By Lesléa Newman, Writing for Children & Young Adult Faculty member

[Originally posted in The Nerdy Book Club by CBETHM on 11/12/2019. Reprinted here with permission from The Nerdy Book Club.]

Head shot by Mary Vazquez

I have been invited to hundreds of schools as a visiting author over the last several decades. And there are hundreds (thousands!) of schools who haven’t invited me. But I have never been uninvited to a school. Until now.

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A New Twist on our School of Writing Graduation Celebration

By Kathleen Driskell, Chair, School of Creative and Professional Writing

In recent residencies, we’ve noticed that fewer graduating students and their families have joined our farewell dinner buffet after the graduation ceremony. We’ve worried the added cost to include loved ones may be prohibitive for some, and we understand others may simply want to get away and have dinner on the town in Louisville. Besides, twenty years is a long time to keep doing the same thing, so the School of Writing team put our heads together and have asked the talented chefs of the Brown Hotel to shake things up a bit.

This spring, immediately after the graduation ceremony, we are delighted to invite graduates to bring a guest to our Gala Graduation Reception, where they can join other Spalding students, faculty, and alums for a champagne toast, and feast at the spectacular Grazing Tables the Brown will spread out before us.

The reception will allow those with off-site dinner plans to nibble and toast to your newly earned degrees before heading out. Those staying in should find enough to make an evening meal from the crudites, charcuterie boards full of chorizo, capicola, prosciutto, country ham and cheese boards with Derby Sage, Drunken Goat, smoked gouda, and baked brie. And nuts. And bruschetta. And charred asparagus. And shrimp cocktail. And sesame-crusted tuna. And roast beef. And fresh berries. And trust me, there’s more. Expect some beautiful desserts: lemon panna cotta, bites of Derby Pie, and chocolate mousse. A cash bar will be on site as well.

Again, each graduating student is invited to bring one guest to jolly up the celebration. Graduating students can buy $20 tickets for each additional guest they’d like to have join the reception. Children 12 or under may attend at no charge. And—because all of us are celebrating the graduates—there is no charge for our other enrolled Spalding students. Guests of (non-graduating) students or alums who wish to attend the Gala Graduation Reception may buy $20 tickets as well. Information on how to RSVP and buy additional tickets can be found in the residency survey that the SCPW will email out soon.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Award-winning poet and teacher Kathleen Driskell is the MFA Chair and Professor of Creative Writing at Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing, Home of the Low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program. Her newest poetry collection Blue Etiquette is available from Red Hen Press. Next Door to the Dead, winner of the 2018 Judy Gaines Young Book Award is available from UPKY. Follow her @kathdriskell or visit her blog at

The Power & Wonder of Revision

By Leah Henderson, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Spalding School of Writing Faculty

On any given day, I hear or read a new article, blog post, or craft chapter offering up what an author believes to be the “best writing advice.” It feels as if everyone thinks they have the answers, but of course most of the answers are different. And you know what, that’s okay, because no two writers are alike. We each have distinct ways of writing, seeing, and interpreting the world around us. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that we’d each have different approaches for creating stories.

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The Intricacies of Time in Story

By Edie Hemingway, Writing for Children & Young Adult Faculty

As we enter not only a new year, but a new decade, I find myself thinking a lot about time. How unsettled these times are. How fast it flies by. And what does the future hold? When I looked for a simple definition of time, this was the first of many I came across: “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.”  An endless progression!

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Three Poems of the Last Decade for the New Decade

By Douglas Manuel, Spalding School of Writing Poetry Faculty

The fact the decade was ending snuck up on me, much as old age often does: no impact at all, and then, suddenly, one’s perspective on flights of stairs changes, and one’s lower back finds the key of pain a little more often. I quote T.S. Eliot far too often: “I grow old … I grow old.” So yes, because of the stupors of routine and/or the acute observation fatigue I often feel (Our current political situation is a heavy stone I remove from my chest daily.), I did not feel the sighing swirls of decade’s end until the onslaught of end-of-decade lists saturated my television time with my family and my internet time as I turned tight, slow corners through the roads of my online neighborhoods. It was then, as cultivated nostalgia fed my senses, that I took my eyes from my screens and to myself, to those weathered roads of memory where the skyline is mostly foggy and the rain is cold enough to sting a bit but light enough to feel like mist. 

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A new live storytelling series in Eastern Kentucky has Spalding roots. Here’s how to get involved.

By Natalie Axton, Spalding MFA alum

I remember the first time I heard a story told for a live audience. I was a young girl, maybe ten or eleven, not yet in charge of my logistical destiny. It was fall. My parents had packed me and my brother into the car to head to some kind of Halloween happening.

Continue reading “A new live storytelling series in Eastern Kentucky has Spalding roots. Here’s how to get involved.”

Productivity: Finding Time to Make Time

By Nancy McCabe, Spalding School of Writing Creative Nonfiction and Fiction Faculty

Toronto. A busy life on Bloor Street.

For years, as a single parent with simultaneous full-time and part-time jobs, I was always on a tight schedule, determined to set aside an hour or two each day to write. Then, a couple of years ago, my daughter went off to college. With fewer errands to run and meals to cook and needs to attend to, after years of highly structured schedules and extreme discipline, I was ready to take a more relaxed approach to my work. But my luxurious illusion of unlimited time was just that—an illusion—and I’m still struggling to settle into a new writing routine.  

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Emulate and Play: A Look at Role-Playing Games and Inspiration

By Charles Maynard, Spalding School of Writing, Profession of Writing Faculty

Satan worshippers will steal your kids, shave their heads, and use them in ritual sacrifices. That was one of the many stories I remember as a kid growing up in Appalachia during the 1980s.

Continue reading “Emulate and Play: A Look at Role-Playing Games and Inspiration”

Summer Residency in Paris: The Rest of the Details!

By Katy Yocom, Spalding School of Writing Associate Director for Communications and Alumni Relations

Last week, I wrote up all the details we could announce about our Paris residency, July 6-16, 2020. This week I’m back with final details, including travel costs and an innovative new workshop focused on professional writing.

Continue reading “Summer Residency in Paris: The Rest of the Details!”