Archive for ‘Creative Writing’

Poetry reading by award-winner Jonathan Fink

0 Commentsby   |  04.06.16  |  Announcement, Announcements, Creative Writing, Department Chapel, Events and Readings

Flyer - Jonathan Fink Reading - myACU

The Department of Language and Literature is delighted to announce that the award-winning poet Jonathan Fink will be coming to campus on Thursday, April 14. Fink has authored two poetry collections and received the Bronze Medal in Poetry in the 2015 Florida Book Awards, as well as been named by Poets & Writers magazine as one of America’s 10 best “2015 Debut Poets.”

Fink will be a guest host for a special departmental chapel at 11 a.m. and give a public reading at The Grace Museum ballroom from 7-7:50 p.m. The evening poetry reading will be followed by a book signing of Fink’s new, highly praised collection of poems, The Crossing.

Before his reading at The Grace, Fink will also have the following schedule on Thursday:

  • 11 a.m. Talk about poetry and read poems in a special department chapel
  • Noon. Discuss writing over lunch with English M.A. students
  • 3 p.m. Talk about literary nonfiction techniques to Prof. Haley’s Eng. 320/520 Creative Nonfiction Workshop

The Department of Language and Literature is also hosting a “Dress as Your Favorite Poet” costume contest. Any ACU student can enter, and the winner will receive $50. To enter, just dress up and come to The Grace Museum ballroom on Thursday night, April 14 at 6:45. Participants will be judged before the poetry reading begins at 7 p.m.

Fink has received several other poetry awards and fellowships, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poetry, New England Review and others. It is an honor to have this Abilenian poet come back to his hometown and share his work, so come out and show your support.

To learn more about Fink and his work, visit his website:


Graduate Alum Elena Kua Publishes

1 Commentby   |  11.09.15  |  Creative Writing

alley-aerialElena Kua, who completed our Master’s in English as a creative writing student in the fall 2014, has just had a creative nonfiction piece published in The Baltimore Review.

She’s excited to report that she even received payment for her work!

The piece, “Engraving,” tells about Elena’s aging father and recreates some of his years growing up in the southern part of Malaysia.

Elena is currently living back home in Maylasia with husband See Huang Lim (another of our Master’s alumni). The two of them are awaiting word this month on whether they will receive visas to do religious work in Japan.

You can read “Engraving,” HERE.

TACWT Contest Winners Announced

0 Commentsby   |  09.04.13  |  Advising Information, Creative Writing


The Annual Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers Contest Announce Winners

In the category of Undergraduate Poetry, Lexi French placed 2nd for

“Stinky, Stinky, WaWa” and other poems.

In the category of Undergraduate Non-Fiction, Emma Sparks placed 2nd for her essay

“The Ecology of Strangers”.

Congratulations to both of you!

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.

An Evening of Mystique with Prof. Haley

0 Commentsby   |  04.06.11  |  Announcements, Creative Writing

On Thursday, April 14, from 7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. we will be having a literary gathering during which our writer in residence, Prof. Al Haley, will share some of what he has been writing the past three years while serving as the James W. Culp Distinguished Professor of English.

We will meet in the “old” Brown Library auditorium (now the Core Classroom).  For your entertainment and emotional/physical sustenance there will be:

  • Student jazz quintet
  • Guest appearance of the doppleganger of a best-selling author
  • Two students reading their published poems
  • Guest appearance of an English faculty member in disguise
  • Reading from Prof. Haley’s novel-in-progress
  • Door prize with a retail value of more than $50!
  • Coffee and cookies

We hope, schedule permitting, you can come to this event.

P.S. Why is this being called an “Evening of Mystique”?  Prof. Haley says, “It’s because I seem to have written a novel about suburban Christians who encounter ‘signs and wonders.’ As you might imagine, these episodes are quite perplexing.  It’s not ‘magic,’ but does it amount to bonafide ‘miracles’?  At this point we’re just going to refer to it as ‘mystique’…  “