November 6, 2020 by Yuly Restrepo

Hello everyone,

My name is Yuly Restrepo Garcés, and I’m a fiction writer. I was born in Medellín, Colombia, and came to the US with my family about twenty years ago as an asylee. With the exception of the three years I was away in grad school, I have spent all my time in the US living in Largo. I even wrote about Largo a little bit in my most recently published story, “Pablo Escobar,” which appears in the Tampa Bay Noir anthology that came out in August. I’ve published a few other stories in various journals, and a personal essay about Mexican telenovelas on Catapult.

I’m so grateful to Creative Pinellas for this grant, which will allow me to work on a revision of my first novel, which, like most of my other writing, is set in Colombia at the end of the twentieth century. It tells the story of two estranged young siblings, Renato and Valentina, who have found themselves on opposite sides of the bloody civil war that took place during that time. Another character, Leticia, is a humble farmer who has been entrusted with a baby that could bring the siblings back together. For me, this novel is an examination of the indelible destruction of war and the bonds of family, both biological and found.

I also hope the resources from this grant will allow me to start revision on a long story/novella I began to write over the summer. I’m looking forward to chronicling that journey over the course of the next few months on this blog.

Until next time!

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