“I have made more progress on my book during these months of my membership than I have in the last four years of my work.”
A member with the Writers’ League since 2017, Alissa Sherry lives in Austin.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
Alissa Sherry: Narrative non-fiction
Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?
AS: Jon Krakauer. Will you teach me how to write like you write? Ha! I would not be able to stop at one question (and possibly not one drink either)!
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
AS: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn because it’s long and you could read it one hundred times and learn something new each time.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
AS: I have only been a member since September, but it has been one of the most meaningful professional experiences of my life. It has given me an anchor intellectually and creatively. I have made more progress on my book during these months of my membership than I have in the last four years of my work. At this age, it isn’t practical to go back to school for an MFA or whatever degree you think is going to help you be a good writer. I am blown away by both the content and the process of the courses taught with the Writer’s League, and the people and fellow members are wonderful.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
AS: I was a fairly well published author in academia. I hope to be a well published author in narrative non-fiction – or at least published enough to eat.
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: I don’t read a lot of Texas genre, but I did just buy Skip Hollingsworth’s new book, The Midnight Assassin and I am looking forward to reading it. However, in the meantime, I will read anything he writes in Texas Monthly.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
AS: Two weeks ago, in an effort to “go paperless,” I pulled out a binder I had been carrying around with me for twenty-five years full of writing ideas and various things scribbled on pieces of paper. These scribbles were all done before computers COMPLETELY took over our lives. I hadn’t looked in that thing for at least the last fifteen years. I couldn’t believe how much material was in there. It was full of true stories – things that happened to me or people around me that moved me in some way. There were essays, short stories and even thirty-eight pages of something entitled An attempt at a novel, which was really an attempt at a memoir. I had forgotten all that stuff was in there. I have a personality quirk of being overly thorough and that quirk was probably the driving motivation behind my pulling it out to scan in the first place. But it was a glorious reminder that this is where I have been trying to get to my entire life. Now that I have The Writers’ League of Texas, I feel like I can see the path to where I am supposed to go.
If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at firstname.lastname@example.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!