California, United States
is the author of Garbage Night at the Opera, winner of the 2011 Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction from BkMk Press of the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Garbage Night at the Opera received the IPPY Bronze Medal in Short Fiction, was a finalist for Late Night Library‘s Debut-litzer Prize in Fiction, and was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize.
Valerie’s short stories have appeared in North American Review, Cimarron Review, Hunger Mountain, Night Train, and others. These stories have received four Pushcart Prize nominations and Special Mention in Pushcart Prize XXVIII. She is finishing her second story collection, Bridge & Tunnel, a series of stories focused on Queens and the home/work life challenge.
Valerie received a Fulbright Fellowship in Creative Writing to work on a novel set in Italy, Bel Casino, which continues the story of Franca and Lina from Garbage Night at the Opera. Her essays and prose poems have been published in Portland Review, Eclectica, Silk Road, r.kv.r.y, and others.
Valerie primarily works as a writing coach, providing one-on-one feedback and mentoring to other writers. She also teaches and facilitates workshops in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and online. At this point in her teaching and editing career, she is proudly independent, but she has taught for the UCLA & UC Davis Extension Writers Program, National University’s MFA program, and New Mexico State University. She has participated in craft lectures and panels at the Napa Valley Writers Conference, Litquake SF, and elsewhere.
She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiction from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from the New School in New York City, where she was born and raised.
Valerie was named a “Best Friend to Fiction Writers” by Sacramento News & Review in the 2011 Best of Sacramento issue. It remains one of her proudest accolades.
Twitter Username: @valfiora
- Garbage Night at the Opera , BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City) (December 3, 2012)
- G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction(2011)
- Fulbright Fellowship (Italy)(2004)
- 2013 IPPY, Bronze Medal in Short Fiction, Garbage Night at the Opera(2013)
- Director & Host at Stories on Stage (Sacramento) (January 2010 - )
- Founder at Midtown Writing Workshops (October 2009 - )
- Online Instructor at UCLA Writers' Extension (April 2007 - December 2013)
- Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from New School (January 1999)
- Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing - Fiction from New Mexico State University (December 2003)
Genres of Interest
Fiction, Creative nonfiction