Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Registration FAQs

FAQs for MFA Registration

How do I know when registration starts each quarter?
When you receive the quarterly registration info email from Beth, registration will open at 7am CST on the following Monday. All students should reply to this email before registration begins. You can check the dates for the quarterly email and the start of registration at the MFA Academic Calendar link below:

Note for Fall: As noted at the link above, the Fall 2016 registration info email will be sent to Lionmail on August 15, and the Fall registration portal will open at 7am CST on August 22.

The quarterly registration email contains links to the Class Schedule, Registration Instructions, Course Descriptions, Textbooks, the First Assignment, and other important info, as well as MFA Program Updates and reminders (including upcoming Degree Application deadlines). Be sure to read this email and all linked information thoroughly each quarter.

Note for Summer: Canvas instructions will be sent in a separate email before Summer quarter 2016 begins.

Why did I receive an error message that said my advisor is preventing my registration?
This is almost always because you are in the wrong term in the portal. When you click on the Registration button, you must already be in the correct term. Be sure to choose the upcoming term (SU for Summer, FA for Fall, WIN for Winter, or SP for Spring), and be sure to choose QTR. If you are in SEM (for undergrad semester students), or if you are in the current term instead of the upcoming term, you will receive that error message. If you are in the correct term and still receive that error, log out of the portal and then log back in, choosing the correct term, which will refresh the page to ensure that the portal is enabled for registration. 

Another reason you would receive that message is if you did not reply to the registration info email and request that your portal be enabled for self-registration. It is a university requirement that students request this in writing every term because there must be advisor contact for registration. When you receive this email each quarter, read over all information thoroughly, then click Reply and request that your portal be enabled for registration. 

Notes for current term: To register for Summer quarter 2016, choose term SU QTR 16. Remember that when you want to view your final grades and complete your course evaluation for the current spring term, you will need to choose SP QTR 16. When registration opens for Fall on August 22, you will choose FA QTR 16 to register for fall (after replying to the registration email and requesting that your portal be enabled).

Why does the portal kick me out when I click the button to process registration?
This will happen if you have not disabled your pop-up blocker. Some students have had issues using Chrome for registration, so if you have problems, try changing your browser to Firefox or Explorer.

How do I make sure I can enroll in a class I really want?
Some classes fill very quickly as soon as registration opens. Your best chance for enrolling in a preferred class is to reply right away to the registration email and request that your portal be enabled, and then to register yourself at 7am CST on the morning that registration opens.

Students who prefer to have Beth register them in classes must realize that Beth has to enroll students in the order of emails received, starting at 7am CST. All newly accepted students must also be registered by Beth, so even if you respond to the registration email the day after receiving it and list your class choices, you will be far down on the list of students Beth must register, and classes may be full before it is your turn to be enrolled. If you ask Beth to register you, be sure to include the number of classes total you want to take, your preferred choices for classes, and a list of back-up classes in order of preference, so that Beth can enroll you immediately in a back-up choice if a preferred class is full.

Can I be put on a Wait List for a class that is full?
Now that students can enroll themselves in classes, it is not possible for Beth to maintain wait lists during the open enrollment period. You can check the portal throughout open enrollment to see if a spot opens up in a class, and if one does, you can enroll yourself. After open enrollment ends, any schedule changes must be made by emailing Beth. Next quarter, if there is a class you really want, be sure to register right at 7am CST on the first day of registration to enroll in that class before it fills.

Note for Summer: For the current Summer quarter 2016 registration, open enrollment ends on June 24. All schedule changes after that date must be made by emailing Beth.

Does it matter which section of a class I enroll in? Why might my section number be changed after open enrollment ends?
When registering yourself for classes, you may enroll in any section of a class (one, two, or three sections may be offered for each class). It is best to balance enrollment across all sections of a class, so if section OL1 has 9 students and section OL2 has 2 students, it would be best to enroll yourself in section OL2.

After open enrollment ends, your section number may need to be changed to balance enrollment across sections. At least 5 students must be enrolled in a section for it to be held. Beth will always email you before changing your section, and if you need to stay in your current section for some reason (to stay in the same class as a friend, for example), you can reply to Beth’s email and request that you not be moved from your current section. If a class ends up with fewer than 5 students and no other student changes can be made, Beth will notify students that the class must be canceled, and alternate class choices will be given.

