English majors at Rider enjoy an exciting intellectual atmosphere and can participate in many literary activities:
- Rider’s creative writing club, Writer’s Block, gives students the opportunity to discuss the art of writing. Among other activities, members give feedback on each other's work, attend readings, and play writing games.
- Students may also participate in the publication of Venture, the university’s literary magazine, as contributors and editors. Venture offers students a chance to gain valuable experience designing a first-rate literary journal while enjoying the friendship of some of Rider’s most creative students. You can read issues of Venture by picking up a copy from the English Department office in Fine Arts 319 or by visiting the Venture website.
- Sigma Tau Delta, the international English Honor Society, has a chapter at Rider, which qualified students are invited to join.
- Many Rider writing students attend the annual Writer’s Conference held at the College of New Jersey, the spring and summer writers’ conferences at Rutgers' Camden campus, and the annual Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway in Cape May.
- Students who join the campuswide Alternative Film Club gather to watch independent, foreign, and alternative movies or travel to New York City to attend pre-release press screenings of movies.
- Outstanding writers who have read their works on campus include John Edgar Wideman, Derek Walcott, Michael Dirda, Ernest J. Gaines, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Stephen Dunn, Alicia Ostriker, Joyce Carol Oates, bell hooks, and Sonia Sanchez.
- The Movies in America Guest Speaker Series has film scholars and filmmakers visit campus to discuss their work.
- The English Department has an annual writing contest that offers prizes for the best critical essays and the best creative works submitted.
- Each fall, the English Department hosts its annual Interdisciplinary Day of Literature (IDOL) conference, a venue where students can present literature and cultural studies papers.
- Each spring, Rider’s Gender Studies Program organizes its annual Gender Colloquium where students interested in the intersections of literature, film, popular culture, and gender and sexuality studies can present their work.
- The Film and Media Studies Program hosts its annual Film Symposium early each spring term.
In addition to those listed above, several writing opportunities are available for students:
- Feedback from experienced faculty writers (NEA fellow in prose Robbie Clipper, poet Matthew Boyd Goldie, creative non-fiction author Mickey Hess, playwright and screenwriter Rebecca Basham, and reviewers Jack Sullivan and Mary Morse).
- Workshops and readings by students and professional writers, which have included Derek Walcott, Michael Dirda, Ernest J. Gaines, Edwidge Danticat, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Stephen Dunn, Alicia Ostriker, Rachel Hadas, Joyce Carol Oates, bell hooks, and Sonia Sanchez.
- Publication in The Rectangle, national publication of Sigma Tau Delta.
- Publication in local literary magazines, such as The Kelsey Review and the New Jersey Review of Literature.