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Janet Burroway Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2003-022

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence, dated 1988-1992, to and from Janet Burroway concerning writing fiction. Also contains galley proofs, articles, books, plays, poetry, short stories, and other writings dated 1984 to 1993. Some of the writings, drafts, proofs and manuscripts in the collection date between 1955-1992.

Included in this group are the following writings: The audience; The beauty operators; Buzzards; Camille the chameleon; The dancer from the dance; Descend again; Disaster; Does genius have a gender?; Due care and attention; Extra days; Eyes; The fantasy level, a play in one act; Five stories; Two stories and introduction; Three parties; Garden party; The giant jam sandwich; Hoddinott veiling, a television play; Mansfield park; Opening nights, a novel; Poenulus; Raw silk; Resort season; Resurrected metaphor; Shirley Temple and the end of the world; The truck on the track; Watch, a short film; Wings and fins and wheels and feet; Writing fiction: a guide to narrative draft; And sometines why; Metamother; Cultural hero; Telling Julia; The elements of nonfiction; Imprinting values; Plumpton green; Rookie scientist; The trouble; Uncle Ben's; and Winn Dixie. Poetry in the collection includes: Dream call; Genesis; Munson stuff; The plight of J. J. Wavering; Commit; Motherhood; and This hammock is for Peter.

Includes MSS 1978-046, 1983-007, 1985-023, 1992-017 and 96-6.


  • Created: 1985-1999

Conditions Governing Access

Except where otherwise noted, this collection is open to all researchers.

Content of Boxes 67, 68, and 69 is restricted. Requests for access will be reviewed upon request for compliance with terms of the deed of gift. Contact the Manuscripts Archivist for more information on this restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply to works in this collection. Re-use or copying beyond Fair Use may require permission from rights-holders. Please contact for more information.

Biographical or Historical Information

Janet Burroway, M.A. Cambridge (1965), was born on September 21, 1936 in Phoenix, AZ, graduated cum laude from Barnard College in New York (1958) and received first-class honors from Cambridge University in England, where she was a Marshall Scholar. She also attended the Yale School of Drama, and has taught at the University of Sussex, England, the University of Illinois, and the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. Burroway has written plays for British television and has been an RCA-NBC Special Fellow in Playwriting at Yale School of Drama, 1960-61. She taught at Florida State University, as Professor of English Literature and co-director of the Writing Program, until she retired in 2002.

She is the author of plays, poetry, essays, children's books, novels, a critic for the New York Times Book Review and columnist for the literary magazine New Letters where she writes a quarterly column, "In a Certain Light". She specializes in Creative Writing (fiction and drama) and modern British literature and drama, and is the author of seven novels including Descend Again, 1960; The Dancer from the Dance, 1965; Eyes, 1966; The Buzzards, 1970 (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize); Raw Silk (runner up for the National Book Award), 1977; Opening Nights, 1985; and Cutting Stone, 1992. Her collections of poetry are But to the Season, 1961, and Material Goods, 1980. The Truck on the Track, 1970, and The Giant Jam Sandwich, 1972, are children's books. Her plays include "Garden Party," 1955; "The Fantasy Level," 1961; "The Beauty Operators," 1968; "Hoddinott Veiling," 1970; "Due Care and Attention," 1973; "Medea With Child" (The Reva Shiner Award), 1993; "Sweepstakes," and "Division of Property" (2001 Arts and Letters Award.) The last three have received readings and productions in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and regional theatres. Her most well known work is the widely-acclaimed textbook Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. It is the most widely used and respected guide to fiction-writing in America, and is used in more than 300 U.S. universities and colleges

Burroway has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a Carolyn Benton Cockefaire Distinguished Writer-in Residency, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest fellowship, a Lawrence Foundation Award, a 1986 Florida State University McKenzie Professorship, a 1991-1992 Florida State University Distinguished Teaching Award and a 1995-1996 Florida State University Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Award, FSU's highest faculty honor. Since 2002, she has been Professor Emeritus at the Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.


37.20 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Janet Burroway Papers contains her class materials, manuscripts of plays and short stories, book reviews, articles, student writings, and writings by others

Arrangement Note

The Writings of Janet Burroway series is arranged by the title of her work, then by the order of creation of the work.

Method of Acquisition

The Janet Burroway Papers were given to the Special Collections Department, Florida State University Libraries, by Janet Burroway over several accessions.

Processing Information

The Janet Burroway Papers were processed in October and November 2003

Janet Burroway Papers
Delia Tam
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US