The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) is proud to introduce scholarship recipient Shonna Enzio. Enzio is a creative writing major at NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) and a first-generation college student. A mother and up-and-coming author, who was widowed five days before the global COVID-19 pandemic, Enzio crafts the lessons she is learning about survival, grief, and finding hope into essays meant to inspire readers struggling through their own loss. She is a staff reporter for the NWACC Eagle View Newspaper and the assistant poetry editor for Hive Avenue Literary Journal.
Michelle Hannon, WCDH Executive Director, said, “Shonna honored the audience of the WCDH virtual Poetluck on May 21st by sharing a powerful lyrical non-fiction essay which blended poetry and prose to address grief. It was clear that she had talent. Helping emerging writers like Shonna is the reason WCDH established our scholarship fund. We were thrilled to be able to offer her a residency.” Shonna said, “To learn I was chosen because of merit, and that The Writers Colony believes I can do great things, was more than a confidence boost. Michelle’s words and The Writers' Colony’s generosity was a light in a stormy year. Sometimes everyone needs a dose of luminous hope to help them survive, especially in 2020. I believe this opportunity has anchored my course to weave words of hope to readers.”
Shonna described her stay at The Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow as, “more than a writer’s getaway, it was a lesson in healing and being alone. Since my husband passed away in March, my life has been nebulous and only sustained through the love and support of my son, friends, family, and my writing. Due to social distancing, I felt frozen within the walls of my home---time and the world outside my windows blurred away.”
She continued, “Checking into The Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow unfroze me. From the moment I entered the gorgeous Maya Angelou Suite, I knew this was everything I needed. From the whimsical stars sparkling with hope on the chandelier to notes scribed by authors who had shared this space before me, I felt like I had stepped into a writing tradition larger than I was. I spent my first few hours reading note after note left behind by published, seasoned writers, as well as others penned by emerging talents like myself. Within these pages was a history of writers who had started their work in this room, notes from years later when they returned after their story was published. For a budding writer, the road to publication can often feel arduous, but in this writing suite, those concerns waned much like the sun setting over the peaceful grove of trees outside my windows.”
Regarding what drives her to write, Shonna said, “I hope by sharing my story, my words, and ultimately my heart with my readers, they will know they are not alone. I want to inspire others and draw awareness to tough issues like child neglect, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. These are hardships I have survived, and I believe we can heal ourselves by sharing our story with others.”
To read more of Enzio’s writing, visit her author’s page, “Uniquely Shonna,” on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Uniquely-Shonna-119568356101425/.
The WCDH scholarship fund was developed in November 2019 to assist emerging writers who require financial support to benefit from a writing residency at the Colony. Scholarships are awarded on an as-needed basis based on availability. Equity Bank generously provided the initial Scholarship Fund donation. Contributions made to the WCDH 2019 Giving Tuesday drive continued to grow the fund, and today writers-in-residence contribute so that other writers can experience the gift of uninterrupted residency time at The Writers’ Colony. For information on how you can contribute to the WCDH scholarship fund, please visit https://www.writerscolony.org/give-to-wcdh-scholarship-fund.
Since opening its doors to writers in 2000, The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow has made a lasting impact on the arts and literary communities by providing uninterrupted residency time for writers of all genres, including culinary, composers, and artists, without discrimination. The WCDH has hosted over 1,500 writers from 48 states and 13 countries. For more information, please visit writerscolony.org or call Michelle Hannon or Chad Gurley at (479)253-7444.