Born in Croatia, my family moved to Australia when I was just 2.5 years old.
Within 13-days of landing, mum had twin boys, born premature. My parents didn't know they were expecting twins so it was more than a little bit of a shock, but that shock was overwhelmed by the fact that the birth had complications. At one point dad was asked to decide who he should save should the need arise, mum or the twins. As you can imagine, those first few years were very trying and stressful. They also had a huge impact on me, both socially and spiritually.
I have been involved in several exhibitions and two solo ones. I had one in Melbourne and one in Paris. And Paris is where I was inspired to write my first full-length manuscript.
The first time I realised I had a way with words was back in high school. Having started school without speaking a word of English, it was initially quite a challenge but it was a massive triumph when I became a more competent Master of Words than those of Ango-Australian heritage.
My first published works were all sonnets and poems, mostly in the school newspaper and one or two in the local newspaper. Since then I have had a few other poems published but nothing of great mention. That however I am intending to change.
Watch this space for updates!
I am currently waiting to hear back from two competitions I have entered. one is a perional memoir of up to 2500-words and the other fiction of up to 750-words
...read across what editors from each competition have already said
Here's some of what a magazine editor had to say about a memoir I have submitted:
Nikola Vukoja entered the Atlantis Short Story Contest 2012 with a short story entitled WHO AM I – REALLY? The ranking is yet to be determined (results are published in March 2013). www.atlantis-shortstorycontest.com
Nikola tells a well textured story presenting Croatian cultural heritage in the context of immigration. His writing style is very vivid and highly mimetic, i.e. that the mental pictures feel so real, as if it the plot and the setting unfold right in front of a reader's eyes. In regard to the presentation of the rich Croatian cultural heritage, he paints a captivating picture while flavoring every page with piquant scents that a reader cannot forget. Nikola masters the literary paintbrush at a high level creating a world of fiction that is strongly inviting for deep exploration.
Poem - Sting:
The Sting of one lie after another….
The Sting of believing the lies; day after day, year after year….
The Sting of reality….
The Sting of facing one’s fears only to learn of a new physical fear…..
The Sting of a slap, skin burning, face trembling, ears ringing…
The Sting of salt running down tender reddened skin…..
The Sting of shame….
The Sting of hiding; doors closed, windows shut, body covered….
The Sting of knuckles tattooed into tender skin….
The Sting of dreams shattered and days yet to come…..
The Sting of thorns and thistles, inside and out….
The Sting of once believing in love….
And here's critique feedback on a short story submitted:
What a great story! I think it’s difficult to write something with action like this in 750 words. I love the tactics that the King used to defeat his enemy—your description of the falcons and the horses was really good. I could picture it in my mind (although I did feel bad for the horses!) I like the ending, when Ivan comes to help the King. That loyalty was a nice way to put the finishing touches on. Great job!