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School of Adult and Graduate Education

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Literary Club & Magazine

Preterite: n. the name of Cedar Crest College’s literary club, open to students of all majors

Onyx: n. Preterite’s annual publication for winners of its creative writing contest


Cedar Crest College
100 College Drive
Allentown, PA 18104

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Preterite’s Creative Writing Contest

Each year, Preterite recognizes exceptional student work in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry with its creative writing contest. All Cedar Crest students—undergraduate, SAGE, or graduate—are invited to submit their best writing. Submissions are accepted throughout the fall and early spring semesters.

Preterite members review and edit contest entries during the submission process (in which works are reviewed without student names being identified). Come spring, prizes are given in each category (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) at the Writing Awards Ceremony, and the club publishes winning submissions in Onyx.

Guest Writers

Preterite co-sponsors frequent visits to the College by guest writers, who share their work and discuss the writing process. Recent guests include:


  • Jennifer Gilmore
  • John Hermann
  • Ruth Knafo Setton
  • Don LoCicero
  • Bathsheba Monk

Short-Fiction Writers

  • Alix Ohlin
  • Bim Angst (’78)
  • Lee Upton


  • Mark Doty
  • Jorie Graham
  • Rachel Hadas

Nonfiction writers

  • Alisa Bowman
  • Peter Chilson

Off-Campus Opportunities

Past members have also traveled to:

  • The annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference (the nation's largest group dedicated to creative writing education) in New York City
  • The first Mid-Atlantic College Student Literary Magazine Conference in Philadelphia
  • A reading by novelist Salman Rushdie
  • Productions of Shakespeare by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
  • Edgar Allan Poe's house in Philadelphia
  • The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival