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We are pleased to offer the Butler Bridge Program to students in grades 3-12. The program draws on Butler's remarkable resources to build a bridge between Butler and its community, as well as between students who aspire to higher education and the professors, professional writers, teachers, and college  mentors who are eager to share what they know.

Butler Bridge programs are designed to develop the writing skills of pre-college students. Participation in such an individualized writing workshop program will help students prepare for college while also nurturing their talents and imaginations. 

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Spring 2015

Register for Spring 2015 sessions.

Please note that registration is limited for many Butler Bridge programs, as specified.

Writing Club

"Second Saturdays" now becomes "Last Saturdays"! Our writing club meets monthly at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing. Each Saturday session includes Poetry, Fiction, and/or Creative Nonfiction lessons. Students meet with peers and a graduate student mentor who leads the workshop, engaging the students in thoughtful discussion about writing. Note: This is not class! Workshops will offer a fun, energetic environment for growing creative writers. Writing Club sessions will be split up by three different age divisions: elementary, middle, and high school.

Saturday, January 31
Saturday, February 28
Saturday, March 28
Saturday, April 25

All sessions run from 1:00-3:00 p.m and meet at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing (530 W Hampton Dr).

Cost: $15 per session. Open grades 3-12. NOW LIMITED TO 50 STUDENTS!

Writer's Workshops

The Bridge program offers single-day and multiple-session workshops for students. These workshops are led by Butler faculty, MFA graduate students, and YA authors from the central Indiana community.

"World Building" with Chelsea Muzar

Saturday, February 21. 1-3pm.
Cost: $25
Grades: 5-8

Stories like The Hobbit and Harry Potter would fall flat without the majesty and depth of the fictional worlds their characters inhabit. Focusing on the fantasy genre, we will use the examples of master world-builders like Tolkien to inspire our own fictional worlds. Students will develop the landscape, scientific and/or magical "rules", and culture of a world characters can truly thrive in.

Meet at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing (530 W Hampton Dr).

"Poetry Time Machine" with Luke Wortley

Saturday, April 18. 1-3pm.
Cost: $25
Grades: 7-12

Pretend we exist in an alternate universe in which no poetry has ever been published; we like-minded philosophes have convened to publish the first ever issue of the first ever literary journal, and we've gotten a few submissions from some 'no-name' writers, like Shakespeare and T.S Eliot, to consider for publication. Students will debate what makes a poem a poem, and what makes a poem good. We'll use this working definition to re-write very famous poems and inspire our own original poems, which we'll collect in the best literary magazine ever.

Meet at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing (530 W Hampton Dr).

Free Satellite Workshops!

The Bridge program is excited to offer two free workshops each semester in local libraries. Each workshop will be led by a current Butler MFA student, details and topics forthcoming.


Meet the Staff:

Second Saturday Mentors

This year's mentors all have previous experience working at Butler's Creative Writing Camp. All mentors are outstanding graduate students in Butler's Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Farhad Anwarzai, Bridge Program Graduate Assistant
Logan Spackman, HS mentor
Kaveh Akbar, MS mentor
Elisabeth Giffin, Elementary mentor

Writer's Workshop Teachers

Workshop teachers are all professional writers: either Butler writing professors, Graduate Students in Butler's MFA program in creative writing, or publishing authors from the Indianapolis community.

Chelsea Muzar is a first-year graduate student in Butler's MFA program in creative writing, specializing in fiction.

Luke Wortley is a third-year graduate student in Butler's MFA program in creative writing, specializing in fiction, currently writing his thesis.


Coordinator, Mindy Dunn has a B.A. in English from Butler University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Purdue University, with a specialty in poetry. Mindy is the Administrative Specialist for the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing and has taught at Butler in the English, First Year Seminar, and Honors departments for five years. She has also worked as a teacher and mentor at Butler's creative writing camp for 8 years.

Graduate Assistant, Farhad Anwarzai is a third-year student  working on his thesis in Butler's MFA program in Creative Writing, specializing in fiction. Farhad has worked with the Bridge program since it's inception and has been a mentor and teacher at Butler's creative writing camp for over 5 years. This year Farhad will be the on-site supervisor for all Bridge events.

Graduate Assistant (marketing), Elisabeth Giffin is a second-year Butler MFA student specializing in playwriting. Elisabeth has experience working with children in theater and creative writing; she has worked at Butler's Creative Writing Camp and is a board member for Theater on the Square. This year Elisabeth is our marketing assistant, spreading the word about the Bridge Program to students, teachers and parents all over Indianapolis.

If you have any additional questions about the Butler Bridge Program or its programs, please email Mindy at


Third Annual Writing Contest:
2014 Booth Tarkington Prize for Young Writers

This year's contest is closed to entries, and we are pleased to announce our winners:

Elementary School
Fiction: "The Quest for Ermador" by Syed-Muhammad Waasif Ali
Poetry: "Death Before Slavery" by Elizabeth Bowling

Middle School
Fiction: "A Chance" by Hannah Plunkett
Poetry:  "You" by Maya Mishra

High School
Fiction: "The Skogsra" by Carley Drake
Poetry: "First Bloom" by Melissa Ho

We thank all of the students who submitted their work and encourage you to continue in all your writing efforts. Your continued participation is the lifeblood of the contest, so please submit again next year!

For more information about Butler Bridge programs, email