Writing is an excavation process. If you dig deep, you will discover the truth about yourself and your purpose in the world. Once exposed, this knowledge will shine brightly on the path ahead.

Andrea Chmelik

I was not always a writer. I’m not one of those people who were writing stories since the age of three. But I always loved words, books and libraries. When it came to my education, I picked science instead of literary arts, and graduated with Masters in Biotechnology. It didn’t feel right. I still loved words more than research.

With multiple offers for PhD programs, I told my parents I was going to be an au-pair (a fancy word for a nanny), essentially giving them a heart attack. But I’m the stubborn kind. 

In 2002, I packed my bags, got on my first plane ride ever, and found myself in Long Island, NY. It was then when I took my first creative writing class online, struggling with the language I had not mastered yet. I still struggle! Do you know what “byelingual” means? When you speak two languages but start losing vocabulary in both of them. It’s real!

After living in New York, I moved to Colorado, then Utah, and finally settled in California. It wasn’t until my first child was born in 2010 that writing became a survival tool for me. Since then, my essays and short stories have been published in anthologies, local press and online media outlets. I’m currently editing my first novel, Other Side of the Prism, a dystopian young adult fantasy.

I serve on the advisory board for the Central Coast Writers Conference, and have taught writing workshops on finding one’s voice, persevering as a new writer, and leading the way as a warrior writer for social justice.