I was born in Denmark; grew up in Alberta, Canada thirty miles from Glacier Park; and graduated from the University of California at Riverside with a BA in English. After that, I met my husband in Los Angeles and we later moved to Juneau, Alaska. He always had wanderlust and we traveled throughout the USA in a motorhome for several years before deciding to settle in Maine, where I worked behind the scenes for him in his private counseling practice.
We traveled weekends throughout northern New England in a camper during the warmer months and went for rides whenever possible. I had always wanted to write but found that with our schedule, it was difficult to carve out any time. After he died suddenly, I closed up the practice and started to write, first extensive journaling and then an Adult Ed class on writing short stories. I joined WVU in 2009, have taken many classes here and am now working on the WVU MFA-Certificate. I've earned a Certificate in Fiction Writing from Gotham Writers Workshop, and will complete the UCLA-Extension Certificate in Fiction Writing in June 2016. I meet weekly with a local writers' group.
I happened into writing fiction about relationships and set my stories in Maine. I'm currently working on a novel about three fifty-something sisters who aren't that close and taking a three-week cross-country trip from Maine to Wyoming. I follow their route on an atlas and through online searches plus I've traveled there in the past. I also write poetry and nonfiction pieces about Maine and my experiences with the wildlife in my yard, including wild turkeys, deer, squirrels, and an ongoing land-dispute with chipmunks.
I've been a member of CEU (the WVU Creative Energy Unlimited group) since they opened their doors.
I am fortunate to have been able to earn my living writing. As a journalist, I’ve covered everything from presidential elections and national conventions to courtroom trials. I’ve completed a citizen’s police academy, written restaurant and book reviews, a political column, investigative pieces and travel articles.
I’ve been humbled by winning awards and publication for my fiction, poetry and news reporting. Fiction awards include: Editor’s Choice Award from publisher Shaye Areheart, Carrie McCray Literary Award and the Historical Novel Society’s short story award. I was a finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for a novel in progress and for a short story, second prize winner in the Pen and Brush Inc. prose contest, second place in the 2006 Frontiers in Writing mainstream category and third place in its mystery, suspense and thriller category. Publications in print literary journals include: The MacGuffin, Black Magnolia, Santa Clara Review, Sojourner, America’s Intercultural Magazine, Larcom Review, River Oak Review, Peregrine, and several themed anthologies.
I’ve taught journalism at the University of Massachusetts and creative writing in the public schools. I believe in giving back for the opportunities I’ve had and led writing workshops for inner city teens and women. I’ve also edited three publications of writings by teenagers. I was poetry editor of Peregrine literary journal, president of the Pioneer Valley Press Club and participated in several Irish American Writers Exchange Programs in Ireland and in the United States
I’ve been a member of WVU for close to twenty years—since the last century. No other online site has been a bigger part of my life. I wrote my first novel here. I met my friend Darcy Vance, who became not only my writing BFF and critique partner, but also my co-author. We’ve gone on to write two books together (so far).
I’ve jumped out of airplanes and worked for Green Giant. I spent twelve years as a Girl Scout and six on active duty in the Army. I now work as a technical writer since it’s quiet and consistent and I enjoy the work.
My writing has been published in a variety of places, everywhere from one of the big five in NYC to university presses, to teeny, tiny micro-presses. It has also been soundly rejected in its journey to publication.
Because writing is a journey, one with ups and downs. My hope is I can help others on their own journey, wherever that may lead.
Blog: Writing Wrongs
As May 2013 rolled around, I'd discovered I'd taken the last in a series of English language writing classes in Kuala Lumpur -- and was considering starting them all over again. For wannabe writers, it was "the only (English language) game in town." I'd moved to Malaysia in early 2011 with a NaNoWriMo draft under one arm and it just wasn't getting finished. My instructor, the amazing Sharon Bakar, suggested WVU. "You ought to check out Writers Village University," she said. "They've got an F2K special on right now." And so I did.
Mayaysia's no longer home –- it's Swedish lessons now –- but, I've stayed involved with Sharon's WordWorks group and, of course, WVU continues to be my foldable, packable, constant 'writing home.' When the current MFA program began, I jumped into the three-year MFA Creative Writing certificate course.
