Each summer, Spalding low residency MFA students and faculty travel to a different location abroad, where we tailor our rich residency to include the literary and cultural highlights of our locale.
Summer residencies begin in late June or July and are paired with an extended independent study that ends in March. We’ve studied in Paris, London, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and many other locales. This video tells the story of our summer 2015 residency in Greece.
Curriculum & Culture
While each summer residency is unique, all include visits to cultural sites, discussions of books and scripts by writers from our host country, faculty lectures, faculty-led workshops, panel discussions, and more. Student readings and an innovative writing exercise keep students actively engaged in the creative process. Workshops are offered in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, screenwriting, and playwriting.
The Edinburgh curriculum from Summer 2017 provides a typical example:
Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh. Residency kicks off with an opening dinner.
Day 2: Classes begin with a discussion of our program book in common, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark. The day continues with an introductory workshop session as well as genre-specific discussions of Scottish books and scripts.
Day 3: A plenary lecture explores the collage essay in a session for all students, and an exercise is assigned. Workshops follow. In the afternoon, we take a city tour, exploring the Royal Mile, St. Giles Cathedral, and the Monuments to Sir Walter Scott.
Day 4: Classes include a plenary lecture on craft, faculty lectures in three separate genres, workshops, and more.
Day 5: All-day cultural tour to the Ayrshire Coast, including Culzean Castle and Gardens, a clifftop walk, the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, and Alloway Auld Kirk church.
Day 6: A selection of faculty lectures, followed by workshops and student readings.
Day 7: A selection of faculty lectures, workshops, and a tour of Edinburgh Castle and the Princes Street Gardens.
Day 8: A selection of faculty lectures, workshops, and an optional half-day cultural tour to Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument.
Day 9: Faculty book-in-common discussions by genre, revision workshops, readings by graduating students, and a panel on publishing.
Day 10: A free day, with an optional motorcoach tour of the Highlands or a hiking trip in Loch Lomond National Park.
Day 11: Final day of classes, a follow-up session on the cross-genre exercise, the graduation ceremony, and a farewell dinner.
Day 12: Depart for the States or continue your travels in Europe.