Category Archives: Newsletter Articles

TCK Publishing


Publishing a collection of stories, a novel, or a selection of poetry is much easier than it used to be with the rise of self-publishing, Ebooks, and online publishing houses. Now, an author or poet doesn’t need an agent to help them navigate the publishing field. TCK Publishing is an option for writers who want to be published but may not have the means or desire to hire an agent.

TCK publishing is a small press publisher that encourages student writers to submit their novels and nonfiction manuscripts for feedback, as well as a potential book deal. They publish books in a wide variety of genres, including mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. There is no need to hire a professional editor (though it is not discouraged) because TCK publishing’s editors provide free developmental editing, copyediting, line editing, and proofreading services.

TCK publishing pays 50% net royalties–3 to 6 times more than traditional publishers pay. There is no fee to submit a manuscript nor is there a fee to publish the finished book.

Check out the submissions guidelines page to learn about the process of submitting your manuscript!

If you have recently published a book, let us know! We would love to feature you on the blog. Contact Rachel Hicks with your story.


Reading Our World: Story Building

It’s the most wonderful time of the semester again… Registration! If you are an English Education major or a student looking for a class to improve your storytelling skills, look no further than ENGL 242 Reading Our World: Storybuilding.

This course teaches you how to use storytelling, drama, writing projects, and word games to build critical literacy skills. Storybuilding engages students physically in their learning, shifting classroom paradigms:

  • Traditional memorization is replaced with strategies for conflict resolution.
  • Passive in-class listening is replaced with innovations in community building.
  • Independent research is replaced with multi-cultural identity exploration.

This class is taught by a theatre professional trained in the established pedagogy. Neighborhood Bridges is a curriculum-based literacy and creative drama  program developed by the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. The program is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a model for arts education, and has received Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grants.

More than 94% of classroom teachers who participated in Bridges in 2007-2008 indicated that students’ acting, storytelling, oral communication skills, attitude towards writing, and use of imagination and descriptive details in writing improved during the course of the program.

Millersville students who have taken this class in the past rave about it! Many claim it was one of their favorite classes offered at Millersville.


  • Meets Mondays from 6-9pm
  • Counts for a G1 and W
  • If you have already taken ENGL 242, you can take it again for elective credit
  • Includes a local  school placement during the second half of the semester, practicing skills with a partner from the class
  • Requires a weekend workshop training in January
  • Requires clearances for the school placement

Contact Caleb Corkery for more information.

Dr. Steven Max Miller

Dr. Miller passed away last week.

Dr. Steven Max Miller (Steve) was a warm, passionate, and (his favorite friends and students will tell you) sometimes cranky professor in the English Department at Millersville from 1985 to 2016 and Director of the Honors College 1999-2006. For his entire time at Millersville, he also was also the parent of a succession of cats who had, perhaps, the strongest, most individualistic personalities on the planet. It has been said that Maury, his huge orange tabby, only chose not to become president of the U.S. because he believed the position beneath him. Steve was also a passionate gardener. People strolling by his house kept enquiring whether his climbing roses were trees, the huge plants grew with such enthusiasm.

Dr. Steven Miller

Steve was perhaps the brightest student ever to come out of tiny Redkey, Indiana (population 1,353 in 2010), receiving a full scholarship to the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He graduated with a Bachelor in English with high honors at the College of William and Mary in 1972, and received a fellowship to Indiana University, where he received a Master of Arts in 1975 and a PhD in English Language and Literature in 1985.

Dr. Miller had a lifetime love affair with books and libraries. While at Indiana University, Steve was a Senior Library Assistant Cataloger in the Rare Books and Special Collections Department, Lilly Library, Bloomington, Indiana, 1972-1976. Continuing that passion, while at Millersville, Steve was a member of Friends of Ganser Library for virtually his entire career here. So, it is not at all surprising that as Director of the Honors College, Dr. Miller began the reading project for incoming Honors freshmen. Each freshman received a book during Orientation that was written by an author who was scheduled to visit the campus during the academic year. During the first week of classes, the students met for a one-time discussion group with a faculty member or administrator who volunteered to read the book and lead the discussion. Upper level Honors students were also involved in the project and many have returned each year since to help with the reading project.

