We offer writers at three levels of experience: Junior, Senior and Critically Acclaimed. All our writers are talented journalists or authors, who have been personally assessed by our Managing Editor. You can browse their profiles using the tabs below.
Adrian Brune, NY
Since 2001, Adrian has reported and written hundreds of freelance newspaper, magazine and website articles—from pitch to print—for publications such as the New Yorker, The Guardian, The Nation, the Boston Globe Magazine, and other national publications on a variety of topics, including world affairs and culture, social justice, and human rights. Adrian has also worked as a press officer and associate editor at the United Nations Division of Global Communications. She holds a BS in Journalism from Northwestern University and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University.
Alaena Hostetter, TX
A native of Dallas, Texas, Alaena is a journalist who covers food and restaurant news as an associate editor for Eater. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. While on the West Coast, she reported on crime, homelessness, food desserts, and economic troubles. She also went to the beach regularly. Alaena has lived in London as well, where she contributed international and travel coverage to ABC News. A free-spirited adventurer at heart, she’s been fortunate to travel around Greece, Italy, France, England, Ireland, Turkey, Germany, and to several countries in South America. Since her love of food is only rivaled by her love of art, music, and design, she contributes coverage in those areas to a handful of media organizations.
Alan Black, CA
Alan grew up in Scotland, and his brogue has stuck with him through three decades living in California. He wears a coat of many colors. Alan teaches creative writing to male and female inmates in California prisons, is a spoken word performer, and ran a successful literary arts venue in San Francisco. He published a memoir with Hudson Street Press/Penguin Books and worked with best-selling authors editing an anthology, Public House. Alan has also written for newspapers and magazines, including San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Salon, Christian Science Monitor and more, on a variety of subjects spanning art, literature, politics, sport, art, pop culture, interviews, and humor.
Alan Goforth, MO
Alan has written about everything from pigs (swine vaccines) to pigskins (college and professional football) in nearly two decades as a full-time freelance writer. A magazine story about Hall of Fame groundskeeper, George Toma, led to his first ghostwritten biography, Nitty Gritty Dirt Man. He also has written biographies of a longtime college baseball coach and All-Pro running back, Christian Okoye. He currently is collaborating on a motivational book with Nick “The Kick” Lowery, who ended his career as the most accurate field-goal kicker in history.
Alex McRae, GA
After graduating from Troy University with degrees in music and English, Alex taught high school and wrote advertising copy before turning to journalism in the early 1990s. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has received over 40 journalism awards for news writing, feature stories, investigative journalism, and long-form special projects. His newspaper columns have been syndicated throughout Georgia, and his magazine feature stories have appeared in New York-based MediaWeek, Atlanta Magazine, South Walton Life, Newnan-Coweta Magazine, and College Football Replay. He is now an author and ghostwriter whose resume includes business books, biographies, and over one 100 memoirs of World War II veterans.
Ana Morales, TX
Ana is a bilingual/Latino writer who enjoys landscape photography and reading nonfiction books and novels. Originally from Venezuela, she got a degree in Journalism from the University of Zulia and became a crime reporter. Afterward, she specialized as a multimedia journalist and wrote about smuggling along the border of Venezuela, along with community issues and education. Her articles gave her local recognition, and she won a regional journalists award in 2014. In 2017, she moved to Texas and is currently incorporating into the freelance world.
Andrew Mortazavi, IL
Andrew taught college creative writing for seven years. He was the Carol Houck Smith Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Beverly Rogers Fellow at the University of Arizona, where he received his MFA. He has ghostwritten over a dozen full-length books for a wide range of people, including business leaders and motivational speakers, some of which were placed with major presses. He also writes and publishes both fiction and nonfiction under his own byline. Currently, he’s at work on a second “first” novel and a collection of essays. When not writing, he’s ghostwriting, and when not ghostwriting, he’s playing in bands, joining book clubs, and getting to know Chicago and its beautiful inhabitants.
Anne Maclachlan, NM
Anne and storytelling love each other. They have been found together sitting in trees, W-R-I-T-I-N-G. The former editor of Santa Fean magazine and a writer at several newspapers, Anne is an award-winning journalist, an experienced interviewer, the author of seventeen preschool-through-college-level books and several short stories, and is an actual, brand-new screenwriter. She also recently completed her first novel, done on a dare. She was raised in both the Canadian and U.S. school systems, so she can tell when to have a sense of humor. Anne has interviewed and written about celebrities, politicians, activists, and fellow writers. She knows that everyone has a special story to tell—and it’s always an exciting one.
Annette McDermott, DE
Annette is a mid-Atlantic based journalist, digital content writer, and children’s author. Her writing credits include health and wellness websites, periodicals, and Christian publications for children. She’s also a two-time Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor. After investigating her family’s WWII history and volunteering with a veteran POW group, Annette made it her mission to help veterans compose their memoirs. She is currently working as a writer on the History Channel for A&E Networks. When she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her outside playing in the dirt or binge-watching Star Trek.
Anya Liftig, CT
A graduate of Yale University and Georgia State University, Anya makes her way as a writer and experimental performance artist. For her efforts, she has received grant and residency support from The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts, The New Museum, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and Flux Projects. Her work has been published and written about in The New York Times Magazine, BOMB, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, New York Magazine, Gothamist, Jezebel, and many others.
Arjanna van der Plas, CA
When Arjanna moved to San Francisco in December 2015, she immediately fell in love with the city’s residents: the geeks, the hippies, and the homeless. She currently spends most of her time in the Tenderloin neighborhood, teaching yoga and writing for Stories Behind The Fog. In her former life in the Netherlands, she was a communications manager at Circle Economy, lecturer at TU Delft, innovator at TNO, and freelance journalist for the largest Dutch newspapers, best known for her column series about the life and love of her geeky friends.
Autumn Stephens, CA
Empathy, curiosity, and that crucial second or third cup of coffee fuel Autumn’s ongoing career as a memoirist and a journalist. A Modern Love columnist for The New York Times and author of the Wild Women book series, she received her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Stanford University and for many years led healing writing workshops for people living with cancer. “Everyone has a fascinating story to tell,” she says. Autumn is also crazy about composing epic to-do lists, reading in bed, and enjoying time with her young adult sons.
Becky Randel, FL
Becky is a freelance journalist with fifteen years of writing experience. She is a regular contributor to publications such as People Magazine, The Miami Herald, Mommy Nearest, and more. Becky is also a digital content creator currently working with The City of Miami in rewriting their website. She has produced social media campaigns and website copy for clients such as Oliphant Design, NetJets, Norwegian Cruise Line, and The Related Group. Becky has a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Maryland, where she graduated Cum Laude. She has a husband, two sons, and a dog; and spends much of her time at the local baseball field cheering on back-to-back Little League games.
Beth Raymer, CA
Beth holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. Her first book, Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling, was adapted into a film starring Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Raymer has written for The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine. Her second book, Fireworks Every Night, was published by Spiegel & Grau in 2017. She currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Bill Dietz, WA
Bill is a New York Times bestselling author, who has published more than 50 novels, a dozen short stories, and written everything from television news to ad copy and speeches. His day begins with a workout, followed by four slices of Spam to counter the workout, and a morning dedicated to writing. His daily writing is depending on what’s due, which could include fiction, a blog for an online magazine, or something biographical, like transcribing the journal his father wrote during an epic voyage to Asia at the age of nineteen.
Bob Bales, TX
Bob grew up in South Texas, the youngest of three sons to a firefighter father and homemaker mother. The family took vacations every summer, traveling all over the United States to visit places such as state and national parks and historical sites. During his twenty-year military career and later while working overseas, he continued to travel and learn about the history and cultures of the people and places he visited. It was during this time he began writing about the places he’d visited, the people he’d met and launched his freelance writing career, ghostwriting for corporate clients and writing for online and print magazines.
Bsrat Mezghebe, NY
Bsrat is on her second life. After working as a consultant on World Bank and U.S. government-funded projects in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, she is now getting her MFA in Creative Writing at New York University and working on her first novel. She is happiest at a concert, over a plate of Thai food, and with her nose in a book. Raised in Washington, DC and residing in Brooklyn, Bsrat feels at home in many different places.
Brad Schreiber, CA
Brad Schreiber has written ten books, journalism, and for TV, film, and theatre. Becoming Jimi Hendrix (Da Capo) was chosen for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library. His history of the Symbionese Liberation Army, Revolution’s End, was honored by the International Book Awards and Independent Publisher Book Awards. He created the TV series, North Mission Road, based on his book on the history of the Los Angeles coroner’s office, Death in Paradise. He’s received fellowships from the National Press Club and Edward Albee Foundation.
Carmella de los Angeles Guiol, FL
Carmella is a Pushcart-nominated writer, educator, and polyglot. A graduate of Amherst College and the MFA program at the University of South Florida, she is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship in Colombia, as well as Crab Orchard Review’s Charles Johnson Award for fiction. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Orion magazine, The Los Angeles Review, Lenny Letter, The Rumpus and elsewhere. She has been awarded residencies by Vermont Studio Center, O Miami, and The Art Farm Nebraska.
Caroline Banton, PA
Originally from Manchester, Northern England, Caroline craved adventure and found her way to Washington DC early in her career. She worked for the World Bank for fourteen years and gained an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Her business articles have appeared in Time, Huffington Post, and The Motley Fool, and her first literary project was penning the memoir of her Jewish father-in-law who escaped Nazi Germany as a young boy. She writes unremittingly from her home in central Pennsylvania and loves to explore trails with her dog, Addy.
