Rania M M Watts – EIC, CCIQ Press
EIC & Founder of CCIQ Press, Rania M. M. Watts is in the process of revamping all of her books with Melaris in Print; however, is currently working on ‘Cockroach Blueprint Redux: 207 Ways to Kill a Cockroach’. ‘Verity’ a poetic dialogue book steeped in all things related to the human condition, ‘Kindreds’ which will house fractal images by Mathematical Artist Teja Krašek as a fundraiser for ‘Bags of Love’, an organisation that assists homeless individuals, and Across a Jagged Landscape, a poetic odyssey looking at developing identity through a psychological lens, foreword to be written by Professor, Dr. Milan Jelenic. Forthcoming, ‘Broken Candy’ will be available in the late Summer of 2022; the proceeds from Broken Candy be equally divided between Durham Rape Crisis Centre in Durham Region and Advance, located in the UK.
Rania is the curator for both ‘Roach Print Anthology’, where all the funds go towards global mental health initiatives, and ‘Broken Candies Anthology’ where all profits will be donated to the Durham Rape Crisis Centre; an organisation that is very close to Rania’s core.
In addition to her poetic endeavours, Rania has been published by the 48th Street Press Broadside Series, and the Open Minds Quarterly special classroom edition; which is utilised to educate both college and high school students on mental health issues, a topic Rania finds to be extremely important. Aside from her mental health advocacy, she has also utilised her talents to write for two UK based music blogs: The Punk Archive, and Music Gateway.
Outside of her passion for the written word, Rania earned a Social Service Worker Diploma, areas of focus encompassed HIV/AIDS Awareness, Prevention, Advocacy, and Suicidal ideation. In Spring of 2021, Rania earned a Victimology Graduate Certificate with honours, and is currently pursuing an Honours Bachelor in Behavioural Science.
Rania is constantly spelunking a myriad of fine art mediums. However, her wheelhouse is poetry regardless of utensils a pen, crayon, eyeliner, quill, will do, with a nice piece of unblemished parchment. Rania has genuinely permitted her imagination to dominate her core since the age of 13, when she advised her teacher of her desire to escape to Europe with a typewriter, quill, ink, and parchment to scribe in fields of grass.
Valisa Bernardino — Resident Artist
Valisa is a Southern California native. Currently a project manager by profession, she dedicates the remainder of her time developing her artistic career.
Valisa’s art is of a lowbrow style, featuring subjects that are predominantly feminine. Her artistic themes range from macabre, mystical, and sexually metaphorical. She finds her inspiration in a variety of both people (mainly other artists and writers) and locations. However, most of her pieces are self-reflective and are heavily influenced by her mood or state of mind. Currently, Valisa shares her art via social media and has been featured on various curated artist pages. Her illustrations can be seen on the covers of Rania M. Watts’ books Accordions and Moustaches, Summer to Summer Rewind, and Cement Covered Ink Quills and Rarities, as well as, the Horror Anthology, Twisted, published by Manic Raven Press. Her poetry has been featured in multiple issues of Cult Magazine. You can view her art on Instagram @vali_saurus where she is also open for commission-based projects.
Tots Hills — Junior Photographer
Junior Photographer, Tots Hills will be the most fashionable farmer once she finishes her post-academic studies. Tots has overcome adversity at such a tender age; and feels being around animals has been such a comfort through tremendously difficult times. Tots and animals have an extremely symbiotic relationship; cats & alpacas have helped Tots both on the mental and spiritual planes. Tots has expressed that although she has encountered difficult times; more positivity has emerged from her experiences. Tots relishes her family, shopping, getting her nails done however, the most comical aspect is that she also enjoys getting her hands dirty – although she is the girly girl in the Hills tribe.
Liz Lugo — Microbiologist & Screenwriter
Liz Lugo is a Puerto Rican self-published poet with a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. Following her passion for cinema, she pursued a certification in Professional Screenwriting from UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. She later partook in a TV writing workshop with writer and producer Gloria Calderon-Kellet. Liz recently obtained her MFA in Professional Screenwriting.
