All Sackett Street instructors are professional writers, teachers and editors, who have taught at major universities and have earned MFA degrees at the most prestigious graduate writing programs in the country. More importantly, they are the most dedicated of writing instructors because teaching the craft of writing is what they love to do.
Julia Fierro, founder & director
Julia Fierro is the author of the novels The Gypsy Moth Summer and Cutting Teeth. She is one half of Cassidy Lucas, pen name of writing duo Julia Fierro and Caeli Wolfson Widger. Santa Monica, their first book together, was published by Harper in October 2020. Their second novel, The Last Party, set in Topanga Canyon on the westside of Los Angeles, was published in April 2022.
A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Julia founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in 2002, now a creative home to over 8,000 writers and named “New York City’s best writing class” by Time Out New York, the L Magazine, and Brooklyn Magazine; and a “Top Alternative to MFA programs” by Poets & Writers. Workshops are offered throughout NYC and online. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Buzzfeed, Glamour, Psychology Today, and other publications, and she has been profiled in The Observer and The Economist.
Julia has been an editor and writing coach since 2003, providing in-depth developmental feedback for authors of literary and commercial fiction. Books that she has worked on include books published by Penguin Random House, Riverhead, Simon and Schuster, Viking, Scribner, Harper Collins, Little A, Houghton Mifflin and more. She has traveled nationwide to give talks about writing, the teaching of writing, crafting creative communities, and publishing. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and her father/gardening partner.
Siobhan Adcock is a novelist, essayist, humor writer, and editor based in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She is the author of two novels, The Completionist (Simon & Schuster, 2018) and The Barter (Dutton, 2014), as well as two humor books. Her short fiction has been published in Triquarterly and The Massachusetts Review, and her essays and humor writing have appeared in Salon, Slate, The Daily Beast, Ms., Medium, and the Chicago Review of Books. She has taught writing classes and workshops at the Columbia Publishing Course, the Gotham Writers Workshop, Cornell University, and the Auburn Federal Correctional Facility, as well as for Voices from War, a nonprofit writing program serving military and service families. For many (many) years she has worked in digital and print publishing, putting in time at Random House, HarperCollins, Conde Nast, the XO Group, Time Inc., and most recently at Everyday Health Media.
Zaina Arafat is a Palestinian-American writer, teacher and editor. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Granta, The Believer, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, BuzzFeed, VICE, and NPR, among other publications. Her debut novel, YOU EXIST TOO MUCH, is forthcoming from Catapult, and she is also at work on a collection of essays. She was the 2018 Arab Women/Migrants from the Middle East fellow at Jack Jones Literary Arts. She holds an M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University and an M.F.A. from Iowa.
As a teacher, she has taught writing at the University of Iowa, The School of the New York Times, the International Writing Program and Sackett Street Writers, as well as abroad in Jordan, Egypt and Eritrea. She has also led workshops for dreamers and DACA recipients through the Writer’s Guild Initiative.
As an editor, she curated a portfolio of prose and poetry in response to the travel ban, as well as a Q & A series with Muslim writers for the organization’s literary magazine, The Margins. She also served as the managing editor of VinePair, the largest online publication on drinks.
Jennifer Baker is a writer of fiction & nonfiction, and an editor with over 14 years’ experience in the publishing industry. A native New Yorker she’s a graduate of The New School’s MFA Creative Writing Program. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Eclectic Flash, Boston Literary Magazine, Newtown Literary Journal, Poets & Writers magazine, The Female Complaint (Shade Mountain Press), and The Daily Worth. She has been a contributor to e-zines AroundHarlem.com and DinnerReviews.com, and is currently a contributing writer of monthly articles on books, publishing, and the intersections of media for Forbes.com. She’s received scholarships from the Postgraduate Writers’ Workshop, Napa Valley Writers’ Workshop, and the Glen West Workshop, and has been an artist-in-residence at Jentel Artist Residency, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and Ragdale. Jennifer is a long-time member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books in addition to creating and hosting the podcast Minorities in Publishing. Jennifer has done various interviews/panels on diversity in media as well as podcasting.
