On Sunday, January 20, 2019, Hamline’s Creative Writing Programs will host a Graduate Recognition ceremony to honor all the students who have completed their studies and will be receiving an MFA from Hamline University.
We will be featuring our soon-to-be alumni as they look back on their time at Hamline University. Today’s new graduate is William Bloomfield. He lives in Minneapolis, MN.
What do you do when you’re not working on packets?
Watching squirrels play in my backyard, and muse about how safe and careless they’ll be feeling by the time we get a new dog, hopefully sometime this spring.
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC program?
I “researched” (different from stalking) the gal who wrote Breadcrumbs and found out she was teaching a grad program the next town over. Anne is proof that meeting your heroes is, on occasion, a very, very good thing.
What was your writing experience prior to entering the program?
Creative Writing undergrad, followed by 20 years of trying to cram 400-page novel ideas into 30-second TV commercials.
What do you especially remember about your first residency?
“What the hell am I doing with my life?”
“What’s up with all these kid-lit book nerds?”
“Oh wait, these books are really good.”
“Oh, wait, these people are really cool.”
“Oh crap. I’m home.”
Have you focused on one form or age group in your writing? tried a form you never thought you’d try?
Genuinely thought that as long as blood flowed through my veins, no force on earth could ever compel me to attempt contemporary YA (see next question.)
Tell us about your creative thesis:
Contemporary YA–LIGHTING EMMA FREEMONT.
Laura Chalk used to have a real best friend. Back before she spent her days in a darkened control room, lighting the beautiful, privileged actors of the Mar Vista High Drama Circle. Back before she spent her nights in her bedroom telling made-up stories about her fabulous social life to a disembodied spirit named Laura who only appears under the R25 Yellow glow of her Phillips Hue LED bulb. Back before the pit viper known as Eliza Perth abandoned her to join the cult of the drama circle’s star attraction: Emma Freemont.
But when Morgan finds herself with a shot at apprenticing under a legendary stage director in Brooklyn, NY, she’ll have to choose between her old life in the shadows, or risk exposing a family secret that could bring her perfectly-programmed theatre life crashing down.
What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?
I’ve come to understand my own process better. I have new perspectives on pretty much every element of writing, which would’ve taken me far, far longer to reach outside of this program.
Any thoughts for entering students of for people considering the program?
Writing a book is a marathon. Lest you show up to the starting line with a beer gut and pair of wooden clogs, some training/education might be a good idea. This program will get you there. The race still won’t be easy, but at least you won’t wind up with a bunch of damn splinters in your feet.