BGSU Creative Writing Program

Thanks for visiting our site! Look here for announcements of events, program activities, and opportunities for writers. We'll keep you posted! If you are a student, faculty member, or alumnus and have a news item, please pass it along. Contact Max Kupresanin.

New! Check out our Facebook news page!

And here's the wrap-up of awards for students in the Creative Writing Program. Well done, everyone!

Some very special breaking news! Our BFA graduate, Monica McFawn, has just won the 2013 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, a very prestigious award. This comes very close on the heels of Tessa Mellas, our MFA graduate, who won the 2012 Iowa Prize for Short Fiction. Great news for both our BFA and MFA programs!

Also...this just in from BGSU Marketing and Communications: "[BFA major Kristen Grom], of West View, PA, emerged with the top prize in the PUSH novel writing competition after her work was selected out of 400 submissions. The PUSH contest is part of the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a national program for junior high-and high school-age writers sponsored by the educational publisher Scholastic." Congrats, Kristen! For more, click here.

New! Apply for the MFA Program online. Go to this page for instructions!

Let's all welcome Tessa Mellas, spring 2014 semester's Arts & Sciences Distinguished Visiting Writer! To learn more about Tessa, go to our homepage and follow the link to FACULTY on the left sidebar.

And here's the wrap-up of awards for students in the Creative Writing Program. Well done, everyone!


Randall "RJ" Ingram, Paul D. Emery Book Award
Andrew Spiess, Louise Cooper Book Award for Best BFA Thesis in Progress


Anna Rose Welch, Irina Ratushinskaya Freedom Book Award
Catherine Carberry, Donna Sparkman Research Fellowship
Gabrielle Hovendon and Suzanne Hodson, Devine Fellowships in Fiction
Erin Miller and Anna Rose Welch, Devine Fellowships in Poetry

Are you thinking about the job market and employment prospects that will make use of your writing skills? Consider a minor in Scientific & Technical Communication (S&TC). Click here for details--or right click the hyperlink and save the Word document.

Congratulations to all of our BFA readers and graduates! Click here to check out the snazzy pics of BFA Graduation Readings. Click here to check out the overall reading series this year. Take Me To BFA Readings Photos

See the 2013-2014 Roster of terrific MFA writers we're working with this coming year!

And further congratulations to:


Abigail Cloud, whose poetry collection, Sylph (Pleiades/LSU Press, 2014), is winnder of the 2013 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize.

Lawrence Coates, for his novel, The Garden of the World, published by University of Nevada Press, 2012, and is winner of the 2013 Nancy Dasher Award.

Wendell Mayo, whose story collection, The Cucumber King of Kėdainiai, is winner of the Subito Press Award for Innovative Fiction sponsored by the University of Colorado at Boulde (October 2013).

Richard Messer (emeritus), whose poetry collection, Dark Healing, New and Selected Poems, will be released by Fisher King Press November 1, 2013.

Sharona Muir, whose Invisible Beasts is forthcoming in Summer 2014, from Bellevue Literary Press at New York University. BLP specializes in literature at the intersection of the arts and sciences. Invisible Beasts: Tales of the Animals that Go Unseen Among Us is a collection of playful tales in which imaginary animals, based on real science, are described by Sophie, an amateur naturalist with the gift of seeing invisible creatures. Each tale weaves intriguing information from the life sciences--from quirky facts to important ideas--into connected fables, as Sophie ponders love, sex, evolution, extinction, truth, and self-knowledge. The book's mission is to create a new imaginative understanding of animals, and of humanity among our fellow creatures.

Larissa Szporluk, for her poetry collection, Traffic with Macbeth released by Tupelo Press in 2011.

Theresa Williams is finalist in the Women's New Voices competition for her chapbook, The Galaxy to Ourselves, which will be published by Finishing Line Press. She also has new work recently published or forthcoming in Chattahoochee Review, Gargoyle, Haibun Today, Infinity's Kitchen, The Prose Poem Project, Prime Number Magazine, Rufous City Review, Qarrtsiluni, State of Imagination, Talking Writing, and Up the Staircase Quarterly.

