2012-13 Sabbatical Application Form I

Form I
(To be submitted electronically)
If you have been granted a prior sabbatical with the South Orange County Community College
District, please indicate the following:
Semester and Year of Sabbatical: N/A
Title of Sabbatical: N/A
Rank 1 to 3 your preference for your sabbatical (1 being first choice):
Fall 2012
Spring 2013
2012-13 Academic Year
SABBATICAL PROPOSAL (Use additional pages as necessary)
Proposed Title
Los Caballeros: A Novel
Goals and/or Purpose
Form I
The primary purpose of this project is to complete a novel-length manuscript, Los
Caballeros, which will be a fictional account that follows the various residents of a slightly
run-down apartment complex. When a child goes missing, they are slowly affected—
either minutely or drastically depending on personal circumstance. As the novel’s
intended structure, their storylines will become more and more intertwined, especially
since they believe one of their neighbors is involved somehow with the missing girl.
Structurally inspired by Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and
touching on similar themes as Tom Perrotta’s Little Children and John Patrick Shanley’s
Doubt, this proposed novel would explore the themes of public vs. private lives, the
bondage of love, the bondage of self-perception, and parent/child relationships.
The goals of this sabbatical are multi-tiered. Primarily, the focus of this project will be to
complete a novel-length manuscript that is ready for agent solicitation. A second agenda
to this project is to begin the agent solicitation process itself, which entails researching
various literary agencies, soliciting the agents, and hopefully sending a portion or all of the
manuscript to those agents who show interest. This aspect of the project is not an
absolute desired outcome as the amount of time it takes to get an agent varies drastically.
The third level, which would only arise based on agent feedback, might be to readdress
and revise the novel should agents indicate an area of concern that has caused them to
pass on the project.
Describe the specific objectives you wish to achieve that will support the goals and
purpose of your sabbatical.
As this manuscript is already a work in process, the specific goals toward the completion of
the project relate to:
1. The incorporation of a narrative voice to bring the various narratives together
2. The completion of plot, which would entail the insertion, development, and revision of
key scenes, including the Maggie/Aiden dynamic and the Beverly Ruth/Collin interaction
3. Refining of character with the aim to deepen each character’s humanity and personal
struggle, including the characters of Beverly Ruth, Hans, Aiden, and Collin among others
4. Smoothing out transitions between scene and point of view (which is key as the story is
structured to be told through the point of view of multiple characters)
5. Creating a consistency in tone, sentence style, and the narrative distance embedded
throughout the novel
6. Creation/development of the denouement
7. Final run through and smoothing out of the narrative as a whole
For agent solicitation, the following steps will be taken:
1. Research of current literary agents whose interest is geared toward writing that is
similar in genre to my own
2. Send out the cover letter and the opening pages of the manuscript to at least 10 agents.
I envision approaching this step in a staggered wave—i.e. solicit 5 agents, wait a month,
then solicit 5 more.
Form I
Describe in detail the types of activities you propose to include and/or undertake during
your project. Include, at least, a monthly timeline of activities.
Because the goals described in #3 pertain to the novel as a whole, and because it would
not be conducive to address these goals separately in the completion of this project, my
timeline of activities relates to focusing on sections of the novel. For example, the
insertion of a narrative voice pertains to all aspects and sections of the novel. Therefore, I
would be spending the entire sabbatical working on this aspect; however, according to my
timeline, I would spend January addressing the above listed issues in the preface and part
January 2013: Complete the preface and part I (38 pages), begin on part II.
February 2013: Complete part II and part III (approx. 100 pages). Do some early research
regarding agents to prepare for the final step
March 2013: Complete part IV and part V (approx. 120 pages)
April 2013: Complete part VI and part VII (approx. 40 pages)
May 2013: Finish up final revisions. Begin soliciting agents in earnest.
Describe how these activities relate to your goals and objectives.
Should all the goals and objectives of #4 be achieved, I will have a novel-length manuscript
ready for agent solicitation and, hopefully, publication.
