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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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Fall 2014

Register for fall 2014 sessions.

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

Writing Club: Second Saturdays

Our "Second Saturday" 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. Second Saturday sessions and open workshops will be split up by three different age divisions: elementary, middle, and high school.

Saturday, September 13
Saturday, October 11
Saturday, November 8
Saturday, December 13

All sessions run from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Cost: $15 per session. Open grades 3-12.

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.

"Play-in-a-Day" with Elisabeth Giffin

Saturday, October 4. noon-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25
Grades: 4-7

Calling all playwrights! Work with your peers to write, rehearse and perform a play. More details forthcoming.

"Creative Writing Camp Reunion and Holiday Party" with Director Geoff Sharpless

Saturday, December 6. noon-2:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 (includes treats!)
Grades: 3-12

Reunite with your camp friends and favorite mentors to celebrate the season through writing.

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.

Nora Library

Saturday, Sept 27, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
"Building Characters with Archetypes" with Kim Clow.
MFA student and Zionsville Community HS teacher, Kim Clow, will teach students in grades 3-12 how to build a main character based on archetypes like hero, anti-hero, mentor, fool, scapegoat, etc. Students will start a story and begin to plot out what journey their character will undergo.
8625 Guilford Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46240

Glendale Library

Saturday, November 22, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
"Re-writing Fairytales" with Chelsea Muzar and Marissa Manuel
MFA students Chelsea and Marisa will lead students through the popular process of re-writing fairytales. Beginning with examples, structures and definitions, students will learn all about the elements of the genre, then put them to work in their very own re-written fairy tale.
6101 N Keystone Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220

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, HS mentor and Bridge Program Graduate Assistant
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.

Elisabeth Giffin is a second-year graduate student in Butler's MFA program in creative writing, specializing in playwriting. She earned her B.A. in theater and English from Dension University and has appeared in many theater productions in Indianapolis. She worked at Butler's creative writing camp this summer, and is a favorite mentor this year at Second Saturday Writing Club.


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