Founder / Editor in Chief
I'm a writing enthusiast, with an MA in Creative Writing. I was Project Phakama's Young Artist of 2021, and am Peepal Tree Press' social media intern.
I take care of the day to day operations. When you send an email in to us, most likely I'm the one you'll be speaking to.
Design / Proofreading
I'm a digital artist and illustrator based in the UK. I love painting people, preferably surrounded by cosy vibes and/or the natural world.
I do the illustration you see on our website and social media. I also take care of the proofreading; I love making things look their best!
"I loved the idea of The Creative Pandemic as soon as I heard about it. I am so impressed with Maritsa's ambition and dedication to providing quality support to emerging writers from some of the most consistently marginalised groups. For literature to be really great, we need to hear everyone's true voice, and The Creative Pandemic is helping make that happen."
Leila Rasheed / Megaphone Founder / 2021
'The Creative Pandemic stands out as an organisation driven by true dedication to equitable access, exciting writing, and really remarkable writer support. I'm looking forward to seeing where they go next.'
Emily Mercer / Wasafiri Deputy Editor / 2021
"Maritsa’s dedication, enthusiasm, passion for creative writing, and providing a platform for marginalised stories to be told is truly admirable. She is a joy to collaborate with and I cannot wait to see what else she does next!"
Lerah Barcenilla / Author / 2021
"Writing for The Creative Pandemic was a really good experience, it boosted my confidence in writing and broke the mundanity of lockdown.
Nikki's artwork was great and was happy to edit based on my feedback. I felt listened to and supported through the whole process."
Maritsa was super quick to share that I'd been selected and gave practical edits for posting online that improved the structure and ending while making me feel like I was in complete control."
Radhika Rai / Author / 2021
"Being able to publish as part of a cohort of young QPOC writers has been immensely helpful! Not only was I able to platform my own story, but through reading the stories of others, I feel like I am learning more about our amazing community. Maritsa has created a space where marginalised talent and often-unseen narratives are spotlighted front and centre"
Pippa Sterk / Author / 2021
The Creative Pandemic started in response to the UK March 2020 lockdown.
I’m Maritsa, and I’m a QPoC who graduated from my MA just two months earlier, in January 2020.
With no access to the outside world and missing a supportive community of writers, I looked to the online community for motivation with my own writing.
I created the site as a space where a community of writers could come together. I started editing work that people wanted to post on the site, and while I enjoyed every piece of writing that was shared with me, I noticed that many submissions were from similar voices: broadly speaking, straight and white narratives from writers already well into their careers, making enough money elsewhere to send me their work for free.
I couldn’t escape the feeling that building a platform was all well and good, but who had access to that platform was just as important.
I also still felt the absence of a writing community: of people at a similar stage in their writing lives, with similar lived experience to me. So The Creative Pandemic evolved to create it.
The Creative Pandemic is a space where readers discover creative writing from the queer community, free of clutter from ads or distraction. This is a website where new writers from underrepresented communities can get their first publication, or can boost their profile, and where everyone who participates becomes part of a network. Through our partnership with Project Phakama, we can now pay our contributors, and we are able to offer free professional standard proofreading and editing support to the writers we publish, as well as continued support as their careers grow, through promotion, community, resource-sharing, and advice.