By Anthony Miglieri
There are a whole lot of films, and great films at that, about screenwriting. A few of the best are Barton Fink (1991), written and directed by the Coen Brothers, and Adaptation. (2002), directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman. However, few films I have ever seen are able to paint such a vivid and violent portrait of a screenwriting artist as the under-appreciated noir piece In a Lonely Place (1950), which was directed by Nicolas Ray, screenwritten by Andrew Solt, and adapted by Edmund H. North from a Dorothy B. Hughes story.
When this film opens, Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele (portrayed by Humphrey Bogart) is bitter and frustrated. He hasn’t had a hit in years and his latest assignment is to adapt a popular novel that Dix is sure is trash. Unwilling to read the bestseller himself, he has a celebrity-obsessed young woman relay the plot to him at his home. Soon after she leaves, she turns up dead and Dix strikes up a relationship with a sultry new neighbor who has doubts about his professed innocence in the case. Continue reading
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! Continue reading
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).
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
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*.
By Makayla Smart
“I have seen you before,” she said.
“I come with the snow,” he said. “I come when men are dying.”
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 1998, 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.
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!
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
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.