Students walking in The Alley in Downtown Aiken


Office of Admissions

The James and Mary Oswald Scholarships in Writing were established in honor of two longtime Aiken residents who created an endowment to enhance departmental initiatives to promote general interest in the English language and its literatures. These awards (scholarships for incoming students) are offered annually by the USC Aiken Department of English to new full-time students who enroll at USCA, who choose the BFA in Writing as their major, and whose work demonstrates superior achievement in professional or creative writing. The competition invites work in four genres: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama.

Five awards will be presented each year in the following amounts: $1000, $750, $500, $250, and $250. All entries will be blind judged by a panel of three professors from the Department of English. The Department reserves the right not to present any or all of the awards in a given year when the judges do not recommend a winner (or winners).

Submission Guidelines

  • Eligible genres are nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama.
    • Nonfiction: Maximum of 25 pages. Each entry should consist of one essay or other work of nonfiction with no restrictions with regard to focus and/or form.
    • Fiction: Maximum of 25 pages. Each entry should consist of one story or a chapter of a longer work.
    • Poetry: Maximum of 150 lines. Each entry should consist of a sequence of poems, or a group of four to six poems, or one long poem of at least 75 lines.
    • Drama: Minimum of one act. Maximum of 25 pages. May be for radio, screen, or stage.
  • Each incoming student may submit multiple entries in one or more genres; however, a maximum of 1 scholarship per student will be awarded.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by a cover sheet that contains the title of entry and the incoming student’s name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.
  • Except for the title—which MUST appear on both the entry and the cover sheet—all identifying information (including genre and author’s name) must appear on the cover sheet only. No identification of the author should appear on the entries themselves.
  • All entries must be word-processed. Nonfiction and fiction entries must be double-spaced. Drama and poetry entries should be formatted according to the requirements of the genre.
  • Failure to follow guidelines will cause an entry to be disqualified. • Entries must be submitted by noon on the date advertised in the annual flier.
  • Entries should be mailed to:
Dr. Andrew Geyer
Professor and Chair
Department of English
University of South Carolina Aiken
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801

BFA Ad Revised copy

About the B.F.A. in Professional or Creative Writing

Students pursuing the BFA in Writing, with a track in either Professional Writing or Creative Writing, will maintain a tight focus on learning to write effectively in a number of genres. This tighter focus will help our graduating BFA students gain employment in the business world (professional writing focus) and/or earn scholarships/fellowships/assistantships in graduate school (creative writing focus). Year in and year out, employers list their top two criteria for new hires as writing ability and the ability to think critically. Our new program is set up to directly target those two desired areas. USC Aiken is the only state institution to offer such a program in South Carolina. 

For more information on how you can get involved in The Next Big Thing contact Dr. Geyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Professor Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

View requirements for the BFA Professional Writing Track

View requirements for the BFA Creative Writing Track

View scholarship opportunities for BFA majors


Benefits of having a BFA in Creative or Professional Writing

  • Opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge with a tighter focus in a particular writing area
  • Tighter focus in professional writing = more opportunities for employment in the business world
  • Tighter focus in creative writing = more opportunities for graduate school (including scholarships/fellowships/internships/ assistantships)
  • Top two criteria for new hires = writing ability and ability to think critically
  • Get a competitive edge for opening positions at firms including AT&T, SRS, Bridgestone, Club Car, GlaxoSmithKline, Kimberly-Clark, SCANA, UPS, Zeus, International Paper, ADP (and these are just a few)
  • BFA graduates will be stronger candidates for law school, M.B.A. programs, M.F.A. programs in or out of state 

Current South Carolina Job Opportunities


# of Job Openings

Average Wage

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media 1,294 $51,309
Business and Financial Operations 2,758 $53,869
Community and Social Services 816 $42,424
Education, Training, and Library 2,747 $44,687
Healthcare Support 2,096 $30,446
Legal 183 $49,214
Life, Physical, and Social Science 706 $51,140
Management 8,230 $63,263
Office and Administrative Support 7,022 $31,320
Sales 6,697  $46,045



Full-Time Faculty

Bruzina, David. “X Helena Saunders.” a chorus. edited by Jasper Copes. MA Artistic Research/Royal Academy of Art in the Hague, 2019.

---. “Gazillionaire Merging with Nature” and “Job Market Slide.” Archive: South Carolina Poetry since 2005, edited by Gilbert Allen, Jeffrey Makala, and William E. Rogers. Ninety-Six Press/James B Duke Library Furman University, 2018.

