Sunday, October 22, 2017

Ordering Textbooks

Ordering textbooks through Lindenwood's Barnes & Noble site: 

- Choose St. Charles Campus
- Choose the correct term (see registration instructions to verify term)
- Department: IMF
- Enter course number (from individual course links on the class schedule, linked at
- Enter section OL1 for online classes; for on-campus classes, enter section 80

W18 On-Campus Cluster First Assignment

On-Campus Cluster WIN QTR 18


Meets Thursdays 6-10pm in LARC 05 (see note below)

Start Date: Thurs. January 4

Class Type: Workshop, Craft, & Literature (9 credit hours) 

Course Description: 
This cluster includes the study of foundational craft elements for fiction writing, as well as a survey and analysis of foundational contemporary literary fiction. Workshop sessions may include both literary fiction and genre fiction.

Instructor Video

Creating Fiction
Edited by Julie Checkoway
ISBN: 9781884910517
Ebooks are acceptable. Students using financial aid vouchers must purchase textbooks through the LU Barnes & Noble bookstore site (see screenshot at the bottom of this post).

First Assignment:

Read the two PDFs linked below:  

Then answer the following questions in a 2-3 page response paper. You do not have to merge the three questions into an essay, but make sure you answer each one thoroughly. Please bring the document to our first class meeting on Thursday, January 4th.  

1. Briefly introduce yourself (items may include: where you're from, what you do, how many quarters you've been in the program, what kind of writing you do, what name/nickname you prefer to be called, etc).

2. In his book, The Art of Fiction, novelist John Gardner writes, "After the individual word, the writer's most basic unit of expression is the sentence, the primary vehicle of all rhetorical devices...between these extremes [Gardner spends a few paragraphs illustrating the benefits and drawbacks of both the very long and very short sentence], the endless sentence and the very short sentence, lies a world of variation, a world every writer must eventually explore."
Gardner gives us a great place to start thinking about craft - with the "unit of expression" that every writer, famous or unknown, must explore, battle, and (hopefully) one day master. In the PDF you read, Gardner has an interesting take on how good sentences do what they do, but don't stress [hey-oo!] about the technical bits of this excerpt. I always hated scansion in my poetry classes, but Gardner does admit that even if all the stressed/unstressed stuff confuses you, that most of us can distinguish the rhythms of a bad sentence from those of a great one by ear. Also, if you read all those scanned sentences out loud, you can sort of get the scansion by ear as well.

Find a sentence from any work of fiction that you've read in the last five years. Maybe it's one you underlined in one of your books, or perhaps it's one you just remember. Quote it, then briefly describe why it stood out to you as particularly memorable. Then, take the line apart a bit - does it have a noticeable rhythm, energy, or (as Gardner would have it) jazz to it?

3. In his essay, "A Defense of the Book," author William H. Gass writes,
"...A book can be a significant event in the history of your reading, and your reading (provided you are significant) should be an essential segment of your character and your life...In the ideal logotopia, every person would possess their own library, and add at least weekly, if not daily, to it. The walls of each home would seem made of books - wherever one looked, one would see only spines; because every real book (as opposed to dictionaries, almanacs, and other compilations) is a mind, an imagination, a consciousness. Together, they comprise a civilization, or even several. However, utopias have the bad habit of hiding in their hearts those schemes for success, those requirements of power, rules concerning conduct, which someone will one day carry forward, employ, and enforce in order to achieve them, and, afterward, to maintain the continued purity of their Being. Books have taught me what true dominion, what right rule is: It is like the freely given assent and labor of the reader who will dream the dreams of the deserving page and expect no more fee than the reward of its words."

Think of a book or short story that you've encountered lately that could be considered a "significant event" in your reading life and explain why (this should be something you've read recently, so it can be from any time period). Like Gass, can you make a short, general statement about what books have taught you? Also, thinking about “the Book,” how do you read when you read? Do you use the latest technology or do you prefer physical books? 

This cluster will meet in Lindenwood's new LARC building at the edge of the main Lindenwood campus on First Capitol in St. Charles, MO. The room number is 05. Starbucks is located inside the LARC, and students receive a 15% discount (if you do not yet have a student ID card, you can obtain that in the Spellmann Center, which is the building with the clocktower near the LARC)

Ordering textbooks through Lindenwood's Barnes & Noble site: 
- Choose St. Charles Campus
- Choose WIN QTR 18
- Department: IMF
- Enter course number (from class schedule)
- Enter section OL1 for online classes or 80 for on-campus classes

W18 First Assignment for Online Classes


Start Date for online classes: Monday, January 8

Preview Date: Monday, December 18. Most classes will be ready for student view on this date. If a class is not showing on your Canvas dashboard, check your WIN QTR 18 schedule in your student portal to be sure you are enrolled in the correct class. If your schedule is correct, please wait another day or two to see if your class appears in Canvas. If it is not showing there by Wednesday 12/20, please email Beth. NOTE: The campus is closed from Friday 12/22/17 through Monday 1/1/18. Emails to advisors and instructors should be sent before or after those dates.

