Thursday, March 31, 2016

Writing Showcase Submissions Due Tomorrow!

Have you written a paper or developed a portfolio that you're particularly proud of? Don't forget that SNL Writing Showcase submissions for the 2015-2016 academic year are due tomorrow, April 1, by the end of the day!

We're seeking outstanding work that includes essays, poems, stories, ILPs, APs, Capstone projects, and Digication e-portfolios. Check out the Writing Showcase page on the SNL Writing Guide for more information and the application form, and see our past post on the Writing Showcase as well.

Students may email application forms, submissions, and questions to

We look forward to receiving your work!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Beating Writer's Block at Its Own Game

This month in the New Yorker, Maria Konnikova revealed a psychological basis for beating writer's block in addition to exploring its sometimes-evasive roots. "How to Beat Writer's Block" offers a history of the phrase itself alongside several psychologists' attempts to figure out just what writer's block is, who suffers the most from it, and, most importantly, was to combat it. Konnikova writes:
There are some experiences that almost all blocked writers have in common. Almost all of them experience flagging motivation; they feel less ambitious and find less joy in writing. They’re also less creative. Barrios and Singer found that blocked individuals showed “low levels of positive and constructive mental imagery”: they were less able to form pictures in their minds, and the pictures they did form were less vivid. They were less likely to daydream in constructive fashion—or to dream, period.
Nick Carbone adds that, "the piece is a reminder that one way to help a stuck writer is to guide them to writing in nonlinear, creative ways. Peter Elbow's Writing Without Teachers famously got at this approach." 

Konnikova continues:
It may be that learning to do creative work of any kind—not just direct imagery exercises—may help combat writer’s block. Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist who is the scientific director of the Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-author of “Wired to Create,” says, “When one feels writer’s block, it’s good to just keep putting things down on paper—ideas, knowledge, etc.” In 2009, Kaufman co-edited a volume called “The Psychology of Creative Writing”; during that process, he became convinced that allowing for error—and realizing how nonlinear a process creativity can be—was an essential step for overcoming blocks in writing. “I think one must trust the writing process. Understand that creativity requires nonlinearity and unique associative combinations,” he says. “Creative people do a lot of trial and error and rarely know where they are going exactly until they get there.”
Click here to read the full article by Konnikova, and be reminded to give yourself space for creative meandering where possible. As Carbone says, "Unless we make room enough for [trial and error] will be hard to be creative in the kind of nonlinear and associative ways research says writers can benefit from when they are stuck."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Two More Boot Camps in March

There are two Writing Boot Camps left in Winter Quarter, so plan on attending to complete your assignments before Spring Break! Faculty-led sessions are designed for undergraduate or graduate SNL students who currently have an incomplete grade on their transcript or a current project they wish to complete.

Upcoming Incomplete Boot Camps:
Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Loop Campus
Saturday, March 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the O'Hare Campus

Click on the image below for more details. Register for any session(s) by emailing; walk-ins are also welcome!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Writing Showcase Submissions Due April 1!

Have you submitted your outstanding work for SNL's Writing Showcase yet? Students may submit up to three pieces of work (including essays, poems, stories, ILPs, APs, Capstone projects, and Digication e-portfolios) before the April 1 deadline.

Students will be invited to read selections from their submissions at the annual SNL Writing Showcase Live event on April 21. Exceptional submissions composed during the 2015-2016 year will also be recognized at the Spring Awards Luncheon.

SNL's Writing Showcase is a great opportunity for students to augment their CVs and share their work with a supportive community. For more information and entry form, visit the Writing Showcase page on the Writing Guide. Submit entries and email any questions to

We look forward to receiving your work!