Ashlynn Zhang (She/Her)
Spring 2023 – present
Ashlynn Zhang is a fiction writer, editor and mentor from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who started her writing journey in 2020 as an interactive fiction writer on several interactive story platforms. Growing up a sworn reader and going on to pursue English Literature and Creative Writing, Ashlynn has distilled that passion into working on her first novel, with dreams of ultimately being published as a full-time author. She has since been published in SeaGlass Literary and Curio Cabinet Magazine. She is the voice behind her books-and-writing newsletter Ashlynn’s Gone Off Script, and is a writing coach for The Authors of Tomorrow. In addition to Spellbinder, she is also editor to The Cleverly Creatives and Echo Review. When not hunched over a book or typing away, Ashlynn enjoys walking in the outdoors, picking up new craft hobbies, and impulsively buying more books and perfume sprays than necessary.
Ashlynn particularly enjoys stories, poems and essays that challenge the pressures, stigmas and boundaries of society woven with elements of fantasy; touching on mental health, identity struggle/fractures, and the complex, messy relationships that plague youths today, but most especially the relationship with oneself. She has a soft spot for stories that scream the dark truths riddled in humanity overlooked and diminished under larger political, cultural, and economical issues, and she also possesses a tender appreciation for stories and characters that are rooted in the wild and unapologetic need to be written and unashamedly disclosed. If it’s fantastical, romantic and darkly exaggerated, Ashlynn’s going to love it.
Ashlynn’s literary influences in fiction are primarily connected to authors Leigh Bardugo, V.E.Schwab, and Holly Black. She has also found inspiration and influences in works by Taylor Jenkins-Reid, George R. R. Martin, Holly Jackson, Kerri Maniscalco and Erin A. Craig. Her favourite novels of all time include Cynthia Hand’s The Afterlife Of Holly Chase, V. E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse series. Lyrically and poetically, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Melanie Martinez are big influences on her craft; and as for the influences in her childhood that have developed her passion for reading and writing, you can find her collection of Thea Stilton books cozied up along the Dork Diaries series in her childhood room.