One Book

One Book One DU Information

For information on One Book student instructions, One Book events, and other relevant programmatic details, visit the One Book website.

Important One Book Dates

Date/LogisticsEvent Information
Tuesday, September 24
7:30 – 9:00pm
Gates Concert Hall
An Evening with Helen Thorpe
Sunday, September 15th
Submission Deadline: Encountering Stories
Friday, September 27 –
Saturday, September 28
Colorado Migrahack
(visit website for event details)
Wednesday, October 30
6:00 – 7:30pm
Anderson Events Room
Encountering Stories Exhibition
Sunday, December 1st
Submission Deadline: Many Voices, One DU

Resources for Integrating One Book

The materials in the One Book Discoveries Guide below are intended to provide definition, clarification, data, and local, global, and historical context for discussing The Newcomers.

In some cases, the materials provided in the One Book Discoveries Guide above are only a preview of a longer PDF available in a OneDrive shared folder. Click the link below to access these full readings (note: you will need to log in with your PioneerWeb credentials to access).

Click to access: One Book Discoveries Guide Full Readings

Instructions for Accessing Student Prompts

All first-time, first-year students will be submitting their One Prompt responses through your individual First-Year Seminar Canvas page. Contact Leah O’Grady ( for questions on this.

One Prompt

To write The Newcomers, Helen Thorpe spent a year inside Denver’s South High School documenting the lives of twenty-two refugee and immigrant students enrolled in Eddie Williams’s English Language Acquisition class. Of the students, Thorpe writes, they “walked into [Williams’s] room dazed at the abruptness of the transition, looking profoundly lost. And then they started over—started to figure out where they were, started to wonder who he was, started to ask whether to call this place home.”

Inspired by The Newcomers, this year’s One Prompt asks you to consider: What does it mean to belong to a community? What does it mean to be on the outside? Thorpe’s investigation reveals that welcoming a newcomer into an existing community and of being that newcomer are interconnected and challenging experiences. The reward, as both Williams and Thorpe describe, is “greater fluency, better understanding.”

Think of a time when your community welcomed a newcomer. Tell a story about this experience that considers multiple perspectives—including both your own and that of the new member of your community.


  • Be creative with how you imagine “community” (e.g., a classroom, a sports team, hobby group, neighborhood, family structure, online community, workplace, congregation, etc.).
  •  Use narrative devices to render your story—characterization, dialogue, imagery, figurative language, scene setting, exposition, etc. Provide context—set the scene and establish relationships.
  •  Keep it simple. Your story doesn’t need a “profound” plot; in fact, something “small” (some slice-of-life vignette) might make for a more engaging narrative.
  •  Choose any genre and/or mode to share this story. In the past, responses to the prompt have been rendered as podcasts, plays, poems, songs, spoken word performances, graphic narratives, paintings, etc.
  • The only format requirement is the ability for your One Prompt response to be uploaded to Canvas. You will be sent directions on how to access Canvas later in the summer.