Master of Fine Arts students and faculty arrive Friday, November 9, at Spalding University’s Louisville campus to begin ten days of intensive study in creative writing. One hundred and thirteen graduate students arrive from across the country to study the writing of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, screenwriting, and playwriting. Thirty-four MFA faculty members, also from across the country, arrive to lead workshops, give lectures, participate in panel discussions, and present readings.
During the residency, students present their original writing for critique in small workshops, as well as attend lectures, panel discussions, small group discussions, thesis discussions, readings, and other arts events. Also, at residency students are paired with mentors who guide independent study in writing and reading during the rest of the semester after the student returns home.
Students learn and practice creative writing in their genre while on campus, but each residency provides an opportunity for cross-genre exploration by featuring a book-in-common, or script-in-common, area. The cross-genre area for this November’s residency is Dramatic Writing.
Debra Granik, co-writer and director of Winter’s Bone, a film nominated for four Academy Awards, visits the Spalding residency to talk to students and faculty about adapting her script from the novel of the same name by Daniel Woodrell. MFA students and faculty also attend an Actors Theatre production of the acclaimed play True West by playwright Sam Shepherd. All students will participate in an exercise that adapts an excerpt of their own creative writing to a short script for the stage or screen.
The Spalding brief-residency MFA in Writing program was founded in 2001 by Sena Jeter Naslund and Karen J. Mann. It has been named a top ten low-residency MFA Program by Poets & Writers Magazine. MFA students and faculty have been awarded numerous honors and distinctions for their writing, including Jackie Gorman (fiction graduate 2010), whose collection of stories The Viewing Room was recently named winner of the esteemed Flannery O’Connor Prize in Fiction from the University of Georgia, and MFA faculty member Kirby Gann whose newest novel Ghosting has been named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly.
For more information, see www.spalding.edu/mfa.