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Coming Up in March: Spalding's Business of Writing Seminars

The Spring 2023 edition of Spalding's Business of Writing Seminars takes place Saturday, March 25, 2023, for students and alumni of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University. Four hourlong virtual sessions offer extracurricular instruction in the world of professional writing, editing, and publishing.

Here’s the program for the March 25 event:

“Creating an Artist Portfolio: Everything You Need to Apply to for Grants, Fellowships, Residencies . . .” with Amina McIntyre (’09)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. CT / 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. MT / 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. PT

This session will assist writers in crafting their portfolios for applications to grants, residencies, or fellowships, often the most overwhelming part of the application process. One of the ways to make the process easier is to have a ready portfolio of the basic things requested for quick reference. Based on my experience as an applicant and judge, I created a portfolio that would help remind me of what I’m eligible for, and it also keeps all the application materials in one central location. Thus, I am able to submit with less stress and measure my compatibility for an opportunity. This session will look at Self Demographics and help participants gather and organize all the consistent elements into one place. Participants will review their accomplishments as a text for what kind of opportunities they might be qualified. Participants should bring one element of a portfolio, such as a bio, resume, or artistic statement, to refine with peers for stronger submissions.

“Calling all Creative Writers: The Copywriting World Needs You!” with Holly L. Jensen (’10)

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. ET / 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT / 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. MT / 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. PT

How many times have you read an ad, driven by a billboard or watched a commercial and thought to yourself, “I can do better than that!” No doubt you can, because the copywriting world is stuffed full of people who watched a few episodes of Mad Men one night and then woke up wanting to be a writer because it sounded cool. (No offense to those with dreams of being cool, but the industry needs writers who read regularly and geek out over the Oxford comma debate and the 430 meanings of the word set.)

In this interactive seminar we’ll get real about how you can use your storytelling chops to get paid to write for brands (while still having time and energy to write for yourself). I’ll share insights and experiences based on my 10 years as a copywriter for a marketing agency with a range of clients across the globe.

During our time together, you’ll learn how to earn money by crafting compelling copy for different audiences and across multiple platforms — including print, digital, social and video. We’ll talk about the importance of collaborating with designers and directors, the reality of writing for clients, and how having a sense of humor is a must. We’ll also review the pros and cons of writing as a contractor versus a permanent employee and writing for one organization versus an agency that partners with many.

You’ll leave with a better understanding of what types of writing you may want to explore, as well as what organizations look for when hiring copywriters, plus ways you can gain experience if you have none. Bring your caffeine, your curiosity, and your questions!

“Get the Lit Out: Submitting Work for Publication in Literary Journals” with Kelly Martineau (’10)

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. CT / 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. MT / 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. PT

Ready to publish your work? In twelve years of submitting and publishing, I have learned that knowing your publication goals and having a consistent submission practice are key to building a publication list that makes you proud. In this workshop, contemplate your current goals and learn several criteria to evaluate literary magazines to determine whether they are a good fit for your work. Learn the common mistakes that lead editors to automatically decline submissions. We will also discuss rejection, addressing how to deal with and reframe it as a necessary step toward publication. You'll leave the workshop with a worksheet to help you develop and implement a personalized submission plan.

“Using Your Writing Skills to Get Grants” with Melissa Hamilton (’18)

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. ET / 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. CT / 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. MT / 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 a.m. PT

Grants exist for a variety of fields and interests. While there are some specific grants for writing, using our skills can open up a wider range of grants we can pursue beyond those typically thought of by writers. Come learn about the techniques and strategies that will help you improve your odds of obtaining funding. I’ve received over $140,000 in grants over the years. Just like writing, much of the work to prepare for grant writing occurs outside of the actual Word documents. Even if there are no current grants that fit your need, I will share how I "pre-prepare" for funding opportunities. Along with sharing the strategies I have used, I will share a Google Doc for participants to have easy access to key starting places for funding. Grants focused on study, travel, and specific topics/regions will be addressed as well as information about the larger, more competitive grants.

Spalding’s Business of Writing Seminars, presented virtually each spring and fall, have three main goals:

  • To help Spalding writers learn more about working with agents, literary magazines, presses, and theaters and production companies.

  • To help students better understand how to market work once it’s published or produced.

  • To provide enriching instruction to Spalding writers interested in writing in the professional workplace. Sessions include advice on how to break into new freelance markets; work as a copywriter, editor, speechwriter, or grant writer; and write for nonprofits or for-profit organizations.

The seminars are freely available to School of Writing students and faculty, and are open to alumni for $25 for the day. The registration deadline for alumni is March 23.

All sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be available for one month after the event for students, faculty, and registered alums.

To learn more, email


Melissa Hamilton ('18), EdD, MFA, MA, MS, has personally won approximately $140,000 in grants over the years. In addition, she has been a co-Principal Investigator on major multi-million dollar education grants from various national organizations. She has been a grant reader for the National Science Foundation and has even created her own grant for teachers to apply for when budgets allowed.

Holly L. Jensen (’10) earned an MFA in playwriting from Spalding University in 2010. Her plays have been produced in the United States and Australia and published in The Louisville Review (vol. 66), Boston Theater Marathon XI Anthology, and Boston Theater Marathon XII Anthology. Holly works as a copywriter and scriptwriter at (add)ventures, a brand culture and communications agency, and she lives in Rhode Island with her four-year-old daughter, Stella, and their calico cat, Iris. When she has more than five minutes of free time, Holly writes and distributes content to help people better understand their wildlife neighbors; she’s also working on her first young adult novel.

Kelly Martineau (’10) is an essayist and poet. Her work has appeared in Entropy, Little Patuxent Review, Sycamore Review, and The Florida Review, among other journals. Honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination and selection of her prose chapbook, Sirens|Silence, as a finalist for the May Day Mountain Series, Newfound Prose Prize, and Tiny Fork Chapbook Contest. Her work has been supported by Artist Trust and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Seattle.

Amina S. McIntyre (’09) is an Atlanta-based playwright whose productions and readings include Actor’s Express, Atlanta History Museum, Working Title Playwrights, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and Out of Hand Theatre. Her residencies include Blackacre Conservancy Writer's Residency, Hambidge Center, and the National Winter Playwrights Retreat. Her play On the Third Day, produced by Vanguard Repertory Theatre, earned a Suzi Bass Award. She is co-founder of Hush Harbor Lab and a Ph.D student in religion at Vanderbilt University.


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