Carmiel Banasky is the author of the novel The Suicide of Claire Bishop (Dzanc, 2015), which Publishers Weekly calls “an intellectual tour de force.” Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Guardian, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and on NPR,among other places. She earned her MFA from Hunter College, where she also taught Creative Writing. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, I-Park, and other foundations. After four years on the road at writing residencies, she now teaches, edits, and writes fiction and TV in Los Angeles. She is from Portland, Oregon.
Cinelle Barnes is a formerly undocumented memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines, and is the author of MONSOON MANSION: A MEMOIR (Little A, 2018, Booklist starred review) and MALAYA: ESSAYS ON FREEDOM (Little A, 2019), and the editor of the New York Times New & Noteworthy book, A MEASURE OF BELONGING: 21 WRITERS OF COLOR ON THE NEW AMERICAN SOUTH (Hub City Press, 2020).
Cinelle earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Converse College. Her writing has appeared or been featured in the New York Times, Longreads, Garden & Gun, Electric Literature, Buzzfeed Reader, Literary Hub, Hyphen, and CNN Philippines, among others. Her essay, “Carefree White Girls, Careful Brown Girls”, is anthologized in A Map Is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration, Family, and the Meaning of Home.
Cinelle’s work has received fellowships and grants from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, VONA, Kundiman, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund, the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant, and Capita. Her debut memoir was listed as a Best Nonfiction Book of 2018 by Bustle and nominated for the 2018 Reading Women Nonfiction Award. She is the 2021 Vulgar Geniuses Nonfiction Honorary Awardee for her writing and social justice work and 2021 writer-in-residence at Pasadena City College, and was a Focus Fellowship artist-in-residence at AIR Serenbe in 2020, a short-term writer-in-residence at City of Asylum in 2019, and the 2018-19 writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC, where she and her family live.
She is currently at work on a narrative nonfiction book on climate justice, the Philippine water crisis, and Philippine spirituality and folklore.
Jensen Beach is the author of two story collections, the forthcoming SWALLOWED BY THE COLD (Graywolf), and FOR OUT OF THE HEART PROCEED (Dzanc Books 2012, 2nd Edition; 1st Edition: Dark Sky Books). He holds an MFA in fiction from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as an MA and BA in English from Stockholm University. He teaches in the BFA program at Johnson State College, where he also is the fiction editor of Green Mountains Review. He’s also a faculty member in the MFA Program in Writing & Publishing at VCFA. His writing has appeared recently in A Public Space, Cincinnati Review, Fifty-Two Stories, Ninth Letter, Sou’wester, Witness, and The New Yorker, and online at Tin House, N+1, Kenyon Review, and American Short Fiction, among others. He’s received scholarships from the Napa and Sewanee Writers’ conferences, and is one of the webeditors at Hobart. He lives in Vermont.
Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories (Graywolf Press/A Public Space Books). His fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Best American Short Stories 2018, A Public Space, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Epiphany, and LitMag. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was also the 2016-17 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His work has received support from Kimbilio Fiction, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Summer Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Beginning this fall, he will be a 2018-2020 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University.
Kim Brooks is the author of Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear, an NPR Best Book of the Year, described by the National Book Review as “an impassioned, smart work of social criticism and a call for support and empathy.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Chicago Magazine, Salon, Buzzfeed, and other publications. She has spoken as a guest on CBS This Morning, PBS Newshour, 20/20, NPR’s All Things Considered, Good Morning America, the Brian Lehr Show, and many other radio shows and podcasts. Her novel, The Houseguest, was published in 2016.
Ayana Byrd is a freelance journalist and professor of media studies at City College of New York. She is the co-editor of the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts and the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including How We Fight White Supremacy, The Fire This Time: Young Activists and The New Feminism, 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know Before She Turns 30, and Split: Writings From a Generation Raised on Divorce. Her writing credits include publications such as The New York Times, L’Uomo Vogue, Fast Company, Glamour, Essence, Vogue Portugal, Rolling Stone, and O, the Oprah Magazine.
Maisy Card is the author of the debut novel These Ghosts are Family is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in March 2020. Her writing has appeared in Lenny Letter, School Library Journal, Agni, Sycamore Review, Liars’ League NYC, and Ampersand Review. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Maisy was born in St. Catherine, Jamaica, but was raised in Queens, New York. She earned an MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College, an MLIS from Rutgers University and a BA in English and American Studies from Wesleyan University. She currently lives in Newark, NJ where she works as a public librarian.
