On Sunday, July 15, 2018, 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 Ben Cromwell. He is currently moving to Marietta, OH.
What do you do when you’re not working on packets?
I will be teaching writing at Marietta College in the fall, so basically living the dream. I also like to play disc golf.
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program?
My wife, Raven, told me about the program.
What was your writing experience prior to entering the program?
I had written poems, essays, and some short stories.
What do you especially remember about your first residency?
The Quadropus. My cohort is like family and we bonded that first residency.
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 written three novels over the course of the program. One sucked. The other two are good. I’ve written Middle Grade and Young Adult. I didn’t even know Middle Grade was a thing until this program.
Tell us about your Creative Thesis.
The Black Lake is a novel I wrote with the idea of adapting a scary story my dad used to tell me into a YA novel. It’s about a lake monster. Two kids have to kill it. Then things get weird.
What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?
I’m much funnier now. I used to write everything in the voice of Batman. Christian Bale Batman. It was very serious and very dark. I’ve loosened up a lot.
Any thoughts for entering students or for people considering the program?
Do it. Especially if you’re ready to make a real run at being a writer.
If there was an award for the “best laugh ever,” you would win it, Ben Cromwell, hands down. Glad you took a chance on a masters program for kids who like to write. 🙂 Congratulations and all the best. Wishes for a smooth move.