It was teaching, though, which was central to Dr. Miller’s sense of self, and though he married and had cats and friends and plants, teaching was arguably the love of his life. Indeed, he taught for virtually his entire academic life. He was an Associate Instructor in the English Department at Indiana University, Bloomington from 1975-1984. He joined the English Department at Millersville as an Assistant Professor of English in 1985. He spent a year as Assistant Professor of English, Murray State University in Kentucky, 1989-1990, and then returned to Millersville. In 1994, Dr. Miller was promoted to Associate Professor, English, also at Millersville. He became Director of the Honors College from Fall 1999, serving in that capacity through Spring 2006. In that time, Dr. Miller was instrumental in the process of transforming the erstwhile Honors Program into the Millersville Honors College.

Steve Miller cared fiercely about good writing, and his influence went far beyond his students here at Millersville. A fierce feminist, Steve was a consultant for the Women Writers Project at Brown University in Providence, RI from 1990-1995. Always ready to experiment with new things, Dr. Miller became Cofounder and Executive Editor of ReSoundings, an experimental, juried digital publication with a focus primarily on literary criticism regarding the British medieval and early modern periods. The journal was international in scope, with editors in the U.S., Canada, Britain, and Australia.

Always engaged, Dr. Miller was the faculty sponsor Iota Phi chapter Sigma Tau Delta, Millersville beginning in 1986, serving in that capacity until his retirement. Dr. Miller was a grantee for the National Endowment for Humanities, 1991-92. He was a member of the Modern Language Association, the John Donne Society of American, the Spenser Society, English Association Pennsylvania State Universities (EAPSU), and the Bibliographical Society American, and the Bibliographical Society American.

Literary Festival – Publishing

Millersville University is hosting a Literary Festival in the McNairy Library Room 100 on November 2nd from 9am to 5pm with a keynote speaker at 7pm. Guest writers will hold sessions on writing fiction, poetry, memoir, creative essays, and journalism throughout the day. Check out the full event schedule here

From 2-2:55pm in the McNairy Library, there will be a panel focused on publishing presented by Meghan Phillips and Jamie Beth Cohen. Here is some more information about the presenters:

Meghan Phillips is a writer and editor from Lancaster, PA. Her stories and poems have been nominated for the the Best of the Net, The Best Small Fictions Anthology, Best Microfiction anthology, and the Pushcart Prize. She is the fiction editor for the Lancaster-based literary magazine Third Point Press, and an associate editor for SmokeLong Quarterly, one of the oldest literary magazines dedicated to flash fiction. Her chapbook of flash fiction, Abstinence Only, is forthcoming from Barrelhouse Books. To find out more about her writing, visit

Jamie Beth Cohen writes about difficult things, but her friends think she’s funny. Her writing has appeared in, The Washington Post/On Parenting, Salon, and several other outlets. Her debut novel, WASTED PRETTY, will be published in April 2019. It’s a YA book about what happens when a sixteen-year-old girl who usually blends in, starts to stand out. Jamie’s favorite job was scooping ice cream when she was 16 years old. She thinks everything about 16 was wonderful and amazing, except all the stuff that was horrible. Find her tweeting @Jamie_Beth_S

Be sure to check out one or more of the panels tomorrow!

MUsings 2019 Graduate Publication

MUsings began at Millersville to showcase the research and creative work of graduate students here at the university. We have been publishing work online since 2016, and publishing in print for well over a decade.

All the English graduate assistants of Millersville work on the journal in the fall and spring semesters. Professor Joyce Anderson of English is the faculty adviser of the journal, and this year the English department’s head graduate assistant Maria Rovito is the lead editor. MUsings also collaborates and works with other faculty and staff in graphic design, university marketing, graduate studies, the McNairy Library, Made in Millersville, English, and social work.

If you are interested in getting your graduate work published, submit to the journal. A publication will impress future employers, and if you are interested in going into higher education, a publication helps establish your credibility as a scholar. The journal is both in print and online. If you are accepted into the journal you have the option to present at Made in Millersville in the spring of 2019.

All graduate students at Millersville can submit to the journal, no matter their degree program or discipline. We accept any work that is academic, creative, or artistic. Some examples include academic articles, fiction, poetry, artistic works, and personal essays.

The deadline for the spring 2019 issue is November 1, 2018. Right now we are finishing the spring 2018 issue, and we will start accepting work for the spring 2019 issue in November.

Here is where you can submit your piece and find more information.

Submission Criteria:

  • Maximum two prose submissions (scholarly or creative) or up to five poems or visual works or art
  • Less than 10,000 words in length

Please contact either Professor Joyce Anderson or Maria Rovito with any questions.

