Charles Baxter (fiction, spring 2013)
Edelstein-Keller Visiting Professor in Creative Writing
255 Lind Hall, 207 Church St. SE
Peter Campion (poetry, on leave spring 2013)
17 Lind Hall, 207 Church St. SE
Ray Gonzalez (poetry and literary nonfiction)
310E Lind Hall, 207 Church St. SE
Patricia Hampl (literary nonfiction, on leave spring 2013)
210M Lind Hall, 207 Church St. SE
Dan Philippon (nonfiction)
21 Lind Hall, 207 Church St. SE
Julie Schumacher (Director of Creative Writing 2011-2013, fiction)
15 Lind Hall, 207 Church St. SE
Madelon Sprengnether (nonfiction, on leave spring 2013)
336 Lind Hall, 207 Church St. SE
The MFA Thesis, completed in the spring of your third year in the program, is a book-length manuscript suitable for publication. The minimum length for prose is 120 pages and the minimum length for poetry is 50 pages. (Some students, in consultation with their advisors, have completed multi-genre theses.) Feel free to consult the bound MFA theses on the bookshelf in the Director's office in 222 Lind.
Class of 2013: Your thesis is due to your committee on Monday, April 22, 2013.
The MFA booklist will consist of 20 books of your choice, books that have been particularly influential or useful to you in the composition of your work. The list must include at least one book from each genre. The booklist should be assembled during your first and second years in the program. Strive for a balanced list, keeping classic as well as contemporary works in mind. Please keep your Thesis Advisor updated on your progress assembling the booklist.
For those graduating in Spring 2013 : During the fall of your third year, in the context of Thesis Seminar, you'll devise a topic for your MFA essay. (See below.) During the early spring of your third year, you'll consult with your thesis advisors about the MFA essay. In April of the third year, one week after the due date for the thesis, you must give the completed essay, along with the booklist, to your Thesis Director and Second Reader, in preparation for your defense. (Note: no changes to the thesis or other materials may be made between the date when you hand them in and the defense.) Commentary and feedback on the MFA essay will take place within the context of the defense.
What should the MFA essay consist of? Briefly: this a literary essay, 7-10 pages in length, double-spaced. It should focus on a specific topic (e.g. structure in experimental fiction; trauma and memoir; urban settings in contemporary poetry) as evidenced in your booklist and in your own work. You do not need to admire all of the works on your list; nor are you expected to discuss all twenty selections from your booklist in your essay. The essay is not a "hoop" through which you should jump; it can serve as both a "preface" to your thesis and as a way of reflecting on your own writing process and on the place of your own work within a larger tradition.
Class of 2013: Your MFA Essay is due to your committee on Monday, April 29, 2013.
Effective Spring 2014, we will implement the following changes to the MFA essay:
During the fall of your third year, in the context of the thesis seminar, you'll devise a topic for your MFA essay (see below). During early spring of your third year, you'll consult with your thesis advisors about the MFA essay; and in April of your third year, one week after the due date for the MFA thesis, you must give the completed essay, along with the booklist, to your Thesis Director and Second Reader, in preparation for your defense. Note: no changes to the thesis or other materials may be made between the date when you hand them in and the defense. Commentary and feedback on the MFA essay will take place within the context of the defense.
What should the MFA essay look like? Briefly: this is a literary essay, personally voiced and intellectually rigorous. It is 2500 - 3500 words long (10-15 pages, double-spaced). It should focus on a specific topic (e.g. structure in experimental fiction; trauma and memoir; urban settings in contemporary poetry) as evidenced in your booklist and in your own work. You do not need to admire all of the works on your list; nor are you expected to discuss all twenty selections from your booklist in your essay. The essay is not a "hoop" through which you must jump; it can serve as both a preface to your thesis and as a way of reflecting on your own writing process and on the place of your own work within a larger tradition.
The MFA defense will take place in May. (Students who are deemed not ready to defend will be discouraged from doing so). At the defense, you will read briefly from and discuss your creative work (for about 30 minutes) and then field questions from audience members (30 minutes) about your thesis. The first portion of your defense is open (unless otherwise requested). The second portion of your defense (60 minutes) will consist of you and your committe members only; this portion is closed to the public. Your committee will ask questions about the thesis, booklist and essay. After a brief private discussion with each other, your committee members may either sign off on the thesis as is, or ask for revisions to the thesis -- or the essay.
Class of 2013: thesis defenses will take place May 13-17, 2013.
At least two faculty members of your choice will work with you as advisors on your final manuscript.
1. The Thesis Director will take primary responsibility for advising your thesis. Normally you will choose as your Thesis Director the faculty member with whom you signed up for thesis credits. The Thesis Director must be a member of the Creative Writing Faculty.
