Special Opportunities for English Majors

Look at all that English has to offer!

Come see what makes the English Department such a dynamic place to be! We can’t limit our excitement for literature to the classroom—we offer many opportunities to get involved in reading, writing, and literary exploration outside of our courses.  We sponsor extracurricular clubs, creative writing contests, research conferences, and a literary journal. Contact the English Department for questions about any of these opportunities.

English Senior Honors Program

The English Department offers a Senior Honors Program in English and a Senior Honors Program in Creative Writing. Students take a two-semester sequence of coursework and independent work that culminates in the writing of an Honors Thesis. Students with a high GPA are invited to apply.  Honors in English leads to the completion of an analytical thesis, while Honors in Creative Writing leads to the completion of a collection of short stories or poetry. 

English Department Groups and Clubs

Sigma Tau Delta
UMass Boston houses a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International Honors Society for English Majors. Sigma Tau Delta confers distinction for high achievement in English language and literature and promotes interest in literature on campus. It hosts creative, intellectual, and charitable activities, and connects students to Sigma Tau Delta national events and conferences.

Literary Theory Reading Group
Led by our literature faculty, the Literary Theory Reading Group is a roundtable discussion group that meets monthly and encourages students to explore wider theoretical debates and issues within literary studies.  Recent topics include “The Now” and “Whither the Human?”

Medieval Reading Group
For the medievally-inclined or the medievally-curious!  Led by our medievalist faculty, this student group meets on a monthly basis to talk about medieval literature and culture.  Recent topics include “The Heart of Beowulf” and “Speaking Animals.”

Writer’s Community
This student-led group organizes weekly meetings held in the English Department Commons.  Students come together to discuss all forms of writing and to support each other as they improve their creative and analytical writing.    

Creative Writing Contests

Six-Word Story Contest
Every fall, the English Department’s Creative Writing Program sponsors a Six Word Story Contest, inspired by a story attributed Ernest Hemingway, “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”  Open to all undergraduates, students submit up to three six-word stories. Winning entries are recognized at a celebration and receive prizes. Please click here for more information on the Six Word Story Contest.

Twitter Poetry Contest
Every spring, the English Department’s Creative Writing Program sponsors a Twitter Poetry Contest.  Open to all undergraduates, students tweet up to three 140-characters poems stories.  Winning entries are recognized at a celebration and receive prizes.  Please click here for more information on the Twitter Poetry Contest.

Undergraduate Research Conferences

Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference
Every year, students who are inspired by the works of Shakespeare (and by the engaging teaching in our Shakespeare courses!) prepare their academic writing to be presented at the Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference, typically held in the spring. UMass Boston students’ work is always successful and has won the conference’s “Best Paper” prize.

Intercollegiate Undergraduate Literature Conference
Our English Department has recently joined into a regional Undergraduate Literature Conference that allows our students to show off their critical and creative writing.  UMass Boston students connect and share ideas with students from Stonehill College and Bridgewater State.

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference
Every spring, UMass Amherst hosts the Undergraduate Research Conference for Massachusetts students.  Students present conference papers and posters.  English majors attend every year, presenting Honors theses and capstone papers. 

The Watermark

The Watermark has been publishing the literary and art work of students at the UMass Boston for 12 years. Before its current incarnation as The Watermark it was a journal called Howth Castle. The Watermark is entirely student run and funded primarily through student fees. We publish the highest quality student work in fiction, poetry, non-fiction and art every year. Our goal is to provide a venue for the work of the student body, so that it can be shared with the university community and the greater Boston literary and arts community as well.

For more information: thewatermarkjournal@gmail.com

or contact:

Neal, Donna
Asst Dir,Arts&Cultural Activ
Student Life Office
Campus Center,03,03400