As both a creative and technical writer with ten years’ combined experience, my biggest joys are creating work that resonates with readers and working with fellow writers to get their stories to shine. Professionally, I have had the pleasure of writing and editing work in numerous capacities, including—but not limited to—a newsroom, a not-for-profit organization, and for various local businesses. As a fiction and creative nonfiction writer and editor, I am deeply immersed in various writing scenes and take pride in being an active member of the writing community, whether it’s through the promotion of literary magazines’ publications, or by offering my reading and editing services to those who need it, now through Chrysalis Editorial.
As an editor, I love to see writers push the envelope with their work. In fiction, I gravitate towards pieces that make me feel like I am peeking behind the curtain into someone’s life. Making the ordinary feel extraordinary. I’m particularly interested in short story collections, flash fiction chapbooks, novels, creative nonfiction, and narrative journalism. Examples of authors who have created some of my favorite works include Jhumpa Lahiri, Jesmyn Ward, George Saunders, Khaled Hosseini, Ocean Vuong, Carmen Maria Machado, Erik Larson, and Madeline Miller.
As a Writer I find inspiration in the seemingly minuscule details of people’s everyday lives. As an immigrant, I relate strongly to such themes as: belonging, otherness, family dynamics, and identity. I love exploring the different ways we can convey connectedness to each other, whether through a ghost story inspired by my own quirky hobby, or through the retelling of a popular Japanese myth.
I’ve had several stories published in literary magazines, with my first major fiction publication, “Towards Avalon,” receiving a PEN/Robert J. Dau prize nomination. I have also been nominated for a Best of the Net with my creative nonfiction piece, “If Monet Had Painted the Western United States,” and other work has been featured on Boston public radio’s show, "Mr. Bear's Violet Hour Saloon." With a finished linked story collection under my belt, I am now working on my debut novel about a fictional Albanian burrnesha, or sworn virgin. I love all things creepy, mythical, historical, and honest.
Personal I was born in Albania just before the communist regime collapsed and the country’s borders opened for the first time in decades. When I was three years old, my family came to the U.S. under political asylum and upon enrolling in school, I had to take extensive ESL classes.
I received my B.A. in English Literature and journalism from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. While there, I was one of 15 undergraduate students awarded the Undergraduate Research Award (URA). My URA thesis—how Albania’s former dictatorial regime influenced the country’s literary movement—took me to Albania in the summer of 2009 to conduct archival research and to meet with and interview the indomitable author, Ismail Kadare.
When I’m not reading other people’s work or creating my own, I love to travel, explore museums, cheer on the Washington Capitals, and pet every dog I come across. For more on my publications and all things writing, visit my website at www.ngjoni.com or my Twitter page @NikiGjoni.
Praise for Nikoletta Gjoni
I highly recommend Nikoletta as a fine and meticulous editor. She did a lengthy edit of a first draft of my novel-in-progress, Their Secret Names, and submitted a very thorough analysis and editing of the novel, chapter-by-chapter. She also raised some issues with one of the minor characters that need to be addressed in order to avoid the cliche of the "white savior" trope. The surprising effect is that I do not feel discouraged by her suggestions but rather tremendously encouraged by her enthusiasm for the work and her honesty in pointing out where the book could be made stronger! This kind of careful reading and editing with so many specific examples is priceless as I now have guidance as I set out to write a second draft of the novel. - Marian O'Shea Wernicke, Author,Toward That Which is Beautiful
Nikoletta Gjoni is a fantastic editor and coach. She is very encouraging and polite when giving feedback. At the start of the sessions, she takes the time to get to know you as a person, your history with writing, and what your goals are. Her encouragement makes me feel confident in my writing skills and I can see myself improving and making progress with my short story. She is a knowledgeable writer and coach and is very enthusiastic when working with other people. You will benefit a lot from her services. - Kriti Bulusu, Creative Writing Student