Thanks to Maria Rovito for her collaboration.


Environmental Writing Susquehanna Kayak Trip

On October 3rd, Dr. Mando’s Environmental Writing class went on a kayak trip as part of their Susquehanna Stories Project through Shank’s Mare Outfitters. For many, the Susquehanna River is just that expanse they cross on their way along the Pennsylvania Turnpike or a troublemaker for the Chesapeake Bay, but for students from ENGL 466: Environmental Advocacy Writing, the river is a source of inspiration. These students have been tasked with telling stories of the river, focusing on the people, plants, animals, and places that make the Susquehanna a valuable connection to our area. What better way to start that process than by getting into the river itself?

The class floated the river to gain a sense of place that will drive the writing they do on behalf of this magnificent, threatened, and often overlooked American waterway. Their goal is to capture in writing both the aesthetic and cultural value of the Susquehanna along with the threats that face it. Many organizations from the Susquehanna’s headwaters to its mouth in the Chesapeake Bay are excited to hear what flows from our student advocates. River Stewards, a Susquehanna-focused organization, funded the excursion in its entirety. This surely demonstrates the value of the work our students do!

The trip was attended by Liz Amoriello, Abbie Breckbill, Domenic DeSimone, Jessie Garrison, Skyler Gibbon, Shelby Hall, Anthony Miller, Jonathan Rivera, Kyle Steffish, and Kelly Umenhofer.

The students set off on a calm evening in early October, taking double kayaks from south of Wrightsville down to Fishing Creek and back in the section of the Susquehanna known as Lake Clarke. Because it is between two dams, this part of the river is much more like a lake than what normally comes to mind when we think of rivers. This lake-like stretch has caused the students to think of how differently they may have to communicate environmental issues to citizens located along the banks of Lake Clarke among lighthouses, seagulls and jetskis than they would in the river’s northern reaches of grass islands, exposed rocks and riffles.

These kinds of rhetorical issues regarding context and audience really come to life when you’re out there in the middle of the river. You can’t help but imagine the native Susquehannock settlements of the distant past and their dugout sycamore canoes juxtaposed with the brightly colored kayaks we floated. You look to the top of Turkey Hill where a landfill, a processing plant and windmills now have the high ground and then your eyes focus on the mottled white of a swooping osprey. You come ashore and the ground feels different; it’s not just your soggy shoes, it’s the sense of being part of the sweeping flows of time and place that we as individuals can passively float or choose to paddle against.

On October 24th at 4:30pm, there will be a reading of the student’s Susquehanna Stories at Saxby’s as a part of Sustainability Month.

Photos and Article from Dr. Mando


Literary Festival – Panel Discussion: “The Writing Life”

Millersville University is hosting a Literary Festival in the McNairy Library Room 100 on November 2nd from 9am to 5pm with a keynote speaker at 7pm. Guest writers will hold sessions on writing fiction, poetry, memoir, creative essays, and journalism throughout the day. Check out the full event schedule here

From 12:05am to 1:55, the literary fest will shift into room 112 for a panel discussion composed of recent Millersville alums about “The Writing Life.” Here is some more information about the panel members:

Phil Benoit, a retired MU professor, has narrated 23 audio-books, which are listed for sale on Audible. A former college faculty member and administrator, he is the co-author of several college textbooks on communications and broadcasting.

Mitchell Sommers is the fiction editor of Philadelphia Stories, a quarterly literary magazine. He is an attorney practicing in Lancaster and Ephrata.

Barb Strasko, who appeared earlier in the day for the poetry panel, is the author of two collections of poetry and was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Lancaster County by the Lancaster Literary Guild. She is a counselor, reading specialist, and literacy coach. and is currently the Poet in the Schools for Poetry Paths in the city of Lancaster.

Alex Brubaker is the Manager of the Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Director of the Harrisburg Book Festival. Previously, he was the Exhibit Coordinator of the Twin Cities Book Festival and the Editorial Assistant at Rain Taxi Magazine in Minneapolis.

During this section Dr. Corkery and his theatrical troupe will make an appearance.

Be sure to check out this panel and more on November 2nd!


Literary Festival – Flash Fiction Contest

Millersville University is hosting a Literary Festival in the McNairy Library Room 100 on November 2nd from 9am to 5pm with a keynote speaker at 7pm. Guest writers will hold sessions on writing fiction, poetry, memoir, creative essays, and journalism throughout the day. Check out the full event schedule here

The Millersville University Literary Festival is sponsoring a Flash Fiction contest!

