Aida Zilelian

Fiction Writer

Forest Hills, NY 11375

Author's Bio

Aida Zilelian is a first generation American-Armenian writer, educator and literary organizer from Queens, NY. Her fiction explores the depths of love and family relationships, culture and the connections between characters that transcend time and circumstance. Her first novel (unpublished) The Hollowing Moon, was one of the top three finalists of the Anderbo Novel Contest. The sequel The Legacy of Lost Things was published in 2015 (Bleeding Heart Publications) and was the recipient of the 2014 Tololyan Literary Award. Aida has been featured on NPR, The Huffington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Poets & Writers, \and various reading series throughout Queens and Manhattan. Her short story collection These Hills Were Meant for You was shortlisted for the 2018 Katherine Anne Porter Award. Her recently completed novel All the Ways We Lied is slated for released January 2024 (Turner Bookstore).

In addition to writing, Aida organized and curated Boundless Tales, one of the first and longest-running reading series in Queens, NY. She began the series to provide a platform for emerging writers and to encourage a literary community representing diverse Queens-based writers. She is also an Advisory Board Member of IALA (International Armenian Literary Alliance) and on the Board of Directors for Newtown Literary Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting writers and writing of Queens, NY.


Publications & Prizes

Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents (Red Hen Press, 2017)
The Legacy of Lost Things (Bleeding Heart Publications, 2015)
All Things Girl
Exterminating Angel Press
Halfway Down the Stairs
, ,
Niche Literary Magazine
Per Contra
Slush Pile
Prizes won: 

Tololyan Literary Prize

Katherine Anne Porter Prize (shortlisted 2018)

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Jhumpa Lahiri David Sedaris Sylvia Plath Khaled Hosseini
What I'm reading now: 
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Armenian American
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Immigration, Schools, Teachers, Teenagers, Women
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Forest Hills, NY
New York
Raised in: 
Queens, NY
New York
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Jul 23, 2022