Tuesday, February 24, 2015

LU MFA Foundations

In the LU MFA Foundations series, our faculty members discuss or clarify foundational elements of the craft of creative writing:

The Top 5 Books That Have Influenced Us as Readers and Writers -- LU MFA Faculty

Defining Young Adult Literature -- Beth Mead

Literary Fiction & Genre Fiction -- Wm. Anthony Connolly

Defining Prose Poetry -- Eve Jones

Recommended Resource for MLA Format -- LU MFA Faculty

You? A Professional Scholar? -- Julia Gordon-Bramer

The Practice of Writing -- Wm. Anthony Connolly

Reading Like a Writer -- Tony D'Souza

On Empathy -- Kelli Allen

Recommended Glossary of Poetic Terms -- Scott Berzon

When To Stop Working on Your Novel -- Tony D'Souza

Recommended Reading for Advice to Poets -- Eve Jones

Defining Flash Fiction -- Mary Anderson

Defining Creative Nonfiction -- Catherine Rankovic

Sample Guidelines for Workshops -- Beth Mead

On Publishing Your Work-- Catherine Rankovic

For MFA students who plan to teach frosh comp:
5 Things Freshman Composition Students Need to Learn -- Beth Mead

Lindenwood University MFA in Writing Program
On-Campus or Fully Online (No Residency Requirement)

LU MFA Foundations: Defining Creative Nonfiction--Catherine Rankovic

What is Creative Nonfiction?

"Nonfiction stories that read like fiction so that readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy. The word 'creative' refers to the use of literary craft, the techniques fiction writers, playwrights, and poets employ, such as description, dialogue, and suspense, to present factually accurate prose about real people and events—described in a compelling, vivid, dramatic way."

Creative nonfiction is sometimes also called "literary nonfiction" or "the literature of witness." The genre includes autobiography, memoir, history, biography, essays, nature writing, travel writing, true adventure, true crime, and pop-culture reviews and analysis.

Recommended Creative Nonfiction Books:
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
Lee Gutkind, The Best of Creative Nonfiction (anthology)
Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit
Bell Hooks, Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood
John Krakauer, Into the Wild
Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
George Orwell, A Collection of Essays
Scott Russell Sanders, A Private History of Awe
Patti Smith, Just Kids
Tobias Wolff, This Boy's Life
—Catherine Rankovic

In the LU MFA Foundations series, our faculty members 
discuss or clarify foundational elements of the craft of creative writing.
Other entries in the series are linked here.

TLR5 Acceptances

We enjoyed reading so many wonderful submissions for issue 5 of The Lindenwood Review. All submission responses have now been sent, and we are very happy to announce our acceptances for issue 5, which will be published this spring:


Our Mother: A Prequel
Betty Jo Buro

Fortune Tellers
Thomas N. Mannella III

The Dog-Eared Page


Postcard from Bodega Bay, 1963
Michael Boccardo

Daye Phillippo

Communion Season
Bianca Diaz

Cara Chamberlain

Dinner at Mom's
Michael Gould

Night Light
George Bishop

Light and Dark During the Sermon
George Bishop

Copperhead, Ambler Gorge
Charles Laird Calia

Learning to Paddle a Canoe
Karen Hildebrand

The Spider in My Bedroom May Be an 18th Century Privateer
John Findura

Carl Auerbach

Old Loves
Carl Auerbach

Michelle Askin

In the Rain: Lake Superior
Dick Bentley

Working Draft
Gwendolyn Jensen

Late Afternoon in the Shadows of the Fruit Trees
Kelly Talbot

Solvent Can
Robert Lee Kendrick

City of Bridges
Kirk Schlueter

Paper Birthday
Jennifer Jackson Berry

Looking at Six Mile Creek
Robert Lee Kendrick

Zenith Singularity
Joddy Murray

Alison Hicks

Killing Time
Jennifer Gray


A Bowl Full of Oranges
Carmelinda Blagg

Where's Billy?
Lawrence F. Farrar

Mother Superior
Jennifer Robinette

FLASH FICTION (Contest Winner & Honorable Mentions):

The Someone on the Roof
GennaRose Nethercott (Winner)