---. “Squirrel Hunting and the Limits of Philosophy.” College English Association Conference, Hilton Head, SC, 2017. (Named “Best in Section”)

Bruzina, David and Douglas Higbee, editors. Hunting and Academic Identity. U of South Carolina P, 2017.

---. “Two Poems: 'Gazillionaire Merging with Nature' and 'Windfall of Meat'.”  Green Mountains Review, 10 Aug. 2015.

---. “A Patchwork ESOL Program,” Carolina TESOL Conference, 2015.

---. “Jon Tuttle” and “Elise Blackwell.” The South Carolina Encyclopedia Guide to South Carolina Writers, edited by Tom Mack, U of South Carolina P, 2014.

---. “Job Market Slide,” “What It Is,” and “The Economy,” StorySouth, no. 37, Spring/Summer 2014,

---. “What Means: Digital Community,” South Atlantic Modern Languages Association Conference, 2014.


Carlson, Eric. Forthcoming: lead editor, Vikings, Knights, Elves, and Ogres: Essays in Honor of Shaun F.D. Hughes. Anticipated publication with Medieval Institute Publications, mid-2020.

Book Chapters

---. Forthcoming: “Mimetic Crisis and the Fenrir Myth.” In Vikings, Knights, Elves, and Ogres, edited by Eric R. Carlson, Dorsey Armstrong, and Arielle McKee.

---. Forthcoming: “Grendel’s Eucharist: An Outlaw’s Last Supper.” In Food and Feast in Pre-Modern Outlaw Tales, edited by Melissa Elmes and Kristen Bovaird-Abbo.

---. “Grendel as Novelistic Outlaw-Hero: A Girardian Reading.” In Telling Tales and Crafting Books, Essays in Honor of Thomas H. Ohlgren, edited by Alex Kaufman, Shaun F.D. Hughes, and Dorsey Armstrong. Medieval Institute Publications, 2016.

Journal Articles

---. “Njal’s Saga as the Keystone Text in the Interdisciplinary Classroom.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 25.1 (Spring 2018).

---. “Mutable Desires: Girardian Two-Object Rivalries in Beowulf.” The Journal of Literature and Art Studies 2:7 (July 2012).


---. 2019 University of South Carolina RISE grant for development of festschrift volume Vikings, Knights, Elves, and Ogres.

Book Reviews

---. “Interlocking Genres: A New Approach to Surveys of Anglo-Saxon Literature” (review of Hugh Magennis’s The Cambridge Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Literature). Pedagogy 13:2 (Spring 2013).

Encyclopedia Entries

---. “Lane, John.” The South Carolina Encyclopedia Guide to South Carolina Writers. Ed. Tom Mack. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2014.

---. “McCants, Elliot Crayton.” The South Carolina Encyclopedia Guide to South Carolina Writers. Ed. Tom Mack. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2014.

Conference Appearances

---. Forthcoming: “Judith: Violent Proxy.” To be presented at the 2019 Southeastern Medieval Association conference, November 2019.

---. “The Battle of Maldon and the Rise of Post-Canonical Pedagogy.” 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 9, 2019.

---. “Bad Dog: Mimetic Crisis and the Fenrir Myth.” 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 12, 2018.

---. “Violent Proxies, Power, and Place in Beowulf and Volsunga saga.” 55th Southeastern Medieval Association Conference, Knoxville, Tennessee, October 8, 2016.

---. “Starting Out or Starting Over: Establishing or Retooling an Interdisciplinary Studies Program for the Common Good.” Presented in conjunction with Prof. Natalia Bowdoin. 37th annual

---. Association for Interdisciplinary Studies conference, North Andover, Massachusetts, October 24, 2015.

---. “Grendel’s Eucharist: An Outlaw’s Last Supper.” 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 14, 2015.

---. “The Rhetoric of Combat in The Battle of Maldon.” Annual Southeastern Medieval Association conference, Atlanta, Georgia, October 18, 2014.

---. “Hwilum word be worde, hwilum andgit of andgite: Choosing a Text to Teach Beowulf in Translation.” Part of the roundtable discussion “Teaching Anglo-Saxon in the Undergraduate Classroom” at the Southeastern Medieval Association annual conference, Boone, North Carolina, October 4, 2013.

---. “Njal’s Saga as the Keystone Text in the Interdisciplinary Classroom.” Part of the roundtable discussion “Saga Studies in the Undergraduate Classroom” at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May, 2013.

---. “Grendel as Novelistic Outlaw-Hero: A Girardian Reading.” 23rd annual Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 5, 2012.

---. “On Vowel Length and the Contextual Semantics of Āglǽca.” 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 10, 2012.

