MFA Celebration of Recently Published by Alumni 2009

MFA Alumni

Opportunities for Graduates

As of Fall 2013, the Spalding low-residency MFA Program has 496 alumni. Our alumni and students have published and produced more than 250 books/plays/films. For the full list, click here. Read on to find ways the MFA Program supports our alumni and encourages all MFAers to stay connected.

Join MFA Program faculty, staff, and students and Alumni Association director Terry Price in July as we travel to Prague and Berlin. Plan now to join us in Greece in 2015 (June 24-July 6). We’ll spend time visiting classical antiquities in Athens and enjoying archaeological and natural wonders on the island of Crete. 

MFA Alumni Trips: See the World with the MFA

The Summer Residency in Prague and Berlin, July 10-22, 2014

Considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities, Prague is steeped in time, untouched by the bombs of the world wars. Built on seven hills, the city offers not just beautiful views, the world’s largest castle, and the best beer in Europe, but also a chance to experience old-school Europe when you pay for your purchases in the traditional currency, the Czech crown (koruna).

Our EF Tour Directors travel with us for the entire trip to answer questions, provide cultural insights, and keep our travels flowing smoothly. They’ll lead us on a walking tour to explore Prague’s Old Town, including the atmospheric Charles Bridge, and visit its castle, the largest in the world. We’ll visit the important Jewish Quarter on a walking tour that focuses on Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century.

MFA Alumni in Italy, 2011

MFA Alumni, Italy. 2011

We’ll take in an evening performance at one of the city’s iconic Black Light theatres, which mix mime and modern dance to create a multimedia, avant-garde theatre experience found only in Prague. An optional “Prague by Night” tour offers the chance to see the city by boat after dark, from the Vltava River.

From Prague, we travel by motorcoach north to Berlin, which has emerged as a vibrant metropolis since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. We’ll tour the city by bus to see the major sights, passing by the Brandenburg Gate, and visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. We’ll visit the world-famous Pergamon Museum, with its classical antiquities and Islamic art. In the evenings, you might opt to take in a cabaret or join a walking tour of Berlin’s justly famous modern architecture.

The MFA group shares meals on arrival day and on the last night of residency. In between, most evenings are free, giving you time to explore the cities as you wish.

Classroom Sessions

Alums are invited to join MFA students and faculty at our opening session and Program Book in Common discussion, when Sena leads a discussion about Franz Kafka’s surrealist novel The Castle. Many other lecture sessions are open to alums who’d like to attend. Alums interested in participating in workshop should check with Katy about joining the trip as a residency-only student.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

For alums, residency includes plenty of free time to spend as you will, with opportunities to socialize as well as to enjoy solo explorations and writing time. Our EF Tour Directors can give you tips and insights as you plan your days. In addition to the events on our itinerary, Alumni Association director Terry Price puts together optional dinners, readings, and other events for alums who’d enjoy the company.

Day 1 – July 10 Board your overnight flight to Prague.

Day 2 – July 11 We arrive in Prague, meet up at the airport, and proceed to our hotel in the heart of the city center. Join our EF Tour Director for an orientation walking tour of our neighborhood, and learn where to eat, drink, and find wi-fi. The entire group sits down together for a welcome dinner.

Day 3 – July 12 A walking tour today begins at the Prague Castle. In the castle’s courtyard, we’ll visit the magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral, which took over 600 years to complete. We’ll stroll through the quaint, cobbled streets of the Mala Strana, the backdrop for Milos Forman’s Amadeus. We’ll cross the Charles Bridge to the 13th-century Old Town (Stare Mesto), where we’ll see Market Square, famous for its 15th-century astronomical clock.

Day 4 – July 13 Today is open for you to explore Prague on your own, or perhaps even rent a car for a day trip into the Czech countryside.

Day 5 – July 14 Today is open for exploration and writing. This evening, we attend a Black Light Theatre performance, a type of theatre found only in Prague. Known for its beauty and visual artistry, Black Light Theatre combines dance, music, and nonverbal performance into one memorable show.

Day 6 – July 15 Today, our tour director leads us on a stroll through Josefov, Prague’s Jewish Quarter. For centuries Jews were forced to live separately and were then purged under Nazi occupation in World War II. Today Josefov stands in loving memory of Judaism in Central Europe. We’ll visit the unique Old Jewish Cemetery, the Jewish Museum, the Old-New Synagogue, and the Spanish Synagogue. Afterward, we’ll stop by the Kafka Museum, located in Franz Kafka’s former home.

Day 7 – July 16 Our final day in Prague is at your leisure. Perhaps you’d like to visit St. Agnes of Bohemia Convent, one of the oldest Gothic buildings in Prague, which houses an exhibition of medieval and Renaissance art. This evening, join in an optional “Prague by Night” sightseeing trip to view the city lights by boat from the Vltava River.

Day 8 – July 17 Today we travel by motorcoach to Berlin, stopping in Dresden for lunch along the way. This afternoon, we visit the world-famous Pergamon Museum, which houses antiquities including the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate. The building also houses the Museum of Islamic Art and the Near Eastern Museum.

Day 9 – July 18 This afternoon, we take a motorcoach tour of Berlin. We’ll ride past the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche (left unrestored as a reminder of the ravages of war) and down the glittery Kurfürstendamm, Berlin’s liveliest street. We’ll arrive at the Brandenburg Gate, once the symbol of the Cold War, where East and West Berliners danced atop the crumbling Berlin Wall in November 1989. On the site where Checkpoint Charlie once guarded the border between East and West Germany, we’ll visit a museum devoted to the era of the Berlin Wall.

Day 10 – July 19 Today you’re free to explore Berlin as you like. Perhaps take a bike tour of the city, visit the Bauhaus Museum, or just hang out in funky East Berlin. This evening, you might opt to take in a performance at one of Berlin’s famous cabarets.

