Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Fiction


Theatre Arts

Major Advisor

Mitchell Wieland, MFA


Nicole Cullen, MFA


Mary Lowry, MFA, MA


Braden Udall, MFA


This thesis consists of a novel in progress. August in the Dog Moon depicts a story about the strange, beautiful, and frightening things we find while exploring the liminal perspective in wild and abandoned places.

In constructing a long-form narrative, this thesis attempts to demonstrate the interworking of multiple narrators through a close third-person narration shared between three primary characters, two supporting characters, transcriptions of found recordings, and several chapters from an omniscient perspective. The intention being to explore the narrative of place through various perspectives and experiences. The accumulating effect being one of panoramic storytelling, increased instances of dramatic irony, and a wholistic proposal for empathy from the reader for all the presented characters.

This multi-perspective coming-of-age novel follows three high-schoolers as they navigate frustrations of youth, broken homes, and secrets in their small Oregon town. When a car accident strands them far from home in the remote Oregon forest, they forge bonds of friendship in the face of surviving in the wilderness together. It is an exploration of the various exterior forces that influence life growing up in a small town in the cascade region of the Pacific Northwest, and how the interior reactions of a young person clash with and negotiate those forces. With elements that draw from works such as of Bud Smith’s Teenager, Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and Jean Craighead George’s My Side of The Mountain, August in the Dog Moon strives to present a Northwestern Gothic of modern youth in a particular place and time.