Writer’s Block Editorial Board 2021-2022
Laiana Farais (Editor-in-Chief)
Laiana is an enthusiastic curly-haired second-year student whose name everyone initially struggles to pronounce correctly. She loves to exercise, work with children, and will never say no to an adventure. As a short person, she fiercely defends the idea that being short is not a disadvantage. She considers herself an optimistic – and perhaps a slightly naive and sentimental – person who believes that good things will come, and is always looking for the bright side in every situation. She is very likely to bring up an adorably funny story about her lovable little sister in every conversation. Oh, and she absolutely loves adjectives and adverbs.
Olivia Lucchesi (Editor-in-Chief)
If there is one thing to know about Olivia is that she strived to get here. Not because *German* high school was hard, even though it was, or because moving from São Paulo to Amsterdam is tough, even though it is. Simply because she couldn’t decide what she wanted to study. From civil engineering to law and finally to media studies, with the hope to stay in this area and then become a journalist, the struggle was in fact more than real.
Although she checks all boxes on the stereotypical basic white girl, Olivia can surprise you: she is the first person to stand up for what she believes in; when she needs to get something worked out, she will do anything it takes; and do not annoy her, cause despite feeling like a garden gnome near Dutch people, she can summon up her angry Latina within 5 seconds.
She lives by the philosophy that everything happens for a reason, which so far has been really useful to justify her new Amsterdam life experiences.
Arthur Mulder (Secretary)
Literature student who prefers books in which nothing happens because far too much happens in real life for it to also be hectic in literature. He has been writing novels since he was seven in which things do tend to happen, annoying him greatly, and later in life he has started composing overly sentimental sonnets far too early in relationships. In his free time he consumes an unhealthy amount of films, argues with people why Kanye West is somehow still underrated and works out.
Marijne Ottenheym (Treasurer)
Marijne has a hard time getting through the initial world building of books, loves the middle parts, then gets bored again once the ending is near – hence an endless list of DNF’s that only keeps growing. Same goes for movies and series, by the way. Oh, and life and relationships in general! She claims to hate romance in books, but is secretly only entertained when there is a romantic plotline.
With too many hobbies and too little time, she struggles with setting priorities, but she is always up for discussing pop-culture, the downfall of the patriarchy, and how cute cats are.
“Overthinking is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.”
Reinier van der Plas (Final Editor)
Reinier is an avid writer of unfinished fiction in which he loves to explore the big questions: What makes our identities? How can we sit with our existential condition? What if procrastination is actually a good thing? And what exactly is wishful thinking?
Quietly harbouring a passion for (video) games, Reinier can’t wait to turn Writer’s Block into his outlet.
He has gotten into chess recently and really wishes that he hadn’t.
Emilia Barriga (Final Editor)
Very into words. Very into politics. And, also, very cool.
Emilia spends most of her time writing literary analyses for her major, but she is tired of babbling about books, so, instead, she will mostly explore her admiration for similar arts or ideas she’s passionate about. Most of her critical essays also end up being a way to unleash her raging interest in feminism, decolonization, and, more broadly speaking, intersectionality, so if you are not into that, sorry to inform you, this isn’t going to work. Emilia would love to remind you that that’s okay though! It’s not you, it’s her. Just kidding, like she said, she’s very cool, so it’s probably you. Seriously though, expect satire and humour in most of her works, otherwise, this really isn’t going to work.
Vivian van Klaarbergen (Social Media Manager)
Vivian is a creative second year English student who spends half of her day daydreaming and entirely detached from reality. Her all-time favourite TV shows often have a magical or supernatural plot line, yet her favourite movies are often cliché and, of course, full of romance. In short, Vivian is a dreamer and a procrastinating perfectionist who always has a book in her bag no matter where she is going.
Elisa Paci (Website Manager)
Elisa is a first year English student who loves cats, books and coffee and gets way too attached to fictional characters.
Elisa is a nerd through and through. She loves comic books and superhero movies, and will talk to you about Spider-Man for hours if you let her.
She also likes to say she enjoys writing but she has yet to finish any story.
Her favorite hobby though, is listening to people talk. Whether it’s her friends, a video essay on YouTube, an audiobook or a podcast, Elisa will never sit in silence.