Celeste Conway, NY
Celeste is a New York-based writer and artist. Her most recent publication is YA thriller, Unlovely, published by Merit Press. Other credits include YA novel, The Melting Season, and middle-grade novel, The Goodbye Time, both published by Random House. She is also the author of When You Open Your Eyes, released by Simon & Schuster, and the author-illustrator of the children’s picture book, Where Is Papa Now? Celeste holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University.
Charles Moss, TN
Charles is a professional freelance writer with more than ten years experience. He’s written for The Atlantic, Washington Post, Slate, The Bitter Southerner, Slate, MOJO, The Week and other publications. When he’s not writing about comic books, television, music, and movies, he’s writing web copy, blog posts, and press releases for clients. A self-proclaimed Beatles enthusiast, Charles loves the art of the interview, helping people tell stories that may not otherwise be told.
Chaunie Brusie, MI
A registered nurse, author, seasoned journalist, and online content creator, Chaunie has written three books on parenting, and her work has been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post as well as featured on Good Morning America. She has been writing since her aunt gave her a diary for Christmas when she was eight years old, and, yes, many of those stories are about puppies and flowers, but she’s still pretty darn proud of them to this day. She believes that her purpose is to bring to life the stories of others.
Christina Drill, FL
Christina is a published writer, editor, and Michener Fellow at the University of Miami where she is pursuing her MFA in fiction. Originally from Northern New Jersey, Christina graduated with a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has been published in New York Magazine, Broadly (VICE), and Salon. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary journals like the Chicago Quarterly Review and Word Riot, and she has worked with Simon & Schuster and Unilever.
Claire Thompson, MT
Claire studied magazine journalism at Northwestern University and went on to write for the environmental-news website Grist before quitting her desk job to pursue a more restless life of seasonal work and travel. Over the last four years, she’s worked on trail crews in some of the most ruggedly scenic corners of the West, waited tables, relearned how to ski, and lived on the road for months at a time. She believes the world is full of compelling true stories, if you know where to find them.
Craigh Barboza, NY
Craigh works in career services at NYU’s journalism institute, where he also teaches film journalism. He has been a writer-editor for twenty years, covering entertainment, culture, sports, race, and lifestyle (among other topics). His byline has appeared in GQ, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Weekend Magazine.
Cristina Moracho, NY
Cristina is a native New Yorker who currently lives with her dog in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She is the author of the novels Althea & Oliver and A Good Idea and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College. A fan of true crime stories, coffee ice cream, and punk rock shows, these days she is teaching herself to play the guitar and read tarot cards while writing her next book.
Cynthia Still, VA
Cynthia penned her first book during childhood, and she’s been writing ever since. Now a published author with Macmillan, she’s ghostwritten four memoirs and co-authored two health books—one with Dr. Seymour Diamond. Although she’s provided writing and editing for six publishers and fifteen book manuscripts, Cynthia’s first love is memoir writing. “Personal memoir is a priceless legacy,” she says, “because every life has a unique storyline worth sharing. So what’s your story?” Cynthia will help you tell it with a one-of-a-kind narrative you can share with family and friends.
Dan Harvey, DE
For 35 years, Dan has been writing professionally. During that time, he has received six journalism awards. In addition, he was awarded an “honorable mention” award for the Novel-in-Progress competition held by The William Faulkner Literary Society. He served as ghostwriter for manuscripts commissioned by businesses and individuals. Dan is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where he studied journalism and creative writing. He is also a graduate of The Media Institute of Philadelphia, PA., where he studied public relations and marketing. His writing specialties include medical, healthcare, health & fitness, wellness, business and industry, history, biography, memoir, fiction, spirituality, sports, and entertainment.
Dan Stout, OH
Dan lives in central Ohio, where he tells stories and tries to convince himself that mac and cheese is health food. His prize-winning fiction draws on his travels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim as well as a convoluted employment history spanning everything from subpoena server to assistant well driller. Dan’s work has appeared in publications such as The Saturday Evening Post, Nature, and Plan B Magazine. His debut novel, Titanshade, is forthcoming from DAW Books, an imprint of Penguin/Random House.
Danielle Shapiro, WY
A bit of a wanderer, Danielle blames her parents for taking her all over the world from the time she was little. Her curiosity has led to reporting trips as far away as the remote shores of Lake Tangyanika in Africa, to the nearer-at-hand Atlanta suburbs. Her work, focusing on social justice and equality, has been published in The Daily Beast, The Christian Science Monitor, ESPN, Fusion, and elsewhere. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s playing peek-a-boo with her daughter or hiking up or skiing down a mountainside.
Daryn Kagan, GA
You might remember Daryn from her more than twelve years as an anchor on CNN. Today, her syndicated column, “What’s Possible” runs in newspapers across the country. She is also a contributor to national platforms like “CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley” and she has published two books, with her latest book being “Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts on Losing A Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.” Daryn lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, daughter, and Little Sister from the Big Brother Big Sister program; her two-year-old rescue hound dog and six chickens complete the family.
Dave Dempsey, MI
Lives make the best stories, and Dave thrives on telling them. The author of ten published books, Dave is fondest of an award-winning biography of Michigan’s longest-serving governor and two books of mini-biographies of famous and forgotten writers with Michigan connections. Dave has a bachelor’s in English and master’s in science. A long-ago newspaper reporter and lifelong listener, he knows what questions to ask to generate both headlines and deeper content. Dave is a voracious reader, veteran runner, faithful baseball fan, and student of the outdoors.
David Mendell, IL
An accomplished journalist and author, David has written for a number of publications and media outlets, including The New Yorker, the Washington Post, Vox Media, ESPN and others. David grew up in Cincinnati and was a reporter for several Ohio newspapers before spending 10 years at the Chicago Tribune, where he covered everything from hurricanes to the Columbine High School shooting. He’s best known for authoring the first substantial biography of President Barack Obama. His book, OBAMA: From Promise to Power, published by HarperCollins, was a national bestseller and won an NAACP Image Award. He’s appeared on various broadcast media, including NBC’s Meet the Press, the BBC, Fox News, CNN’s AC 360, the CBS Evening News and others. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his wife and family. In his spare time, he helps coach his daughter’s softball teams and tries desperately to find time for golf and catching live jazz and blues music amid Chicago’s rich music scene.
Diana Holquist, PA
There is nothing as important for the future as documenting the past. Diana loves the challenge of helping people craft their histories into compelling narratives. She is the award-winning author of six novels for Hachette Book Group, a parenting memoir, and a children’s book for Penguin Random House. She’s won the New York Book Festival award for Best Novel and has garnered a coveted starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. A graduate of Columbia University, she lives with her husband, two cats, and way too many books.
Doug Molitor, CA
Trained as a journalist, Doug’s non-fiction passions are science, history, and biography, which come in handy for his time travel books. He has written over 200 episodes for TV genres from sitcom to science fiction, from crime drama to cartoon, from fantasy to western. He is the author of four novels, with a fifth in the works. He’s also a comedy professional if you should want some humor in your story. Your call. His TV writing background means he sees his job as fulfilling your vision.
Elise McIntosh-Levy, NJ
As an editor, journalist, and book author with twelve years’ experience, Elise has a passion for storytelling. Through Mark My Memories, a personal biography service, she helps clients pen, polish, and publish their memoirs for both public and private publication. She also has worked as an editor/features writer at a daily New York City newspaper for more than a decade and is the co-author of Unconquered: A Tale of a Girl’s Survival During the Holocaust.
Ellen Bryant Lloyd, NC
Ellen discovered her love of crafting stories at a young age when, in the first grade, she wrote a poem about all of her favorite things. She is the author of several award-winning picture books and the content coordinator and writer for two monthly magazines, as well as a freelance writer and blogger. She also has a background in economics and marketing. Books, healthy cooking, labyrinths, spiritual growth, classical music, travel, and being a mom top the list of passions for this well-rounded, creative soul. Ellen enjoys learning about successful people and what makes them tick.
Elsa Hahne, LA
Growing up in the snow like a wildling near the Arctic Circle in Sweden, Elsa feels strangely at home in the subtropical swamps of Louisiana where she’s become an award-winning writer, photographer, designer, and author of You Are Where You Eat: Stories and Recipes from the Neighborhoods of New Orleans and The Gravy: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians. Elsa is the longtime Art Director and Food Editor at OffBeat magazine, New Orleans’ premier music monthly. She’s often seen skateboarding around Audubon Park in New Orleans with her Cajun partner and their three kids.
Erika Winston, VA
Erika has three great loves in her life – family, politics, and writing. A former attorney, she left the courtroom to spend her days helping individuals and organizations communicate their ideas, platforms, and compelling stories. With a knack for finding her clients’ voices, Erika has successfully written and edited business content, books, articles, and more blogs than she can count. She knows the emotion that goes into writing, and she honors that by listening and ensuring that her clients shine through in the finished product. She also loves melodic lyrics over a contagious beat.
Ernesto Mestre, NY
Ernesto has taught at prestigious MFA writing programs over the last two decades, including Brown, Sarah Lawrence, and Brooklyn College. His work has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. His novels have received critical acclaim, and his third novel, Sacrificio, is forthcoming in 2021. He has also edited many novels that went on to be published at various major New York publishing houses, including Picador, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, and Knopf, and has ghostwritten memoirs, historical novels, and thrillers.
Gail Morris, OH
A former nurse practitioner, Gail hung up her stethoscope in 2007 and started a full-time career as a ghostwriter. She regularly shares her life experiences in an online magazine, Simply Single Moms, writes for physicians and health sites, and writes stories for a health company motivating clients to enjoy better health. Gail is currently working on a book telling the funny, poignant, and all-too-true story of raising children as a single mom.
