Spalding University MFA in Writing :: Creative Writing Programs :: NewPages Guide

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Spalding University

MFA in Writing (low-res)

Contact Information:

851 S. Fourth St.

Louisville, KY 40203


Program director: Sena Jeter Naslund

Program contact: Karen J. Mann

Phone: (800) 896-8941 ext. 4400 or (502) 873-4400

Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA

Type of program: low-residency

Length of program: 4 semesters, plus a graduation residency

Genres: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, screenwriting, playwriting

Enrollment: about 70 per semester (fall, spring, and summer)

Total credits required: 65 credit hours

Application deadlines: February 1 for spring and summer semesters; August 1 for fall semester (but accepts application at any time)

Scholarships available: yes (see website)

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Core faculty: Sena Jeter Naslund, K. L. (Kenny) Cook, Robin Lippincott, Silas House, Greg Pape, Jeanie Thompson, Roy Hoffman, Dianne Aprile, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Lesléa Newman, Eric Schmiedl, and see for a complete list.

Publishing/editing courses: no (see website for opportunities)

Literary magazines: The Louisville Review

Reading series: Spalding’s Festival of Contemporary Writing in spring and fall

Recent visiting writers: Jacqueline Woodson, Barry Lopez, Ann Patchett, Yusef Komunyakaa, Claudia Emerson, Terry Tempest Williams, Marsha Norman, Heather Raffo, Michael Ondaatje, Susan Vreeland, W.S. Merwin, Scott Russell Sanders, Naomi Shihab Nye, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Nancy Willard, Donna Jo Napoli. For a complete list, see

Program description: Our 65-hour, brief-residency MFA in Writing combines superb instruction with unparalleled flexibility. Each semester of the program begins with a ten-day residency, in which students and faculty gather for an intensive workshopping and learning experience.

At the conclusion of the residency, students return home to study independently with a faculty mentor for the rest of the semester. During the semester, each instructor supervises a small number of students, and each student's program is highly individualized to meet each student at his or her level of writing.

Students may customize the location, season, and pace of their studies. The same amount of writing is required in each option:

  • Spring (May) and fall (November) residencies in Louisville, each followed by a 6-month semester in which students may expect to spend about 25 hours a week on their writing and reading\
  • Summer (June/July) residency abroad (2012: Paris, 2013: Dublin/Galway, 2015: Greece) followed by a 9-month semester in which students may expect to spend 12-15 hours a week on their writing and reading
  • Combine the spring Louisville residency with the 9-month summer semester schedule
  • A combination of spring, summer, and fall semesters

Program Director Sena Jeter Naslund, author of the bestselling Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette, Adam & Eve, and The Fountain of St. James Court, or; Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman, brings more than thirty-five years of teaching experience in regular and low-residency graduate programs to the Spalding MFA Program.


last updated 8/21/2014