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.
Continue reading “The Power & Wonder of Revision”
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!
Continue reading “The Intricacies of Time in Story”
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”
By Kathleen Driskell, Chair, Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing
Here’s something I’ve learned. Nearly
everybody thinks they have a picture book in them. Another thing I’ve learned?
To underestimate the expertise needed to write a good picture book is foolish. At
Spalding’s Fall 2019 SCPW residency in Louisville, we’ll give our writers a chance
to explore picture book practice during our cross-genre venture into Writing
for Children and Young Adults.
Continue reading “A Cornucopia of Riches for Our Spalding Writing Community: Fall 2019 Residency Overview”
By Beth Ann Bauman, Writing for Children & Young Adults Faculty
Maybe it’s just me, but the use of multiple perspectives in middle-grade and YA fiction seems to have swelled in the last decade. And it’s understandable why this is an appealing choice for a writer. It’s fun to head hop, use different voices, and create a broader understanding of the world. When done well, it makes for a satisfying, compelling read, such as in the young-adult novel Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, a WWII story that follows four narrators seeking passage on a ship to escape a Soviet advance. The shifting perspectives provide a wide lens on this historical event while keeping a strong narrative focus. But handling multiple perspectives is tricky and complicated, and a book can easily lose its narrative unity. Before attempting, here are some considerations:
Continue reading “Multiple Perspectives: To Use or Not”
By Kathleen Driskell, Chair Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing
It’s a tradition during residencies at the Spalding School
of Creative and Professional Writing to regularly rotate and provide common instruction
in one of the genres we teach: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing
for children and young adults, or writing for TV, screen and stage. Though our
students dive into deep practice in their chosen writing concentration, each
also benefits from exploring other genres, learning what craft elements and
techniques are unique but also shared between genres. It’s been gratifying over
the years to see how these cross-genre forays have provided important epiphanies
for writing students.
Continue reading “The Fall 2019 Residency Book in Common Is Actually Two Books: Gene Luen Yang’s Best-selling Boxed Set, Boxers and Saints”
By Beth Ann Bauman, Spalding MFA Faculty, Writing for Children and Young Adults
One of my favorite TV shows is the HBO crime drama “The Night Of.” It’s tough and gritty and co-written by the inimitable Richard Price. I’m going to detour here and mention how at a New Yorker festival years back, I first met Price when he and another author gave talks about their writing. The first was affected and kept tinkling the ice in his glass in a soft, actorly way. He was sort of full of it. Price, on the other hand, bounded onto the stage when it was his turn, looking like he was wearing a pajama top. He looked at us and said, “Hey, did you know there’s a really good bar across the street?” Well, he had our attention.
Continue reading “Thorns Will Be Necessary: The Appeal of the Flawed Character”
By Beth Bauman, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Writing for Children & Young Adults Faculty
If you’re a YA writer, you already know you need to read a wide variety of literature, including YA, of course, and general fiction with teen protagonists. But I’d argue it can be just as helpful to study good TV and movies about teens. Continue reading “Visual Literature: Learning from TV and Film”
By Karen Mann, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Administrative Director
When I refer to SCBWI, I’m usually asked, “What’s that?” It’s an acronym all writers should know. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is an international professional organization that supports the creation and availability of quality children’s books around the world. Its members are writers and illustrators of preschool through young adult books, as well as librarians, educators, artists, students, dramatists, musicians, filmmakers—anyone with an active interest in children’s literature or media. Continue reading “Inspiration from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators”
By Marjetta Geerling, Spalding MFA Alumni (W4CYA ’11)
When I graduated from the Spalding MFA program in 2011, I knew at some point I’d be back for an enrichment semester. It’s no secret how much I love the Spalding program, and the enrichment semester provides the opportunity to do a post-graduate semester, an experience I definitely wanted but wasn’t sure how I’d squeeze into my teaching life. Continue reading “My Enrichment Semester, or How I Escaped My Comfort Zone and Finally Found Work-Life Balance”