“I would love for my poems to leave an imprint.”
— S.N. Rodriguez
The 2021 WLT Fellowship Program marks the first year of the program and includes five emerging writers who will spend twelve months enjoying classes, connecting with instructors, attending the annual Agents & Editors Conference, and building their writing community. We’re happy to introduce them to you over the next few weeks.
S. N. Rodriguez is a writer in Austin, Texas whose work explores themes regarding culture, nature, and motherhood. When she isn’t trying to keep up with her toddler or writing, she enjoys photography, kayaking, and exploring new parks and trails with her family. She has completed two children’s books and hopes to pursue publication this year.
Scribe: What inspires you to write (even on the days when you’re not writing)?
S.N. Rodriguez: Inspiration stems from many places for me. My childhood, my family, things that make me laugh or cry, being out in nature … I could go on. I think that’s why I enjoy writing in different genres. After I finish a project, I might start something completely different, which I find exciting.
Scribe: If you could ask one author (living or dead) one question about their writing process, who would you ask, what question would you ask, and why?
SR: I first discovered Ada Limón when I was an undergrad. She came to our campus and read from her collection, Bright Dead Things. Her poems were so powerful and beautiful. I was entranced and started writing poetry as an outlet for myself and it felt amazing. There is so much I could learn from her, but one question I would ask her would be how she settles on the right endings for her poems. I would love for my poems to leave even an imprint of what hers leave behind.
Scribe: What’s one challenge you’ve faced in your own work that you hope to focus on during the year ahead?
SR: Protecting my time. As a stay-at-home parent, it has been difficult for me to find a balance. Though it has been rewarding and I am grateful for the opportunity to be with our son, it has also been the most demanding job I have ever had. My desire to write is always playing tug-of-war with my exhaustion at the end of the day. I am finally learning to become more assertive and both my husband and son have been understanding by giving me time for myself and my writing.
Scribe: What drew you to the WLT Fellowship Program – why did you apply?
SR: In 2016, my husband and I relocated to Austin after finding out that we were expecting our first child. I had to leave my MFA program, which was very difficult for me. Since then, I’ve been living a fairly isolated life raising and teaching our son at home. If it wasn’t for my D&D group, I wouldn’t have had much of a chance to socialize. Last year, I was able to attend two WLT classes and I found them insightful and motivating, but most importantly, I felt a part of a writing community again. I applied to the fellowship for the opportunity to attend informative classes and to speak with authors and agents regarding craft and the world of publishing. With their information and guidance, I hope to obtain the knowledge I need to pursue my dream of publication. I am thankful to be a part of this fellowship program.
Scribe: Finish this sentence: As a writer, having a community is/means _____________________________.
SR: As a writer, having a community is inspiring and comforting.
Thank you, Stephanie!
About the WLT Fellowship Program:
The WLT Fellowship Program offers emerging writers the opportunity to spend a full year honing their craft and learning about the business of writing.
Each WLT Fellow receives tuition-free access to a curated slate of classes, no fewer than two per month, plus special post-class sessions with the instructors. In addition, each WLT Fellow is invited to attend the annual Agents & Editors Conference in Austin, TX, with the registration fee waived and hotel accommodations provided, plus the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a literary agent during the weekend-long event.
The application process for the 2022 WLT Fellowship Program will open in November 2021.