Interim Dean, Department Chair; Professor; Program Facilitor, Scriptwriting
Communications and Journalism
St. Louis (Webster Groves)
Introduction to Media Writing, Script Analysis, Writing Screenplays for Film, Freshman Seminar
MFA in Creative Writing, Warren Wilson College; BS in Communications, Northwestern University
In my courses, we focus on the process of writing since the only way to become a better writer is to write ... and rewrite. Yes, my students and I deal with theory: what makes a good feature article, what makes a good film script? We analyze successful pieces of work, talking about the problems the writer faced and his or her strategies for resolving those creative problems. With that as a foundation, then, we move as quickly as possible to focusing on the students' own work, spending a good number of classroom sessions in a workshop, reading over the students' work, discussing what succeeds and also what doesn't, and then - mindful of the students' intent for the particular piece - offering suggestions to help the student achieve, as much as possible, his or her ambition.
Joe Schuster has been a member of the faculty of Webster University since 1985 and received the 2008 William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching.
He is the author of a novel, The Might Have Been, which has earned praise from The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other periodicals. He has also published roughly 600 articles, essays and reviews in national, regional and local magazines and newspapers, including Sport magazine, USA Today, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Magazine , Game Day magazine, Mary Engelbreit Home Companion and The Riverfront Times, among others. His fiction has appeared in Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Missouri Review and New Virginia Review, and other journals.
Twice his work was recognized among the "Distinguished Stories" cited in Best American Short Stories. He is married and the very proud father of five children.