Hannah Berry George, NY
Hannah quit law, started acting, and found her funny bone—all while writing. She’s written for titles such as the Daily Mail, metro.co.uk, Men’s Health, and Square Mile, among others across subjects such as travel, lifestyle, mental health, healthcare, and politics. She’s written for brands like Sony, Samsung, MasterCard, Halfords, Delta, Premier Inn, notonthehighstreet.com, Chinatown London, and Jack Daniel’s—to name just a few. She’s written voiceover and comedy scripts for herself and for clients. And now she would like to write for you.
Harry Hall, TX
After fifteen years writing for newspapers and magazines, Harry wrote his first book, Help! Everyone is Staring at Me. In it, he uses his background as an award-winning radio talk show host and longtime teacher and professional speaker to give readers tips on overcoming the fear of public speaking. Harry followed that with the first book ever written on the late nineteenth-century endurance walkers called The Pedestriennes, America’s Forgotten Superstars. It’s won three national writing awards. Harry co-wrote a screenplay based on the book, which is now in the office of a major Hollywood director.
Heide Brandes, OK
Heide is an award-winning journalist and editor with more than eighteen years of experience. She regularly contributes to numerous state, regional, and national publications, and has been published in Forbes, Silicon66, The Guardian UK, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Destinations Travel Magazine, New York Daily News, the New York Times, and more. Additionally, she is the Oklahoma correspondent for Reuters News Service. Heide is an avid traveler, medieval warrior, hiker, and professional belly dancer and instructor in Oklahoma City.
Henry Dotson, AZ
Henry was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga, California into a family of engineers and entrepreneurs. Henry is a writer, speaker, story strategist, professional swing dancer, tournament chess player, improv comedian, and, most importantly, a soon-to-be husband. He believes that legacy is more important than destiny and loves to help individuals leave their own legacy for their loved ones. He has worked as a freelance writer, editor, and writing consultant, helping small business owners tell their stories. He loves to use his diverse life experience to connect with others.
Ina Yalof, NY
Ina, a medical sociologist by degree, has been writing books and articles about such diverse subjects as medicine, science, religion, and happiness for more than 30 years. Her fifteen published books include the widely acclaimed oral history Life and Death: The Story of a Hospital, What It Means to Be Jewish, How I Write (coauthored with Janet Evanovich), and What Happy Women Know. Her most recent oral history: Food and the City: New York’s Professional Chefs, Restaurateurs, Line Cooks, Street Vendors, and Purveyors Talk About What They Do and Why They Do It. As an oral historian, Ina believes every person on this Earth has a story.
Jackson Kuhl, CT
Jackson often wears running sneakers because he’s always tripping over history. The author of the Revolutionary War biography Samuel Smedley, Connecticut Privateer, Jackson’s written about ghost towns, lost states, and forgotten heroes for Atlas Obscura, the Hartford Courant, National Geographic News, and others. He also likes to write fiction set in historical times. When he’s not writing or running, Jackson paddles the waters of Long Island Sound with a little white dog on the front of his board.
Jacqueline Conciatore, DC
Jackie thinks her true talent might be singing, but her husband suggests she save that gift for the family. She is a writer in the Washington, DC area with clients including the Yale University Press and Cavendish Square Publishing. She had the privilege of working with Dr. Jane Goodall for over ten years as a writer and editor at the Jane Goodall Institute and more recently enjoyed five years as a writer at the National Science Foundation. Now a freelancer, she is happy to have a book recently published called Martin Luther King Jr.: Fulfilling a Dream.
James Mouritsen, UT
James has been asking questions and writing stories ever since he could read. Over the decades since, his writing skills and inquisitive passion for knowledge have grown. Through jobs in law, writing, and teaching, he has developed a deep appreciation of the written word, written well. Essentially, he loves to share fascinating stories with all sorts of audiences, whether online or in print, virtually or live. Wherever there are people, there are adventures, and James aims to tell them well.
Jamie Rubin, CA
Jamie’s writing career first took off in the third grade when her family moved across the country, and she became an excellent pen pal to the friends she left behind. Later, she became a news producer for MSNBC and Yahoo and currently ghostwrites speeches, blog posts, magazine articles, and just about anything else for executives at Fortune 500 companies and media personalities. She graduated from Barnard College and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. She is currently working on her own memoir about eating but always prefers working on someone else’s story.
Janet Ogle-Mater, MI
For twenty years Janet worked as a psychotherapist, and today, she utilizes her listening and interviewing skills to capture life stories and memoirs of ordinary people and millionaires alike. A history buff, she enjoys delving into community, family, and company histories. Her published articles have appeared in multiple markets and Janet has also been recognized for her fiction, receiving a Novel-in-Progress honor in the William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition and the Artist-in-Residence designation at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Whatever the genre, Janet relishes honoring history a story at a time.
Jason Schwartzman, NY
Jason is the Senior Editor at True.Ink, a heritage adventure magazine with a masthead that included Ernest Hemingway. An inveterate ping-pong player (nickname: “Drunken Mosquito”) and a former tour guide who relishes lengthy walk-and-talks, he is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. He also studied Creative Writing at Oxford. His nonfiction has been published in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Narrative.ly, The Rumpus, Hobart, River Teeth, and he was a ghostwriter for a recent celebrity memoir. Jason’s pursuits often involve memory, myths, and cities.
Jennifer Kocher, NE
With two masters’ degrees in creative and non-fiction writing and more than a decade of experience as a features writer and editor, Jennifer finds herself at home telling other people’s stories. Her work has won numerous national news awards and has appeared in Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Jackson Hole News & Guide, Cody Enterprise, High Plains Sentinel, Casper Tribune, Gillette Enterprise, Women in the Outdoors, Montana Living, and others. Currently, she is the managing editor for Nebraska Life magazine and loves history, traveling, and meeting new people.
Jessica Wolf, NJ
Jessica likes words and tennis (not necessarily in that order). Formerly the editor of NJ Life and Leisure, she has also written humor columns for Life and Leisure and many Patch sites. She’s had personal essays published in the New York Times and Huffington Post and short fiction published in online literary journals. Currently, she works as a freelance writer/editor and writing coach. Her superpower is helping people find their voice and express themselves in clear concise ways.
Jo Eckler, TX
Writing has followed Jo from childhood journals in Dallas to writing competitions and school newspapers to student publications at the University of Texas at Austin and to her doctoral dissertation in clinical psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Although she tried to ignore the magnetic pull of writing by focusing on her clinical work with combat veterans, trauma survivors, and nursing home residents, along with teaching yoga, her desire to write always emerged. She currently works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor with one soon-to-be published short story and more to come.
Jonathan Maseng, CA
Jonathan is a Los Angeles-based author and producer. His work has appeared in LA Weekly, Newsday, The Jerusalem Post Magazine, The Jewish Journal, and SB Nation, where he writes regularly about baseball. He is also a playwright and screenwriter whose projects have included Lifetime’s Project Five, ABC’s Somewhere Between, and the critically-acclaimed theatrical production The People vs. Kastner, starring Bob Odenkirk, Paul McCrane, and Alan Rosenberg. He attended Bennington College and CCNY and holds a degree in English. Once upon a time, he sang opera at Lincoln Center, but these days he sticks to karaoke.
Karen Lacey, CA
Karen is a bestselling author who’s worked with some of the largest and most established publishing firms in the world, including Penguin, McGraw Hill, Wiley, and AMCOM. Over the last decade, she has ghostwritten, edited, and doctored a plethora of books on behalf of her clients, some of which have been published by major publishers and also become bestsellers. Karen has lived and written throughout the world. She spent seven years as a wildlife photographer and writer in southern Africa and, after moving to London, spent two years writing daily financial analyses for a boutique investment firm. She also made appearances on Sky Business News and Reuters TV and conducted daily commentaries on Bloomberg News. Karen has also written three novels, countless short stories, and is a 2011 graduate of the Odyssey Writer’s Workshop.
Kelly Dinardo, WI
Kelly keeps expecting to be told to get a “real” job. In the meantime, she’ll travel the world, sample cocktails, and experiment with skiing uphill, falconry, and race car driving. As a freelance journalist, she has done all of this for a variety of publications including The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, O: The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Shape, and others. She is also the author of Gilded Lili: Lili St. Cyr and the Striptease Mystique, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. In addition to her career as a writer, she has been teaching yoga for more than ten years and owns Past Tense yoga studio in Washington, DC.
Kelly Boyer Sagert, OH
Kelly is a full-time freelance writer who has traditionally published fourteen books and has been commissioned to write multiple plays. One script served as the basis of the Emmy Award-nominated documentary, Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story, which appeared on PBS; Kelly got full writing credits. She’s been published thousands of times, including by Harvard University and Oxford University, and has ghostwritten hundreds of pieces. She speaks at writer’s conferences, including in New York City, has spoken at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and has appeared in an ESPN2 documentary.
Kelly Kennedy, MD
A best-selling author and award-winning journalist, Kelly makes the most complex story seem simple, while focusing on the details that bring heart to each tale. An Army veteran, she has worked on staff at USA TODAY, as well as earning bylines at The New York Times. Kelly wrote the book, They Fought for Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq, and co-authored Kate Germano’s Fight Like a Girl. She earned her master’s at the University of Colorado. In her spare time, she loves to dance ballet and work on her novel.
