The Fall 2019 Residency Book in Common Is Actually Two Books: Gene Luen Yang’s Best-selling Boxed Set, Boxers and Saints

By Kathleen Driskell, Chair Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing

It’s a tradition during residencies at the Spalding School of Creative and Professional Writing to regularly rotate and provide common instruction in one of the genres we teach: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, or writing for TV, screen and stage. Though our students dive into deep practice in their chosen writing concentration, each also benefits from exploring other genres, learning what craft elements and techniques are unique but also shared between genres. It’s been gratifying over the years to see how these cross-genre forays have provided important epiphanies for writing students.

Continue reading “The Fall 2019 Residency Book in Common Is Actually Two Books: Gene Luen Yang’s Best-selling Boxed Set, Boxers and Saints”
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Thorns Will Be Necessary: The Appeal of the Flawed Character

By Beth Ann Bauman, Spalding MFA Faculty, Writing for Children and Young Adults

One of my favorite TV shows is the HBO crime drama “The Night Of.”  It’s tough and gritty and co-written by the inimitable Richard Price.  I’m going to detour here and mention how at a New Yorker festival years back, I first met Price when he and another author gave talks about their writing. The first was affected and kept tinkling the ice in his glass in a soft, actorly way.  He was sort of full of it.  Price, on the other hand, bounded onto the stage when it was his turn, looking like he was wearing a pajama top.  He looked at us and said, “Hey, did you know there’s a really good bar across the street?”  Well, he had our attention.

Continue reading “Thorns Will Be Necessary: The Appeal of the Flawed Character”

Leah Henderson, Middle-Grade and Picture Book Author, Joins the Spalding MFA Faculty

By Katy Yocom, Associate Director of Communications and Alumni Relations

Leah Henderson

I couldn’t be happier to announce that award-winning author and Spalding MFA alum Leah Henderson has joined the Spalding MFA faculty in Writing for Children & Young Adults.

Continue reading “Leah Henderson, Middle-Grade and Picture Book Author, Joins the Spalding MFA Faculty”

Visual Literature: Learning from TV and Film

By Beth Bauman, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Writing for Children & Young Adults Faculty

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If you’re a YA writer, you already know you need to read a wide variety of literature, including YA, of course, and general fiction with teen protagonists. But I’d argue it can be just as helpful to study good TV and movies about teens. Continue reading “Visual Literature: Learning from TV and Film”

Inspiration from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

By Karen Mann, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Administrative Director

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When I refer to SCBWI, I’m usually asked, “What’s that?” It’s an acronym all writers should know. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is an international professional organization that supports the creation and availability of quality children’s books around the world. Its members are writers and illustrators of preschool through young adult books, as well as librarians, educators, artists, students, dramatists, musicians, filmmakers—anyone with an active interest in children’s literature or media. Continue reading “Inspiration from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators”

What Cross-Genre Exploration looks like for Spalding MFA Students

By Katy Yocom, Spalding MFA Associate Director

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Cross-genre exploration has been a hallmark of the Spalding low-residency MFA in Writing curriculum since the program was launched in 2001. But while many students arrive eager to explore across genres, others aren’t so sure. “I want to be able to focus on my own area,” they’ll say.

Fear not, trepidatious writers. You absolutely will. You can spend every single residency and independent study in your own area, if you want. Continue reading “What Cross-Genre Exploration looks like for Spalding MFA Students”

My Enrichment Semester, or How I Escaped My Comfort Zone and Finally Found Work-Life Balance

By Marjetta Geerling, Spalding MFA Alumni (W4CYA ’11)

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Marjetta Geerling

When I graduated from the Spalding MFA program in 2011, I knew at some point I’d be back for an enrichment semester. It’s no secret how much I love the Spalding program, and the enrichment semester provides the opportunity to do a post-graduate semester, an experience I definitely wanted but wasn’t sure how I’d squeeze into my teaching life. Continue reading “My Enrichment Semester, or How I Escaped My Comfort Zone and Finally Found Work-Life Balance”

Music and the Quickening of Story

By Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Faculty (Writing for Children & Young Adults)

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Recently, I was sitting with a group of women writers, and the conversation turned to music concerts.

“What was the first concert you went to?” asked one of the women. Around the table, various artists and band names were tossed out and the women oohed and ahhed: Aerosmith. Guns ‘N Roses. Bruce Springsteen. Even some oldies: the Beach Boys. Neil Diamond. James Taylor. Joni Mitchell. Carole King.

My first concert? Continue reading “Music and the Quickening of Story”