Tryphena Yeboah (MFA ’21)

Not one, not two, but three! Tryphena Yeboah (MFA ’21) recently learned that THREE of her stories were accepted for publication in the winter issue of Narrative Magazine. Yeboah is one of the 2019-21 MFA fellows and is an international student from Ghana.

“I am really excited,” said Yeboah.

The Creative Writing Major is one of six fellows accepted into the fellowship set up for the Writing Program in Wilkinson College by President Daniele Struppa, and former President Jim Doti. These fellowships are awarded by faculty to talented incoming students.

“What a privilege it is to have been accepted into Chapman University,” said Yeboah. “I am at Chapman to learn more about writing and discover how much room I have to grow my skill,” she said.

Her professor, Richard Bausch, suggested she send her work to the journal for publication consideration and although she was a little hesitant at first, considering she had received a number of rejection emails prior from other publications, she went for it.

“I called my mom after and told her the news. She was way more excited then I was,” said Yeboah.

She’s a deeply gifted, bright, charmingly self-effacing, young woman with a wonderful sense of humor and healthy discipline about doing her writing every day,” Bausch said.

Unfortunately, Yeboah is not allowed to share her stories with us until they are officially in publication, but she did give us a summary of one.

She wrote about the loss of childhood and its innocence in the life a young boy who tends to his ill father and the strains on family ties when the coping mechanism for pain is in itself unbearable and it’s set in the rural parts of Ghana (we know, you want more … as soon as the stories are out, we will let you know!).

Writing short stories is new to Yeboah. She has focused much of her writings towards poems, however, because of a Chapman Fiction Workshop class she is currently taking with Dr. Martin Nakell, she has broaden her writing skills and the challenge has been good to her.

We asked Dr. Nakell about Tryphena, here’s what he had to say. “Among my written comments on {her} first piece: “Thank you, Ghana, for lending us Tryphena.” not only was her writing clear, not only was it sophisticated, not only did it vividly portray a life and a place and an emotion, we loved it! The class applauded! My job now, is to help Tryphena improve on an auspicious beginning,” he said.

Before Chapman, Yeboah obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2017 and in 2018, a Master of Arts degree in Development Communication from the Ghana Institute of Journalism – and although being away from home for the first time and in a new country, at a new University can’t be easy for anyone, Yeboah makes it look that way. She’s succeeding and challenging herself as a writer and a person, learning new things everyday.

“I love it here at Chapman. My professors are amazing,” Yeboah said. “This is the first time I’m finding myself in such small-sized classes. Sessions in class are always so informal and interactive. I am here at Chapman, to learn, to experiment, and to discover skills I don’t know I have.”