My name is Weronika, which is Polish for Veronica, the anglicized form. I have always told people to just call me Veronica, given the difficulty and eclecticism of its Polish pronunciation! (In case you’re wondering, here’s the Polish pronunciation for Weronika.) My last name, in Polish, is pronounced Yahn-chu̇k, and in its English/anglicized form, can be pronounced Jan-chuck.
I also go, often, by W., pronounced Vee. Other acceptable nicknames include Dubz and, by extension, Dubzelina, after Cinderella–ella-ella.
Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” She captures for me the heart, in some ways, of who I am and why I love this work (writing, editing, and agenting alike): You and I are built for stories. We love to hear them, and tell them, and if we pay close enough attention, can watch our own lives unfold as entirely unique, ever-overlapping fairytales.
W.’s Writing & Reading
I am also a writer, as are many other agents and editors.
To be transparent, and to give you all existential hope: When I was 13, I queried a novel that I wrote during middle school to agents and publishers, and received snail mail rejection letters across the board. It’s all starting to bear fruit, and I gave up an early query for magnificent projects, or hopes for magnificent judgements.
I’m applying my philosophy guru to a non-fiction YA project called The Person Project, which treats of the nature of the human person, his/her capacities, and his/her potential, designed to be an iconic field guide, Malcom Gladwell-style; it is also designed to be an introduction to philosophy and to the act of creating, which is so deeply contingent upon who and what we are as persons. I am also working on a novel, Rainborne, for which you can find an excerpt here. (You can’t practice too much!)
You can find, among many shorter published pieces, an article on the importance of certain science regarding women’s health around which I wrapped my mind in the non-profit context here; a book review of Francis Oakley, PhD, president emeritus of Williams College’s memoir here, and a review of Edward Wilson-Lee’s The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books here; with more reviews forthcoming. Agents can’t ever read too many actually published books, of course; I’m currently reading Mary Norris’ Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen, and hope to review it soon.
Originally from Kitchener, Canada–born to parents who legally migrated from communist-infested Poland, via Germany, where they lived as refugees–I moved with my family to the USA in 1998 (also legally, of course), and have lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where I finished high school (Eagan), and developed a Midwestern flair: I love kind hearts; 10,000 lakes; and driving on long highways with windows down and music ablaze. I have the rare gift of being a tri-citizen (Polish by blood and parentage, Canadian by birth, American by time and choice). Polish was my first language, and I’ve spent much time abroad; I love the international scene, diversity in cultures, and breadth of experience.
In 2010, I moved to New York City to study at New York Univ.’s Gallatin School. There I finished a self-designed B.A. in the philosophy of the human person (Dec. ’13), which was a degree that answered the question, What is the human person?. Find an incipient intro to the structure of this degree here. During this time I also served on the boards of certain literacy and literary journals. (As an aside–consider checking these out: One of my favorite books from my undergrad is a work of sociology of the same title: What is a Person? by Univ. of Notre Dame scholar Christian Smith. Another, by professor emeritus at McGill Univ. Charles Taylor, is called Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity.)
I have an addiction to developing frameworks and projects; had a father who worked as a computer programmer, have a brother who works as one with Microsoft, another brother who works as a data analyst, and a mother who was a trained mathematician-turned-engineer before she became a full-time stay-at-home mama; and self-taught myself coding as a child using books about HTML and HTML5 borrowed from the library.
In a very fundamental way, I have come to, over the years, think of myself as an ‘engineer of people-things or human-things,’ such as formation or healing programs, workflow and project management infrastructure contingent upon human/non-programmable elements, books (things about people, things about people’s experiences), and more. I’m the black sheep in an otherwise pure-maths family. Besides this, I am an INFJ, an empath, a highly-sensitive person, and super intellectually-oriented.
Bring me a Sudoku puzzle, a chess board, and/or a problem to solve, especially a human one, and I shall be happy. I love Earl Grey tea and lattes, rivers, and pierogi with blueberries.