2. The Second Reader can have a limited role, reading the manuscript, participating in the Defense and signing off on the work, but you may also choose to work with the Second Reader on Thesis credits. In that case the Second Reader will play a role that is closer to that of a co-advisor, although the primary responsibility will remain with the Thesis Director. The Second Reader/co-advisor can be a faculty member of any department within the University of Minnesota who is willing and able to give you the time and attention to fulfill this role and participate in the Defense. It is your responsibility to seek out faculty who you think will be the most supportive of you as a writer, regardless of Department. In some circumstances you may petition by letter to the Director of the Creative Writing Program, to have an affiliate faculty member serve as your Second Reader. Approval will rest on your previous coursework experience with the instructor and whether funds are available to pay him/her for the additional work.
Note: Mentorship is a mutual endeavor. Make use of faculty office hours to introduce yourself to potential advisors.
EngW 8101, Reading Across Genres (4 credits) - This class meets the multi-genre course requirement. Taught in rotation by CW faculty, it introduces you to the program, to each other, and to the faculty. (Core faculty, visiting faculty, and established writers in the Twin Cities literary community visit the class during the term). Students must register for this course in the fall semester of their first year. Offered fall semester only.
Writing Workshops (12 credits) - One EngW 5000-level workshop in your primary genre (fall of the first year); one 5000-level workshop in the primary genre OR a 5130 Topics course in the primary genre; one 5000-level workshop in outside genre OR 5130 Topics course in outside genre. EngW 5205 Screenwriting or Playwriting (offered by Theatre) may be used tofulfill the outside genre workshop. 5000-level basic workshops offered in fall semesters. 5130 Topics courses offered in spring semesters. Genre workshops offered in fall. Topics courses only offered in spring.
Seminar (4 credits)- You are required to take one EngW 8000-level seminar in your primary genre. Seminar courses do not count as workshop requirements. Additional 8000-level EngW seminars may fulfill literature/language requirements or EngW class of your choice. Seminars offered in spring semesters. Only offered spring semesters.
Multigenre Thesis Seminar (4 credits) - This multigenre class is designed to give you the opportunity to shape what will eventually be your MFA thesis manuscript in the genre(s) of your choice. Students are required to take this course in the fall semester of their third year. This is a multigenre seminar. Offered fall semester only.
Literature and Language (min. 9 credits) - You must take at least one of your three lit/language courses under the "EngL" designator. For the other two courses, you may choose from literature, linguistics, and literary theory offered by the Department of English and other departments. Check the Foreign Language departments, Classics, Afro-American Studies, and others. You may also use EngW 5310 Reading as Writers or “Topics” courses offered by the Creative Writing Program or 8000-level EngW seminars to fulfill lit/language requirements. 4-level coursework (such as introductory foreign language study to be counted toward related field credits)—even if taught by TA—can be included on the Degree Program with the permission of the Director of Creative Writing. Offered fall and spring. Reading as Writers courses offered in fall semesters only.
Studio/Related Field (3 credits) - You are encouraged to take a studio arts course, but study in any area that supports your writing will meet this requirement; i.e., foreign language, women’s studies, history, art history, music, dance, theater, etc. Remember that all related field credits must be at the 5000-level or above. The program has an informal agreement with the Art Department to allow you to take an introductory-level studio arts course and receive graduate credit. If you want to take a class in Studio Arts for your related field requirement, contact Cindy Cribbs, Coordinator in the Art Department (625-1848/ firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. The Art department enthusiastically welcomes graduate students from other programs and will help you work out all details regarding credits and class level. However, any related field class must be taught by a full-time faculty member and not by a TA. Offered fall and spring.
One Creative Writing (EngW) Class of Your Choice -workshop, seminar, Reading as Writers, or EngW Topics.
Note: Editing (now listed under the EngL designator) can be counted as an EngL related field class. Topics-based seminars may be counted for the literature/language requirement (not the EngL Related Field).
Thesis Credits/EngW 8990 (4 semester credits) – You earn Thesis Credits by working individually with one or more faculty members on your manuscript. Generally, students complete all four thesis credits during one semester with the Thesis Director but it is possible to complete thesis credits with two different faculty members, during two semesters.
Get to know the faculty and your fellow students. Read everything you can get your hands on. Begin to mull over selections for your booklist. Meet with the Creative Writing Program director at least once each semester to discuss your progress through the program.
Plan. Generate. Talk to the visiting writers. Apply for grants and consider attending AWP. Discuss your booklist with faculty members and begin to see the shape and content of your thesis. Start to make decisions about your Thesis Director and Second Reader, and make plans for your thesis credit work.
Year 3 -- Fall:
Revise. Write like mad. Devise a topic for your literary essay in Thesis Seminar and in consultation with your Thesis Director or other Creative Writing faculty. Update your CV or resume and consider assembling your teaching portfolio. Attend the department’s job placement meetings.
Year 3 -- Spring:
Believe in the light at the end of the tunnel. Write your literary essay. The essay will address issues of craft in your thesis as well as the books on the booklist. Your thesis will be due mid-April. One week after the thesis is turned in, you will submit your essay and booklist to your committee.
Defend your thesis and the work you have done for three years. The defense will include questions based on your thesis, essay, and booklist.
