The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) is proud to present its first-ever intern, Aaron East. An English M.A. student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Aaron is completing much of his internship virtually; however, he did experience a mini-residency at Dairy Hollow in the newly refurbished Dupps Den Writer’s Suite.
WCDH Executive Director Michelle Hannon said, “I was approached by Leigh Pryor Sparks, the Assistant Director of Masters and Ph.D. Programs for the English Department of the University of Arkansas. She invited us to take part in the internship program and explained that the goal of the program is to transfer research, writing, and critical thinking skills to real-world opportunities. We thought it would be a mutually beneficial experience. We would provide professional experience in an arts non-profit setting while receiving an influx of youthful energy and knowledge, and spreading the word about Dairy Hollow to a new audience. The experience has exceeded my expectations. Aaron is focused, articulate, dependable, and sharp as a tack. He’s been a wonderful intern.”
Aaron is a 2019 graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he majored in English and History. Originally hailing from Royse City, Texas, Aaron is now a graduate student of English at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. His research interests include Medieval literature and history, and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Regarding his internship with WCDH, Aaron said, “I got a call in May from Dr. Sparks at UArk about an opportunity at a small non-profit in Eureka Springs, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. Having worked at a non-profit for the past few summers, I pounced on the opportunity for a chance at some professional experience. I knew that a place like the Writers’ Colony would involve grant writing and research, and I was also hopeful to get to work with social media to some extent. So far, my time at the Writers’ Colony has yielded that experience just as I had hoped. I also had the chance to stay in the newly refurbished Dupps Den Writer’s Suite in early October, and was pleasantly surprised with the level of privacy, as well as the uninterrupted quiet time for work, that WCDH offered. In my short stay, I found it easy to see why writers seek out residencies at such places, and how places like WCDH benefit people with nose-to-the-grindstone writing to do.”
For the past several weeks, Aaron has been working to produce a podcast titled Composing Careers, in which he interviews young professional writers to gauge their experience. The first episode, titled “The Marketing Guy,” is out now on all major podcast platforms. In addition to podcasting, Aaron has also started to try his hand at social media, which, he says, is a “territory entirely alien, and so it provides a learning opportunity. I am unlike many people my age in that I don’t typically use social media.” Finally, Aaron has been aiding in the editing and proofing of WCDH documents such as grant applications, press releases, and website content.
Aaron will be the featured reader at the WCDH virtual Poetluck on Thursday, December 17, at 6:30 pm. December’s virtual Poetluck will celebrate the talent of emerging young writers. The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow will host Poetluck virtually until it is safe to return to in-person readings. Readings may be poems, prose, or songs, and writers are invited to share their work for up to ten minutes. A link to the virtual Poetluck with instructions for joining can be found at https://www.writerscolony.org/events. Spectators may join a moderated watch party on Facebook Live at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow page: https://www.facebook.com/writerscolonyatdairyhollow