I have been a digital non-fiction writer for as long as I can remember now, and I have recently made the switch into fiction. As a relatively young fiction writer with borderline unrealistic aspirations which my ambition would never allow me to consider unrealistic (crazy delusional thing, ambition), I'm looking to meet other writers in different milestones of their writer journeys and learn as much as I can from their stories and the paths they've treaded on. Apart from being new to the world of fiction I'm also new to this crazy concrete jungle of a city and I would love to socialise with writers from all walks of life in any way, shape or form this pandemic allows us to.
Born in Utah and raised in North Carolina, Esther Milanzi is half Black South African and half Caucasian American. Spending most of her life in America with her mom, dad, and 2 sisters. She was estranged from her biological father who was deported from the US when she was 3 years old. The only time Esther was able to visit South Africa was 23 years later at his grave site. The opportunity to visit the birthplace of humanity arrived after she finished graduate school from Florida State University with a degree in International Education Development.
She was then awarded a Fulbright grant to teach leadership and literacy skills at a FET college in Vereeniging, South Africa, an Afrikaans town 40 minutes south of Johannesburg. To share her teaching abroad experiences with family and friends back home in the states, she started a blog. Unintentionally, it became a journal of her healing journey as she documented her experiences understanding the post-apartheid racial climate, visiting her father’s grave, and meeting her paternal family including a younger brother and sister. It was there that she received, from her cousin, her South African name, Ubuntu, meaning humanity -”I am who I am because of who we all are.”
Inspired by her journey, she began to write magical realism, poetry, and daily morning pages, as a way to continue to heal, elevate, and to empower others. For the last 5 years, she has been traveling, teaching, writing, & radiating bread crumbs for other creatives.
She is the co-founder of the Surat Warrior Writers group in Surat Thani, Thailand. Weekly writing workshops were held and a community of creatives was cultivated in a time and place where people were looking for alternative ways to connect other than partying. Eventually, Esther co-led 3 writing retreats in Thailand. The first one focused on unlocking creativity and getting rid of the inner critic, the second one focused on healing through love and letters, the third one focused on developing an individualized blueprint as a creative.
In Vietnam, Esther was a member of a writing society and eventually led the group with exercises. techniques, and insights she’d learned, discovered, and created in South Africa and Thailand. For the last 3 years, Esther taught grade 6 literacy and a 6-week intensive novel-writing course at the Green School. Most recently, she has taken a sabbatical to focus on writing full-time and to start a writing coach business.
Esther manifests abundance and happiness with her life partner and husband, Lo. She is in the middle of writing the first draft of a novel: The Enchanted Elm, the sentence summary reads: A woodcarver’s life is changed forever when she discovers an enchanted tree and its connection to the oppression of one family.
Esther is excited to lead and empower you on a journey to uncover the true source of your own unlimited creativity.
I'm a 37-year-old professional magazine editor with a Master's degree in writing and publishing who has recently re-entered the creative writing fold. I mostly find time to write in the middle of the day (bless my flexible work schedule) or in the evenings after my kids are in bed. I'd love to find a group of fellow writers to bounce ideas off of, do some workshopping, and trade tips on how we find time to write alongside our hectic lives! I gravitate towards urban fantasy as a novel writing genre, but have a growing love for short stories of all kinds and have been using them to explore different ways of telling my tales.
I grew up on a dairy farm in Spotsylvania, Virginia and commuted by train to the Pentagon to work on defense budgets. To keep my sanity, I wrote short stories. More than two dozen magazines published them. I eventually escaped the long commute and politics to move to New Bern, North Carolina. A place my wife and I had never been to before. Here, I belong to several writing groups and I volunteer at a few non-profits that include writing grants for them. Last year I self-published my first scifi YA novel and plan this year to publish a literary/satire novel about train commuters.
I'm not sure what I'm looking for in a writing group. Maybe some shared critiquing or just a conversation.
I write fiction in both novel and short story. I tend to write fantasy and science fiction but I don't limit myself to that.
I've had my short stories published in magazines and in anthologies. I've also written several screenplays.
I've sat in critique groups for years and find the support and feedback valuable. That's why I'm interested in joining a group of dedicated writers. I've moved from Baltimore to Arizona to California in a short amount of time and miss the group I sat with a Baltimore which will meet in person soon. Since I'm not there I can't join them.
Online is great. I can meet during the week or weekend and once a week to once a month. In-person works too if the group is within an hour or so from Moreno Valley, CA.
My creative writing career took a serious turn about three years ago when I took a much needed sabatical from teaching public education. I began writing everyday for the fun of it, and then slowly that evolved into a discipline. I began writing for an encouragement website; articles on healing, grief, community, etc. I founded both a Writer's Club for the local library where I work, as well as a Teen Writer's Club. I took part in a couple of creative writing workshops with other authors and have always learned so much from them! I have finished writing one novel and am in the throes of editing. I am also working on several different short stories in hopes of submitting them to contests or literary magazines for publication. Because I lead two different groups, I am looking for a writing group to be a part of collective of artists who workshop. I am a creative soul and use different mediums to express myself, however writing is my first love language. I also thrive in artistic community, and I yearn to learn from other writers. J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors and the Inklings (a tight-knit group of writer's who met regularly to discuss ideas, plot routes, character developments, etc.-this group included C.S. Lewis by the way) is a permanent goal for a writing community atmosphere. A group to bring work to the table and pick it apart for both content, structure and grammar.
I am a mother and teacher. I write because I always have, although I've never had the needed time to formally pursue it. The pandemic has forced me to take a year off to help my children with their school needs and created a little free time to get more serious about something I love. Well placed words are such a beautiful thing.
We at Variety Pack try to live up to our namesake! A bedrock of diverse voices, expressing a variety of arts & letters. We are open to both genre and literary. We have an aesthetic, but it's a broad atlas rather than a narrow stream!
Please read our guidelines carefully! Read previous issues, but also feel free to send us something that we haven't published yet. Note* Reading periods will be subject to change. As of next month, we will be reading for our fifth issue!
Hi! I'm nuts for fairy tales and mythology, so I've been writing a lot of low/urban fantasy inspired by real-world folklore, but I do some other stuff here and there, too. I've wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, making up stories to lull myself to sleep at night. Recently, I got sick and tired of publishing a novel or short story "some day." So I chose to work part-time in order to spend more time writing, taking online classes, reading, and generally chasing my dream. I want to become a better writer (though I've already improved a lot!) and break into the professional writing world. I haven't been published yet, but my goal is to change that. (I find it easy to get overwhelmed at the prospect of sending in a manuscript.)
I flipped out when I heard this PW group database was a thing five minutes ago. It's perfect! I need other writers to read and comment on my work (not just my mom and my boyfriend...). I need encouragement and someone to nag me a little and someone to give some guidance. I'm also glad to offer all of the above. I consider myself a good editor/beta reader, and would like to edit professionally someday....but I need some experience first. (Let me practice on you!)
So...will you be my writing buddy? :)
Favorite books include, but are not limited to: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston, East by Edith Pattou, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Artemis Fowl by Eion Colfer.