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Chester County Press

Braving Veracity: Writer publishes third volume of literary anthology

07/25/2023 01:11PM ● By Richard Gaw

Courtesy image           The third volume of Braving Veracity, an anthology celebrating the work of local women writers, has recently been published.

By Caroline Roosevelt, Contributing Writer

In the early 2000s, Candida “Dida” Gazoli was working for Motorola in San Francisco, Calif., and seven months pregnant, when she was laid off. With six months of severance pay, and a desire to switch gears, Gazoli developed “Didaink,” her nom de plume as a blogger.

Gazoli had initially set her sights on using her platform to discuss the experience of becoming a mother in her forties. However, Didaink has since expanded to a not-for-profit organization under which she teaches and publishes.

Gazoli eventually moved from the Bay Area to Little Rock, Ark., where she connected with the writers scene and was featured on NPR’s “Tales From the South.” Since settling into Kennett Square, Dida created the first two volumes of Braving Veracity, a collection of memoirs by women and non binary writers in the Brandywine Valley, and recently published a third volume, which is now available.

Braving Veracity is a not-for-profit project sponsored by Didaink to support emerging women writers and memoirists in the Brandywine Valley. The anthology series is a platform for women writers who are interested in memoir and personal essay. Each Braving Veracity volume has a theme that is announced quarterly, and calls for submissions are announced on the website and via social media, local libraries and other venues. All royalties earned from the sale of each volume of Braving Veracity go directly to the featured writers.

Gazoli said that she believes in a holistic approach to writing, and offers classes, mentorship and editing, while fostering her writers with a sense of independence.

In addition, each writer who publishes in Braving Veracity is paid for their work.

“It's about supporting these writers not only emotionally but financially -- to pay them a market rate fee for their personal essays and increasing their fee as we continue working together on future volumes," Gazoli said. 

Graciously, if another publication asks that the writer not contribute the piece elsewhere, Gazoli will remove it at the writer's request. Her work with local writers doesn’t end with the anthologies.

“For the Braving Veracity writers who have already been published or have been accepted, I host writing retreats,” she said. “They are wonderful for starting a new piece, writing exercises, and working on the next volume.”

While she is celebrating the release of her third volume of the anthology, Gazoli said that the fourth volume of Braving Veracity is already in the works, and the focus of its essays will be about the illnesses that writers themselves have coped with, or are coping with - from mental illness to physical disease.

“Our job as writers is to craft ways to illustrate our true stories on the page with literary techniques,” Gazoli wrote on her website. “Memoir also gives us the opportunity to help others who may be struggling with the same problems we have faced.

“Once the writer learns and uses the tools available in their literary garden shed, they can root their story and let it grow in a reader’s mind; the work becomes visceral, palpable, and relatable.”

Braving Veracity Volume III is currently available on Amazon, various Chester County libraries. To learn more about how to submit work for Volume IV, visit Gazoli is currently teaching a writing workshop at the Kennett Library, and will be hosting a writers’ retreat at the end of August.