Bio | Sophia Velasquez
Sophia Velasquez is a senior Writing and Rhetoric student at St. Edward’s University with a concentration in Creative Writing and minor in Communication. She has written published work for Austin Monthly Magazine, the Sorin Oak Review, and various blogs including The Writing Barn, International Studies Abroad, The Odyssey, and Spoon University. Her creative work centralizes around poetry, and she hopes to publish various collections in the future. Sophia’s latest project is a chapbook titled The Rite of Revival, which will be read and released independently at Malvern Books. Sophia keeps her website up to date with her latest poetry and blogs, and hopes to continue sharing creative and professional work with the writing community.
The Writing Barn | Guest Post
Sophia Velasquez, Writing Barn Intern
For aspiring, published, and somewhere-in-between writers, Austin is home to its very own literary haven, The Writing Barn, nestled in between trees on 7.5 acres of deer and bluebonnet-friendly land. Without actually leaving the city, Austinites and visitors can get away and focus on their craft. Chandeliers and lights hang from the trees, creatures roam undisturbed, and brilliant ideas are born and bolstered here.
A step into the Writing Barn is a breath of fresh, book-scented air. Ceiling-to-floor bookshelves, a loft with comfy couches, a kitchen, community space, bedroom, and spacious porch provide the ideal space for teaching, listening, workshopping, and drafting. The Barn earned its name from its renovation from an old horse barn into a writer’s sanctuary, and keeps its Texas charm with its outdoorsy ambience. Whether guests find their way to the Writing Barn for an overnight writing retreat, writing class, book launch party, or author talk, the sense of community among writers is a guarantee.
But the Barn itself doesn’t stand alone. Nearby, you can find cozy cabins reserved for writers who need a few days, weeks, or longer to make their words into magic. During weekend-long retreats, visitors can book a room in one of the cabins and participate in group writing events, meals, and activities. The Writing Barn’s founder is close by, too. Award-winning novelist and picture book author Bethany Hegedus is the mind behind the writer’s sanctuary, opening a space for fellow creatives to rest from hectic everyday life and focus on their projects.
Maybe I’m biased, but the team of writers at the Writing Barn is the best part. Focused on nurturing Austin’s writing community while growing as writers ourselves, we’re a group of passionate creatives from all walks of life and genres of interest who believe in the inspiration the Barn can nurture. I still remember the feelings of relief and thrill when coming on as an intern two years ago. Discovering a community of likeminded artists is a gift, one we hope to share with writers of all genres and stages that reminds us of the unique journey we’re all a part of.
Even if you’ve never shared your creative work or considered writing seriously, the Writing Barn has a place for you to explore your talents and interests. Maybe you need a day of space, quiet, and focus at our recurring Write Away Days or Write NOW! sessions. Maybe you need six-week long workshop focused on a specific area of craft, like picture books, voice, memoir, or short fiction. Or maybe you need a weekend escape packed with interactive writing. There’s a class for every writer that will challenge, engage, and spark the imagination.
Along with our wooded escape, the Barn offers a welcoming space online for writers to engage with each other and the Barn staff about areas of craft, struggles in drafting and brainstorming, literary events around the city and beyond, and much more. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Writing Barn blog for a connected and engaged experience with a group of writers.
Want to find out more about the Writing Barn? Check out the social media links below!