Originally a California/Idaho/Washington girl, my 'old life' was in the high-tech world: technical writing, marketing communications, travel and social media for global corporations. Somehow, in the process, I became a citizen of the world. The UK became "home" in 1999, and later, software developer hubby and I decided we needed one last fling roaming the world before retirement. So, still mostly ambulatory, off we went with our two rescue Alaskan Malamutes to have a few more adventures. And here we are. Non-writing time is dog-walking, reading, Swedish classes, music and photography. Life here in the woods, surrounded on three sides by the Baltic, is good.
Sure, the novel’s not yet rewritten and the collection of linked short stories languishes halfway to the finish line...but, hey, I'm here and living that lifelong dream: writing fiction every day. It will happen.
At the age of seven, I informed my family that when I grew up, I was going to be an author and live in an authorage.
I was born in Kenya many years ago, then moved to London, England at the age of seventeen, where I came of age among the hippy crowd and flower power, the birth of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, anti-war and anti-anything rallies. In a moment of lucidity, I accepted an offer from the New Zealand government to immigrate there, where I worked in a variety of worthwhile but dull (to me) workplaces. In 1981, with my husband, three children, seven suitcases and high hopes, we moved to Canada.
My children have grown now and left home, my husband has moved out, and in the freedom of my solitude, I am finally able to focus on attaining my childhood goals.
I write short stories, mostly literary, because I am intrigued by what makes an ordinary life extraordinary, or a mundane situation interesting, or the commonplace surprising. What better way to do this than to write about familiar people in conventional situations by uncovering their innermost secrets.
I have been very fortunate to have been published, and to have won (among a few other contests) the Alice Munro Short Story Award just a week before she won the Nobel Prize for Literature. That’s less than Six Degrees of Separation between this would-be writer and one of the world’s greatest.
This journey of mine has been and continues to be an inspiration as I turn my apartment in Ottawa, Canada into my very own authorage, filled with books, papers, music and the realization that I can perhaps -- just, almost -- call myself an author.
I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the City University of New York many years ago. Over the next forty-five years I worked in the scientific information publishing business as a translator, indexer, and, for twenty years, as a manager of other scientists. I saw the business change from printing of paper journals to electronic processing and production of information.
After retiring in 2008, I turned my back on fact-based writing to more fanciful fiction. I participated in the National Novel Writing program for the first time that year and have 'won' NaNoWriMo almost every year since, producing drafts of romantic mysteries and fantasy novels. The Crimson Orb was first written for NaNoWriMo in 2010 and went through several revisions since before being published by the Phantasm imprint of Assent Publications in June 2014.
I perfected my writing skills in classes and writing groups at Writers Village University where I've served as a mentor intern for the F2K survey course and facilitated literature classes for the MFA certificate program there. Best known online as hilandmum (or Mum) or as plotweaver at NaNoWriMo, I've enjoyed making friends with other writers and even met a few over the years in real life.
I live with my husband of fifty years in the high desert at the base of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico, where we can watch the quail, roadrunners and other creatures scamper along the top of the wall around our back patio, as well as the play of light across the mountain face beyond.
My website: www.joycehertzoffauthor.com
My book website: www.fantasybyjoycehertzoff.com
My blog: www.hertzoffjo.blogspot.com
I joined WVU back in 2007 and went through the first trial go-around of the MFA program back then. I learned so very much by hanging around writers such as Carol Malley and others, reading their work and comments.
My reading is a smorgasbord: fiction, nonfiction, short stories, and essays. Favorite authors are Elizabeth Berg, Anne Tyler, Wallace Stegner, Haruki Murakami and often whomever I'm reading at the moment.
I write fiction, nonfiction and some flash of both. Currently, there are two novels in progress, one of which is keeping me up at night. I will complete my fiction writing certificate at UCLA online in the spring of 2016.
My formal name is Shirley Eaves and my work has appeared in Short Story America, T-Zero Quarterly, Funny Story, and World City Stories. Two of my fiction pieces won honorable mention in the St. Louis Writer's Guild annual short story contest. I spent my formative years in the Midwest: Missouri and Illinois. Now I'm a Western woman living in Sedona, Arizona with my man and the coyotes, mule deer, javalinas, hummingbirds, Gambel's quail, and the occasional bobcat who stumble across our property.
