Velina Minkoff was born in 1974 in Sofia, Bulgaria. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA with a track in Creative Writing—Fiction, and a Master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam with a track in European culture and history.
She started writing short stories within the UCLA Creative Writing—Fiction program under authors David Wong Louie, Carolyn See, and Aimee Bender. In 2000, her story The Old Woman received the Harry Kurnitz Creative Writing Award.
Velina is the author of a collection of short stories entitled Red Shorts, which came out in English from Colibri Publishers in 2001. Her debut novel The Red and Blue Report of the Green Ameba appeared in Bulgarian by the same publisher in 2015. Her short stories have been published in Split Peas—Fiction and Photography, Literaturen Forum, Literaturen Vestnik, Vagabond Magazine, and GRANTA Bulgaria.
Over the years, Velina has translated several books, plays, films, poems, and short stories to and from English and Bulgarian. She was selected as a participant in the Translators’ Atelier Workshop of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for three years in a row and is a member of the Bulgarian Translators’ Union. In 2014, Velina was awarded a Sozopol Fiction Seminars fellowship by the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation.
Velina lives in Paris, where she teaches English, freelances as a translator and editor, and is currently working on a short story collection in the Bulgarian language, which will include her own translations of short stories she originally wrote in English.