---. “The Tacit Voice of Violence: Guilt and Emotional Control in the Knight’s Tale.” Southeastern Medieval Association annual conference, Decatur, Georgia, October 15, 2011.

---. “Mutable Desires: Two-Object Rivalries in Beowulf.” 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 13, 2011.

---. “Devolution of the Skrælingjar: A New World Ogre in its Infancy.” Southeastern Medieval Association annual conference, Roanoke, Virginia, November 18, 2010.

---. “Egil Pukes: Reading Physical Humor in Egils saga.” 45th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 15, 2010.

---. “Dismembering the Outlaw: Shoulders and Social Cohesion in Beowulf.” 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 9, 2009.

---. “Shouldering the Burden of Peace: Violent Reconciliation as a Christian Concern in Beowulf.” The Conference on Christianity and Literature: Poetics of Conflict and Resolution, Bridgewater, Virginia, October 18, 2008.

---. “Speaking of Courage: Tim O’Brien and Fear in the Indo-European Heroic Tradition.” College English Association annual conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 27, 2008.

---. “Becoming the Animal: Reconfiguring the Monstrous Double in Old English and Old Norse Texts.” The Colloquium on Violence and Religion, Abiquiu, New Mexico, June 3, 2004.

---. “Compensation as Ritual Sacrifice in the Icelandic Saga.” Purdue University Graduate Conference for Medieval Studies, West Lafayette, Indiana, March 6, 2004.

Geyer, Andrew. Lesser Mountains. Lamar UP, 2019.

---. Dixie Fish. Ink Brush Press, 2011.

---. Siren Songs from the Heart of Austin. Ink Brush Press, 2010.

---. Meeting the Dead. U of New Mexico P, 2007.

---. Whispers in Dust and Bone. Texas Tech UP, 2003

Geyer, Andrew, Jerry Craven, and Terry Dalrymple. Dancing on Barbed Wire, edited by Tom Mack. Angelina River Press, 2018.

Geyer, Andrew and Jerry Craven. Parallel Hours. Angelina River Press, 2017.

Geyer, Andrew, Jerry Craven, Terry Dalrymple, Jan Seale, and Kristin van Namen. Texas 5X5, edited by Laurie Champion. Stephen F. Austin UP, 2014.

Geyer, Andrew and Tom Mack, editors. A Shared Voice: A Tapestry of Tales. Lamar UP, 2013.

Hagstette, Todd and John Mayfield, editors. The Field of Honor: Essays on Southern Character and American Identity. U of South Carolina P, 2017.

Hagstette, Todd, editor. Reading William Gilmore Simms: Essays of Introduction to the Author’s Canon. U of South Carolina P, 2017.

---. “Writing the Duel: Rhetorical Negotiation and the Language of Honor in the Antebellum South.” The Field of Honor: Essays on Southern Character and American Identity. U of South Carolina P, 2017, pp 77-92.

---. “Preface,” “Confession; or, The Blind Heart,” “The Golden Christmas: A Chronicle of St. John’s, Berkeley,” “Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia,” “The Kentucky Tragedy Romances,” and “Martin Faber, the Story of a Criminal; and Other Tales.” Reading William Gilmore Simms: Essays of Introduction to the Author’s Canon. U of South Carolina P, 2017.

---. “Private vs. Public Honor in Wartime South Carolina:  William Gilmore Simms in Lecture, Letter, and History,” William Gilmore Simms’s Unfinished Civil War:  Consequences for a Southern Man of Letters, edited by David Moltke-Hansen, U of South Carolina P, 2013. 48-67.

Higbee, Douglas and Debra Rae Cohen, editors. Teaching Representations of the First World War. Modern Language Association, 2017.

Higbee, Douglas and David Bruzina, editors. Hunting and Academic Identity. U of South Carolina P, 2017.

---. “Brian Turner’s Here, Bullet and the Soldier-Poet Tradition.” South Atlantic Review, vol.80, no. 1-2, 2015, pp. 115-132.

---. “Veterans’ Movements and Peace.” Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, edited by Nigel Young. Oxford UP, 2010.

---, editor. Military Culture and Education. Ashgate Press, 2010.

---. “Constructions of Comradeship: Ivor Gurney and the British First World War Veterans’ Movement.” The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945, vol. 4, no. 1, 39-61.

Miller, Matthew L. “Fighting in the Streets, Fighting for Place: Superheroes in Yang and Liew’s The Shadow Hero and Okupe’s E. X. O.”  International Comics Art Forum, Columbia, SC, April 2016.

---. “Paule Marshall: My Place is No Longer Here.” MELUS Conference, Charleston, SC, March 2016. 

