Racquel Henry is a Trinidadian writer and editor with an MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is a part-time English Professor, owns the writing studio, Writer’s Atelier in Winter Park, FL, and is a co-founder of Black Fox Literary Magazine.
What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?
I love watching Hallmark Christmas movies and word searches. I also really love to read. I have to read for my job as well, but I view that as a perk. I'm very passionate about education and making sure everyone has access. At one point I donated books and school supplies regularly to underprivileged schools. My passion project would also be the literary magazine I run--it's a labor of love.
What’s something you do at your business that’s "weird" and not commonly done?
First, I take financial need into account. My business obviously needs to make money, but accessibility is important to me. I insist on creating both paid and free resources so I can serve as many writers as possible. I also insist on a safe space. Whether a writer comes into my studio, or they join my online community on Facebook, I want them to feel comfortable. Our spaces are judgment-free.
What inspired you to start your business?
After graduating with an advanced degree (an MFA), it was very difficult to get a job as an editor or instructor. I knew I loved making manuscripts shine and I also wanted to teach writers. Plus, I had already been editing papers for friends in college. I decided I could do it on my own. At the time, there was a strong need for private (and local) writing instruction. There was also another problem: the cost of renting space was very high. I dreamed of having my own studio and vowed that I would work with writers who wanted to teach and share their knowledge, but couldn't find space. I had this strong urge to help writers. I knew I had to do it because aside from writing, it was the only other thing that brought immense joy.