Collaborative Writing Challenge

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller

Ambition - Meet the Writers

Laura Callender - 33 - New York, USA 

CWC Founder & Story Coordinator 


My first piece of fiction was written when I was only 12 years old. I described in detail how it made me feel to watch my favorite cardigan as it swirled around the washing machine. My teacher gave me praise, but I never really thought much about writing until I reached my early twenties. I started with poetry, and then moved on to short stories, eventually progressing to full chapters that matured with me. For me, age and experience really honed my writing ability, and I started to believe that I could one day publish a full length story. I’m still working towards that goal, but I’m proud to say my first completed book was written for my daughter and published in November 2014. You can find: Jungle Gym - Baby Animals on Amazon, and I have two more children’s books written and planned for the near future. 


Born in Liverpool, England, and raised in North Wales by my wonderful parents, I finally escaped and travelled the world. I met my husband David whilst he was in the UK, and subsequently moved to New York, USA to begin our life together. Our beautiful daughter was the icing on the cake, and she has played a huge part in allowing me to finally realize my decade old dream of organizing a successful collaborative writing project. Seeing this come together has really taught me to never give up on your ideas! 


Ambition Story Coordinator (Chapters 1 - 15)

L. Vancelli - 38 - Atlanta, GA 


Allie Love Vance is a professional who writes under the pseudonym L.Vancelli.  When she's not mastering the art of multi-tasking, she teleports into the experiences of her fictional characters whose stories are forthcoming. She resides in Georgia where she is pursuing a dual degree in English Literature and Arabic. She is thrilled to be a contributing author with CWC, and also CWC's first appointed story coordinator. The Concierge is her first collaborative project. You can find her on Twitter @vancelliwrites.


Ambition - Assistant Story Coordinator
Charlotte Rose Lange - 21 - Madison, USA (Chapter 14 Author)

Charlotte Rose Lange is a recent college grad who works with adult literacy in Wisconsin. Her favorite part about CWC is sorting through all the strings, tying them together, and adding her own bead. She writes best under pressure, so CWC is a perfect fit.

You can read her work at http://www.writerscafe.org/clange. She is an avid chess player and debater, which shows through in her writing style.

Moya Rooke - 70 - Lincolnshire, UK (Chapter 1 Author)


Moya Rooke lives in a tiny village in Lincolnshire, England. She is the oldest writer on this collaboration but does not let that intimidate her as she says there may be snow on the roof but there's still a fire in the cellar. However, she is proud to be part of this collaboration especially since reading the bios of fellow participants, as she did not realize she was in such illustrious company. She has spent nearly all her life working with animals and has had three different boarding kennels. She now finally has time to indulge her other passion; writing. 


Moya has not only contributed to The Concierge, but her starter chapter: Ambition, was selected by the writers of our second collaboration, set to be published in September 2015. She is looking forward to seeing her story take on a new life at CWC.

Victoria Abbott - 19 - Grand Rapids MI (Chapter 2B Author)


Victoria is an aspiring screenwriter. She grew up with her nose in a book and her eyes glued to the screen.  Often finding herself getting lost in other worlds, she enjoyed making stories up in her head and talking about movies, t.v, and books with her friends. Worried that she was passionless, she realized she wasn't cut out for science or mathematics in academia and decided to take time off from school to re-evaluate herself. She spent time "finding herself" in between watching television and attempting to make art. 

Happiest in her attempts, she is now spending more time seriously writing screenplays, drawing, making music, and writing for herself as well as other opportunities the internet affords her. Victoria enjoys the little things in life, like her cat, the sunrise, cereal, and self-deprecation. “To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” -- Kurt Vonnegut

Sophie Southwood - 31 - UK (Chapter 4 & 16b Author)


My school teacher Mr. James had us studying pride and prejudice at school, I fell in love with Jane Austen novels from then onwards, but this also sparked my love for reading as well as creative writing. 


