Bringing New York Publishing to Muncie, Indiana

This is the table where BSU Board of Trustees meets. It's kind of awesome.
This is the table where BSU Board of Trustees meets. It’s kind of awesome.

Thanks to a grant from the Discovery Group, I’ve hired 11 Ball State students for internships at this summer’s Midwest Writers Workshop.

I’ve told you before about this conference, but here it is again.

Some backstory

Ever since I arrived at Ball State in 2010, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to expose students to the benefits of this conference.   MWW is run by a group of dedicated volunteers. It’s not funded by Ball State University; it just happens to take place on campus. One day, I was talking about this to BSU professor Beth Turcotte (who knows everything about how to find the resources to make amazing things happen) and she recommended I look into the Discovery grant, and boom, I applied. In December, I found out I was a finalist and made a presentation to the members, and in February, I found out I’d been funded. I quickly put out a call for applications, and by April, I’d assembled my team. 

We had our first meeting on April 29, 2013 in the fancy-schmancy Boardroom at the BSU Alumni Center.

Here’s what this amazing grant had made possible.

The Discovery 2013 Internship

Four students will work as Agent Assistants

Each agent will hear 30 pitches. In advance of the conference, the assistants will coordinate those schedules, communicating with the literary agents and the attendees.  At the conference, they’ll handle last-minute changes to the agents’ schedules, act as a timer during the pitches to keep things moving along, and moderate the Agent Panel. They’re getting a close-up view of the way publishing works, and they’re really excited about this opportunity. 

Seven students will work as Social Media Tutors

  • Mo Smith
  • John Carter
  • Madison Jones
  • Kiley Neal
  • Rebekah Hobbs
  • Kameron McBride
  • Jackson Eflin

Everyone who attends Midwest Writers will have the opportunity to schedule a FREE, 50-minute social media (or technology) consulting session. For years (thanks to the continued presence and wisdom of Jane Friedman), MWW has been telling attendees about WHY they need use social media, but this year, we’ll be able to show them HOW.

In advance of the conference, the tutors will study their clients’ current online presence and make some recommendations about how they can be better literary citizens.

Helping me to direct this project is my grad assistant Linda Taylor, a fellow MWW planning committee member who worked in publishing for 30 years before coming to Ball State for her master’s degree. She was a great resource when I taught Literary Citizenship this past spring.

Stay tuned for more updates about this project!

Literary Citizenship Teaching


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