Tag Archives: Sarah Hollowell

Women's Week: "Celebrating Variety" through Sister Cis-ter

In case you didn’t already know, March is National Women’s History Month.

And during the last week of the month, Ball State’s Women’s and Gender Studies program celebrates the achievements and experiences of women through lectures, critical discussions, theatrical performances, and more!

Since this year’s theme is “Celebrating Variety,” those involved in Women’s Week hope to support all women across all intersections by addressing the inequalities suffered due to race, gender, class, sexuality, age, and ethnicity.


Speakers from the English Department


 

Cathy Day: Women in PublishingCathy Day

  • Thursday, March 26th
  • 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  • Student Center 301
  • Are you an aspiring writer, editor, or publisher? Prof. Cathy Day (Assistant Chair of English) can tell you what to expect about the publishing world, while also offering some tips for being a good literary citizen.
  • Cathy (@daycathy) runs a blog on literary citizenship, a blog on teaching, and a blog on novel-writing. She’s also the author of two books; one of which has been adapted into a musical.

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Good News, February 2015

Amory Orchard mans the Poets-for-Hire desk.

Amory Orchard mans the Poet-for-Hire desk.

In the latest installment of the “Good News” series, BSU English highlights the accomplishments of faculty and students through the month of February.


The Writing Center hosted a two-day fundraiser, “Poets for Hire,” to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank in Muncie. On February 12 and 13, Ball State students and faculty wrote approximately 75 personalized love poems and took donations as payment. The event raised approximately $230 and two big boxes of food. It was also covered on Indiana Public RadioDavid DiSarro (PhD in Rhetoric and Composition) published his poetry chapbook, “I Used to Play in Bands,” at Finishing Line Press. The title poem was first published in Hawaii Pacific Review, and you can read it here. He’s currently an Assistant Professor of English and the Director of the Writing Center at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. David’s creative work has previously appeared in The Ibbetson Street Magazine, The Orange Room Review, Breadcrumb Scabs, Third Wednesday, among others.

Isabel Vasquez, a junior double major in Spanish and English studies, recently published her reflective essay, “Alive,” in Ivy Tech’s mê tis Volume VII . She also published “The Necessity” in The Mochila Review, a journal from Missouri Western State University, which you can read here.


Do you have any good news? Let us know so we can put it in our alumni newsletter!

Do you have any good news? Let us know so we can put it in our alumni newsletter!


Melissa Hull (Secretary to the Director of the Writing Program) who publishes poetry as “M. Ann Hull” has published quite a few poems since July.  (You know you have a great department when even the staff is producing such quality work!)

  • Blue Earth Review, “The Wife Called it Making Memories
  • BOXCAR Poetry Review, “Images or Shadows of Silent Things”
  • Emrys Journal, “Just Beyond the Reach”
  • The Greensboro Review, “Snow Cover”
  • Heavy Feather Review, “Elegy for a Mason Jar,” “House of Echoes,” and “This Isn’t an Era for Adoring”
  • Passages North, “My Mother, Born in Summer, Had Winter Babies” and “To You, Who Never”
  • Phantom Limb, “Look at Me / Don’t Look at Me”
  • Juked, “Such Similar Fingerprints”
  • Threadcount, “The Last Neglected Child”
  • WomenArts Quarterly Journal, “To Track Tears under the Microscope”

Sarah Hollowell, a senior creative writing major, was interviewed by the Ball State Daily News regarding fat positivity. Sarah recently published her essay, “This is an Essay about a Fat Woman being Loved and Getting Laid,” in The Toast, and it has been shared over 6,000 times through various social media outlets.

Alysha Hoffa’s (B.A. creative writing, 2013) essay, “Colorless Life: An Essay in Grayscale,” was named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2014. It was originally published in Southern Indiana Review. Alysha is currently in the MFA program at Fresno State.

Rebecca McNair, a senior creative writing major, was featured in the Ball State Daily News. She’s launching a feminist literary magazine, Andromeda Speaks, a project that was born in her Literary Publishing and Editing course with Professor Silas Hansen. You can contribute to the launch on Kickstarter.

Brett Hiatt (B.S. teaching English language arts) has been teaching in China for a year, and now he’s now the lead teacher. You can read about his experiences here.

Assistant Professor Andrea Wolfe (second from right) was the recipient of an  Immersive Learning Award. (Photo courtesy of Ball State University)

Assistant Professor Andrea Wolfe (second from right) was the recipient of an Immersive Learning Award. (Photo courtesy of Ball State University)

Andrea Powell Wolfe (assistant professor of English) recently won a 2015 Immersive Learning Award for her seminar at the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry in 2013. Wolfe led an interdisciplinary team of 14 students in creating a 35-minute documentary, “Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues in a Big Farm World.

