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Member Spotlight featuring Anika Fajardo

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02.15.21
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As ModernWell is built upon cultivating community, connection, and creativity, the ModernWell Writing Studio is an important component for bringing people together through stories and inspiring creativity.  We are thrilled to partner with writer, teacher, and editor Anika Fajardo to offer her virtual writing course “Memory, Meaning, and Metaphor in Memoir” coming up this March! 

Anika’s passion for writing started at a young age. Since fourth grade, Anika has kept a journal,  filling her pages with truth and authenticity. Her love of writing has continued to grow stronger over the years. Born in Colombia, Anika soon came to the U.S. to live with her mother and grandparents in Hopkins, Minnesota where she grew up. Being read to regularly by family members as a child was how she developed a strong passion for books and writing. While professionally Anika started out as an elementary school teacher and then transitioned to a librarian, her dream has always been to be a writer. 

When Anika’s daughter (who is now 14) was a toddler, Anika began taking writing courses at the Loft Literary Center. While attending, she was selected for the Loft’s Mentor Series where she started to work on essays that would eventually become parts of her memoir, Magical Realism for Non-Believers. As most first-time things, it took plenty of false starts and what felt like failures in order to get her first publication. After nearly eight years of attempting to successfully publish her memoir, she moved onto her next project—a novel for young readers titled “What If a Fish.” This novel, published in 2020, was a 2021 finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and landed her with a literary agent, which ultimately led to the publication of her memoir. 

Anika’s memoir is centered around getting to know her Colombian family. Although she was born in Colombia, her parent’s divorce didn’t allow her to become acquainted with her birthplace. A craving to feel complete and a desire to gain an understanding of where she came from, Anika flew to Colombia in 1995 to discover a birthplace that was unfamiliar and a father who she knew very little about. Her story is captivating as she bridges time and place and experiences self-transformation. Exploring and ultimately writing about her origins provided Anika with a sense of wholeness and the freedom to write about other subjects that matter to her as well.

Her work and personal interests intertwine so much that her life is pretty consumed by her writing. She is currently teaching at Augsburg, writing two more books, editing, and enjoying redecorating her new home that she and her family recently moved into. She spends her free time with her cat who she describes as “fabulously grumpy” and binge watches period dramas on Netflix. 

Anika first discovered ModernWell through another member. She loves ModernWell’s physical space as well as our mission of empowering women. She taught her first ModernWell writing class, “Memory, Meaning, and Metaphor in Memoir” virtually last fall and was impressed by the class members’ writing, willingness to learn, and vulnerability. Anika finds the writing classes to be very rewarding for both her and the participants as all members have the opportunity to bring pieces of work to life and to see them come alive for others. She is looking forward to new and returning writing students attending her upcoming series this spring. 

Click here for more information on Anika’s spring writing workshop (virtual) beginning March 10th.

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