Day 11 – July 20 After a free day for writing and exploration, join in on an optional evening walking tour of Berlin’s justly famous modern architecture.

Day 12 – July 21 Today is open for exploration—or perhaps you’d like to sit in on our final day of classroom activities, including our interrelatedness-of-the-arts discussion, a journal reading session, graduation readings, and the graduation ceremony itself. The residency wraps up tonight with a farewell dinner.

Day 13 – July 22 Auf Wiedersehen, Berlin! We fly out of Berlin, arriving back home in the States.

Travel Costs and Discounts

A land-only package, which includes housing, breakfasts, two dinners, museum and theatre entrances, walking tours, motorcoach transportation between Prague and Berlin, travel insurance, and tips, costs $2,730. A complete package, which includes all of the above, plus air travel from Louisville and ground transportation to/from the airports, costs $4,090. If you’re flying from an airport other than Louisville, contact EF College Study Tours to see how your costs are affected. Additional meals, optional activities, and free-time activities are not included in the trip price.

Discount: Alums and guests receive a special $290 rebate from EF College Study Tours, credited to your account in April.

And another discount: The MFA Program is offering an alums-only early-bird discount of $250 to alumni who sign up by January 10. This discount, available only to alumni of the Spalding MFA program, is credited after you sign up for the trip.

Yet another discount: Repeat travelers with EF College Study Tours receive a $100 credit after signing up with EF.

Total savings available to alums is $640!

Enroll by February 1!

Before you sign up for the trip…

  1. Check out the day-to-day itinerary.
  2. Read essential information about flights, payment options, guests, and more.
  3. Read the Enrollment Booklet.

When you’re ready to sign up…

To sign up for the Prague/Berlin residency, click or call the toll-free phone number, 1-877-485-4184. Enrollment deadline for alums and their guests is February 1. Sign up by January 10 for the $250 early-bird discount!

Questions? Contact Katy Yocom at

Staying Connected

A primary goal of the MFA Program is to look for ways to support its alumni and to keep all MFAers connected and informed about other MFAers successes and news.

Through the MFA portal page on, alumni may keep updated with MFA Program news through Thursday Memo, listen to residency faculty lectures, and use other portal resources. Contact the MFA Office for the login.

Alumni websites and blogs are listed on the MFA blog. The MFA Program Facebook page ( posts readings and other MFAer events, as well as information about contests, calls for submissions, and grants. Check it out on Throwback Thursday and see pictures from previous MFA residencies and events.

Alumni continue to receive the MFA Program newsletter and are encouraged to send entries for the “Life of a Writer” column to the newsletter editor at On Extended Wings is available at

Life of a Writer pieces should be submitted to and written as a paragraph in third person and should include the area of concentration in parenthesis after the name: (F) for fiction, (P) for poetry, (CNF) for creative nonfiction; (W4C) for writing for children and young adults, (SW) for screenwriting, and (PW) for playwriting. Please include the graduation year, such as Jake Doe (F ’03). Spell out month and state names. Include title(s) of the work, publishers, date of publication, and complete web site addresses when appropriate.

Check out the MFA store at

MFA Alumni Association

The alumni association plans Homecoming, sets up workshops among alums, plans regional events, and keeps up communication with alumni through a website:, a newsletter “Soaring” (see alumni website), and a Facebook page: The alumni association began Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni in 2009. This celebration which takes place at Homecoming is only one of several innovations of the May Homecoming weekend.


During each spring residency we have a Homecoming weekend, where alumni can visit with each other, students, faculty, and staff. At Homecoming the program provides a variety of special sessions, such as “Life after the MFA” talks, social gatherings, lectures, panels discussions, workshops, readings, lectures on the craft or the writing life, discussions on publishing, and other events.

Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni, 2012.

Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni, 2012. Pictured l-r Al DeGenova, Adriena Dame, Dan DiStasio, Jill Koren, Julia Schuster, Pamela Steele, Jonathan Weinert, and Chris Helvey

The alumni association sponsors Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni, where our alumni read from books published within the last year. The Celebration Reading is followed by a book signing and SPLoveFest, a book fair that offers books by alumni and students and that allows alumni and students to display their artistic ventures or to promote their blogs, websites, online journals, and more.

Post-Graduate Residency Assistants

At each residency up to eight Post Graduate Residency Assistants, who are alumni, are selected to attend. These PRGAs participate in Workshops and help the MFA staff in many ways. PGRAs receive a travel, housing and food stipend and are included in all residency events. At the end of the week, if the schedule allows, they participate in a public reading of their own work-in-progress.

Continuing Education

Graduates may enroll for a post-graduate semester (or individual sessions) in the area of concentration they have studied or may apply to study in a different area of concentration. If a student wishes to study in an area in which he or she has been accepted, no application is necessary. If a student wishes to study in a new area, the student submits a writing sample, as with a new application.

Post-graduate students pay the same tuition as any other student. Post-graduate students fulfill the requirements of the courses they enroll in. Generally, post-graduate students enroll in ENG652 and/or ENG653 (the enrichment semester). To find out about registration, contact the MFA Office. Post-graduate students may request a particular mentor, though it may not be possible to honor the request in every case.

For information about participating in the residency as a residency-only student, contact Karen at Residency-only students are included in Workshops if space is available and participate in the residency as any student. The fee is $1,620 for the entire residency, which includes residency group  meals, events, and curriculum sessions. (Alumni are welcome to ask about scholarships for residency only.)

Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing program is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. to award the Master of Fine Arts in Writing. Spalding University’s low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing is a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

updated 03-25-14

Contact us:

800-896-8941 x 4400 or 502-873-4400

851 S. Fourth St. Louisville KY 40203