Students and Alumni:

Holly Amos (BFA 2005) for her chapbook, this is a flood, published by H_NGM_N BKS. It's available for free as a download online here.

Megan Ayers (MFA 2009) has short stories, "My Father at the Lake," published at Bluestem Magazine; "Hunt" come out at Burned Bridge; and "The Bored Madonna" published at Moon Milk Review. She winner of the 2010-2011 Faculty Recognition Award for Promoting Good Student/Faculty Engagement through the University of Cincinnati's Clermont College, and the new Assistant Professor of English at Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science in Cincinnati, OH. Awesome, Megan!

Chris Bloomfield (MFA 2009) for a poem forthcoming in Palooka. Congrats, Chris!

Catherine Carberry (MFA Candidate), for two short stories: "Dovehouse," forthcoming in North American Review and "The Open Country of a Woman's Heart" in Tin House; check it out, here. Congrats, Catherine!

Michael Cherry (MFA 2007), who is recent recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for poetry. Way to go, Michael!

Amy Denham (MFA 2012), who'll begin doctoral studies at Florida State University in fall, 2013. Congrats, Amy!

Anthony Doerr (MFA 1999), whose fourth book was released in July, 2010. This is from Anthony: "Memory Wall contains six fictional stories that each have something to do with memory--its fragility, its importance, and how it creates meaning in our lives. The pieces are set all over the world: in South Africa, China, Germany, Lithuania, Wyoming, and Ohio....[T]he San Francisco Chronicle said Memory Wall 'lingers wonderfully over the details of individual lives and suggests the enormity of those billion things contained therein.'"

Nathan Floom (BFA 2011) for a story, "Mosquito Bites," forthcoming in Seattle Review in 2012. Super, Nathan!

Ryan Gannon (BFA 2008) for stories forthcoming in Staccato and Knee-Jerk. And this just in: Ryan'll begin work on his MFA in fiction at Wichita State this fall. Way to go, Ryan!

Alan Heathcock (MFA 1998), for his debut story collection, Volt,with Graywolf Press. Congrats, Al!

Jason Harris (MFA candidate), for his debut story, "Fridge Monitor," forthcoming in Midwestern Gothic. Way to go, Jason!

Maria Hummer (BFA) for a story, "Open House," appearing in Best of Ohio Short Stories, Volume 1. Congratulations, Maria!

Vanessa Furse Jackson (MFA 1986; Ph.D. 1990) whose first novel, The Revolving Year, is just out from Barking Rain Press; and another is forthcomong next year with Barking Rain, The Anthropologist's Daughter. Her last book, a collection of short stories titled Small Displacements, won the PEN Texas 2011 Southwest Award for Fiction. Vanessa is retiring this year from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where she has taught for the past 20 years. Her husband Robb Jackson (who received his BA, MFA, and Ph.D. from BGSU) passed away earlier this year. She is returning to England. Warmest wishes from us all, Vanessa.

Brandon Jennings (MFA 2009), an Iraq War veteran, is a currently a PhD in English candidate at Western Michigan University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Berkeley Fiction Review, Monkeybicycle, Ninth Letter, and Passages North. His chapbook, Waiting for the Enemy, is the 2012 winner of the Iron Horse Literary Review Single Author Chapbook Competition.

Beth Kaufka (MFA 2008) has a story, "Strange Behavior of the Unknowing," coming out in 13th Moon this winter. She also has story with 971 Menu.

Teresa Milbrodt (MFA 2004)--Reviews of Teresa's debut story collection, Bearded Women, are coming in, notably one in Asimov's! Teresa's collection was also listed as "attention worthy" by the highly regarded Tiptree Award. The award is presented to works of fantasy and science fiction that explore and expand gender roles.