Besides loving books, I'm a nature geek. I also love writers. We can be quirky, but we have fun.
Joni Zipp joined Writers’ Village University in 2004. She’s served a variety of roles at WVU, including F2K Mentor, workshop facilitator, poetry course instructor, and group moderator. Joni is Managing Editor for WVU This Week, a WVU Site Guide and manages the WVU Support Desk. She’s a Lifetime WVU Member and the first point of contact for new members.
Karen is editor in chief of Writers Village University’s online literary magazine, Village Square. A lifetime member of WVU--where she is working toward her three-year MFA--she has served in multiple positions including Moderator and Mentor of F2k, Staff and Student Adviser, and Workshop leader and facilitator. She has both designed and facilitated courses for WVU’s MFA Certificate Program.
Her work has been published in literary magazines and online in the U.S. and UK. Her short stories have won four times in the Write Invite online competition, based in the UK.
While her main love is literary short stories, she is currently working on a novel and screenplay as well as a nonfiction book on Classic Car Accessories. She has received certificates from the University of Iowa’s Creative Writing Program MOOCs.
She enjoys the privacy of her 34-acre home in Missouri where she lives with her husband, three miniature dachshunds and a white Labrador. Her hobbies include photography, painting and classic cars.
I am a lifetime member of WVU. Back in 2009, a friend encouraged me to join a session of F2K which led me to discover the amazing Writers Village University. I had already written the first draft of a manuscript, but it was here at WVU in the Novel Group that I polished it up and found a publisher. Hemphill Towers is my main published work. I have a few contests, flash stories, and blog entries.
My four children were born and raised in Bartonville, Illinois where I still reside. I’ve been blessed with twelve grandchildren and soon to be, five great grandchildren. Two spoiled dogs, Luna and Jax, complete my family.
I am an avid reader of most genres. I enjoy watching movies on Netflix from my computer. My biggest pleasure has come from mentoring the Madeleine L’Engle Classroom in F2K. It changed my life, opened up a world of learning from people in other countries, and gave me some wonderful friends, most of whom are also WVU members.
Blog: Leona's Chatter
I think a lot of us have a book in our hearts and heads that keeps us company and begs to be written.
When I retired from school counseling, instead of buying a new car, I took a trip to Europe. I actually sat on Hadrian’s Wall in the north of England. Word of warning - beware of spiritual energies that might be lurking where you sit. While in Rome, Emperor Hadrian’s name came up at the Pantheon. This temple to the gods was built around the First Century and burned twice, but his architects rebuilt it. I stood in the very center of the Pantheon and placed my hand on the marble columns outside. Again - beware where you sit, stand, and touch.
When I returned home to Alabama, Emperor Hadrian was in my head and dreams. I had not had previous experience with a muse. He took over the English romance novel I was drafting. He moved the setting to Rome and made the novel his own. I’m not complaining. Writing and self e-publishing three books has brought me great pleasure.
I could never have done this without the courses and friends at Writers Village University. I began by completing the F2K class four times, serving as intern in F2K, group facilitator, and all-around student. I’m now enrolled in WVU’s MFA program and continue to learn tons about writing historical romance and flash autobiographical fiction. The feedback I’ve received from both beginners and advanced members continues to help me improve my writing and thinking processes. I’d be lost without WVU.
Author Page: Smashwords.com
I’m a two time member of Writer’s Village University, originally joining back in the late nineties and finally coming home in 2014 to find out how much the village has grown. I loved WVU way back then and now I love it even more. Writing is my first passion and I strive to write every day. I would like to eventually see some of my stories published and maybe even a book or two. Thanks to the yearly NaNoWriMo challenge, I have completed the first drafts of 4 novels. Now I have the tedious task of tweaking them to publishable standards. So far the only things I’ve had published are several articles I wrote years ago for a local base paper. I’m recently retired from the RCAF where I did just shy of 26 years’ service as an Air Traffic Controller. During my time in the military I served overseas twice, in the Sinai and in Afghanistan.
