English and Creative Writing

There are many places to learn to write well at Hamilton, but nowhere better than in English classes, where great writing is the first concern every day. You may get a chance to collaborate with faculty members on research and publications, and there are grants to fund the work.

Peter Bresnan ’15
Peter Bresnan '15

A student writer’s plan: teaching what he loves

Peter Bresnan ’15 is a short-story writer who opted to major in English rather than creative writing. Still, he gets up early and stays up late to write, and he just had a story published in Red Weather, Hamilton’s student literary and art magazine. Bresnan intends to pursue fiction writing along with a doctorate in English and an academic career.

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Hamilton’s approach to writing drew him to the college, and he’d heard it had a great writing center. He got involved there. “I am a tutor, which is my favorite part about being here,” he says.

Through that work, Bresnan discovered his affinity for teaching, and he expects he will teach some day at the college level. He’s experienced what good teaching can do: He says he has his mind blown on a weekly basis in a couple of his classes at Hamilton.

“The teachers here are so good. They really, really are. And even when I have the hardest moments and I say ‘I don’t want to be here,’ my teachers are really the anchors that always pull me back to earth,” he says.

Lauren Magaziner ’12 returned to the Hill in November 2014 to give an informal talk about her newly published children’s book and share advice with current students on how to make it in the publishing world.

A graduate’s progress: A book and a job at Scholastic

Lauren Magaziner ’12 wrote her recently published children’s book, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, during her junior year at Hamilton College. During her semester abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, the old city served as her muse.

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“I was feeling pretty inspired from the witchy, cobblestone-y, spooky atmosphere of the city, and so I decided to try my hand at a witch novel of my own,” Magaziner says.

Aside from writing, Magaziner works at Scholastic’s children’s magazine department.

The Only Thing Worse Than WitchesPenguin Books published The Only Thing Worse Than Witches in August 2014, and Magaziner has another book scheduled for release with the same publisher for the summer of 2015.

She knew she wanted to write books before coming to Hamilton and chose the College because it offered her the option to major in creative writing as opposed to English. “I love that Hamilton recognizes that studying literature and writing literature require different hats,” Magaziner says.

She had an internship at HarperCollins children’s books the summer between her sophomore and junior years. In her application, she submitted as her writing samples three workshop critiques she had written for a class at Hamilton.