Tuesday, November 28, 2017

American Fiction: Volume 16 with Snow Angels

The American Fiction Volume 16 has been published, and in it is my little short story Snow Angels, along with many wonderful stories by emerging writers, selected by the New Rivers Press and judge Ann Hood. 

The stories are beautifully arranged in five sections: Hand Picked, Youth, Love Lost and Found, Damaged, and Ghosts. Snow Angels is in the Youth section.

I just received my copies of the book in the mail. I am immersed in great fiction, grateful to be in the company of these inspiring authors. Thank you New Rivers Press!

The book can be purchased here https://www.newriverspress.com/product/american-fiction-volume-16/

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Surrey International Writers' Conference

This was my first time at a writers' conference and it certainly did not disappoint!

Huge thank you to all the presenters, organizers, and volunteers, and a very special thank you to literary agent Donald Maass for the fantastic Master Class and interest in Bistra's World!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spirit Bear Island Published!

Big thank you to the Royal City Literary Arts Society for including my spooky literary story Spirit Bear Island in the Haloween edition of their Wordplay at Work monthly literary magazine!

Spirit Bear Island is a fictional solitary island in the Strait of Georgia, where my protagonist, Margot, retreats one winter to face her demons.

The magazine can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pain That Unites Us All - Anthology

I participated in “The Pain That Unites Us All,” an anthology inspired by “The Power of the Pen: Writing Identities and Social Issues in Fiction and Nonfiction,” a MOOC course held by the University of Iowa in 2017.

From the “Forward” by author Monica Bergers:

“Pain, when written about, has power, and this power can be channeled into pure energy on the page. From this crafting comes wisdom, and perhaps, peace. It seems fitting, then, to say that these writers, in gathering their work and offering it as a reflection of lived, and often agonizing life are not only courageous, but also joyful. For they have found that writing and art have the capacity to burn out the pain. I agree with them. May it comfort you to know that in your grief and your frustration, in your struggle to live, you are not alone.

Monica Bergers
July 2017”

This book is available as a free download and a paper version for purchase at a great discount if you use a Lulu coupon.

Front cover painting entitled ―Pain‖ by Elsa Orozco, all rights reserved 2017.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Story Published in WordWorks Literary Magazine

How wonderful it is to see my story in print in the Summer 2017 edition of the WordWorks Literary Magazine by the Federation of BC Writers!

My story Bench Canoes of the Salish Sea won the first prize in the annual Literary Writes 2017 competition in the postcard category.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


"Yugo-nostalgia" is a great word to describe Bistra's World in the last decades of her life. Here is an excerpt from one of her stories:

"She stood in the heat or freezing cold, squeezed and pushed around by spectators, gawking, waiting for the Marshal to show up. For other people, this was entertainment or duty, but for Bistra, it was something holy. A communist pilgrimage to see the man who avenged the death of her father, killed by Nazis. A man who gave her free education and created this beautiful country, the best country in the whole world.

Somehow, Tito’s limousine never took the route she was on, leaving her bitter as if someone had robbed her of her rightful entitlement."

(From "Threads", an upcoming novel in stories by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki)

Great photographs of Tito can be found on Getty Images:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

My First Reading in Public

It happened on Saturday, June 2, 2017 in the back room of a charming little cafe in New Westminster, under the leadership of the fantastic RCLAS organizers.

The room was small but packed with audience, and there was even a raised stage and a mike.

Image provided courtesy of The Royal City Literary Arts Society

My stage-fright was short-lived. I was second up, and before I knew it my voice was booming from the speakers reading the first lines of My Burka Girl, followed by chuckling (at the funny parts of the story), gasps (at the surprising points), and the final applause from the supportive audience.

There were awards, cameras taking photos, and warm congratulations from literary brothers and sisters.

Then I relaxed and listened to the beautifully read stories and poems by all the winners of the RCLAS Write On! competition.

It was an elating and heartwarming experience at the same time. I was thrilled to meet several of my writer friends, and to make new ones. I was even blessed to have a dear art friend show up to cheer me on. How fun is that!

RCLAS is a vibrant organization for writers and lovers of literary arts and I warmly recommend joining it as a member, or attending some of their many great events.

It was a real treat to read all the winning stories and poems in the issue 46 of the RCLAS e-zine!