The Son of a Coal Miner
Nate Pillman

Sarah Hausman

The Final Score
Ashley Cowger

We Passed Upon the Stair
Vallie Lynn Watson

A Promise
Maria Brandt

Still Auditioning
Eileen Malone

Ernesto Pavan

What She Showed Me
Bryce Emley

Thank you to all who submitted their work. Issue 6 submissions of Poetry, Fiction, and Personal Essay (updated guidelines here) will be accepted between June 1 and November 1, 2015. Details for our free Prose Poetry Contest are available here, with entries accepted between May 1 and August 1. Visit us at www.lindenwood.edu/lindenwoodReview.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Who is the contact person for questions about the MFA in Writing Program?
Please contact us at MFAdirector@lindenwood.edu with any questions you have. If the Director does not have the specific information you need (regarding financial aid, etc.), she will give you the contact information for the correct person to contact.

How do I apply to the MFA Program?
Visit our Prospective Students page for details about the creative writing sample and statement of purpose, as well as quarterly deadlines for submitting these two documents to the Program Director. General university admission requirements are listed here. The MFA Program does not require the GRE or letters of recommendation. The creative writing sample and statement of purpose are the basis for MFA Program acceptance.

How many students are accepted into the MFA Program each year?
The MFA Program has a rolling admissions policy and is not limited to a specific number of acceptances each year. Each applicant is considered individually, and every creative writing sample is reviewed on its own merit. We are looking for students who clearly demonstrate strong writing skills, an understanding of the craft of creative writing, and a willingness to continue growing as a writer.

Does my undergraduate degree need to be in English?
No. Any completed undergraduate degree is acceptable for MFA applicants. Applicants who would like to review some foundational information on the craft of creative writing are encouraged to read our LU MFA Foundations faculty posts. We also offer a Fundamentals of Writing for the MFA class.

Do you accept transfer credits toward the MFA?
Lindenwood University accepts up to 9 credit hours of applicable graduate credit toward the MFA in Writing. Current students should contact the Program Director to have transfer classes evaluated for credit.

How long does it take to complete the MFA in Writing?
Degree completion will depend upon the number of credit hours students enroll in each quarter. The MFA is a 48-hour degree program, including the Thesis (which is taken in the final quarter of enrollment, either along with coursework or by itself), and degree completion can take from one to five years. Below are some possible completion scenarios:
  • An on-campus student who takes one 9-credit cluster per quarter, and then enrolls in the Thesis along with the final cluster, will complete the degree in one year and three months.
  • A fully online student who takes three 3-credit classes per quarter for four quarters, and then takes two online classes in the fifth quarter, and takes the Thesis along with the final class in the sixth quarter, will complete the degree in one and a half years.
  • A fully online student who takes two 3-credit classes per quarter, and then enrolls in the Thesis along with the final class, will complete the degree in two years.

How many classes should I take each quarter?
On-campus students enroll in one 9-credit cluster each quarter. To accelerate their degree program further, on-campus students may also take one 3-credit online class along with a cluster. The 3-credit Thesis may be taken along with the final cluster.
Fully online students may enroll in one, two, or three 3-credit online classes per quarter. (In some cases, students may seek the Director's approval to enroll in four 3-credit online classes per quarter.) Each online class requires students to participate on Canvas a minimum of three times per week, so it is up to students to determine how many classes will work best with their schedule. See the FAQ below about full-time/part-time enrollment regarding requirements for applying for financial aid/loans.

How many credit hours must be taken each quarter to be considered full-time? Part-time? 
How many credit hours are required in order to apply for financial aid/student loans?
In our accelerated quarter system, enrollment in 9 credit hours is considered full-time. Enrollment in 6 credit hours is considered part-time. At least 6 credit hours must be taken each quarter in order to apply for financial aid or student loans.

What is the tuition rate for the program? Is there an out-of-state fee?
Tuition is $495 per credit hour as of Summer 2019. There is no additional cost for out-of-state students. The MFA in Writing is a 48-credit-hour program. See the FAQ below for information about grants.

What grants are available? Do you offer Teaching Assistantships or scholarships?
The MFA Program offers the three grants listed below (Teacher Grants and 60+ Grant). Lindenwood University does not offer MFA-specific scholarships or Teaching Assistantships (but our Fundamentals of Writing for the MFA class includes preparatory information for students who plan to teach after graduation). For information about any other grants or scholarships that the university may offer, contact Admissions at 636-949-4933 or Financial Aid at 636-949-4923.
  • Teacher Grant: The MFA in Writing Program offers a grant of $60 off per credit hour for teachers who currently teach at the elementary, middle school, or high school level. 
  • Community College Teacher Grant: This grant offers $40 off per credit hour for current instructors at community colleges.
  • 60+ Grant: This grant offers a 50% tuition grant for students age 60 or over. 

Are MFA students required to declare an emphasis area? What courses are required?
LU MFA students are not required to declare an emphasis; however, emphases in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction are available as options for the degree. MFA in Writing students may take coursework in a variety of genres, or they may focus their coursework in a particular genre. Students may choose the courses that work best for them each term. Emphasis students must take at least one required Foundational class from the emphasis list for their genre. The Thesis is required by all students in the final quarter of the program. Our program offers a variety of classes and specialized focus areas in poetry, literary fiction, genre fiction, the novel, creative nonfiction, narrative journalism, scriptwriting, and literary journal editing. To view a full listing of MFA clusters and classes, click here. Instructor course descriptions for various focus areas can be viewed here by clicking on each instructor's name.

How do I drop a class? What is the charge for withdrawing?
Students must email their MFA Advisor with a withdrawal request, including the last date of attendance (for online students, this is the last date you accessed Canvas), and then the advisor will fill out the paperwork to withdraw you from class. The drop policy, including information about fees that are charged based on your date of withdrawal, is detailed in the catalog. If a student who drops a class has never attended a class meeting (or if an online student has never posted in that class on Canvas), there is no charge for dropping.

How do I view my grades/schedule/transcripts/account ledger/student email?
Student grades are not mailed out. Grades, along with other student information, including class schedule, unofficial transcripts, and account ledger, can be viewed through your Student Portal. Student email is accessed through a student’s Lindenwood email account. New students will have access to their student portal and email after they have registered for classes.

What if I don’t see my question listed here?
Visit the links below for more program information or contact us at MFAdirector@lindenwood.edu.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Calls for Submission -- Send a FB friend request to Lindenwood Writing-Program

Calls for submission and literary events are posted on Facebook through our program account. Send a friend request to Lindenwood Writing-Program if you'd like to see these posts on your wall. We also have a FB page at www.facebook.com/LindenwoodMFAWriting (general program info) and a page for The Lindenwood Review, our literary journal.

Below are two recent calls posted on FB:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Spring Quarter 2015 LU MFA Class Schedule

Current MFA students:
Click HERE to view registration instructions.

Creative Writing for the MFA
Instructor: Kelli Allen
Wednesdays 6-10pm beginning April 8
Room: LUCC Conference Room
Read the full Cluster First Assignment post HERE

Online classes can be accessed as of Sun. April 12
First assignment post due by Mon. April 13 at 11:59pm
Read the full First Assignment info post for online classes HERE
Click on each course title below for detailed class info
Instructor bios are here

Fundamentals of Contemporary Fiction / Wm. Anthony Connolly (craft) -- FULL

Focused Fiction Workshop: George Saunders / Zachary Vickers (workshop/literature)

The Prose Collection: Raymond Carver / Mary Anderson (literature/craft)

Genre Fiction Workshop: Focused Sci-Fi Workshop / Kelli Allen (workshop/craft) -- FULL

Genre Fiction as Literature: Young Adult Literature / Beth Mead (literature) -- FULL

Narrative Journalism / Tony D'Souza (workshop/craft)

The Personal Essay (workshop/craft) / Andrew Pryor (section OL1) / David Hollingsworth (OL2) -- both sections FULL

The Long Poem / Scott Berzon (craft/workshop)

Prose Poetry / Eve Jones (workshop/craft) -- FULL

Selected Emphases in Poetry: Sylvia Plath & the Tarot / Julia Gordon-Bramer (literature/craft)

Special Topics: Manuscript Preparation and Publication / Catherine Rankovic (craft/workshop)
    Section OL1: Publishing Your Novel
    Section OL2: Publishing Your Collection of Stories, Essays, or Poems