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MORE ABOUT MARELIZE ROETS

I am a born-and-bred South African currently living in the United States. I am a writer, a teacher, an editor, and an actively involved literary community constituent. I aim to use my writing to open a dialogue of encouragement to those who choose to follow a career path less traveled and to show naysayers how immensely influential writers are and can be. My ultimate personal goal is to understand myself fully through my writing. I use genres such as literary realism, and psychological horror to express my thoughts and feelings distinctly and purely.

My ultimate career goal is to be an author and a screenwriter. After graduating from Full Sail University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, I was approached to write a feature-length horror film. After a year of development and pre-production, the film, UNSHELTERED, was produced in Orlando, Florida. The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it an array of setbacks and obstacles that many of us did not foresee, but as we regain a sense of a new normal, the post-production process finalized and UNSHELTERED was signed for distribution with Buffalo 8 Productions. The film is set to release on February 25, 2022, on streaming platforms including Apple TV/iTunes, Amazon, Google, Vudu, and other platforms based in the United Kingdom. Including the incredible opportunity to write and produce a feature-length film, I have continued to hone my writing skills during my Master of Fine Arts candidacy at the University of Central Florida. For my thesis, I have written a psychological horror novel that explores how trauma impacts our relationships with others and with ourselves. I have also written three distinct short films that have been entered into multiple screenwriting competitions. Furthermore, I have published two flash fiction stories, "One in Three" and "The War of Socks," in respected literary journals. Every story I write adds to me a little, changes me a little, forces me to reexamine an attitude or belief, causes me to research and learn, helps me to understand others and grow.

Another career goal of mine is to be a college professor. I initially fell in love with education during one of my first jobs as a teacher. In 2013, I started a teaching position during my sophomore year at university in South Africa. I was employed to teach English, Afrikaans, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, History, and Art at a home-schooling institution for kindergarten to high school students. In 2014, I was employed as a teaching assistant for freshman English Composition at the University of Johannesburg while I was a student in the Journalism department. Thereafter, in 2015, I was awarded a full scholarship to earn my honors degree in Journalism at the University of Johannesburg. I also received a scholarship for a teaching assistantship where I taught senior Journalism students in New Media Journalism and Broadcast Journalism.


After I earned my Journalism Honors degree, I relocated to the United States in pursuit of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. I enrolled at Full Sail University and, after two years, graduated as Valedictorian of my class in 2017. During my Full Sail University career, my flash fiction story, "Summer," was published by a literary journal, I became a teaching assistant for the Visual Arts in the Entertainment and Media Industries course, and I was appointed as an assistant editor for the Orlando-based literary journal Ghost Parachute.

I graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Central Florida. I was awarded a graduate teaching assistantship from the Department of Writing and Rhetoric where I taught English Composition II as well as a graduate assistantship with the Knights of Distinction co-curricular program under the Quality Enhancement Plan at the University of Central Florida and remain an assistant editor for Ghost Parachute.

After six years of living in Orlando, I fancy myself a Florida native. I have learned to enjoy the taste of fried gator tail and Orange Blossom beer. I have also immersed myself deeper into the outstanding local literary community by regularly attending readings and author meet-and-greets. In 2021, I was appointed as a reader for the selection committee of The Kerouac Project of Orlando to determine the 2021 and 2022 writers in residence and an assistant editor for Ghost Parachute: 105 Flash Fiction Stories, an anthology published by the literary journal Ghost Parachute. 

As a globe-trotting woman writer from South Africa, I am rapidly gaining my ten thousand hours of experience writing. I live my life by making bad decisions until someone comes from the future to stop me.