You must hand in a bound copy of the thesis within one month after the defense.
Generally, you will take 2 classes, or 6-8 credits a semester (in addition to required practicums). To meet the conditions of some fellowships that provide a tuition waiver, there is a control on the number of credits you are required to take each term; e.g., students who receive a DOVE Fellowship are typically required to take twelve credits. If you have received a fellowship or grant, be sure to check with the administrator of that award to make sure that you’re meeting all of the necessary conditions.
Use the tan OPERATIONAL AND ADVISING FORM to record your progress through the degree program and meet regularly (every semester) with the Creative Writing Program director and/or coordinator to map out your course plan. This form is kept in your advising file in the Director’s office in 222 Lind.
OPERATIONAL AND ADVISING FORM (THE TAN FORM)
Creative Writing MFA Program, Dept. of English, University of Minnesota
Operational and Advising Record (aka “the tan form”)
REQUIRED COURSEWORK INSTRUCTOR & YEAR
EngW 8101 Reading Across Genres (fall year 1) ________
5000-level workshop in primary genre (fall year 1) _______
5000-level workshop or EngW 5130 Topics in primary genre
5000-level workshop or EngW 5130 Topics in outside genre
8000-level Creative Writing (EngW) seminar in primary genre
(seminars cannot count toward workshop credit)
Lit/language 1 __________________
Lit/Language 2 __________________
Lit/Language 3: this class must carry an EngL designator
Note: Lit/language classes may include Reading as Writers (EngW 5310),
EngW Topics classes, 8000-level EngW seminars, 5000/8000-level EngL courses or any
extra-departmental or foreign literature at the 5000- or 8000-level. Many EngL and
foreign literature classes are 3 credits.
Studio/Related Field (drawing, music, photography, dance or a subject related to the theme of your thesis)
EngW 8180 Multi-genre thesis seminar (fall year 3)
EngW 8990 Thesis Credits (year 3)
One Creative Writing (EngW) class of your choice: workshop, seminar, Reading as Writers, or EngW 5130 Topics
The MFA degree requires 45 graduate credits. Teaching practicums and classes taken at the undergraduate level do not count toward the degree.
The MFA requires 45 semester credits distributed over a three-year period, culminating in a book-length manuscript.
OPERATIONAL AND ADVISING RECORD (aka “the tan form”)
You will be given an Operational and Advising Form when you enter the program; this will help you keep track of MFA degree requirements. Advising files are kept in the Director’s office—but it is your job to keep your tan form updated by meeting with the CWP director or coordinator every semester. He or she will help you with MFA program requirements and guide you through course planning as you progress through the degree.
Note: Satisfactory progress through the degree is an important criterion for appointments to teaching and other assistantships in the Creative Writing Program and the English Department; your updated form is the official evidence of this progress.
COURSE SCHEDULES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Course descriptions and schedules will appear on the Creative Writing web page. The best place to check changing course schedules is using the Class Schedule on www.onestop.umn.edu. Creative Writing courses are under the EngW designator and English Literature courses are under EngL.
As a member of the MFA program, you are given the opportunity to reserve seats in Creative Writing Program classes. The Coordinator will contact students about the classes they wish to take the following semester; it is your responsibility to get your course preferences to the Coordinator in a timely manner. Some courses fill up sooner than others. Once you have made your EngW preferences known, the Coordinator will issue “permission” numbers for registration.
Note: Admission to most advanced Creative Writing classes operates under Controlled Enrollment, meaning that advanced undergraduates, and graduate students from outside the English Department, must apply for special permission and submit writing samples for instructor review in order to be considered for admission.
DIRECTED STUDY AND THESIS CREDITS
You must receive permission from the Director of Creative Writing and your intended instructor before you can receive a permission number for EngL 5992, which consists of an independent study in literature. Students are permitted to take one EngL Directed Study during their three years in the department. Instructors will issue permission numbers for individual sections of EngL 5992 Directed Study.
If you intend to register for EngW 8990 Thesis Credits, required faculty-supervised work on your thesis manuscript, please indicate this to the Coordinator; this course requires consent from the faculty member. If you are registering either for Directed Study or for Thesis Credits with more than one instructor in the same semester, the registration system requires that the second set of credits appears as a different section from the first (with a different call number, and a different magic number). Students typically sign up for thesis credits in their last year of the program.
If you have officially withdrawn from the program because of illness or other reasons (or if your records have been deactivated because you have not registered for a year), you need to apply for readmission. Note that readmission is not automatic; initially you need to fill out the CHANGE OF STATUS/READMISSION REQUEST FORM from the Graduate School, and then the Department has to give its approval. Be warned that the process is lengthy and requires patience and persistence, and $75.00. Support for readmitted students, TAships and teaching preferences is considered on a case-by-case basis.
