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Spring Symposium

You and your families are cordially invited to attend this year’s MA in Writing Studies Spring Symposium!  We will celebrate your culminating research and creative works, and we will celebrate together as a special community.

Food and refreshments will be served (catered).  I hope you might also consider bringing something along to supplement/enhance the “Gourmet Dining” selections ;).

I will make sure there is a wireless microphone set up for the evening.  I am offering each of you a brief moment (5 mins?) to share your work in whatever way you deem appropriate – a description, a story of your journey in writing, a quick “read” of a small selection.  I will speak with each of you in person about this.  If you are uncomfortable (shy), I am happy to say a few words for you.  But suffice to say, I think each of you should be proud, and each of you has a unique accomplishment to share.

Looking forward to our party!

Date: Monday, May 8, 2017 

Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m. 

Where: Green Lane 306 


A couple of award announcements:

Living Springs Publishers LLP is now accepting submissions for a short story contest:  STORIES THROUGH THE AGES, COLLEGE EDITION. This will be the first in a series of books presenting short stories from different segments of the population. The top 15 entries will be published in the college edition of the series.

First Prize: $500.00

Second Prize: $200.00

Third Prize: $100.00

Each of the 15 winners will receive a printed copy of the book

Eligibility: The contest is open to any person, who at the time of submission is a fulltime student at an accredited University or College in the United States.  Timeline: We will be accepting submissions through March 21, 2017. The book will be published the summer of 2017.  Format: All entries must be submitted through the Living Springs Publishers website:


Extension on Deadline:  MARCH 17th

In order to participate in this year’s Three-Minute Thesis competition at Research Days, you can sign up at:

Also, Kean is offering “Three-Minute Thesis Workshops” in order to prepare for this format:

3MT Competition Workshop Time: 3:15pm – 4:30pm, Thursday, March 30th at CAS #237 or Monday, April 3rd at CAS #236

Spring semester!

Welcome back everyone.  I hope you had both a restful and productive Winter break.  Tonight we will be back in the official swing of things.  What a wonderful close to the Fall semester with the final presentation of both Tobey and Devon’s MA thesis work.  I am very proud of the unique work that each of them accomplished.

This semester it is your turn.  This evening we will gather to set our conferencing schedule, speak about a Spring Symposium style event, and also consider Kean’s Research Days forum.  I look forward to continuing the conversation around your ongoing thesis work.  At this stage there is great momentum, and we now are entering into a stage of refinement.

Believe it or not, in just a few months, there will be flowers bursting from the ground and the trees, and you will be receiving your MA degree.

But until now and then, we have work to do!!


Our final semester party location:

I am looking forward to our end of the semester potluck party. I have booked the Kean Hall “Faculty Lounge”.  Kean Hall is the “castle” looking building where Kean admissions is located.  We will meet there at 4:30pm and we have the room until 7:15 pm.  Each of us will bring some food so that it becomes a diverse buffet.
Please remember that guests are welcome!  I am looking forward to meeting some of your family.  Also, if others in our community (friends, colleagues) would like to come along, please bring them!!  It is an open invitation celebration-event, meant to celebrate the great work being accomplished.  Devon and Tobey will be our feature presentations.  Their final work is distinguished, and I am looking forward to sharing their projects with all of you.
See you all soon,
Dr. Zamora

Happy Thanksgiving! ….Our home stretch to 12/15

imagesDear MA thesis writers,

Happy Thanksgiving.

I am thinking of you, and the unique writing journeys you have each designed for your thesis.  I have sincerely enjoyed speaking with each of you regularly in our conferencing round-robin this semester.  The ebb and flow of your early project ideas has now made way to projects that have really taken shape (due to your consistent efforts).  I have also enjoyed reading the blog posts that have been coming in regarding what your are working on, struggling with, wondering about, or mulling over.  By now you have realized first hand that a big writing project (like an MA Thesis) is truly a journey with various twists and turns.  That is the nature of the beast ;) As you experience your fits and starts, please remember to sustain your own blogs about your research process.  Reflection is a powerful gateway to learning.

