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University Writing Program

Welcome to the University Writing Program

2018 cccc regional conference

The University of Denver Writing Program is proud to host the 2018 CCCC Regional Summer Conference July 20-21, 2018. For more information, including links to registration and the program, please visit


The Writing Program is thrilled to celebrate our students' award-winning writing! All 3 recipients of CCESL's Distinguished Public Good Scholars award for exceptional portfolios are Writing Minor or WRIT Engagement Corps members.

Mackenzie Langley - A 2nd-year writing minor student, Mackenzie received an award for the portfolio she created in Angela Sowa and Sarah Hart Micke's WRIT 2701 "Writing for the Public Good" course.
Mackenzie's Portfolio:

Andi Schlut - A 3rd-year writing minor and double major in political science and socio-legal student, Andi's portfolio emphasizes the theme of "pursuing social justice and equality by mitigating the effects of systematic biases."
Andie's Portfolio:

Cristin Espinoza - A founding WRIT Engagement Corps member and 2018 DU graduate, Cristin will join Teach for America's 2018 Denver Corps.
Cristin's Portfolio:

mackenzie langley andi schult cristin espinoza


spring faculty accomplishments

Russell Brakefield published the poetry book Field Recordings in March. He also has two forthcoming poems in The Southeast Review and The Literary Review later this spring.

In March, Richard Colby and Jennifer Campbell published "Servers, Cooks, and the Inadequacy of Metaphor" in the edited collection, WPAs in Transition: Navigating Educational Leadership Positions, drawing on how Campbell mentored Colby in becoming the next Assistant Writing Program Director.

While teaching the writing intensive course "Poetry & Pleasure," David Daniels was also a poet-in-residence at Goshen College for two weeks this spring. Additionally, his poem, "Pearl," was published in the spring issue of Rise Up Review.

Heather Martin published the essay "Divorce and Death-by-Crushing" in Argot Magazine this April.

Juli Parrish presented at the Colorado Wyoming Writing Tutors Conference this April with 11 undergraduate and graduate writing consultants. Here is a list of their panels:

Calling Fellow Travelers: Reimagining the Role of the Writing Fellow
Julia Fleming (MA, English)
Patrick Munnelly (MA, Professional Creative Writing)
Kyle Przybylski (MA, Clarinet Performance

Structure without Structure: Non-Institutional Professional Development in the Writing Center
Dennis Sweeney (PhD, English / Poetry)

Beta-Testing: Social Media and the Writing Center
Maggie Sava (Senior, Art History & English)
Sasha Strelitz (PhD, English - Literary Studies)

Writers' Groups and the Risks of Sharing
Zach Johnson (Sophomore, English)

Examining Oregon State University's Writing Across Borders and Kaplan's Theory of Contrastive Rhetoric
Erinrose Mager (PhD, English)

Expectations Met and Missed: Student Expectations of Writing Center Appointments
Madison Hakey (Sophomore, English)
Mikayla Peters (MA, English)

Reimagining Local Contexts: Reciprocity in Writing Center Partnerships
Juli Parrish (Writing Center Director)
Alicia Wright (PhD, English)
Jason Schlueter and Erin Campbell, Arapahoe Community College

winter faculty accomplishments

Aubrey Schiavone will be giving a presentation on the "Silence and Listening as Rhetorics of Engagement and Resistance" panel at CCCC 2018 in Kansas City Missouri in March. Her presentation, titled "Rhetorical Listening as Inclusive Praxis," uses qualitative interview data to demonstrate that first-generation college students are adept at rhetorical listening—listening for the purposes of creating cross-cultural conversations, especially within the space of their college courses.

Russell Brakefield published two poems, "Drone Strike Over Western Slopes," in The Shallow Ends and,"Letter to Alan Lomax," in BOMB Magazine in January. This quarter he also had several poems published in anthologies: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 and Isle Royale from the AIR. Finally, in December, he published a short piece about Alan Lomax in Coldfront Magazine's Song of the Week series called "Oh Mary Don't You Weep."

Rebekah Shultz Colby, Richard Colby, and David Riche explored how ethos is constructed within gameplay at the Southwest Popular Culture Conference on Friday, Feb. 9. Rebekah Shultz Colby's presentation was titled "Examining How Metis and Phronesis Create Ethos in Gameplay" and examined ethos construction in the gameplay of the board game, Illuminati. Richard Colby's presentation was titled "Make America Nazi-Free Again" and examined Nazi ethos construction in Wolfenstein. David Riche's presentation, titled "Paratextual Rulebooks: Ethos, Identification, and What I Learned from Watching "Yu-Gi-Oh!," considered how adaptations based on trading card games create ethos within their larger franchises.

