Have you ever turned the last page of a good book and wished you could sit down and have a meaningful conversation with the author? I had just finished reading an advance copy of Three Ways to Disappear by Katy Yocom and decided to act on that impulse.
Writers tend to like stories about the way that other writers write, the processes and habits and superstitions and the curious little quirks that define a writer’s methods. And bound up with this interest in writerly process, there is also a related obsession with something less glamorous, less romantic: speed.
writing prose again for the first time in three years. My previous blog post
detailed why I hadn’t written, and why I had been unable to write for so long: the
catastrophic illness and death of my husband, Lee. Yes, I am finally writing
again, and I’m happy to be able to say that it feels good. But because it has been
so long, I’m trying to hold the writing that I’m doing lightly: of course, I
hope it amounts to something, becomes a publishable piece and thus, a product,
but instead of focusing on that I’m trying instead to appreciate and enjoy the process, and the simple fact that I am
once again able to spend a part of my day writing, as I’ve done for most of my
By Roy Hoffman, Spalding MFA Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Faculty
When you pack your bags for your next trip, whether a few hours from home or as far away, to an American traveler, as Buenos Aires, Rome, or Edinburgh, take along your travel writer’s sensibility. You’ll already have the tools in place—pen and paper, laptop and camera—so making a record of where you go, what you see, eat, and learn, is not a practical but perceptual challenge. Our senses become heightened by the excitement of travel, the allure of different landscapes, languages and foods. As writers we note it all in colorful detail in our journals and e-mails home. But how can we shape this material into articles or personal essays for a larger audience? Here are some tips—and questions—to keep in mind. Travel writing ranges from the service end—how to get there, where to find it, how to buy it—to lyrical musings about place. Travel writing also incorporates stories about interesting individuals in far-off locales. If you’ve got a publication in mind for your travel story, figure out what it’s about, who its audience is. Write for that reader alongside you, shepherding him or her along.
The School of Creative and Professional Writing at Spalding University is pleased to announce the hiring of four new faculty members to teach in the school’s low-residency graduate writing programs.
Jason Kyle Howard joins the faculty in the areas of creative nonfiction and professional writing. Howard is author of A Few Honest Words, an essay collection that explores how the land and culture of Kentucky have shaped American music through the work of musicians including Dwight Yoakam, Jim James, and Naomi Judd, among others. He is author of the essay and oral history collection Something’s Rising (co-written with Silas House). A widely acclaimed music writer, Howard has interviewed musicians spanning all genres including Yoko Ono, Carly Simon, Patty Griffin, and the legendary folksinger Jean Ritchie. His essays and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, Oxford American, Salon, The Nation, The Millions, Utne Reader, Paste and Sojourners and have been featured on C-SPAN’s Book TV and NPR. He previously served as senior editor for Equal Justice Magazine. Howard is currently editor of Appalachian Heritage, a literary quarterly based at Berea College, where he teaches and directs the creative writing program. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
35-credit program lowers barriers of cost and time, creates path into MFA program
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April
29, 2019)—Spalding University’s newly created low-residency Master
of Arts in Writing program is now accepting applications for its first
incoming class. Applications are due by August 1 for entry into the Fall 2019
semester, which begins with a residency in November.
By Kathleen Driskell, MFA Chair at Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing
Great things continue to happen for graduate students in the School of Creative and Professional Writing, home of the nationally distinguished Spalding low-residency MFA program. One thing I enjoy most about teaching is working with our MFA team to shape a meaningful, rigorous, and cohesive curriculum for residencies. And I think this upcoming spring MFA residency is going to be especially rich and helpful for our writing community.
By Dianne Aprile, Spalding School of Writing Creative Nonfiction Faculty
“Don’t write with a pen. Ink tends to give the impression the words shouldn’t be changed.”
The poet Richard Hugo published those lines many years ago to underscore the necessity of flexibility and revision in the writing process. Presumably heeding his own advice, Hugo used a pencil to jot down his first-draft thoughts on the subject. But if ever there was good reason to trade lead for ink, this final version is it. Hugo’s words deserve the permanence of a waterproof, indelible ultra-bold Sharpie.
Why? Well, because his message is so important, there should be no risk of it being rubbed out or overlooked.
By Kirby Gann, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Fiction Faculty
Similar to Beth Ann Bauman, in her excellent post of Feb. 17, character has been on my mind of late. Beth Ann speaks mostly of what makes a character interesting and complex; I’m thinking more of how one might go about discovering these aspects.