2018 was an eventful year. I had a baby, learned to code, started the third draft of my novel, got a gig as a web designer, became Artist in Residence with the charity HIV Scotland, read 52 books, and got a few things published along the way. I surprised and impressed myself. As Gina from Brooklyn Nine-Nine has said, “I’m the living embodiment of the 100 emoji.” That’s how I feel anyway 😉
Read more about my published works from 2018:
Disclosures: Rewriting the Narrative About HIV
This is a big one for me. Disclosures is the culmination of the Postive Stories Project, a series of writing workshops and mentorship programme that paired professional writers with people living with or affected by HIV, that I ran as Artist in Residence with HIV Scotland. Through poetry, stories and artwork, the contributors of Disclosures rewrite the narrative of what it means to live with HIV in Scotland today.
I’ll admit that before working with HIV Scotland, I knew very little about what it’s like to have HIV. I didn’t know about PrEP (a pill you can take to prevent HIV) or U=U (undectable=untransmittable, meaning if someone with HIV has an undetectable viral load, they are unable to pass on the virus through sex) or that nearly 30% of people with HIV in Scotland are women (more facts here). As editor of Disclosures, I worked with incredible people whose stories — at times funny or heartbreaking but always honest and inspiring — not only transformed my understanding of HIV but will work to end HIV stigma. We’re still running events around Disclosures with the goal of sharing these stories to change the narrative, so check out the website. You can buy a copy of Disclosures via the publisher’s website at stewedrhubarb.org.
Uncovered Voices: An Anthology of Work Created by Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Abuse
I’m proud to volunteer with the nonprofit Uncovered Artistry which sponsored the Uncovered Voices anthology — we’re a really small team but we achieve truly great things, including this anthology and the writing workshop series from which it was born. The book, which includes poetry, stories and artwork, is gorgeous and powerful — uplifting but never shying away from darkness. Read the book, and the voices of survivors and their inspiring words will be echoing in your ears for a long time to come. You can buy a copy from Uncovered Artistry at uncoveredartistry.com.
‘The Sea Witch’ in Blood Bath Literary Zine
This was the year that I admitted to myself that I’m a horror writer. Half of the stories I’ve ever published are written in the horror genre — with a dash of surrealism and fairy tales occasionally added for good measure. I’m very proud to have a wee piece published in the queer woman-run literary zine Blood Bath. I feel very at home in these pages. It’s a gorgeous book with beautiful illustrations and haunting words. You can buy the book from the publisher at bloodbathzine.com.
I also had a couple poems and a short story published in From Glasgow to Saturn, and I have a few more pieces in the pipeline to be published in 2019. I’m looking forward to where 2019 will lead me in my writing and reading and new mom life.
Thanks for reading!
Angie Spoto is an American fiction writer and poet. She is working toward a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. Disclosures: Rewriting the Narrative About HIV, the book she edited as Artist in Residence with HIV Scotland, was published in 2018 by Stewed Rhubarb Press.