Thorns Will Be Necessary: The Appeal of the Flawed Character

By Beth Ann Bauman, Spalding MFA Faculty, Writing for Children and Young Adults

One of my favorite TV shows is the HBO crime drama “The Night Of.”  It’s tough and gritty and co-written by the inimitable Richard Price.  I’m going to detour here and mention how at a New Yorker festival years back, I first met Price when he and another author gave talks about their writing. The first was affected and kept tinkling the ice in his glass in a soft, actorly way.  He was sort of full of it.  Price, on the other hand, bounded onto the stage when it was his turn, looking like he was wearing a pajama top.  He looked at us and said, “Hey, did you know there’s a really good bar across the street?”  Well, he had our attention.

Continue reading “Thorns Will Be Necessary: The Appeal of the Flawed Character”
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Leah Henderson, Middle-Grade and Picture Book Author, Joins the Spalding MFA Faculty

By Katy Yocom, Associate Director of Communications and Alumni Relations

Leah Henderson

I couldn’t be happier to announce that award-winning author and Spalding MFA alum Leah Henderson has joined the Spalding MFA faculty in Writing for Children & Young Adults.

Continue reading “Leah Henderson, Middle-Grade and Picture Book Author, Joins the Spalding MFA Faculty”

Inspiration from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

By Karen Mann, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Administrative Director

books

When I refer to SCBWI, I’m usually asked, “What’s that?” It’s an acronym all writers should know. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is an international professional organization that supports the creation and availability of quality children’s books around the world. Its members are writers and illustrators of preschool through young adult books, as well as librarians, educators, artists, students, dramatists, musicians, filmmakers—anyone with an active interest in children’s literature or media. Continue reading “Inspiration from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators”

My Enrichment Semester, or How I Escaped My Comfort Zone and Finally Found Work-Life Balance

By Marjetta Geerling, Spalding MFA Alumni (W4CYA ’11)

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Marjetta Geerling

When I graduated from the Spalding MFA program in 2011, I knew at some point I’d be back for an enrichment semester. It’s no secret how much I love the Spalding program, and the enrichment semester provides the opportunity to do a post-graduate semester, an experience I definitely wanted but wasn’t sure how I’d squeeze into my teaching life. Continue reading “My Enrichment Semester, or How I Escaped My Comfort Zone and Finally Found Work-Life Balance”

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”

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””

WHY DO AN MFA IN WRITING, AND WHY AT SPALDING UNIVERSITY?

by Jody Lisberger
Spalding MFA faculty, Fiction

Many people want to know, “What does an MFA in Writing at Spalding get me?” So we asked our alums of all ages and from all over the world to help us out.

Forty-eight graduates, 19 men and 29 women, starting with the first class of 2003 to the present, responded to our open question: How did the Spalding MFA in Writing low-residency program impact you professionally, creatively, and personally? Their responses extol and probe both surprising and not surprising reasons to pursue an MFA in general, and a Spalding MFA in particular. Continue reading “WHY DO AN MFA IN WRITING, AND WHY AT SPALDING UNIVERSITY?”