Open Enrollment ends on 12/21; any schedule changes must be made by emailing your advisor as of that date.

Reviewing/Posting/Dropping Info: Students should NOT post at all in classes before the start date of January 8. (Posting counts as attendance per university policy, so if you drop a class after posting, you would be charged a portion of tuition for dropping after attending. Tuition refunds/charges are listed HERE.) Classes are available to view early for review purposes only. When you first view your class, look over class requirements, assignments, and other class content to ensure that you wish to remain in the class. Students may drop/add their own classes (after contacting their advisor to enable their portals for registration) through the end of open enrollment on 12/21. After that date, students must email their advisor to drop/add classesIf you plan to withdraw from an online class before the quarter begins, please email Beth (A-L) or Gillian (M-Z) no later than Friday 1/5 if at all possible, as that is the last date that advisors can drop classes through the portal. After that date, paper drop/add forms must be submitted, which will cause a delay in processing. Contact your advisor with any questions. 

First Assignment Instructions:

Lindenwood University requires student identity authentication in all fully online classes. MFA classes will use video posts at three points during the quarter for authentication purposes: With the first assignment post, as part of a midterm assignment, and in the final week of the quarter. These videos can only be viewed by the instructor. Students can use the camera on a smart phone for recording these videos through the Canvas app if they do not have video capability on their computers. See the Canvas instructions for a note on navigating the Canvas app.

First assignment post due date: Monday, January 8, by 11:59pm Central Time
(to confirm attendance & verify identity)

This assignment is a video journal, telling us your name and how many quarters you have been in the LU MFA program. Video journals can only be viewed by the instructor. Full instructions are included in Canvas in the Week 1 module in each class.

Instructors will enter first week attendance according to posts made by 11:59pm on Monday, January 8. If you post your video journal by then, you will be marked as Present. If you do not post by then, you will be marked as Absent. Attendance must be entered early in Week 1 due to university policy and because first day attendance impacts the refund process for financial aid and student loans. REMINDER: If you decide to drop the class, email your advisor (Beth or Gillian), and do NOT post in Canvas at all—see info above.

Class Requirements and other assignments due during Week 1:

Click on the Modules menu button in your class and read all Class Requirements information posted and linked there. Then you will scroll down to the Week 1 module to read instructions for the remaining coursework and due dates during Week 1. If you have any problems navigating through the class in Canvas, contact your instructor (click on Syllabus in the left menu for instructor email info) or the program director ( 

Weekly Coursework and Participation Requirements:

Each week during the quarter, you will click on Modules and then view the appropriate week’s module info for assignments and due dates for that week. You are required to participate on Canvas a minimum of three times per week (on three separate days) for each class you are enrolled in. See the Class Requirements module for detailed information on the attendance/participation policy and grading criteria.

Class info (course descriptions, class type, and textbooks) can be viewed on the Lindenwood website HERE. Ebooks are acceptable. Students using financial aid vouchers must purchase textbooks through the LU Barnes & Noble bookstore site.


To meet federal requirements for online classes, Lindenwood University requires student authentication measures in all online classes. MFA in Writing online classes include three video journal assignments (only viewable by the instructor) to meet this requirement. The video component provides measures for student authentication and identity verification during the class. You will have a video assignment at the beginning, middle, and end of every online class. This helps verify that the student enrolled in the class is the student doing the coursework, as the video images can be compared with the student ID photos on file. You can use the Canvas app on a smartphone to record videos if you do not have a webcam on your computer. Instructions for the video assignments are included HERE and in the modules for Week 1, Week 6, and Week 11 in each online class.

An additional authentication measure in MFA classes is the extensive student writing required in our courses, which enables the instructor to become familiar with students' writing styles (discussions, journals, and other written assignments).

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

IMF 58999 Graduate Thesis WIN18 - Gillian Parrish

Note: WIN QTR 18 Thesis classes will be taught by Gillian Parrish

IMF 58999 Graduate Thesis - Gillian Parrish
EMF 58999 Extension of Graduate Thesis - Gillian Parrish

Thesis Guidelines are also available on the LU website HERE

When it is time for their final quarter in the MFA program, after receiving the quarterly registration info email, students must post in the Thesis Registration assignment in the MFA Students group in Canvas and request to be enrolled in the Thesis class. Students should also indicate in this post the faculty member they would like to request as their midterm thesis reader (for personalized feedback at midterm). Students will then be registered in the Thesis when registration opens. While the Thesis is primarily a time of independent student writing, it is a 3-credit class that requires participation on Canvas for certain requirements (journal entries/authentication videos, midterm draft submission, final thesis submission, and program survey).

