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Spalding University

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  • Sena Jeter Naslund-Karen Mann Graduate School of Writing
    MFA in Writing (low-res), MA in Writing (low-res)
  • Contact Information:

  • Mailing Address:

  • 845 S. Third St.
  • Louisville
  • KY
  • 40203
  • Program Director: Kathleen Driskell
  • Program Contact: Katy Yocom
  • Phone Number: (502) 873-4400
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Program Information:

  • Degree: MFA, MA
  • Type: low-residency
  • Length of Program: 2 years (MFA), 1 year (MAW)
  • Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Children's, Young Adult, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Cross-Genre
  • Enrollment: 70
  • Total Credits Required: 65 (MFA), 35 (MA), 15 (grad certificate)
  • Application Deadlines: March 1 for the Spring semester with residency on campus in May, April 1 for the Summer semester with virtual residency in June, August 1 for the Fall semester with residency on campus in November.
  • Scholarships: yes (see website)
  • Assistantships: yes (see website)
  • Core Faculty: Maggie Smith, Erin Keane, Elaine Neil Orr, Silas House, Douglas Manuel, Robin Lippincott, Rachel Harper, Dianne Aprile, Rebecca Walker, Lesléa Newman, Sam Zalutsky, Charlie Schulman, Kira Obolensky, Keith S. Wilson, Leah Henderson, K. L. Cook, Felicia Rose Chavez, Gabriel Jason Dean, Angela Jackson-Brown, Ellen Hagan, Lee Martin. Lamar Giles (see website for a complete list)
  • Publishing/Editing Courses: yes (see website)
  • Recent Visiting Writers: Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Martyna Majok, Randy Ribay, Margaret Renkl, Terese Marie Mailhot, Jacqueline Woodson, Kwame Alexander, Natasha Trethewey, John Patrick Shanley, Tim O’Brien, Kiki Petrosino, Kevin Willmott (see website for a complete list)

Program description: Spalding’s nationally distinguished low-residency MFA in Writing program offers intellectual rigor, affordability, and flexibility in a supportive, noncompetitive community. We are here to help one another become better writers. This ethos permeates everything we do.

Our low-residency model helps you fit grad school into your busy life. You’ll dive deep into your own area, try out other genres and modes, and explore the interrelatedness of the arts.

Residencies bring us together for genre-specific workshops, craft lectures, and community. You’ll learn from distinguished visiting writers, attend arts events, and try your hand at cross-genre exercises that will enrich your craft. During spring and fall residencies, students and faculty stay at the historic, four-star Brown Hotel, two blocks from campus. Optional summer residencies are held virtually, saving travel time and costs.

Independent study sessions are dedicated exclusively to one-on-one mentor-student work. In this, we honor a primary strength of the low-residency model. You’ll write more and receive feedback on more work than in less rigorous MFA programs. Our extended independent study option lets you complete the work at a more leisurely pace, making grad school possible for those with full-time work or family commitments.

We offer many genres of prose, poetry, and dramatic writing. And twice a year, we offer business-of-writing seminars to focus on publishing and professional life.

As a student, you’ll develop lifelong writing habits. And after you graduate, we’ll still be here for you: our outstanding alumni association provides connection, support, and professional networking and learning opportunities for a lifetime.

For writers who already hold an MFA or MA with creative thesis, we offer a post-master’s certificate in writing enrichment.

Scholarships and assistantships available.