Zack O'Neill

About Me

Bio

I earned my MFA from the University of South Carolina in 2011. Since graduating I have taught writing courses in Texas and California. My short story collection Zen Creoles will be published by Spuyten-Duyvil press this October. I live in Las Vegas, and teach at the College of Southern Nevada.

Teaching

California

Academic Talent Search

“English Composition: Real-World Writing.” Summer, 2013. A course for 6th-9th graders sponsored by Academic Talent Search, a summer program that holds courses on the campus of Sacramento State University. Students write four short essays, perform presentations related to course material, and turn in a portfolio of revised work at the end of a five-week session. Students also complete smaller assignments and group projects in this writing class designed to introduce them to the standards of college composition.

http://www.csus.edu/coe/ats/6-9-program.html

“Creative and Imaginative Writing.” Summer, 2012, Summer, 2013. A course for 6th-9th graders sponsored by Academic Talent Search, a summer program that holds courses on the campus of Sacramento State University. Students write on topics of their choosing in this university-style workshop, and study the composition of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. The course culminates with a small portfolio of revised work.

http://www.csus.edu/coe/ats/6-9-program.html

Cosumnes River College

English 101, “College Writing.” Summer, 2012. This writing course, designed to prepare the student for English 300, focuses on reading and writing as integrally related skills. Students study and practice such things as the writing process, summarizing, critical thinking, creating clear and varied sentences, and incorporating sources as they develop the skills necessary to write a variety of focused, developed, organized essays. Students are responsible for writing six full-process essays (500 word minimum for each).

http://www.crc.losrios.edu/Areas_of_Study/Humanities_and_Social_Science/English/Writing_Courses.htm

Sacramento City College

English 101, “College Writing.” Spring, 2012, Fall, 2013, Spring, 2014, Spring, 2015, Spring, 2016, Spring 2017. This writing course focuses on reading and writing as integrally related skills. Students study and practice the writing process, summarizing, critical thinking, creating clear sentences and incorporating sources as they develop the skills necessary to write focused, developed, organized essays. Students are responsible for writing six full-process essays (500 word minimum for each).

http://wserver.scc.losrios.edu/~langlit/writing_guide/http://www.crc.losrios.edu/Areas_of_Study/Humanities_and_Social_Science/English/Writing_Courses.htm

English 300, “College Composition.” Fall, 2011, Spring, 2012, Fall, 2014, Spring, 2015, Fall, 2015, Spring, 2016. A writing course that emphasizes reading, writing, and critical thinking skills essential for successful completion of a four-year college program. Students write a minimum of 6,500 words divided among 6-8 essays, including at least one research paper and one in-class essay. This course satisfies the writing competency requirement for graduation.

http://wserver.scc.losrios.edu/~langlit/writing_guide/

English 302, “Advanced Composition and Critical Thinking.” Fall, 2011, Fall, 2015, Summer, 2016. This writing course develops composition skills at the advanced level as well as analytical skills through writing, reading, and discussion. It examines methods by which people are persuaded to think, believe, and/or act. It also includes analyzing arguments or expressions of opinions for their validity and soundness and evaluating outside sources. It also focuses on critically assessing, developing, supporting, and effectively expressing opinions on issues.

http://wserver.scc.losrios.edu/~langlit/writing_guide/

Sierra College

English A, “Mechanics and Basic Composition.” Spring, 2014, Summer, 2016. This course reviews essay organization and development, sentence structure, usage, punctuation, and mechanics. It includes writing a variety of paragraphs, essays and other assignments to a minimum of 4,000 words. A departmental proficiency essay exam is required for successful completion. The course is for students who need review to become eligible for English 1A.

http://www.sierracollege.edu/_files/resources/academics/catalog/catalog-13-14-web.pdf
(see page 154 of the catalog)

English 1A, “Introduction to Composition.” Fall, 2011, Spring, 2014, Summer, 2014, Fall, 2014, Spring, 2015, Fall, 2015, Fall, 2016, Spring, 2017. This course provides the writing, reading and critical thinking skills necessary for successful completion of a four-year college program. It includes reading, discussion, and analysis of selected non-fiction texts. Writing assignments (6,500 words of formal writing) teach students to summarize, explain, analyze, synthesize, and organize information logically and to propose and defend original ideas. Instruction in research, MLA documentation and completion of a fully-documented paper using multiple sources are also a part of the course.

http://www.sierracollege.edu/_files/resources/academics/catalog/catalog-14-15-web.pdf
(see page 155 of the catalog)

English 1B, “Critical Thinking and Writing About Literature.” Spring, 2015, Fall, 2015, Spring, 2016, Fall, 2016. This course develops critical thinking, reading, and writing skills applicable to the analysis of prose, poetry, drama, and criticism from diverse cultural sources and perspectives. Emphasis is placed on the techniques and principles of effective written argument. 6,500 words of formal writing and research are required.

http://catalog.sierracollege.edu/courses/engl/

English 1C, “Critical Thinking and Writing Across the Curriculum.” Summer, 2015, Fall, 2015. This course develops critical thinking, reading, and writing skills as the apply to textual analysis of primary and secondary sources, essays, articles, and book-length works from a range of academic and cultural contexts. Emphasis is placed on the techniques and principles of effective written argument. 6,500 words of formal writing and research are required.

http://www.sierracollege.edu/_files/resources/academics/catalog/catalog-14-15-web.pdf
(see page 155 of the catalog)

