who we are

Meet Fuenteco's Founders

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Layla Al-Bedawi

Layla Al-Bedawi is a writer, poet, language and writing teacher, podcaster, and bookbinder (among other things). English is her third language after Russian and German, but she's been dreaming in it for years. Born in Germany to Kurdish and Ukrainian parents, she immigrated to the US in 2006. While she considers gorgeous West Virginia her US home state after spending her first years in the US in the TESOL and English Literature M.A. programs at WVU, she currently lives in Houston, TX, where she co-founded Writefest, a week-long festival for emerging writers of all genres, for which she acted as Festival Director in its first two years. Her work, which frequently blurs the lines between fiction and poetry, between "literary" and speculative, is published in Bayou Magazine, Strange Horizons, Liminal Stories, Mithila Review, and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter under @frauleinlayla. 


Patricia Coral

Patricia Coral was born in Puerto Rico, were she became passionate about words and obtained a MA in Spanish Literature and Linguistics. In 2014 she moved to Houston where the adventure of writing in a borrowed language began. She is a writer of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, but frequently her words find their home in-between. Patricia has participated in many educational projects as educator, curriculum developer, instructional coach, and writer and editor of Spanish educational publications, among others. Currently she is a consultant for educational projects and academic program manager for a nonprofit institution. Her English-language work is published or forthcoming in Yellow Chair Review and Crab Fat Magazine.


Tayyba Maya Kanwal

Tayyba is a Pakistani-American writer of short fiction and creative non-fiction, as well as novels. She is published in Fireside Fiction, Juxtaprose, The Nervous Breakdown, Quarterly West, Crab Fat Magazine and other journals. Her essay, “Pruned Branches” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2016. She began her business career as a program manager in technology consulting in the energy and commodities sector, and went on to work in program administration for non-profits in education and the arts. Tayyba has an M.S. in Mathematics with a specialization in Statistical Decision Analysis. She is an absconded mathematician and a sucker for tall tales, long tails, and anything with thorns or claws. Connect with her on Twitter @mayakanwal.


Julia Rios

Julia Rios is a writer, editor, podcaster, and narrator, with an extensive background in public speaking and leading creative workshops. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in several places, including Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Goblin Fruit. She was a fiction editor for Strange Horizons from 2012 to 2015, and is currently the poetry and reprints editor for Uncanny Magazine. She is also a co-host of the Hugo-nominated podcast, The Skiffy and Fanty Show, a general discussion, interview, and movie review show, and Walkthrough, a discussion of exercise and geekery with Amal El-Mohtar and Layla Al-Bedawi. She has narrated stories for Podcastle, Pseudopod, and Cast of Wonders, and poems for the Strange Horizons podcast. She's half Mexican, but her (fairly dreadful) French is better than her Spanish.