Submission Criteria:

  • Millersville students only
  • 1,000 word limit
  • Submit here (click on the “Submit Here” link) by October 15th at 11:59pm

The night before the festival (November 1st), the student fiction prize will be awarded at an open mic event in Saxby’s from 7-9pm. The winner will win a $100 prize and a spot in the George Street Press literary magazine.

Please submit your stories and come out to the open mic on November 1st!

Literary Festival – Fiction and Flash Fiction Presentation

Millersville University is hosting a Literary Festival in the McNairy Library Room 100 on November 2nd from 9am to 5pm with a keynote speaker at 7pm. Guest writers will hold sessions on writing fiction, poetry, memoir, creative essays, and journalism throughout the day. Check out the full event schedule here

Session 1 of the Literary Festival will focus on Fiction and Flash Fiction.  Presenters Curtis Smith and Don Helin will discuss writing fiction from 9-9:50am. Here is some more information about the presenters:

Curtis Smith has been featured in over seventy literary journals and is the author of five books of fiction. His work has been cited by The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best American Spiritual Writing and the recently released WW Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction. His most recent book is Lovepain, a novel from Braddock Avenue Books.




Don Helin is the author of five thrillers that draw from his military experience serving in a number of stateside posts as well as overseas in Vietnam and Germany. His novel, Secret Assault, was selected as the best Suspense/Thriller at the 2015 Indie Book Awards. Don is a member of International Thriller Writers, Military Writers Society of America, Penwriters, a state-wide writers group in PA.





Dr. Timothy Shea – Update From Kenya

Dr. Timothy Shea, Associate Professor of English at Millersville, has been teaching secondary humanities at an international school in Kenya for a two-year leave of absence. Here is an update on his experiences. 

I gotta admit. I was a bit nervous accompanying a bunch of teenagers whom I barely knew to rough it in the middle of Kenya where they would need to survive without technology and where they would need to share a handful of pit toilets, two bucket showers, and basic village cuisine. I anticipated a week of whining, apathy, and drama but, boy, was I wrong!

From the very beginning, these kids showed me what’s right about today’s teens. They pitched in to set up tents, help with meals, take turns with toilet use, and all with smiles and good attitudes. I know they were impressed with the sacrifice our host, Pastor Nicholas, and his family made for us to be there. He gave up his home, prepared our meals, and facilitated our service to his community. I was most impressed with the ways they interacted with the local community, from the vivacious church members to the kids with HIV. They played, laughed, told stories, and helped their new friends have a happier life.

Each year Rosslyn Academy takes all of its middle and high school students to sites all over Kenya for a 3 – 5 day camping expedition where they engage in community service while learning more about themselves, and the local culture. It is tiring and stretches their comfort levels but they learn so much in the process!
This year I accompanied sixteen 10th graders to the central highlands of Kenya, nestled between two mountains–Mt. Meru and Mt. Kenya–and surrounded by tea farms and waterfalls where we camped out with a local pastor and his family and learned what it means to serve others.

We painted several buildings of an orphanage for kids with HIV. In between painting, we played with these kids and were amazed with their sense of contentment and happiness. In between our working, we hiked through tea farms to a waterfall and caves,we listened to a local village legend tell stories about the Mau Mau uprising, and we hiked up a dormant volcano. In the evenings we played games, debriefed around the campfire, and reflected on our learning in our journals.

On our final day, we joined all the other high school groups to debrief on the ways this experience changed them. I was blown away by the difference roughing it and serving others with a group of teens for a few days would make.  I have gone on lots of field and service trips with teenagers and was ready to deal with the drama, cliques, and whining that often goes with these fun experiences. Amazingly, I didn’t experience ANY of that! In fact, it was quite the opposite. Some of my group members were even new to Rosslyn this year but yet, in no time, they were quite close and were constantly looking out for each other in beautiful ways. By the end of the week, they were letting each other know how much they appreciated each other and how they wanted to make sure they didn’t lose all that they had gained on this trip. As their teacher, I was thrilled and awed by their growth and how such an intense experience could make such a big impact on them. I look forward to seeing how this experience continues to transform us all this year and how it affects the ways they continue to interact with those who surround them every day. THIS is what makes teaching rewarding and fun!

Dr. Shea