Jul 31, 2012, 1:45 AM
Post #2501 of 2683
Just thought I'd share some information for those who are still in the process of deciding on a programme.
Re: [shestartedit] Low-Residency MFAs
I’m currently doing my MFA in Writing at Spalding University (based in Louisville, KY), which is an amazing programme with a very positive and supportive culture. All students and faculty have been taught from day one to focus their feedback on what’s good about the work first, followed by what can be improved – so that workshops and packet responses are productive sessions that enable students to understand what’s working, what’s not, and most importantly, why. For me, I think it’s important to know what’s working about my writing as well… if nothing else, it’ll help me be able to do more of the good stuff! I’m only in my second semester but I feel like I’ve grown so significantly as a writer since I started the programme last July.
In terms of schedule, every semester starts with a 10-day residency followed by the at-home portion during which work is mailed or emailed to your mentor. I’m currently doing a ‘short’ semester which means that I send packets to my mentor every 3.5 weeks – comprising 35 to 45 pages of original work plus 2 to 3 short essays on craft (3 to 5 pages each). In the ‘long’ semester, packets are sent every 6 weeks.
Spring (May to October) and Fall (November to March) are short semesters, while Summer (July to March) is a long semester. Spring and Fall residencies are in Louisville, while the Summer residency is abroad. (Although you have the option of registering for the Summer semester and doing the Spring residency in Louisville – but be on the longer Summer packet schedule.) Last year, I went to Rome/Tuscany – such an inspiring, breathtaking experience! – and this year, the Summer students are just finishing up in Paris as I write this. And next year, we’ll go to Ireland!
Hope this information is useful in some way! :)