Meet the Members: Ann Stout

“[The WLT has taught me that] there are a lot of excellent writers in Texas.”

— Ann Stout 

A member of the Writers’ League since April 2020, Ann lives in Houston.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Ann Stout: Memoir, personal essay, poetry, medical public policy  issues, personal letters to friends.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them? 

AS: Barbara Kingsolver. What comes first when you write a novel with a climate issue (ex: “Flight Behavior”) – which comes first, the story or the climate disaster and how do you go about crafting the book?

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

AS: Mary Oliver “New and Selected Poems” for poetry and “Pride and Prejudice” for clarity of writing and mental escape. 

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

AS: That writing as a vocation can be all-consuming, that a lot of writers are willing to share of themselves, that there are a lot of excellent writers in Texas, that writing takes time.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

AS: I have practiced pediatric ophthalmology for 25 years and now have rediscovered my passion for writing. I hope to use it to engage and educate others, to brighten their days, to share my own story of vision problems, and possibly affect public policy in expanding health care access.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down? 

AS: The last Texas-related book I read was “The Drowning House” by Elizabeth Black, published in 2013 about a woman returning to Galveston and exploring her family history with links to the the Galveston Hurricane. It was great to read when I moved back to Houston in 2014.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

AS: I have only just returned to writing after years of medical practice and raising a family, I have been encouraged by some small publications – in Doximity Op-ed and the local neighborhood paper. I have been working on a book about losing vision in one eye from the point of view (no pun) of an ophthalmologist, but am not sure yet of my audience and where it will have the most impact. I have found writing to be the most immersive consuming experience I have had in a long time. It leaves me breathless! One of my favorite authors is the former editor of the University of Portland magazine (a city where I was lucky to live for 14 years), Brian Doyle. He writes wonderfully, and once said: “We are only here for a minute, we are here for a little window, and to use that time to catch and share shards of light and laughter and grace seems to me the great story.” – Brian Doyle.

Thank you, Ann!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

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