Collaborative Writing Challenge

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

ARK Meet the Writers

Kat Hutson - 25 - Grass Valley, California

CWC Story Coordinator


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.

 

When she's not passionately consumed by everything writing, she spends her time hiking and exploring the beautiful mountains of northern California, maintaining her 20-year love affair with classical piano, singing and songwriting, and of course curling up with a great book at the end of the day. She is so excited and grateful to be a part of CWC's fantastic projects, and is very much looking forward to her first Collaboration as Story Coordinator for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy project starting this June.


You can connect with Kat through: 

www.facebook.com/klhcreateworks

www.linkedin.com/pub/kathrin-hutson/b8/ba6/475

www.klhcreateworks.com

And you can check out her new blog at: createworkschronicle.wordpress.com 

Eleftheria Chrysochoou - 30 - Athens, Greece (Chapter 3a Author)


I started writing stories as a child and my growing love for writing eventually led me to pursue a degree in English & Literature. I have been a video game reviewer since the mid 2000's, a translator for nearly the same number of years, and recently became a qualified English language teacher. After a year of engineering studies in England and a few years of living in Sweden, I currently live in my home country and never take a single day for granted!

Kaylee Kosakowski - 18 - Queens NY (Chapter 3b 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.

Bob Fisher - 28 - Philadelphia, PA (Chapter 4 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.

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.

Virginia Carraway Stark - 25 - BC, Canada (Chapter 6 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

Alexander Barclay - 33 - Orlando, USA (Chapter 7 & 19 Author)


Author-in-training, Alexander Barclay has always had an affinity for stories of any medium. From comic books and movies to classical theater and literature, his opinion is that everything is valid when it comes to the art of storytelling. 


He believes there are two ways to best understand someone else: through their stories, fact or fiction, and to share a meal with them. While the Collaborative Writing Challenge is his first foray into being published, Alexander hopes one day to offer, through his own stories, his perspectives on life to be enjoyed or critiqued at the reader's discretion.


Mandi Millen - 50 - Holargos, Near Athens, Greece (Chapter 9 Author)


Long of limb, broad of beam, open of mind and impatient by nature, I can sometimes wreak havoc without meaning to. But I mean well. Originally from the south-east of England, I can’t remember a time when I was wasn’t in love with words. I started my working life as a reporter for a weekly local newspaper in south London, then moving onto a daily regional covering Sussex. 


After a brief stint as a Press Officer, I took what I thought was going to be a six-month career break, working as a holiday rep in Greece. That was in 1989, and I’m still here. What happened? Nikos happened, that’s what. He persuaded me to stay and we’ve now been married for 20 years and have a son who turns 18 in February 2015. I still write for a living, in I think of as Corporate Journalism, but it’s on my blog http://shemeanswellbut.blogspot.com that I release my inner word nerd to churn out short stories, reflections on life and general burblings.

Jason Pere - 31 - Norwich, Connecticut (Chapter 11 & Flash Chapter Author)

A Fresh new addition to the community with “Ark” and CWC’s resident Swashbuckler. Jason Pere is a native New Englander, currently residing in Connecticut with his wife and two rambunctious cats. He has had a long standing passion with the arts. 

As early as the age of six Jason knew that he wanted to do something creative with his life. He tried his hand at several mediums, picking up a strong interest in acting for film and theater at the age of thirteen and focusing on that craft for over a decade. Life directed Jason to drift away from film and theater over the years and pick up writing as a form of creative expression. He began with poetry and journaling. Every so often Jason would scribble down an odd short story or two. Finally in November of 2012 Jason self-published his first book, Modern Knighthood: Diary of a Warrior Poet, a collection of original poetry and philosophy.

After publication of that book Jason took some time away from novel writing to work in the world of collectible card games, board games and other forms of professional Dorkery. He continued to dabble in poetry and picked at competitive short story writing. Jason returned to full length novel writing in October of 2014 with the “Purgatory” series, a dark fantasy title. The first book in the series is set to be published in late 2015. 

Jason discovered CWC early on in 2015 and has been a passionate member since, diving into multiple collaborative fiction projects with other CWC authors. When not writing or enduring his “Real World Job” Jason enjoys, Netflix time with his family, breaking out obscure board games and dorking out with friends, firing up the his game console and surviving a Zombie Apocalypse or indulging in baked goods and sleep.