David Daniels gave an invited reading for a panel titled "Celebrating Waccamaw's 10th Anniversary" at the Association for Writer and Writing Programs (AWP) on March 8 in Tampa. He will also have poetry appearing in the print anthology, Waccamaw's 10th Anniversary.

Doug Hesse argued for the importance of teaching writing in humanities courses in a plenary session at the Modern Language Association Meeting in New York, January 5, 2018. The title of the session was "The Matter of Writing," and it also included Jonathan Alexander, Kris Blair, Doug Eyman, Deborah Holdstein, Andrea Lunsford, John Schilb, and Kathleen Yancey. His talk was titled "Writing and 'Creative' Writing." He also has five forthcoming articles and chapters, all of which grapple with literacy and writing instruction. For example, one article is titled "Writing as a Liberal Art, in an Age Neither Artful Nor Liberal" and is forthcoming in the Journal of Expanded Perspectives on Literacy.

fall faculty accomplishments

Writing Program faculty take on diverse teaching, research, and service projects both within the Writing Program and in the broader DU and Denver communities. This issue features a selection of several of our faculty's most recent accomplishments.

Blake Sanz published the short story "Hablamos!" in Ecotone in January 2017.

Over a four month period, John Tiedemann and Blake Sanz partnered with Urban Peak to plan writing events for youth in Urban Peak's supportive housing programs, many of whom have aged out of the foster care system.

Richard Colby, for a special September 2017 issue of in media res on narrative in video games, published a video essay and commentary on the problem of narrative imperatives -- stories in games that claim they are very important, but which the player can ignore:

Jennifer Campbell, Zoe Tobier, Rob Gilmor, and Lauren Picard (LP) led panels at the 2017 Denver ComicCon this June. LP, Rob, and Zoe led the panel "It's a Trap!: Using Star Wars to Covertly Teach Rhetoric, Writing, & Critical Reading"; Jennifer co-facilitated her panel, "Shambling to Class: Zombies and the Liberal Arts," with former students from her zombie narrative-themed First-Year Seminar.

In Jennifer Campbell's WRIT 1133 class students research positive psychology or, in other words, happiness. Campbell published an article on her positive pedagogy in Composition Forum  in Summer 2016 and presented about it at the annual meeting of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning in Estes Park, CO, with colleagues Zoe Tobier, Kanika Agrawal, and Lauren Picard (LP) in June 2017.

After conducting grant-funded research on style for many years, Keith Rhodes has developed and is teaching a Fall 2017 class for the Minor in Writing Practices in which students work intensively on the writing exercises found by recent scholarship (including Dr. Rhodes' own) to be most effective in developing writing. Some, like imitation, are ancient and venerable; some, like "sentence combining," are more recent and esoteric; all work on the central premise that writing is an ability improved mainly through informed practice while writing meaningful text.

Doug Hesse is finishing a 4-year term through presidential rotation for the National Council of Teachers of English, a 30,000 member organization of K-12 teachers and college professors. His presidential address was published in Research in the Teaching of English. He delivered keynote talks this summer and fall at the Two Year College Association, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English, and Expanded Perspectives on Literacy.


encountering stories showcase

encountering stories

The University Writing Program invites you to the annual celebration and showcase of first-year writers' responses to DU's One Book, One DU shared prompty. 

Wednesday, October 18th
Anderson Academic Commons 290

one book, one du

The University of Denver Writing Program is excited to support the One Book, One DU initiative, the university's common reading program for first year students. In the fall, the Writing Program hosted "Encountering Stories," an inaugural event celebrating and showcasing first-year writers' responses to DU's One Book, One DU shared prompt initiative. We displayed all genres of responses--essays, drawings, videos, oral performances, comic books, & more.

In May, the Writing Program will be celebrating the publication of "Many Voices, One DU," a collection of stories and essays from undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, staff, and faculty from across campus. The book will honor the many voices that combine to form our DU community, bringing together reflections about identity, difference, and community inspired by the common prompt of telling a story about an encounter with the unfamiliar. 

Source: DU VideoManager


Creating a robust culture of writing on the DU campus, the Writing Program helps students and faculty develop complex writing abilities needed in contemporary academic, professional, and civic life.

The nationally recognized program provides a national model for colleges and universities seeking exemplary practices in teaching writing.