LU MFA Thesis Guidelines
updated 2017

The final three credit hours of the MFA program are devoted to completion of a graduate thesisa final creative writing project that the student produces independently, with midterm feedback from a requested 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 through Canvas toward the end of the quarter.

The thesis content is flexible to ensure that each student is able to create a final project that best reflects his or her preferred writing style and content. The thesis may be a collection of poetry, short fiction, or creative nonfiction/personal essays; it may be a novella; or it may be an excerpt from a novel or memoir. Students may also choose to combine genres (for example, a thesis may include both poetry and short fiction); however, all components should feel cohesive in some way (thematically, stylistically, reflective of the writer's voice, etc.overall connections among pieces can be discussed in the intro essay) to ensure a polished final project.

Note: If a student’s chosen thesis genre is scriptwriting, permission must be obtained from the Director at the time of thesis registration. A new script must be written for the thesis, and it cannot exceed 100 pages. The full script written during the on-campus scriptwriting cluster cannot be revised and used as a final thesis project.

Approximately 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.

Students enrolled in the thesis will log into Canvas several times during the quarter, click on Modules, and click on the appropriate module for instructions and information. Three modules require a journal entry; 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 video journal entry in Canvas explaining the intended concept for his or her thesis. The student will write independently for the first half of the quarter, periodically logging into Canvas to check the Modules page for journal assignments and thesis due dates.

At midterm, the student will upload a thesis draft in Canvas (draft page count is flexible). The thesis instructor will forward this work to the assigned midterm reader for feedback. The midterm reader’s comments will be emailed to the student within one to two weeks. The student will spend the remainder of the quarter revising, developing, and polishing 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 by the thesis instructor. The specific due date will be listed in Canvas. The instructor will email students one of three possible responses: Approval with no edits required; minor edits suggested before the end of the quarter; or suggestion to take the Thesis Extension. If the student elects to take the Extension, the cost is $150, and it allows an additional quarter for the student to revise and complete the thesis. Students may enroll in an extension up to three times if needed.

Introductory Essay 
The thesis project must include a 5-page essay introducing the thesis, describing the over-arching theme or connecting voice 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 uploaded 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 top 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 double-space all fiction and essay pieces. Poetry should be single-spaced; print no more than one poem per page.

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

Thesis projects are archived electronically; they are not posted publicly. The student retains all publication rights. 

WIN QTR 18 MFA Class Schedule

MFA Class Schedule

On-Campus Cluster:
Foundational Fiction Cluster - Chris Candice
Includes: Contemporary Foundational Fiction, Fiction Craft Foundations, Fiction Workshop
Workshop pieces may include both literary fiction and genre fiction.
Thursdays 6-10pm

Online Classes: 
Click on each class title to view class type, course description, and textbook info.

IMF 51400 Fundamentals of Writing for the MFA - Patricia Feeney
IMF 52400 Focused Scriptwriting Workshop - Zachary Vickers
IMF 54108 Special Topics Focused Workshop: Publishing Creative Writing - Nicole McInnes

IMF 51702 Poetry Genres: The Sonnet - Anothai Kaewkaen
IMF 52100 Focused Poetry Workshop - Andrew Pryor
IMF 52101 Focused Poetry Workshop: Ekphrastic Poetry - Eve Jones
IMF 52104 Focused Poetry Workshop: Poetry Bootcamp - Eve Jones
IMF 55300 Poetry Craft Foundations - Ryan Smith

IMF 52200 Focused Fiction Workshop - Kali VanBaale
IMF 53500 Fiction Writing Workshop - Tony D'Souza
IMF 54107 Special Topics Focused Workshop: Writing Flash Fiction - Zachary Vickers
IMF 54301 Genre Fiction as Literature: Young Adult Literature - Nicole McInnes
IMF 55602 The Prose Collection: Raymond Carver - Mary Anderson
IMF 55800 Adv Studies in Prose: Shakespearean Revisionist Fictions - Ted Morrissey
IMF 56100 Classic Foundational Literature: Fiction - Christopher Candice

IMF 52305 Focused Nonfiction Workshop: Longform Narrative Journalism - Tony D'Souza
IMF 52308 Focused Nonfiction Workshop: Personal Essay Craft & Workshop - David Hollingsworth
IMF 54109 Special Topics Focused Workshop: Spiritual Writing: Memoir - Wm Anthony Connolly
IMF 55600 The Prose Collection: Annie Dillard - Lisa Haag
IMF 56200 Classic Foundational Literature: Creative Nonfiction - Lisa Haag

IMF 58999 Graduate Thesis - Gillian Parrish
EMF 58999 Extension of Graduate Thesis - Gillian Parrish