Currently live where?
I live in St. Paul, just about ten minutes away from the Hamline campus.
Anything else, like website/blog/Twitter you are ok sharing?
Facebook @erin.h.stevens or @erinhaldenwrites
What do you do when you’re not working on packets?
My three kids keep me very busy.
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program?
Several years ago I worked with MFAC alum Megan Atwood through the Loft Literary Center. She told me about the program, and I kept it in the back of my head until I felt ready.
What was your writing experience prior to entering the program?
I’ve always been writing! I was a journalism and creative writing double major in undergrad, and I worked for thirteen years as a series television producer and scriptwriter. I wrote a script a week for years. I started writing my own stories several years ago, during breaks between freelance projects. I decided to commit to my own writing, and applied to Hamline. And now here I am, about to graduate. Time flies.
What do you especially remember about your first residency?
I was convinced I didn’t belong there. I was surrounded by so many amazing writers. It was intimidating. It must have been written all over my face, because during my first workshop Swati Avasti told all the first semesters in the group that they belonged at Hamline. That we were all good enough to be here. I might have imagined it, but I felt like she was saying it to me. I’ve held on to her words throughout my time here.
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 came into the program wanting to develop my young adult fantasy manuscript. I also experimented with picture books, early readers, and middle grade nonfiction. To my surprise, I loved working on middle grade nonfiction, which was nowhere on my radar before I tried it.
Tell us about your Creative Thesis.
My creative thesis is a young adult fantasy novel about a young woman who discovers that all the
What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?
To say I’ve grown as a writer is an understatement. I’ve seen my understanding of story deepen. I see my own work with more clarity. I learned how to really and truly revise – a skill that is distinct from drafting – and how weave a story together across the many pages.
Any thoughts for entering students or for people considering the program?
Go for it. Really, just do it. The faculty here is amazing, and not just because they’re great writers. They’re great human beings. Their enthusiasm is infectious. This is a positive, generous, supportive, embracing community that truly wants everyone to succeed. You will grow here, and you will be supported – and cheered – as you grow.
Erin – so glad to see your photo. Congrats on graduation. I remember your 1st workshop as it was my last. I remember thinking how qualified you were as a writer. Your submission and comments were great. Look forward to seeing you at future Alum Wknds .