Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

Things Literary and Fantastic

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This past weekend I returned to New York City to spend time with the wonderful Nancy Hightower (who just signed her poetry collection, The Acolyte, with Port Yonder Press).

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I also met with my new literary agent, Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

Sara represents children’s fiction and adult fiction and non fiction. Her clients include NYT Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry and USA Today Bestselling author Jeff Hirsch; her authors have been nominated for Edgars and the Morris Award, and have been on the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults list and in the Top Ten. She is consistently ranked among the top three YA and MG agents in Publishers Marketplace.

We had a lovely chat, and I know that my next book, The Supper Club, is in good hands.

Following our meeting, I headed to WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn with Nancy and Brooke Bolander to attend Jeff VanderMeer’s reading from his new book, Annihilation.

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Jeff is a terrific reader—clever, witty, and well-spoken, and it was a fun event (so be sure to attend a reading and get your book signed if he comes to a town near you). I love stories where the setting is a character, so I’m especially excited to read Jeff’s newest novel, set in an eerie version of southern Florida’s wild coastline.

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Friday was all about Electric Velocipede. Run by John Klima for twelve years, the beloved magazine published quality genre fiction by more than 250 writers, including Catherynne M. Valente, Jeffrey Ford, Rachel Swirsky, Jeff VanderMeer, and Jay Lake.

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A release party/memorial service at Bluestockings Bookstore celebrated the 27th and final issue of Electric Velocipede and featured readings by ten writers who have been published in Electric Velocipede over the years:

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After Bluestockings, people were invited to an after-party at David Edison’s place in the East Village. Earlier in the day, with the help of Stephen Segal, Nancy, Brooke, and I had gotten to work transforming David’s apartment with red lights, blue lights, and hanging skeletons.

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The space invites that kind of playful decoration, so we turned the three floors into a “Danse Macabre” backdrop for writers, editors, and other creatives to gather and celebrate John’s magazine and the excellent writing he published over the years. It was a full house and a joyful last hurrah.

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The following day, we were lucky enough to enjoy a lazy afternoon with friends, the perfect way to wind down and end my visit.

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I caught the plane back to Chicago early the next morning (narrowly avoiding the next snowpocalypse-vortex), to come home to the family and a visit from the lovely Maura Henn, who was traveling through Chicago on her way to Minnesota.

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I think back to 2008 when I was living in Germany and feeling such a lack of creative community. Just over five years later, and I am grateful to be surrounded by talented, innovative, imaginative writers, editors, agents, and artists. Some are in different cities and others are in the same neighborhood, but we are a community.

It is certainly possible to navigate these waters alone, but for me, it’s so much more enjoyable to have a cherished circle. We do the work, we make our art, we tell our stories, we support one another when we can, and when we come together, sometimes we make magic. Together, the journey becomes as meaningful as the destination.

Author: Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and STICKS & BONES, as well as the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress.

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