Associate Professor Judy Doenges teaches graduate and undergraduate fiction writing workshops and literature courses. She has published a novel, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World. Her short fiction collection, What She Left Me, won a Ferro-Grumley Award, a Washington State Governor’s Writers Award, the Bakeless Prize, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, Nimrod, Green Mountains Review, and in several anthologies. Her reviews have appeared in the Washington Post and the Seattle Times. She has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, the Ohio Arts Council, and Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. She recently won a PEN/O. Henry Award.
Faculty Profile: Judy Doenges
~by Brianna Wilkins
What does your work consist of at CSU?
I teach creative writing at the undergraduate and graduate level, and I also teach literature at the undergraduate and graduate level. I like to think that my work also involves inspiring students in some way; making them want to be better writers, and better readers of literature.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I can honestly say that the thing I enjoy most is working with students, because I get to meet different students every semester. Sometimes it’s hard because you might not ever see them again, but I get to work with so many different students who have so many different levels of expertise and creativity; it’s really fun to see people change and grow over the course of the semester.
Why are the humanities important?
They make people better, because they are aware of other cultures, other people, and other voices. Humanities allow people to become aware of a world that goes beyond their own immediate experience, and their own upbringing.
Who had an influence on you when you were younger?
I had a teacher in grammar school that encouraged the students to do creative writing, and I really enjoyed it. I remember having to stand up in front of the class and read something that I had written, and everyone clapped for me; the applause made me want to become a writer. I thought that since there was something that I could do that other people would like, then I should become a writer.
What special projects are you working on right now?
I’m working on a novel and I have about eight chapters done; I’m going to finish the rest of it while I’m on sabbatical. I’m also working on some short stories too; everything that I’m working on is fiction.
What advice would you give to CSU English majors?
Approach it with enthusiasm and have an open mind. Think about the wonders that you’ll learn, and the different cultures and people that you’ll read about. You’ll be able to express yourself in ways that other parts of your life may not allow you to.
Who inspires you?
Great writes of the past, and contemporary writers. Just reading work from anyone who is doing something new and different, and making me see something in a different way than before.