The Butler MFA greeted the incoming class and welcomed back current students at our annual Welcome (Back) Party. This social gathering builds friendship within our writing community and also gives students a chance to hear from each other about the diverse ways to get involved in the Butler MFA community.
The Butler MFA offers many opportunities for writers outside of classes. From first years to thesis candidates, all students are encouraged to get involved. Many successful authors agree the biggest advantage of an MFA degree is the community, and these experiences are designed to build a supportive writing community as well as enhance your writing education.
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We have a Facebook page where you can see reminders of upcoming events, information about literary events and conferences, and news about current students and alumni. Also, subscribe to the blog by email (check the sidebar) so you will be up-to-date on all the latest news and opportunities.
Attend Literary Events
One of the nation’s best reading series, the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series regularly hosts public readings and Q & A sessions with some of the most influential people in contemporary literature. The program offers an average of 14 events each year, all of which are free.
In addition to the VWS series, the MFA-run conversations@efroymson series offers a diverse lineup of niche authors and interactive workshops.
Read for Booth
Booth is Butler’s award-winning literary magazine. Readers and editors are all MFA students. Reading for a literary magazine has multiple benefits: improving your own writing, understanding how publishing works, and building a community. Plus there’s free food! Email Rob Stapleton for more information.
Be a Writing in the Schools Mentor
Writing In The Schools (WITS) is the Jefferson Award-winning partnership between the MFA program and Indianapolis Public Schools that strives to foster the creativity of young writers through mentorship. This rewarding opportunity is highly recommended by past mentors as a way to gain teaching experience, build meaningful relationships in our community, and positively impact a young person’s life. Visit the WITS website for more information.
Volunteer for a Wellness Writing Group
The Butler MFA believes the Indianapolis community can benefit from the proven powers of creative writing. The Wellness writing initiative trains MFA students to lead therapeutic writing groups at diverse locations. This semester, groups are planned for Indiana Women’s Prison, Indiana Youth Group, Eskenazi Hospital, and American Village Senior Home. To get involved in this outreach, contact Hilene Flanzbaum.
Poetry Lunch Hours
Part of the conversation@effroymson series, these bimonthly casual meetings are a great way to get involved in your MFA writing community and have meaningful poetry discussion. Led by Mindy Dunn, the poetry discussions are low-pressure, inclusive, and open to poetry readers of all levels. Because Mindy emails a short selection of poems directly to those who RSVP and provides lunch, it has never been easier to discuss poetry. Come see why the PLH continues to grow each year. See the schedule here or email Mindy for more information.
Looking for a completely fun way to discuss your writing away from the formal workshop atmosphere? Or just looking to eat free food and laugh with some of the most entertaining members of the MFA community? Come to Dialogue. Planned by Tristan Durst, Dialogue is a student-only monthly gathering that will leave you inspired, energized, and with sore abs from laughing. Check out the Facebook page or email Tristan for more information.
Introduce yourself to Mindy
The Butler MFA has the best administrator in the world. Her goal is to make your MFA experience satisfying. Many positions, both paid and volunteer, are available to MFA students at Butler. Some examples include writing camp mentors, bridge workshop leaders, teaching fellows, and publishing editors. Meet with Mindy to let her know your interests and talents so she can connect you and help you gain experience to meet your goals.