English, Department of


First Advisor

Jonis Agee

Second Advisor

Timothy Schaffert

Third Advisor

Amelia Montes

Date of this Version

Spring 5-2021

Document Type



Byars, Joelle. “Position: A Fiction Collection - Critical Introduction.” University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021. Print.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Jonis Agee. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2021

Copyright (c) 2021 Joelle Byars


The creative thesis “Position: A Fiction Collection” is composed of sixteen short and flash fiction stories. The critical introduction to this thesis looks at my journey as a writer that led to its genesis. I analyze the methods used in my writing process, consider the ways in which instruction and passive reading influences what drives me to write, as well as delving into how the personal informs the creative. I discuss the themes of my stories, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class, toxic relationships, and mental illness, and how they emerged in this collection. A creative sample that touches on all of these themes is included here.

Advisor: Jonis Agee