On July 20, 2014, the final day of the upcoming residency, the MFAC program will have a Graduate Recognition ceremony, honoring the men and women who have just completed their studies and will receive an MFA from Hamline University. Between now and residency (July 11) we’ll be posting interviews with many of the grads. Katie Knutson is today’s grad; she lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota.

What do you do when you’re not working on packets?  Not work on packets?
Ha. I did try to leave my room and see my kids once in a while. 
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program?
I saw an internet ad – but it referenced writing Twilight!  It still caught my eye and that’s how I found out this program existed.
What was your writing experience prior to entering the program?
A lot of very bad creative writing–and some college papers.
What do you especially remember about your first residency?
I cried. More than once.
Have you focused on any one form (PB, novel, nonfiction; graphic novel) or age group in your writing? Tried a form you never thought you’d try?
I’ve mainly focused on middle grade, but this semester I did young adult. I tried picture books and never thought I would – glad I did!
Tell us about your Creative Thesis.
I wanted to focus on first-person POV and young adult in my last semester.  I started something new and wrote 80 pages of a realistic fiction novel with a teenaged girl protagonist.
What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?
I’m definitely more aware of scene– what changes during the scene, why I am including it and how it is important to the overall story.
With packet deadlines removed as an incentive, do you anticipate it will be harder to keep writing?
I’m excited about no deadlines!  But no, I don’t anticipate it will be harder. If anything, the program taught me the importance of writing every day.   
Any plans for your post-Hamline writing life?
Back to my day job…keep plugging away on my writing…maybe get something published one day.
Any thoughts for entering students or for people considering the program?
Definitely take the time to do the program – you’ll meet great people, work with wonderful faculty, and learn so much!