Julia Kaczmarek (Graphic Designer)
What you should know about Julia is that she tends to engage in many different areas, but always connects her actions with her purpose to leave a mark and make our world a better place. She is an extraordinary, creative person, who drinks way too much coffee while coming up with many ideas for articles and designs. She’s a feminist, working in a Polish NGO which supports women rights and combats the problem of period poverty. She loves to get into discussions about contemporary and expressionist art, and 90s pop-culture . If you encounter her in a good mood, she will entertain you with sarcastic jokes and captivating anecdotes from her unsettled life. In her free time she tries to practice yoga, draw designs and watch fashion shows. She stays updated on all kinds of gossip and trends from the fashion world and tries to combine fashion with activism. In the future she would love to pursue a career that would connect both, she loves to give and write about style and sustainable life advice.
Rebekah Spaargaren (General Editor)
2nd year English literature student with a love for stories in every shape or size they might come in, be it tv shows, comics, or video games. A space cadette who likes to believe she’s quite creative, though rarely finds the motivation to do creative things, spending a lot of time thinking about drawing and writing but seldom seen with a pen. Armed with a notes app full of random ideas that make little to no sense upon reread, she’s a quick thinker and the perfect person to come to for help with brainstorming, or simply just for lively conversation.
Writer’s Block Editorial Board 2020-2021
Alexandra Barbu (Editor-in-Chief)
Alexandra’s writing tone oscillates between the gut-spilling personal and the clinical, research-based objective. In the course of the following year as Editor-in-Chief, she is set on finding a meeting place between the two, or perhaps something she’s not aware exists within herself in the present moment. As a journalist of her inner world, she understands the importance of writing as a tool for self-exploration.
Eda Saridogan (Editor-in-Chief)
An outspoken feminist and avid socialist, Eda is a reader, writer and speaker of words. She shares a birthday with King Willem, worships Oscar Wilde, and seeks the approval of every cat she meets. Oh, and she gave a TedTalk once.
Jérémy Bernard (Final Editor)
If you’ve met me (chances are that if you’re reading this, I’ve already forced you to read something) then here are some quotes of mine you may enjoy:
Fo sho, fo sho
Some sort of business fish sticker
J’ai l’honneur d’être, etc…
Chelsea van der Linden (Final Editor)
Chelsea enjoys spending too much money on concerts, living in books, and though she does not particularly enjoy overthinking, she probably spends most of her time doing just that. She explores these thoughts through her passionate writing, and is grateful for you coming on this journey with her. Besides this, Chelsea is currently busy with the Comparative Literature Master.
Elis Lipinski (Social Media Manager)
Elis Lipinski is a vivacious young woman who, despite wanting to one day become a professional writer for television shows, does not know how to use a semicolon. She has obsessions with kitsch fashion, her cat Kai, and using dating apps to get free male validation.
Demi Kraakman (Secretary)
Demi is bubbly second year English student with simultaneously too much and too little time on her hands. She loves too write, yet struggles finishing any story she comes up with and probably has around fifty unfinished stories saved on her laptop. She can also be found wearing headphones or blasting tunes from her speaker at just about any time of day and is prone to singing along despite her lack of talent (it’s called a “genetic defect” okay).
Constantinos Kokkinolambos (Treasurer)
Ex-introvert turned extrovert, exceptional book eater, excellent foosball player, ex-mathematician and sometimes a little… extra. For some also an ex.
Rebecca Doets (Graphic Designer)
Rebecca enjoys reading about other people’s adventures, and is slowly learning to have some herself. Besides Writer’s Block, you can find her art available on Etsy, and her mind wandering off somewhere it shouldn’t be. She is currently working on completing her research Master’s in Literary Studies here at UvA.
Stella Kanto (Website Manager)
A language nerd, wannabe acrobat and forest elf who relates to plants. Frequently stuck in existential crises. What even are words? Why are things?
Writer’s Block Editorial Board 2019-2020
Sona Simonian (Editor-in-Chief):
Budding writer, full-time book-buyer, and Mother of many. Sona strives to be as deconstructive and kooky as possible. Oh, and her favorite number is still 3.
Brendon Booth-Jones (Editor-in-Chief and Final Editor):
At the age of 23, Brendon ran away from a budding corporate career to travel the world for a year. His gap year stretched into half a decade and he started writing his experiences down along the way. Brendon’s first book will be published by Hedgehog Press in 2020.
Jeremy Bernard (Final Editor):
Jérémy Bernard writes slice of life stories for people you would never want to meet in real life. Having grown up in both the United States and France, currently studying English Literature and Society in the Netherlands, he is able to pull from a wide array of cultures he doesn’t really know much about.
Amber Vermue (General Editor):
Dreamy, wanting to create, often aware of my surroundings and trying to create a more meaningful experience out of what I see.
Eda Saridogan (Website Manager):
An outspoken feminist and avid socialist, Eda is a reader, writer and speaker of words. She shares a birthday with King Willem, adores Oscar Wilde, and seeks the approval of every cat she meets. Oh, and she gave a TedTalk once.
