Common Reading Initiative at Penn State Altoona for First-Year Students
Sponsored by the Division of Arts and Humanities
2010-20 Common Read Book
And It Begins Like This by LaTanya McQueen
This collection of essays weaves together historical and genealogical research, folklore, Biblical passages, literary theory and criticism, and personal memory to examine the legacy of slavery and its relationship to Black female identity in contemporary America.
About LaTanya McQueen
McQueen received her MFA from Emerson College, her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, and was the 2017-2018 Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College. Currently, she is a visiting assistant professor of English and creative writing and African American studies at Coe College.
While at the University of Missouri, she wrote two dissertations: When The Evening Comes, a novel, and And It Begins Like This, that was listed by Electric Literature as one of the 46 books by women of color to read in 2018.
She writes both fiction and nonfiction that has been widely published and highly acclaimed, for instance by Best American Essays, the Disquiet Literary Prize, and the Walker Percy Prize in Fiction.
Writing Contest Information
The Common Read writing contest is open to all Penn State Altoona students. LaTanya McQueen’s book And It Begins Like This explores concepts of self-identity, familial legacies and connections, and how our idea of “self” is tied to personal and communal histories. McQueen’s work details her research into “the history that has come to define [her] existence.”
We want to hear your histories and stories that define your existence. Submissions in any genre to the contest should focus on the journey one takes to understand who they are, were, or are becoming. A workshop to further explain the prompt will be held Friday, October 18, 2019, from 1:25–2:15 p.m. in the Writing Commons, 127 Eiche Library.
All submissions should be emailed to [email protected] as a Word doc attachment by 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 1, 2019. Submissions should be more than 1,500 words. Winning entries will be published in the fall 2019 issue of Hard Freight, our campus student literary magazine. Additional prizes will be awarded.
Email [email protected] with questions.