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Meet Lyndsay Hall of Sevilla Writers House

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lyndsay Hall.

Lyndsay, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
For many years, Sevilla Writers House existed only in name—it comes from one of my past apartments on South Beach and the building that houses NYU’s creative writing program. I gave the name first to a writing workshop I’d organized with a group of my grad school peers, which then evolved into a reading series after our workshop read at the NoHo Lit Crawl (in a sex shop, no less!).

When I decided to expand Sevilla into a full-fledged business in mid-2019, I wanted to offer services that focused on what I’m good at and most passionate about. So the reading series remains, and it’s bigger and better than ever—our last event featured a tarot reader and live music (!). But now I work one-on-one with writers because I love connecting with an author over their work, guiding them toward a breakthrough, helping them develop their strengths. And in the early months of 2020, I’ll be launching a virtual conference and online classes. It’s all about making writing education and community more accessible to more people.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Pursuing one’s passion is incredibly fulfilling, but it’s certainly not easy or even plausible for most of us. Nobody should feel guilty or bad if they can’t do it. Personally, there were a few years there that Sevilla lived on my backburner. I wanted to do all these wonderful things with it, but between school and juggling part-time jobs, and then a full-time job that had me working six days and commuting 10+ hours a week, where was the time?

In May I lost my job, and it sucked exactly as much as you’d expect it to suck. But I started daydreaming Sevilla’s possibilities and took a very part-time writing gig with a tech company (which introduced me to a lot of the software we use for our virtual offerings) and things started to fall into place. I’ve been privileged that way; getting to this point has been a combination of luck (both good and bad), hard work, and patience.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Sevilla Writers House offers an assortment of services designed to help writers meet their goals. We host events if you’re seeking community. We offer writing sessions and book coaching if you’re seeking accountability or an editorial eye on your work. We’ll soon have the online conference and classes if you’re seeking a broader education.

Frankly, I have bone to pick with the literary community—it’s too damn expensive. We already face extraordinary odds at getting published in any traditional format; the pain could stop there. But then we go tens of thousands of dollars into debt for a master’s, spend another thousand to travel and attend a writing conference for two days, pay a few hundred on a workshop that lasts six weeks, and throw fifty bucks here and there at contests and submissions. And we’re buying all of these books! (Support public libraries 😉 )

Look, I know these funds are going toward paying organizers and teachers and editors and booksellers—barely anyone is making money in this industry, it’s not great. My point is, Sevilla recognizes that writing is an inherently accessible artform; humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time. So we keep our prices low, and we offer scholarships and financial aid to anyone who needs it. I’m very proud of that.

What were you like growing up?
Oh, exactly how I am today. I asked my father this question, and he said, “the same but shorter.” My parents would say that even as a baby I was quiet and observant. I grew up interested in writing, reading, politics (Al Gore 2000!), pop stars, and the internet—truly the exact things I’m into today. I’d argue I’m cooler now, but I could be wrong.

Pricing:

  • Virtual Writing Sessions: $55/hour
  • Book Coaching: $120/two weeks
  • The Sevilla Writers Virtual Conference: $70

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
David Chan

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