TRANSFER OF CREDITS
The program follows the Graduate School’s guidelines for considering the transfer of up to 40% of the degree program coursework (excluding thesis credits). Thus, the math for our purposes:
45 credits – 4 required thesis credits = 41 remaining credits / .4 = 16 allowed transfer credits
Credits from graduate programs at other schools and from other programs at the University of Minnesota (including summer session and extension courses at the University of Minnesota) may be approved, provided that the work to be transferred was 1) graduate-level and in courses appropriate to the degree; 2) taken for graduate credit; and 3) taught by faculty members authorized to teach graduate courses. University of Minnesota courses in the College of Continuing Education must bear the special CCE transcript entry verifying that they were completed for graduate credit. Credits transferred from other institutions must appear on the graduate school transcripts of those institutions. The actual transfer of credits will not officially take place until you file a Degree Program Form with the Graduate School. For more information on the transfer of credits, please consult with the Creative Writing Program Coordinator and/or the Graduate School (see CONTACT LIST).
ADMISSION TO THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN ENGLISH
There is no gateway to the English Department's PhD program in Literature through the MFA Program. Students who are interested in pursuing a PhD must undergo a separate application process to that program.
A file is kept for each graduate student in the Director’s office. Your file contains copies of your original application, transcripts and test scores, teaching observations, University correspondence, Degree Program forms, and other documents related to the completion of your degree. You have full access to your files.
ADVISING AND REGISTRATION FAQs
• “Topics” classes offered in the Creative Writing Program may be counted either as writing workshops or as literature credits depending on the way that a particular instructor has chosen to organize his/her class; if you are unclear about this, please consult with the instructor teaching that particular course and keep a record of his/her response in your advising file.
• “Reading as Writers” classes CANNOT be counted as workshop classes; think of the EngW 5310 (“Reading as Writers”) courses as literature classes located within the Creative Writing Program. Reading as Writers courses fulfill a literature/language requirement and NOT the EngL Related Field requirement.
• Topics-based seminars may be counted for literature/language credit (not the EngL Related Field).
• At least two-thirds of the total number of required course credits must be taken A-F rather than Pass/Fail in order to obtain a MFA degree in Creative Writing, i.e., MFA students must take at least 30 of the 45 required credits graded
• Courses with the same number can be repeated for credit.
1) During the fall of your third year, you will need to fill out the Graduate Degree Plan Form (this includes a form for any transfer work you plan to use to fulfill credits). The DGS for the MFA program is the Director of Creative Writing. Our DGS will also sign as your "advisor." Members of your thesis committee do not sign this form, only your DGS's signature is needed. The form can be found here: http://www.grad.umn.edu/students/forms/masters/index.html
2) File it with the Grad School, checking the “other program courses” box only for your EngL course and your Related Field course OR for courses you are taking toward a minor. All other courses should be checked in the "Major" box.
3) Go to this page for your steps to Graduation: http://policy.umn.edu/prod/groups/president/@pub/@policy/@esl/documents/policy/masterscompletion_appb.pdf
NOTE: you will follow steps 1, 3, 4, and 5. (Not step 2; you don't need to file your committee with the graduate school).
Your Graduation Packet contains the Final Examination Report and the Application for Degree.
a) Final Examination report (at the end of your careers here, the Director of Creative Writing will need to sign this for you—not the Director of Graduate Studies in English). Your committee does not sign this form. Make sure you have in hand a bound copy of the thesis that includes the Thesis Sign-off sheet.
b) Commencement Attendance form (which you fill out only if you want to attend commencement.)
c) Application for Degree (this is a multi-page carbon document that you submit to the Registrar's office) – when you submit this form (which requires no signatures), you will trigger a reaction; the Graduate School will compare your application to your transcript and send you a “balance email”--if all academic requirements are completed, you are good to go. If not, an email will let you know.
Your thesis committee only signs the Thesis Sign-Off sheet (example at back of this handbook). You will need to draft this form yourself.
Note: MFAs do not need to submit a bound thesis to the Graduate School, and therefore they don't want to see a the Thesis Sign-Off sheet(with your advisors' signatures). HOWEVER, we in the CW office DO WANT A BOUND COPY OF YOUR THESIS, and it must contain the signed title page, but not your essay or your booklist. See back of this handbook for an example.
The best place to get the required hardcover binding on your thesis is:
University Bindery – www.bindery.umn.edu/thesis.htm
Coffman Memorial Union basement
300 Washington Avenue SE
Hardcover binding: $25
Copying costs: .12/page for standard white paper or .20/page for 100% cotton paper (depending upon your preference)--copying costs are in addition to the binding cost.
Format for bound thesis: 1 ¼" margins on left (bound) side; 1" margins on other three sides. Pages must be numbered consecutively.
You can drop off your thesis either at the Bindery itself or at any of the associated University copy shops around campus—the drop-off place located most conveniently to Lind Hall is in the Gateway building. The whole binding process takes about five days.
The English Department is committed to providing three years of support to MFA students, contingent upon available funding. A "Year of Support" is defined as any year in which an MFA student receives a fellowship or two single-semester appointments of 50% each from any department or program. Funding sources include fellowships, grants, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and other forms of campus employment.
