Interview with Anastasiya Mamchits: Q2 2023 Creative Nonfiction Contest Runner Up

Sunday, June 25, 2023
Anastasiya’s Bio:
Anastasiya Mamchits is a Ukrainian American living just outside of Seattle, Washington. She is currently working as a pharmacy technician but is pursuing a career in the publishing industry. She has been writing since she was a child but has just recently begun to pursue it as a career. In her spare time she loves to travel across the United States, one of her favorite places to visit is the Oregon Coast. 

If you haven't done so already, check out Anastasiya’s award-winning essay "Trouble Back Home" and then return here for a chat with the author. 

WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Q2 2023 Creative Nonfiction Contest! How did you begin writing your essay and how did it and your writing processes evolve as you wrote? 

Anastasiya: I wanted to write this essay in a positive note, as a way to tie my happy memories of Ukraine with the current situation that is happening there. Unfortunately, I am rather limited in my recollection of Ukraine, and I instead poured out the emotions I have suppressed for the many months of war and this essay morphed into something else entirely. I wanted to remind readers of the harsh reality Ukrainians are facing on a daily basis. 

WOW: And your essay was very successful in doing so. What did you learn about yourself or your writing by creating this essay? 

Anastasiya: While writing this essay, I never once had an instance of writer's block. I learned that it is easier to pour out all of my anger and pain into this essay; it is easier to write about it, rather than talk about it. 

WOW: What prompted you to begin pursuing writing and publishing as a career? 

Anastasiya: I have a very distinct memory of myself in junior high, in English class, where we were given an assignment to write an essay about Christmas. I had my dictionary on my desk and time seemed to slow down as I started writing. I genuinely enjoy writing and I would like a career in a field I am passionate about. 

WOW: Which creative nonfiction essays or writers have inspired you most, and in what ways did they inspire you? 

Anastasiya: One of my favorite nonfiction authors is Gracia Burnham, who is the author of In the Presence of My Enemies. Her book is a harrowing account of her captivity in the Philippine jungle. I read this book over a decade ago and it is still one of my favorite books. I loved the way Gracia wrote this book; half of it is about being held hostage, while the other half is an autobiography. She was able to tell her full story, in a way that went back and forth from the main storyline: her kidnapping and captivity, to her upbringing and early adulthood. I would like to be able to incorporate that style in my writing as well. 

WOW: If you could tell your younger self anything about writing, what would it be? 

Anastasiya: The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling. 

WOW: An excellent point to remember. Thank you for sharing your writing with us and for your thoughtful responses. Happy writing! 

Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, founder and editor-in-chief of Sport Stories Press, which publishes sports books by, for, and about sportswomen and amateur athletes and offers developmental editing and ghostwriting services to partially fund the press. Engage on Twitter or Instagram @GreenMachine459.


Renee Roberson said...

Anastasiya--I wept the first time I read your essay, especially the last line. It really touched me, and I was honored to be able to experience the words you put down on the page so eloquently. Thank you for keeping the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the forefront of our hearts and minds here in the United States--so often we take our freedoms for granted. I wish you all the luck in your future writing endeavors!

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