Aida Zilelian is a writer and a New York City high school English teacher. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Queens College with a double minor in English and Philosophy. She continued her education with an M.A. in Creative Writing from Queens College. Before teaching she worked in publishing for several years until she decided to change careers. During this time she learned how to play guitar and compose music, and she performed solo mostly in the lower Manhattan area for a span of ten years.
Once again shifting focus, Aida began writing short stories. Her first story “With Great Affection, Sophie” appeared in Pen Pusher (UK) in 2008. From there her published body of work grew and her stories appear in over twenty-five literary journals and several anthologies. Her first novel (unpublished) was The Hollowing Moon, which was one of the top three finalists of the Anderbo Novel Contest. The sequel The Legacy of Lost Things was published in 2015 (Bleeding Heart Publications) and was the recipient of the 2014 Tololyan Literary Award. Aida has been featured on NPR, The Huffington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Poets & Writers, the New York Times, and various reading series’ throughout Manhattan and Queens.
In addition to writing, Aida organized and curated what is now the longest-running reading series in the borough of Queens, Boundless Tales. She began the series to provide a platform for emerging writers and encourage a literary community. Now in its sixth year, Boundless Tales continues to represent diverse Queens-based writers.
The Last Echo Through the Plains is Aida’s most recently completed novel. It is a multi-generational family saga about a young Armenian girl searching to find out what happened to her missing family during the Armenian Genocide. It is currently being considered for publication.
A recent copy of Aida’s CV can be found here: Aida Zilelian CV