Monday, May 20, 2013

LU MFA Update ~ Spring 2013

In this update:
  • Spring MFA Reading: Thurs. June 6, 7pm, LU Cultural Center Auditorium
  • Issue 3 of The Lindenwood Review
  • Summer Class Schedule, Class Descriptions, & Registration Info
  • Summer Alumni Workshop
  • Congratulations: Graduates, Symposium Participants, Awards
  • Calls for Submission

Mark your calendars—the Spring MFA Reading will be held on Thursday, June 6, at 7:00pm in the LU Cultural Center Auditorium. Readers are Liz Zerkel, Heather Kemper-Hussey, Angela Thomas, Lisa Aldridge, Christian Gully, and Marie Lucero. This event will be hosted by Kelli Allen. Please attend, bring family and friends, eat cookies, and help support our program.

Issue 3 of The Lindenwood Review will be available for purchase at the Spring MFA Reading. Thank you to all of the students and alumni who worked so hard creating this book: Liz Zerkel, Anothai Kaewkaen, Leca Barker, Carissa Barker, Nick Bateman, Mary Caldwell, Jennifer Cowgill, Jere Deal, Catherine Essner, Adrienne Hawkins, Virginia Newell, and Trevor Roe.

Registration for summer quarter will begin June 3. The summer class schedule can be viewed here; this blog post includes instructors’ descriptions of their classes. Narrative Journalism is being offered online for the first time this quarter. We also welcome a new LU MFA Faculty member this summer: Andrew Connolly (read his bio here). The textbook list is available here. First assignments are available here. Summer quarter begins on July 13 for in-class clusters and on July 15 for online classes. As soon as you have decided what you would like to enroll in for summer, you can email me, and I will enable your portal for registration. Then on June 3, you may register yourself through your portal, or if you prefer, I can take care of your registration for you (indicate your preference in your email with your class choices). Let me know if you have any questions.

After the success of our first alumni workshop, we hope to schedule another one this summer. If you are an alum of the program—or will be by the end of the current spring quarter—please email me by Monday 6/3 if you are interested in taking part in a workshop in July. It can take place on a weeknight or a Saturday morning, or it can be held online (by private blog) if needed. I will organize this event if enough alumni respond by 6/3.

Three of our newly minted MFAs walked in the graduation ceremony this weekend (photos here). Congratulations to Virginia Newell, Shirley Smith, and Carissa Barker, as well as to all LU MFA students who have completed their degrees this year.

Congratulations to the MFA students who won and were chosen to participate in the Research Symposium: Anothai Kaewkaen, Dena Molen, Lisa Aldridge, Jere Deal, Deborah Allen, Karen Burton, and Chris Otto. We are incredibly proud of all participants. Details are posted here.

Congratulations to LU MFA Faculty member Tony D’Souza, who is one of two finalists for the Society of Professional Journalists Sunshine State Award for Magazine Investigative Reporting (the Florida magazine awards; winner announced at a ceremony in July). Tony also won 3rd prize in Magazine Investigative Reporting in the SPJ's Green Eyeshade Awards (magazine prizes for the 11 state south region—NC, SC, GA, FL, KY, TN etc).

Augury Books is very happy to announce that our 2013 open reading period will last until June 30th. This year we are looking for both full-length poetry manuscripts and for short story collections, and we anticipate publishing at least one new title in each genre. Exact guidelines and the link to Submittable can be found on Augury's submissions page here:

On behalf of Story/Houston, we would like to invite you to submit your best short story fiction and creative non-fiction for our Summer 2013 issue. There is no submission fee or cover letter required, and we award $200 per published work. Our editorial staff is headed by William Monroe, dean of the Honors College at the University of Houston, and it is rounded out with other professors and writers in the Houston area. To submit and for more info, please see

So to Speak: a feminist journal of language and art is pleased to open the reading period for our Fall 2013 issue! Submit your best visual art, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry pieces to our online submissions manager from January 1st to March 15th. This issue will feature the winners of our annual art and fiction contests, along with our open reading periods for poetry and nonfiction. For more information of open submissions and contest details please visit our Submit Page and Contest Page.
Beth Mead
Professor of Humanities
Director, MFA in Writing Program
Lindenwood University

Summer 2013 First Assignments

Instructors' course descriptions are available here. Textbooks are listed here.


