"All the features in Byline Legacies speak to a specific aspect of the writer’s life. But Valerie’s poem, “Elegy for the Poems I Almost Wrote”, hit me sharply because it not only calls the bluff of every writer who says they will remember an idea, it pays respects to the words as the mystifying wonders they are." —Jaime Dill, editor for Cardigan Press
What genre/age ranges do you typically write for?
I love to write YA fiction, but in the past year I’ve gravitated toward writing short stories and poems in a wide variety of genres. I needed something to take my mind off real life, so I’ve been looking for any themed submission calls by anthologies, magazines, or journals—if it has a specific theme and a deadline to keep me motivated, I’m there! In the past twelve months, I’ve had nine stories and seven poems accepted by publications based in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, and Cambodia, and I’ve written in genres ranging from literary to fantasy to horror to historical fiction.
How does your poem in Byline Legacies fit within the scope of your recent accomplishments?
I’ve been writing a lot more poetry since the start of the pandemic, and this inspired my piece for the anthology, which is a poem about writing (and getting frustrated by writing) poetry. I don’t tend to write in first-person very often, so this was a bit of a departure for me.
What can readers expect from you next?
I have poems in two upcoming anthologies for young adults, Rhyme and Rhythm: Sports Poems for Student Athletes (Archer Press) and I Sing: The Body (FlowerSong Press). And you can find me on Instagram.