Recap of ‘Conversations With Cait’ episode 1: Kayla King on writing, editing and ‘The Elpis Pages’

graphic courtesy: Elijah Robinson

graphic courtesy: Elijah Robinson

Cait Malilay, News Editor

“Conversations With Cait,” a new podcast that centers on the arts, culture and race and gender politics, is set to air on 91.3 WBNY-FM on Monday at 7:30 a.m.

Don’t have time to tune in? “Conversations With Cait” is now available on YouTube and SoundCloud. Here’s a recap of episode one.

For the first episode, published fiction and poetry author Kayla King shared with listeners her journey as a writer and more about her two collectives, “Pages Penned In Pandemic,” and “The Elpis Pages,” both of which are collections of poetry, short stories, flash fiction, essays and more.

King says all proceeds from “The Elpis Pages” will be donated to Planned Parenthood Action Fund, an organization which helps protect access to safe, legal abortion and reproductive rights.

What’s the story behind these two collectives?

For “Pages Penned in Pandemic,” she began a featured interview series in summer 2020.

“I was really interested in hearing from other authors and seeing how they were coping with the pandemic, if they were avoiding their art or using their writing as a catharsis to get through such difficult times,” King said.

She reached out to her best friend in New York City who’s an editor to help start this project, and in total, they received over 70 works from all over the world ranging from Germany to Singapore.

Kayla King (Golden Rose Creative)

“It was so wonderful seeing all these people come together, and sharing their artwork, sharing their writing,” King said.

What sparked her interest to launch “The Elpis Pages,” was the passing of the Texas abortion law, also known as Senate Bill 8.

The Elpis Pages

She, along with many others around the world, were upset about the decision.

When we can find common ground and similarities between everybody, it lets us know we’re not alone,” King said. “It also shows that womanhood is more than one thing, and that not everybody has the same experience.”

How did she reach worldwide participants?

It was all thanks to Twitter and Instagram, the two primary platforms that glues the writing community together.

She also reached out to her personal writing group as well.

Using Google Forms for interview questions, in only two months, they received over 300 submissions for “Pages Penned In Pandemic,” from all around the world.

For “The Elpis Pages,” they received over 200 submissions in just one month.

What led her to become a writer?

Growing up, King was always an avid reader since elementary school, and just as many millennials and generation Zers, she was a fan of Harry Potter.

“I think those of us that are of the Potter generation really saw what an imaginary world can do, and growing up with those books was so important.” she said.

It was really when she was in her senior year of high school when she took an experimental writing class that her English teacher said to her that they see her as a writer, and she realized that stories could be brought to life.

When she went college, she originally majored in interior design at Villa Maria College, but a semester later, she knew that writing was indeed her passion, so she transferred to the State University of New York College at Buffalo to pursue writing and graduated from the program in 2013.

“For me, stories are the way that I find my way and navigate through the world. Oftentimes, I don’t know how I feel about something until I’ve written it on a page, she said. “A lot of times, my darkest thoughts, fears and happiest moments come out in my fiction, so for me writing and breathing are one in the same thing,” she said.

One notable professor that she had was Kim Chinquee, an associate professor in the department of English.

“I was very pleased to see her doing such fine work,” Chinquee said in an email.

What advice would she give to current Buffalo students in the writing program?

King advises to utilize one’s professors, invest in the writing community, continue to read a variety of books, and submit to literary magazines.

Follow @cait_malilay_writes on Instagram for updates on articles and future episodes of “Conversations With Cait.”

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