Dirt Road Magic

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type

Closed Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Theatre

First Advisor

Carter Sickels

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Julie Hensley

Department Affiliation



This project is a novel-in-stories that continues of the development of the "dirt spec" aesthetic--a form of speculative fiction centered on the round portrayal of lower-class characters. The novel is comprised of series of interlocking stories that center on the denizens of a trailer park as they have run-ins with ditch wizards, rich exploitative magicians, and other supernatural phenomena. This book is based on and includes my short story, "Dirt Road Magic," which won the Writers of the Future award in 2019. That story was about a boy from the trailer park who finds out that the magic his mentor is teaching is addictive.

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