Bill Cheng is the author of Southern Cross the Dog. His fiction has appeared and been collected in Guernica, The Book of Men, & Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today’s New York. He received his MFA from Hunter College.
Garrard Conley is the author of Boy Erased: a memoir (Riverhead 2016), made into a film starring Nicole Kidman. His fiction and nonfiction can be found in TIME, VICE, CNN, The Common, Lit Hub, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation.
Diane Cook is the author of the story collection Man V. Nature, and was formerly a producer for the radio show, This American Life. Man V. Nature was a finalist for the Believer Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, received Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway award, and was recently longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, Tin House, Granta, and elsewhere and anthologized in Best American Short Stories.
Laura Crossett is a writer, librarian, and amateur IT geek. Her writing has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Rumpus, Seneca Review, Jabberwock Review, the New York Times Motherlode blog, Mutha Magazine, and any number of mainstream and alternative media in print and online. She is also the author of the memoir Night Sweats: An Unexpected Pregnancy.
Laura received an MFA from the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, where she taught writing for three years, and an MLIS from Dominican University, and she worked for fifteen years as a public librarian in Illinois, Wyoming, and Iowa. She has presented locally and nationally on topics including low-budget web usability, essay writing, research, and self-publishing.
Laura now lives in her hometown of Iowa City with her family, a dog, some cats, and what some people might consider too many books and computers.
Madeleine Crum is a writer and editor living in New York by way of Texas. Her recent fiction, narrative nonfiction, and criticism can be found in The Baffler, The Washington Post, Vulture, Vice, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Triangle House, and Joyland Magazine, where she’s an editor for the Northeast section. She teaches writing at The School of the New York Times and Brooklyn College, where she received an MFA in Fiction and the Himan Brown Creative Writing Award.
Heidi Diehl’s debut novel, Lifelines, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in June 2019. Her short fiction has appeared in Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Mississippi Review, StoryQuarterly, Witnes
Jessica DuLong is an author, journalist, lecturer, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed merchant marine officer, and one of the world’s only female fireboat engineers. Winner of the 2010 ASJA Outstanding Book Award for memoir, DuLong’s My River Chronicles: Rediscovering the Work that Built America, A Personal and Historical Journey (Free Press, 2009), was lauded by The New York Times as a “very fine and gutsy book.” DuLong’s second book, Escape from Manhattan: The Untold Story of the September 11th Boatlift, is forthcoming from McGraw-Hill/International Marine. Her media appearances include the New Yorker,“CBS Sunday Morning,” USA Today, The New York Times, the “TODAY” show, WNYC, and the History Channel. Her journalism has been published in Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, Psychology Today and more. She also serves as chief engineer of retired New York City fireboat John J. Harvey.
Elyssa East received her B.A. in art history from Reed College and her M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, Elyssa’s first book, won the 2010 L. L. Winship/P.E.N. New England Award in non-fiction. A Boston Globe Bestseller, Dogtown is an Editors’ Choice selection from The New York Times Book Review and was named a “Must-Read Book” by the Massachusetts Book Awards. Elyssa is an alumna of The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and has received awards and fellowships from The Corporation of Yaddo; the Ragdale, Jerome, and Ludwig Vogelstein Foundations; the University of Connecticut; the Phillips Library; and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She has taught Creative Writing at Columbia University, Rhode Island School of Design, SUNY Purchase and Cleveland State University and New York University’s Gallatin School. She grew up in Georgia and lives in New York City with her husband and son.
Michele Filgate is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. Her work has appeared in Longreads, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Refinery29, Slice, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, Salon, Interview Magazine, Buzzfeed, The Barnes & Noble Review, Poets & Writers, CNN.com, Fine Books & Collections Magazine, DAME Magazine, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Time Out New York, People, The Daily Beast, O, The Oprah Magazine, Men’s Journal, Vulture, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Star Tribune, The Quarterly Conversation, The Brooklyn Rail, and other publications. She is the founder of the Red Ink series. In 2016, Brooklyn Magazine named her one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture.” Michele is currently at work on an anthology called What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in 2019.