As life became more demanding after studying I only had time to read now and again, so haven't written anything for years. When Laura set up CWC I just had to get on board. I had my son 10 1/2 months ago, it was during his naps he allowed me to get stuck into writing again, and I escaped into the lives of the characters featured in the collaborations. 


I surprised myself when not only one, but two of my chapters had be chosen for the novels. I was over the moon to know I still had it in me. It really has got my creative juices flowing again, and I recommend CWC to anyone tempted to experience something new and unique. If your thinking about it, don't.....JUST DO IT!!... It's a rewarding step you can take to get back into writing.

Brittany Pomales - 24 - Orlando, USA (Chapter 5a Author)


Brittany Mint Pomales is twenty-four years old but her soul is ageless. She possesses a B.A. in Communication which currently collects dust on her armoire. While in school she studied screenwriting and media production. Professionally she had one poem published online when she was a teen, but after a writing hiatus she hopes to get more poems published soon; until then she drudges through a 40 hour work week at a hotel. Although Eloise at The Plaza made hotel life seem fun, the magic lies not in the hotel but the writing. 


Her poems/short stories focus on human emotion written to evoke those feelings in her readers. Her writing also branches off to include children’s stories and scripts. She longs to be remembered and hopes to one day write something that becomes classic and timeless. To her, writing isn’t about becoming a household name but becoming a part of literary history. She can be found at bpomales.wordpress.com as well as most social media sites.

Lisa Bonanni - 46 - Philidelphia (Chapter 5b, 16a, 25 Author)


Lisa was born and raised in the city of Philadelphia. From the age of five she studied dance, at her aunt and uncle's dance studio and also at the school of the Pennsylvania Ballet, up until young adulthood. She then attended Temple University in Philadelphia and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, immediately followed by a degree in Pharmacy. For fifteen years Lisa worked full time as a retail pharmacist, and for the past three years, she had the pleasure of reducing her pharmacy hours to part time. Within the first few weeks of that new work schedule, much to her surprise, she began to write. 


This new found love of writing led her to take courses through the UCLA Writer's Extension Program and also The Writer's Digest online curriculum. Now living in New York City,  she continues to pursue her hopeful writing career, and has also started giving private dance lessons and doing choreography for individual productions.  In the future she wishes to complete and publish three novels, "Look Lady Victory", "An Inn For Many" and "Hot Abby"  as well as a screenplay, "Mid Life Law" and a T. V. script, "The Fantasy Files", all currently works in progress. With these dreams of becoming a successful writer, Lisa is thrilled to have found the CWC, and is looking forward to her first published work, in their collaborative novel, " Ambition. "  She would like to dedicate her contribution to her beautiful daughter Mollie, and to thank CWC for all that they do, and for helping to make a dream come true.

Kaylee Kosakowski - 18 - Queens NY (Chapter 6 Author)


Kaylee Kosakowski is a student studying Television, Film, and Communications. She has always found writing to be her favorite outlet and has worked to improve her skills as a storyteller. From scripts to poetry to short stories to novels, she has dabbled in all areas of writing. In her spare time, she collaborates with her friend to create a marvelous story that they hope will one day be published. 


Being one of the younger writers in the project, she fully embraces the opportunity to work with other great authors and people, trusting that every experience will guide her as she grows. Kaylee herself can stand proud having had two chapters selected for The Concierge, and another chapter selected for our second collaboration: Ambition. It’s hard to believe a writer has acquired such diverse skills so early on. This writer is certainly one to watch. She can be found on Twitter: @asiankayleeann.

Peter Berube - 31 - New York (Chapter 7 Author)


Peter Berube is an accomplished writer working out of Los Angeles, and New York. Over the past decade, he has written several feature films (Thanks for Dying, Suicide Pact), short films (Winky Face, Heart, Touch Me, Parkin, Shelly), web series (Emily, The Start-Ups, Get a Clue, Buddy Action Therapy), full length plays (Behind Closed Doors: The Musical, The Nearly Famous Death Lazzo of Edmund, Crutch, The Legend of Vendoria, PalVeter), sketch shows (Once Upon a Hotdogstand, Pitch it!, Evolution of the Asshole, Exploit This), and radio plays (A Billion Dollar Love Story). 