Can I repeat a class for credit?
An exact course number cannot be repeated for credit. For example, if you previously took IMF 55602, you cannot take IMF 55602 again, but it is fine for you to take IMF 55603. You should check your transcript in your student portal to view the course numbers you’ve taken previously, to ensure that you do not enroll in the same course number twice. Be sure to check course numbers and not class titles. You may take several different classes within the same standard class title; as long as the course number is not exactly the same, you will receive credit for all of them (for example, if you take IMF 52301 Focused Nonfiction Workshop: Flash Nonfiction, it is fine for you to also take IMF 52303 Focused Nonfiction Workshop: Focused Flash Nonfiction).

If you have the exact same course number repeated on your transcript (taken before Summer quarter 2016), contact Beth to fill out exemption paperwork. There are no exceptions to this rule as of Summer quarter 2016.

How do I qualify for a grant?
The MFA Program offers two grants:

Teacher Grant: Currently employed teachers of elementary school, middle school, or high school may apply for the teacher grant ($60 off per credit hour) by filling out the grant form that is attached to each quarterly registration email and returning it to Beth by the due date given. You must include your email address from the school where you teach, and you must fill out a new form and email it to Beth every quarter.

60+ Grant: Students age 60 and over qualify for this 50% tuition grant. Verify with Admissions that this grant is being applied in your first quarter of enrollment, and then the grant will be applied in all future quarters.

Grants will appear in your Ledger in the student portal as Pending Financial Aid.

Other Questions: Beth is the Advisor for all MFA students. Email her with any questions.

Helpful Links: 
Registration Instructions 
2016-2017 Academic Calendar 
Projected Schedule
LU MFA Facebook page (calls for submissions, publications, events, etc.)
LU MFA Student & Alumni Facebook group (log in to view; click button to Join)

Note: As stated in the Summer registration info email, new instructors and new class course descriptions will be added to the website later this quarter. Contact Beth with questions. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Workshop Etiquette

A respectful, thorough critique of a peer’s work is the cornerstone of an MFA program. Solitary work has its place in the writerly life, but the vast majority of us who write want others to see it and be moved, be changed.

Three important things are accomplished through workshop:

1.    You receive a variety of feedback about your work, which you will learn to filter as useful toward your intention for the piece or not.

2.    You sharpen your skills as a reader and enter the discourse of literature.

3.    You find yourself within a community of writers, an invaluable thing that extends past graduation from your MFA program.

Your critique and close reading of workshop pieces should be a response to the writing itself, the piece of work in front of you—not a response to the writer, not a proclamation of your personal taste or beliefs as related to this piece, and not simply a pat on the back. Give useful, respectful comments, in a way in which you would like to receive them yourself, about your own work.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

LU MFA Thesis Guidelines

Updated for Canvas 5/16
NOTE: Detailed Canvas instructions will be sent by email before Summer Quarter begins.

Thesis Guidelines

The final three credit hours of the MFA program are devoted to completion of a graduate thesisa final writing project that the student produces independently, with midterm feedback from an assigned faculty thesis reader.

Final page count will range from 70 to 100 depending on the student's chosen genre; this page count includes a title page and a required 5-page introductory essay. The final thesis is submitted electronically to the Program Director at the end of the quarter.

The thesis may be a collection of poetry, short fiction, or creative nonfiction/personal essays; a novella or novel excerpt; or a memoir excerpt. Students may also choose to combine genres (for example, a thesis may include both poetry and short fiction); however, all components should be linked in some way (thematically, stylistically, etc.overall connections among pieces can be discussed in the intro essay) to ensure a cohesive final project.

Up to 50% of the thesis may include revisions of pieces that have been workshopped during the MFA program; at least 50% should be new work that has not been workshopped in the program. The final thesis should be publishable work.

Note: If a student’s chosen thesis genre is scriptwriting, a new script should be written for the thesis. The full script written during the scriptwriting cluster cannot be revised and used as a final thesis project.

Students enrolled in the thesis will log into Canvas once each week during the quarter, click on Modules, and click on the appropriate week’s module for instructions and information. Some weeks require a journal entry, while others remind students to continue writing with upcoming deadlines in mind.

Thesis Progress & Feedback
The thesis is intended to be primarily a time of independent writing for the student. This allows the student to transition from the workshop environment to the post-MFA writing environment. At the beginning of the quarter, a student enrolled in the thesis will complete a journal entry in Blackboard explaining the concept for his or her thesis, noting any previously workshopped pieces that the student intends to revise for the thesis (up to 50% of the final thesis may be revised workshop pieces). The student will write independently for the first half of the quarter, continuing to log into Canvas each week to check the weekly modules for journal assignments and due dates.

At midterm, the student will upload approximately 75% of the thesis in Canvas. The Director will forward this work to the assigned midterm reader for feedback. The Director will then forward the midterm reader’s comments to the student within one to two weeks. The student will spend the remainder of the quarter revising, developing, and completing the creative content; the student will also write the 5-page introductory essay during this time.

