Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

The birth of a story


In October 1996, I was in the inaugural class of the MFA in Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I had been working on an essay about my Ukrainian roots with Carol Becker, but I was blocked. I remember listening to guest lecturer Stuart Dybek talk about his writing . He discussed his stories as being grounded in Chicago, in the neighborhoods he grew up in, when suddenly all the pieces clicked in my head and a new story began to explore.

I hadn’t planned on writing long fiction. My intention was to write essays and poetry, as well as the occasional short story, but the ideas that were coming had a much greater breadth than any of those forms could contain. This was a novel. I jotted down some notes and rushed home to write. I wrote through the night and into the morning. The Silence of Trees grew from there.

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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