The ups & downs of creating a micro-budget feature film

By Sam Zalutsky, Spalding School of Writing Dramatic Writing Faculty

This week, my “new” movie, Seaside (@seasidemovie on Instagram and Facebook), a revenge thriller set on the Oregon Coast, was released by Gravitas Ventures (@gravitasVOD) on multiple streaming platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, and Vimeo. For a while I wondered if Seaside would ever see the light of day so I am really excited and grateful to be able to share it with you.

Continue reading “The ups & downs of creating a micro-budget feature film”
Advertisements

The Little Dramatic Writing Program That Could: Part Two

By Charlie Schulman, Faculty, Writing for TV, Screen, and Stage
Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing

Matt Wohl graduated from the Spalding low-residency MFA in Writing program in 2013. He has been teaching at Broward College for the past two years and is on the Executive Board of Film Florida. His new feature film, SCOOTER, will receive its World Premiere in Miami Beach on September 12. I recently asked him a few questions about his experience writing, directing, and producing his first feature film.

Continue reading “The Little Dramatic Writing Program That Could: Part Two”

Lessons on Death Row

By Catherine Berresheim, Spalding MFA Creative Nonfiction Alum

I’ve been in and out of a variety of prisons for over the last decade. Even though I am accustomed to being in these penitentiaries, I wasn’t prepared for the foreboding atmosphere of Unit Two at Riverbend Maximum Security Institute—otherwise known as Death Row. Nor was I expecting to encounter the abundance of artistic talent within those cinder block walls and the lessons they held on teaching and practicing the art of creative writing.

Continue reading “Lessons on Death Row”

Hug a Tree, Write a Page

By Fenton Johnson, Spalding MFA Creative Nonfiction and Fiction Faculty

California Valley Oak

 “Nothing induces silence like experience,” wrote Flannery O’Connor, an observation that comes to mind more often as I grow older.  On occasion I have considered that the best way to teach creative writing might be for the workshop to read together, first in silence and then aloud, a paragraph by a master, then sit with that paragraph in silence for the next two hours.  These thoughts come particularly to mind now because, in teaching my most recent Spalding intensive, I neglected to conclude my workshop with the admonition with which I conclude all my workshops, i.e., forget everything I’ve said, open your heart, go out and look at the world, and write.

Continue reading “Hug a Tree, Write a Page”

“Good Bones” Poet Maggie Smith Joins the Faculty of Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing

[Photo credit: Devon Albeit Photography]

Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing is pleased to welcome award-winning poet and teacher Maggie Smith to our poetry faculty. Smith will deliver a poetry lecture during our Fall 2019 residency, November 15-24, and will mentor students in independent study. She joins award-winning poets Douglas Manuel, Keith S. Wilson, Debra Kang Dean, Lynnell Edwards, Erin Keane, Greg Pape, and Jeanie Thompson on faculty.

“Of course, everyone knows what a spectacular poet Maggie Smith is,” said School of Writing Chair Kathleen Driskell. “But what makes her perfect for Spalding is that’s she’s a committed and generous teacher who will provide expert instruction to our graduate writing students.”

Continue reading ““Good Bones” Poet Maggie Smith Joins the Faculty of Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing”

Where Do Poems Come From?

By Douglas Manuel, Spalding MFA Poetry Faculty

At the book launch for her new textbook, Method and Mystery: A Research-Based Guide to Teaching Poetry, Plus Sixty Original Prompts to Take Your Students Deeper, my dear friend Tresha Faye Haefner began the festivities by reading Pablo Neruda’s famous poem “Poetry.” Following the rhetorical figuration of the poem, she then asked us in the audience where our poems come from and invited each of us to write one line answering that question. I wrote, “My poems come from the soiled undersides of stones caught in the throat of a river.”

Continue reading “Where Do Poems Come From?”

In Defense of Writing by Hand

By John Pipkin, Spalding MFA Fiction Faculty

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. 

Continue reading “In Defense of Writing by Hand”

The Pressures and Pleasures of a Weekly Critique Group

By Edie Hemingway, Spalding MFA Writing for Children & YA Faculty

If you’re at all familiar with the Spalding University low-residency MFA in Writing program, you know that the daily workshop is a fundamental part of the intense 10-day residency. Each student submits approximately 20 pages of a manuscript to be read and critiqued in advance by each member of the workshop, as well as by the faculty leader/s. Then, over the course of the residency, an hour of positive, constructive discussion is devoted to each piece. Although there are many other exciting events and inspiring aspects of the residency, I have to say, speaking both as a former student and now as a member of the faculty, the workshop has always been my favorite part.

Continue reading “The Pressures and Pleasures of a Weekly Critique Group”