebrity, Sneed shows us the man in full and the effects of fame on the people to whom he is closest. Will, in his late twenties, is unmoored, has never had a real job. Anna is an earnest and hardworking medical intern who eventually falls for a married man of her father’s age. The first Mrs. Ivins can’t seem to keep a relationship going in the years since her marriage fell apart because no man can stand in Renn’s shadow. The second Mrs. Ivins has just published an expose titled This Isn’t Gold. Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but Little Known Facts offers a clear-eyed story of its effects—the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst.

With Little Known Facts Christine Sneed emerges as one of the most insightful chroniclers of our celebrity-obsessed age, telling a story of influence and affluence, of forging identity and happiness and a moral compass.

Little Known Facts is juicy enough to appeal to our prurience but smart enough not to make us feel dirty afterward…Sneed is such a gifted writer…Her depiction of both proximity to  celebrity and celebrity itself had me totally convinced.” – Curtis Sittenfled, New York Times Book Review (cover)

“An entertaining, formally inventive read …the world that Sneed creates in Little Known Facts — a blend of truth and fiction that weaves real life actors and directors into Renn’s everyday life — makes for a clever take and a fun read.” – Los Angeles Times

 “Sneed follows her award-winning short story collection, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry, with an ensnaring first novel that delves into the complex challenges and anguish of living with and in the shadow of celebrity. Sneed’s wit, curiosity, empathy, and ability to divine the perfect detail propel this psychologically exquisite, superbly realized novel of intriguing, caricature-transcending characters and predicaments…As Sneed illuminates each facet of her percussively choreographed plot via delectably slant disclosures––overheard conversations, snooping, tabloids, confessions under duress, and journal entries, among them—she spotlights ‘little known facts’ about the cost of fame, our erotic obsession with movie-star power, and where joy can be found.” – Booklist, starred review

Book reviews and Q&A’s with Sneed have been popping up everywhere from the Tin House blog to Time Out Chicago. You can read them all at www.christinesneed.com.

Women and Children First bookstore, located at 5233 N. Clark Street, will be hosting a release party for Little Known Facts tonight, Thursday February 21st, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Sneed will also be reading from Little Known Facts on DePaul’s campus on Wednesday, March 13th as a part of the DePaul Humanities Center’s New Voices in the Humanities series. Join her at 5:30 p.m. in the DePaul Student Center room 314 for a reception; the reading begins at 6:00 p.m. More information and a flyer to come!

End-of-Year Remarks and Congratulations

The academic year is nearly at an end, and although some of you will be back next week for summer classes, many of us, including Ex Libris, are taking the summer off. Ex Libris will resume posting at the beginning of the Fall Quarter, in the first week of September. In the meantime, you may continue to email Maria (mhlohows@depaul.edu) with announcements, news, and guest post ideas for the fall, but any urgent questions should be directed to Ms. Jan Hickey at jhicke11@depaul.edu. Before signing off for the summer, however, congratulations are in order for many of our friends, faculty, and students:

In student news, we would like to congratulate MAWP student Rhiannon Falzone, who had a piece published in the online magazine ChicagoSide earlier this week. Rhiannon’s article, “Where Are The Women In Chicago Sports Media?,” originally started as a piece for Gioia Diliberto’s Magazine Editing course. You can read it at chicagosidesports.com/where-are-the-women-in-chicago-sports-media.

Rhiannon will also be talking about her piece on The Lakeshore FM Radio at 11:10 a.m. this Friday, June 8th. Listen in at www.thelakeshorefm.com.


Congratulations also to the four DePaul undergraduates who are semi-finalists for The Guild Literary Complex’s 19th Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award. Student poets Quintin Collins, Clayton Guse, Stephanie Rose Perez, and Samy Sabh will perform their work on Monday, June 18th, at 7 p.m. at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division (at Ashland and Milwaukee).  Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for the general public.


In faculty news, congratulations are due to Christine Sneed and Gioia Diliberto, who both made Newcity Magazine‘s “Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2012” list of top writers and “on-the-page creators” in Chicago. Also recognized is DePaul Visiting Writer Achy Obejas. Congrats to Prof. Sneed, Prof. Diliberto, and all the rest! Read the entire list here: lit.newcity.com/2012/06/07/lit-50-who-really-books-in-chicago-2012.