Kimberley McGee, NV
For more than two decades, Kimberley has written for national and regional publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, and more. The award-winning journalist has sat down for lengthy interviews with some of the most recognized names in the entertainment field, including Tony Curtis, Justin Timberlake, and Celine Dion, and touched on topics from cutting-edge cancer research to autism. She and her husband, Scott, can be found hiking with their young twins or traveling the Southwest in search of ghost towns and adventure.
Laura Elliott, CA
My love for story began in the Amazon, where I grew up waterskiing with piranha while learning of head hunters and curses. My first travel article about my visit to Dracula’s Bran Castle in Romania was published in The Los Angeles Times. I discovered my passion for memoir and biography during a decades-long interview with my dad, a former Japanese POW in WWII. My ghostwriting skills grew as I interviewed CEOs, celebrities, and style makers for World Travel Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and at E! Entertainment Television.
Layla Broumand, PA
Layla found her love for story writing in the kitchen. A linguist at heart and by education, her previous careers included teaching English and working in online marketing and public relations. Her greatest passion has been traveling the world and meeting new faces as well as soaking up the smells and tastes of different cultures. Recently, she has been bringing her international experiences to life with cooking. Inspired by Proust’s madeleine, she is currently working on a cookbook project combining recipes with personal memoirs.
Lisa Ross, NY
Lisa’s experience in trade publishing includes years as a Rights Director, Literary Agent and Ghostwriter. She also works closely with a number of scientists and academics to highlight the compelling narrative of their research to increase their chances of securing funding. The common thread? Finding the story; the heart of what is always both a very singular, and a relatable, common search for answers, meaning or love. Lisa enjoys listening for what is said and for the repeated notes—spoken and unspoken—that become the shape or melody of the story.
Liz Carey, SC
As she has for the past two decades, Liz loves telling the stories of what makes us. As a journalist and columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Duluth News-Tribune, and others, Liz has won more than 30 awards for her work. Now a writer and novelist, she continues to illuminate others’ lives. When she’s not writing, Liz is an avid camper and cook. Her dream is to buy an RV, travel the country with her dog Chloe, and write about her adventures and the stories she finds.
Liz Massey, AZ
Liz has a hunger to tell the stories of ordinary people, a hunger she’s had since the beginning of her career as a published writer when she was profiling square-dancing suburbanites and interviewing retirement community residents from “the Greatest Generation.” Liz has profiled people from all walks of life in over 500 published articles, in videos, and on audio podcasts. She’s also showcased outstanding graduates of Arizona State University as managing editor of ASU Magazine. Currently, she shares her personal history expertise through her business, Listen Closely Productions, and works as a freelance book editor.
Liz Tracy, MD
In her early twenties, Liz wrote her master’s thesis in religion on the healing power of Santeria. She spent three years as a music editor and has written about art, music, food, and health for publications like The Atlantic, Vice, Rolling Stone, and the Miami New Times. She is currently the managing editor for Tom Tom, a quarterly magazine about female-identifying drummers, and loves to travel and smile at strangers. Most importantly, Liz is dedicated to singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” with pizzazz in her most recent role as “Mommy.”
Maegan Clearwood, MA
Maegan is a Maryland native and New England convert with a background in journalism, creative writing, and theater. She is a proud graduate of Washington College where she was a finalist for the Sophie Kerr prize, the largest undergraduates writing prize in the country. As a theater writer, she contributes to Howlround, Everything Sondheim, and On Stage Blog. Additional passions and writing interests include holistic living, women’s health, tabletop gaming, martial arts, knitting, and cats. She lives with her partner and small menagerie: Badger the hedgehog and Otter the cat.
Mark Kramer, PA
Mark holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh, where he now teaches full-time. His work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction, geez, and Blue Earth Review. And he’s profiled a wide cast of characters, from Verizon’s CEO to an originating cast member of Hamilton to zombie make-up guru, Tom Savini. Reporting for his book, Dispossessed: Life In Our World’s Urban Slums, took him around the world. Mark’s currently writing on urban nature, education, parenting, faith, and empathy. He feels most chill when hiking, watching birds, and kayaking with his kids in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US.
Marta Mobley, CA
Marta loves stories. Over the last twenty years, she has worked as a writer, story editor, and producer on over 65 independent film and television projects and a dozen literary projects, including writing five books. She has also developed and produced 40 films, four reality series, and two drama series for HBO, Lifetime, FX Channel, AMC, Showtime, The Hallmark Channel, and TV Land. Marta most recently wrote a media advocate memoir and two children’s middle-grade books in addition to teaching a successful “How To Write Your Memoir” class in Los Angeles. She attended The London School of Journalism and Stanford University’s Writer’s Studio.
Melissa Swantkowski, NY
A New York City resident for over fifteen years, Melissa spent the first half of her life in North Carolina where she cultivated her appreciation for quiet beaches and tomato sandwiches. She has an MFA from New York University and currently edits Bodega, a digital magazine of poetry and prose. She’s at work on a collection of stories, several of which have appeared in recent publications online. Beyond writing, Melissa loves taking walks with her pug, playing Boggle, and tending her indoor garden—most recently she’s coaxed lemon and lychee seeds to sprout.
Michael Shapiro, CA
Michael spent nearly two years interviewing the world’s leading travel writers where they live (Frances Mayes in Tuscany, Bill Bryson in New England), telling their stories in his book, a set of eighteen compact biographies called A Sense of Place. Michael’s cover story for National Geographic Traveler, about Jan Morris and her corner of Wales, won the Bedford Pace grand award. He’s written about cycling in Mongolia for the Washington Post, profiled Jane Goodall for O, The Oprah Magazine, and interviewed Studs Terkel for The Sun. He also writes a weekly column on gambling for the San Francisco Chronicle and volunteers as a river-rafting guide for a nonprofit group that provides whitewater adventures to disabled people.
Michelle Anjirbag, CT
Michelle wears a lot of hats including academic, local journalist, facilitator, book reviewer, and shopgirl. Her essays have popped up so far at GOOD, Fourth & Sycamore, and Roar, and one time she accidentally found herself on a radio show. She has always loved reading, so writing was a natural extension. Coincidentally, inventing cocktails, learning about Scotch, baking, yoga, and making friends with random dogs seem to also be natural extensions of writing.
Molly Each, MN
As a freelance writer, editor, and storyteller, Molly believes in the power of stories. Her literary work has appeared in Fresh Yarn, Analemma Quarterly, and on Chicago Public Radio. She pens food, travel, and lifestyle topics for publications like Minnesota Monthly and Plate Magazine. She has spent more than a decade helping people craft personal stories for readings such as 2nd Story and Between Bites, and she’s also co-written several books, including a cookbook called A Blending of Bittersweet Memories. Molly can often be found cooking for friends and family while listening to The Beatles.
Monica Haim, NY
Monica has collaborated on books for personalities such as Paige VanZant, Ricky Martin, Ilyasah Shabazz, Jorge and Laura Posada, Thalia, Nina Garcia, and David Archuleta, with whom she wrote a New York Times best seller. Monica has been published by Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Chronicle Books. In 2001 Monica was also published in an anthology, 9/11 8:48am: Documenting America’s Worst Tragedy (Blue Ear Press, 2001), and her essay was adapted for the London theatrical premiere, Voices from September 11th, which ran at the Old Vic on September 11th, 2002. Monica was the Editorial Director at Botanika Life, a cannabis lifestyle wellness platform, and was previously the Editorial Director at saludmovil™, a bilingual health and wellness platform. Prior to that she was editor-in-chief at Becomingselfmade.com, Nely Galán’s digital platform that advocates entrepreneurship for multicultural women. She was previously content director for Mamiverse.com, a web portal directed at Latina women, and currently serves as the editorial director for BeLatina.com. Monica is also the writer, director and producer of Awake Zion, a feature documentary that explores the mysterious relationship between reggae, Rasta and Judaism.
Nan Bauroth, NC
A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Nan first plied her sheepskin marketing bestsellers at Doubleday Publishing, then moved to the mad world of money on Wall Street where she marketed high tech financial services for Merrill Lynch and Citibank. Following that head trip, she returned to her roots as a journalist and has been published in over 30 magazines and websites as well as ghostwritten several books. Her personal interests include gardening, history, travel, and taking piano lessons to prove her more mature brain can still learn new tricks.
Nancy LeBrun, GA
Nancy wrote and produced Emmy award-winning documentaries for National Geographic and Discovery Channel before shifting gears to write profiles for national publications. Nancy has written a book about her experiences in film and is at work on a screenplay based on the true story of a heroic young girl in 1950s Virginia. She feels that it’s the people who make any story come alive. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing tug of war with her dogs, puttering in the garden, or cooking with her husband, Edward.
Nicholas Conley, NH
Nicholas’ passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books, and horror movies. His award-winning novel Pale Highway is influenced by his experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, a subject that he has also written about for publications such as Vox, Alzheimers.net, and HeadStuff.org. When not busy writing, Nicholas spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit.
Nikki Corda, NV
Nikki spent her early career in the world of feature film story development in Los Angeles, with stints at Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Propaganda Films. Eventually, she discovered documentary filmmaking, and she fell in love with the world of creative nonfiction. Nikki started Life-Portraits Documentaries to capture biographical documentaries for everyday people. She has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sierra Nevada College. Nikki enjoys writing memoirs and is an adjunct instructor in Visual Media and English at Nevada State College. She is also the founder and executive director of the Nevada Women’s Film Festival.
Oren Rawls, NY
A journalist turned ghostwriter with two decades of high-level editorial experience, Oren has penned words for a long list of prominent figures, including a United Nations secretary general, a leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and a world-renowned military scholar. Oren has crafted the life stories of a history-making Mideast peacemaker and the CEO of America’s largest local philanthropy, among others, and his work has been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Globe. Prior to ghostwriting, Oren worked as the opinion editor of the Forward newspaper.