Teaching appointments of 50% per term in the English Department are decided during the spring semester for the following academic year. A 50% teaching appointment can be fulfilled by the teaching of a stand-alone discussion section of EngW 1101 (Introduction to Creative Writing), a stand-alone creative writing class (a genre-specific 1000- or 3000-level class), or a stand-alone EngL (literature) or WRIT (Writing Studies) class; alternately, a T.A. assisting a professor in a large EngL lecture would be responsible for two discussion sections to fulfill a 50% appointment. Please be aware that the department must bear the cost for FICA tax for you if you increase your appointment to over 75% by taking on additional paid work at the University. You must speak with the Director of the Creative Writing Program and obtain the written permission of the Chair of English before accepting such appointments.
Fellowships and assistantships for graduate students offer a salary plus tuition waiver and health insurance. The tuition waiver is calculated at double the percentage of the time you work. For example, if you have a 40% graduate assistant appointment (the equivalent of 16 hours a week), 80% of your tuition is waived; if you hold a 50% appointment, 100% of your tuition is waived. Note that the tuition waiver covers tuition only; you are still responsible for student service fees. (Visit http://onestop.umn.edu/ and click on Tuition and Billing to view these fees.) Health insurance is offered through the Graduate Assistant Health Care Plan.
If you are a Graduate Assistant (holding a teaching, research, or administrative position) and receiving a tuition waiver, you should note that tuition benefits for Graduate Assistants are capped at a maximum dollar amount. This is currently equivalent to tuition fees for three graduate-level courses, or 6 to 14 credits. Keep in mind that this policy has varied over the last year; to check for the latest update, contact Karen Frederickson in the English Graduate Office, or the Graduate Assistant Office (624-7070, email@example.com).
Be aware that there may be a requirement to be registered for a specific number of credits during any particular semester, especially if you have a University assistantship, if you are receiving financial aid, or if you are an international student. Students with 50% appointments need to register for at least 6 credits per semester. Those with fellowships are generally required to take 9 to 12 credits per semester.
A Graduate Assistant appointment (teaching, research, or administrative) is contingent upon your enrollment and current registration as a graduate student; you are required to register, on time, for a minimum of six credits in every semester you hold an assistantship. Failure to register by the end of the second week of class of each semester will result in termination of your Graduate Assistantship.
Recipients of certain kinds of financial aid and/or fellowships, including international students, may have specific requirements regarding the number of credits for which they need to be registered each term. Check the terms and conditions of your financial aid offer carefully to ensure that you meet any special registration requirements.
If you do not register at least once during a calendar year, you will be considered to have withdrawn from your studies. Your graduate school records will be deactivated, making it impossible for you to register, file for graduation, etc. Don’t let this happen. If it does, see Withdrawals and Readmissions under GETTING THROUGH THE PAPERWORK - Advising and Registration.
You are expected to complete the degree in three years (i.e., you are only eligible for funding for three years). The maximum period for Master’s Degree candidates to complete all degree requirements is seven years, starting with the earliest coursework (including transferred work) to be included on the official degree program. To extend this time, you must complete a Graduate School Petition Form.
Note: The following teaching plan is meant to be used as a resource or set of guidelines for both the Undergraduate Studies office and the CW office, not as a rigidly enforced or mandatory plan.
Teaching Plan for MFA Students:
Note: This plan does not take into account fellowships, research assistantships or teaching in other departments.
All graduate students who accept teaching appointments within the department (Creative Writing or Literature) are required to attend the English Department’s Professional Development teacher training sessions scheduled during the week preceding the start of fall term, as well as the Practicum in the Teaching of English (EngL 5800). The practicum emphasizes theory, effective course design and teaching for different disciplinary goals. Remember that you need to register for EngL 5800 just as you would any other class (no permission number is required). If you are assigned to teach EngW 1101W Introduction to Creative Writing, you must register for EngW 8170 MFA Practicum: EngW 1101W. This practicum precedes the large lecture on W, from 1:00-2:15 p.m. You will not need a registration permission number.
Other professional support for your work as an instructor is available through the Teaching Enrichment Series (based in University Office Plaza, Suite 400, 2221 University Ave. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414): http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/index.html. You may also wish to consider participating in the Preparing Future Faculty program, which offers for-credit courses and mentorships to help graduate students who are planning a career in university teaching: http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/graduate/pff/
Members of the Creative Writing faculty are more than happy to talk over particular issues that may arise in the course of your teaching.
Recommendation letters: If you plan to teach beyond the program, we recommend that you invite a Creative Writing Faculty member to visit a class you are teaching. This will help them comment upon your teaching skills in a recommendation letter. These letters can be kept in your dossier in the Graduate Studies office.
MFA students may apply or be nominated for the following annual awards offered through the Creative Writing Program. Information on the application or nomination process will be sent via email and posted on the Creative Writing web site.
The Associated Writing Program's Intro Journals Project: Creative Writing faculty may nominate one work of fiction, one work of nonfiction, and up to three poems (not necessarily by the same writer) to the AWP, a panel of which determines the AWP-wide awardees; winners’ work is published in participating literary magazines.
