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The Broken Plate: “The Check-Up” and “Johanna Flies With the Umbrella Man”

The Broken Plate, Spring 2018

How can a college student explore literary publishing as a career path? Well, most literary journals in the USA are produced by colleges and universities. Students apply to be on the editorial staff, and a faculty advisor guides the process. Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana goes a somewhat different route. Their nationally-distributed journal, The Broken Plate, is produced by one undergraduate class over the course of two semesters. Every spring, the journal’s new issue is released at the In Print Festival of First Books at Ball State. We called up Mark Neely, the Instructor of English 489: Practicum in Literary Editing and Publishing. Leading that class, he is also the Editor and Faculty Advisor for The Broken Plate.

Mark Neely

Mark Neely


The Check-Up

Mark Neely recommends this story by William Ade as something rare – a truly short story, that develops character rapidly through dialogue. This telephone conversation between a dentist’s receptionist and a longtime patient has far more bite than expected.

William Ade

William Ade lives in Burke, Virginia with his wife and Rudy the Cat. He calls his evolving literary voice “Midwestern Old Man”– because he grew up in Indiana during the fifties and sixties. His stories have appeared in the Crimson Leaf Review, The Rind Literary Magazine, The Broken Plate, Black Fox Literary Magazine and Literally Stories.


Johanna Flies With the Umbrella Man

Our second story in this episode is a fabulist journey into faith — a choice between the unwanted and the impossible.

Olivia Buzzacco

Olivia Buzzacco earned both a BFA and an MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. At Bowling Green, she served as Assistant Fiction Editor for the literary magazine, Mid-American Review. She has poetry and prose published in Electric Cereal, Zaum, Jenny Magazine, and Prairie Margins. She currently teaches writing and literature courses at the College of the Albemarle in North Carolina.

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