Watershed Lit emerges organically from separate efforts that the Mason Creative Writing Program has spearheaded for nearly four decades: Fall for the Book, Northern Virginia Writing Project, Poetry Daily, Stillhouse Press, and the Cheuse Center for International Writers.
Watershed Lit serves as the hub for program-related initiatives outside of the classroom and across the region: an incubator for research on topics ranging from the history of the book to translation arts to burgeoning publishing technologies, and a laboratory for experiential learning for generations of Mason students to come.
The mission of Watershed Lit is five-fold:
to foster entrepreneurial initiatives related to the creation and dissemination of writing;
to explore—through the curation and presentation of events in collaboration with partners within and outside the university—critical issues confronting global citizens through the lens of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and other narrative platforms;
to support research related to the literary arts (e.g., investigating the roots of science fiction as a genre), publishing practice (e.g., history of printing technology), or any of the disciplines associated with the center (e.g., survey of literary festivals in America and their impact on reading culture or how technology has changed reading patterns); and encourage scholarship by visiting creative writers as fellows (e.g., matters of translation);
to better leverage current assets on behalf of student recruitment, program growth, and alumni support;
to provide internships, mentorships, apprenticeships, and other valuable career-path opportunities for students to become better artists and smarter authors prepared for a variety of professions—and who are prepared to navigate the publishing world.
Watershed Lit is located in Horizon Hall and endeavors to spark a greater, more holistic vision of what Mason students and faculty can accomplish together.