Academy of American Poets: James Wright Prize for Poetry: This prize of approximately $100 is awarded to student poets through an annual competition. Eligible participants are undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota. To be considered, student poets will submit a writing sample of poetry. The James Wright award, sponsored by The Academy of American Poets, is judged during the Fall semester by an established writer who is not on the permanent faculty at the U of MN.
ArtWORDS is a contest run in cooperation with the Weisman Museum. The contest is only open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota. Entries for this contest are short creative pieces written in response to the visual art in the permanent collection at the Weisman. ArtWORDS is judged during the Spring Semester by writers not on the permanent faculty at the U of MN.
Gesell Award for Excellence in Creative Writing: Three prizes of $500 each are awarded in each of three qualifying genres: poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction. This competition is open to MFA students only and judged by writers who are not permanent U of MN faculty. Endowed by the Gesell Family.
Gesell Writing Residency Fellowships: These fellowships provide summer residencies for two MFA students at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minnesota. Endowed by the Gesell Family.
Marcella DeBourg Fellowship: One fellowship will be offered in 2013. The fellowship is open to current graduate students (not in the final year of the program) in the English Department. Work should “give creative expression to women’s lives.” Research and writing on the DeBourg diaries is encouraged. These diaries are archived in the CW office. The amount given varird from year to year.
Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship in Poetry (MFAs only)
An annual award in poetry for a first- or second-year poet who shows exceptional potential in the field. Selected by Creative Writing Faculty in spring 2013. An award stipend for summer 2013. There is no application process. This award will be announced in April 2013. The recipient of the Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship is not eligible for the Graduate Research Partnership Program or the CLA Fellowship.
O’Rourke Travel & Research Funds for MFA Students
Each year, O’Rourke Fellowship funds will be made available to MFA students for the purpose of creative research, registration and/or travel to readings, panels, residencies, conferences, etc. – including AWP. A certain percentage of the funds will be set aside each fall specifically for travel and registration to AWP.
Funds are limited and will be disbursed as follows:
1) Students who are interested in attending AWP should let the CW director know as soon as possible. Funding priority will go to students who did not receive funding during a previous year.
2) Students who want to conduct thesis research or who are invited to participate in a reading or panel and need travel funds should send an email to the CW director outlining their requests. Requests should include any invitation to read or participate in a panel, any (brief) relevant info about research to be conducted, etc. Requests should also include an estimated budget. As per above, funding priority will go to students who did not receive funding (or received very modest funding) the previous year.
3) We will continue to allocate and disburse funds throughout the year as fairly as possible. When the funds for a particular year are depleted, we’ll let you know.
4) Once the funds are approved, students should save relevant receipts associated with the research or travel. Students will be reimbursed for approved expenses (e.g. plane tickets, hotel, etc) after the fact, and after filling out an Employee Expense Worksheet, attaching relevant receipts, and handing all to the English Department accountant.
Please contact the Creative Writing Office for application materials and deadlines. The department encourages all students to seek out additional fellowship opportunities such as the GRPP, DeWitt, Stout, or Leonard Fellowships, FLAS and Humanities Institute awards, etc. Check the Grad School website for more information on requirements and deadlines.
The program holds Town Meetings on a regular basis, providing information to students on publishing, job placement and career issues, writers’ colonies and conferences, etc. In the Fall semester of each year, the Program organizes a retreat to Borde du Lac Lodge on Lake Kabekona in northern Minnesota. Information about the retreat is available throughout the summer.
On the Creative Writing Program homepage, we will often post contest and submission information. You may also check the postings board in the Creative Writing office for information about contests, awards, and calls for submission to literary journals. These are updated on a regular basis.
Students' publications, awards, and other news announcements are publicized on our Creative Writing Program web page, Weekly email announcements, and in the English at Minnesota newsletter. In order to recognize and celebrate your achievements, we need to know about them. Don’t be shy; keep us up to date on your good news! If you place a story or win a poetry contest, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can get the word out.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this handbook is correct and up to date. University regulations may change, however. Before acting on the guidance given here, be sure to double-check the current situation with the relevant office.
The Creative Writing Office has many resources to help writers, including directories, reference books, information on writers’ colonies and conferences, and a collection of literary journals. We also have the Lannan Foundation series of writers’ videos (readings and interviews), as well as a library of videotapes from our own Edelstein-Keller reading series. Wilson Library (on the West Bank) has a large and wide-ranging collection of contemporary writing, while Walter Library's Learning Resource Center (on the East Bank) has a collection of rare books and writers on tape; it also houses the Kerlan Collection. The Givens collection is available at the Anderson Library (on the West Bank).
