By Robin Lippincott, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Faculty (Fiction)
Circa Late ’70s
The first time I ever saw or heard of her was on The Dick Cavett Show in the latter half of the 1970s. I was still living in Central Florida at the time, still living, in fact, with my parents. If you had said the word “intellectual” to me then I would have immediately conjured the image of a boring, old, straight, white man. But then suddenly there she was, Susan Sontag. Continue reading “Missing Susan Sontag”
By Katy Yocom, Associate Director, Spalding low-residency MFA
An award-winning Off-Broadway musical-theatre team is taking their collaboration into the Spalding MFA classroom this spring to offer a workshop in writing for musical theatre.
Continue reading “Writing for musical theatre: A workshop with two Off-Broadway pros”
By SENA JETER NASLUND, Founding Program Director
So many of you I did not get to hug and squeeze whom I wished to thank for your thanks, at SenaFest, the marvelous surprise occasion, conceived by my partner-in-crime Karen Mann to mark my retirement as Founding Program Director! Continue reading “From Sena, with Love”
By JULIE BRICKMAN, SPALDING MFA FICTION FACULTY
On August 23, 2017, the author Susan Vreeland died. She was 71 years old and died from the consequences of the illness that launched her mind into composing her best work. Continue reading “Goodbye, Darlin’: A Tribute to a Great Writer.”
Lamar Giles, Spalding MFA Faculty, Writing for Children & Young Adults
There’s an excerpt that I share with every student I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching. It’s by John Gardner (1933-1982) and comes from his essay “Basic Skills, Genre, and Fiction as Dream,” which appears in the anthology Crafting Fiction: In Theory, In Practice, edited by Marvin Diogenes and Clyde Moneyhun. While the entire essay is a marvel of craft advice and analysis, it’s the portion about the fictional dream that stuck with me so long ago, and that I make sure every writer willing to take advice from me at least knows about. Like my mom says, “You can’t say no one never told you.”
Continue reading “On Word Choice and John Gardner’s “Fictional Dream””
By Katy Yocom, Spalding MFA Associate Director
Even in Kyoto—
Hearing the cuckoo’s cry—
I long for Kyoto.
Each summer, the Spalding MFA in Writing program travels overseas to study creative writing while exploring literature and art across cultures. Our Summer 2018 residency takes place in Kyoto.
Continue reading “MFA SUMMER RESIDENCY in KYOTO, JAPAN July 12-23, 2018”
Crystal Wilkinson, Spalding MFA Fiction Faculty
If you are a writer and are looking for magic, something to propel your forward, the answer is simple. Pssst–come closer. Closer.
Continue reading “Gathering Magic: How to Read Like a Writer”
Nancy McCabe, Spalding MFA Faculty, Fiction
My first semester as an MFA student, my classmates often strolled into workshop, flung newly printed manuscripts onto the seminar table, and said, “Oh, this is just a rough draft.” In two cases, a few weeks later my classmates sold those “rough drafts” to The Atlantic. Continue reading “Beauty in Imperfection”
Katy Yocom, Associate Administrative Director, Spalding University MFA
An MFA isn’t a degree like law or engineering, where you’re pretty sure you’re launching yourself into a lucrative career. Most people I know pursue an MFA because they have an unshakable passion for writing, because they feel driven—sometimes in the middle of their lives—to step off the expected path and do this thing that doesn’t make any sense at all, except that they can no longer pretend it’s okay not to do it. Continue reading “Bang for your buck: Cost, affordability, and what to look for when shopping for an MFA program”
Eleanor Morse, Spalding MFA Faculty, Fiction
How often do you pause in the middle of writing a sentence, in search of a word or phrase that describes exactly what you mean? You might keep going, leave a blank space in the text, and trust that what you need will pop out when you least expect it. Or you might sit and stare and wait for it. Or you might hunt it down relentlessly until you find it. However you seek it, there’s a moment when that word or phrase drops into place, and you know it’s right. Continue reading “The Right Word”