Valya Dudycz Lupescu is a writer and the founding editor of Conclave: A Journal of Character. Her novel. The Silence of Trees (Wolfsword Press, 2010) was selected as a Semifinalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and since being published (both in print and ebook), has been a Kindle Bestseller, breaking into the Top 100. Valya holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught at several Chicago-area universities. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the historic Cliff Dwellers Club and is on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Writers Association. Valya teaches workshops around the city and online and helps to facilitate a monthly gathering of writers and artists called the Chicago Creative Coop.