The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

Letter to the Editor: In response to inaccessibility on campus
Letter to the Editor: In response to inaccessibility on campus
by Advocacy, Community, Education and Support (ACES), Special to The Simpsonian • March 1, 2024

Dear Editor, We write in response to an article published February 14, 2024, in The Simpsonian titled, “No disabled students need apply:...

Retraction and update: After Midnight review
Retraction and update: "After Midnight" review
by Maggie Fitzpatrick, Staff Reporter • February 28, 2024

In my previous review of the late-night show "After Midnight", I stated that comedian Matt Walsh, who was a guest on the show, is “a prominent...

SCTV 2/28/24
by Aaron Wilkins and Sam HyingFebruary 28, 2024

Professor Jeremy Griffin to receive a Hudson Prize for his writing

Chloe Peck
Jeremy Griffin poses in his office with his most recently published book.

It’s easy to forget that the ones in charge of our education here at Simpson are actually people before they are professors. They have families (gasp), hobbies (no way), and even their own personal goals (besides getting us through the school year). 

One faculty member in particular, Assistant Professor of English Jeremy Griffin, recently achieved a goal of his that he has been chasing for years. 

In August of 2023, he received a message from the Black Lawrence Press based in New York City. After ten years of submissions and hundreds of rejected pieces, he finally got the reply he had been waiting for: he was the 2023 recipient of The Hudson Prize for his short story collection “Scream Queen.”

“You get thick skin. I’ve written stuff that I’ve sent out, and it’s gotten rejected a few times, and I’ll sort of go, ‘Yeah, I don’t really feel comfortable with this piece.’ It’s not finished, or I don’t like it,” Griffin said. “But usually, I don’t send stuff out unless I’m pretty confident in it. So if a story that I feel strongly about gets rejected, yeah, it will bum you out, it might ruin your day, but if I feel strongly enough about it, then I just keep doing it over and over and over again. As you do that, and as you keep writing, you get better, and you feel more confident in your work. So you learn that rejection is part of the process, and it’s not personal.”

Griffin knows the process well, as he has essentially been writing his whole life, ever since he discovered the magic of a Stephen King novel as a kid. But it wasn’t until he got to grad school in 2006 that he began to see writing as a serious endeavor. 

“It’s the thing that brings me peace, it’s a thing that centers me. I try not to be too distracted by all the publications out there. I like publishing, but ultimately, I just want to write stuff that I feel good about and share it with people and see if it resonates with them,” he said. 

Despite his humble responses to my many (many) questions, Griffin achieved something incredibly special in the field of creative work: recognition for a piece of art that would not exist had it not been brought into the world by him. As a professor of creative writing on campus, Griffin offers this important insight and personal experience to his realm of teaching. 

“I do a thing in my creative writing classes, especially for students who are new to creative writing and worried that they’re going to write something bad, where I show them my submittable queue and say, ‘Okay, here is a list of things I have under consideration right now, here’s a list of things I’ve published,’ and if I ever need to bring myself down a notch I go to my rejections,” he said. “And it’s a really, really, really long list, and you get to the bottom, and it says ‘page one of eight,’ and it’s 700 hundred and some rejections. I’m not telling them they are going to get rejected, I’m saying that I’m in the same position they’re in. It’s going to be tough. Failure, or struggle at least, is part of the process.” 

Although college students sometimes see these four years as the most transformative in their lives, life goes on after 21. The work you are doing now is only a stepping stone into your future of opportunities, and Griffin is a shining example of what can happen when you hone in on your craft. 

“You can never really tell what is going to go over with someone. You have to be satisfied in it – if you are satisfied in it, if you are confident in it, and you feel like you are saying something important in this piece, whether it’s a story, a poem, an essay, a play, whatever, that’s really all that matters. It will find a home – someone will identify with it,” Griffin said. 

Griffin’s “Scream Queen” will be released in October 2024 and will entail stories exploring the themes of fatherhood, aging, job experience and finding meaning in life. 

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Chloe Peck, News Editor

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