Music and the Quickening of Story

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

Susan 2015

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”

Advertisements

Steal Away!

By Lesléa Newman, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Faculty (Writing for Children & Young Adults)
__Newman_Leslea

Lesléa Newman (Photo by Mary Vazquez)

“Good writers borrow. Great writers steal.”

I can’t remember who I stole that quote from. Which doesn’t make me a great writer necessarily. I am, however, a pretty good thief. Continue reading “Steal Away!”

Missing Susan Sontag

By Robin Lippincott, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Faculty (Fiction)
Scan 132

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”

On Word Choice and John Gardner’s “Fictional Dream”

Lamar Giles, Spalding MFA Faculty, Writing for Children & Young AdultsLamar Giles

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””

MFA SUMMER RESIDENCY in KYOTO, JAPAN July 12-23, 2018

By Katy Yocom, Spalding MFA Associate Director

 

gion_geisha_district_by_last_trace-d2x5afm

 

 

 

 

Even in Kyoto—
Hearing the cuckoo’s cry—
I long for Kyoto.

 

Matsuo Basho

 

 

 

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”