Tag Archives: creative writing

Jay Coles: Visiting YA Writer at Ball State University

By Rachel Lauve

Novelist and Ball State English Department alum Jay Coles will be visiting Ball State University to read from his work on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Arts and Journalism Building (AJ) 225. This event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, November 8th, Coles will visit ENG 307 (Intro Fiction Workshop) from 2:00-3:15 p.m. in Robert Bell (RB) 361 to discuss his writing and the writing life. This visit is also free and open to the public.

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5 Ways English Prepares You For A Dream Job

By: Maggie Sutton

You can do almost anything with a degree in English. Our alumni agree. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) agrees. Even Google agrees. Employers want the skills and experiences English majors have in spades.

So, what do you need to do to prepare for the “real world”?

1.Write Well

Employers want to hire skillful writers. NACE’s second most valued skill was written communication.

English classes help to polish written communication skills, so remember that when you’re buried in essay deadlines!

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Write On (Campus)!

By: Grace Goze

As English majors, it’s no secret we love reading, but let’s not forget about our passion for writing. Whether you’re a Creative Writing major or not, it may be hard to find groups on campus that just let you write for the sake of writing. Well, fear not writers, here is a compiled list of some of the big writing organizations on campus!

Writers’ Community

8 PM on Monday in RB 284
writers@bsu.edu or tdmckinney@bsu.edu

The Writers’ Community is a creative writing organization where folks can share and get feedback on their writing. We accept almost any medium of literature in most any genre. Folks have shared short stories, parts of novels, poems, songs, and much more.

“The organization is beneficial to students interested in writing, because we offer feedback and advice on shared works and creative writing in general. Students are free to share and discuss their ideas, plans, current works, etc. I encourage anyone who writes or who is interested in writing to come on down to a meeting and check it out.” — Ian Roesler

To find out more, check out our blog post specifically on Writers’ Community.  Writers’ Community can also be found on Twitter.

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You Should Join Writers’ Community!

By: Rachael Carmichael 

Come to Ball State University’s Writers’ Community and share your work with others in an encouraging environment. It’s a close-knit club, and the vibe is always positive.

A unique experience 

  • The Writers’ Community shares various forms and genres, from poetry and parts of novels, to song lyrics and short stories.
  • Writers are able to share their work, as well as receiving feedback and advice during group discussions.
  • This community is dedicated to listening to other writer’s ideas and works.
  • It’s an easy and great way to receive constructive critiques if you want to better your writing through other writers!

Their mission

The Writers’ Community wants to help others grow in their passion for expressing themselves through writing.

They accept everyone of any level of writing, from more experienced to beginners.

President of the Writers’ Community, Ian Roesler, hopes to expand the community, especially for those who are interested in writing but don’t know what their first steps are.

What can new members expect?

The meetings typically start off with Roesler giving an introduction and important announcements. Afterwards, there is an open floor for people to share their works if they have anything prepared.

Members don’t have to bring anything to share if they aren’t comfortable or aren’t ready.

After each piece is read, there will be a discussion so writers can get important feedback. Sometimes Roesler likes to incorporate other ways to induce creativity, such as: free writing or a fun writing prompt. These ideas happen typically during an evening when many people don’t have anything to share with the group.

Something Roesler is thinking about introducing are evenings where club members provide fun presentations on various literary genres that they’re interested in.

The meetings are held on Monday nights in Robert Bell 284 at 8:00 p.m. and they run for an hour. Everyone is welcome, whether they’re an English major or not. Members can expect a welcome and respectful environment full of enthusiastic and talented writers who love to share their work.

A message from current President, Ian Roesler:

“The Writers’ Community has helped me and others by providing feedback and advice on shared works. Discussions can lead to the formation of new ideas or whenever someone is stuck on something or they need guidance on where to go next in their respective work.”

Marianne Boruch: Visiting Poet at Ball State University

Poet and author Marianne Boruch will be visiting Ball State University on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Arts and Journalism Building (AJ) 225.  This event is free and open to the public.

Boruch will also be making one classroom visit to discuss her poetry on Thursday, October 18th: Boruch will visit ENG 408 (Advanced Poetry Workshop), from 9:30-10:45p.m. in the L. A. Pittenger Student Center 303.  This visit is also free and open to the public.

Chicagoan Marianne Boruch is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing, and Cadaver, Speak.  She has also published three collections of essays, the most recent being The Little Death of Self, and a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler.

Her work has appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.  Among her honors are are four Pushcart Prizes, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and two Fulbright Professorships.

Boruch was the founder of the MFA program at Purdue University, where she became a Professor Emeritus there last May.  She continues to teach in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Continue reading

Welcome Prof. John Carter

John Carter is a 2018 graduate of Ball State University, where he earned his Master of Arts in Creative Writing and where he also holds a B.A. in English—Creative Writing with a Professional Writing Minor. He’s interested in using description and lyricism to bring a love of nature, farming, and the rural American Midwest to what is (hopefully) an accessible space. More information about him and his work can be found on his website.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

Practice and revision-oriented. I grew up working on my family’s farm, where the only way to learn how to do something was often through practice, and the skills or tools required for one job were typically also applicable to another. When I started studying creative writing in college (and later in graduate school), I was surprised by the similarities between farm work and the work of a writing workshop—collaboration, self-evaluation, out-of-the-box thinking, problem-solving, recognizing the dis/connections between objects or ideas, etc.

