Teika Marija Smits is a UK-based writer, freelance editor and mother-of-two. Her poetry, short fiction and non-fiction have been widely published. Teika was formerly the managing editor of Mother’s Milk Books and is now an Editor-at-Large at Valley Press alongside running The Book Stewards – a writers’ support site that she manages with her husband. In her spare moments she likes to doodle, draw and paint. She is delighted by the fact that ‘Teika’ means fairy tale in Latvian (she is half-Latvian; the other half is Russian). She was born in Windsor, Berkshire, in the 1970s and can still remember a time before the internet and smartphones. (In the eyes of her children, that makes her ancient!) She is represented by Catherine Cho at Paper Literary.

Cover of short story collection called 'Umbilical'.

Teika’s debut short story collection, Umbilical, was published on 23rd August 2023 by NewCon Press and can be bought directly from the publisher. Ian Whates, the editor who commissioned the book, said: “Teika is one of the finest short story writers to emerge on the genre scene in recent years, earning a reputation for tackling contemporary issues. This collection includes the best of her previously published stories alongside several new pieces that appear here for the first time.“ To get a sense of the kind of introspective and powerful speculative fiction that Teika writes, head on over to Interzone Digital where you can read her latest story, ‘The November Room or Leaving the Labyrinth’ for free.