Two Ferris State University English program students and a 2019 English and Creative Writing alumna will travel to Las Vegas this spring. The group will present their works at the 2020 Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society’s International Convention, March 25-28.
Deirdre Fagan, an associate professor of English, Literature and World Languages, is the coordinator of Creative Writing and Literature in Person for the university. Fagan said that Paige Brady, of Midland, and Katie King, of Big Rapids, will join alumna Samantha Kodeski, of Holt, who is returning to present at the convention for a second straight year.
“Advanced Creative Writing is a capstone course for those seeking to earn a certificate or a minor in Creative Writing,” Fagan said. “I have had the privilege of teaching Samantha and Paige; they both have remarkable ability in creative and analytical writing. I am also thankful for my many interactions with Katie as each of them prepares for a great experience at the convention.”
Brady, who is pursuing a minor in Creative Writing, will present her creative nonfiction work, “Sugar, Sickness, Measurement.”
“Paige merged nonfiction content and poetry in a hybrid memoir,” Fagan said. “The five pieces of prose and five poems produce a single narrative. The poems tie creatively to the nonfictional account of a struggle with Type I Diabetes.”
Kodeski earned her first trip to the Sigma Tau Delta Convention for her work in Fagan’s class in 2018. This year, she will present a literary analysis, “Rose and Nora Being Trapped Between Pages,” which she offered in Associate Professor Heather Pavletic’s class. Pavletic is the campus advisor for Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society.
“For the 2019 convention, in St. Louis, Missouri, I presented a creative nonfiction piece,” Kodeski said. “Going to Las Vegas this year will be a completely different experience, and I am looking forward to it. Having two conventions on my résumé should be beneficial, and as a May 2019 graduate in English and Creative Writing, I hope to further my networking opportunities. It was an interesting process to take part in a panel discussion with participants who come from a variety of disciplines.”
King wrote a literary analysis, “The Meaning of July Fourth to the Negro” for Associate Professor David Marquard’s class, which earned her presenter status at the convention next month. Fagan said she has also experienced the enrichment of having participated in a Sigma Tau Delta convention.
“It is totally uplifting,” Fagan said. “English majors can benefit from this international convention, to get feedback and make connections with people who have a similar focus. It is a great opportunity to advance professionally.”
Fagan said there are approximately 30 students who are currently pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing, or who intend to add that minor to an English degree or another bachelor’s program.