Homecoming 2015 – May 27-31

Here’s the information about the Spalding MFA in Writing homecoming celebration May 27-31, 2015. Register here.
Below is the schedule, which will be updated when the program announces the writer in residence.
5:15-6:30 p.m. Diana M. Raab Distinguished Writer in Residence (Brown Hotel, 16th floor, Gallery Ballroom)


1:00-1:30 p.m. Registration.  (Brown Hotel, 2nd floor, Bluegrass Room) 

• Pick up short reading for Literary Chat

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. Alumni Gathering, Brown Hotel, 2nd floor, Bluegrass Room
Gather, say hello to old friends, and receive an official “Welcome Home”  from Sena Jeter Naslund 

2:00 p.m. Afternoon programming

• Urban Bourbon trail, led by Marjetta Geerling

Catch up with us at any point on the trail between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Text Marjetta at 305-695-9619 for the group’s current location.

• Another option, to be determined

5:15-6:15 p.m. Spalding’s Festival of Contemporary Writing. Readings by MFA Faculty, including program directors Sena Jeter Naslund and Kathleen Driskell (Brown Hotel, 16th floor, Gallery Ballroom) 

7:30-9:30 p.m.  Alumni Film Festival (hosted by Laura Morton Mattingly) and Alumni Play Festival (hosted by Justin Dobring) (Brown Hotel, Secretariat B)


9 a.m.-11:15. Alumni Workshops.

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. A Literary Chat. Alumni gather to discuss a close reading of short pieces of work. Facilitated by Nancy Long. Readings to be distributed at Homecoming Registration. 

12:15- 1: 15 p.m. Lunch. (The ELC deli now serves subs, pizza, and salads.)

1:30-2:15 p.m. Alumni Faculty Lecture. (ELC Lectorium) Silas House. The Transformation of Beauty Into Action

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken…even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood,” Audre Lorde once wrote.  This lecture will expand on that notion and explore the ways that writing must seek to transform and be activist in its many ways, by telling one’s truth, by standing up for what one believes in, by observing and preserving. We will look at examples from writers like Marilynne Robinson, Larry Brown, Zora Neale Hurston, and others.

2:30-3:15 p.m. Cathy Medwick, magazine publishing. (ELC Lectorium) 

3:45-5:00 p.m. Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni. All students, alumni, and faculty welcome. (Brown Hotel, 1st floor, Citation Room) Book signing with Celebration authors to follow at SPLoveFest book expo. 

5:00-6:00 p.m. SPLoveFest. Alumni and students display their books, journals, and anthologies and/or bring promotional material regarding any artistic endeavor such as plays, movies, podcasts, literary services, blogs, websites, and more. Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. (Brown Hotel, 1st floor, Secretariat)

6:00-7:00 p.m. MFA Moth: oral storytelling by students (cross-genre follow-up session). Alumni welcome. (Brown Hotel, 1st floor, Citation)

9:00 p.m. Alumni After-Party Literary Reading (hosted by Teneice Durrant) A slate of alumni will be reading from their work. (Brown Hotel, 1st floor, Citation)


9:00-10:15 a.m. Breakfast Mixer for alumni, Spring 2015/Fall 2015 graduates, faculty and staff. (Mansion Drawing/Dining Room)

10:30-11:30 a.m.  Regional Alumni Breakout Sessions. Alumni meet together, then breakout by region to discuss possible regional events. 3rd floor, Library 

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.  Concurrent Panel, Presentation, and Agent Pitch 

• Living the Writing Life Alumni Panel with Teneice Durrant, Katrina Kittle, Terry Price, Julie Stewart, Justin Dobring, and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer. Alumni reflect on the many ways they keep writing alive in their day-to-day lives, including: inspiration and caring for your art in the midst of “real life,” ways that writing intersects with your life and other endeavors, and ways to use your MFA in addition to teaching. Each panelist will speak briefly then there will be a time for questions and lots of discussion.
• Dan Distasio: Creature from the E-lagoon: Navigating the Murky Science and Fiction of Online Teaching

According to the Babson Survey Research Group, about 7.1 million college students take online classes (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2015).  Good news for writers seeking faculty positions that offer flexibility, income and time to write. Sounds great? Not so fast.  Online schools are big business, and traditional schools are following the money trail.  Whether you teach for a private liberal arts school, or a mega for-profit institution, online teaching is a demanding, challenging and frustrating endeavor.   This session will examine the different schools and options available to potential online instructors, and the expectations, exaggerations, and exasperations related to online teaching.  Welcome to the E-lagoon!

• Agent Pitches with Vickie Weaver – If you’re ready to pitch your work to an agent, Vickie will give you a one-on-one opportunity to present to her and then she will give you feedback and ideas to improve your chances of getting an agent that’s right for you. This opportunity must be scheduled in advance of Homecoming with Vickie personally so that you can be prepared and there will be time for each presentation. Spots are limited and it’s first come, first serve. Email Vickie at dirtyoven@yahoo.com

2:15-3:15 p.m. Spalding’s Festival of Contemporary Writing. PGRAs read from works-in-progress. (ELC Lectorium)

3:30-5:30 p.m. Alumni Workshops.

6:00 p.m. Graduation. (Brown Hotel, 16th floor, Gallery)

After-graduation reception. All welcome. (Brown Hotel, 1st floor, Citation)

7:30 p.m. Champagne Toast and Farewell Dinner. (Purchase ticket from Katy to attend.) (Brown Hotel, 1st floor, Secretariat Room.


Have a safe trip! Put the next Homecoming on your calendar now. June 2-5, 2016.

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