Kristen Simental, an emerging Mexican author, has passionately pursued literature, photography, and music throughout her life. Hailing from East Los Angeles and raised in Oxnard, Kristen fearlessly embraced her surroundings with curiosity and determination. At the age of 18, she ventured into the vibrant music scene of LA and established Dark Culture Magazine (1999 to 2004), one of the pioneering independent online music sites.

During a period of illness in 2016, Kristen channeled her creativity into writing, producing initial drafts of four novels, five short stories, and two novellas. Her literary journey took off when her first piece was published in Sheriff Nottingham that same year. Notably, Kristen’s novella, “Why Arizona,” received the esteemed 2019 de Groot Prize.

Currently, Kristen is actively serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Five South. Additionally, she splits her time between London and her other endeavors (like this newsletter and website), immersing herself in diverse experiences and literary pursuits.

Honors & Awards

  • 2019 Finalist de Groot Prize for a Novella – Miami Book Fair – 2019/2020


  • Pasadena City College / SNHU – 2019-Present
  • UC San Diego Copyediting Certification – 2018
  • Wharton – Certificate in Marketing – 2020
  • Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop – 2019 & 2020
  • Los Angeles Review of Books Publishing Workshop – 2020
  • Second City Sketch Writing Class – 2021