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      Story Ideas

       Send story and noteworthy ideas to Jessica Reyes, jmreyes@widener.edu.

      Distinguished Writers Series

      Author Shares Advice with Students in English and Creative Writing Department

      By Carlie Sisco, English and creative writing, '19

      Catherine Zobal Dent

      Catherine Zobal Dent, an associate professor of creative writing at Susquehanna University, speaks to Widener students during the Distinguished Writers Series in April.

      Author Catherine Zobal Dent visited Widener on April 3 and 4 as a part of the English and Creative Writing Department’s Distinguished Writers Series.

      In May 2014, Dent published her debut collection of short stories with Fomite Press, called “Unfinished Stories for Girls.” The collection includes sixteen stories. Taking place on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the short stories invite readers inside the lives of characters trying to figure out the problems and challenges of the gleaming, marshy world.

      On campus, Dent spent time speaking in creative writing and English classes about her collection, as well as offering insight and advice on how to pursue a writing career. She also individually met with several students within the department for tutorials.

      “Writers need other writers. That’s just the way it is,” Victoria Giansante, a senior English major said. “We workshop off each other; we get ideas from each other; and we help each other to be the best we can be. Any writer could benefit from closely analyzing their habits and their strengths, especially with guidance from someone with genuine experience and expertise, like Catherine.”

      Catherine Zobal Dent

      Distinguished Writers Series

      Author Catherine Zobal Dent was invited to Widener by the English and creative writing department.

      Dent’s latest projects include writing a novel and a nonfiction book about the Appalachian Trail, as well as a translation of the French short story writer Cyrille Fleicshman with her colleague Lynn Palermo. She began publishing her stories during graduate school and her work has gone on to appear in such publications as Drunken Boat, the Harvard Review, North American Review, Echolocation, PANK and elsewhere.

      Currently, Dent is an associate professor of creative writing at Susquehanna University, a position she shares with her partner and fellow writer, Silas Zobal. She is also the director of the Forum for Undergraduate Student Editors (FUSE), a national organization that provides a network for undergraduate student editors, writers, and their faculty advisers.

      Dent concluded her visit with a public reading surrounded by art made by Ann Piper, which accompany each story in the collection. After the reading, Dent took time to answer questions, sign copies of her book, and speak to students, including Rohan Suriyage, a junior English and communication studies double major whom Dent offered advice on organizing ideas for a short story.

      “I was interested in her passion for exploring the relationship between art and literature, specifically how the art her colleague made coincidentally reflected the subject matter of her short stories,” Suriyage said. “She has a good grasp on including real-life aspects into her stories and encapsulating the human experience and its authenticity in the subject matter of said stories.”


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