The Creative Writing Office receives the Associated Writing Programs' (AWP) job list; the Graduate Studies Office (204 Lind Hall) receives the MLA job list. You can get help in preparing your vita and putting together your dossier from the English Department's Placement Officer (Andrew Scheil), who also holds meetings during the academic year on job placement strategies. See english.cla.umn.edu/grad/placement.html. You may also wish to discuss career plans with your Thesis Advisor (s). As of Fall 2008, all graduate students in the department will be observed at least once per year by a faculty member in English or Creative Writing. The faculty member will write an observation letter which will be given to the student; a copy will be give to the Creative Writing Program. The letters will help you with your teaching; they will also serve an important purpose when you need to ask for a teaching recommendation from a professor. At any time, you may ask a faculty member to observe you so that you may have letters ready to go in your dossier.
Creative Writing students have access to the AWP's dossier service and Interfolio.
The following listings provide detailed information on various aspects of university policy:
DS promotes barrier-free environments that facilitate equal opportunities for people with disabilities, including mental health conditions, and that assist the University in meeting its obligations under federal and state statutes. The DS office works to ensure access to University employment, courses, programs, facilities, services, and activities by providing or arranging reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services, training, consultation, and technical assistance.
To contact Disability Services at the U, call 612-626-1333 or visit their website to make an appointment.
The Loft Literary Center: The Loft is the nation's largest nonprofit literary center. In addition to monthly readings by local and nationally recognized authors, the Loft sponsors a Mentor Series, a year-long program in which emerging Minnesota writers work with established authors from across the U.S. Applications are accepted in early spring and writers spend the year workshopping and giving readings with visiting writers. The Loft also offers various grant opportunities.
Suite 200, Open Book
1011 Washington Ave. S
Minnesota State Arts Board: The MSAB offers annual grants for emerging Minnesota writers in all genres. Application deadlines usually occur in early October.
Park Square Court
400 Sibley Street, Suite 200
St. Paul, 651-215-1600
mn artists.org: mnartists.org is an online database of Minnesota artists and organizations from all disciplines. In addition to providing artists and organizations with a web page containing images and information, mnartists.org provides news and features about the local arts scene from a variety of sources. The McKnight Foundation partnered with the Walker Art Center's New Media Initiatives group to develop mnartists.org.
1750 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Springboard for the Arts: Job opportunities in the arts, grant notices, resources for artists in all genres.
308 Prince Street, #270
St. Paul, 651-292-4381
SASE/Intermedia Arts: Annual fellowships for emerging writers in all genres, a readings series and other resources.
2822 Lyndale Ave. S.
79 Thirteenth Avenue NE,
2402 University Avenue # 203
St. Paul, 651-641-0077
Suite 300, Open Book
1011 Washington Ave. S
Cross-Cultural Poetics (XCP)
College of St. Catherine
601 25th Avenue S.
Open to receiving reviews of poetry
510 8th Ave. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Creative Writing Department
207 Church Street,
SE207 Lind Hall,
Minneapolis MN 55455-0134.
Rain Taxi Review of Books
PO Box 3840
Open to reviews for all genres
Graduate School of Liberal Studies:
1536 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104-1284
Birchbark Books and Native Arts
2115 West 21st Street
Minneapolis, 612 374-4023
2914 Hennepin Ave. S.
Magers and Quinn
3038 Hennepin Ave. S.
2238 Carter Ave.
St. Paul, 651-646-5506
1579 University Ave. W.
St. Paul, 651-644-7615
818 South 2nd st.
Minneapolis, 612- 377-2224
2951 Lyndale Ave. S.
Mixed Blood Theatre
1501 S. 4th Street
Martin Luther King Center
270 N. Kent St.
St. Paul, 651-244-3180
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum (lots of CW readings are held here)
University of Minnesota
333 E. River Road
Katherine E. Nash Gallery
University of Minnesota (West Bank)
405 21st Ave. S
(check here for what the visual arts MFAs are up to)
Minnesota Institute of Arts
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
The Soap Factory
2nd Street S.E.
The Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
725 Vineland Place
Julie Schumacher , Director, Creative Writing Program
222 Lind Hall, 625-0729, email@example.com
The Director position is held by a tenured professor in the English Department who is also a writer teaching Creative Writing courses. The position is not a permanent one, but is shared among the faculty, usually for a period of three years. The Director is a member of the English Department's Executive Committee and as such represents the Creative Writing Program in all policy and planning matters within the Department and the College of Liberal Arts. In addition, the Director's duties include supervision of the program and its staff, curriculum and course planning, policies, budget, and acting as a liaison with the Twin Cities’ arts community.
All new MFA students should arrange to meet with the Director during their first semester.
Kathleen Glasgow, Coordinator, Creative Writing Program
222 Lind Hall, 625-4360, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Program Coordinator is responsible for much of the administrative work of the program. The Coordinator works with the Director and program faculty on graduate student admissions, orientation, course planning and oversight, the appointment of affiliate faculty and graduate instructors, program-sponsored events and awards, and program promotion, fundraising, and special projects. She is also available to answer questions and help you navigate the sea of program, department, college and university paperwork.
