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Butler Bridge Program

Butler Bridge Program

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 college mentors who are eager to share what they know.

Our Vision: Butler Bridge programs combine learning, laughter, and compassion to inspire young writers and readers. The programs connect bright, young people with talented mentors and like-minded peers to nurture intellectual and artistic discovery. 

This learning-rich community rejects a narrow version of education, in which, too often, assessment structures learning. We reach for a goal that is harder to define: enhancing creativity, developing the imagination, finding our own voices. We help our students and campers be so engaged with the joys of the literary arts that they don’t even notice how much they are learning.

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

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For accessibility information or to request disability-related accommodations, please visit

Writing Club

Meeting on once a month on Saturdays, our writing club is housed 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 into three age divisions: elementary, middle, and high school.

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

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


Saturday, April 7 - Register Here for April's workshop

Saturday, May 5 - Register Here for May's workshop

Writer's Workshops

The Bridge program offers single-session workshops that engage students on a specific writing skill, genre, or topic.

Comics with John Eckerd  

Open to grades 3-12

Saturday, April 21


Cost: $25

Batman. The Avengers. Persepolis. Sailor Moon. Each of these amazing stories was first envisioned in the minds of writers and artists. Now you can get in on the action!
In this two hour workshop with MFA and Bridge alum John Eckerd, we'll go over some basic cartooning skills, talk about our favorite comics, and even create some of our own!
Don't know how to draw? Doesn't matter! Can't spell worth a darn? Who cares! It's comics, baby!

REGISTER HERE for Comics with John Eckerd 

Yoga Flow into Writing

Open to grades 3-12

Saturday, May 19


Cost: Pay What You Can

In this innovative workshop, students will be led by MFA alum and RYT-200 certified yoga instructor, Emma Faesi Hudelson, in a beginner's yoga flow and will learn about their mind and body's connection. After learning some basic yoga, students will use their newfound inspiration to respond to writing prompts and activities. No experience in yoga or writing is necessary! 

REGISTER HERE for Yoga Flow into Writing


Booth Tarkington Prize for Young Writers

Submission Deadline August 31

Open to grades 3-12

Prizes offered in Fiction, Poetry, and Other Forms

2018 Special Guest Judge: Annie Sullivan, Butler MFA graduate, author of A Touch of Gold

-More details to come!-


Meet the Staff:

Writing Club Mentors

All mentors are outstanding graduate students in Butler's Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Caitlin Dicus, Lead HS mentor. Caitlin is a third-year poetry student working on her thesis. 
Camara Wallace, Lead MS mentor. Camara is a second year poetry student in the MFA program. 
Colby Ornell, Lead Elementary mentor. Colby is a third-year fiction student working on her thesis. 

Bridge Director

Elisabeth Speckman proudly received her MFA in Fiction from Butler in 2016, and has a BA in Theatre and English-Creative Writing from Denison University.
A current Butler adjunct instructor, she served as a Visiting Instructor from 2016-2017. While a graduate student at Butler, Elisabeth was involved in the Butler Bridge Program as an elementary mentor, graduate marketing assistant, and Assistant Coordinator. She also served as both a poetry and fiction reader for Butler MFA's literary magazine, Booth, and as an FYS teaching fellow for two years. She has been the lead elementary teacher for the Butler University Creative Writing Camp since 2015, having been an elementary mentor before that. Elisabeth enjoys acting and directing, and has taught and directed children’s theatre for CYT Indy, The Artists’ Studio, Fishers UMC, and Carmel Theatre Company. She mainly writes young adult fiction, plays, and screenplays, but enjoys all forms and genres of writing. Her plays have been workshopped and produced in Indiana, Ohio, Florida, and Connecticut.

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.

Reminder: All Bridge events are held at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing, located at 530 W. Hampton Drive, unless otherwise noted.