Spalding MFA alumni and students have published and produced more than 300 books, plays, and films.
The Spalding MFA program and the terrific, volunteer-run MFA Alumni Association offer graduates a wealth of support and benefits. Here are eight opportunities that don’t cost a penny for Spalding MFA alums, and four that do:
The Spalding MFA program and the terrific, volunteer-run MFA Alumni Association offer grads a wealth of support and benefits. Here are eight alumni opportunities that don’t cost a penny, and four that do:
One: Lifetime access to the MFA portal page, including our archive of faculty lectures. Listen—for free!— to Sena and the rest of our amazing faculty deliver high-level talks on craft, major authors, and literary movements. (Alums can contact the MFA Office for login details.)
Two: Homecoming. You might want to bring some bourbon money, but the rest of Homecoming is free. Alumni workshops. Faculty lectures. A reading by newly published alums. SPLoveFest book expo. A film and play festival. The faculty-alum breakfast mixer. Panel discussions about teaching, pitching to agents, and supporting your published work. It’s inspiration, education, promotional opportunities, and a chance to reconnect with your writing community.
Three: Online workshops. Whether they’re in Vermont, L.A., or Singapore, any alum can participate in these video critique sessions. Just ask the MFA Alumni Association to connect you with other MFA alums who’d like to form a group.
Four: Post-grad residency assistant positions. In exchange for helping with behind-the-scenes work, a handful of alums get to participate in an entire Louisville residency, including taking part in a faculty-led workshop. The MFA Program springs for a shared room at the beautiful Brown Hotel, up to $300 for travel expenses, and a stipend to boot. A similar opportunity is available at our residencies abroad.
Five: Our social media reach. Share your news on the Facebook pages of both the MFA Program and the MFA Alumni Association. Check out Throwback Thursday for pictures from previous residencies and events. To put your news on the MFA Program’s Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Alum Association’s page, open only to Spalding MFAers, is ideal for sharing news or discussion within the alumni community.
Six: MFA blog. Sink into a weekly dose of writerly wisdom, rants, ponderings, and advice from MFA faculty members, staff, and alums. We’ll link to your website and blog in our list of alumni sites. Send your writerly news to “Life of a Writer: News and Events” at email@example.com.
Seven: Free registration for 15 alums at the annual AWP conference. AWP is the place to network in the academic and publishing worlds —and to reconnect with other Spalding MFAers at our official reading/cupcake-and-champagne event.
Eight: Membership in theSpalding MFA Alumni Association. When you graduate, you’re automatically inducted. And thanks to the astonishing dedication of our alumni volunteers, there are no membership dues and no fees.
Alums receive all these benefits absolutely free! They can also invest funds to receive yet more:
Nine: Regional events. The Alumni Association hosts events around the country, offering anything from an evening’s socializing to a weekend writing retreat.
Ten: SpaldingCon, our autumn alumni writing conference, featuring faculty-led workshops, master classes, talks from publishing professionals, and more. Think of it as the amped-up, more professionally focused version of Homecoming.
Eleven: A post-graduate residency, or even an entire post-grad semester. Alums are welcomed back “home” anytime for faculty-led study and a renewed connection to the community.
Twelve. International travel with our summer residencies in Greece, Rome, Barcelona and beyond. Part vacation, part reunion, these trips prove that your membership in the Spalding MFA family will keep taking you unexpected places, no matter how long ago your journey began.
Summer Residency in Greece, June 24-July 6, 2015
Our summer residency begins in Athens, the cradle of democracy and birthplace of Western civilization. From our home base in the seaside suburb of Glyfada, we’ll visit the Acropolis to explore the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike, stopping afterward at the world-renowned Acropolis Museum. An optional sunset excursion to Cape Sounion takes us to one of the most imposing sights in the ancient world: the evocative ruin of the Temple of Poseidon, overlooking the island-dotted Aegean Sea. The next day offers a full-day optional excursion to the sacred site of Delphi, the most spectacular of Greece’s ancient sites.
Midway through our travels, we take a short flight to the Greek island of Crete, where we’ll stay at an all-inclusive beach resort near the sleepy village where El Greco was born. While students are in class, alums can relax at poolside, take a dip in the Mediterranean, walk the beaches, or partake in any of the resort’s leisure activities. You can walk into the nearby village or take a day trip to explore more of Greece’s largest island.
We end the residency back in Athens, where we celebrate our newest graduating class!
Alums are invited to join MFA students and faculty in many lectures and classroom sessions, including our Program Book in Common discussion. Alums interested in participating in workshop should check with Katy about joining the trip as a residency-only student.
Residency includes plenty of free time to spend as you will, with opportunities to socialize as well as time for solo explorations and writing. 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. And our EF College Study tour directors are always available to answer questions, provide cultural insights, and keep our travels flowing smoothly.
Read on to see what alums say about traveling with the MFA Program:
Alice Covington (Fiction ’13): Visiting both Prague and Berlin would have been worthwhile in itself, but experiencing these cities in the company of fellow Spalding writers was beyond compare. [The trip] injected me with renewed enthusiasm for the passion of writing that binds this extraordinary community. I shall return.
Aimee Mackovic (Poetry/Screenwriting ’05): I cannot recommend enough the magical experience of traveling with Spalding as an alum! Want to pop in on Sena’s lecture? Great! Want to spend three hours with other alums debating the contemporary American canon over a leisurely lunch? Fantastic! Want to spend the whole day sightseeing (or writing) by yourself then meet up with others for dinner? Excellent! It’s your trip! Traveling as part of Spalding lets you take a bit of your tribe with you, and bit of Splove.
Cindy Corpier (Fiction ’13): As the vacation planner in my house, I know about the time involved in choosing tours, guides, hotels, arranging transfers and figuring out local customs—all in the name of relaxation. The Czech Republic and Germany were new destinations for us and all I did was arrange airline tickets—though EF Tours will do it for you, if you choose—then read Kafka and Rick Steves, packed and picked up a supply of Czech koruna. Everything else was done for me. We met superlative guides throughout the trip, were welcomed into Spalding readings and lectures, talked writing, walked through history, and left for home newly inspired.
Bonnie Johnson (Fiction ’04): With the tone set by the administration, the leadership and positive shepherding attitude of Terry Price, and the quality of EF Tours’ guides, the 2014 alumni program … was fabulous. Age or previous travel abroad is not a factor, nor is venturing alone on the trip. We look after one another as needed, while being free to choose how one’s own time is spent. I can ramble on and on about all the ways Terry tends our flock with a smile, being ever-concerned that nobody feels left out or has to eat alone unless he or she desires, and all the wonderfully kind people who are part of the Spalding family….
Darlyn Kuhn (Creative Nonfiction/Poetry ’09): Terry Price is ready with a big smile and a warm good morning on each day of the trip, as well as a hearty good-night at the end of the day, and in between he spends a great deal of time making sure that all the alums are comfortable and happy. Brad and I have traveled with Spalding University to Paris, London and Bath, Barcelona, Rome and Tuscany, Dublin and Galway, as well as Prague and Berlin. Our lives as writers and world citizens have been immeasurably enriched by these experiences, and Terry Price is a big reason that we are so eager to return year after year.
Before you sign up for the trip…
When you’re ready to sign up, go to efcst.com/1478633WX or call the toll-free phone number, 1-877-485-4184.
See you in Greece!
Give back: Donate to the MFA Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
800-896-8941 x 4400 or 502-873-4400