Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing


Creative Writing and Publishing

First Advisor

Erin Stalcup

Committee Chair and Members

Erin Stalcup, Chair

Timonthy Horvath


Fantasy, Hybrid, Novel in verse, Poetry


My creative manuscript, tentatively known as We Take Back the Moon, is an in-progress fantasy novel in verse. Set in a world not like our own where the only bipedal inhabitants are elves, it is a tale of two best friends contending with a society where those who lack the ability to use magic are sentenced to the Colony—essentially a prison camp. Chkal, one of the protagonists, was a child prodigy in magic and still lives in the Capital, while her best friend, Esari, was sent away at age thirteen to the Colony. The story follows Chkal’s struggle with her apprentice, Lananook, whose deadline for his magic Trials grows closer and closer with no progress, and Esari’s desire to plan a mass escape. Eventually, they are able to reconnect, but the manuscript thus far ends with a clear plan for Chkal to head for the colony.

Directly following is my critical essay, “Novels in Verse: An Investigation of Pacing from Form.” I discuss the forms used by five writers (Toby Barlow, Jacqueline Woodson, Anne Carson, Vikram Seth, and Maryse Meijer) to direct and complement their narrative in one of their verse novels. The main argument I pose is that novels in verse are largely unique in that pacing can tightly controlled in a way that still creates an effective book-length work. At the end of my thesis, there is a bibliography of readings both for the critical essay’s citations, as well as texts I read as research and inspiration to produce the manuscript.