Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Degree Name

Creative Writing (Fiction)

Department or School/College

English Department

Committee Chair

Debra Magpie Earling

Commitee Members

Deirdre McNamer, Hiltrudis Arens


MFA, Fiction, Lauren Ward, Short Story Collection


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Creative Writing


My short story collection, Progressions, consists of six short stories that explore the complexities and inadequacies of human relationships. “Q & A” follows a newly married couple who enter contests for a living and win the opportunity to compete on the Newlywed Game Show, and “Kill Buyer” chronicles the failing relationship between a father and his daughter, who has stopped talking after her parents’ divorce. “Festival” is the story of two best friends, who sneak into a music festival after one of the girls attempts suicide, and “Slopes” is about a new stepfather attempting to forge a relationship with his stepdaughter over the course of a weekend ski trip with her and his boss. “Decay” is told from the perspective of Maria, who becomes fascinated with the items in her basement, mementos from her husband’s work as a forensic entomologist, and “Received” chronicles a young woman’s trip home to meet her eccentric mother with her hyper-pragmatic, pilot boyfriend.

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© Copyright 2016 Lauren D. Ward