From Sena, with Love

By SENA JETER NASLUND, Founding Program Director

 

Sena Jeter Naslund ASo 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”

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Goodbye, Darlin’: A Tribute to a Great Writer.

By JULIE BRICKMAN, SPALDING MFA FICTION FACULTY

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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.”

Bang for your buck: Cost, affordability, and what to look for when shopping for an MFA program

Katy Yocom, Associate Administrative Director, Spalding University MFA

Fourth Street Live

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”

Looking Back on the Brink of Looking Forward

Karen Mann, Co-Founder & Administrative Director of Spalding low-residency MFA

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At the MFA residency this fall, we are honoring Sena Jeter Naslund as she retires from the MFA program at the end of the year and turns her attention to new creative projects. Leading up to the residency, I have been thinking not only about what’s brought us to this point in the MFA program but I have also been anticipating the future! Continue reading “Looking Back on the Brink of Looking Forward”

Books for the Dented Self

Neela Vaswani, Spalding MFA Faculty, Fiction

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I would venture that most writers find reading healing. Find solace in words and craft and the quiet of turning pages. I usually feel that way. But at various points in my life, when I’ve been in need of healing—from trauma or loss or illness—I’ve found myself incapable of reading. I can’t get my eyes to move horizontally across sentences. And the literary fiction I normally find comforting feels inedible. Continue reading “Books for the Dented Self”

THE ART OF THE LITERARY SUBMISSION: A Beginners’ Guide to Submitting Your Work

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Ellyn Lichvar, Managing Editor, The Louisville Review
Coordinator, Spalding University MFA in Writing

Louisville Review
Seeing your name in print is exciting. Seeing your name in print beside your published work is even better. But where to start? There are so many journals in existence, deciding which one is the best fit for your work can feel like drinking from a firehose. There are reading periods and closed reading periods and themed issues and page count guidelines and print vs. online and submission fees and submission managers and simultaneous submissions. There is fear—fear of rejection, fear of publication (“Oh my gosh, my mom/son/ex is going to read this!”), fear of doing the wrong thing.

 

Continue reading “THE ART OF THE LITERARY SUBMISSION: A Beginners’ Guide to Submitting Your Work”

YOU START OUT CONFUSED & END UP MYSTIFIED: An appreciation of Denis Johnson

by Jason Hill
Spalding MFA Coordinator of Student Services and Marketing
MFA in Writing, Spalding University

The truth is, I agreed to do a blog entry almost without thinking.

Katy Yocom suggested I write something on Denis Johnson, who died shortly before the start of the Spring 2017 residency in Louisville. No doubt she’d heard me and others talking during residency about his recent death, and because I opened my big mouth during the closing faculty and staff meeting to suggest that faculty looking for post subjects could turn to current writing-related events like Hulu’s premier of A Handmaid’s Tale or Johnson’s death. There are a lot of writers I admire, and nearly as many that I’ve stolen from as I try to craft my own style. But there are very few writers whose use of language and approach to their subjects has given me as much motivation for close study as Johnson. Continue reading “YOU START OUT CONFUSED & END UP MYSTIFIED: An appreciation of Denis Johnson”