#MuncieNaNo: Writing Together

NaNoWriMo 2017 Results

This year the English department hosted National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) events and encouraged writers in the Ball State and Muncie communities to write a rough draft of their novels. We called this the #MuncieNaNo Project.

Sixty-five writers participated, which is an 200+% increase in participants from previous years!

Allie Hartman, who finished 2nd

Ten participants “won,” which means that they wrote at least 50,000 words. Check out the leaderboard.

While not all 65 writers reached their goal of 50,000 words, they helped contribute to the group’s larger goal of collectively writing at least 1,000,000 words.

#MuncieNano writers generated 1,166,481 words. For many WriMos, making time write is an accomplishment in and of itself, and learning to make time to write is what NaNoWriMo is really about.

The first three people to reach 50,000 words were:

  • Audrey Bowers (65,636 words total)
  • Allie Hartman (50,044 words total)
  • Hailey Barrow (52,078 words total)

The person who generated the most words was Caleb Anthrop, who wrote 106,145 words–which was definitely going above and beyond the 50,000-word mark!

About the winners

Caleb Anthrop lived most of his life in West Point, IN, on a small farm. He graduated from McCutcheon High School, Lafayette, IN, in 2006, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in December, 2006, as a Computer Networking Specialist, and was honorably discharged in 2012. He served two tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. On June 10, 2014 he married his wife Brigit Calder. Also during 2014, he moved to Muncie that year to be closer to his wife’s job at the Rinker Center. Now, he spends his time playing video games, writing, cooking, and taking care of the house and his pup Finnegan.

Caleb Anthrop

Audrey Bowers is a junior English education major and creative writing minor at Ball State University. This was her second year participating in NaNoWriMo. In her first attempt, she began strong on day one with a few thousand words and then ultimately quit by day two. In her second attempt, she felt determined and capable thanks to the #MuncieNano community, write-ins, and encouragement from other writers. She mostly carved out time to write in the mornings, waking up at around 5am or 6am on most days to write before class and work.

Audrey Bowers

What comes next?

Keep Writing: NaNoWriMo may be over, but the NaNoWriMo spirit isn’t quite lost. It is never too late to start or continue writing your novel, as writing a novel isn’t something that can necessarily be done in a day, a week, a month, or a year in some cases. It is okay to take the time that you need to allow your story to develop in the way that it needs to. The important takeaway is to keep writing or to at least promise yourself to come back to it eventually.

He Promised! Silas Hansen will be performing “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 6 PM in Room 291 of the Robert Bell building. This is to celebrate the fact that our #MuncieNano writers have written 1,000,000 words together. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Connect With Us! 

In order to stay connected or to become connected to the #MuncieNano community and to get prepared for #NaNoWriMo18, follow #MuncieNano on Twitter and join our Facebook group. This is where you will find community to support you as you begin or continue your novel.

M.A. student Rachel Lauve on studying Creative Writing

Rachel Lauve is a new graduate student working toward an M.A. in creative writing from Ball State University. She earned an undergraduate degree in English Education from Ball State in May 2017

1) What degree are you pursuing (i.e., PhD in Literature, MA in creative writing, etc.)? What is it about this degree/program that interested you?

I’m currently pursuing my MA in creative writing. This particular program interested me because I felt like my time in Ball State’s creative writing department had only just begun in my undergrad, and I wanted to keep studying with this particular faculty; additionally, the fact that this program doesn’t require a genre concentration was appealing, as when I was applying, I was still figuring out which genre I really preferred. There’s always something to be learned from other genres that can be applied to your primary genre, too (e.g., I’m already itching to apply what I’ve learned about meter in poetry to my creative nonfiction essays).

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M.A. student Justine Waluvengo: “Graduate school is fun!”

Justine Waluvengo is a new graduate student working toward an M.A. in literature from Ball State University. She studied linguistics and literature at the University of Nairobi, where she earned a B.A.

1) What degree are you pursuing? What is it about this degree/program that interested you?

I am pursuing an MA in Literature. I believe the English Department at Ball State, not just the literature area, is well established and capable of offering the challenge that I need to develop my career.

2) Where did you attend undergrad? What did you study?

 I am a graduate of The University of Nairobi, Kenya, with a BA in Education. My subject areas were Linguistics and Literature. I majored in Literature. Continue reading

To the Undecided English Majors

By: Kaitlyn Sumner

So, you’re great at writing an 8-page research paper in under 24 hours. You’re able to finish an entire novel within a night and be ready for a class discussion the next morning. You can relate centuries old rhetorical arguments to modern-day marketing efforts.

The question you ask yourself daily: “What am I even going to do with this?”

Well, we’re going to remind you of three things:

You have skills.

You’ve more than likely heard the timeless question: “What are you going to do with an English degree?” (Another form of this question: “Are you going to teach/be an author, or…?”) This has cropped up multiple instances throughout your college career: a family reunion, a work meeting, an organization event.

You blush, or maybe you get annoyed. It’s literally always the same question, you say to yourself. You have to politely explain that, no, you aren’t going to teach. No, you aren’t going to write novels. And, yeah, you might do something like *insert your goal career here*.