Libby Flores is a 2008 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Post Road Magazine, Tin House The Open Bar, The Guardian, The Rattling Wall, Paper Darts, Bridge Eight, FLASH: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She is the former Director of Literary Programs at PEN Center USA . In 2018 she directed the second annual Believer Festival. She is currently the Director of Audience Engagement and Digital Projects at BOMB magazine and the NYC Director of the Freya Project. Libby holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. She lives in Brooklyn, but will always be a Texan.
Xeni Fragakis earned her Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa. There she taught writing to undergraduates and was named an Iowa Arts Scholar. Her work has appeared in the Modern Love section of The New York Times. She is also a storyteller and Moth GrandSlam Champion. Most recently, she was selected to attend the Sewanee Writers’ Conference as a fiction contributor. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, cartoonist Glenn Head.
Omer Friedlander was born in Jerusalem in 1994 and grew up in Tel Aviv. He earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge, England, and an MFA from Boston University, where he was supported by the Saul Bellow Fellowship. His short stories have won numerous awards, and have been published in the United States, Canada, France, and Israel. A Starworks Fellow in Fiction at New York University, he has earned a Bread Loaf Work-Study Scholarship as well as a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. He currently lives in New York City.
Aja Gabel‘s debut novel, The Ensemble, is out now from Riverhead Books. Her short fiction can be found in the Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, BOMB, and elsewhere. She studied writing at Wesleyan University and the University of Virginia, and has a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Aja has been the recipient of awards from Inprint, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and has taught at several universities and writing conferences. She currently lives and writes in Los Angeles.
David Burr Gerrard
David Burr Gerrard is the author of the novels Short Century (2014) and The Epiphany Machine (Putnam, 2017). He received an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University, and his work has appeared in The Awl, The LA Review of Books,The Barnes and Noble Review, Full Stop, Specter, and other publications.
Anna Godbersen is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The New York Times Bestselling series THE LUXE and the BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS series. THE BLONDE was her first book for the adult market. She has worked in the literary department of ESQUIRE, where she vetted short story submissions and wrote weekly book reviews for the magazine’s website. Her new book is WHEN WE CAUGHT FIRE, a young adult novel set during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, published by HarperTeen.
Elizabeth Isadora Gold
Elizabeth Isadora Gold’s writing about books, music, and feminism has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, Tin House, The Rumpus, Time Out New York, and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, child and very small dog. Her nonfiction book, The Mommy Group: Freaking Out, Finding Friends, and Surviving the Happiest Times of Our Lives was published by Atria Books.
Kaitlyn Greenidge is originally from Boston. She’s a graduate of Hunter College’s MFA program and has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Fortnight Journal. Her work has appeared in The Believer, American Short Fiction, At Length Magazine, Afrobeat Journal, Green Mountains Review and The Feminist Wire, and been reprinted in The Believer‘s collection Always Apprentices. Her debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, was published in 2016 by Algonquin Press.
Brian Gresko is the editor of When I First Held You: 22 Critically Acclaimed Writers Talk About the Triumphs, Challenges, and Transformative Experience of Fatherhood. His short fiction has appeared on Joyland Magazine and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and his essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including Salon, The Atlantic, VICE, Guernica Magazine, the Literary Hub, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Brooklyn Rail, and Poets & Writers Magazine. He runs the “authors in conversation” series for Slice Literary Magazine, and is the co-host of Pete’s Reading Series. Brian received his MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, and studied film and literary theory at Oberlin College.
Zakia Henderson-Brown is the author of What Kind of Omen Am I, winner of the 2017 Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship. She was a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poets fellow, and has received additional fellowships and support from the Fine Arts Work Center, Callaloo Journal, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and Cave Canem. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Adroit, African American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, the Brooklyn Review, Burner Magazine, Epiphany, Little Patuxent Review, and other publications.
She was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Publishers Weekly Star to Watch program, selected as a finalist for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize by A. Van Jordan, nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013 by Beloit Poetry Journal, and has been in residence at the T.S. Eliot House, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. She earned a BA from Wesleyan University, and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation from Queens College, where she also served as an adjunct professor. She currently serves as a senior editor at nonprofit publisher The New Press. She is a Brooklyn native and loyalist.