The film follows a local food producer/veterinarian through a week of life on the farm, at the farmer’s market, and on veterinary calls. It aired on WIPB-TV and was screened at film festivals in South Bend and Indianapolis. Community partners included Becker Farms in Mooreland, Indiana, and Muncie’s Living Lightly Fair. You can learn more about Down to Earth here.

Angela Jackson Brown (assistant professor of English) will be co-teaching a session on African-American literature with Hedi Podlasli-Labrenz on February 24th. The session will take place at Ökumenisches Gymnasium zu Bremen in Germany. Hedi’s students will be reading Professor Brown’s novel, Drinking from a Bitter Cupso Brown will also guest lecture there over the summer.

Molly Ferguson (assistant professor of English) received a Start-Up Program award from the Sponsored Projects Administration. She will use her grant money to travel to cities such as Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Belfast to study Irish plays as expressions of shared traumas.


Every year, Ball State’s Graduate School identifies grad students who have exceeded expectations in their respective programs. Since so many students will receive awards this year, we’re going to devote an entire blog post to recognizing them. Stay tuned for next month’s edition of Good News!

#NaNoWriMo is coming. Let’s get ready to write!

Photo provided by Sarah Hollowell

Photo provided by Sarah Hollowell

It’s almost November. If you’re novel savvy, you know what that means: it’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month, known affectionately as NaNoWriMo.

Interested in competing in a #bsuenglish Face Off? Check out information at the bottom of the post!

To get us ready for #NaNoWriMo 2014, we’ve asked creative writing undergrad and NaNo verteran Sarah Hollowell to share her experiences.

So tell us, Sarah, what’s up with NaNoWriMo?

Every November since 1999, hundreds of thousands of novelists all over the world have taken on the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Since 2006, I’ve been one of them.

I was a sophomore in high school that first year, battling social anxiety and depression. Books and writing had always been my escape. National Novel Writing Month was just what I needed. For 30 days, I escaped into a fantasy world that was imaginative but not expertly constructed (I was, after all, 16.) I wrote 50,000 words that November, and finished the draft at 70,000 words in December.

The draft…was horrible. Really, truly, never-again-will-it-see-the-light-of-day bad.

But to sixteen-year-old me, it was beautiful. It was the largest project I’d ever taken on, and I finished it. I made a novel – a bad, bad novel, but a novel nonetheless – out of thin air. I felt magical. All of my dreams of being a writer seemed more real than they ever had before.

At this point you might be thinking: “That’s nice, Sarah, really, quite lovely. Inspiring, even. But I’m in college, not high school, and November is very near to college hell. I don’t sleep as it is, or I sleep too much. My dining plus is depleted, all used on Starbucks. I eat Lucky Charms out of Tupperware because the bowls are all dirty and doing dishes is too much work. How can I possibly write a novel?”

You make a fair point, hypothetical reader. These are real concerns. Signing up to do NaNoWriMo when you’re in college is radical, especially if you’re an English major. You’re in literature and creative writing classes already, right? You have 300 pages to read and six stories to workshop every week, not to mention that HIST 150 test. Writing 50,000 words on top of that seems impossible.

Here’s the thing: I’m lazy. Ask anyone. I’m a desperately lazy person. I’m going to nap after I finish this blog post, assuming I can stop binge watching Gilmore Girls – and I’ve won NaNo three times since starting college. If I can do it, trust me. So can you.

Spend your free time locked in your room, typing faster than you’ve ever typed. Scribble in notebooks between classes. Type notes on your phone while riding the shuttle and damn autocorrect more than you’ve ever damned it before. The worst that can happen is that you don’t finish, and I’ve done that, too. I haven’t finished NaNoWriMo since 2011.

I’m looking to change that, and I think you should join me.

Announcing: #bsuenglish Write Ins!

If you’re a NaNnano_12_new_Come_Write_In_Logo1o veteran, do it again. Write more this year. If it’s your first time, you’ve chosen a great year to start, because for the first time the Ball State English Department is going to be holding Write Ins.

They’ll be in the Letterman lobby from 9 PM – 10 PM on all the Mondays in November – that’s the 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th.

Oh, and did I mention there’s going to be a competition?

Announcing: #bsuenglish Face Off!

In November, we’ll have a page here on the blog with a list of NaNo-ing Ball State English majors and their up-to-date word count.

Every week, the current leader will be announced in a @bsuenglish tweet (which, of course, will earn mighty praise and envy from all involved).

At the end of the month, the writer who finishes first and the writer with the most total words will win prizes.

To get involved, all you have to do is send your NaNoWriMo username and Twitter handle to Becca Austin at rkaustin(at)bsu(dot)edu NO LATER THAN Thursday, October 30th at 5:00 PM.

Current faculty AND students welcome. Alums, too.

November is coming. Let’s write some novels, shall we?