Describe the measurable outcomes of your project, such as curriculum, materials, scientific
specimens, manuscripts, audio-visuals, etc.
Upon completion, the measurable outcome for my sabbatical will be a novel-length
manuscript that would be approximately 75,000 to 90,000 words, depending on final
revisions. Along with this, 5 agents will have been solicited and I will have received
feedback from two or more readers/reviewers to help with the revision process.
Describe the projected impact your project will have on teaching and learning.
As an instructor of English 3: Introduction to Creative Writing and English 160: the literary
magazine, I have come to realize that a large component of my credibility as an instructor
is my personal connection to writing and the publishing world. On the first day of English 3,
my students’ first questions pertain to my writing history and my personal experience
getting my own work published. Thus far, I have had some minor pieces published but
Form I
nothing nearly of this scale. By completing my proposed project, I will have better insight
to share with the students regarding their own writing and how to get their writing
published. This translates also to English 160, a course that is comprised of students who
actively wish for experience in the publishing field. So, an important component of this
project is that my novel be ready for agent solicitation.
At the same time, having a chance to focus on my own creativity will help me as an
instructor in terms of the feedback students need on their own personal writing. The more
I write, the more I understand my students’ issues—such as how to construct a cohesive
narrative, issues with dialogue, issues with pacing and plot—and, when feedback is
provided, I can then cite my own difficulties while offering possible solutions. For the
students, I feel this humanizes the writing process. Sometimes the greatest difficulty is
facing that blank page. To know that their professor can also struggle with that issue
indicates that the roadblocks they see in their own work are surmountable with hard work
and perseverance. Furthermore, this process will add to my repertoire of knowledge about
the field of writing/publishing, which is yet another asset to teaching courses in the
creative writing strand.
Describe how you intend to apply the results of your sabbatical to your professional
assignment and development plan.
The results of my sabbatical relate directly to the classroom. Should I do nothing more
than complete a manuscript, I still will have had the chance to explore my own writing,
which is vital when teaching a creative writing course. A writing teacher who does not
write will have no credibility with his/her students. Not only do students seek my feedback
for their own work, but also, in order to gauge the quality of my feedback, they need to
see that I am a writer whom they can trust—i.e. they need to see my own literary talent.
Whether this translates to sharing a scene with them or a series of poems, I have found
that creative writing students want an ACTIVE writer as a teacher, a writer who has current
knowledge of the publication world—not a teacher who wrote years ago in graduate
school. The dilemma here is balancing my roles as a full time professor and co-coordinator
of composition with my artistic goals. Thus far, my duties to my job have superseded my
creative intentions. This sabbatical offers me the opportunity to assign balance back to
that equation.
Describe your plan for dissemination of the results of your sabbatical proposal to your
students, colleagues, college, District and/or community.
The results of this project will be disseminated to the English department during the Fall
2013 Flex meeting. Furthermore, excerpts of the novel will be shared with my creative
writing students in subsequent semesters as examples of narrative style and technique.
Additional Instructions
Form I
Complete a half- to one-page abstract (see sample form II) for inclusion in a Board of
Trustees agenda item. The abstract must include a description of: title, goals, and
objectives, activities, and product. Please be sure to limit the abstract to no more than
one page.
Coordinate completion and submission of the Sabbatical Subject Area Feedback Form by a
faculty member, peer or sabbatical committee representative (see sample form III). The
objective of this form is to obtain additional information for the Sabbatical Committee in
order to better understand the purpose and value of your project.
Complete the Bonded Sabbatical Signature Form, with comments and signatures from your
department chair and division/school dean. The original signed Bonded Sabbatical
Signature Form (form IV) must be received in the Office of Human Resources by 5:00pm
on November 4, 2011. Please deliver to Beverly Johnson, Office of the Vice Chancellor,
Human Resources.
All application documents, except the original copy of the signed and completed Bonded
Sabbatical Signature Form, must be submitted electronically (email) in MSWord to Beverly
Johnson in the Office of Human Resources, [email protected]