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MFA in Creative Writing


All events are free, open to the public, and held at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing, 530 W Hampton Drive, unless otherwise noted.

This dynamic speakers and events series makes its home in the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing. Meant to supplement the popular Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series, it offers more intimate and interactive events from a wide range of genres and perspectives, including the graphic novel, screenwriting, book reviewing, translation, documentary, story slams, faculty readings, book clubs, book launch parties, and more. The series is intended to enrich the literary “conversation” and community in the MFA program, on campus, and in the broader Indianapolis community.

Spring 2020 schedule

Butler MFA student reading series

Friday, January 24, 6:00 PM
Friday, February 21, 6:00 PM
Wednesday, April 29, 6:00 PM

Butler MFA students read from their work in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

Book Release Party: The Town of Whispering Dolls, by Susan Neville

Friday, March 20, 6:00 PM

Susan Neville is the author of six works of creative nonfiction: Fabrication: Essays on Making Things and Making Meaning; Twilight in Arcadia; Iconography: A Writer's Meditation; Butler's Big Dance; Sailing the Inland Sea, and Light. Her collections of short fiction and hybrid fiction  include In the House of Blue Lights, winner of the Richard Sullivan prize and listed as a 'Notable Book' by the Chicago Tribune;  Invention of Flight, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction; and Indiana Winter. Her stories have appeared in the Pushcart Prize anthology and in anthologies including Extreme Fiction (Longman) and The Story Behind the Story (Norton.) She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children and teaches writing at Butler University and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. 

On The Town of Whispering Dolls, Winner of the 2019 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Innovative Fiction from Fiction Collective 2: Located somewhere in the rust belt in the early twenty-first century, residents of The Town of Whispering Dolls dream of a fabled and illusory past even as new technologies reshape their world into something new and deeply strange: Dolls walk down the streets, cradling their empty heads and letting the wind turn them into flutes. A politician heads to Washington DC and leaves a toxic underground plume in his wake. A woman eats car parts instead of confronting the children who've forgotten her. A young woman falls in love with the robot who took her job at the candy factory. The manufacturing past of the Midwest haunts these stories, as does the opioid epidemic and the technology of war. In The Town of Whispering Dolls, it's usually the grandmothers and the children who grieve. Feeling invisible, in the story "Here," a woman who's buried her children looks up at the sky where commercial and military jets fly overhead and tries to express her rage to the rich and powerful: "Keep flying above us in your planes. From one coast to the other, keep right on flying over us! We test your bombs and your beloved warriors. Here. Right here. Look down."

Susan will be reading from The Town of Whispering Dolls, and copies of the title will be for sale thanks to the Butler Folletts bookstore. 



Please contact Mindy Dunn at with questions.