And last but certainly not least, a heartfelt congratulations to all our graduates! We hope you had a wonderful two (or three or four…) years in the DePaul English Graduate Programs. We wish you luck in your endeavors, and please keep in touch– we love posting alumni news on the blog!

To read the full list of 2011-2012 graduates, including those who graduated and passed the comps with distinction, visit the 2011-2012 Graduates Page, and make sure to congratulate your classmates on their achievements!

Faculty News, A Short Fiction Contest, and More

Faculty News:  The PEN/ O.Henry Prize Stories 2012 Anthology has just hit the shelves, and DePaul English grad students will recognize a familiar name in the list of prize winners. Congratulations to Professor Christine Sneed, whose short story “The First Wife” is among those stories selected for inclusion.  Prof. Sneed’s story will appear alongside other winners, including Dagoberto Gilb, Yiyun Li, Alice Munro, John Berger, and Salvatore Scibona, and the collection can be found at any of your favorite bookstores.


Reminder: The final installation in the DePaul Humanities Center’s year-long series on Literature and Music, Francesca Royster‘s presentation on “Michael Jackson, Queer World Making and the Trans Erotics of Voice, Gender and Age,” is this coming Monday, April 23rd, in the DePaul Student Center, room 314at 6:00 p.m. (a reception precedes). See the original post for complete details.


Students interested in attending the Guild Literary Complex’s third annual benefit, “Illuminate,” to be held  Tuesday, May 8th, 6:30-9pm  are encouraged to purchase your tickets soon. Writers and graphic novelists Chris Ware, Nicole Hollander, Audrey Niffennegger & C. Spike Trotman will be projecting their work and talking together about drawing, narrating, the visual/textual culture of the graphic novel…  Plus food and drink in a beautiful space: the new DePaul Art Museum.

Student tickets are only $20, but availability is limited and payment must be made online at guildcomplex.org/illuminate-the-guild-literary-complexs-second-annual-benefit


And finally, a writing contest: The quarterly literary journal American Short Fiction invites all writers to submit their work to the American Short(er) Fiction Prize. The contest’s judge this year is Michael Martone, author of the Four for a Quarter, Racing in Place, and Unconventions, among other books. First prize in the contest receives $500 and publication; second prize receives $250 and publication. All entries are considered for publication.

The contest deadline is May 1st. You can find the complete guidelines here: americanshortfiction.org/short-shorts

EGSA Conference Reminder, Story Week, and a Teaching Job

There’s only one week left until the EGSA Conference paper submission deadline of midnight on Monday, March 19th. EGSA needs your Poetry, Fiction, Literary Nonfiction, Literary Analysis/Critical Approaches, Pedagogical and Literary Theory, and other writing on Publishing, Professional, and Teaching Practices. This is a great opportunity to showcase your work, get a line on your CV, and have fun with your classmates.

While we’re still waiting for the EGSA Conference’s keynote speaker to be announced, there has been another conference development: EGSA is going to be collecting used books during the conference to donate to the nonprofit Open Books organization in support of their literacy programs. Save your pre-loved books for the April 13th conference to support this great organization.

For complete details on the 2012 EGSA conference and the materials necessary to submit your writing, please visit EGSA’s Ex Libris page.


Story Week Festival of Writers, presented by Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction Writing Department is taking place March 18th-23rd throughout the Loop. All events are free and open to the public and the full schedule can be viewed here.

Be sure to take note of the reading/panel Portraits of an American Dream: The Female in Contemporary Fiction, which will take place on Tuesday, March 20th at 6 p.m. in the Harold Washington Public Library (400 S. State St., Chicago) which will feature DePaul professor Christine Sneed along with writers Nami Mun, Bonnie Jo Campbell and Sam Park.


University Liggett School, a private high school in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, is looking to hire graduates with a Literature degree to teach upper school English (grades 9-12). In the words of the Department of English Chair: “Our English program is completing its transition from a traditional, teacher-centered approach to a model based more upon student inquiry and facilitated student seminar. Ideally, we’re looking for candidates who would relate well to high school students, who would enrich the professional discussion within the department, who are interested in progressive teaching and learning models, who would tolerate a little ambiguity while helping to shape an evolving program, and who would be able to assist with extracurricular duties (like coaching, club advising, academic advising, etc.) that private schools require of their teaching faculty. Liggett does not require its teachers to be state certified (in fact, I’ve often found degrees in literature to be preferable to degrees in education), so that would not present a hurdle to any candidate who is otherwise qualified to take on an English teaching assignment.”