Sarah Herrington is an essayist, poet, editor and teacher. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Modern Love, Anxiety, Solver Stories and OpEd columns, the LATimes, SFChronicle, Tin House, Slice, NYLON, Salon, Los Angeles Review of Books, Interview, Entropy, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Poets and Writers magazine, Oprah magazi
Anna Hecker holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School. She is the author of When the Beat Drops (Sky Pony Press, May 2018) as well as several young adult ghostwriting projects for Penguin/Razorbill, Alloy Entertainment and HarperTeen. Her articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Gawker, DailyCandy, Refinery29, and VICE Broadly. She is represented by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary.
Karen Heuler’s stories have appeared in over one hundred literary and speculative magazines and anthologies, from Conjunctions to Clarkesworld to Weird Tales, as well as a number of Best Of anthologies. She has published five novels and four story collections with university and small presses, and her collection The Inner City was included in Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2013 list. Her latest collection, The Clockworm, was just published by Tartarus Books and Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review. She has received an O. Henry award and been shortlisted for a Pushcart Prize, the Iowa Short Fiction Award, the Bellwether Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award for Short Fiction.
Yahdon Israel is an educator, entrepreneur, editor, writer and founder of Literaryswag, a cultural movement that intersects literature and fashion to make books cool. He teaches creative writing at The New School, City College and Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. He is the former editor-in-chief of Brooklyn Magazine. He has written for Avidly, The New Inquiry, LitHub, Poets and Writers and Vanity Fair. And he hosts the Literaryswag Book Club, a Brooklyn-based subscription service and book club that meets every last Wednesday of the month.
Amelia Kahaney is the author of All the Best Liars and The Brokenhearted series. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, One Story, and Crazyhorse, among other publications. She teaches writing in New York City, where she lives with her husband and son.
Lauren Kate is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Fallen novels, the Teardrop novels, and The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages. The feature film of her novel, Fallen, was released by Sony Pictures in the fall of 2017. She holds a terminal MA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from UC-Davis and worked previously as an acquiring editor at HarperCollins Publishers. Lauren’s newest novel, a rom-com, By Any Other Name, was published in April 2022. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.
Zain Khalid’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, n+1, The Believer, Astra Magazine, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and elsewhere. He is also the fiction editor at The Drift. His debut novel, BROTHER ALIVE (Grove Atlantic), is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for best first book in any genre and was named a best book of 2022 by Library Journal and other outlets.
Swati Khurana’s writing has been published in The New York Times, Guernica, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Offing, The Rumpus, and in the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors. Her writing and visual artwork have been supported by fellowships and residencies from New York Foundation for the Arts, Center for Fiction, Jerome Foundation, Bronx Arts Council, Center for Books Arts, Cooper Union, Kundiman, Henry Street Settlement, Wave Hill, and Vermont Studio Center. Born in New Delhi, raised in the Hudson Valley, and now living and working in New York City. Currently, she is working on her novel, The No.1 Printshop of Lahore, and developing her podcast, “TBR: Tarot Books Radio,” which uses the format of a Tarot reading to have conversations, centering women-of-color artists, writers, and activists. A lifelong learner, Swati has studied at Hunter College (M.F.A. Fiction), UnionDocs (Podcast School), NYU (M.A. in Studio Art & Art Criticism), Columbia University (B.A. in History), Transformative Mediation (Dutchess County Mediation Center), and Coaching Essentials (Continuing Coach Education). Yet her greatest teachers have been an obsessive collection of books to be read, and her seven-year-old daughter.
Linni Kral is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and PEN Prison Writing Mentor whose work has been published in The Atlantic, Slate, Condé Nast Traveler, The Village Voice, and Atlas Obscura, among others. She studied writing at Occidental College and Boston University, read for literary agents Lucy Carson and Molly Friedrich, and served as Editor-at-Large for food magazines GRLSQUASH and Put A Egg On It. In 2019, she published a book of essays and poems titled SADSPRING. She is currently at work on a novel.
Marissa Levien received her MFA from Stony Brook University, where she also helped run the Southampton Writers Conference. Her debut novel The World Gives Way was released by Hachette in 2021, earning praise from The New York Times, Vulture, Literary Hub, Publishers Weekly, and a selection as an IndieNext Pick. Her work has been published in Writer’s Digest, Literary Hub, Publisher’s Weekly, Saint Ann’s Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. She has previously taught workshops for Stony Brook University, John Jermain Workshops, and Harlem Educational Activities Fund.
