Jayne M. Thompson

Jayne M. Thompson, MA, MFA, GWS

  • Assistant Teaching Professor of English
  • Director of Chester Community Writing Center

Programs I Teach


  • MFA, Creative Writing (2010)
    Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ)
  • MA, English (1995)
    West Chester University of Pennsylvania (PA)

About Me

I earned my undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in literature from West Chester University. I continued at WCU and earned my master's in English. Later I completed my MFA in creative writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. I teach as a volunteer at S.C.I. Graterford. The men in my class and I published an anthology of their writings with the help of Presidential Service Corps member, Emily DeFreitas '15, entitled Letters to My Younger Self: An Anthology of Writings by Incarcerated Men at S.C.I. Graterford and a Writing Workbook, which was featured on National Public Radio's Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane.

The interview is archived on the Radio Times website, where listeners can hear the Graterford men read from their own work. I am also the director of the Chester Community Writing Center, and I encourage all to join me in spreading a love of reading to Widener, the entire Chester community, and beyond. I believe that reading and writing create avenues to freedom.

Research Interests

My research interests include fiction writing and narrative theory. In addition, I hear the cases of juvenile offenders in Chester, and I taught one class a day at Chester High School for the school year. I am concerned about the school-to-prison pipeline, juvenile sentencing practices, and mass incarceration.


  • Thompson, Jayne, and Emily DeFreitas, eds. Letters to My Younger Self: An Anthology of Writing by Incarcerated Men at S.C.I. Graterford and a Writing Workbook. Florham Park: Serving House Books, LLC, 2014. Print.
  • Thompson, Jayne. "Writing Wrongs, Mentoring Youths, Redeeming Souls." Widener Magazine Fall 2014: 22–25. Print.
  • Thompson, Jayne. "Barefoot in the Graveyard." Turk's Head Review. Summer 2011. Web.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), PEN America, Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association (MAWCA), Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR)


  • CUPPIE AWARD, Honorable Mention in the feature article and headline categories from CUPRAP (2015)
  • Clarence R. Moll Professor of the Year Award (Spring 2009)


In the Media


  • Jayne Thompson Selected as Periclean Faculty Leader

    Project Pericles announced that Assistant Teaching Professor of English Jayne Thompson was selected for the second cohort of faculty members for the Mellon Periclean Faculty Leadership Program in the Humanities. As a Periclean Faculty Leader, she joins a community of scholars, including Associate Professors Marina Barnett and Bretton Alvaré and Assistant Professor Jordan Smith, dedicated to incorporating civic engagement into the curriculum while empowering students to use their academic knowledge to tackle real-world problems.

    The $4,000 grant will help with the development of the Fall 2021 Community Literacy and Social Justice course focused on putting writing center theory and pedagogy to work in establishing sustainable writing centers across the community, the first at State Correctional Institution at Chester, and each with the signature feature of collaborative student leadership of writing workshops and the editing and publishing of writing emerging from those workshops.

    Share link: https://www.widener.edu/news/noteworthy/jayne-thompson-selected-periclean-faculty-leader

  • English Faculty Present at Coalition of Community Writing in Philadelphia

    Patricia Dyer, a professor and director of the Writing Center, Jayne Thompson, an assistant teaching professor of English, and Ruth Cary, an adjunct professor of English, presented at the annual conference of the Coalition for Community Writing in Philadelphia in October.

    Share Link: https://www.widener.edu/node/11616/