Kelli Allen--Poetry Cluster (begins Sat. July 13, 10am, in room 306; then on Tuesdays in the LUCC conference room)
Contemporary Poetry: Form, Theory, Workshop
Your first assignment for this course consists of two parts:

1. Please email me (kallen [at] a 1-2 page personal essay telling me what type of writer you consider yourself (fiction writer, short memoir writer, journalist, poet), and how you would describe your writing aesthetic. Please list a few of your favorite authors and books. If you are published, where and in what genre? What events in your life brought you to writing? If you have a favorite poet, tell me about who and why—feel free to include a few lines from this poet. Please be certain I have these short essays at least three days prior to our first class meeting on Saturday. Be warned that I may read some of your essays, or have you read them, aloud to the class.

2. Please have 2 poems (not your own) printed and ready to share with the class. Choose poems you wish you had written or that you just love (for any reason). Be ready to discuss the poems you bring. Also read the essay in this link and be ready to discuss:

Mark George--Fiction Cluster (begins Sat. July 13, 10am, in room 307; then on Thursdays in the LUCC conference room)
Please read “The Hermit’s Story” by Rick Bass, which can be found in the Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction on page 22. As you read the story, try and focus on identifying specific techniques that you can see the author using as he tells his story. Think about the choices Rick Bass makes about character, setting, point of view, tone, pace, etc. After you have read the story through at least twice, please write a page or two describing the techniques you observe in action and determine whether or not you think those choices serve the story well. In particular, I would like you to try and determine the point at which the story turns. Often the writer makes a particular choice at a particular moment in the story that suddenly deepens the reader’s understanding of the deep meaning of the plot. Try to identify that moment in the Bass story.


*Do NOT log into Blackboard until Monday, July15—and you MUST post on Blackboard on 7/15*
On Monday, July 15, log into Blackboard (see instructions below), click on your course name, and then click on the FIRST ASSIGNMENT menu tab at the left of the screen. You will click on the discussion board link and post a statement in the discussion indicating that you were able to log in to Blackboard successfully. This MUST be done on Monday, July 15.

Then you will click on the GETTING STARTED menu tab at the left of the screen and read the course content indicated (Class Requirements, etc.).

Then you will click on the WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS menu tab at the left of the screen, and then click on Week 1. There you will see all of your assignments for the first week of class and their due dates. Online students are required to post/participate on Blackboard three times per week.

Each week during the quarter, you will click on WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS and then on the appropriate week’s folder to view the assignments and due dates for the week.
If you have any questions or problems, you can contact the instructor (email Beth if you need your instructor's email address), or you can click on Help in Blackboard to contact the Lindenwood Online Support Center.

Instructions for Logging in to Blackboard for Online Classes:
• Go to
• Hover your mouse over Blackboard in the white bar at the top of the screen
• Click on Access Blackboard
• Log in with the same user ID and password you use for your Lionmail account (if you have not activated your Lionmail account, go to, hover over Email at the top of the screen, and click on Find Your Username; follow the instructions to get your user ID and password)
• Once you are logged in, click on your course name to enter the class site
• If you have any problems, click on Help at the top of the Log In page or contact your instructor

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Congratulations, Graduates!

Congratulations to Virginia Newell, Shirley Smith, and Carissa Barker, Masters of the Fine Art of Writing, who walked in the May 2013 graduation ceremony:


Lindenwood University MFA in Writing Program—Online or In-Class
Fully Online MFA Program—No Residency Requirement

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