Orianne Dutka, CA
Orianne’s favorite aspects of life include new places to visit, new books to read, and new friends to meet. A graduate of Yale University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Columbia Law School, Orianne left her legal career to pursue her true love: writing. She recently optioned a screenplay with a major film company and is currently revising a historical novel. She is also working on a second screenplay and a collection of short stories. Orianne enjoys running marathons, playing the violin, and studying art history.
Pamela Ferdinand, IL
Pamela is an award-winning journalist (The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald) and nonfiction author who has written about natural disasters, business, and politics to health, science, and parenting. She has taught writing and editing at universities and co-wrote a triple memoir published by Little, Brown & Co. in the U.S. and five other countries that Oprah’s “O” Magazine called “A tome of the brave.” Pamela earned her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and she currently freelances as a writer and book editor.
Pat West, TN
Pat has a background in social work, writing, and teaching and a master’s degree in human resource development. She has written or edited hundreds of individual and family stories. In 2012, Pat founded her own memoir business and has written or collaborated on fourteen books since then. Two of Pat’s books, an autobiography (From Stearmans to Starfighters) and a family history (The Carolina Brattons), have been published and received excellent reviews. In her spare time, Pat enjoys traveling with her husband and volunteering with a local historical organization and an animal rescue organization.
Rachel Shuster, VA
Rachel has been a versatile editor/writer for major newspapers, digital and social media, most recently at USA TODAY. Much of her background has been in the field of sports, where she was the first regularly published female sports columnist on the national level. She frequently wrote on the offbeat side of sports and on issues impacting minorities and women, including athletes and domestic violence. She has covered three Olympics and numerous Super Bowls and World Series and edited such breaking news events as 9/11, deaths of prominent stars (Arthur Ashe, Dale Earnhardt, Junior Seau), election night results, etc. Her freelance work includes editing fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, including one on unique management styles that became a best-selling eBook.
Reid Singer, NM
Motivated by a passion for faithful and original storytelling, Reid has worked hard to depict unique and obscure subjects in a fresh and authentic voice. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he spent several years at Outside magazine where he wrote, edited, and fact-checked stories about travel, fitness, endurance sports, and the environment. Over the years, he has also written stories on art school activism, Brooklyn speakeasies, urban archaeology, and guerilla traffic engineering, with bylines in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Forward, and The Art Newspaper. His favorite novelist is Philip Roth, his favorite comedian is Jonathan Winters, and his greatest living hero is Tom Brands, the head wrestling coach for the University of Iowa.
Renee Morad, NJ
Renee is a freelance writer focused on health and science, technology, and personal finance. She has been published in The New York Times, Scientific American, Forbes, and NPR, among other outlets. Previously, she was a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal’s personal finance magazine SmartMoney and a homepage editor for Xfinity.com. She is a graduate of New York University with a BA in Journalism. Prior to her journalism career, Renee was a professional contemporary ballet dancer. She performed in theaters around New York City and on a cruise ship that sailed around Scandinavia, Mediterranean Europe, and the Caribbean.
Ruth Mills, NJ
Ruth has twenty years publishing experience at Random House, Wiley, and Prentice Hall and fifteen years experience as a freelance book doctor and ghostwriter. She has ghosted more than a dozen books, most notably for Jenny Craig, founder of the weight-loss business, and Mark Weber, former CEO of Donna Karan International. In an alternate life, she would have been a jazz and blues singer.
Ryan Dempsey, CA
After working in the film and television industry for over a decade, Ryan co-authored OpTic Gaming: The Making of eSports Champions in 2016. It become a New York Times bestseller and was recently optioned by Unique Features. In 2018, he co-authored No Malice, the memoir by controversial NBA basketball player Metta World Peace. In addition to Ryan’s work as an author, ghostwriter, and editor for clients looking to tell their life stories, he also works with professionals and social media influencers to craft business and self-help books.
Serena Solomon, NY
Although Serena is an award-winning journalist, her career did not start in news or stories or writing. It started as a social worker with homeless teenagers in her hometown of Sydney, Australia. During that time she learned three things: listen, listen, and listen. It is a lesson that served her well when she transitioned into journalism with a BA in Media. After a decade in journalism, Serena has written for publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and the BBC, covering subjects from a rare Fijian flower to the advantages of surfing in New York’s winter.
Serginho Roosblad, CA
Serginho is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Oakland, California. His work has been published by Voice of America, One.org, AJ+, Al Jazeera America, The Africa Report, Africa is a Country, Radio France International, and Amnesty International. He has traveled to and reported from over a dozen African and European countries. In 2012 he obtained an MPhil. in African Studies at the University of Cape Town. Serginho is currently Dean’s Merit Fellow in the class of ’18 at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
Stephen Copeland, TN
Stephen is a freelance writer, storyteller, ghostwriter, and collaborator. He has collaborated on or ghostwritten nearly a dozen books with people from all over the sports and entertainment industry, including NFL quarterbacks, Hall of Fame coaches, and media personalities. His first book in his own voice, Where the Colors Blend, was released in November 2018. He loves working alongside genuine, authentic people and helping them share their stories and ideas in a compelling way. He is a coffee snob and craft beer enthusiast. His dog, Bailee, keeps him sane.
Steve Brenner, FL
Based in South Florida, Steve is a journalist with nearly twenty years of experience. Originally from England, he worked for The Sun newspaper for a decade. His arrival in the United States four years ago, however, has expanded his writing portfolio to include various media outlets, ranging from The New York Times to Playboy. An avid music fan with a penchant for fitness and culinary arts, Steve also has worked tirelessly to perfect the art of making meatballs.
Sukriti Yadava, NY
Sukriti grew up in Mumbai, studied in London, and found herself in New York City. Her work is published in The Times of India, Quartz, Vox, and others. Sukriti holds an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University, where she was Publisher of Columbia: A Journal of Arts and Literature. She also holds a B.Sc. in Managerial Economics from the London School of Economics. She attended high school at Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai.
Susan Pi, CA
Susan has a BA in English, a Master of Publishing, and marketing and publicity experience in both large and small book publishing houses. She was a board member of the Northern California Book Publicity and Marketing Association, and her hits as a publicist include Vanity Fair and People Magazine. She is the lead writer at Psychometric Studios Interactive, and her writing has been published in Take on the Road and BayWoof Magazine. She also writes romantic dramas under a pseudonym. When she’s not traveling, she enjoys playing story-driven video games.
Sydney Parker, WA
Sydney graduated from New York University with degrees in Journalism and Dramatic Writing. After completing an internship at Saturday Night Live, she worked for a senior literary agent assessing manuscript submissions and collaborating with editors. Her passion for serving vulnerable populations took her into the non-profit field where she managed a Holocaust museum, provided palliative care to children with terminal illness, and supported kids with severe autism. Today, Sydney is a full-time journalist. Her writing on social justice topics and interviews with famous comedians have appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, Seattle Met Magazine, and many other major publications.
Tony DuShane, CA
Tony DuShane is an author and the award-winning screenwriter of “Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk.” First a novel also penned by Tony and published by Soft Skull Press, the feature film was directed by Eric Stoltz and released on Amazon Prime in 2019. Tony teaches novel and screenwriting at UCLA Extension. He has written features for Mother Jones, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, and other outlets.
Tyler Wetherall, NY
Tyler is a writer and journalist living in Brooklyn whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent, The Brooklyn Magazine, and Vice. Her first book, No Way Home: A Memoir of Life on the Run, was published by St. Martin’s Press in April 2018. It tells the story of her childhood growing up as the daughter of a federal fugitive. Her fiction has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, and she is Deputy Editor of literary journal The Wrong Quarterly. She also teaches journalism and creative writing at Manhattanville College.
Valerie Biel, WI
Valerie is the author of the award-winning Circle of Nine series, stories inspired by Celtic mythology and Irish legend. The UK Writers Hub has honored her blog as one of the top 50 of 2018. When she’s not writing, she’s wrangling her overgrown garden, traveling the world, researching genealogy, and reading everything she can find. She holds journalism and political science degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and occasionally a grown child or two. She passionately believes that everyone has a story to tell and would be honored to help you tell yours.
Vicky Choy, CA
A native of San Francisco, Vicky is an experienced storyteller with a past life as an executive in the entertainment industry. She worked on TV movies as Vice President of Movies at a company owned by HBO. World traveler, screenwriter, and content marketing professional, Vicky believes everyone has an interesting story to tell.
Wally Swist, MA
Wally is a freelance writer and has recently contributed content for a book regarding the socioeconomics of retirement, published by MassMutual, entitled Precisely. His articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in All Roads Lead to Home, The American Book Review, Connecticut River Review, The New Haven Advocate, and Small Press Review. Considered a leading nature poet, his books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love, Invocation, and, as co-author with David Breeden and Steven Schroeder, The Daodejing: A New Interpretation.
Wendy Cohan, MT
Although Wendy loved working as a medical-surgical nurse for nearly two decades, she also loved writing, and she wanted to use her life experience and nursing background to help reach a wider audience. So, she published the first of several self-help books and enjoyed this process so much that she decided to change careers! In 2014, Wendy moved to Missoula, Montana to be closer to all of the outdoor activities she loves, especially hiking. Missoula is a small city with a vibrant music scene, four distinct seasons, and an enthusiastic and welcoming writing community.