His original musical Behind Closed Doors, had it’s world premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival. Peter has also written several short fiction stories which have been published in multiple literary blogs, and online arts magazines. His latest project seeking publication is a graphic novel which turns the classic Cat in the Hat story, into a chilling tale of survival in a zombie apocalypse. You can learn more about Peter’s work at www.PeterBerube.com 

Bob Fisher - 28 - Philadelphia, PA (Chapter 8 Author)


I am from Southern New Jersey, now living in Philadelphia, PA. I found my love for writing in middle school, and have been developing my craft ever since. With my MA in Public Relations, I have spent much of my time writing journalistic, structured pieces that took me away from creative writing. After realizing the aching feeling of something missing in life, I went back to my desktop and started writing for myself. It was always a more personal experience for me, without having the desire to share much of it with the world. Now, I find it an incredible feeling to leave yourself open and vulnerable; to share your thoughts and dreams with others and have them relate, respond or even refute. 

 

I am currently working on my first (well, second, being as my first attempt is forever at the bottom of a trash bin) coming-of-age novel. I have dabbled with playwriting and short stories, and have found a new love for poetry, as well.

The CWC has been a great experience, giving me the opportunity to connect with other talented writers from across the world, and leaving us with a final product we are sure to be proud of.

Aaron Bubis - 26 - Chicago (Chapter 9 Author)


I've always been fascinated by the power of narrative, the way a story can influence and shape a person's life - my own included.  I have been fortunate enough to have had an array of excellent writing instructors, both from my time in high school and instructors from the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop.  I also enjoy staring thoughtfully out of windows, considering biblical passages as noodles boil and binging on junk books, TV shows, movies and video games.

Rachael Steele-Gooch - 39 - New York, USA (Chapter 10 Author)


Having recently relocated to New York City, this new chapter of Rachael’s life also includes finally being able to let her creative juices flow and start her journey into writing. An Australian born adventurer, Rachael has also had the pleasure of living in England, Canada and Japan.  


An avid reader from a young age, Rachael studied Journalism in High school, has dabbled in some poetry and contributed to the travel section of the Qantas Crew Magazine at her former job. This writer is beginning her journey into Creative Writing by contributing to CWC ‘s firsts project: The Concierge, as well as the second project: Ambition, and is also eagerly awaiting her turn to submit a chapter for the third collaboration: Ark.


Rachael is currently taking a short course at “The Writing Institute” at Sarah Lawrence College and is excited to start further courses to help hone her skills in the creative writing field. After a childhood growing up in rural Australia, her worldly travels, and a passion for adventure and other cultures, Rachael has a stockpile of memories and experiences she is eager to share with the world.

Chris Donovan - 22 - Pawtucket, RI (Chapters 11, 24, 29 Author)


Christopher Donovan is an aspiring screenwriter, with a degree in Writing for Film and Television from the University of the Arts. Chris is currently working two jobs while simultaneously trying to overcome his massive procrastination problem to create more original works. While Chris is trained and capable of writing short stories, plays, and television scripts, he is most comfortable creating feature length film scripts.


Chris usually frequents the horror genre. While out of his element, Chris sees this opportunity as a way to practice writing outside of his comfort zone and broaden his thematic horizons. He dreams of bringing some of his horror to the big screen and also whishes to one day be able to write a SyFy original film. He can be found on Twitter: @The_Don_17 and on his Tumblr: @professionalhorror, which he uses to release weekly short horror stories and horror movie reviews

Rose Burke - 29 - New York (Chapter's 12 & 22 Author)


Freelance writer and art enthusiast, Rose Burke, often writes humorous essays inspired by awkward dating experiences and life’s cruel sense of humor. Not-so-shockingly, the most noteworthy moment of her childhood occurred at the Scholastic Book Fair where Jon Scieszka signed her very own copy of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and labeled her his “favorite stinker”. Her work can be seen in Scandalous Women Magazine, The Southampton Review, The Conium Review, 100 First Dates, The Starving Writer Review, and The Starving Writer Review Collection.