The completed thesis (a single document including the cover page and the 5-page introductory essay) will be uploaded in Canvas toward the end of the quarter for final approval. The specific due date will be listed in Canvas. If the thesis requires revision at this point, the Director may suggest that the student enroll in the Thesis Extension. The cost of the extension is $150, and it gives students an additional quarter to revise and complete the thesis. Students may enroll in an extension up to three times.

Introductory Essay 
The thesis project must include a 5-page essay introducing the thesis, describing the over-arching theme for your project, and reflecting on the journey you have taken as a writer, culminating in this final writing project. You may reflect on your writing interests and experiences before entering the MFA program as well as your time in the program. You can discuss insights you have gained about writing craft or your own writing process. You may include acknowledgements of people who have been supportive or instructive in your journey as a writer. You may discuss books or writers who have inspired you, and you may include quotes from writers you admire (use MLA format for direct quotes). You may include examples of your own creative writing to illustrate points you make about your growth as a writer. Ideally, the introductory essay should be written at midterm or later in the quarter.

Final Requirements For Thesis Completion
Before a grade can be submitted for the thesis, all students must complete the program survey as the final Journal assignment in Canvas. Completion of Canvas journal entries and adherence to deadlines throughout the quarter will be factored into the final thesis grade.

Format Guidelines
The final thesis must be uploaded in Canvas by the due date and must be formatted according to the guidelines below:

-The thesis must be emailed as a single document (at midterm and for final thesis submission). Do not send separate files for individual portions of the thesis.

-The first page of your thesis document should be a title page that lists the overall title for your thesis, your name, and the date of final thesis submission.

-A page number should not appear on the title page (when inserting page numbers, click the box for Different First Page under Design).

-Insert page numbers beginning with page 2; the page number and your last name should be right-aligned at the bottom of each page.

-After your title page, begin your 5-page introductory essay. After your introductory essay, begin the creative content of your thesis. (Students may include an Acknowledgements page and/or a Table of Contents if desired, but these items are not required.)

-The page count for the final thesis must be between 70 and 100 pages (including cover page and introductory essay). Use a standard font style and size (such as Times New Roman 12pt).

-Double-space the intro essay and all prose pieces. Poems should be single-spaced; print one poem per page.

-Left, right, top, and bottom margins should be set at one inch.

If you have any questions, contact the Program Director.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Summer 2016 Class Schedule

Registration begins May 23 at 7am CST. 
All students must reply to Beth's 5/16 registration email before registration begins.
On-Campus Clusters begin the week of July 5.
Online classes begin the week of July 11. 
Summer quarter ends September 23.

NOTE: Course numbers may NOT be repeated for credit. There are no exceptions to this rule as of Summer 2016. Check your transcript in your student portal to ensure that you do not enroll in course numbers you've taken previously. 

On-Campus Clusters:
IMF 54500 / 54600 / 54700 Creative Nonfiction--Andrew Pryor--Tuesday
IMF 57500 / 57600 / 57700 Scriptwriting--Peter Carlos--Monday

Online Classes:

Fiction--Literature Classes:
IMF 54303 Focused Young Adult Lit: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (literature class)--Nicole McInnes
IMF 54302 The Graphic Novel (literature class)--Zachary Vickers
IMF 53701 Magical Realism Literature (literature class)--Eve Jones

Fiction--Workshop Classes:
IMF 52205 Focused Fiction Workshop: Short Stories--Steve Kistulentz
IMF 52200 Focused Fiction Workshop--Kali VanBaale
IMF 54402 Sci-Fi Workshop: The New Weird--Kelli Allen
IMF 51602 Fiction Craft & Workshop--David Hollingsworth

Poetry Classes:
IMF 52700 Selected Emphases in Poetry--Anothai Kaewkaen
IMF 51701 Women Poets--Eve Jones
IMF 52102 Rockstar Poets & Writers--Julia Gordon-Bramer

Creative Nonfiction Classes:
IMF 52302 The Memoir--Wm Anthony Connolly
IMF 56600 Narrative Journalism--Tony D'Souza

THESIS: Students in their final quarter must reply to Beth's 5/16 registration email and must request enrollment in the Thesis. Include the name of the faculty member that you would like to request as your midterm reader. Full Thesis Guidelines (updated for Canvas) are available here.

TEXTBOOK INFO is available HERE.

First Assignment for On-Campus Clusters
First Assignment for Online Classes

Click HERE to view course descriptions sorted by instructor. New classes and new faculty members will be added to this page. 

2016-2017 Academic Calendar

TEACHER GRANT FORMS for Summer 2016 must be returned to Beth by June 1.
See Beth's 5/16 registration email for details.

