Events & Writing Group Info

Each session, MTSU Write hosts events that nurture the writing community and celebrate literary life.  We also are adding facilitaed writing groups to our list of offerings. Check here for updates as events and writing groups will change from season to season.

Throughout the year, MTSU co-sponsors Poetry in the Boro, a monthly reading and open mic event.  Follow the schedule and learn more about featured writers here:

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Writing Groups

MTSU Write is pleased to offer writing groups for writers who want community and accountability. These writing groups are facilitated by one of our mentors, who acts as an organizer and co-participant, sharing their work alongside other members of the group.  

Summer 2024 Writing Group Availability:

  • TBD

The registration fee is $100 per semester, which aligns with our mentorship session schedule.

If you’d like to join one of the groups, email Please share your genre of choice, a short description of the project you’re working on, and a 1-2 page writing sample. Upon acceptance to the group, you will be given a link to pay the registration fee.

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Spring Saturdays

Each spring, we are pleased to offer a series of free master classes on Saturdays. These classes vary in topics on the writing life, from craft talks to workshops to information about publishing and freelancing. While these classes are free and open to the community, advanced registration is required and participation is limited to 20 students. You can register for any of these classes using this link.

Sense of Place in Personal Essays with Susannah Felts: Saturday, February 17, 9am-noon, ACB 118

“Places are never just places in a piece of writing. If they are, the author has failed. Setting is not inert. It is activated by point of view.” - Carmen Maria Machado

Place is both a launching point, and a powerful force for stasis. Place is a shared language, a familiar system of signs, and a vibe you can’t shake, no matter how far you fling yourself. When we ground our essays in a strong sense of place we perform a kind of magic, transporting readers in ways beyond imagined geography. In this class, we’ll explore ways to heighten sense of place to achieve deepened, layered meaning and image resonance.


Susannah FeltsSusannah Felts is a writer, teacher, editor, and native Nashvillian, with roots planted firmly on the East side since 2009. She has been awarded the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction and the Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Her essays and fiction have appeared in publications such as The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018, Guernica, Catapult, Literary Hub, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Longreads, StorySouth, The Oxford American, and others, and her first novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, was published by Featherproof Books.

The Anatomy of a Flash Fiction Story with Finnian Burnett, February 24, 1pm-3pm CST via zoom

Writing flash is its own reward, but it’s also a great practice for novelists, memoirists and every other kind of writer. Writing flash loosens creative muscles, hones deep character development, and gives sanction to skipping the boring in-betweens.

While not all flash is structured, understanding the anatomy of a flash piece can help writers nail a perfect piece every time. This workshop will offer an in-depth look into the structure of a flash piece by analyzing the way authors follow structure along with generative writing to practice using that knowledge. Geared toward first timers and experienced flashers alike.

Finn BurnettFinnian Burnett is a writer whose work explores the intersections of the human body, mental health, and gender identity. They are a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts grant, a finalist in the 2023 CBC nonfiction prize, and a 2024 Pushcart nominee.

Finnian holds a doctoral degree in English Pedagogy, particularly using story-based pedagogy to create equity in multicultural classrooms. Their work appears in Blank Spaces Magazine, Reflex Press, The Daily Sci-Fi, and more. Their two novellas-in-flash, The Clothes Make the Man and The Price of Cookies, are available through Ad Hoc Fiction and Off Topic Publishing respectively.

When not writing or teaching, Finnian enjoys cold weather hiking, Star Trek, and cat memes. They can be found at

Finding Inspiration for Historical Fiction with Mary Leoson, March 23, 1-4pm ACB 118

Find your way back in time in this brainstorming and generative workshop. Mary Leoson, author of historical paranormal novel The Butterfly Circle, takes participants through various idea generation strategies and shares approaches to both drafting and conducting / organizing research. Participants are asked to come prepared with an object or two (or photographs of objects) they find to be inspiring (ideally objects are connected to a historical period to which they are most drawn). 
Mary LeosonMary Leoson is a lecturer at Middle Tennessee State University and the author of YA novel The Butterfly Circle (Manta Press). She is also a Pushcart Nominee, Member of the Horror Writers Association, and Co-Host of Horror Writing Podcast Exhuming the Bones. Her short fiction can be found in anthologies and literary magazines such as Coffin Bell Journal. When she’s not teaching or writing about ghosts, you will likely find her in the garden or on the couch with her husband and two very spoiled dogs. You can learn more at

Radical Approaches to the Line: A Workshop on Headlessness with C.T. Salazar, April 20, 10am-noon, ACB 118

Lately I’ve been in awe of how lyric poems are capable of both articulating despair and making a poem-wide space where are not occupied by it. While the poetic line and despair itself are long reckoned with, how we reimagine the line speaks to our capacity to continue building a space for ourselves and others despite despair. Where do our minds go when this is accomplished? How do we inform the poem that informs us? What are the parts of the poem’s ecology that make this unique relationship with despair, and with ourselves possible? Ultimately, how are poets using the poetic line to make this space possible, to push further possibility? In this generative workshop, we’ll think through possibilities for lineation. We’ll look to Audre Lorde, Jenny Johnson, Agha Shahid Ali, C.D. Wright, and others before attempting our own lyric poems capable of reckoning with our simultaneously collective and unique despair.

C.T. SalazarC.T. Salazar is a Latinx poet and librarian from Mississippi. His debut collection Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking (Acre Books 2022) was named a finalist for the 2023 Theodore Roethke Memorial Award. C.T. is the author of three previous chapbooks, most recently American Cavewall Sonnets (Bull City Press 2021). His past awards include the 2020 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award and the AWP Intro Journals Award. His most recent poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, West Branch, Denver Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, and 32 Poems. C.T. is a Research Methods Librarian and assistant professor at Delta State University.  

Register for any of the above classes using this link!

Summer Simmer

MTSU Write enjoyed its first Summer Simmer in 2023, featuring a book group and Conversation on Creativity. Stay tuned for details on a 2024 version.

Questions or Comments

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