Virginia Carraway Stark - 25 - BC, Canada (Chapter 13 & 15 Author)


Virginia is a Canadian author and screenwriter who lives in British Columbia, Canada. Her scripts have been made into movies (BlindEYE and Truth and Wine) and online podcasts (Candid Shots of the VPD). Virginia has written several dozen well-researched blog articles about cutting edge biochemistry and health topics for wellness websites and pubmed.com. In addition, she promotes the remarkable turnaround of the African country Rwanda with My Rwandaful Blog, where she educates readers about everything from mountain gorillas to murderous lakes. 

Currently, Virginia is editor in chief at StarkLight Press, a leading Canadian publishing house devoted to science and speculative fiction. She promoted her new novel, Dalton's Daughter, as well as her short story anthology Tales from Space, at VCON (Vancouver Science Fiction Convention) this year to great acclaim. In addition to introducing VCON audiences to her alien race the Gendlers, Virginia also picked up her Aurora Award Nominee Pin. 

Both aforementioned works center around the Galactic Armed Forces Science Fiction Universe, the immersive and open-ended worldscape loved by fans all over the world. Virginia Carraway Stark is co-creator of this universe, and co-editor of its online incarnation the GAF Mainframe. Virginia has also written stories for StarkLight Volumes 1, 2 and 3. These fascinating anthologies compile the winners of StarkLight Press' short story contests, which are open to first time, fresh authors from all over the world. 

In between writing projects, Virginia finds time to record excerpts from StarkLight Press' catalogue on YouTube and runs online writing and poetry workshops. She resides with her husband in the country, where they are surrounded by several dogs, waterfowl and a small herd of goats.  She is also an international representative of the National Paranormal Society of America. 

Websites: www.starklightpress.comwww.ihavememory.wordpress.comwww.myrwandafulblog.wordpress.comabout.me/virginia_carrawaywww.gafmainframe.com

Awards: Aurora Award/ Prix Aurora Nominee 2013, Winner StarkLight Press Short Story Contest, Notable Mention New Writer Cannes Film Festival 2006-7

Kat Hutson - 25 - Grass Valley, California (Chapter 18b Author)


Kat Hutson lives in Grass Valley, California with her husband and their two dogs. She is self-employed through her company KLH CreateWorks as a Fiction Author, Freelance Editor, and Copywriter. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for a Bachelors in Creative Writing Fiction, and her writing focuses in Literary Fiction, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi. She expects to announce the publication of her Fantasy novel Daughter of the Drackan in 2015, and is currently working on a new Dystopian Sci-Fi. 


Her editing career started in 2010, through which she offers editing and proof-reading services for fiction, business, and scholastic literature. She is a member of and received her copywriting training and certification from American Writers and Artists, Inc. (AWAI), and most recently worked with Biokare Health and Wellness, an Alternative Medicine client in Charleston, South Carolina. She is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and this May received a VIP Award from NAPW for outstanding leadership and ingenuity as a small business owner and entrepreneur.

Cayce Berryman - 22 - Corpus Christi, TX (Chapter 20a Author)


Cayce Berryman lives in Corpus Christi, TX. Her writing career began with her first poem in 2005, which grew into dozens of poems and short stories that she eventually had published in her high school literary magazines. 

She serves as Managing Editor of the Del Mar College Foghorn newspaper and freelance editor for articles, fiction, and non-fiction works. She is a trained, certified member of American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI), and her offered services as a copywriter include travel articles and fundraising copy. She claims her freelance editing and her own fiction writing as her passions above all else. However, she knows and humbles herself with the knowledge that even skilled writers and editors can always learn more, so she is a current student, earning her degree in Creative Writing & English with a concentration in Fiction, while also earning her associates in Journalism at Del Mar College. 