LU MFA Graduate Reading ~ May 2016

Congratulations to our graduating students for their wonderful readings of their work at our 2016 LU MFA Graduate Reading!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 SRSE Winners

Congratulations to the LU MFA in Writing students who won first and second place in the 2016 Student Research Symposium & Exposition!

1st place:

David Gilmore
“How to Date Any Species Girl (An Earthling, Martian, or Hybrid)” 

2nd place (3-way tie): 

McKenzie A. Frey
“A Few Glimpses of the World that Consumes Me”

Blake Kirkland
“Your America” 

Dana Morrow
“A Glimpse, Six Times”

Monday, March 7, 2016

Projected MFA Class Schedule--subject to change

The academic calendar is available here
Instructor course descriptions are available here.

Below is the projected MFA class schedule for Summer Quarter 2016, Fall Quarter 2016, and Winter Quarter 2017. Please note that the schedule is subject to change (online classes may be added or deleted, on-campus days may change, etc.) and should be consulted for tentative planning purposes only. For online classes, the number in parentheses indicates the number of sections that will be available for that class (classes cap at 14 students per section). Contact Beth with any questions.

SUMMER 2016 (July-Sept)--see 5/16 Registration email for course numbers:
On-Campus Clusters:
Creative Nonfiction--Andrew Pryor--Tuesday
Scriptwriting--Peter Carlos--Monday

Online Classes:
Sci-Fi Workshop: The New Weird--Kelli Allen (2)
Focused Young Adult Literature: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (literature class)--Nicole McInnes (3)
Focused Fiction Workshop: Short Stories--Steve Kistulentz (3)
Focused Fiction Workshop--Kali VanBaale (2)
Fiction Craft & Workshop--David Hollingsworth (2)
The Graphic Novel (literature class)--Zachary Vickers (3)
Magical Realism Literature (literature class)--Eve Jones (1)
Selected Emphases in Poetry--Anothai Kaewkaen (2)
Women Poets--Eve Jones (2)
Rockstar Poets & Writers--Julia Gordon-Bramer (3)
Creative Nonfiction:
The Memoir--Wm Anthony Connolly (3)
Narrative Journalism--Tony D'Souza (3)

FALL 2016 (Oct-Dec)--subject to change
On-Campus Clusters:
The Literary Journal: Poetry--Kelli Allen--Tuesday
Advanced Scriptwriting--Peter Carlos--Monday

Online Classes:
The Long Story & Novella (literature class)--Ted Morrissey (3)
Contemporary Foundational Literature--Steve Kistulentz (3)
Rockstar Fiction Writers--Julia Gordon-Bramer (3)
Sci-Fi Workshop: The New Weird--Kelli Allen (1)
Young Adult Lit Workshop--Nicole McInnes (3)
The Literary Novel: Contemporary Fiction--Tony D'Souza (3)
Focused Fiction Workshop: George Saunders--Zachary Vickers (3)
Ekphrastic Poetry--Eve Jones (3)
Poetry Workshop--Andrew Pryor (1)
Poetry Craft Foundations--Anothai Kaewkaen (3)
Creative Nonfiction:
The Personal Essay--David Hollingsworth (2)
Focused Nonfiction Workshop--Kali VanBaale (3)
Additional Class Options:
The Literary Journal: Fiction & Essay--Beth Mead (1)
Playwriting--Wm Anthony Connolly (3)
Manuscript Preparation & Publication--Catherine Rankovic (3)

WINTER 2017 (Jan-March)--subject to change
On-Campus Clusters:
Poetry--Kelli Allen--Day TBA
Prose--David Hollingsworth--Day TBA

Online Classes:
Adv Focused Fiction Workshop--Tony D'Souza (3)
Adv Studies in Contemporary Fiction--Wm Anthony Connolly (3)
Modern Myths & Tricksters in Short Fiction--Kelli Allen (1)
Fiction Craft & Workshop--David Hollingsworth (1)
Fiction of War & the Apocalypse--Scott Berzon (3)
Classic Foundational Literature--New Faculty (3)
Fiction Craft Foundations--New Faculty (3)
Young Adult Lit Workshop--New Faculty (3)
Poetry Writing Workshop--Eve Jones (3)
The Craft of Poetry--Anothai Kaewkaen (3)
Sylvia Plath & the Tarot, Part 1--Julia Gordon-Bramer (3)
Creative Nonfiction:
Creative Nonfiction Craft Foundations--Catherine Rankovic (3)
The Personal Essay--Andrew Pryor (1)
Additional Class Options:
Scriptwriting--Zachary Vickers (3)