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. Sara Kvols is today’s grad; she lives in Sioux City, Iowa.
When I’m not worried about deadlines, revisions, residencies, and running out of creative energy, I’m most likely with my boys—my husband, my 16 month old son, and my dog. I also teach in the Humanities at Western Iowa Tech Community College.
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program?
A friend recommended that I check out MFA programs, and after extensive internet searching, dream searching, and lots of procrastination, I realized that Hamline was the perfect fit for me.
What was your writing experience prior to entering the program?
What writing experience? Seriously, before entering the program, I couldn’t even begin to call myself a writer. It wasn’t on my radar, wasn’t in my daily habits, wasn’t in my guilty pleasures. Now, however, I’m happy to say all that has changed.
What do especially remember about your first residency?
I remember sitting in a lecture by Anne Ursu and wondering how it was that I could learn more about writing in those 45 minutes than in my whole life to that point. It sent shivers down my spine in good and bad ways.
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 started my focus on middle grade (and I fully intend to go back to it), but for now I’m loving writing picture books.
Tell us about your Creative Thesis.
My creative juices and my writing process found a home in picture books when I was otherwise feeling rather homeless, so to speak. My creative thesis is reflective of this love for picture books, as it is a compilation of 8 picture books that focuses on life’s joys, trials, and everything in between.
What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?
While I still struggle to have a consistent writing habit, I have also seen the most change in that area. And the better my writing habit gets, the better my ideas get. And the better my ideas get, the better my material gets. So it’s a win-win all around.
With packet deadlines removed as an incentive, do you anticipate it will be harder to keep writing? Any plans for your post-Hamline writing life?
I anticipate it being excruciatingly difficult. Horrible. Painful. Nightmarish. Like pulling out your own teeth. Luckily, I have a wonderful writer’s group to remind me that I’m a writer, to read my work and inspire me with theirs, and to always keep in mind that writers write.
Any thoughts for entering students or for people considering the program?
At some point, you have to stop putting it off; you have to stop making excuses. At some point, you just have to pull the trigger. And once you do, you’re in for as big of an experience as you’re willing to make it.
"keep in mind that writers write." words to keep close by… I'm so excited to read/listen to your stories.