Lisa Levy is a columnist and contributing editor at LitHub and CrimeReads. She is the former EIC of crime fiction site The Life Sentence and the former Mystery/Noir editor at the LA Review of Books. She also has written about less nefarious topics for Pacific Standard, Dame, The Believer, Slate, Salon, and other publications.
Susie Luo is a corporate escapee turned fiction author. Her debut novel, Paper Names, will be published by HarperCollins on May 2, 2023. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and an M&A lawyer at a major law firm. She wrote her first novel at night after work, and has carried over those night owl tendencies to her second manuscript. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell Law School. She lives in New York with her very spirited rescue pup, Delta.
Rachel Lyon is the author of SELF-PORTRAIT WITH BOY (Scribner 2018), which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Dublin International Literary Award. Her shorter work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in One Story, Longreads, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, and other publications. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Epiphany and a cofounder of the reading series Ditmas Lit.
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the new collection Music for Wartime — six stories from which have appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca has taught at the Tin House Writers’ Conference and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is currently on the faculty of the MFA programs at Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University.
Courtney Elizabeth Mauk
Courtney Elizabeth Mauk was born in Rolla, Missouri, and grew up in Copley, Ohio. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College before moving to New York City, where she received an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She is the author of three novels: The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things, Orion’s Daughters, and Spark. Her short stories and essays have appeared in The Literary Review, PANK, Wigleaf, Five Chapters, Juked, and Front Porch, among other venues, and have received several Pushcart nominations. Courtney lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with her husband and two young sons.
Kyle McCarthy’s work has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2017, American Short Fiction, the Harvard Review, Southwest Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut novel, Everyone Knows How Much I Love You, was published by Ballantine Books in 2020.
Leslie-Ann Murray is a fiction writer from Trinidad & Tobago. She created Brown Girl Book Lover, a social media platform where she interviews diverse writers and reviews books that should be at the forefront of our imagination. She also produces a monthly newsletter, Come Get Your Diversity. Leslie-Ann is currently working on her first novel, This Has Made Us Beautiful. Leslie-Ann has been published in Poets & Writers, Zone 3, Ploughshares, Brittle Paper, Obsidian Literary Magazine, and Salamander Literary Magazine. Leslie-Ann has taught creative writing in France, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, China, and New York City.
Heather Aimee O’Neill
Heather Aimee O’Neill has worked with hundreds of novelists, memoirists, short-story and essay writers in Sackett Street’s popular Manuscript Generator Workshop (online and in Brooklyn), helping writers finish, polish, and find publication for book-length projects.
Heather has been an editor and writing coach since 2009, providing in-depth developmental feedback for authors of literary and commercial fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
Her most recent collection of poetry, Obliterations, was co-authored with Jessica Piazza and published by Red Hen Press. A recent Lambda Literary Poetry Fellow, her poetry chapbook, Memory Future, won the University of Southern California’s Gold Line Press Award, chosen by judge Carol Muske-Dukes. She is a freelance writer for publications such as Time Out New York, Parents Magazine and Salon.com.
Tracy O’Neill is the author of The Hopeful, one of Electric Literature’s Best Novels of 2015, and Quotients, a New York Times New & Noteworthy Book, TOR Editor’s Choice, & Literary Hub Favorite Book of 2020. In 2015, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize, and was a Narrative Under 30 finalist. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction’s Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her short fiction was distinguished in the Best American Short Stories 2016 and earned a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2017. She holds an MFA from the City College of New York; and an MA, an MPhil, and a PhD from Columbia University. While editor-in-chief of the literary journal Epiphany, she established the Breakout 8 Writers Prize with the Authors Guild. She teaches at Vassar College.
Sarah Perry is the author of the memoir After the Eclipse, which was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Poets & Writers Notable Nonfiction Debut, and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. Perry is the recipient of the 2018 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award and a fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Her work has appeared in Elle magazine, The Guardian, and elsewhere. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction from Columbia University and is the 2019 McGee Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Davidson College.
