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Spalding University launches Kentucky’s first school of writing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nineteen years after launching the state’s first Master of Fine Arts in Writing program, Spalding University is announcing another first: the creation of a new School of Creative and Professional Writing, the first and only school of writing in Kentucky.

Building on the success of the university’s nationally distinguished MFA in Writing program, the newly formed School of Creative and Professional Writing incorporates Spalding’s two existing graduate writing programs—the MFA and a post-baccalaureate certificate in creative writing—as well as a newly created Master of Arts in Writing program, currently pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Kathleen Driskell, the current MFA program director, steps into the role of chair of the School of Creative and Professional Writing.

Together, the three programs create a three-tiered offering for writers seeking graduate education in writing in one, two or four semesters, all offered in a low-residency format.

“With our existing programs in creative writing, Spalding is already one of the most innovative and affordable graduate writing programs in the U.S.,” Driskell said. “With the addition of the MAW and our new status as a school of writing, Spalding becomes one of the most innovative, comprehensive and affordable low-residency graduate writing schools in the country.”

Here’s a summary of the three programs:

One semester: The 15-credit-hour Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Creative Writing is earned in a single semester of creative writing study.

Two semesters: The new Master of Arts in Writing program, pending SACSCOC approval, will be offered as a 35-credit degree with two tracks—creative writing and professional writing. The latter track focuses on topics such as editing and publishing, grant-writing, ghostwriting, speechwriting and business writing. The program includes a Capstone residency.

Four semesters: The MFA will continue fulfilling its role as the university’s flagship graduate writing program, a 65-credit-hour terminal degree offering concentrations in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, screenwriting, and playwriting. The program includes a graduation residency.

More information can be found at spalding.edu/schoolofwriting.

The new Master of Arts in Writing offering addresses the need for writing mastery, a key for advancement in nearly all workplaces. With completion possible in about a year, and total tuition of about $20,000, the MAW degree lowers barriers of cost and time for students for whom the MFA may be out of reach. Additionally, MAW students may opt to matriculate into the MFA program, allowing Spalding students to earn a master’s degree on the way to completing the terminal MFA, and for about the same costs as the MFA program alone.

The School of Creative and Professional Writing expects to admit its first MAW students for its Fall 2019 semester, which begins in November.

“The MAW meets the needs of writers who want advanced writing study but don’t necessarily need or want the terminal degree,” said Driskell, who is an award-winning poet. “At the same time, our MFA students will continue to receive the most rigorous and extensive terminal creative writing instruction possible while also gaining further opportunities to be enriched by Profession of Writing lectures and the option to participate in a Professional Writing workshop during their studies.”

Like the MFA, the Master of Arts in Writing and the post-baccalaureate certificate programs are offered in a low-residency format, in which each semester begins with a residency course conducted on campus or abroad, followed by an independent study course that the student completes from home while working one-on-one with a faculty mentor.

Students in the certificate and MAW programs meet the same admission standards as MFA students, and students in all three programs attend the same residencies and are taught by MFA faculty. This arrangement allows both certificate and MAW students to advance seamlessly into the MFA program if desired. Tuition for all programs in the School of Creative and Professional Writing is currently set at $570 per credit hour.

For writers who have not been admitted to the MFA program, the School of Creative and Professional Writing also offers a standalone three-credit-hour course, ENG605: Advanced Creative Writing, in which the student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor. ENG605 is completed from home and does not include a residency component.

Alumni of the MFA in Writing program include a former poet laureate of Kentucky, nationally bestselling authors, feature film scriptwriters, and winners of prestigious awards in every area of writing that the program offers.

Application deadlines for programs in the School of Creative and Professional Writing are Aug. 1 for entry in the fall (November) semester and Feb. 1 for entrance in spring (May) and summer (July) semesters.