Residency is designed to inspire your continued commitment to your art and refuel your enthusiasm for the solitary writing time during the semester ahead. You will be introduced to a variety of artistic concepts and practical writing techniques in a mixture of literary activities. We encourage you to explore event offerings in all genres. Each residency, you will attend a combination of instructional activities and co-curricular events, including:
Activities will be scheduled from approximately 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Although you do not need to attend every activity, workshops are mandatory, and you are required to attend a minimum number of lectures. You are encouraged to choose from all the lecture offerings, not just those in your genre. You are not required to buy books in order to prepare for residency. In addition, during the first days, there will be Orientations, Blackboard (an online communication system) training, and Mentor interviews.
You will complete written evaluations of lectures, workshops, and co-curricular events. All required paperwork at residency may be handwritten, but the forms are also available for electronic completion. If you choose to bring a laptop and would like to use it to access free Internet service, it must have ethernet or wireless capability. Also, the Lied Lodge & Conference Center offers shared computers with Internet access and a printer for public use on a first-come-first-served basis.
Your fifth residency period, capping the fourth semester in which your creative thesis is successfully completed, is the Graduating Residency which not only celebrates your successful completion of the requirements for the MFA degree but also provides other students in the program with the opportunity to hear you present a craft lecture and a public reading from your thesis. On our final evening together, we hold a special Graduation Celebration ceremony, honoring the Graduating Class as a whole and each Graduate individually. There is an additional Residency Fee for Graduating Students; however, you will be charged no tuition for the fifth residency session.
July 15-24, 2016
December 28, 2016 - January 6, 2017
July 14 - 23, 2017
You will work with one Faculty Mentor each semester in a focused pursuit of your individual writing goals. During the first days of the residency, you will have the opportunity to “interview” Teaching Faculty Mentors in an informal setting. Questions could be about many things, including teaching philosophy, preferences on packet submission (electronic or U.S. Postal), advice on working on book-length projects, or what kind of reading list might be recommended. Use this time to find out whatever you believe will best help you make choices regarding your preferences for your semester Mentor.
After the final round of interviews, you will submit a Mentor Preference Form. Final mentor/student pairings will be posted by the following morning. Although we cannot guarantee you will receive your top choices, students and mentors are carefully matched in order to join forces to enjoy a successful and fruitful semester. We encourage you to talk to current students and alumni; you will find most of them eager to share interview tips and their own experiences regarding how the process works.
In one-on-one conferences with your Mentor during the course of the residency, you will create a Study Plan. Four times during the semester, you will submit a packet of your original writing, critical work as appropriate for each term, and a detailed cover letter. The Study Plan grows out of a mutual agreement between you and your Mentor of what will most benefit your goals as a writer; it will map out your individual goals for writing, reading, and critical development for the coming sixteen-week semester. Each semester’s project is developed with regard to an overall goal of shaping a sequential plan of study leading to the completion of the degree requirements.
The nature of the Study Plan is flexible; as long as you complete the required amount of creative and critical work, the Study Plan you submit at residency may change as the semester progresses.
Students are assigned to workshop categories of Prose (including Adult Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction), Poetry, or Playwriting. We run multiple workshop groups in these categories simultaneously, each containing the same small group of students and moderated by 2 faculty members who are rotated each workshop session. In addition, periodic Special Topic Workshops will gather two or more small workshop groups together.
Workshop materials are submitted electronically in advance, and they are compiled and bound into “worksheets” which serve as the “textbook” for each workshop group. You will receive one copy of the worksheets before the residency in order to have time to read your group's material thoroughly and prepare for workshop. Your work will be discussed for approximately one hour.
We encourage all participants to enjoy the many offerings of the Lied Lodge & Conference Center and the surrounding area.
Because of the intense nature of Residency, we schedule “downtime” and optional informal social activities—opportunites to relax, enjoy the company of fellow writers, or enjoy quiet writing time. Among the many local resources, walking trails, vineyard tours, and nearby golf courses are available to you when you are not engaged in program activities.
With environmental programs that focus on trees, conservation, and environmental stewardship, the Lied was designed to serve as a resource for the Arbor Day Foundation members, other conservation-related organizations, teachers, forestry professionals, and other organizations. It is the only educational complex of its kind in the nation. The Lied's Sustainable Solutions and Green Lodging Practices have earned them the Code of Sustainability recognition from the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC).
The Lied is also a full service facility with free wireless and ethernet Internet access, a fine dining restaurant, cocktail lounge, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and fitness center.
All private rooms have work-study areas with Internet access, daily maid service, cable television, mini-fridges, alarm clocks with min doc, irons and full-size ironing boards, coffee makers, recycle bins, and guest-controlled heating and cooling systems which are powered by an energy efficient Fuelwood Energy Plant. Continual break service is offered throughout the day.
Your Residency Meals & Lodging Fee includes daily meals from Arrival Dinner to Graduation Celebration Dinner, lodging, break service, and participation in daily events. For your convenience, the Lied offers you the option of leaving a credit card on file to cover incidental charges, including shuttle service to/from Omaha Eppley Airport, long distance phone service in your room, additional food, overnight stays and/or meals for spouse/family (limited to 2 nights or by MFA Office approval), and a microwave in your room.
We invite you to browse the Lied Lodge & Conference Center web site for more details about this beautiful venue our students and faculty have dubbed "Camp Lied."