---. “Claude McKay’s Banana Bottom: The First Transnational American Novel.” Twentieth-Fifth Annual British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, Savannah, GA, February 2016.

---, editor.  Class, Please Open Your Comics:  Essays on Teaching with Graphic Narratives. McFarland Press, 2015. 

---. “Trauma in Junot Díaz’s Drown.” Notes on Contemporary Literature, vol. 41, no. 1, 2011, 2-5.

---. “Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life: The Recuperation of Identity.” Ethnic Studies Review, vol. 32, no. 2, 2009, 1-23. 

Rhodes, Lynne. “When Is Writing Also Reading?” Across the Disciplines: Special Issue on Reading and WAC, vol. 10, no. 4, Dec. 2013, p. 370.

---. “A Friend in Your Neighborhood: Local Risk Communication.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 61, no. 2, Dec. 2009, p. 370.

---. “Using Assessment to Introduce Incremental Change.” Pedagogy, vol. 8, no. 3, Fall 2008. 

Rhodes, Lynne and Karl Fornes. “Blog Play in the Composition Classroom.” McGraw Hill Higher Education, May 2004.

Rhodes, Lynne. “Gaining Ground Revisited: Sustaining Grounds Gained.” Language and Learning Across the Disciplines, vol. 4, no. 2, Aug. 2000, pp. 20-39.

---. “Purposes, Processes, and Personalities in Disciplinary Writing.” Dissertation, University of South Carolina, 1996.

Seeger, Roy. Prayer Book for the Midwestern Agnostic. Main Street Publishing Inc., 2014.

---. “Dean Young.” Critical Survey of Poets, edited by Rosemary M. Canfield Reisman. Salem Press, 2011.

---. “Imitation Bird.” The Greensboro Review, vol. 88, Fall 2010, pp. 64.

---. The Boy Whose Hands Were Birds. Main Street Rag Publishing Inc., 2008.

---. The Garden of Improbable Birds. Grey Mare/Gribble Press, 2007.

---. “Tell Me Over and Over Again: The Cycles of Trauma and Eco-criticism in Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods.” MidAmerica: The Yearbook of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. pp. 35. The Midwestern Press. 2007.

Smith, Kathleen Kalpin. Gender, Speech, and Audience Reception in Early Modern England. Routledge, 2017.

---. Editor. All’s Well That Ends Well, New Kittredge Shakespeare Edition. Focus Publishing, 2012.

---. "Teaching Perspective in The First Part of King Henry the Fourth." Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's English History Plays, MLA Approaches to Teaching Series. Ed. Laurie Ellinghausen. Modern Language Association, 2017.

---. "Women's Speech in the Age of Shakespeare," Critical Survey of Shakespeare Plays. Salem

Press, 2015. (a reprint of the Literature Compass 2013 essay).

---. "Women's Speech in the Age of Shakespeare," Literature Compass, March 2013. 260–268.

---. "Teaching and Learning Guide for 'Women's Speech in the Age of Shakespeare,'" Literature

Compass, October 2013. 822-823.

---. "Negotiating Audiences: Speech and Reception in All's Well That Ends Well and Henry V." Who Hears? Onstage and Offstage Audiences in Shakespeare. Ed. Laury Magnus and Walter Cannon. Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011. 131-143.

Kalpin, Kathleen. “Framing Wifely Advice in Thomas Heywood’s A Curtaine Lecture and Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.” Studies in English Literature 48.1 (Winter 2008).131-146.

---. “‘As If the End They Purpos’d Were Their Own’: Early Modern Representations of Speech Between Women.” Women’s Studies 35.8 (December 2006). 757-777.

Warren, Amanda Rachelle. "Daybreak: Bee Cave, Texas." Borderlands: Texas Poetry Journal, issue 48, Summer 2018,.

---. "Dear Mother of Weakness," "Ridgerunner" The Carolina Quarterly, Spring 2018

---. “ Audi Alteram Partem/An Interview with Poet Amanda Rachelle Warren.” Interviewed by

Allyson Whipple. Bekah Steimel 18 Mar 2018. /2018/03/18/



---. "Auribus Teneo Lupum" The Petigru Review, Fall 2017.

---. "Pram," Roar: Literature and Revolution by Feminist People, Fall 2017.

---. "Candy Run, “Fall Lines, The Jasper Project, August 2017.

---. "In Manas Tuas Commendo...," "Communion Road." The Pinch, University of Memphis, Fall 2017.

---. "Love is Rich with Honey and Venom," South 85, Converse College, Summer 2017.

--. "The Corkscrew."(Non-Fiction). Tusculum Review, volume 13, Summer 2017. --. "Audi Alteram Partem," Causeway Lit, Fairfield University, Spring 2017.