Image provided courtesy of The Royal City Literary Arts Society

Reading in public? Piece of cake!


NYC Midnight Challenge - Final Results

The results came in today. I didn't make it into the top 20, but I had a lot of fun and have three new stories as a result of making it all the way into the final round. I will participate next year again and I recommend this fun competition to all my fellow writers. This year more than 3000 people from all over the world participated.

Here is the info for those who are up to the challenge:


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Reading in New Westminster

I am super excited because I will be reading my work publicly for the very first time! I will read MyBurka Girl, a short story which won the second place in the RCLAS contest. Come join us and keep your fingers crossed that I don't get tongue-tied!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

NYC Midnight Challenge - Second Round

The saga continues! My short story Spirit Bear Island placed third in my heat of the second round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2017. Here is what the organizer say about this:

The third, final round, will take place on Saturday, May 6 and the story is due in just 24 hours. Pardon me, but I won't be taking any calls that day!


RCLAS Write On! Contest Second Place

My Burka Girl seems to be loved by Canadian jurors as well as by Americans. The story won the second place in the Royal City Literary Arts Society's Write On! contest in the fiction category. I am grateful to the RCLAS for their stellar work on organizing educational and fun events for writers, and of course for organizing this contest. There will be a casual reading and awards event on June 3 in New Westminster - see the RCLAS website for details. I am grateful for this opportunity to connect with other writers, and excited since I've never before read my work in public!

The story will be published in a future edition of the RCLAS online magazine. I will update this post when the magazine is available.

The fiction category judge Alvin Ens had a few words to share, which is always appreciated.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NYC Midnight Challenge - First Round

My short story My Burka Girl placed fifth in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2017. This is an exciting contest with interesting themes and challenging rules. Perfect for a pantser! Judges provide feedback via email, which can be quite useful for aspiring writers.

First 5 stories from all heats advance to the second round, so My Burka Girl got me over the threshold.

My story Snow Angels earned a honorable mention last year but didn't make it into the second round (it did, however earn a honorable mentioning from the Glimmer Train, and was selected for publishing in the American Fiction Anthology). This shows how writing done for one contest may do well in another, so it's well worth the effort. 

I am looking forward to participating in the second round of the NYC challenge!

Winner - Federation of BC Writers Contest

I was thrilled to learn that I won the Federation of BC Writers postcards section of the Literary Writes 2017 contest with the Canada’s 150th Anniversary theme, with my piece Bench Canoes of the Salish Sea.

The story will be published in the Spring edition of the quarterly literary magazine, WordWorks.

Womanthology Anthology - Iowa Workshop

cover art by John  Sevigny

In  March 2017 I participated in “Womanthology: writings on women worldwide by Various Authors” inspired by “Writings on women by women”- MOOC course held by the University of Iowa in 2016. With a “Forward” by author Margot Livesey:

“When various authors get together to write Womanthology, a project involving authors from different nationalities and focusing on women as their central topic through poetry and prose, you can´t expect nothing less than a briliant gathering of voices and approaches towards women´s world. A must read for all those who aim to understand their complexity and history and enjoy the complexity of their beings.”

This book is available as a free download and for sale as a paperback.

Whitmanology Anthology - Iowa Workshop

cover art by Elsa Oroizca

In  October 2016 I participated in Whitmanology: a collection of writings with authors from all over the world, inspired by “Whitman’s Civil War: Writing and Imaging Loss, Death, and Disaster”- MOOC course held by the University of Iowa in 2016. With a “Forward” by Professor Christopher Merrill:

"The Anthology aims to bring peace and hope in a world filled with war and pain."

This book is available as a free download and for sale as a paperback.

Snow Angels - American Fiction Anthology

The New River Press of Moorhead, Minnesota, US, selected my story Snow Angels as one of the twenty finalist stories in the 2016 American Fiction Award contest. The story will be published in the 2017 American Fiction anthology.

Snow Angels - Glimmer Train Honorable Mention

In 2016 my short story Snow Angels earned a Honorable Mention in the January New York Midnight Challenge and in the Glimmer Train March/April Very Short Fiction contest.

MAR/APR 2016

Cover Art for book - A Familiar Shore

cover art by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

In 2014 Tatjana’s painting Long Beach appears as the cover art on A Familiar Shore, a book of Poetry by Emily Isaacson