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John Fowles Center for Creative Writing

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Director of the John Fowles Center for Creative Writing

Mark Axelrod

Fowles Center Director

MARK AXELROD is a Professor of Comparative Literature and former Chair of English at Chapman University. Prior to teaching at Chapman, he taught at the University of East Anglia, (Norwich, UK) and the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). A graduate of both Indiana University (B.A., M.A.) and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D.), he is also the Director of the John Fowles Center for Creative Writing, for which he has received 4 National Endowment for the Arts Grants. He is a two-time recipient of a United Kingdom Leverhulme Fellowship for Creative Writing, a three-time recipient of the Alliance Française National Writing Award, has published four novels, and is completing a tetrology of short fictions, the first of which received excellent reviews in the New York Times, the Georgia Review and Publisher’s Weekly, among others.

He has been published in numerous literary journals and was a contributor to the former New York avant-garde magazine, Splash. Among the awards he has won for his fiction are: the Tim McGinnis Award; Camargo Foundation Fellowship in Fiction Writing; the Maxwell Perkins Award for Fiction Writing; a Bush Foundation Fellowship for Fiction Writing; and an Award for Experimental Writing. He has also won an award from Western Illinois University for his play. A member of CILECT and other film organizations, he is a practicing screenwriter and has been awarded for his work by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Writers Guild of America, East, the Screenwriters Forum and the Sundance Institute. He has written over twenty screenplays and teleplays and won awards from the Scottish Association of Filmmakers, the London International Film & Video Festival, and the Festival Internacional de Video do Algarve, Portugal.

He has taught or conducted screenwriting seminars and workshops throughout Latin America, Europe, and the United Kingdom as well as the United States. For four years, he has been a regular visiting adjunct professor of screenwriting at the Hamburg Media School, Hamburg, Germany. In 2002 he was honored as a Visiting Professor of Creative Writing-Screenwriting at Pitzer College, Claremont, CA and was a featured speaker at the Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series at San Diego State University in 2003.

Published works include the novels Capital Castles, Cloud Castles, Cardboard Castles, and Bombay California; he has completed a Pan-Euro-American trilogy titled, The Posthumous Memoirs of Blase Kubash, excerpts of which have been anthologized in The Reading Room/4 published by Great Marsh Press. He has written other short fiction as well, including Dante’s Foil & Other Sporting Tales and The Apotheosis of Aaron. He has written a play, Ti Amo Lucia Olivetti, and recently completed a trilogy of new one-act plays titled Taxing Tales; he has also been authorized to adapt John Fowles novel, Mantissa, into a stage play. His critical books include, The Politics of Style in the Fiction of Balzac, Beckett and Cortázar; and The Poetics of Novels. Other film books include: Aspects of the Screenplay; Character & Conflict: Cornerstones of Screenwriting; I Read It at the Movies: Screen Adaptation, and The Scene and How to Write It. He is currently at on a tetrology of short fictions (of which two works have been published) and a book of memoirs titled, Posthumous Papers of a Living Writer, which includes essays from Beckett to Garrison Keillor, Letterman to August Wilson.

Assistant for the John Fowles Center for Creative Writing

Fowles Center Assistant Manuel Calvillo de la Garza

Manuel Calvillo de la Garza is a Mexican writer with an engineering background. He's on his second year as a fellow at Chapman University's MFA in Creative Writing program and teaches an undergraduate class on multilingual composition. In 2019 he was a participant at the University of Massachussetts' Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and in 2020 he was awarded a scholarship by the Fiction Collective 2 to attend a second time.