Karissa Morton (MFA 2013) has recently had poems and essays in Guernica, Indiana Review, The Paris-American, Requited, Birdfeast, ILK, Gigantic Sequins, The Bakery, Rubbertop Review, Barn Owl Review, iO: A Journal of New American Poetics, Whiskey Island, Lambda Literary Review, and The Sonora Review. She also has reviews in The Rumpus. Way to go, Karissa!

Debra Nicholson (MFA 2008) for a newly published story, "Wallow," appearing in 2012 issue of The Griffin. Check it out here. She also has two stories forthcoming: "Woman with a Crow" in Stone Voices and "Thirteen Minutes" in Cold Mountain Review. Congrats, Debra!

Craig Paulenich (Ph.D. 1989) for his new collection of poems "centered" around the city of Prague, St. Vitus Dance.

Janice Pisello (BFA 2010) for her story, "Without Change," accepted for publication in The Helix. Way to go, Janice!

Aimee Pogson (MFA 2009) for a new story, "Unnatural," forthcoming in Berkeley Fiction Review. Congrats, Aimee!

Misha Rai (MFA 2012) for her story, "Housewives, Mothers," forthcoming in Indiana Review. Stellar, Misha!

Randy Michael Signor (MFA 1976), for a story published "A Later Version," and nominated by the editor for a Pushcart. Also, Long Story published "The Gypsies" and just out is "Big Pickle," in Black Clock.

David Spiering (MFA 2012), whose poem, "A Poem Caused by the Last Slice of Lemon Pie on the Plate," has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Crack the Spine Magazine.

Marc Sumerak (BFA 1998) From Marc's web site: "Sumerak is currently best known for his writing work on Marvel Comics' Power Pack and the Eisner & Harvey Award nominated Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius. He is also providing localized translations for Spider-Man J (as featured bi-monthly in Spider-man Family). In 2008, Sumerak was excited to be writing multiple issue story arcs for both Marvel Adventures: Avengers and Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man as well as a number of other new projects in development. Other clients that Sumerak has worked with include DC Comics, American Greetings, the Elks, SAMHSA, PBS Kids, Pepperidge Farm, Tyson Foods, Restaurant Business Magazine, Triple-A Baseball, SEGA, and more! Sumerak currently resides in Cleveland, OH."

Jason Teal (BFA candidate) for a poem to published in the next issue of Susquehanna Review. This is Jason's debut publication--with many more to come!

Qiana Towns (MFA 2008)--this from Qiana: "I wanted to share with you my latest endeavor. My poet/sister-friends and I are featured on the HerKind blog hosted by VIDA." Good to hear from you, Qiana!

Anne Valente (MFA 2010), whose short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names, is winner of the 2011 Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Competition and will be published in 2014. She will also be attending the University of Utah's doctoral program in creative writing this fall. Awesome, Anne!

Tiffany Westberry (BFA), who has published a poem in the literary journal Reverie. Way to go, Tiffany!

Dara Wier (MFA 1974) for a new collection, Selected Poems, just out with Wave Books. Congrats, Dara!

Gary Wilson (MFA 1973), who writes, "I wanted to alert you to an upcoming interview that features my novel, Sing, Ronnie Blue. It will appear in August in the new edition of Novel and Short Story Writer's Market as part of their ongoing "Premier Voices" column. It should be a relatively prominent "boxed" interview that mentions BGSU and my publisher."

Bess Winter (MFA 2011), whose story, "Signs," which appeared in American Short Fiction, has won a Pushcart Prize. She's also be going to Yaddo in the fall. Congrats, Bess!

Attention undecided majors and high school graduates: Check out our
new BFA Frequently Asked Questions Page!

Check out Mid-American Review. For more information, see the Contact Us page or call (419) 372-2725.. Take Me To MAR

The latest Prairie Margins is out! For more information contact the Creative Writing Office in East Hall--see Mary Jo Smith, (419 ) 372-2576. Take Me To PM Home Page

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