• Join us at 3 PM ET (2 PM CT/1 PM MT/12 PM PT) to learn more about the Naslund-Mann School of Writing...

    July 30 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    MFA Virtual Open House

Low-residency is inherently more flexible than traditional, campus-based writing programs. Only low-residency can offer both the lively camaraderie of a peer group and intense one-on-one mentoring with expert faculty, allowing you to write and receive feedback on far more pages than you would in a traditional program.

Intellectual stimulation and artistic support are hallmarks of Spalding residencies. These weeklong gatherings instruct and inspire through faculty-led workshops, lectures, readings, book-in-common discussions and cultural events. Friendships form over conversation. Collaborations continue after class. Writing becomes a less solitary pursuit.

Spring and fall residencies begin in late May and mid-November, respectively. They take place in Louisville, where students stay at the historic, four-star Brown Hotel, engage in our city’s thriving downtown arts scene, and study on our green and growing campus.

When an in-person residency doesn’t fit your plans, our virtual option can keep you on track to earn your degree. During the virtual summer residency in late June, you’ll engage with the same immersive curriculum as students receive on campus, taught live in real time by our outstanding MFA faculty. Tuition is the same for both types of residency, though virtual residencies save travel time and costs. Like in-person residencies, virtual residencies lead to a highly respected Spalding degree. No matter which residency type you attend — perhaps a mix of both — you’ll become a part of a thriving alumni community that will support your writing career long after graduation.

At residency, you’ll participate in a faculty-led workshop, attend faculty lectures in your area of concentration, and sample faculty lectures in other areas as well. You’ll read books or scripts in your area and regularly hear their authors discuss the path to publication or production.

Cross-genre reading and exercises will make you a better writer. Maybe you never intend to write poetry — you’ll still discover how to add texture to your work by using compressed language. Even if you’re not a screenwriter, the study of five-act structure can strengthen your own work. And if you plan to teach, whether in or outside of the academy, you’ll need to be comfortable with the language and special considerations of many genres, not just your own.

Plenary lectures at each residency examine universal questions of subject, structure and style. At each residency you’ll get to know another genre in a rotating series as you write outside your area in a brief cross-genre exercise, read work by a distinguished visiting writer, hear the writer speak and chat with them during a private Q&A. Past Distinguished Visiting Writers include Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Kwame Alexander, Natasha Trethewey, Gene Luen Yang, Ann Patchett, Doug Wright, John Patrick Shanley, Barry Lopez, and Jacqueline Woodson.

All MFA students have the option simply to hop over to a different genre one residency and workshop in a new area. The things you learn there will give you a new perspective and inform your writing for years to come.

Beyond single-genre workshops, we offer specialized options to students in the MFA, MAW and post-master’s programs. Our teaching seminar lets you gain skills you’ll use when teaching undergraduate creative writing courses. Our book-length manuscript workshop offers faculty and peer critique on an entire novel, story collection, memoir, book of essays or full-length poetry collection. We also offer special-topic workshops such as musical theatre, adaptation and place-based writing.

Once residency is over, students begin a 12-credit-hour independent study course, working one-on-one with an expert faculty mentor.

  • March 1: application deadline for spring semester, starting in May with residency on campus
  • April 1: application deadline for summer semester, starting in June with a virtual residency
  • August 1: Application deadline for fall semester, starting in November with residency on campus

For more information, visit our admission requirements page. If you have any questions, please email us.

  • Join us at 3 PM ET (2 PM CT/1 PM MT/12 PM PT) to learn more about the Naslund-Mann School of Writing...

    July 30 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    MFA Virtual Open House