As a part of a class project, she wrote and directed a supernatural horror short film titled “Lamentos del Silencio.” In 2019, she worked as a Script Supervisor in “Don’t Blink.” Later in 2020, Liz won the Grand Prize at the Various Artists independent Film Festival for her work as a writer/director in Run. Hide. Pray., a proof-of-concept for one of her feature screenplays. This prize leads to the production of a music video directed by Liz.
Her upcoming short film is a psychological horror-thriller titled “I Killed Lucy Jones.” Her stories are mostly identified by inclusion and diversity, including Hispanics and Deaf characters, and situations that highlight at least one of the following causes she’s committed to: verbal abuse, sexual abuse, rape, human rights, mental health, equality, among others. She works mostly with elements of horror, sci-fi, psychological thriller, and post-apocalyptic, and you will always find them linked to her Puerto Rican culture.
Liz also enjoys comedy, documentaries, westerns, foreign films, and has an extreme fascination for comics/graphic novels. When she’s not writing or analyzing films or TV shows, she’s up to a new adventure or just hearing music, dancing, cooking, or exercising.
“Dream the impossible and you’ll get the unexpected.” LL
Sonja Mabel McClure — Poet
Sonja holds a B.A. in Communication with a focus on news/editorial as well as a minor in English from the University of Utah. She is the author of the full-length poetry collection Shift//Motion which encompasses different themes such as: movement, travel, and nature. Her writings and poetry have appeared in PSPOETS, Pyre Publishing, Paper and Ink, Touchstones, Catalyst, and elsewhere. She is of Finnish descent and is a member of the Finlandia Foundation. Sonja loves attending poetry readings and was delighted to take part in the Utah Humanities Book Festival a few years ago. She’s a nature enthusiast, a dog lover, a coffee connoisseur, and she has a strong sense of wanderlust. Outside of her love of poetry and literature, Sonja has always had a passion for dancing and music. She started ballet at the age of 6. Over the years, she has studied many dance techniques including modern and jazz. She has performed with several dance groups. In addition, she pursued piano and voice lessons. Later, she discovered belly dance, mesmerized with using different props consisting of fans, veil, basket, finger cymbals, and double swords. Sonja enjoys learning various belly dance styles such as: Egyptian and Turkish but she is most fond of Tribal Fusion and ATS, both which originated in the United States. Connect with Sonja on IG: @sonjasolstice.
Artemis Skye McNeil — Board Certified Holistic Wellness Practitioner and Author. Founder of The Happiness Habit
Artemis Skye McNeil is an author, motivational speaker, and poet. Her platform is bridging the gap between inspirational words and daily affirmations for personal growth and development without anxiety. Ari\’s love of words started at a young age. Growing up in a bilingual home, she enjoyed conversations with her father on the breakdown and etymology of words in both English and Greek. Her love of writing stemmed from the third grade through her schooling years and has been writing professionally since 2013. She enjoys public speaking and book signings. She loves meeting and having great conversations and connections with her audience. She is currently residing in Atlanta with her husband, & birds: Seinfeld McNugget a.k.a. The Nug, Snowball, and Chickpea. She is currently working on her third, fourth, and fifth books. Artemis Skye McNeil is a lifetime member of the Atlanta Writer’s Club; a member of the Georgia Writers Association.
MK McWilliams — Author
MK is a life-long lover of words and the creator of imaginary worlds. She writes poetry, fiction, and essays, exploring themes such as mental health and the human experience. Her debut poetry collection, Stereospace, was published in February 2020 by Pine Peak Press. She has also authored three limited-edition chapbooks: Technicolor Mind, Ode, and Jagged People, which were released worldwide in digital form in December 2020. MK lives in New Jersey with her young daughter and their demon corgi.
Luke Young — Poet
Luke Young is a writer, bibliophile, proletarian, bartender, amateur bird enthusiast and factotum. He is of mixed Indigenous and old colonial European American heritage. He grew up among Southeast Asian war refugees in the states of Washington and California before moving to Cambodia where he lived for the majority of the next seventeen years. He moved back to the United States in the autumn of 2017 with his wife and four children.