Wendy Rolon, CA
Wendy was born with a magic crayon in her wee left hand. She’s found a niche, writing for CEOs in the SF Bay startup scene in publications like FastCompany, TechCrunch, Forbes, and Entrepreneur. When she’s not ghostwriting for fascinating folks with wonderful stories to tell, she can be found singing with her kids or sewing costumes for tiny stop-motion puppets.
William Dettloff, PA
As a longtime senior writer at The Ring magazine, William Dettloff covered some of the world’s most famous athletes and helped them tell their stories. He did the same thing at ESPN.com and HBO.com, profiling athletes from around the world and from different eras. He wrote a critically-acclaimed biography of 1940’s boxing champion Ezzard Charles and co-wrote an instructional book with legendary boxing champion Joe Frazier. His work has appeared in Pacific Standard magazine, The Morning News, The Millions and more. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of a quarterly magazine named Ringside Seat.
Zach Calig, CA
Los Angeles native Zach most recently worked as Executive Story Editor on the New York-based series for EPIX, Godfather of Harlem. As an aspiring boxer, Zach moved to Thailand to study Muay Thai and became infatuated with the stories of local fighters, many of whom were orphans. He had to share their stories and decided to pursue storytelling full-time, ultimately directing a documentary following the young fighters who used kickboxing to pull themselves out of poverty. Zach has written on the Netflix series Narcos and the ABC series, Of Kings and Prophets. Additionally, he writes comics and graphic novels, penning on the Grimm Fairy Tales series for Zenescope. Zach now focuses on raising a family and counseling recovering addicts at a major LA-based treatment center, welcoming the 3:00 a.m. phone calls of residents needing to talk.
Zen Vuong, CA
As a professional writer with more than a decade of storytelling experience, Zen understands how to ask the right questions to unearth a heartwarming narrative. With an MA in Journalism from Northwestern University, she has written newspaper articles about heroic World War II veterans and had a weekly column in the Pasadena Star-News focused on life as an Asian-American living in Los Angeles. Zen is now a media relations specialist at the University of Southern California and writes about medical research. In her free time, she likes to hike and bake.
Alice Popovici, NY
Alice is a freelance journalist with bylines in local and national publications and twelve years of experience writing on subjects ranging from food to criminal justice. She has worked as a police reporter in Arizona, as a finance reporter in New York City, as an education reporter in Maryland, and as an oral historian in the Republic of Moldova, where she collected stories about life in the former Soviet Union. Most of all, Alice loves to write about people. She has a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is also a former Fulbright fellow.
Alissa Furman, AK
Alissa always knew her world was destined to be much much larger than her rural hometown in central Pennsylvania. After a semester in Ireland her senior year of high school, her wanderlust thoroughly piqued, she headed west to Arizona State University. When her very first English professor in her very first college English class read her very first English paper aloud, her fate claimed her. After graduating with a B.A. in English Literature, she learned that the chief attribute of a great storyteller is having great stories to tell. From there it was a sea turtle conservation on a wild jungle beach in Costa Rica, then to the rugged and unapologetic beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and currently the heavily spiced smogginess of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Today she teaches English in Southeast Asia. Tomorrow…well that might be a whole different book.
Allan Shore, FL
Allan started as a stringer for NGOs writing business/community narratives to pull heartstrings and dollars. And while it’s awesome engaging 40 million people into the search to health, homeless, violence, and child care injustices (details of which are stuffed, quietly and undisturbed, into his résumé), Allan thinks it’s time to redirect his passions beyond grants and dissertations. Up for an adventure?
Allie Moreno, CA
Allie is a freelance writer and poet, born and raised in the San Diego area. She received a BA in Literature and Writing from CSU San Marcos and an MFA in Writing from UC San Diego. Her first book, Still Prime, explores her identity as a Filipino-American woman and a transracial adoptee. Allie has a passion for telling stories and uses her background in poetry to find great stories in details and descriptions. Allie also teaches English at a local community college and enjoys spending time with her husband and son.
Allison Brunner, MI
Allison is an editor and writer who enjoys music, art, literature, food, and talking with strangers. Allison graduated as salutatorian of Pepperdine University with her BA in English Literature and minor in Humanities. She then earned her TEFL certificate in Barcelona and traveled extensively around Europe. She has worked in various editing-related capacities at several companies, including Sage Publications, Penguin Random House, John Wiley & Sons, Cydcor, and FP Horak.
Amanda Zieba, WI
Amanda is a self-proclaimed word nerd. Her publication list includes a little something for everyone, including six books for children and two for adults. As a writer her strongest skills are keen observation, clear communication, impressive imagination, and a drive to finish what she starts—thirteen years of teaching experience along with BS and Masters Degrees in Education come in handy. When she’s not hanging out in her writing world, she is living a family-style-life in the great state of Wisconsin (Go Bucky!) with her husband and kids.
Amy Bonnaffons, GA
Amy is a New York City native who recently relocated to Athens, GA in order to pursue a PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. Her first love is writing—she has published short stories and essays, and she is currently completing her first novel—but she is also an occasional musician, specializing in vocal music from Eastern Europe. She also loves to ride her bike, do yoga, travel, and study languages and has spent long periods of time in Japan, Brazil, Thailand, and Burma. She edits an online magazine, 7×7.la, that publishes collaborations between writers and visual artists.
Amy Eliza Aster, MA
I learn through listening. All life has rhythm and movement, and through those elements I craft stories and poems that align with the harmonies of nature within and around us. A student of herbal medicine and a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Creative Writing, I have been awarded writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the United Plant Savers’ Goldenseal Sanctuary. I am a performance poet and storyteller and have recently completed a memoir that crosses boundaries of poetry and prose.
Andrea Rice, NC
Andrea is a writer and yoga teacher with over a decade of professional experience. With a background in journalism, she has written for The New York Times, Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, mindbodygreen, SONIMA, and most recently, INDY Week. Andrea was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, went to school in Phoenix, Arizaon, and became a lifelong student of self-study in Brooklyn, New York, before settling in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and their cat. Her first book, The Yoga Almanac, comes out in March 2020 from New Harbinger Publications.
Andrea Lovas, NJ
Andrea has been a professional writer for over twelve years. She now freelances full-time through her business, Eloquence Writing and Editorial Services, which affords her the flexibility she needs to care for her three young boys. Andrea also works independently for several marketing and web design firms, has written for a number of local and regional newspapers, and is a regular features writer for Vetrepreneur Magazine where she profiles the lives and careers of our nation’s veteran business owners.
Angela Sayre, TX
A native Oklahoman who now calls Texas home, Angela has been published in D Magazine, D CEO, PinkMemo, and La Mode Magazine. She served as a ghostwriter and conceptual editor for several memoirs and children’s books while working for an independent publishing house. She has also been involved in capturing in writing Native American history, immigrant stories, and the stories of WWII veterans. Her perfect day would consist of walking her dog, coffee with her husband, practicing yoga, sharing time with a friend, and reading until someone cooked her an amazing dinner.
Anne E. Johnson, NY
“Eclectic” is a good word for Anne’s background. Intensive music training as a child? Check. Undergrad degree in Greek and Latin? Check. A little time off from school to tap dance in NYC? Oh, yes. Master’s in Medieval Musicology (might as well use that Latin!)? Indeed! She ended up teaching music history for fifteen years, and now writes all kinds of things, including columns on indie music, classical music, and theater, and—to prove she’s still eclectic—science fiction novels and short stories.
Antoinette Siu, CA
Antoinette is a Bay Area journalist writing about business and policy. She earned her degrees in human rights and journalism from the University of California, Berkeley and Syracuse University, respectively. In her spare time, Antoinette trains for Spartan obstacle course races and excels at cooking poached eggs. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, San Francisco Examiner, and the San Francisco Business Times, and featured on local and state radio. She is a meticulous listener and loves turning life stories into the written word.
Ashley Canino, NY
Ashley is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY. After college, she simultaneously pursued a career in marketing and built a print and digital portfolio of interviews with subjects from varied disciplines and backgrounds. In spring 2015, Ashley left her management position in media research with a major television network to exclusively freelance write. She has published several essays and countless op/eds that are engaging and deeply personal. Currently, she is writing a memoir, The Hole in the Middle, that reflects on her complex relationship with her mother and late grandmother.
Ayanna Julien, GA
A native of “The Big Easy” with a DBA, Ayanna is on her second life in publishing as a freelance editor and writer. Formerly an HR professional and bakery owner, Ayanna’s work has been featured nationally and internationally on popular entertainment websites and business blogs, as well as in magazines and encyclopedias for EBSCO Information Services and Sage Publications. In her spare time, Ayanna volunteers as an editor for the Earthvillage blog, authors her own Chick Flick Theory blog, and enjoys mimicking recipes (sometimes successfully) from Food Network.
Belinda Breyer, CA
Belinda likes to spend time in her impractically large vegetable garden in the Sierra foothills, ski at Lake Tahoe, and go wherever frequent flyer miles will take her. She has worked in editorial departments at various San Francisco publishing houses for over ten years and writes for the local newspaper. She loves being a freelancer. Her motto is: “Have laptop, will travel.” She became interested in a career in publishing during college when she realized that poetry was not going to pay the bills. She has a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing and earned a certificate in Publishing from UC Berkeley.
Benedetta Cutolo, NY
Benedetta is a writer, journalist, and filmmaker who has worked on projects for The New York Times, Time Magazine, PBS, and MSNBC. She holds an MA in Journalism from New York University and a double MA in comparative literature from the Strasbourg University and the University of Bologna. She was raised in Rome, Italy, but has spent the past ten years of her life between Paris and NYC. Bi-lingual in Italian and Spanish, she is also perfectly fluent in English and French. As a journalist, Benedetta has covered stories about international politics and social justice. Since September 2018, she is also a regular visiting lecturer at The New School where she shares with the students her experience in documentaries and visual storytelling. She is currently working on her first fiction novel.