---. “Bone Room.” Blood and Thunder, Oklahoma University of Medicine, Fall 2015.

---. "The Road Crossing Cry Baby Bridge." The Reverie, Issue one, 2015. p. 58.

---. “Jack Bass” and “Louise Jones DuBose” The South Carolina Encyclopedia of South Carolina Writers. (Non-Fiction) Ed. S. Thomas Mack. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, February 2014.

---. “Sunt Lacrime Rerum” Appalachian Heritage, volume 43, issue 1. Winter 2014. pp. 34-35.

---. “The Word” (Fiction). Real World Unreal. Theme-Thology Anthology, HDWP Books, July 2014.

---. “Landing without Falling,” “Another Stop,” “The Price,” “All Connected,” “The Remembering,” “Make Two Piles,” “Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtower,” “Ides,” “Engladden,” “One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night.”--. Day I Died. Theme-Thology Anthology, HDWP Books, January 2014.

---. “You Can Destroy this if You Want,” “Greenup Lock and Dam Road,” “The Dawn Road.” Anderbo, November 2012.

---. “Oncet Ghost, Oncet Rain,” Ray’s Road Review, Summer 2012.

---. “Three Locks Road (Deadman Crossing),” “Mutatis Mutandis.” Beloit Poetry Journal, Volume 62, no. 2. Fall 2011.pp 36, 37.

---. “Hotel California,” “In Which our Hero Decides She Needs a New Bar.” (Non-Fiction) Meat For Tea, Summer 2011.

---. Ritual no.3: For the Exorcism of Ghosts. Columbia: Stepping Stone Press, 2010.

---. “Sestina for the Wide Awake,” “Shoreline,” “Appalachian Plateau.” Riverwind. Spring 2010.

Wise, Julie. “Dollie Radford and the Case of the Disappearing Babies.” Extraordinary Aesthetes: Reimagining Fin de Siècle Literary Culture, edited by Joseph Bristow, U of Toronto P, forthcoming.

---. Review of The Art of Eloquence: Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, Joyce, by Matthew Bevis. Victorian Studies, vol. 54, no. 1,  Winter 2011, pp. 164-65.

---. Review of Women Writers and the Dark Side of Late-Victorian Hellenism, by T. D. Olverson.  Victorian Studies, vol. 53, no. 2, Spring 2011, pp. 345-47. 

---. “From Langham Place to Lancashire: Poetry, Community, and the Victoria Press’s Offering to Lancashire.”  Victorian Poetry, vol. 47, no. 3, Fall 2009, pp. 517-32.

---. “Michael Field’s Translations into Verse.”  Michael Field and Their World, edited by Margaret D. Stetz and Cheryl A. Wilson, Rivendale, 2007, pp. 203-10.

Part-Time Faculty

Saine, James. “A Week at the Beach.” The Petigru Review, 2012, pp. 73-80.

---. “Assault.” The Petigru Review, 2012, pp. 68.

---. “Forbidden Love.” Nights of Horseplay: Equine Fantasies and Other Stories. Aiken Scribblers, 2014, pp. 65-76.

Wilson, Edward. “Santa Fe,” “Thriller Writer.” The Southern Poetry Review, vol. 52, no. 2, 2015, pp. 7-8.

---. “Ben Ross,” “Calling,” “In Blue,” “Irises,” “At Moot Point,” “Qualla Boundary,” “Ruby,”  “There Is a River Under the Lake,” “Whoo.” Town Creek Poetry, vol. 9, no. 1, Spring 2015.

Wilson, Edward. “Featured Poet: an interview with Edward Wilson.” Interviewed by William Wright. Town Creek Poetry, vol. 9, no. 1, Spring 2015.

Wilson, Edward. “Like a Fingerprint: Q and A with Edward Wilson.” Interviewed by Thibault Raoult. The Georgia Review, 11 February, 2015.

Wilson, Edward. “East Tennessee,” “Nashville, 1945,” “Willadean MacIlvane,” “Looking at William Christenberry’s Tenant House II.”  The Georgia Review, vol. 68, no. 1, Spring 2014, pp. 158-165.

---. “Oyster,” “Rock,” Camellias in Snow.” The Georgia Review, vol. 68, no. 3, Fall 2014, pp. 549-551.


The Admissions staff at the University of South Carolina Aiken understands that the college selection process can be overwhelming. Our staff is dedicated and prepared to help you with information about the University and our admissions process.

Your enrollment counselor is your personal contact at USC Aiken. If you have a specific question, please feel free to contact him/her.

Find Your Enrollment Counselor

Contact Admissions Staff