SpaldingCon Workshops Go Virtual November 18-20

By Kathleen Driskell, Chair, Spalding’s School of Creative & Professional Writing

The School of Creative and Professional Writing faculty at Spalding University is delighted to offer more than 20 three-day generative workshops in a virtual format to alumni through SpaldingCon, our post-graduate writers’ conference. Offering the workshops virtually allows our writers to generate new work from home during the Covid-19 crisis.

The workshops offer superb advanced instruction by our master teachers and provides participants with opportunities to begin new projects, refocus on works in progress, or gain new professional development.

Choose from Douglas Manuel’s “Poetry of Witness in the Time of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter,” Fenton Johnson’s “Reading and Writing as Spiritual Practice,” John Pipkin’s “10 Prompts for 10 Stories: A Fast-paced Generative Writing Workshop,” Lesléa Newman’s “Read It Again: The Art of Writing Picture Books,” Jeremy Paden’s “Translation as a Generative Practice Workshop,” or one of the other fabulous offerings you’ll see below.

Each workshop meets remotely for two hours a day in small groups to ensure optimal internet connectivity and meaningful group discussion. SpaldingCon attendees also have the opportunity to attend streamed or recorded lectures, readings, plenary events, and social events in addition to their special-topic workshops. The cost for SpaldingCon is $475.

No workshop calls for submission of a worksheet before meeting, but some ask participants to complete pre-reading assignments before attending. Each description below will offer specific details.

Erin Keane, Editor-in-Chief of Salon.com

Alumni and MFA grads from other institutions may also be interested in a longer professional writing workshop that meets Saturday to Saturday, November 14-22, during residency, and offers opportunities to add skills needed in the professional writing workplace, including content development, grant-writing, document design, social media and press relations. Alternatively, alums and grads from other MFA programs may attend a full-residency (Saturday to Saturday) interactive editing and publishing workshop led by Erin Keane, Editor-in-Chief of Salon.com. Erin’s workshop provides a terrific and unique opportunity to learn about the world of publishing and editing for commercial and literary presses from the inside. Email us for costs and more information about these professional writing workshops at schoolofwriting@spalding.edu.

Read on for special-topic workshop descriptions.

Continue reading “SpaldingCon Workshops Go Virtual November 18-20”

Writing in Times of Uncertainty

By Kathleen Driskell, Chair, Spalding’s School of Creative & Professional Writing

This post originally appeared as a Facebook post on March 21, 2020.

Spalding students, I hear some of you are having a hard time writing in this time of uncertainty. Me, too. And this is exacerbated by the fact that your worksheet submissions are due April 22. But here’s something I know you’ve learned in Spalding’s program: All writing is born from other writing. The other thing I know you’ve gained from this program is at least one writing friend.

Reach out to that friend and reawaken the lost art and appreciation for letter writing. What would the world of writing be like—what would the world be like—if we didn’t have the letters of Virginia Woolf, Rilke, Keats, Audre Lorde, Flannery O’Connor, Dickinson?

Connect with at least one writing friend (maybe create a circle of three or four) and begin a serious correspondence. Ask each other open-ended questions about the art of writing, your own writing, the world around us—focus on asking questions surrounding our senses or about experiences we are having or remembering in this time of isolation. Commit to meaningful challenging conversation in letters. Hold each other accountable. Encourage one another to spin off into other writing when these letters surprise us with wonderful ideas and observations.

Remember, all writing, every aspect of it, is about connection.


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 kathleendriskell.blogspot.com.


Announcing the Full Line-up of Spalding’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, Nov. 16-22

Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, the state’s largest fall-spring reading series, takes place Saturday, November 16, through Friday, November 22, with faculty and alumni of the low-residency programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. Bestselling graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang headlines the festival as Distinguished Visiting Writer. Yang is the author of the Printz Award-winning American Born Chinese and the National Book Award Finalist Boxers & Saints, a boxed set of graphic novels. Yang has served as a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

Continue reading “Announcing the Full Line-up of Spalding’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, Nov. 16-22”

MUSIC AND LYRICS AT SPALDING, OH, MY!

By Katy Yocom, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Associate Program Director

First she participated in the MFA program’s musical theatre workshop. Then she wrote about it for MusicalWriters.com.

Guest Faculty Michael Roberts and Dramatic Writing Faculty Charlie Schulman

In this week’s blog post, we’re proud to highlight Donna Gay Anderson’s (PW ’18) fun and informative article. Take a look and find out why this Spring 2018 workshop was in such high demand … and how creative team Charlie Schulman and Michael Roberts work together like Fred and Ginger!

Read the full article here:

MUSIC AND LYRICS AT SPALDING, OH, MY!
By Donna Gay Anderson

Enjoy!

Fun times at the Musical Theater Workshop – shown here are Charlie Schulman, Jennine “Doc” Krueger, Holly Baldwin, Donna Gay Anderson and Julia B. Rosenblatt.

The Little MFA Dramatic Writing Program That Could – Part 1

By Charlie Schulman, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Dramatic Writing Faculty

This is the first of an ongoing series that will report and promote the accomplishments of Spalding University’s MFA Dramatic Writing alums and current students. In this edition we will be featuring four MFA Playwriting alums who are making contributions to the field by creating theater-making opportunities for themselves and others.

This is at the heart of the ethos of the Spalding program: the writer as provocateur who builds and sustains community while creating opportunity for themselves and others.

Continue reading “The Little MFA Dramatic Writing Program That Could – Part 1”

INTERVIEW: ‘Terminus’ finds characters discovering painful truth

March 2, 2018 Interview with Gabriel Jason Dean, reprinted with permission from the author, John Soltes at HollywoodSoapbox.com

terminus

Gabriel Jason Dean (center) with cast members

Terminus, the topical new play from Gabriel Jason Dean, is currently being staged as part of the Next Door initiative at the New York Theatre Workshop in Downtown Manhattan. Starring Deirdre O’Connell, the drama looks at Eller, a white woman facing the realities of her violent past amidst the racism of the segregated South. As she journeys along in the play, the woman’s mixed-race grandson, Jaybo, faces a dilemma himself on how to look after his grandmother, a woman he’s no longer recognizing. Continue reading “INTERVIEW: ‘Terminus’ finds characters discovering painful truth”

Three Friends, Three Stages, NYC

By Roy Hoffman, Spalding MFA Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Faculty

Whenever I visit New York City one of my pleasures is attending theater. In the brisk days of late February this year, I had the delight of scurrying out of the cold into two venues where works by friends took away the chill and replaced it with dramatic heat unfolding in front of me. Continue reading “Three Friends, Three Stages, NYC”