Mark Prins is the author of The Latinist, published by W.W. Norton in January 2022. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Mark has received fellowships from the Truman Capote Trust, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. Previously, he studied literature at Williams College and Exeter College, Oxford. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Anna Qu is a Chinese-American writer and the author of Made In China: A Memoir, published in August 2021. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Kartika Review, Kweli Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, XOJane, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Anna currently serves as the Nonfiction Editor at Kweli, and formerly worked in the publishing on the agency side. She lives in Brooklyn.
Austin Ratner is the author of the novels In the Land of the Living and The Jump Artist, winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine andThe Wall Street Journal and his short fiction has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize. He attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is co-author of the textbook Concepts in Medical Physiology.
Nancy Rawlinson has been working as a freelance editor and writing coach since 2003, providing in-depth developmental feedback for authors of literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir. Recent books that she has worked on include books published by Harper, Picador, Scribner, Atria, Simon and Schuster, Knopf, Houghton Mifflin, Liveright, Chicago Review Press, Crown, and more.
Nancy started her life as an editor and writer working for magazines and newspapers such as The Guardian, The Sun, Time Out London, and Madison magazine. She has an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. From 2006-2008 she was a nonfiction editor at Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics. As a writer she has been awarded residencies and fellowships from the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Jentel Artist Residency Program. She trained as a coach at the NLP Center of New York and lives in Brooklyn with her two sons.
Josh Rolnick’s short story collection, Pulp and Paper, won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, selected by Yiyun Li (University of Iowa Press). His most recent story appeared in Meridian (spring 2020), and his latest story is forthcoming in Boulevard (spring 2021). Previous short stories have won the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize and The Florida Review Editors’ Choice Prize. His stories have also been published in Harvard Review, Western Humanities Review, Bellingham Review, and Gulf Coast, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices. He is a faculty lecturer at the Johns Hopkins MA in Writing Program and fiction editor at Paper Brigade, the literary annual of the Jewish Book Council.
Julia Lynn Rubin
Julia Lynn Rubin received her MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from The New School in 2017. She is the author of three young adult novels, including Primal Animals (St. Martin’s/Macmillan), Trouble Girls (St. Martin’s/Macmillan), and Burro Hills (Diversion). Her short stories have appeared in a variety of publications such as the North American Review (“Like Snowflakes”) and Sierra Nevada Review (“Brooklyn Girls”), and she currently works as a creative content writer for Buzzfeed and The New School’s Marketing & Communication department. She loves film, psychology, and spending as much time as possible at the beach.
Sarah Seltzer is a writer and reporter covering education, activism, gender, politics, pop culture and parenting. She is the Executive Editor of Lilith magazine and her writing on cultural criticism has been published widely. Her debut novel, THE SINGER SISTERS, will be published by Flatiron Books in 2023.
Mike Scalise’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Agni, Indiewire, Ninth Letter, Paris Review Daily, and other places. He is an 826DC advisory board member, has received fellowships and scholarships from Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and the Ucross Foundation, and was the Philip Roth Writer in Residence at Bucknell University. His memoir, The Brand New Catastrophe, was the recipient of the Center for Fiction’s 2014 Christopher Doheny Award.
Amy Shearn is the award-winning author of the novels Unseen City, The Mermaid of Brooklyn, and How Far Is the Ocean From Here. She works with writers at Medium and is the editor of Human Parts and Creators Hub. A former fiction editor at the literary magazine Joyland, Amy’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, Catapult, and many other publications. Amy has an MFA from the University of Minnesota, and lives in Brooklyn with her two children.
Elizabeth L. Silver is the author of the memoir, The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty (Penguin Press, 2017) and the critically acclaimed novel, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton (Crown, 2013), which was the Amazon Best Debut of the Month, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, Kirkus Best Book of the Summer, and published in seven languages. Elizabeth’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Lenny Letter, New York Magazine, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review, The Millions, The Dallas Morning News, among others, and she has been awarded residencies at Ragdale, Ucross Foundation, Byrdcliffe Artist Colony, A Room of Her Own Foundation, and the British Centre for Literary Translation. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the MA program in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in England, and Temple University Beasley School of Law, Elizabeth lives with her family in Los Angeles.