When I see you in this last phase of the semester, take note that we are now moving into a new phase of your progress.  We will create an individual plan for each of you to pursue throughout the interim between Fall and Spring semesters (Winter “break”).  This will be a crucial time of productivity for all of you, and it is best if there are clear benchmarks for progress for the stretch of time.  dissertation-literature-review-300x180

Please take note that our last class of the semester on December 15th will be a special gathering.  We will have a pot-luck meal (everyone should plan to bring something tasty to share – potluck sign-up here). I hope to secure a special room for us and I will announce our party location for the evening via email once I have secured it.

For that evening, you will each have a quick (5 min) opportunity to discuss your progress thus far on your work.  But the featured presentations of the evening will be from Tobey and Devon. They will both share an overview of their completed MA theses (they will have a more generous time allotment for sharing ;).   Both of them have worked tirelessly in the last few months, and I am very proud of the writing they have done.  I am sure you will appreciate the work as much as I have.  Our 12/15 pot-luck will be a fine way to end the year as we come together to celebrate writing!

See  you soon,

Dr. Zamora


Save the Date for Research Days

unnamedI would love for you to consider presenting your MA Thesis research at Kean University’s Research Days Forum this coming Spring.  The MA in Writing Studies Program has always produced excellent research in our broader field of the Humanities. We should strive to participate in this event and share our work with the rest of the University community.  Research Day website for further information

Registration Deadlines:

Faculty Presentations – November 30, 2016

Student Presentations – February 20, 2017

Faculty Research Mentor Award Nominations – March 1, 2017

Undergraduate Student Research Award Nominations – March 1, 2017


Updates in mid September

UnknownJust a “check-in” to all of you as you each continue to progress through your individual research work:

1.  I want to remind everyone to BLOG WEEKLY as a way to archive your research practices reflectively.  I think this is an important aspect of keeping continually engaged, and in addition, I am able to keep up with your ongoing work.

2.  Remember that in “off” weeks (i.e. non-conference weeks) you still have your small groups for support and I have distributed a peer review protocol for the Early Proposal work.  You should be connecting together to offer peer feedback as you continue with your independent work.

3.  The question of sharing your work publicly came up in one of the small group conferences when we were discussing the option of final publication of your thesis work on the open web.  How can one ensure appropriate intellectual attribution of their own work on the open web?  I am including here information on Creative Commons which helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world.  Please consider a Creative Commons license for your web based work:

More information is HERE on how to create a free, easy-to-use copyright license which provides a simple, standardized way to give you permission to share and use your creative work.

So far I am excited and impressed with the early work that I have read.  Looking forward to meeting with my next working group soon.


Dr. Zamora

Get ready, set, go!

ok_to_move_forwardYou are on your way now.

We have mapped a plan for the semester which includes round-robin style small-group conferencing.  These conferencing moments will be key to your continued progress.  With that support in place, what is most crucial is your own dedication to your work in a steady committed fashion.  Map out your own timeline, and  schedule your “thesis work” time into your weekly schedule.

Each oimages-28f you will write a WEEKLY reflection blog which will serve as a record of your process throughout.  The blog will be syndicated here.  Please send me your thesis blog URL by next week.

Major benchmarks to complete this semester: -Early Proposal, -Lit Review, -Methodology.  Please remember that the writing and research process for a project like this is inherently more intuitive and unscripted than the mere adherence to such benchmarks, but they are in place (for now) in order to GENERATE the foundation for the work.

Here is a link to the peer review protocol for the Early Proposal.  Please use it to review your group’s work on “off weeks”.  Coordinate via email with your group to complete this work as you continue to revise your work together with the benefit of peer feedback.  Please respond as a fellow writer and as a reader, in a spirit of helpfulness and respect.  Share observations of what you notice in your colleagues early proposal, but also share observations of what you notice occurs inside of you as you read the writer’s text.  What questions emerge? What connections do you make as a result of the writer’s inquiry? I believe this approach to feedback will be helpful to each of you.

Your early proposals should be sent to me the night before or scheduled conference day, so that I may consider your work before seeing you and we can have a rich conversation.

Looking forward to working with each of you.


Dr. Zamora