| September 21, 2016

Samuel Martin, Author and Professor, English, Northwestern

Samuel Martin, Author and Professor, English, Northwestern

BY: as told by Samuel Martin / as written by Catherine Nygren

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Before doing my PhD at Memorial on Atlantic Canadian fiction, I got my Masters in Creative Writing from Toronto. A few months after arriving in St. John’s to start my program, I submitted a manuscript of short stories, This Ramshackle Tabernacle, which was accepted for publication. Since then, I’ve continued to write short fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and a novel, in addition to my scholarly work.

Because I was trying to balance scholarly and creative work during my doctoral studies, I applied for various arts grants outside of the university, which helped financially. I also TAed and taught several classes; MUN actively ensures that students receive training and mentorship on teaching and pedagogy, which was a really good experience.

In addition to teaching mentorship, I also had a good supervisory committee, who provided quick and extensive responses to my dissertation. The department felt like a community; I felt comfortable seeking help from anyone in the department. Apart from pedagogy, though, there weren’t many resources for professionalization, and more information on publishing, both academically and beyond, as well as administrative work, would have been helpful.

I finished my program in 3.5 years, in part because I received a job which required me to have my diploma before I started. I’m now an Assistant Professor of English, with a focus in creative writing, at Northwestern College in Iowa. My doctoral work is directly connected to my current position, where I teach both literary courses and creative writing; my teaching experience at MUN was invaluable. I have no regrets about doing a PhD: even if I hadn’t ended up in a tenure-track position, I knew I would get to spend four years doing what I love.


POLL: Pedagogical training

Before doing my PhD at Memorial on Atlantic Canadian fiction, I got my Masters in Creative Writing from Toronto. A few months after arriving in St. John’s to start my program, I submitted a manuscript of short stories, This Ramshackle Tabernacle, which was accepted for publication. Since then, I’ve continued to write short fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and a novel, in addition to my scholarly work.

Because I was trying to balance scholarly and creative work during my doctoral studies, I applied for various arts grants outside of the university, which helped financially. I also TAed and taught several classes; MUN actively ensures that students receive training and mentorship on teaching and pedagogy, which was a really good experience.

In addition to teaching mentorship, I also had a good supervisory committee, who provided quick and extensive responses to my dissertation. The department felt like a community; I felt comfortable seeking help from anyone in the department. Apart from pedagogy, though, there weren’t many resources for professionalization, and more information on publishing, both academically and beyond, as well as administrative work, would have been helpful.

I finished my program in 3.5 years, in part because I received a job which required me to have my diploma before I started. I’m now an Assistant Professor of English, with a focus in creative writing, at Northwestern College in Iowa. My doctoral work is directly connected to my current position, where I teach both literary courses and creative writing; my teaching experience at MUN was invaluable. I have no regrets about doing a PhD: even if I hadn’t ended up in a tenure-track position, I knew I would get to spend four years doing what I love.


POLL: Pedagogical training

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