About Us

We’re a global creative community that celebrates the word, written or spoken.

Storytelling, literature, whatever — we bring out the best in each other.

We’re unbridled creativity that unlocks and empowers cross-cultural, cross-genre, cross-everything dialogues.

We are curious. We embrace new and different perspectives, practices, styles, forms, and voices.

Freedom of expression doesn’t have a house style, so we don’t have one.

Through feedback groups, craft talks, and events, we aim to provide an open and supportive platform for writers of all stages to develop and bring their work to fruition.

So we write.  

We read.

We feed back.

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Strange Birds Co-creators

As Amsterdam-based writers, Derville, Ashanya, and Emil found each other the way most literary folk do—over beers at De Richel, a theater bar in the backstreets of Dam Square. What started as a bi-weekly writing group morphed into Strange Birds, a network of writers across the globe seeking community, accountability, and inspiration.  

Derville Quigley

Brought up on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, Derville has published short stories in the Ogham Stone Journal (University of Limerick), the Blue Nib, Inkpods, 1001 Nights Cast, and The Garfield Lake Review. In 2014 she was awarded the Irish Writer in the Netherlands Award. Her short play, ‘Cat and Dog People’ was produced by Cork Arts Theatre in 2018. She writes short stories between chapters of her novel, works for a European network of art schools and wonders if she is superstitious.

Ashanya Lingam

Malaysian-born and of Sri Lankan Tamil ancestry, Ashanya spent a decade in the US before moving to Amsterdam. Her body of work largely centers around themes of identity and belonging for immigrants navigating Western spaces. She’s a Pushcart Prize 2021 nominee, with writing published or forthcoming in Boomer Lit, Litro Mag, Bold Magazine, and AAWW’s The Margins. By day she is the VP of Marketing for a tech startup, still finding time to work toward finishing her short story collection, based loosely on her own family’s oral history.

Emil Cholich

Emil Cholich is a Yugoslavian-Australian fiction writer and ad copywriter, managing to win shiny awards in both fields. His writing, a distinctive combination of off-color Aussie snark and magical realism, has been published or is forthcoming in Spineless Wonders and The Periodical, Forlorn. Unsurprisingly, he’s also the creator of @putininspiration, a parody Instagram account that has amassed 20K+ followers and coverage from some of the world’s leading news outlets including The Guardian, The Verge, and The Atlantic.