Fabulous Londoners: Amy Van Es & Writtle Magazine
I’m happy to present to you Amy Van Es, Founder and Director of Writtle Magazine, as May’s first Fabulous Female.
I met Amy almost a year ago through Twitter and our common love for writing and blogging made us quick friends. City Mom readers first met Amy back in October. Amy has come a long way since the fall. She has become a new mama and launched an amazing project.
I am inspired by Amy because she has identified her passion and has not stopped in pursuit of it. She’s taken her love and skill for writing and her passion for the London community and created a wonderful publication that celebrates London’s literary talents.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Amy and Writtle Magazine.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Every so often, I write a self-portrait piece – sort of a snapshot of who I am at the very moment I write it. The latest one has a line that says it well: “Like glitches on a screen, I hustle from place to place; from moment to moment. Although I appear besprinkled and winded, my feet are always touching the earth heavily on all four corners”.
This time in my life is a busy one – I’ve got Writtle Magazine that has just released its Inaugural Issue and a six month old daughter to raise. In the midst of all the crazy I do my very best to remain grounded and calm.
I have a peace sign tattoo that I got, ironically, at the darkest time in my life. Even though folk music has my heart, I spend a great deal of time listening to 90s pop. I love to kayak and play baseball. I was a bowling champion as a child (seriously). And finally, I hate normal peas but love the ones still in the pod.
Tell us about Writtle Magazine.
In a book I read recently by an industry legend, it says that it is essential to have a passionate, steamy love affair with your publication. So, I am beyond thrilled to babble about the magazine.
Pioneered from a dream to satisfy my craving for a career in both design and literature, I began working toward a publication that does just that. When mixed together with my desire to belong to a community of like-minded people, I got a fabulous elixir that created a hub for the literary industry to express themselves.
We showcase the talented writers in our community (right here in London, Ontario) and help to promote and probe the industry. Although this began as my dream, it has quickly taken on a life of its own. It wasn’t too long into the process of producing the first issue that I realized there was no way I could do it alone. Thus, we are a magazine made by London, for London. What a fantastic job our community has done!
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for my sanity since I was a young child. I have always kept a little black journal that housed my greatest hardships and triumphs. Now, I have a museum of my emotional history sitting on my book shelf. I don’t suppose I write for anyone but myself, but I do share my work. I’ve been doing that for the last year or so.
What motivates and inspires your writing?
I only have one motivation, emotion. I cannot just pick up a pen and begin to write. I need to be prompted by an emotional moment. The good news is that I am incredibly sensitive and have a lot of those moments.
I can see a man walking solemnly down the street with his un-groomed dog and instantly be filled with the loneliness I believe he’s feeling. There are certain things that prompt such moments, through my daughter, movies, people and music and reflecting on the past; they’ve all been known to drive my pen.
What are your future plans for Writtle Magazine?
I have high hopes for the project. When I imagine where we will be in a few years, I envision a cozy space that is open for anybody to walk in, take a seat and read. This space will double as an office for us. How amazing it would be to have a place to come and discuss literature, write with fellow wordsmiths, or just hang out for a few hours.
In the much more immediate future, I plan to begin hosting events throughout the city in which you can hone your writing skills, listen to others and learn about interesting topics that effect the industry. I guess the plan for the magazine is to become more than a publication. I want for us to become an even cozier, nutritious community.
Who can contribute to Writtle Magazine?
Anybody that is from or resides in London who has written anything can contribute, no matter the experience level. Whether you’re an aspiring journalist, an established novelist, or a recreational poet, we’d love to read what you’ve written.
Currently, we have 5 departments:
- Biographies of literary personalities in the city
- Short stories/flash fiction
- Book reviews
- Articles on current and interesting topics surrounding the literary industry
With that being said, I’m totally open to the possibility of any form of writing. If you have a new idea, or a piece that fits into one of those categories, send it in with a completed Release Form (found on our website ), a little blurb about yourself, and a headshot.
You can send your submissions electronically or via postage:
Mailing Address – 405-1235 Huron Street, London ON N5Y 4L5
When sending electronically, people have been printing the Release Form, filling it out, scanning it and then sending it in via email along with their piece. If you don’t have the means to do so, you may send your submission electronically and then mail us the Release Form. Just let us know how you’re getting all the pieces to us and we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it!
What advice would you give to other women in terms of pursuing their passion?
A lot of people I speak to tell me that they wish they could drop everything in pursuit of their dream. I tell them that dropping everything sounds dramatic. If you can’t work yourself up to a dramatic change (or simply don’t have the means to do so), begin to chase your dream one step at a time. I didn’t decide to do this overnight. I took one step toward my ideal life each day and this is where I’ve ended up. And it is fabulous!
What else do you have on the go?
I want to achieve mastery of my craft, so I’m putting all of my energy into that. I am far from that point, but I’m working diligently at getting there. I’ve been taking courses on creative writing and working a lot on my writing. As I’ve mentioned, I also have a daughter who I spend every day with. It’s my first priority to make sure she has an amazing life. Those combined with the magazine is enough to keep me occupied!
What is the last song you listened to on your iPod?
Grace Potter – Ah Mary
What is the last book you read?
Bright Shiny Morning – James Frey
Photography By: Photography By Kayliegh