Fellowship in honor of Jerry Cain and Scott James ’84 lasting impact in social media.


Adelphi University Professor and Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program, Judith Baumel, center, welcomes young aspiring writers to the launch of Literary Encounters: A Conversation series featuring author Jamaica Kincaid ’12 (Hon.) and poet Lauren K. Alleyne. This event was made possible in collaboration with Guernica magazine and the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop; it took place at place at the Community Bookstore in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The Adelphi University M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing announced the establishment of a distinguished fellowship, the “Jerry Cain and Scott James Creative Writing and Social Media Fellowship,” to be awarded to an applicant who shows great promise in writing and who has experience and/or aptitude in digital media. Thanks to the generous support and commitment by Mr. James and Mr. Cain, the winning fellow will receive $20,000 toward their tuition and an additional $10,000 stipend to initiate and play a central role in the M.F.A. program’s social media projects in the 2014-2015 academic year. The fellowship will attract top talent to Adelphi and support emerging literary professionals while teaching them how to best engage and evolve in the social media landscape of twenty-first-century literature.

Scott James ’84, B.A. in communications and minor in writing is the author of two best-selling novels. His debut novel SoMa (written under his pen name of Kemble Scott) launched with videos on YouTube became a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller in spring 2007 and finalist for the national Lambda Literary prize for debut fiction. His second novel, The Sower, released in May 2009 as an exclusive e-book received media coverage from around the world. It was the first novel sold by tech start-up, a document storage website that had grown to more than 50 million unique visitors a month. A veteran journalist, James served as a contributing columnist covering the San Francisco Bay Area for the New York Times and the Bay Citizen. He is a three-time Emmy award-winner and two-time recipient of “News Station of the Year” from the Associated Press for his work in television journalism while at WLNE-TV.

Judith Baumel, professor of English and director of creative writing said, “I’m excited to be supported by Scott James because in addition to being a brilliant writer in many genres, he is so wise about social media and thoughtful about the way individual writers construct their writing lives.”

Jerry Cain is a lecturer in Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science and has been teaching for more than 17 years. He was named to Business Insider’s list of “The Best Professors at Stanford University” in 2013. Cain also coaches Stanford’s ACM Programming teams, who compete yearly in regionals and often advance to the World Finals. When not teaching at Stanford, Jerry is a platform engineer at Facebook, where he’s worked on a number of web application frameworks and products, and was responsible for implementing and introducing in 2010 the now popular Facebook “Like” Button. Jerry holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University.

“Our careers and lives mix writing, education, social media, and technology,” said James. “So we’re thrilled to see Adelphi bringing the brilliant work of its M.F.A. students to the world via social media. It’s innovative and smart.”

“The Jerry Cain and Scott James Social Media Fellowship allows us to attract and support a talented new student writer to our M.F.A. Program, and to offer a media platform for the Cain-James Fellow that reflects and advances the mission of Adelphi as an engaged, relevant University,” said Peter West, chair of the English Department. “We are very excited and grateful.”

Adelphi’s Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing offers students the opportunity to specialize in four major genres: poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and dramatic writing.  Students work closely with faculty and literary scholars in multiple genres and engage with their peers in a multi-genre Thesis Colloquium. Students also meet with writers, agents, editors, and arts administrators during an intensive Practicum. The program has strong connections with New York City’s lively arts scene and long-standing relationships with organizations such as PEN American Center, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, Cave Canem and Kundiman.

For more information regarding the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, visit or receive updates by following on Twitter @Adelphi_MFA.

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