If you are interested in learning more about this position, including a sample Course Description list and how to apply, please contact Prof. Miles Harvey at mharvey7@depaul.edu, who can get you this information and put you in touch with Liggett’s English Department Chair.

Submit to Threshold and DePaul Radio Student Writer Showcase

It’s that time of year– time to send in your writing to Threshold. See the following message from Threshold editor Meredith Boe for more information including how and when to submit:

Threshold is DePaul’s literary and arts journal in its 32nd year. It is student-produced and features outstanding work from DePaul students. It is a non-intimidating way for students to get their work published!

We have exciting news for writers who want feedback!

In the past, Threshold has given writing workshops through which students could come and get feedback from editors on their writing. This year, instead of workshopping students’ work, we are offering direct feedback from the editors to each writer who submits by Feb. 10th. Writers will receive an email from an editor with helpful feedback (the sooner you submit the more feedback you’ll get!)

How to submit:

  • We accept poetry, fiction, dramatic literature, and creative non-fiction, and you may only submit ONCE to EACH genre, with the exception of poetry, in which we will accept up to three poems.
  • All submitted work can be of any length and may include portions or chapters of novels/plays, but the work should stand on its own as a whole piece.
  • You may send your submissions electronically to threshold.depaul@gmail.com, with the category of your submission as the subject, i.e. “poetry submission,” “fiction submission,” etc.
  • The email of your submitted work should contain two documents:
    • Contact Page: Include first and last name, the genre to which you are submitting, email and/or phone number, and the title of your piece.
    • Creative Work: Document of your work with ONLY the title. (No indications of the author’s identity should appear anywhere on the piece.)
  • The work must be submitted in a .doc or .docx format only.

Submissions for the 2012 Edition of Threshold will be accepted through Friday, February 10th at 5pm

Visit the Threshold website: http://www.wix.com/threshold2012/thresholddpu


How would you like to read your writing on live radio? Well this might just be your chance! Here’s the call for submissions from co-hosts Marcy Ferry and Colin Harris:

This Winter Quarter, Radio DePaul will be showcasing DePaul student writers (graduate and undergraduate) every other Friday morning at 10 am.  We’re looking for students who are willing to read live on-air and do a short interview afterward.  Each show will feature two student writers, so you won’t be alone!  We welcome work from all genres, so if you are interested, please send us an e-mail with the work you’d like to share.  We ask that each submission be no more than 10 pages double-spaced.  If you are not available on Friday mornings, there is still a chance that we could include you in a prerecorded segment.  Of course, we would love to give everyone a chance to read, but we only have a few shows each quarter.  Not everyone will be able to participate this winter.  Be sure to try again in future quarters if you don’t hear from us right away!  Please e-mail us at depaulstudentwriters@gmail.com.

Even if you don’t want to read, be sure to tune in and hear what your fellow students are up to!

We look forward to reading and sharing your work!

— Marcy Farrey and Colin Harris

Check back with Ex Libris for reminders to tune in and hear your classmates each episode. And, for those of us who can’t tune in on Fridays, there is a website in the works where previous episodes will be hosted so you can listen to them at any time and share them with all your friends.


And finally, there are two fantastic readings taking place in Chicago this weekend… and they’re both FREE and both feature DePaul’s own Christine Sneed!

Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Square’s Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, (773) 293-2665 – Support a local book store and enjoy some award-winning fiction at a reading and awards ceremony for the winners of the Chicago Writers Association Books of the YearChristine Sneed will be reading from her story collection, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry, which won in the traditionally published fiction category.  The other winners – Pamela Ferdinand (nonfiction, traditionally published), James Finn Garner (fiction, self-published) and Krista August (non-fiction, self-published) will all briefly read from their books as well.

And on Sunday, Jan. 15, doors at 6 p.m.: Come Home Chicago, a hip event featuring two local bands and three local writers – Stuart Dybek, WGN’s Rick Kogan and Christine Sneed – organized by fiction writer Don De Grazia (American Skin), that will take place at the Underground Wonder Bar, 710 N. Clark St, Chicago (ID required).