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Jared Linder: From English Degree to Career in Technology

Jared Linder is a two-time Ball State graduate, once as undergrad with the English department, and again as a graduate student earning an M.S. in Information and Communication Sciences at the Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS). He is a recent graduate from the MBA program at Butler University. He also serves as the Chief Information Officer for the State of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration.

Most people would assume that a student who majored in English would never have a job as a Chief Information Officer. How did you move from English to a career in information technology?

When I graduated from Ball State in late preview-full-Jared Linder.JPG1998, the world was heavily focused on IT jobs, especially Y2K and the possible issues we would face if things did not go well. I honestly had a hard time finding a job. I did not really know what I was looking for, and had not prepared well for what my post-college life was supposed to look like. I started a job working at the lowest rung at an IT company when soon someone realized I could write and communicate. That was when I became confident in my liberal arts background as a positive force for my success. I began to change my career mindset to focus on solving problems and helping people vs merely working in IT. That made all the difference; I just applied my learned skills to the reality of working in a 21st-century growth industry. I used to tell my mom I worked around computers; now I tell her I help people get things done. I started to gravitate towards client relationships and working with project teams and management.

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November Good News: Prof. Grutsch McKinney’s Awards and More!

In between Halloween and Thanksgiving, check out how much good news we have to share!

Prof. Jackie Grutsch McKinney won the 2017 International Writing Centers Association Outstanding Book Award for two of her books: Strategies for Writing Center Research and The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors (co-authored with Becky Jackson and Nikki Caswell). Nikki earned her MA from Ball State in Rhetoric and Composition in 2008. To be considered for this award, one’s work must show the qualities of compelling and meaningful writing, sensitivity towards situations where writing centers exist, and strong research and representation on writing centers. Congratulations!

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Giving back on #BSUGivingTuesday

After you’ve found your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals, #BSUGivingTuesday gives you the opportunity to give back to the academic community from which you emerged.

Consider donating to the Ball State English General Fund #2701 to ensure that our students and faculty continue to make a difference.

Keep reading to learn about a few of the projects which this fund has supported in the past year.

Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers’ Black Educators Conference

Your gift allowed Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers (ABLT) club officers and English education students to attend the Black Educator’s Conference with their faculty advisor to learn more about teaching Black and Latinx students in the K-12 classroom. They also helped promote our department, which houses the ABLT club, during the higher education recruitment afternoon.

Kayla Veal, Alyssa Huckaby, and Sydney Jordan with their faculty advisor Dr. Lyn Jones at the Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers’ Black Educators Conference.

“An Evening with Roxane Gay” during Women’s Week

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Sean Andres: Marketer, Writer, and Former Educator

Sean Andres earned a B.S. in Secondary English/Language Arts Education from Ball State University in 2008 and a M.S. in Marketing from University of Cincinnati, with a focus on diversity marketing from applied feminist and race theory. His favorite author is Margaret Atwood, and he loves to be outdoors when he’s not glued to the computer—writing, researching, and working. 

How did your teachers at Ball State influence the time you spent in the high school classroom?

One of my favorite units was on point of view and rhetoric, when I covered the voices of the Vietnam War (long before Ken Burns!). I used many Vietnamese accounts, Jane Fonda’s Hanoi radio speech, an Eisenhower speech, and American soldiers’ accounts. But I also had my dad come in to talk to the class about his experience in the Navy during the war. I’ve never seen students so engaged in a classroom.

I contribute most of my teaching methods and a lot of my point of view methods to Dr. Pamela Hartman. Similarly, Dr. Joyce Huff, taught us to look at a text from many points of view. Each group would look at “Goblin Market” with a different lens, and it was mind-blowing when we all talked about our theories to the rest of the class. I’d also like to mention Dr. Rai Peterson as one of the professors who brought out my interest in rhetoric, which of course, I use now in marketing.

Why did you leave teaching? Continue reading

Hannah’s Internship Experience: Wiley Publishing

By: Hannah Partridge

This summer, I was fortunate enough to be offered an Acquisitions Internship at Wiley Publishing in Fishers, Indiana. Specifically, I was an intern for the For Dummies brand. Most people are familiar with the iconic black and yellow reference guides, and over the summer I had the opportunity to see exactly how the company creates their books and maintains their global brand.

First things first, I have to say that I am unsure I would have received this internship had I not been a part of Jacket Copy Creative last year. The skills and experience I gained in that course filled up a blank space on my resume, and it was the first thing I was asked about in my interviews. When English faculty tells you to take immersive learning courses, and tells you they look good on resumes, they’re not kidding.

My internship was full time, 8:30-4:30 every day, and I commuted to the office from my apartment in Muncie. During my time at Wiley, I completed a variety of tasks and projects. I learned to use the company’s various online tools and programs to check data about their books, and put the results in various spreadsheets (Proficiency in Microsoft Excel is another great skill to have). I also worked with other interns to develop marketing tools and original content for dummies.com, and researched potential authors and topics for new For Dummies books. Using skills obtained in ENG 430, I used Adobe InDesign to design and format documents using For Dummies logos, icons, and other branded elements. My manager, Amy, wanted me to see all the inner workings of the publishing industry, so she had me sit in on various conference calls and weekly meetings to get a sense of everything that goes into creating a For Dummies book.

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