Loyola University Chicago

Writing Program

Laura Durnell

Part-Time Instructor

  • Office Location: Crown Center, 434-A
  • Phone Number: 773-508-8494
  • E-mail: ldurnell@luc.edu 


Laura teaches core and advanced writing and core literature courses in Loyola's Writing Program and English Department. In addition to Loyola, she works as a Professional Writing Tutor at Wilbur Wright College, One of the City Colleges of Chicago. She has also served as a former Assistant Editor for Narrative magazine.


Teaching Philosophy:

My writing classes center on the three Rs: revision, recursiveness, and reflection. The work of bell hooks that draws from Paolo Freire’s pedagogy has inspired and refined my teaching. My priority is designing and running a student-centered classroom that incorporates visual, auditory, textual, and kinetic modalities where students must be active in their own learning. I expect students to arrive at class prepared to utilize these modalities so they can develop and strengthen their learning and writing practice.

In all my classes, I promote a growth mindset through a guided, respectful, encouraging, and nurturing pedagogy to motivate and strengthen students’ critical thinking, writing, analysis, and agency. I strive to inspire students intellectually and creatively while enhancing or deepening their humanity, empathy, and life as participatory global citizens.


  • BA in Journalism with Minors in English and Creative Writing, Eastern Illinois University
  • MFA in Writing, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Research Interests

  • Contemporary and Modern Women's Literature
  • Women's Autobiography
  • Feminist Disability Studies
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Anne Sexton
  • Erica Jong
  • Sexual Violence
  • Reproductive Justice


  • Woman of Spirit and Action Award, DePaul Women's Network, 2013.
  • Mary Roberts Rinehart National Fiction Award, 2004.
  • Roosevelt University's Samuel Ostrowsky Humanities Award, 2001.
  • Playboy College Fiction Contest, Third Prize, 1998.
  • Issues Relevant to Women, First Prize, Chicago Women in Publishing Awards, 1995.


  • Publications in the following: The Huffington Post, Women's Media Center, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Antigonish Review, Room, Another Chicago Magazine, JEF (Journal of Experimental Fiction), Publishers Weekly, The National Book Review, Chicago Review, RANTT Media, The Facts on File Companion to the American Novel, and Trivia: Voices of Feminism