Bianca Brown, KS
Bianca writes human interest stories, creative nonfiction, historical timelines, and business-to-business ad scripts. Her clients include Sunflower Publishing in Lawrence, Kansas, Hewlett Packard with Big Picture Lab in Austin, Texas, and multimedia artist Satta based in Los Angeles. Bianca has a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Kansas. She co-hosts a film review podcast, Screen Gab, and loves to make YouTube videos.
Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley, CA
Bridgitte has been writing in journals since she was in the fourth grade and she still has every single one of them! As a child, she watched the Oprah Winfrey Show and marveled at the idea of becoming a master of conversation. Now, as a writer, author, ghostwriter and interviewer of changemakers, Bridgitte has not only combined her two loves, but has also discovered one of the most important aspects of being a writer: if you ask the right questions, the story that wants to be told will reveal itself.
Brijit Reed, CA
Brijit has wanted to be a writer since she learned to read. Now, she is an author, screenwriter, and freelance writer. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she’s able to indulge in live music, art, yoga, eating healthy, and sunshine. With interests in everything from psychology to philosophy, Brijit’s real passions are history, people, and cultures. A class in Egyptian archaeology inspired her book, Heretic: The Life And Death Of Akhenaten. She’s currently working on a novel about her great-great-grandfather, James G. Crutcher, a Confederate soldier who enlisted when only a boy.
Cait Molden, NY
Cait is a New York City-based writer and comedian who graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in History and has lived in Florida, China, and France. Originally, she wanted to work in politics, but she didn’t look great in a pants suit. She has worked as a marketing copywriter, an associate editor for a magazine, and a ghostwriter. She founded a comedy website where she write for blogs, does sketch comedy, and does live performances across the city. Her at-home-co-worker is a bulldog named Beyonce.
Carolyn Comeau, NC
Carolyn is a writer who believes everyone has a take-your-breath-away story to tell. She currently creates content for businesses and nonprofits, pens stories for regional lifestyle and design publications, collaborates with curatorial teams on museum exhibition and educational film content, and ghostwrites for C-suite executives. Her specialty writing niches are healthcare, art and design, and history and museums. She earned her MA in Education with a concentration in Museum Studies and a BA in History, which pretty much makes her a bonafide history geek. Her curiosity, interactive nature, and compassion make her a great fit for anyone with a compelling story inside them—and aren’t they’re all compelling?
Cathy Cassata, IL
Cathy has a knack for listening to others and asking thought-provoking questions in a way that makes them comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings. She has more than fifteen years of professional writing experience, an Editing Certificate from the University of Chicago, and has interviewed hundreds of people about topics related to the human experience, including illness, trauma, and triumph, to craft stories that ignite emotion. Several of Cathy’s stories have been picked up by the Huffington Post. When she’s not writing or spending time with her children, you might find Cathy coaching youth sports, dancing with her friends, or laughing at a comedy club with her husband.
Cathy McIlvoy, CA
After college Cathy got married, birthed two children, and adopted two more! It was during this wonderful, yet busy, time of life that her writing career began. Her non-fiction work was soon published in a variety of magazines and several Chicken Soup books, as well as online. From there, she began working as an in-house writer for two non-profit organizations. Over the years Cathy has had the privilege of interviewing people from all walks of life. Storytelling to inform, entertain, and inspire is her forte and passion.
Celeste Hamilton-Dennis, OR
Celeste is a freelance writer and editor for social good. Her articles and personal essays have appeared in Huffington Post, Fast Company, Idealist, GOOD, Role/Reboot, various literary journals, and more. Currently she’s an editor for the arts activism publication, OF NOTE Magazine. When she’s not being a mom to two little girls, she’s plotting her escape to the ocean, dreaming about playing the drums, and writing a short story collection based on her hometown of Levittown, New York.
Celina De León, PA
Celina is a published writer, editor, and publicist. During her 20-year career, Celina has written and edited for publications such as Teen Voices magazine, where she was Senior Editor and helped teen women publish their personal stories for a national audience, and HuffPost, where she published a family story of her own. Celina also served as the Interviews Editor for Feministing.com and has produced interviews for various publications. One of her interviews was published in the 2018 anthology, Feminisms in Motion. Her interview with a war veteran garnered an interview on Sirius Radio. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University. When she is not writing, she is reading, running, or practicing Spanish. Originally from Hartford, CT, Celina is a first-generation mainlander. Her family hails from Peru and Puerto Rico.
Charles Tanzer, NY
Charles holds an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University and a BA in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College. He’s had an eventful international career that includes working for the United Nations as well as several East Asian governments. He’s paired his previous career with his lifelong love of writing and now tackles politics and pop culture in his own blog. He’s also working on a novel, and in his spare time, he dreams of puppies and mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Chelsea Terris, OR
Chelsea is a passionate storyteller and draws inspiration from both sought and unanticipated life experiences. Her first play, Like We Wasn’t People, was based on the teens she met during her time as a foster care social worker and has attracted the attention of Hollywood with a feature film pending. Chelsea has also been a waitress, historical tour guide, and most recently, senior content strategist for an acclaimed marketing agency. There she oversaw and generated authentic and SEO-friendly copy, and now freelances elegant, branded content for a wide variety of clients. A true INFJ, Chelsea loves one-on-one discussions, Americanos, and the sea.
Cheryl Rychkov, VA
Cheryl lately spends much of her time in reflection and writing about the past. Previously, she sought to blend a life of the mind mixed with adventure. In addition to holding two master’s degrees and candidacy in a third, she was once shipwrecked, spent two years as a newspaper editor, was a student stunt pilot in Australia, and a world traveler still in possession of a long bucket list. She is the author of a historical narrative work and also writes memoirs. She is a proud fourteenth-generation Virginian. Family, history, and saving the past matter the most to her. Cheryl also writes for the Times-Virginian newspaper and for Ranker.com.
Chet Turnbeaugh, CA
Chet works as a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter and received his BA with high honors in Creative Writing and Philosophy from Wabash College. He also studied abroad at St. Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford, where he mastered the art of creative nonfiction storytelling, and studied screenwriting at UCLA. Chet believes that we create our lives through the stories that we tell. His favorite pastime is telling stories and composing the narrative behind what makes them both magical and meaningful. As a writer, Chet likes to travel and considers himself a digital nomad, splitting his time between Southern California and the Chicago area.
Christie Matherne, CO
Christie is a journalist, but creative nonfiction writer is a better term in her eyes. A native of South Louisiana, she grew up with water and folklore surrounding her, and attended Louisiana State University as a writing student, later cutting her teeth as the entertainment editor of a Baton Rouge weekly. She has ten years of interviewing experience and has written stories and essays for Country Roads Magazine, 64 Parishes, HuffPost Personal, and DiningOut Magazines, and currently resides in the Denver area. She loves digging into a good history, whether it’s that of a family, a culture, or a Cajun sausage.
Christina Berke, NY
From an early age, Christina loved libraries and creating stories. Growing up in Los Angeles, she pursued writing throughout high school and college, completing a minor in Creative Writing at UC Berkeley. After teaching English for five years, she decided to fully dedicate herself to writing, moving across the country to pursue her MFA in Creative Writing at the New School of New York. She can be found wearing dresses and overusing the word persnickety.
Christopher Tepedino, TN
For Chris, writing comes naturally. He wrote his first short story at age fifteen called The Bone Collector, which had the great fortune of being published. While he loves fiction, he finds great enjoyment in telling the real-life stories of other people, whether in addiction recovery magazines like The Fix or profiles on restaurants and clubs for lifestyle publications. He studied English at the University of Tennessee.
Clay Coppedge, TX
Clay has spent the last 30 years roaming the Texas backroads and exploring the back pages of local and state history as a reporter, feature writer, and columnist. He’s published three collections of his history columns, a history of baseball in Texas, and a memoir. His work has appeared in a wide range of magazines, including Acres USA, Field & Stream, Progressive Farmer, Texas Golfer, Texas Co-op Power, Texas Highways, and others with and without the word “Texas” as part of the name. He lives and writes just outside of Walburg, Texas.
Cora Piña, TX
As a bilingual teacher and ethnomusicologist, Cora resides with her husband and daughter in the border region of South Texas where she is currently obsessed with perfecting the art of making gluten-free tortillas. From interviewing generations of conjunto musicians to writing about the impact of fitness instructors in her local community, Cora has a knack for connecting with all cultures and ages to draw out their stories. Her writing reflects the passionate belief that each person has unique abilities to influence their world.
Cynthia Heinrichs, British Columbia, Canada
Cynthia has an arts degree from UBC and has taken a variety of writing and editing courses from Langara and SFU. She has written about Vikings in Orkney, mermaids in Korea, the man who really got the Lion’s Gate Bridge built, hummingbirds, foxes, her mother’s emigration from Paraguay to Canada in 1952, and more. When not capturing stories, she practices nalbinden (Viking knitting, which is knot knitting), calligraphy, and the violin. She frequently visits Van Dusen Gardens where she takes photographs of flowers and, if she’s quick enough, of the bees and hummingbirds that visit them.
Damon Pipitone, CA
Whether Damon is writing a song, a screenplay, or someone’s life story, exploring the wondrous quirks of his fellow hominids is his favorite subject matter. His interest began when he was uprooted from the snowy, blue-collar environs of upstate New York to the plastic sunshine of southern California. While jarring at the time, Damon now views this transition as the door opening on the colorful diversity of the human experience. He lives with his longtime girlfriend and a rogue’s gallery of recalcitrant animal ingrates: three ill-behaved cats, two gluttonous turtles, and a grumpy old Chihuahua.