Chaakir Benzina (Social Media Manager):
Chaakir has been spending his twenty odd years of life in Amsterdam endlessly finding new ways to tell stories, and that is exactly as exciting and exhausting as it sounds. His SoundCloud page waits patiently for what will inevitably be his viral moment.
Ruby Fitzgerald (Secretary):
Ruby likes reading, writing, drinking tea, and dancing (badly). She procrastinates too much and spends more time than she would like you to know thinking about what colour she is going to paint her nails next.
Sebastian Alcocer (Treasurer):
I don’t know what to say, I just want to be a writer.
Alexandra Barbu (Graphic Designer):
Loves sunsets, believes that journaling enhances life, but overthinks a lot. Alexandra is a second year English student who is interested in using writing to raise awareness about social causes and mental health.
Writer’s Block Editorial Board 2018-2019
From left to right: Julia Neugarten, Fannah Palmer, Megan Leeuw, David Slot, Sona Simonian, Elise van der Linde, Casper Rudolph, Dorus Asselbergs.
From left to right: Casper Rudolph, Dorus Asselbergs, Julia Neugarten, David Slot, Sona Simonian, Sasha Chaboksavar, Megan Leeuw, Brendon Booth-Jones. (Not pictured: Elise van der Linde)
Sona Simonian – Editor-in-Chief
I have three goals in life: finish writing a book, know all the capital cities of the world, and break the longest hula hooping marathon world record. My favorite number also happens to be three.
Elise van der Linde – Editor-in-Chief and Graphic Design
Island girl that is always covered in cat hair, drinks a lot of coffee, and spends way too much time on the internet. Also enjoys the simple things in life like sleeping in and making soup.
Fannah Palmer – Secretary
Full-time student and stumblebum. Has an ambitiously-filled bookshelf, but keeps watching Girls reruns. In love with being in love, stuffy book shops, and California.
David Slot – Treasurer
Most people tell me raising silkworms doesn’t count as fatherhood. I just tell them I’d like to see their children spin a cocoon with their own saliva.
Casper Rudolph – Final editor
Fascinated with dreams and committed to the life-path of the writer, I’m here to make art for the rest of my life or die trying. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.
Dorus Asselbergs – Final editor
Write fantasy or realistically, chaotically or structured, a lot or a few lines, write anything, just make sure you write something original.
Julia Neugarten – Website manager
Julia is in awe of the power of the written word, loves pop culture references and will fight for equality at every turn.
Megan Leeuw – Social media
Half-Irish, Half-Dutch girl who is a self-proclaimed professional overthinker and loves to read, write and drink tea.
Sasha Chaboksavar – Secretary
Half Persian, half Dutch girl with a classic background story: escaping a rough childhood by consuming books. So, yes! Books do give me joy and no! I won’t throw them away.
Brendon Booth-Jones – General Editor
Brendon was born in New Zealand, raised in South Africa, and is now officially Irish. With three passports to his name some people have said that he is like a less-efficient, bumbling Jason Bourne.
Writer’s Block Editorial Board 2017-2018
From left to right:
Top: Cathelijne Top, David Kleinsteuber, Paulina van Bergem, Rachel Aisa-Bonoko. Bottom: Roos Gravemaker, Luc de Vries, Elise van der Linde, Casper Rudolph, Sona Simonian
Roos Gravemaker – Editor-in-chief
As a literary student, I tend to over analyze and criticize everything, which brings about lots of article ideas, but at the same time often annoys the crap out of my friends. Apart from all the “serious” matters, I also love to indulge in the campy and the kitschy side of culture.
Luc de Vries – Editor-in-chief
Luc de Vries comes from Nijmegen, where he became a bit more of a cynic than he would have liked. He greatly enjoys being an author of fiction that’s unpublished, undiscovered, and probably not all that good, anyway.
Paulina van Bergem – Secretary
Never am I happier than when I am telling or listening to stories, whether that is through music, literature or film. Food also always puts a smile on my face.
Cathelijne Top – Treasurer
Lover of films, video games, hiking, dogs and ice tea. Please indulge me in trying to escape my studies by filling a page with anything from researched pieces to random ramblings but often a bit of both.
Casper Rudolph – Final Editor
Writer of fantastical tales, and guitar player/vocalist in heavy rock ensemble: The Spoofs. Always out to break rules in weird and creative ways. Always writing with an open inner eye, and a punk-rock attitude.
Rachel Aisa-Bonoko – Final Editor
Hi! My name is Rachel. I’m a final editor. I’m in my last year of the BA English language and culture. I love art, dogs, tea and running long distance.