I now reside with my husband, on a small acreage in Alberta, and love the peaceful quiet life. Our nearest neighbors are almost a mile away, and on a clear day you can make out the mountains in the distance. Between the two of us, we have 6 children, all grown and doing well, and 3 small grandchildren, who are little sweethearts. We also have two horses and a hard playing puppy that takes up most of my time.
Besides writing, my other main interests include herbology, nutrition and energy healing. I have recently earned my herbalist certificate and am now working towards becoming a master herbalist. I love teaching and have taught several workshops in different energy healing modalities. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and helping others to realize their goals and dreams.
Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life. Her poems and stories have appeared in journals such as Turbulence Magazine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines, was published by Inkspotter Publishing in November, 2011. She is the author of Relocated, Geek Games, Broken Bonds, and Rob's Rebellion published by MuseItUp Publishing , and of Sand in the Desert, a collection of science fiction persona poems. A chapter book is due out later this year.
I know now I picked the wrong career path because I never settled anywhere until I started writing fiction. After a twenty-year career in the Navy, where I rewrote several ship's operation manuals and other instructions, I went on to work for a Virginia State Delegate, sold booze at Virginia ABC as Chief Administrator, and worked several years writing proposals and conducting financial analyses in support of government contractors. After becoming completely fed up interacting with both the Federal and State governments, I taught Principles of Accounting and eventually became a university administrator. I'm finally retired from everything except writing. And WVU is where I concentrate my online interaction.
I live in Virginia Beach, VA, with my first wife and only wife of many, many years. We have three offspring, two boys and one girl, and two grand girls. We are empty nesters except for our ten-year-old Scottish Terrier. I'm a graduate of Saint Leo University (BA), Old Dominion University (MSAccounting), and Golden Gate University (MBA). When I'm not writing or traveling, I'm reading anything from a history book to the back of a package, as long as the print's big enough.
In 1995 I built my first Web page as an Old Dominion University English major. I was managing editor for The Mace and Crown at the time, and one of our journalists told me about this thing called the Web. I’d taken philosophy courses online at NOVA, so was familiar with Gopher and newsgroups, but the WWW and HTML was news to me. Writers’ Village University evolved from this clumsy, first website. The initial motivation was to connect with others interested in postmodern literature, authors like Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, John Barth, Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. What I found were like-minded writers, so began to share what I was learning about writing. This was the beginning of the Web’s first online community and school for writers. By the time I started ODU's MFA program in 1997, WVU had grown from 7 members to over 1,000.
Over the years, my focus changed from writing fiction to writing about writing. I’m a relentless researcher on the subject, and always on the lookout for fresh connections and ideas. When one has studied the craft long enough, the redundancy of popular writing texts and creative writing courses becomes clear. There’s so much more to discover about writing and what makes it work (or not work).
I’ve developed many courses since 1995, covering both conventional and artistic approaches to writing fiction, nonfiction and poetry. My joy is research and discovery, and even more, watching our members grow into fine writers. Many have published, won awards and write professionally. We have a wide variety of experience levels in our membership. My job is to explore ways of bringing out the best in them.
Hello dear hearts. In the process of researching Master’s programs, I found WVU and discovered a wonderful community of writers. Which is why when Bob asked for volunteers to help with the MFA classes, I jumped in with both feet. I currently facilitate the core course, MFA700 Narrative Design, plus the Flash Non Fiction writing series and well as help moderate other courses. You’ll also find me roving the halls, answering questions and passing out chocolate in case of writerly emergency.
I’m an avid reader and reading is as necessary as breathing. I get rather crotchety without my books. Writing is different since I came to it so late in life. It’s a choice, a love, a desire. I don’t need to write, I want to write. Writing is a never ending process of learning and growing. After years of writing business letters, reports and briefs, I discovered that once I started putting pen to paper, I had an excuse to daydream. I’ve been writing for several years, but I don’t have anything published…yet!
When I’m not here, you can find me wrangling four fur babies, assisting my husband with our mom and pop audio repair shop, and/or homeschooling our 16 year old, who is a voracious writer and currently in 10th grade. Teaching and mentoring our son through the years lead me to further my education and I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts a few years ago. I also am a blogger and host an online annual reading challenge - Read 52 Books in 52 Week.
