Writing for TV and Tabletop Game Design: Two Special Workshops for Spring 2020 Residency. Applications Open Now

Two cutting-edge areas of creative writing—writing for television and writing for tabletop games—gain special focus in two unique workshops offered May 22-31 during the Spring 2020 residency of Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing.  


In the Writers’ Room Workshop, students work together to pitch ideas, break, and write follow-up episodes for an existing TV pilot in an enriching one-of-a-kind instructional experience. This workshop, which replicates the writers’-room model used for TV series today, is led by prolific television writer and producer Bruce Marshall Romans.

Bruce Marshall Romans

Romans’ credits include four seasons of Hell on Wheels on AMC, Steven Spielberg’s Falling Skies on TNT, Marco Polo and Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix, and Messiah, also for Netflix (to be released 1/1/20). He is currently writing/co-executive producing a new drama, Deputy, for Fox, as well as developing and writing an original television pilot, also for Fox. He is based in Los Angeles.

The Writers’ Room workshop is open to students in Spalding’s low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing (MFA) program or Master of Arts in Writing (MAW) program. Applications are open now, with an early placement deadline of February 1. Prospective students should apply in the screenwriting genre.


The Tabletop Game Design Workshop equips emerging writers with the tools, knowledge, and working experience to create professionally written tabletop games and establish an understanding of online writing, community building, and crowdfunding writing. The workshop is led by Charles Maynard, creator of the breakout Far Away Land Role-Playing Game under the pseudonym Dirk Stanley. Maynard is also author of a debut novel, The Way Things End.

Charles Maynard

The workshop is part of a 15-credit Graduate Certificate in Writing: Emphasis in Tabletop Games. To earn the certificate, students attend the workshop during a 3-credit residency course, May 22-31, followed by a 12-credit Independent Study course in which they work one-on-one with Maynard, an expert gaming mentor. Applications for the Certificate program are open now, with an early placement deadline of February 1. Email the School of Writing to inquire about special application requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Writing: Emphasis in Tabletop Games.

Certificate students who wish to continue their studies may use their Tabletop Games certificate credits as first-semester credits to earn the MAW (creative writing) or the MFA. Alternately, students may opt to take the Tabletop Game Design Workshop alone as part of a 3-credit residency course without completing the certificate, though financial aid is not available for students who choose this option.

Current School of Writing students may take the gaming workshop or Writers’ Room workshop as a cross-genre experience, if space allows. To request permission to participate in either workshop, email SchoolofWriting@spalding.edu by January 24.

Federal Financial Aid is available for all School of Writing programs.

The School accepts applications year-round with an early placement deadline of February 1 for entry in the Spring 2020 semester, beginning with a 10-day residency on Spalding’s campus, May 22-31, or the Summer 2020 semester, beginning with a 10-day residency in Paris, July 6-16.

For further information, visit our website.

Ohm’s Law

By Debra Kang Dean, Spalding School of Writing Poetry Faculty

For any circuit the electrical current is directly proportional to the voltage and is inversely proportional to the resistance.

As a consequence of my bewilderingly high scores in the electronics section of the battery of tests I had to take before enlisting in the Air Force, I was recruited into the field of ground radio repair. It turned out to be a poor match since I never really got beyond being able to read schematics; I console myself by believing that one need also have mechanical sense to do well, and my scores on that part of the test had been dismal.

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The Way We Live Now

By Robin Lippincott, Spalding School of Writing Fiction & Creative Nonfiction Faculty

One of the benches overlooking Spy Pond, Arlington.

Here is my third attempt at writing this blog post, which gives you some context for what follows. The first two efforts were completely different and unrelated, on subjects having nothing to do with this one. Finally, I realized there was really only one thing I wanted to write about here; it was so obvious that I’d missed it entirely.

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Setting Your Place, Sitting in Place

By Elaine Orr, Spalding School of Writing Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Faculty

I recently had the good fortune of a one-week writing residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, not a long retreat, but long enough to crack open my novel-in-progress, roam around in it and warm it up. Anyone who has written a novel knows that if you leave it too long, it goes cold, and it’s frightening to go back in. It’s like entering a winter abode with no means of heat. And who knows if things have gotten worse while you were away. Maybe the furniture is shabbier than you remember, the cupboards barer, the wallpaper flapping off the walls. It really can be like entering a haunted house.

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Life of a Writer: Autumn Edition



Jason Cooper (PW) launched his new theatre company, The Chicken Coop, on September 27th here in Louisville, Kentucky. More than just a theatre company, The Chicken Coop strives to provide a variety of entertainment offerings and to create a place for artists and audiences to come together to celebrate, be inspired and simply have a great time.

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Announcing the Full Line-up of Spalding’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, Nov. 16-22

Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, the state’s largest fall-spring reading series, takes place Saturday, November 16, through Friday, November 22, with faculty and alumni of the low-residency programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. Bestselling graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang headlines the festival as Distinguished Visiting Writer. Yang is the author of the Printz Award-winning American Born Chinese and the National Book Award Finalist Boxers & Saints, a boxed set of graphic novels. Yang has served as a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

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Fractured Fiction

By Eleanor Morse, Spalding School of Writing Fiction Faculty

Ocean Vuong, a soft-spoken and brilliant Vietnamese-American poet and fiction writer and a 2019 recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, said, “Often we demand of the American novel to be cohesive, a monolithic statement of a generation, but having grown up post-911, cohesion was not part of my generation’s imagination, nor our language, nor our self-identity, and I felt if I were to write my version of an American novel, it would have to look more like fragmentation. 

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Fall Residency: Bring Your Own Reusable Water Bottle!

Plastic is in the news a lot lately. We’ve all seen the image of the sea turtle with the plastic straw embedded in its nostril, or we’ve read about microscopic plastic particles being found at every level of the food chain. According to the Ocean Conservancy, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our oceans every year.

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A Cornucopia of Riches for Our Spalding Writing Community: Fall 2019 Residency Overview

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

Here’s something I’ve learned. Nearly everybody thinks they have a picture book in them. Another thing I’ve learned? To underestimate the expertise needed to write a good picture book is foolish. At Spalding’s Fall 2019 SCPW residency in Louisville, we’ll give our writers a chance to explore picture book practice during our cross-genre venture into Writing for Children and Young Adults.

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Multiple Perspectives: To Use or Not

By Beth Ann Bauman, Writing for Children & Young Adults Faculty

Maybe it’s just me, but the use of multiple perspectives in middle-grade and YA fiction seems to have swelled in the last decade. And it’s understandable why this is an appealing choice for a writer. It’s fun to head hop, use different voices, and create a broader understanding of the world. When done well, it makes for a satisfying, compelling read, such as in the young-adult novel Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, a WWII story that follows four narrators seeking passage on a ship to escape a Soviet advance. The shifting perspectives provide a wide lens on this historical event while keeping a strong narrative focus. But handling multiple perspectives is tricky and complicated, and a book can easily lose its narrative unity.  Before attempting, here are some considerations:   

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