David Kleinsteuber – Website Manager
Hey, I’m David! I’m an infiltrator from philosophy. I’m an avid fan of hot chocolate and having or watching angry discussions. I have not yet figured out yet how soon is now, nor what ‘is’ is, though I intend to do so before I start my work at the philosophy factory downtown.
Elise van der Linde – Graphic Designer
Island girl wrapped in self-knitted scarves, clinging onto chai tea, and writing to keep warm. Also likes cats and mogu mogu.
Sona Simonian – Social Media Manager
Looks 13 but feels 83. Is unconditionally in love with Haruki Murakami. Thinks dolphins shouldn’t be locked up in marine mammal parks. Is a total wine mom. Is a living meme. Strong power thank you.
Writer’s Block Editorial Board 2016-2017
From left to right:
Rachel Aisa-Bonoko, Elise van der Linde, David Kleinsteuber, Anna de Boer, Roos Gravemaker, Sophie van Hellenberg Hubar, Tom van Veenendaal, Paul Hofma, Luc de Vries
Roos Gravemaker – Editor-in-chief
Because the books of Roald Dahl fascinated me when I was a child, I like the funny, absurd, and naughty side of literature and writing. I also have a passion for watches, British detectives, and bad puns which I love sharing with you.
Paul Hofma – Editor-in-chief
The road to hell is paid with adverbs, trust me I’m an engineer, if I pass out please note my time, and free time is a hoax. Welcome to my life.
Sophie van Hellenberg Hubar – Website manager
Things that make me happy include: reading (mostly fiction and cookbooks), editing, cats, misplaced interspacing, the smell and taste of elderberry, dancing, autumn, Utrecht and all kinds of food.
David Kleinsteuber – Treasurer & Website final editor
I’m David Kleinsteuber, resident philosophy-grandpa and movie-lover! I enjoy films and series, Coetzee, gender theory, naps, romance, kumbaya-sentimentality, good tortillas, and wondering if there’s really a difference.
Elise van der Linde – Graphic designer
Island girl flung across the Atlantic ocean. Lover of multiple languages, knitting, astrology, and creating fictional non-fiction. Always trying to find the right angle in photos, writing, and selfies.
Anna de Boer – Social media manager
Lover of books, music, piña colada’s and getting caught in the rain. Librocubicularist, anglophile, plant-carer, Gryffindor and passionate about guacamole. Enchantée.
Rachel Aisa-Bonoko – Email secretary
I’m Rachel. I love art and funny movies. I’m nostalgic and tend to be an introvert who loves listening to other people’s stories but who is bad at describing herself!
Tom van Veenendaal – Final editor & Secretary
Bolshevik of the Beaux-Arts and preacher of sickening carnalities. I’ve been in love (truly) with 3 women, the French republic, and the essays of William Hazlitt. Literature to me has been a nursery of riot, and I intend to continue that legacy.
Luc de Vries – Final Editor
Luc de Vries is a dude from Nijmegen with love. He is currently slouching toward his English BA, all the while enjoying various forms of literature, film, and most importantly, music. He patiently awaits the reincarnations of Sir Terry Pratchett, Stanley Kubrick and Bob Marley.
The Editorial Board 2015-2016
From left to right, top to bottom:
Roselinde Bouman, Phaedra Fidessa, Romy Verhoeven, David Kleinsteuber, Vincent Baptist
Judith Kroon, Felicia Fabriek
The Editorial Board 2014-2015 – Semester 2
From left to right:
Judith Kroon, Paul Hofma, Ilona Roesli, Isabel Harlaar, Phoebe Eccles
Isadora Goudsblom, Jules Schlicher, Rivka Hellendall, Tessel Rijneveldshoek
The Editorial Board 2014-2015 – Semester 1
From left to right, top to bottom:
Jules Schlicher, Judith Kroon, Isadora Goudsblom
Ilona Roesli, Paul Hofma, Yentl Dudink, Tessel Rijneveldshoek, Isabel Harlaar, Ines Severino
The Editorial Board 2013-2014
From left to right:
Thirza Osterhaus, Yentl Dudink, Ines Severino, Isabel Harlaar, Robert Steltenpool,
Isadora Goudsblom, Nora van Arkel, Joeri Vrouwenvelder, Joshua Swart, Ruby de Vos..
The Editorial Board 2012-2013
From left to right, top to bottom:
Larissa Tijms, Joeri Vrouwenvelder
Isabel Harlaar, Thirza Osterhaus, Ruby de Vos
Nora van Arkel, Robert Steltenpool, Ines Severino