Sena Jeter Naslund-Karen Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University

MFA Program

See writers who attended this program
Program Established: 
Louisville, KY
Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
2 Years
Incoming Class Size: 
10-20 per residency
Application Deadline: 
August 1, 2023
Application Fee: 
$30. Fee waivers sometimes available; contact the School to inquire.
Contact Name: 
Karen J. Mann
Core Faculty Includes: 

Poetry: Debra Kang Dean, Kathleen Driskell, Lynnell Edwards, Erin Keane, Douglas Manuel, Greg Pape, Maggie Smith, Jeanie Thompson, Keith S. Wilson

Fiction: Wiley Cash, K. L. Cook, Kirby Gann, Rachel M. Harper, Roy Hoffman, Silas House, Angela Jackson-Brown, Robin Lippincott, Lee Martin, Nancy McCabe, Eleanor Morse, Elaine Neil Orr, John Pipkin, Karen Salyer McElmurray, Neela Vaswani

Nonfiction: Dianne Aprile, Roy Hoffman, Jason Kyle Howard, Robin Lippincott, Lee Martin, Nancy McCabe, Elaine Neil Orr, Felicia Rose Chavez, Karen Salyer McElmurray, Neela Vaswani, Rebecca Walker

Writing for Children & Young Adults: Beth Bauman, Ellen Hagan, Leah Henderson, Lesléa Newman

Writing for TV, Screen, and Stage: Larry Brenner, Gabriel Jason Dean, Helena Kriel, Kira Obolensky, Bruce Marshall Romans, Charlie Schulman, Sam Zalutsky

Translation: Jeremy Paden

Funding/Employment Opportunities: 

The program offers partial funding through graduate assistantships, scholarships, and editorial and reading positions with our literary journal.

Affiliated Publications/Publishers: 
Other Features: 

In addition to fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, the program offers writing for children and young adults, and writing for TV, screen, and stage. 

Students can choose a faster, higher-intensity pace or a slower, less intensive pace, depending on the time they have available. Students can complete two semesters a year, spending about 25 hours a week on writing and reading during independent study. Or they can opt to complete one semester a year, devoting about 12 hours a week to independent study. 

The program hosts three residencies each year. The spring (May) and fall (November) residencies take place at the Spalding University campus in Louisville, Kentucky. The summer (June/July) residency takes place in a different international location each year. The 2023 summer residency will take place in Quebec City.

Spalding’s Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing also offers a 15-credit graduate certificate and a 35-credit MA in Writing (MAW). Students can matriculate from the certificate or MAW into the MFA, earning two degrees for about the cost of one.

Spalding does not charge a registration fee, residency fee, or graduation fee.

The application deadline is February 1 for the spring and summer semesters and August 1 for the fall semester.


Larry Brenner, K.B. Carle, Whitney Collins, Annie Frazier, Jacquelin Gorman, Leah Henderson, Silas House, Angela Jackson-Brown, Erin Keane, Jennine DOC Krueger, Nancy Chen Long, Jessica Love (a.k.a. Jessica Patrick), Bruce Marshall Romans, Andrea Nasfell, Scott O’Connor, Catherine Rush, Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen (S.A. Bodeen), Frank X Walker, Skye Wallin, Charles Dodd White, Crystal Wilkinson, Lindsay Zibach