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About Our Creative Writing Program

The Creative Writing Program at Grossmont College fosters the development of creative writers at all skill levels in a supportive, professional, and dynamic atmosphere. It is our mission to serve and engage students, faculty, and the community actively through a rich variety of readings and other literary events that are always free and open to the public. The Creative Writing Program seeks to cultivate a diverse literary community and to celebrate and promote literature and its vital role in our culture.

All courses focus on the reading of established authors, classic and contemporary, and provide the opportunity for extensive feedback on original work, attendance of literary events, publication in the college literary journal, Acorn Review, participation in student performance events, and inclusion in on-line event programs.

Creative Writing: English 126
Introduction to the basic elements of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama writing, including study and analysis of techniques in the works of contemporary and established writers. Practice in writing in the four genres as well as introduction to the workshop method. Transfers to CSU, UC.
Short Fiction Writing: English 130-131-132-133
Repeatable writers workshop focused on the composition and revision of short fiction, as well as an analysis of genre, structure, techniques, and style. Transfers to CSU, UC (credit limited).
Creative Nonfiction Writing: English 134-135-136-137
Repeatable writers workshop focused on the composition and revision of creative nonfiction, including memoir, the personal essay, literary journalism, cultural criticism, music, travel, and nature writing. Transfers to CSU, UC (credit limited).
Poetry Writing: English 140-141-142-143
Repeatable writers workshop focused on the composition and revision of free verse and formal poems, as well as an analysis of the fundamental tools, techniques, and forms of poetry. Transfers to CSU, UC (credit limited).
Acorn Review Editing: English 145-146-147-148
Reading, selecting, editing, proofreading and arranging student creative writing and art for Acorn Review, the Grossmont College student literary journal. Transfers to CSU, UC (credit limited).
Drama Writing: English 160-161-162-163
Repeatable writers workshop focused on the composition and revision of writing for the stage and screen, as well as an analysis of genre, structure, dramaturgy, and style. Opportunities to participate in local productions. Transfers to CSU, UC (credit limited).
Novel Writing: English 175-176-177-178
Repeatable writers workshop focused on the composition and revision of novels, as well as an analysis of novel construction, character development, plot outline, scenes, and themes. Transfers to CSU, UC (credit limited).


SYDNEY BROWN holds an MFA in Creative Writing, with emphasis in Poetry, from San Diego State University. Her work has appeared in The Southern Anthology, Hawaii Pacific Review, Red, Inside English, Two Girls Review, HOW2, Hunger and Thirst, Sunshine/Noir, and others. Her short fiction, “One Marriage in Three Acts,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first collection of poems, Broad Finds Love, was a finalist for Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize in New York. Before coming to Grossmont, Sydney served as Business Manager for Poetry International, Assistant Editor of Fiction International, and Program Coordinator for The Writing Center, a nonprofit literary arts organization in San Diego. At Grossmont, Brown now serves as Creative Writing Program Co-Coordinator and Literary Arts Festival Director. She teaches creative writing and creative nonfiction for the program.
JULIE CARDENAS has a B.A. in Journalism and Spanish from C.S.U. Sacramento, and an M.A. in English from the University of San Diego. Prior to teaching, she worked in the California Governor’s Office of Community Relations for two years. Her writing career includes the publication of news and feature articles, poetry, and short fiction. Additionally, she has edited a variety of professional newsletters and trade journals, and she served as the faculty advisor of a college newspaper for two years before coming to Grossmont. She teaches Creative Writing as well as Chicano Literature, and is the faculty advisor to our campus literary magazine.
RYAN GRIFFITH holds an M.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Fresno State and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. He received an Honorable Mention award in the 1995 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and was awarded the Editor’s Choice prize for best fiction in The Beacon Street Review. Ryan was the resident storyteller for The Lounge on KPBS radio, where he read from his acclaimed series, The Midnight Pharmacy. Most recently his work has appeared in elimae, Dogplotz, Night Train, and Fiction Daily. His story “Thrill of Fire” was selected as one of the top fifty flash fictions of 2012 by Wigleaf Magazine. During July 2012, he served an artistic residence at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in Woodstock, NY. Griffith teaches Short Fiction Writing and Creative Writing.
KARL SHERLOCK carries an M.A. degree in Creative Writing from Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and an M.F.A. in Writing from University of California, Irvine. He is a Fulbright alumnus and 1982 recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize. His poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including The Jacaranda Review, Cream City Review, Dickinson Review, South Coast Poetry Journal, The Alsop Review, Lime Hawk, The Radvocate, Wordgathering, The Matador Reviews, Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly, as well as in gay writers journals such as Assaracus and The James White Review. His memoir, "Clear" was a 2014 finalist for Sundress Publication's "Best of the Net.” Sherlock teaches Creative Writing, Poetry Writing, and Drama Writing. He co-coordinates the Creative Writing Program with Sydney Brown.
DANIELA SOW: A spoken word artist who has competed in the National Poetry Slam, Daniela Sow received her B.A. in Literature with a minor in Women Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. She went on to obtain her Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing (Poetry) from San Diego State University, and her Post-secondary Reading and Learning Certificate from California State University, Fullerton. Daniela's poetry appears in San Diego Poetry Annual, A Cappella Zoo, and Encompassing Seas. In Fall 2017, she will begin serving alongside Karl Sherlock as the new Creative Writing Program Co-Coordinator for the English Department.

ELLA DeCASTRO BARON received her B.A. in English Literature from U.C. Berkeley, then moved to San Diego to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. She now works in San Diego as a part-time English and Creative Writing instructor. Co-editor of the San Diego City Works anthology Hunger and Thirst, her own writing appears in a variety of publications, including Fiction International, Sunshine Noir, Lavanderia, Mamas and Papas, and City Works Literary Journal. Her first officially released book, Itchy, Brown Girl Seeks Employment, was a finalist for the San Diego Book Awards. Beginning in spring of 2016, Ella deCastro Baron will be teaching Creative Nonfiction at Grossmont College. 

ADAM DEUTSCH carries a Master of Arts degree from Hofstra University (2005) and a M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2008). This Long Island New Yorker has held editorial positions on a variety of small presses and journals, including Ninth Letter and Barn Owl Review. His own poems have appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, Forklife OH, Thrush, Ping Pong, Arsenic Lobster and others. He presently teaches at Grossmont College and runs Cooper Dillon Books, a poetry press for writers and poets.
T. GREENWOOD is the author of eight novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. Two Rivers was named 2009 Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and Grace received the same award for 2012. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks; This Glittering World was a January 2011 selection, and Grace was a selection in April 2012. Her most recent novel, The Golden Hour, is slated for release in March 2017. In addition to leading the Novel Writing course at Grossmont College (English 175-178), T. Greenwood teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer's Ink and on-line for The Writer's Center. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA with their two daughters. She is also an aspiring photographer. 
BRENDAN PRANIEWICZ teaches Mesa College and Grossmont College, with a specialty in Advanced Composition, including argument, academic writing structures, and improving writing skills. He also teaches several communications classes at Ashford University. About his inspiration for creative writing, Praniewicz explains, "Writing came to me through an addiction to literature. As a kid in middle school, I’d stay up way past my bedtime reading novels with a flashlight. In terms of writing, I began writing in high school. I wasn’t the best student, but I enjoyed writing. My sophomore year of high school, I started writing short stories and poetry for my own pleasure. My inspiration came from reading. I wanted to mimic some of the authors that I read and quite frankly, to see if I could write something better.” Brendan maintains a music and culture blog, “To Hell With Tradition,”


Last Updated: 01/30/2017
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