She offers a variety of editing and proofreading services, both for fiction and non-fiction works, as well as copy editing for articles, which includes a focus on AP-style formatting and fact checking. She also owns and runs an interactive Facebook group, ‘An Author’s Tale,’ which serves as a building platform for budding writers and published authors, as well as a ‘writer’s gym’ where the creative and knowledgeable mind can expand and continue to learn. She believes that every writer’s voice is important, and every voice is worth hearing. 

Alex Benitez - 30 - Stanford USA (Chapter 20b Author)


I'm 30 years old and have a beautiful 7 year old daughter. I work at a tex-mex restaurant that I enjoy, but it's mainly just for cash flow. I was born with a major heart defect that I couldn't really tell you about because I don't really pay attention to things that may set me back. 


I was born in Worcester Memorial Hospital in Massachusetts and lived in Webster Massachusetts for my entire young and adolescent life. I'm all about attacking anything I do with a hardcore intensity and my personality is a prime example of a Mass-hole. 


I now live in Sanford, Florida and have been here for 12 years. I've been internally creating stories my entire life but never wrote anything full length until I was 25. I think of myself more as a story teller than a writer. I like to think I'm good at choosing which medium would best fit the stories I create so I'm also capable of writing screen plays, scripts, comics; any way to tell my story. I love CWC because like a weapon, their projects keep my writing sharp so I don't dull out over time, while also getting this poor boy's name out there. Also, I don't meet many writers, so I like the community feel of it. 


My own personal projects include a five part science fiction series called 'Rose Star Runners', an upcoming psychological thriller/horror 'High Tower Black', and a comic submission I hope to be picked up by the world famous Heavy Metal Magazine. I have no shortage of ideas for new stories and have a long list of projects to follow what I'm doing now. My ultimate goal is to own an animation studio where we create Japanese-anime grade shows, right here in America with American artists (The Animerica Project).

Debbi Dieterich - 50 - East Northport NY (Chapter 25 Author)


Debbi is a former transactional/corporate attorney turned freelance writer and artist. Her decision to leave the law came after she realized she was spending most of her time painting and writing. She then made the decision that the time had come to pursue her true passions. Her goal is to apply the vast experience and skills she has gained writing and researchingfor the legal field to other genres and is currently delving into the creative writing realm.


As this is her first experience in collaborative writing, she is so excited to have been chosen as one of the authors for this project. She loves the story and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such an array of talented and experienced writers. Debbi is also participating in CWC’s next project and is eagerly looking forward to contributing to another fabulous story. Debbi also works on freelance projects in academic, business and resume writing and is currently working on a newsletter for a pet grooming business.


Saloni Singla


Saloni is an 18 year old college student from India. She began writing at age 17 and discovered CWC early on in her writing journey. She believes that writing for collaborative projects has helped her improve and grow as a writer. Her hobbies include reading, writing and learning. She is also fond of watching romcoms, listening to pop music, and spending time with friends.

Sharon Flood - 65 - Ottawa, Canada


Sharon was born in the St. Lawrence River Valley in the 1,000 Islands region, 65 years ago. She worked in retail for forty years, then retired in 2013. She has since taken up writing in a big way. She wrote a little in high school, where she had a poem of hers published in the school's yearbook at age 15. After high school, she went to work, got married, and generally lived her life while her talent lay dormant. She discovered a very good writer's site called protagonize.com in 2008. It's a collaborative writers' site that honed her skills. Through this site she met her first publisher, The Masquerade Crew for her first anthology story - http://www.amazon.com/Forevermore-Travel-Anthology-Sharon-Flood-ebook/dp/B00XSBH4UW. She was chosen as a Mob Boss here: http://www.masqueradecrew.com/p/the-masquerade-mob.html Where she does book reviews for The Masquerade Crew, and on Amazon.com. She is very proud to announce that she is involved with all six collaborative novel projects here – http://www.collaborativewritingchallenge.com. They operate out of New York city. She also has stories published in their Halloween, Christmas and Easter horror anthologies. She also has stories in a few horror anthologies with other publishers.