How SUNY Oswego professor inspires her creative writing students

OSWEGO, N.Y. — SUNY Oswego professor, screenwriter and novelist Juliet Giglio motivates her students by sharing her experiences and encourages students to be resilient writers. 

She is proud of both her career as a screenwriter and a professor. She believes that having both professions work together to help her to be a better professor and a better writer. 

“What I discovered along the way over the years was that as I became a teacher, I became a better writer,” said Giglio. “By teaching and talking about writing all the time my own writing got better.”

One of Giglio’s students, Abigail Blamowski, is a sophomore and double major in communications and creative writing. “She’s very welcoming and very enthusiastic. You can tell she loves what she does,” said Blamowski.  

Juliet Giglio has done screenwriting and novel writing professionally with her husband Keith Giglio for about 25 years. They have worked on many productions together and released a movie this Thanksgiving and their first Christmas novel is scheduled in July 2022. 

“We trust each other,” said Giglio. “And it’s fun because we always have something to talk about and when something good happens. It’s even more fun because we can both share the successes together.” 

In her classes, professor Giglio shares stories and many of her experiences in the industry with her students and often gives them real-world examples of going into the creative writing field professionally. 

“She talks a lot about the business part of it, which is something a lot of professors don’t always do,” said Blamowski. “So it’s nice to hear about what it’s like being in that field.”  

Giglio also understands how important it is for students to know not only how the industry works, but also to not give up and to continue writing. She stresses the importance of writing every day or once a week.

“I always say that I don’t believe in writer’s block,” said Giglio. “You can always work on something and even if you don’t like what you’ve written because you’ve still written something, and by writing something the next day you’ll write something better.” 

She believes it is a person’s inner critic that causes writer’s block. “You have to get rid of that inner critic that tells you this is a bad idea,” said Giglio. “I always tell my students that from bad ideas, come a good idea.” 

“She’s really knowledgeable and she gives really good feedback on all the work,” said Blamowski. “I feel like I’m really learning a lot in her class, which is good because I want to screenwriter professionally.” 

Giglio stresses that rejection is part of the process. She understands how precious ideas are whether or not a student appreciates their own work. 

“I try to tell them to keep the big picture, and things are not gonna happen overnight, but you don’t want to give up,” said Giglio. 

Giglio tries to educate young and aspiring creative writers on the business side of the field as well as the content students create. 

“I try to let them know what I’m doing in my own creative life so that they feel like they’re not alone,” said Giglio. “You’re not alone, I’m there with you while you’re writing, I’m writing too and I think that makes them feel better and I try to inspire them.” 

Giglio, having experienced the field herself understands all the ups and downs of the business while facing both successes and rejection. She hopes that her stories can inspire her students to be resilient and to always write no matter the outcome. 

“When you’re just devastated, and you think nobody wants it, someone will end up wanting it eventually,” said Giglio. ”You look at why it might have been rejected, improve it, and then it becomes better.”

A saying that Giglio’s editor told her once was “trust the process.” This saying is something professor Giglio tries to apply to her life and now tells it to her students as well. 

Juliet Giglio believes there is always a positive side to being rejected. Something she has learned as a part of the business is to prepare for rejection once you get an agent. “I like to look at it as there’s always a silver lining in a rejection,” said Giglio. “I like the saying, ‘when one door closes, another one opens.’ ”