Ellen Messer-Davidow Chair, English Department
Katherine Scheil , Director of English Graduate Studies
204 Lind Hall, 625-8039
Brian Goldberg , Director, Undergraduate Studies
225J Lind Hall, 625-1536
Michael Walsh, Executive Assistant, Writing & Undergraduate Studies
227 Lind Hall, 626-9811, email@example.com
Michael assists the Director of Undergraduate Studies with matters pertaining to undergraduate studies, particularly the staffing and scheduling of literature courses and sections. Michael Walsh is responsible for classroom assignment changes.
Pamela Leszczynski , Associate Administrator
207 Lind Hall, 625-0550, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela is responsible for managing the overall operations of the department, including human resources, supervision, overseeing work flow and managing events such as staff and faculty functions. Other work functions include: facilities management and assistance with budget and planning.
Karen Frederickson, Principal Secretary, Graduate Studies Office
204 Lind Hall, 625-3882, email@example.com
Karen is in charge of all things graduate in the English Department. She maintains the TA dossiers that constitute your teaching portfolio.
Rose Hendrickson, Senior Administrative Specialist
227 Lind Hall, 626-0390/625-3363/or612-625-4592, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rose is the first person you see with you come in to the English Undergrad office. She makes appointments with advisors and makes TA office assignments. She is also in charge of all TA evaluations. Supplies for Comp TAs are located in her office. And please call her if you need to cancel your class for the day. She will put up a sign in your classroom.
Mary Barfield, Principal Accounts Specialist
207 Lind Hall, 624-6069, email@example.com
Mary processes payroll documents for the department. If you have any questions about money—How do I sign up for direct deposit? Are we going to get another paycheck before Christmas? What form do I use to get reimbursed? — this is the person to ask.
Terri Sutton, Information Representative
207 Lind Hall, 625-1528, firstname.lastname@example.org
Terri person assists the Associate Administrator with events concerning endowed lectures and is also the editor of English at Minnesota, the department’s newsletter. You’ll hear from him/her twice a year concerning news for the graduate section of the newsletter.
Jesse Lickel, Executive Student Services Specialist
227 Lind Hall
Jesse assists with ordering books, contacting publishers for desk copies and coordinating copy accounts and mailboxes. He is available to answer questions of instructors and students.
Graduate Student Services and Progress Office
316 Johnston Hall (612-625-3490)
The Graduate School Student Services Office handles questions about your progress through the degree program. Contact Karen Starry, Director, Graduate Student Services and Progress (email@example.com). Or contact Jen Anderson, Master's Degree Specialist, Graduate Student Services and Progress (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This office administers the graduate student tuition benefit program and can advise on general questions about graduate assistantships. The GASO posts the Handbook for Graduate Assistants on-line at the above URL in both .pdf and Word formats (it’s no longer available in printed form). The handbook provides full details of the requirements and benefits for students with assistantships at the University of Minnesota, including information such as pay rates and payroll dates. The GASO provides an employment program for graduate students (there’s a regularly updated job posting service on their web page), as well as administering tuition benefit eligibility and reductions. If you have an assistantship and you receive a bill charging you for tuition, this would be the office to call to find out what went awry. Because they also advise departments on policies and procedures related to graduate assistantships, the GAO is a good place to get a referral for any question you might have related to your assistantship.
This is the office to contact if you have questions about the Graduate Assistant Health Care Plan. Insurance packets are available from the Graduate School Student Services Office (316 Johnston Hall) or from the English Graduate Studies Office (204 Lind Hall). When the CW Coordinator called the office, the GAHCP had these words of advice for graduate students with the Graduate Assistant health insurance:
Information about scholarships and other forms of financial aid can be obtained from the Office of Student Finance; also, see their annual handbook.
A division of the Office of Human Resources, the Center has other professional support for your work as an instructor. You may also wish to consider the Preparing Future Faculty program, which offers for-credit courses and mentorships to help graduate students who are planning a career in university teaching. PFF is also based in the Office of Human resources and can be reached at (612) 625-3811, email@example.com, or its website.
In the event of any campus emergency, dial 911. The U of M’s Emergency Preparedness website can be found at www.umn.edu/prepared. To hear a recorded message about any campus emergency, dial 612-301-SAFE (7233). To contact a security escort, call 612-624-WALK (9255).
The University also has an emergency notification text messaging system. Sign up at http://www1.umn.edu/prepared/txtu/
All other English-related pages can be reached from here, so this is a good place to start. Typically, upcoming events are highlighted here and there are fabulous links to information about faculty books.
The main CW page.
Helpful for everything from specific information about the last check processed in payroll to downloading an up-to-date class roster for a course you're teaching.
A good place to search for people and things you haven't found elsewhere and the best place to look for up-to-date class schedules.
A collection of resources and information for composition instructors that is helpful to all graduate teaching assistants.
Resource for dealing with issues related to obvious or suspected student plagiarism. Good place to find text on this issue to include in your syllabus.
Web resource designed for students, their parents, faculty and staff, and offers faculty and staff guidance in assisting students in distress. In addition, students can access mental health services at: