My students were required to help organize a literary event. Madison was in the group assigned to promote our campus literary festival OFF-CAMPUS. Anyone who teaches knows that’s it’s really hard to bring “Town and Gown” together. Here are some great ideas about how to make that happen–and the most important thing is that students have to leave campus.
Recently I was a part of the promotional team for Ball State’s In Print Festival of First Books. Throughout the process of trying to gain attendees for this literary festival, I learned that there are a 3 key steps for anyone that hopes to promote a local event in a small town and I thought I’d share them with you all.
Step 1 – Window Shop – Yep that’s right, you have to walk. Go to the most high traffic business area in your town and window shop. You are not shopping for merchandise though, you are shopping for windows. Windows to hang up your posters/advertisements for your event. Go in and ask the owner/manager if they are interested in hanging your advertisement. I recommend doing this before you actually have the posters made. This way it allows you to have a conversation with the owner and explain your…
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Madison Jones says you’d better come to the In Print Festival of First Books. And tells you why.
The 8th annual In-Print Festival of First Books will be held on the 19th and 20th of this month at Ball State University. This year’s featured authors include the poet Marcus Wicker, the dark humorist Eugene Cross, and the vocational nonfictionist Elena Passarello.
Now some nonmembers of the literary world might think that these sorts of nights are not for them and are only for writers and publishers and the alike but this is very far from the truth. The Ball State In-Print Festival is actually an event for anyone and everyone of any creed who is interested in getting a glimpse into the process of publishing a first book. Remember you don’t have to have a degree in creative writing to get published and this festival is place where you can find out where step one is.
Night 1 on the 19th will include Passarello…
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Did you know there’s a writers’ conference in Muncie, Indiana?
Well, now you do.
Thanks to a grant from the Discovery Group, Ball State students can 1.) intern at or 2.) attend this summer’s Midwest Writer’s Workshop, a yearly gathering of agents, editors, publishing professionals, and writers whose mission is to help Midwesterners become published authors. Participants can gain real-world experience and build the kind of credentials that will give them an advantage in their careers.
To get this kind of experience as a college student is unusual. To get it as a college student not in New York City but in Muncie, Indiana is amazing.
There are up to 15 internship spots available. Find out more here: Discovery 2013 Internship
There are up to 10 scholarships available: Find out more here: Midwest Writers Workshop Scholarship.
The deadline for applications in Friday, March 29, 2013 at noon. THE DEADLINE HAS PASSED!
For more information, please talk to the Project Director, Prof. Cathy Day of the English Department at cday ((at)) bsu *d-o-t* edu.
- Even if you don’t get a scholarship, you can still register to attend the conference. It’s very affordable.
- The internships are for ANY Ball State student, regardless of major. The scholarships are for English majors.
- Graduate students can apply for both of these opportunities.
- Students graduating May 2013 are eligible.
- The 5-page writing sample for the scholarships doesn’t have to be a self-contained piece. It can be the first 5 pages of a 10-page story or a 200-page novel.
[Here’s a link to the transcript of what we talked about on 3/14/13 at the panel, in case you missed it!]
Links and Resources
Before, during, or after the event, feel free to check out these links and resources:
- “MFA Bound” by Prof. Liz Whiteacre–download this!
- “When People Ask Me About Applying to MFA Programs” by Prof. Cathy Day–ditto.
- “Advice on Choosing a Program” by AWP
- “Low-Res, High Motivation: An Interview with Jill Christman” by Cathy Day
- “Ten Tips for Those Considering MFA Programs” by Ilana Stanger
- The Creative Writing MFA Blog.
- “So You Want to Get an MFA?: An Open Letter to My Students” by Stephanie Vanderslice. The Huffington Post
- “Why Critics of MFA Programs Have it Wrong” by Curtis Sittenfeld and Lan Samantha Chang. Salon
- “MFA Fever.” The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- The Creative Writing MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students by Tom Kealey
- “MFA FAQ: The LOR” by Cathy Day
- “Write Tip: Getting Letters of Recommendation” by Tayari Jones
- “Statement of Purpose: Do’s and Don’ts” by Cathy Day
- “2012 MFA Rankings: the Top Fifty” by Poets & Writers magazine. Use this as a starting place. The rankings themselves are highly controversial.
- “Portraits from MFA Nation” by Poets and Writers magazine.
- “Post-MFA Advice” by Lee Martin
- Reality Check: Why do you want an MFA in Creative Writing? by Adam Atkinson
This event was organized by the students in Cathy Day’s Literary Citizenship class at Ball State University. And here’s a picture of the event!