Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez was born in Toronto. She received the York University Entrance Scholarship and earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Vanier College at York under the study from prolific writers such as Susan Swan, Christopher Dewdney, and Don Summerhayes. Other areas of study included: Women’s Studies and Ethnic Minorities in Canadian Society.
Throughout her academic career, Zara has received numerous awards and honourary achievements including: Valedictorian of her 1989 graduating class; Peel Co-op Education Teachers Association Award, Ontario Scholar Award, and Brampton Rotary Club Award of Excellence.
She has always been actively interested in the creative writing community and has been associated with: The Brampton Writer’s Guild Association (1994-1997); The York Creative Writing Student Collective (1995-1997); executive officer of Writers at York (1996-1998); co-founder of Writers’ Read (1996-1998); editorial assistant for the literary magazine, Existere (1995-1998); and winner of the Word Guild Writing Contest (2007). Her continuing education training has included “Eight-Step Editing” and “Proofreading” through The Editors’ Association of Canada (2010).
Formerly an editorial assistant for eight years for the publishing house, UCPH, her interests have varied from: reviewing Canadian fiction and literature; writing short stories and poetry; penpalling, collecting postcards, critiquing film; photography; beading; scrap-booking; drawing; mehendi; collecting fair trade ethnic artifacts; visiting art galleries, museums, historical buildings, and churches; fashion; long-distance running and Pilates; ethnicity, cultural customs, religious practices, and advocating literacy and justice for marginalized peoples.
Between being a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer, a mom, and a housewife, she confesses an addiction to creating and receiving mail art through a number of local and international penpals; to drinking Chestnut Praline Frappuccinos with extra whipped cream and collecting Starbucks graphic gift cards; to working out like a beast at the gym at least three days a week (on account of all that whipped cream).
Her other (secret) aspirations include: winning the Lotto Max jackpot, becoming a full-time hat model, mastering the Arabesque position in ballet, and learning how to speak fluent Spanish, French, and Japanese, as well as crochet a mermaid tail blanket.
Zara currently lives in Brampton with her husband, her two young children—and her daughter’s six, plush toy lambs named: Lemon, Lambie, Lumon, Izer, Buffo, and Ramona.
To contact, please email Zara.
You can also follow Zara on Twitter: @ZaraAlexis