Professional Writing Students Learn from the Experts at Spalding’s Fall Residency

By Lynnell Edwards, Associate Programs Director

The Spalding School of Writing’s second all-virtual residency kicked off on Saturday with an especially exciting curriculum for our professional writing students, including digital storytelling, the inside scoop on the publishing world, and an exclusive viewing of a performance from Actors Theatre of Louisville. Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing is unique in enhancing graduate professional-writing studies with carefully curated experiential learning in creative writing and exploration of the arts. 

Professional Writing faculty member Erin Keane, who also serves as editor-in-chief of Salon.com, leads the second-semester professional writing workshop in editing and publishing. In workshop, students learn about approaches to editing, publishing platforms, varieties of house style, and ethical considerations surrounding sensitive topics and inclusive language. They’ll also benefit from a conversation with Anne Trubek, founder of Belt Publishing and author of So You Want to Publish a Book? This insightful guide offers concrete, witty advice and information to authors, prospective authors, and those curious about the inner workings of the industry.  

Ashleé Clark

Professional Writing lectures include a talk by Ashleé Clark, Vice President of Digital at Louisville Public Media, “Storytelling: But Make it Digital,” as well as presentations on interviewing strategies and copyediting. 

Robert Barry Fleming

Professional Writing students at Spalding have the unique experience of participating in larger conversations within the graduate School of Writing about craft, creative writing, and the responsibilities of all writers to themselves and their communities. They attend all plenary lectures and events at the residency, which include remarks by Robert Barry Fleming, Executive Artistic Director of Actors Theatre: “Art, Storytelling, and Civic Discourse in the Age of COVID-19 and North America’s Reckoning with Systemic Racism.” In advance of Fleming’s talk, students will view via special access Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, Actors Theatre’s newest production in their digital season.  

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Kevin Willmott

Our distinguished visiting writer is award-winning screenwriter Kevin Willmott, who won an Academy Award and the BAFTA, the British Academy Award, for co-writing with Spike Lee the feature film BlacKkKlansman. He also co-wrote and was executive producer of the critically acclaimed Chi-Raq, also directed by Lee, and most recently with Lee, the feature film Da 5 Bloods for Netflix. He will address our community on November 19 and receive this year’s Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature for his body of work. 

Our 35-hour Master of Arts in Professional Writing and our 15-hour Professional Writing Certificate programs offer an exciting introduction to a variety of in-demand jobs. The programs are ideal for beginning and mid-career professionals, including recent college graduates, those interested in changing careers or growing in their current career, and anyone wanting to explore freelance options in writing. For more information, contact Associate Programs Director Lynnell Edwards at ledwards02 [at] spalding [dot] edu or visit our website for more information.   

The deadline to apply for spring or summer entry, beginning in May or July, is February 1. 


Lynnell Edwards’s most recent collection of poetry is This Great Green Valley (Broadstone Books, 2020), a chapbook of documentary poetry based on revisionist narratives of Kentucky’s pioneer founding in the 18th century. Three additional full-length poetry collections, Covet, The Highwayman’s Wife, and The Farmer’s Daughter, were published by Red Hen Press. A chapbook, Kings of the Rock and Roll Hot Shop, chronicles the work and art of a glass-blowing studio. Her short fiction, book reviews, and essays have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, New Madrid, Connecticut Review, Cincinnati Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere.


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