The courses as well as the positive and constructive feedback have helped improve both my writing and critical thinking skills, and I have had fun while doing so. I look forward to working with you all.
Website: Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks
I got my MA in linguistics and have been homeschooling for nine years. I am married with three sons and a dog.
I got interested in writing seriously after reading a book that just blew my mind (Women Without Men by Shahrnush Parsipur). I then tried to build sort of a foundation for myself by taking a few literature MOOCs, reading a lot, reading books on craft. I started feeling like I was kind of stuck after a while. Everywhere I looked I kept seeing the same advice to read Lamott, Goldberg and a few Writer's Digest books. I was frustrated with trying to find the next step to improve my writing.
Thankfully, I was told about WVU. I have learned so much since joining, from courses, yes, and also from all the great writers here. My to-read list of books on writing craft has improved in both length and quality, and all the feedback given and received has helped me wrap my head around things that were eluding me. I have had a few poems and stories published here and there in little magazines and webzines, and I look forward to writing more, reading all your wonderful pieces and working together.
Sati Benes Chock
I started reading at the age of three, and I’ve been infatuated with books ever since. Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew introduced me to mysteries, and before the time I was ten I’d read all of Agatha Christie’s novels. I grew up in a small New England town, where I dreamed of three things: not freezing for six months out of the year, living in an art museum like the children in the classic story From The Mixed up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler, and being a writer.
After graduating from college, I taught English in Tokyo before moving to Honolulu, where I got my MA in Japanese Language & Literature from the University of Hawaii. I won’t lie: the warm weather had a lot to do with it! I continued to teach until I found a museum job and fell in love with a coworker. One day he was offered a position that required us to—wait for it—live at a different museum. So, of course, I married him. Because it was destiny, right?
Someday I hope to write a mystery series set in Hawaii, starring a plucky heroine who works at a museum. Right now, though, I’m working my way through all of the delectable WVU classes like a chocoholic in a candy shop! And while my day job is still at a museum, my stories have been published in a number of online and print publications, including Amsterdam Scriptum, Hiss Quarterly, Flash Me Magazine, Thereby Hangs a Tale, and Mouth Full of Bullets.
Carolyn Red Bear
I grew up in Wisconsin where I felt like I never fit in. I graduated from Bryan Career College in Missouri, Womens Economic Ventures of California, and degrees from several courses in Creative Writing and Photography. I started a cottage school in Alaska where I wrote and taught the Literature Arts curriculum, wrote and edited the school newsletter and yearbook, and was also a volunteer and a small press while I was there. Through the years of working in Corporate Hotel Management, I started publishing my own poetry and children's picture books. After a long hiatus I am now residing in Albuquerque, NM working on my MFA Certificate at WVU while exploring more of my creative spirit.
I've been seriously writing with the aim of being a published author since 2002, when I quit my "day job" to concentrate only on my writing, something my wife thought at the time thought also meant "unemployed deadbeat." It wasn't until ten years later that I managed to find a NY agent I "clicked" with. During the intervening time, I wrote a lot. I used to track my word counts and, two years running, I hit over a million. So, when my agent asked to see my work, I sent her sixteen finished novels. It took her another two years to sell one. DREAM WITH LITTLE ANGELS remains my most successful book to date.
I don't write crazy amounts of words anymore. These days, my year totals are more like 250,000 by the time you count first drafts, rewrites, short stories, etc. Currently, I have over ten books published, some traditionally through Kensington Publishing, NY, some self-published under my own imprint DangerBoy Books.
Right now, my agent is shopping two manuscripts for me and I am about to dive into the fifth Alvin book for my series with Kensington. I have the prologue completed and plan to toss together a short proposal to go along with it.
Throughout my writing career, I have deeply studied my craft. Not only through writing books (I own over three hundred of them, yet I doubt I'd recommend more than a dozen), but also through retreats, seminars, and workshops. In particular, the one-week short story workshop and two-week masterclass I attended through Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith were most valuable. I learned more in those three weeks than the rest of my life combined. I consider Kris my mentor.
Whatever else I know came from simply writing a lot. The more prolific you are, the more practice you get, the better writer you become. It's a simple formula, just not necessarily an easy one to follow. The key: stay on the path.