All Member Spotlights
Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Sasha Vasilyuk

author Sasha Vasilyuk and an image of her book Your Presence Is Mandatory

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? As a journalist and author, I view writing in both mediums as a way to tell stories that would otherwise disappear. I come from a culture where many private stories of suffering and survival were buried because of the fear of the government. Even today, journalists and authors are being threatened and their work banned. For me, having the freedom to write and tell stories is an important right that we must protect at all costs.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Nothing works better than a good old time crunch. As a journalist, I’ve loved having a deadline. But even in writing a novel-length work, I’ve used the biweekly meetings of my writing group as a deadline that helped me produce new work.

What is your favorite time to write? When my kids are not around.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Read your work aloud! You hear things that your eyes don’t see. And if you can read it someone else, even better. Their reaction (laughter, boredom, whatever) can prove extremely helpful.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I love the diversity of voices in what is being published today.

Sasha Vasilyuk’s Your Presence Is Mandatory is out next week with Bloomsbury Publishing.