Rachael Steele - 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

Crystal M M Burton - 27 - Texas, USA


Crystal lives in rural Central Texas with her loving husband and their three energetic children. She is a veteran of the United States Navy who now proudly serves as a stay-at-home mother and wife. She works from home as an author and editor, and in her free time enjoys crocheting, gaming, and movie marathons. When she’s not writing or chasing the children, Crystal is either exploring her passion for learning or diving into one of her favorite fandoms.

She has been published in multiple short story anthologies, and co-authored a zombie fiction novel with five other writers, coming in 2016. Her most recent project, Light & Shadow, is a fantasy novel, written in tandem with an intertwining companion novel, Shadow & Light, by friend and author M.W. King. Their books are being represented by Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing Inc. and are set to be released in 2017. Crystal is currently working on an epic, high-fantasy series titled Aspect.

Elaine Padgett Carnegie - 58 - Texas, USA (Chapter 20 & Flash Chapter(s) Author/Editor)

A native Texan filled with the love of the lore we cut our teeth on; I was born with a passion for writing, communication and challenge. Even as a young child I wrote poetry and I have always loved pouring what is inside of me onto a blank sheet of paper. My first job was at a small town Newspaper in Crosby, Texas at the age of 15. I write for a weekly paper now in the Texas Hill Country and other small publications. I became a paralegal in the early 90’s and I have been a Licensed Private Investigator for ten years. I now have my own company and I edit manuscripts for publication, build websites and do product script. (My company is EC Diversity at www.ecdiversity.com) 


I raised a large family working as a paralegal, and I dealt black jack at two casinos for a couple of years. I have settled in the picturesque Deep East Texas Piney Woods near a scenic private lake. I love it here and with my children grown I am attempting my first full length novel this year and I am very excited about it! I am also delighted to be a part of “The Concierge” team. It has been wonderful watching the characters grow and the plot untwist, and sharing it with the talented writers on this team. Kudos to Laura for her hard work and keeping us all together and in line!

Cristel Benítez - 20 - Buenos Aires


Cristel Benítez lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in a house her cats graciously let her inhabit. She writes mainly as a hobby, but that didn't stop her from joining countless writers' groups. She hopes to make a living off her writing someday. But don't worry, if you ask her, she'll put her serious face on and tell you she's working on her novel.


You can find more of her work on one of CWC's other projects, ARK. And her, well, you can't find her anywhere. Unless you want to be facebook friends. If so, you know the name.

James Dinsdale – 48 – Yorkshire, United Kingdom


James served 23 years in the British Army before a catastrophic injury ended his career. Severely disabled and unable to move to any greater extent and not being able to work, James turned to writing short articles for his own blog. The articles were well received and he was encouraged by friends, family, and some complete strangers to write something more substantial but he never had the confidence to do so.


James read about the CWC in a UK magazine in 2015. Interest piqued, he sent an email and was invited to write a chapter for Ark. Having enjoyed the experience so much, James is now undertaking an honors degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in the hope of making creative writing a full-time occupation.

Ong Sze Teng - 19 - Singapore


Sze Teng is a student residing in the concrete jungle of Singapore. With a relatively small art scene to indulge in, she had joined CWC for the experience and was not disappointed with the interaction between different writers and styles during the period of Ark's creation. Treading carefully in the realm of prose and story writing, she has mainly explored the fantasy and sci-fi genres.


Creating worlds and delving into the confused mind of complicated characters are what drives her love for writing on, playing around with alternate universes of own making or as seen in books and movies. While embarking on her journey into writing, she actively searches for critique and similarly offers comments and encouragement for others to improve just as she wishes to.


When not daydreaming and plotting adventures for her imaginary minions, she can be found geeking out over Wushu videos and mimicking the shown moves or immersing herself in one of the parks or pools scattered about her hometown. Elsewise a quiet corner with a good book is always a pleasant retreat.

Mike J Smith - 35 - London UK


A scientist who has spent his working life drafting reports and technical articles, staying within the strictures of the third person and being precise in the use of language. His reading is entirely science based revolving around journal articles and technical books. 


Any free time is spent taking photos and reading about photography. He has a number of articles published in photography magazines. As editor of a science journal he spends much time reviewing and copy editing the writing of others. He has not written fiction since high school and Ark was his first foray. He thoroughly enjoyed contributing and says 'it was a blast!'.

Robert Mackey