Archive for August, 2011

As Big as Texas: More Student Wins

0 Commentsby   |  08.31.11  |  Announcements, Creative Writing

Image from

News of the best variety arrived in Writer in Residence Al Haley’s email in-box last week.

It was notification that two students he had nominated earlier in the summer had placed in their respective genres in the student writing contest sponsored by the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers (TACWT). Not second or third, but…

First place.

Tanner Hadfield in fiction.

Bethany Bradshaw in poetry.

This follows on the heels of ACU student wins in the annual Christianity and Literature Student Writing Contest (see post).

First place winners of the TACWT contest receive $100 and an invitation to read their work at TACWT’s annual meeting which this year will be held in Austin, Sept. 23-24.

“This is a wonderful result,” Prof. Haley said. “In TACWT we’re competing with schools that have established MFA and MA programs in creative writing like the University of Houston and Texas Tech.

“Often their undergraduates have worked with the graduate faculty who are numerous and many of whom are much published writers themselves. So for a school like ACU to come along and win two out of three first places makes a kind of statement about the caliber of our classes, teachers, and students.”

Tanner Hadfield’s story, “Snowing in Darling,” is a magic-realism sort of tale that he wrote in Prof. Heidi Nobles Fiction Workshop last fall. Tanner got the news at the University Colorado where he had just begun his first semester as an MFA student.

He wrote back that already he’s taught his first class of undergrads as a graduate teaching assistant, is  working on a novella, staring up an art-zine, judging a poetry contest for Subito Press, and tutoring. And, oh, yes he’s taking classes.

Out on the East Coast the news about her poetry win found Bethany Bradshaw beginning her first semester of classes as an MA student in literature at the University of North Carolina in Raleigh. In her email response she expressed excitement over the outcome and noted, “I am sitting with my books and coffee watching the rain soak our yard full of trees (not to gloat or anything). So yes, I am loving Raleigh.”

Prof. Haley concluded, “Combined with the student work  that place earlier this year in the Christianity and Literature contest, these results show that we have a very good thing going with creative writing at ACU. I encourage any student, regardless of his or her major, to take one of our three workshops. There’s something offered every semester and it’s a chance to meet the challenge to do quality work. And I think that’s what a lot of our students are really looking for. A serious challenge.”

For anyone interested, Eng. 320: Creative Nonfiction Workshop is offered in the Spring; Eng. 322: Fiction Workshop and Eng. 323: Poetry Workshop meet in the Fall.



Two Students Score in Writing Contest

0 Commentsby   |  08.25.11  |  Creative Writing

For more than a decade ACU students have had a reputation for making their mark in the annual Christianity and Literature Student Writing Contest. This year is no exception as we learned from results announced over the summer.

Paige Wallner and Jordan Havens won second and third place respectively in the nonfiction category of the contest, competing against students from colleges and universities around the country.

Their work was chosen to be honored by this year’s judge, Prof. Debra Rienstra of Calvin College’s English Department. As a prize, Paige and Jordan will receive their choice of books from Word Farm Press and a year’s subscription to the respected journal of the arts and faith, Image.

Paige’s piece, “Michigan: A Family Vacation Rerun,” is an energetic, laugh-out-loud and nostalgic look at how her family has vacationed in the same place every year and every year family members exhibit the same eccentricities. Paige is a Junior Interdisciplinary Studies Major from Arlington Heights, Illinois.

When You Walk Through Garden” by Jordan takes another approach using eloquent, poetic prose. The writer relives a mission trip to L.A. when he was full of naive idealism about his faith and how he could save people. Instead of saving anyone, he gets tripped up by his own hubris, the rough edges of his fellow Christians, and a romantic infatuation with a co-worker. Jordan is a senior English major from Lubbock. Last year he spent a semester at the L.A. Film Studies Center in Hollywood.

Both Paige and Jordan wrote their pieces in Eng. 320: Creative Nonfiction which is taught every spring by writer in residence Al Haley.

Complete results of the CCL contest can be found at the CCL website. You can also read there the full text of Jordan and Paige’s pieces as well as some of the other contest winners.

Prof. Haley notes that this was the first year that the contest opened a new category besides the usual fiction, nonfiction, and poetry entries. There are now awards given for best essay. He encourages students and their professors to begin thinking about what traditional (i.e., nonnarrative) papers on literature or other topics they might write and submit to the contest by the March 1, 2012 deadline.

Spanish Labs


0 Commentsby   |  08.22.11  |  Announcement, Spanish Majors, Spanish Minors

We are tentatively looking for three to four people to assist us in FLSP 111 labs. The lab is for Beginning Spanish, and your duties would consist of assisting students with grammar and vocabulary questions, completing online homework, proctoring exams and fulfilling “I Can Do…” speaking activities.

Lab times are tentatively scheduled for TR 3-6pm, but that may change, depending on student’s ability to come at least once a week during these times. Your hours are also negotiable: you don’t have to be able to work the entire time. Also, our budget is not yet set, so we don’t know how many people we can hire, nor for how many hours a week. We hope to get a budget by Friday and be able to sort all this out then.
Email for more information.

PCA Award

1 Commentby   |  08.04.11  |  Announcements, Faculty Spotlight

Congratulations to our newest faculty member, Dr. Suanna Davis, who received the award for best Science Fiction/Fantasy paper at this year’s Popular Culture Association conference in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to this honor, Dr. Davis was also asked to submit her paper to Femspec, a feminist journal devoted to the science fiction and fantasy genres. Dr. Davis’ paper was entitled “Speculative Fiction Representations of Rape: From the Survivor’s Perspective.”