Chandler Klang Smith
Chandler Klang Smith is a graduate of the MFA creative writing program at Columbia University. Her new novel The Sky Is Yours (Hogarth/Crown, 2018) was listed by Entertainment Weekly as a “Best New Book.” The Wall Street Journal called it “mesmeric… a great and disturbing debut,” and NPR described it as “a wickedly satirical synthesis that underlines just how fractured our own realities can be during periods of fear, unrest, inequality and instability.” Chandler has worked as an editorial assistant at literary agencies and as a ghostwriter. She is currently serving as a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards for the second year in a row. She teaches and tutors in New York City.
Tim Taranto is a writer and visual artist from upstate New York. He is the author of ARS BOTANICA and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, Buzzfeed, FSG’s Works in Progress, Harper’s, The Iowa Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Paris Review Daily, The Rumpus, and The Saint Ann’s Review. Tim is a graduate of Cornell University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Emily Temple is the author of The Lightness and the Managing Editor at Literary Hub. She earned her MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia, where she was the recipient of a Henfield Prize.
Her short fiction has appeared in Colorado Review, Electric Literature‘s Recommended Reading, Indiana Review, Fairy Tale Review, Sonora Review, Sycamore Review, No Tokens, Territory, and elsewhere.
Ted Thompson is the author of The Land of Steady Habits, which was published by Little, Brown in 2014 and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. The novel is being adapted by Nicole Holofcener for a feature film starring Ben Mendelsohn, Edie Falco and Connie Britton, to be released in late 2017. His short stories have been published in Tin House, American Short Fiction, One Teen Story and Best New American Voices, and he’s had fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Ted has proudly taught for Sackett for over eight years, as well as at Amherst College and in the Brooklyn College MFA program. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.
Jeanne Thornton is the author of Summer Fun, a novel, The Dream of Doctor Bantam (a Lambda Literary Award finalist) and The Black Emerald. She is the copublisher of Instar Books and creator of the web comics The Man Who Hates Fun and Bad Mother. She lives in Brooklyn.
Lena Valencia is the managing editor of One Story. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in CRAFT, Joyland, BOMB, Epiphany, the Tiny Nightmares anthology (Catapult, October 2020), and elsewhere. Her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and in 2019 she was awarded an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. She received her MFA in fiction from The New School, and teaches at One Story, the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and Catapult.
Elizabeth Weiss‘s debut novel, The Sisters Sweet, will be published by The Dial Press in November 2021. She earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. Her nonfiction has been published in The New Yorker online. She has taught for the University of Iowa, the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, and the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and is a mentor for the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. She lives in Minneapolis with her spouse, daughter, and dog.
Piper Weiss is the author of the memoir You All Grow Up and Leave Me, named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Marie-Claire, Town and Country and PopSugar, and listed among the top true crime reads by Buzzfeed, CrimeReads and Elle Australia. She had previously served as an editor at the New York Daily News, and as editorial director at HelloGiggles, in addition to writing for print, TV and film. She was a fellow at VCCA and earned her BA in the Writing Seminars program at Johns Hopkins University.
Monica West is the author of the debut novel Revival Season forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in May 2021. She earned a B.A. in English Literature from Duke University, an M.A. in English and American Literature from New York University, and an MFA in Fiction Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was also a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She has received a fellowship from Kimbilio Fiction, and she will be a Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence in Spring 2021. She lives in Oakland, California and is a Sackett alum.
Khaliah Williams is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction has been published in Hawaii Women’s Journal, Frontier Psychiatrist, and Day One, and her non-fiction at Buzzfeed, American Short Fiction and Book Country. She is a current fellow at the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction and an Instructor and Advisory Board member of Writers in Baltimore School. Originally from Philadelphia, she lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She is at work on a novel and collection of short stories.
Melissa Ximena Golebiowiski
Melissa Ximena Golebiowski is a Latinx writer and editor based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the former National Assigning Editor for Literary Hub. Originally from NJ but the child of immigrants from different countries respectively, her mixed culture can often be found in her writing. Her work has been featured in Catapult, Literary Hub, Electric Literature, and Entropy among others.
Melissa is currently at work on a short story collection entitled Blanket Girl & Other Stories which explores the spiritual & ancestral connection between intimacy and grief and how each manifests in both familial and romantic relationships. The collection will be illustrated by surrealist artist and sculptor, Jim McKenzie.