Lynn Sternberger ’07 fondly remembers her time at Wellesley and the ways in which her time here helped her find her passion for being a writer. While Sternberger is currently a freelance television writer, she takes work as it comes and sometimes takes on odd jobs, like conducting research for a friend’s novel. She has always been interested in television.
“I’ve always been a voracious consumer of TV and an amateur critic. One year at Wellesley I wrote a short-lived queer film review column for The Wellesley News,” Sternberger explained.
She was initially unaware that TV writing was a career in itself and decided to pursue a career in book publishing after graduating from Wellesley. After learning more about TV writing and talking with writers on Twitter, Sternberger decided to enroll in a year-long film and TV writing program at Vancouver Film School.
Sternberger said that the biggest challenge in her profession is finding employment.
“It’s highly competitive to land a coveted writing job on any television show, let alone one that feels artistically satisfying. And then the work is often short-lived due to shorter seasons, show cancellations and regime changes that are pretty much out of your control,” she said. However, she mentioned how fulfilling it feels to be surrounded by so many creative people and to bring something to life.
Wellesley helped Sternberger find the confidence to enter new situations and the ability to recognize the qualities she brings to the table. She also credits Wellesley for her becoming a writer. She took her first creative writing class, titled “Short Narrative,” and eventually ended up taking a screenwriting seminar at Wellesley.
Sternberger also gained experience out of the classroom while in college.
“I spent my summer after junior year interning at a film production company in LA with a cost of living stipend from the college. While the experience ultimately directed me away from feature production, it cemented my self-image as a professional creative,” she said.
She also co-wrote a screenplay during Wintersession in her senior year. The guidance she received from Alicia Erian — a former member of the creative writing department — was crucial to her coming of age as a writer and helping her find her voice.
Sternberger, along with other members of Wellesley in Entertainment, a group for alumnae, has been pushing both the English and Creative Writing departments on campus to offer more workshops on TV writing and screenwriting.
“Selfishly, I dream of leading a writers’ room on campus over winter session and developing a TV series written entirely by Wellesley students,” she noted.
Sternberger now lives in Los Angeles with her wife and dog. She enjoys watching TV and drinking lots of wine. Recently, she started a podcast with her friends titled “Ladywood,” in which they discuss the show “Deadwood” from a feminist perspective.
The biggest piece of advice she has for current students is to relax and get more sleep, emphasizing that GPAs are not as important as most people think they are. She also wants students who feel lost to know that they are not alone in feeling that way.
“I felt that all the time as an undergrad, and for years after graduation. You don’t need all the answers now. You probably won’t have them when they give you that diploma. And still, however many years later, you may find yourself with a job you enjoy immensely,” she said.