Missouri State University
Department of English Blog

Study Away: Write Across Missouri

Student viewing artifacts at the Wilder Museum
Exhibits at the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum

Experience our state through literature

Join Write Across Missouri and absorb the landscapes that inspired Tennessee Williams, Langston Hughes, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder and many others.

Tap into this inspiration with plenty of opportunities to write as you travel across the state with a fun and supportive group.

Dr. Cathie English will lead this study away experience. She answered the following questions about what you can expect from it.

Why should I go?

You’ll learn about the places and spaces of some of Missouri’s most notable writers, and it’s a chance to learn more about the culture, history and geography of our locale.

We’ll travel through both rural and urban spaces. You’ll learn about cultural influences upon Missouri writers, especially in the urban sites as we study art, music and literature. You will learn about Missouri history as we visit museums and historical sites associated with the writers we study.

How will this complement what I am learning in classes?

During the two weeks prior to our Study Away, we’ll read the fiction and poetry of notable Missouri writers. We typically rely on our imaginations to conceive settings, but during the Study Away, we may walk the same ground our writers walked, experiencing the settings they wrote about and learning the history of various sites.

How do I know if this is a good fit for me?

If you love to read and you want to know more about writers and what inspired their writing, this trip is for you. Also, if you love to write, we’ll be writing each day and in each space or place we visit!

And if you’re a teacher of English, language arts or history, you’ll have opportunities to collect artifacts and information to share in your own classroom.

Key details

  • What: Write Across Missouri – Study Away experience focused on Missouri writers
  • When: Course (online class + Study Away): May 22–June 9, 2017; Study Away tour only: June 5–9, 2017
  • Where: Across the state — visiting both rural and urban spaces
  • How: Access more information; Apply online
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Students chosen for Moon City Press’ fall Student Invitational Reading

The creative writing faculty has chosen seven writers, spanning four genres, to represent the student creative force at the Fall 2016 Student Invitational Reading.


Who will read?

This semester’s readers include the following students:

  • Ana Berkovich, fiction
  • Brandy Clark, poetry
  • Aundrea Davis, memoir
  • Ali Geren, poetry
  • Jessica Hawkins, fiction
  • Amy Lafferty, fiction
  • Rebecca Stewart, comics

You’re invited!

Nov. 11

7 p.m.
Plaster Student Union Theater
The event is free and open to the public.

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Tour offers glimpse into MSU’s spooky legends

folklore club logoMissouri State’s English students have collected campus ghost stories for the last 15 years, and this week those stories will be told during the MSU Folklore Club’s 9th annual Haunted Tour.

Hauntings reported across campus

The tour winds through campus for 50 minutes of storytelling. You can learn about the Fountain Ghost, the Hag of Wells Hall, the haunted rooms of Freddy, the Dorm Mom and more!

haunted tour_fountainMore about the tour

Tours begin at the Plaster Student Union and leave every 20 minutes between 6 and 9 p.m. on Oct. 28 and 29.

Tickets are $4 per person or $10 for a group of three. They can be purchased the night of the event on the second floor of the PSU, by the blue lockers under the stairs, or reserve tickets by email.  Proceeds support the Folklore Club.

Event details

Dates: Oct. 28 and 29
Time: 6-9 p.m., tours leave every 20 minutes
Tour length: 50 minutes
Location: Begins at Plaster Student Union
Admission: Open to public; $4 per person, or $10 per group of 3

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Alumna releases second novel with campus book signing

Alumna Annie England Noblin (’05, ’07) will sign copies of her recently released second novel, “Just Fine with Caroline,” on Oct. 11 at Paw Prints in the Plaster Student Union.

Photo courtesy HarperCollins.
Photo courtesy HarperCollins.

Book synopsis

From the author of “Sit! Stay! Speak!” comes a tender, terrific novel complete with long-buried secrets, a three-legged pot belly pig, and an irresistible dog—an unforgettable story about love, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.

Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.

As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.

Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.

*Synopsis provided by HarperCollins.

More about Noblin

A former MSU Bookstore employee, Annie has authored two novels published by HarperCollins Publishers. Their bio section about her reads:

“Annie England Noblin lives with her son, husband, and three dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. She graduated with an M.A. in creative writing from Missouri State University and currently teaches English and communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She spends her free time playing make-believe, feeding stray cats, and working with animal shelters across the country to save homeless dogs.”

Event details

Date: Oct. 11
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Paw Prints, Plaster Student Union

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English department welcomes new faculty

Please help us welcome the following professors who joined us this fall.

Dr. Suneeta Thomas, TESOL


Dr. Thomas was born in India and raised in United Arab Emirates. She specializes in different styles of English spoken throughout world.

Dr. Jonathan Newman, English before the 1800s


Dr. Newman is currently working on a book project that focuses on the practical connections between literary competence, masculinity and professional identity from which humanistic authorship emerged in the Middle Ages.

Dr. Leslie Seawright, technical and professional writing


Dr. Seawright has been teaching at the Texas A&M University at Qatar. She specializes in police report analysis and how those reports affect the legal system.

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