Laura Otto, MFA

Laura Otto, MFAprofile_laura-otto.jpg

Associate Professor of English and Graduate Program Director
Arches Adviser
Phone: (414) 930-3379

  • MFA in English/Creative Writing (Fiction), Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • BA English Literature / BA Rhetoric / Cinematography Minor, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

"To teach is to learn twice." - Joseph Joubert

Teaching and Research Interests:

  • Creative Writing: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Drama
  • Writing for New Media
  • Blogging
  • Journalism (traditional and experimental)
  • Media Studies
  • Business, Professional and Technical Writing
  • Contemporary Literature


  • BlogHer ’14, July 24-26, 2014, San Jose, Calif. "Good to Great: How to Radically Improve a Blog Post in Real Time."
  • Associated Collegiate Press, Best of the Midwest College Newspaper Convention, Feb. 7-9, 2014, Minneapolis, MN. “How to Create a Virtual Newsroom.”
  • VISIT Milwaukee, August 18, 2013. "Writing for Social Media."
  • BlogHer 2013, July 25-27, 2013, Chicago. "Blog Post Audit."
  • Associated Writing Program 2012 Conference, Feb. 29-March 2, 2012, Chicago. Moderator: "How Far is Too Far? Facing Self-censors and Publishing Censors When Writing About Coming of Age for Young Adults" and "Readers and Me: Connecting Teen Readers Through Narrative in Nonfiction."
  • Associated Collegiate Press, Best of the Midwest College Newspaper Convention, Feb. 10-12, 2012, Minneapolis, MN. “Using Online Tools to Streamline the Publication Process.”
  • Wisconsin Newspaper Association Annual Convention and Trade Show, Feb. 23-24, 2012, Middleton, Wis. “Spice up your news stories using traditional fiction writing techniques.”

 During the time Laura has been advising Arches, it has been nominated for a Pacemaker Award for its website,, and was named a first-class newspaper with two marks of distinction from the Associated Collegiate Press, among other awards.

Publications: Laura has published extensively in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including The Business Ledger and West Suburban Living Magazine. She is a freelance writer and editor for Fortune 500 financial firms and the production manager for Chicago Baseball Magazine. She is also passionate about blogging and offers consulting services to novice and professional bloggers; through the process of teaching (and putting into practice) a range of writing genres and forms, Laura has discovered that many of the "tips and tricks" traditionally taught to budding novelists and poets can help bloggers achieve power, lyricism and detail in their blog posts.

Professional Memberships:

  • College Media Advisers
  • Associated Collegiate Press
  • Associated Writing Programs