Register for alumni workshop by March 31

The Spalding MFA in Writing Alumni Association is pleased to announce that workshops will be offered at Homecoming 2015 (May 27 to May 31). All participants must sign up for workshops no later than March 31, 2015. These free workshops will have no more than four or five participants.

Homecoming Workshops have been assigned to the dates and times below: (Room Assignments will be posted later)

Fri. May 29 – 9 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Sat. May 30 – 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

As we did last year, writers must submit their piece at the time they commit to the workshop. We are also recruiting workshop leaders.

 If you’d like to participate in a workshop kindly read the directions below and submit your work along with:

1.      YOUR NAME

2.      EMAIL


4.      GENRE:

A.    Fiction short story (up to 20 pages)

B.     Short CNF (up to 20 pages)

C.     Partial book length Fiction (up to 100 pages)

D.    Partial book length CNF (up to 100 pages)

E.      W4C&YA

F.       Poetry (3 to 5 poems no more than 10 pages)

G.    Screenwriting

H.     Playwriting

5. Would you consider leading a workshop?

Please send the above information to me at: No later than March 31, 2015. I will make every effort to get materials to participants by April 15, 2015.

If you are interested in workshop participation, please keep in mind the following:

1.       You must read all materials and come prepared to give verbal and written feedback to participants in your workshop. Participants must submit 1-3 type written pages of critique to each workshop participant as well as verbal feedback. All written feedback must be distributed at the time of the workshop.

2.      Once you commit to a workshop please keep in mind that some participants purchase airline tickets and pay for hotel stays in advance. Only commit if you are sure you can attend.

3.      Each workshop will be assigned a leader. The leader will review all workshop materials in advance of the workshop for suitability.

4.      During workshop we will follow the rules set forth by the MFA program. Verbal critiques should be focused on the strength of the submission followed by weaknesses and suggestions for improvement.

5.      Though the purpose of the workshop is to provide critique, conversation about craft points and craft books is encouraged, keeping in mind time allotments.


Register for Homecoming 2015 on The Spalding Alumni MFA in Writing website pages and the Homecoming 2015 schedule.   

We look forward to seeing you at Homecoming 2015.

Mark Your Calendar: Homecoming 2014 is May 29-June 1

MFA alums are invited back to campus for MFA Homecoming, May 29–June 1, featuring an expanded schedule, a host of new events, and a very special rate on rooms at the Brown Hotel!

The Homecoming line-up includes:

• a 10-minute play festival (new this year!)

• alumni workshops

• a lecture by alum Loreen Niewenhuis (F ’07) on “How to connect your work with a targeted audience, and still honor the creative bubble”

• the featured author presentation with Frank W. Walker (P ’03)

• A Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni

• SPLoveFest book expo, which showcases alumni books, literary journals, and other writing and art projects

• an after-party literary reading

• a lecture for alums by a Spalding faculty member

• a smorgasbord of faculty lectures

• a breakfast mixer with MFA faculty, alums, and new grads

• a regional breakout session for those who want to stay connected with other alums in their area

• social activities, including a guided walk along the Urban Bourbon Trail, hosted by Omar Figueras (F/CNF ’13)

The Homecoming Committee is exploring the possibility of hosting a film festival, as well.

Homecoming has been expanded to four days this year to better accommodate out-of-town travelers. For the first time, alums can book their rooms at the Brown Hotel through the MFA Office for $99 a night. Look for more details in the coming weeks.

Alumni interested in participating in the Celebration of Recently Published Books should contact Bonnie Johnson at To reserve a table at the SPLoveFest book expo, contact Mary Lou Northern at To participate in an alumni workshop, contact Linda Bilodeau at

Spring 2013: A Record-Breaking Homecoming

More than 100 Spalding MFA in Writing alums converged in Louisville, Ky., from points as far-flung as British Columbia and Florida for the Spring 2013 MFA homecoming, led by MFA alumni association director Terry Price (F ’06). The homecoming broke all previous attendance records and offered more programming than any before.

Alums began to gather on Thursday evening before Tim O’Brien‘s presentation in the Brown Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom (more on that topic in the article above). The next day featured a full slate of activities, beginning with O’Brien’s Q&A session.

Small-group alumni workshops, organized by Marjetta Geerling (W4CYA ’11), convened with about 30 alumni participants. Screenwriting faculty member Helena Kriel spoke to alums about the inherent rewards of the writing life. And a panel of seven alumni spoke about the ways they have used writing as an avenue to serve their communities-teaching poetry, memoir, and journaling in prisons, substance abuse centers, psychiatric hospitals, and memory care facilities; giving young people a safe space to create art; making a documentary about grief; founding a playwriting organization; and more. Serving on the panel were Sonja de Vries (P ’09), Kathryn Eastburn (CNF ’06), Ann Eskridge (PW ’08), Diana Raab (CNF ’03), Barbara Sabol (P ’10), Bob Sachs (F ’09), and Julie Stewart (F ’10).

Later that afternoon, the Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni featured readings by Chris Mattingly (P ’10), from his poetry collection Scuffletown; Dave Harrity (P ’07), from his book of meditations and spiritual exercises, Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand ; Sandi Hutcheson (CNF ’12), from her nonfiction book Looks Great Naked (published as Grace Adams); Charlotte Rains Dixon (F ’03), from her novel Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior; Loreen Niewenhuis (F ’07), from her nonfiction narrative A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk; and Ann Eskridge, from The Raven, a work of historical fiction.

SPLoveFest book fair took place next, a lively mix-and-mingle event featuring 16 student and alum exhibitors showing and selling their books and literary journals. Carmichael’s Bookstore sold books by the Celebration readers. After a break for dinner, an open-mic alum reading hosted by Teneice Delgado (P ’06) concluded the evening.

Saturday’s events included a breakfast mixer for alumni, new graduates, faculty and staff, followed by the second annual Un-Conference, led by Erin Keane (P ’04) and Teneice Delgado; one-on-one practice sessions for pitching to agents, led by Vickie Weaver (F ’05); regional breakout sessions; alumni workshops; and a reading by PGRAs Marjetta Geerling, Barry George (P ’09), Dan Nowak (P ’07), Katerina Stoykova-Klemer (P ’09); Terry Price, and MFA alumni and staff members Gayle Hanratty (F ’06) and Ellyn Lichvar (P ’07). At the graduation ceremony that followed, 32 new graduates joined the ranks of alumni, and class representative Omar Figueras (F) offered remarks on behalf of his graduating class.