You’re most likely well aware of the benefits of being an alum. Creating relationships, opportunities, and a support system are the most clear benefits we’ve found, both throughout the program and now after. However, there are many benefits of being an alumni of the Spalding MFA program that you might not be aware of, or just need to be reminded of. Here is a list:
- Membership in the Spalding MFA Alumni Association- You’re already inducted. Thanks to the dedication of Terry Price and other alumni volunteers, there are no membership dues.
- Lifetime Access to the MFA portal page- Log on at http://my.spalding.edu like you did while you were a student. Besides information happening in the MFA Program, there are plenty of resources to take advantage of in there like faculty audio lectures and residency and Homecoming information. Contact me for the username and password for Alum.
- PGRA or Post-Grad Residency Assistant- In exchange for helping with behind-the-scenes work, a handful of alums get to take part in an entire residency. In Louisville, the MFA Program covers the cost of a hotel room at the beautiful Brown hotel. A similar opportunity is in place for abroad residencies.
- A post-graduate residency or post-grad semester- Get back into the swing of things with an additional semester or residency. Fees apply, but when you’re ready, we’re ready to have you.
- Foreign travel opportunities- Now that we have a study abroad component, the alumni association encourages alums to take the opportunity to travel with them. It is a vacation but you also have the chance to attend some lectures, readings, and literary events with some of your favorite writers, staff, and faculty. The MFA program is heading to Edinburgh in 2017, so mark your calendars!
- MFA Homecoming- The last weekend of each Spring Residency features a packed weekend of program development, panels on writing, teaching, pitching, and supporting your published work, as well as lectures, readings, a breakfast mixer with faculty, a Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni, film and play festivals, and a SPLoveFest book fair where you can bring your own books or creative arts to display and sell. Hundreds of alumni attend to reconnect, learn, and have fun. This is at no cost so no reason to miss it!
- Spalding Con- The MFA alum writing conference at the fall residency. The conference features faculty-led workshops, master classes, talks from publishing professionals, and more. This is a more in-depth, extensive Homecoming and fees do apply.
- Chance to attend AWP for free- Spalding sponsors 15 alums to attend the AWP conference each year. It’s the place to network in the world of academia and publishing, and reconnect with other MFAers at a Spalding reception. In 2017 it’ll be held in Washington, D.C..
- Virtual Workshops- If you begin to miss the workshops, Linda Bilodeau (Spring 2011) is our point person in putting together virtual workshops to help facilitate exchanging your work, regardless of distance. Contact her to get set up in an ongoing group, or ask for help in creating your own. Linda also coordinates in-person alum workshops at Homecoming in May.
- Alumni Regions and Regional Events- When you graduated, you were automatically a part of the national alumni group, and also a regional alumni group. Marjetta Geerling (Spring 2011), began regional events several years ago in Orlando and other regions have had their own event, including Louisville, Lexington, Northern California, and Alabama, among others. If you would like to host an event, contact your regional point person and they’ll help you get organized.
- The MFA blog- Get a weekly dose of writerly wisdom and advice from your favorite Spalding MFA faculty and staff. http://Spalding.edu/mfablog
- Alum website- Keep up to date on what’s going on in our alumni community by checking out http://www.spaldingmfaalum.com (you’re probably already here.)
- Soaring!- And while you’re at the website, check out Soaring! Once again…. You already know that.
- Hub events- Want to host an MFA alum event in your town? The Alumni Association will support your planning and publicity. It could be a cocktail hour, a weekend writing retreat, or an MFA get-together piggybacking on an existing conference or event.
- Facebook group- Our facebook group is another great way to connect to fellow alumni. Visit us at http://www.facebook.com/groups/SpaldingMFAalumni/ If you haven’t already joined the group, it’s a great time to start. All alumni, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to be a part. It’s a closed group to protect our writers, so just ask permission and you’ll be admitted!
- Social Media interactions- the MFA program is on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Tweet at @Spalding_MFA and use hashtag #SpaldingMFA. Share your news on the Facebook page of both the MFA Program and the MFA Alumni Association to get involved and support.
- Full support of the Alumni Association- As you know we are a community and we want to cheer you on and help you succeed in any way we can. You can email me, post on the Facebook group, tag SpaldingMFA on social media, or if you’re not sure who to contact reach out to our Communications Director, Linda Bilodeau (Fall, 2011). She is in place to streamline the communications in the Alumni Association. She’ll review what you need and get it to the appropriate person or outlets.
Just like when we were students, there are many great ways the Spalding MFA program helps us out. Are there any that I’m missing? Comment below to remind me other benefits we have as alumni.
I’m looking for contributors for the following posts:
If you run a blog I want to feature yours in the list of our alumni blogs and possibly ask you a few questions on how you run it, and any opportunities that have come from your site.
Productivity Helps: what apps, devices, or websites that you use to help you with productivity in your writing life.
DEAR SOARING!: Send me your questions to be featured on the blog. Other alumni will help in answering your questions.
The Many Jobs after the MFA: I want to hear what you do for a living! What has your MFA done for you career. Let’s see how diverse our Spalding family is.
Where in the World: Where have you gone recently? Send me a picture with information on your trip and any writing you may have done about the trip.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.
Mackenzie Jervis is a Summer 2016 Graduate. She lives in Texas with her husband, two cats, and puppy. She has way too many books, more cameras than she knows how to properly use, and a never ending need to keep moving. She write about her life and adventures at home and around the world at A Wandering Scribbler.