UC Davis

Workload 57, “Entry Level Writing.” Fall, 2011, Fall, 2013, Spring, 2014, Fall, 2014, Fall, 2016, Spring, 2017. At UC Davis, new students who have not satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement prior to enrollment must take Sacramento City College’s Workload 57, a basic writing course taught on the Davis campus. A grade of C or higher in Workload 57 will satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement. Students who do not pass Workload 57 with a grade of C or higher must retake the course the following quarter. The course is also available to Sacramento City College students, under the title English 157. The Fall, 2011 course was designated for the school’s Educational Opportunities Program, which assists students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The Spring, 2014 course was designated an ESL course.

http://elw.ucdavis.edu/

Yuba College

English 1A, “College Composition and Reading.” Fall, 2013. A course taught in the Yuba Community College district that is transferable into both Cal State and UC schools, and dedicated to the development of analytical reading and the writing of college level essays, including critical analysis, rhetorical forms, and collegiate research.

https://yc.yccd.edu/academics/language-arts/english/

English 51, “Preparatory Composition and Reading.” Spring, 2014. A developmental course that prepares students for English 1A. The course emphasizes improving reading skills and writing pre-college level essays; it includes basic writing elements, rhetorical modes, and a review of sentence structure and mechanics. A departmental exam is given at the end of the semester.

https://yc.yccd.edu/academics/language-arts/english/

 

South Carolina

University of South Carolina

English 101, “Critical Reading and Composition.” Fall, 2008, Fall, 2009, Fall, 2010. A gateway course for all undergraduates, intended to focus on the study of reading and writing mechanics. Devoted to a theme of “Seeing and Being Seen,” this course examines the work of educators, poets, and theorists. Designated as writing and research intensive, the course introduces students to the basic tools and methods of essay composition.

http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/engl/ugrad/fye/english-101

English 102, “Rhetoric and Composition.” Spring, 2009, Spring, 2010. A companion course to English 101 that moves from essay mechanics to rhetorical tools. The theme of this course varies from year to year and draws primarily from The Carolina Reader, an anthology produced by the University of South Carolina’s English department which contains everything from book excerpts to magazine articles to blogs to newspaper editorials. Like English 101, this course is designated as writing and research intensive, and introduces students to elements of persuasion, including the basics of classical rhetoric and rhetoric’s function in the present day.

http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/engl/ugrad/fye/english-102

English 360, “Creative Writing.” Spring, 2011. A course for undergraduates with writing-intensive majors. The course focuses on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and is devoted to workshops and discussions of the differences between creative and academic writing, as well as differences among these genres.

http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/engl/course-descriptions

Texas

University of Houston

English 1303, “First Year Writing I.” Fall, 2012. A required Core Curriculum course for incoming freshmen, described by the English department as a “Detailed study of the principles of rhetoric as applied in reading and writing expository essays.” Students write four essays, several shorter pieces, post responses to the readings every week on Blackboard, keep running notebooks, and give presentations. Each course had a different theme, which I chose and incorporated into the course’s overall design: one was “Food Consumption in America,” and the other was “Education in America.”

http://www.uh.edu/class/english/programs/lower/courses/index.php

English 1304, “First Year Writing II.” Spring, 2013. A required Core Curriculum course for incoming freshmen at the University of Houston, described by the English department as “A detailed study of the principles of rhetoric as applied to analyzing and writing argumentative and persuasive essays.” Students write three essays, several shorter pieces, post responses to the readings every week on Blackboard, and keep running notebooks. This course centered on the theme of New Orleans, which was analyzed through various types of texts, including fiction, nonfiction, documentaries, film, and poetry.

http://www.uh.edu/class/english/programs/lower/courses/index.php

English 2305, “Introduction to Fiction.” Fall 2012, Spring 2013. An upper level course offered by the English department. I chose the theme of “21st Century American Fiction.” Students read several novels and short stories, write research papers, and participate in a group project: an online literary journal (see “Journal” link at top), which is made up of author interviews, artwork, essays, and creative pieces.

http://www.uh.edu/class/english/programs/lower/courses/index.php

Writing

Zen Creoles

About


“A finalist for the Tartts Fiction Award and semifinalist for the Subito Press Prize, this debut collection takes the reader across America, from California to Houston to New Orleans to South Carolina. The characters seek out meaningful connections with others while struggling with their blurred identities and instincts for personal transcendence. Whether it is a couple in counseling for a husband’s obsession with little league baseball, a modern-day satire of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, or a power struggle between a newly-widowed man and his daughter, what happens in these stories is surprising, tragic, funny, profane, surreal, and occasionally redemptive.”

Reviews


“Zack O’Neill’s story ‘Sea Lion’ is one of the strangest stories I’ve read in some time. But here’s the thing, it’s strange in a way you can’t resist. Imagine if somebody made a movie of your memories and sent you copy. It’s like that.”

George McCormick, author of Salton Sea and Inland Empire

“Zack O’Neill works wonders with characters and with language. His characters—whether wandering a trancelike New Orleans or navigating the pangs of their not-grown-up enough children—remain committed. And his language, especially his dialogue, reveals that commitment, even when facing persistent, sad odds.”

Joe Taylor, author of Pineapple, A Comic Novel in Verse

“O’Neill’s “Turd Eden,” is a short story about a wannabe artist and insecure stoner who finds himself crawling into a trashcan and his own self-prescribed beta-itis after his own experiment to escape boredom goes from masterpiece to mess. This guy just can’t win. Hilariously acidic.”

Amanda Hildebrand, Short Story Editor DRYLAND: Los Angeles Underground Art & Writing

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