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Welcome Prof. Sarah Domet

Sarah Domet

Sarah Domet’s debut novel, The Guineveres, was released from Flatiron Books in October 2016. She’s also the author of 90 Days to Your Novel (Writers Digest Books, 2010). She holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati and will be teaching courses in fiction writing in our creative writing program.

Learn more about her on her website.

What are you currently reading, if anything?

I’m fortunate to have a job that requires me to read. It gives me the chance to conduct independent studies for my creative projects, crash courses on interesting subjects “for the sake of research.” (I put “for the sake of research” in quotes only because I once spent a full day reading about Jarts for one throwaway line in a story. It’s easy to get off track.)

My current novel project, set partly in 1910, features a protagonist who claims to commune with the dead. To better understand this era, I’m reading Through a Glass, Darkly: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Solve the Greatest Mystery of All. This book offers a fascinating glimpse into the spiritualist movement: mediums, seances, lies, frauds, sex, and scandals.

What is a text that you think everyone should read?

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Benefits of the English Major: Straight from the Seniors

Prof. Emily Rutter shares some of her Senior Seminar students’ reflections on their learning in the English Major.

This semester, my English 444 students were asked to write autobiographical essays about their experiences as English majors. As a fitting close to the semester for some and to college for others, we wanted to share a few excerpts from those essays, which showcase the many lessons English courses impart and the varied ways in which our students will apply them in the future.

Vanessa Haro-Miracle: When I first signed up for English 308 course, I dreaded the idea of reading poems. As the semester progressed, one of the assignments was to pick a poet and read and analyze their work. I chose Erika L Sanchez because she wrote activist poems about Mexico. Her poems tend to be vivid and gruesome. Moreover, I knew there was a deeper meaning and I was able to grasp it because it was about the ugliness in her and my native country. Reading her poetry was a springboard to find other poems and poets like her.

Kelsey McDonald: Knowing that I can complete complex research papers, comprehend difficult texts, and confidently apply my skills to other aspects in my education and professional pursuits is extremely rewarding.  However, the best lesson I have learned is that the magic of the other worlds I have explored through literature has enabled me to be confident and adventurous in my own world. Reading has played such an important role in my life, and I hope to share my love of it with many students by teaching high school literature after I graduate and join the professional world. Continue reading

A Flash Non-Fiction about Creative Writing

Creative Writing major Cecelia Westbrook describes how she found the right form.

When I declared my Creative Writing major in the fall of 2014, I considered myself a poet and nothing but a poet.

As an incoming freshman, I didn’t have much experience under my pencil. I had taken one creative writing class in high school, and enjoyed the poetry section the most. I even went out of my way to write extra poems, which made my final project grade 115/100.

Cecelia at the  launch party for Tributaries, containing her first publication, the essay “All Babies are Ugly, Except for Me (Just Ask My Uncle).” Top, Cecelia and friends with poet Kaveh Akbar.

If that is what it takes to be considered a “poet,” then I, in fact, was a poet.

Here at BSU, my English 285 class, which is the introductory creative writing course, spent a few weeks on each genre. This was my first exposure to creative non-fiction, which, it seemed to me, was basically taking experiences from your own life and writing them down for other people to read (possibly.) I didn’t know what to do with it. I don’t remember much about what I wrote for this specific course, but I do remember thinking, Can I go back to writing angsty poetry now please? Continue reading

English Undergrad Brittany Means: “My First Publication Made Me Feel Like Brad Pitt”

Last year I took Pete Davis’ poetry class, and for my final packet I decided to experiment a little bit. While I was at work, I wrote something that was kind of flow-of-consciousness, played around with the format a little bit, and titled it “Books About.” After I turned it in, I abandoned it in the poetry folder on my laptop and forgot about it.

Over the summer, I attended the Midwest Writers Workshop. There were contests being held for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Since I had already sent in a fiction piece for something else, I rummaged through my laptop and found “Books About” for the Manny Contest. Knowing that the number of attendees would be in the hundreds, I wasn’t sure about my chances for winning anything, but I went ahead and submitted it. During all of the different events and classes, it sort of slipped my mind that there even was a contest. When they called my name during the award ceremony, I almost had a heart attack. I went up and collected my award and then sat down, feeling pretty darn satisfied with myself. When they called my name again for the overall best manuscript, or R. Karl Largent Writing Award, I was so shocked that it took me a few moments before I could get out of my chair to go get the second award. It was really a shock to me that I could win amidst all of the other wonderful writers attending. There’s a picture of this moment on Cathy Day’s blog, and it looks like I just heard a great joke.

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