Dan Baldwin, AZ
Dan is the ghostwriter or co-author of more than 50 published works including projects for the For Dummies guides and the Streetwise Guide To… series. He has also written autobiographies and how-to projects and works on business-related topics. He is author of five Western novels, three mysteries, a political thriller, and two short story collections. His nonfiction work includes two books on psychic detecting and a guide to pendulum dowsing. He contributes regularly to legal and business periodicals.
Daniel Boyne, MA
Dan is a seasoned journalist and non-fiction writer who lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has written for The Atlantic, Harvard Magazine, Cape Cod Life, and Gray’s Sporting Journal, among others, and he is also the author of The Red Rose Crew: A True Story of Women, Winning and the Water, a Boston Globe bestseller. Dan graduated as an English major from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, with a focus on literary writing. In addition to his writing, Dan has been a teacher, a rowing coach, and a musician. He served as a teaching assistant with Dr. Robert Coles at Harvard University, for which he received a certificate of distinction and eventually an M.Ed. in Adult Literacy. He loves telling other people’s stories, particularly those which can inspire and influence generations to come.
Dan Campana, IL
If Dan had to summarize his sixteen years as a professional writer in only three words, he’d quickly respond, “Getting the story.” A versatile writer and skillful interviewer, Dan spent nearly a decade in newspapers covering everything from crime to sports to everyday life in suburban Chicago. Since 2010, he’s developed his own business writing for niche magazines and a variety of media outlets and developed written and multimedia content for businesses and organizations. Dan co-authored two books on the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field and served as a ghostwriter and consultant to tell the story of a man recovering from a rare heart ailment.
Dara Pettinelli, NY
Dara is a writer, editor, and content strategist with a passion for social justice, parenting, feminism, entrepreneurship, and wellness. She has over a decade of experience in print and digital journalism and has held senior editorial management positions at start-ups and big corporations like Disney, Conde Nast, and Meredith Corp. Additionally, she’s written for Real Simple, Ladies’ Home Journal, Huffington Post, and More magazine, among others. Dara believes that reality TV is real, that candy is a food group, and that writing is fun.
David Caissie, MA
After enduring the corporate grind for over fifteen years, David embarked on a journey of career change in 2012 via his lifelong passion—writing. Never before did he realize how much joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction that decision would bring. Since then, he has written various biographies and assisted in the writing of entrepreneurial books. David describes his decision to become a professional writer as: “The third best thing I’ve ever done, with marrying my wife and adopting my daughter being the first two!”
Debi Siegel, AZ
For years, Debi has been writing stories. Stories about people, stories about animals, and stories about events. After graduating from Arizona State University, she began professionally ghostwriting books, including one whose author was featured on 20/20 Broadcast News. Debi has interviewed and written for famous people such as Senator Barry Goldwater, NFL player Anquan Boldin, and champion race car driver Tom Sneva, learning life’s lessons from each. What she enjoys most, though, is listening and writing stories that reveal people’s personality and the experiences that truly make them unique.
Derrick Knutson, MN
Derrick started his career in writing when a newspaper editor at his first job out of college told him to “go out in the community and find a story.” Since that time, he’s worked as a freelancer, general assignment reporter, columnist, news editor, and managing editor at various publications in Minnesota. He has a decade of writing experience and has completed myriads of in-depth features on everyone from fifth graders to a 105-year-old woman.
Devin Febbroriello, OR
Originally from Connecticut, Devin has been in love with the arts, creativity, and storytelling since childhood. You could find her deep in the woods building a secret fort, organizing a three-act play (complete with handmade sets & costumes), or choreographing a dance number to perform for the neighborhood! After studying filmmaking in Boston and the Czech Republic, she went to work in NYC on feature films & TV shows for over a decade. Sensitive and intoxicated by the subtle details of the world, relationships, history, and culture, Devin has learned to channel her empathetic observations into screenplays, poems, short stories, and her first novel.
Diana Wall, MT
Diana has always been passionate about writing as a way of connecting people, places, and ideas. A recent graduate from the University of Montana School of Law, Diana received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Montana State University – Billings. While in school, she worked as a bartender for a number of years and enjoyed writing stories about the patrons and what she imagined their lives outside of the bar to be. In her free time, Diana enjoys climbing, skiing, cycling, and trail running with her bloodhound, Ginger.
Diane Curtis, CA
Diane is an award-winning, veteran journalist who has interviewed everyone from Ronald Reagan and Dianne Feinstein to the oldest man in California. She has plied her writing trade in Washington, D.C., Tokyo, and San Francisco for such organizations as AP, UPI, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The George Lucas Educational Foundation. She is a resident of Marin County, California, where she grew up.
Donna Stiteler, FL
Donna’s motto is “Don’t be afraid to walk through the open door.” This has led her to many opportunities as a writer and professional fundraising/marketing executive to give back. She’s helped women work out of poverty in Nicaragua, built medical camps for seriously ill children for the late actor Paul Newman, and created spay/neuter programs for animals in North and South America. She lives both in Florida, where she loves to sail, and Ecuador, where she teaches memoir writing to expats and blogs about travel destinations. She graduated from the University of Florida in Journalism, and has written for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Sacramento Bee, The Meeting Professional, Central Florida magazine, and other publications. Donna lives with four hyperactive dogs, one skittish cat, and Rowland, her husband of 30 years.
Duane Noriyuki, OR
Duane has worked internationally for the Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free Press, St. Paul Pioneer-Press, and small newspapers throughout Oregon. His passion always has been to tell the remarkable stories of everyday people. In 1996, he co-founded InsideOUT Writers, utilizing writing as a means to self-understanding for incarcerated juveniles in Los Angeles County. He has been featured in the book, “True Notebooks,” by Mark Salzman and “Mario’s Story,” a documentary about one of his first students. His work has been republished in various forms including “The Best American Sports Writing,” guest-edited by the late David Halberstam, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Duke Harten, CA
Duke began his career writing for a monthly paper called The Fenway News, where he served as staff writer for two years and as editor for four years. Since leaving the newspaper to broaden his portfolio, he’s enjoyed stints as a travel writer for Global Hobo, a pop culture journalist for Dose, a cocktail columnist for Boston Chefs, a freelance sports blogger, and an ad copywriter. Most recently, his first play won a spot in the twentieth annual Boston Theater Marathon. In his free time he explores the LA restaurant scene, watches baseball, reads fiction, travels, and designs greeting cards.
Elisa Ung, NJ
An award-winning writer who has reviewed restaurants, chased fires, profiled politicians, and quizzed celebrities, Elisa delights in writing portraits of everyday life the most. Formerly the food critic and dining columnist for The (Bergen) Record (northjersey.com) and a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, she is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Elisa grew up in the Los Angeles area and now lives in Northern New Jersey with her husband and their two young, inquisitive sons.
Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans, PA
Elizabeth stumbled into journalism as a young woman, writing feature stories for weekly newspapers, and found she loved it. She is still thrilled by the privilege of storytelling. As a freelancer, she’s written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, and Religion News Service, among many others. She’s even won a few journalism awards along the way. She’s an ordained minister, but never allows that to get in the way of a great story — maybe even yours! She resides in the exurbs of Philadelphia, tending words, a garden, a cat, and sometimes her college-aged son (when he allows).
Elizabeth Trach, MA
A professional writer and former teacher with a master’s degree in English and Creative Writing, Elizabeth is the author of Both Sides of My Skin, a collection of short stories about pregnancy and motherhood. With a Renaissance woman’s interest in all forms of human interests and expression, her broad knowledge base elevates her work and makes clients’ projects sing. As an avid gardener and suburban homesteader, Elizabeth is particularly interested in the domestic arts and the unsung talents of women who worked to care for their families.
Emily Blackwood, CA
Working as a journalist for over six years, Emily has grown to learn how it’s the little details about a person that makes them who they are. Whether it’s an oncologist who likes to brighten her patients’ days by wearing glittery eyeshadow and colorful fingernails or a car buff who searched Craigslist for decades before he finally found his dad’s lost ’77 Corvette, everybody has a story—or several stories—to tell. And telling yours would be both an honor and a treat.
Emma Carlson Berne, OH
As a freelance writer and children’s book author for more than fifteen years, Emma believes that the first step to good storytelling is good listening. With an MA in Composition-Rhetoric from Miami University, Emma has published over 80 fiction and non-fiction books on a wide variety of subjects, including the experiences of Holocaust survivors and the children of the Kindertransport. Emma often writes about Jewish-American culture and history, World War II experiences, Appalachian culture, and nature and animals. An avid equestrian, Emma lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where she rides horses, walks in the woods, and runs after her three little boys.
Eric Wyatt, FL
With more than a decade of experience as a writer, editor, teacher, and creativity coach, Eric has helped hundreds of people tell their stories. Eric has a keen eye for significant detail, a knack for capturing narrative voice, an empathetic-yet-probing style, and he knows there is an engaging story waiting to be uncovered in every life. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts from Queens University of Charlotte, and his fiction and creative non-fiction has appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies.
Erin Heger, KS
Erin wrote her first “novel” in sixth grade—a story of three siblings who became orphans. The 30-page Word document now lives in a drawer of her desk, and though she has no intention of ever letting anyone else read them, the pages serve as a reminder of her roots as a storyteller. Erin went on to study journalism and now works as a freelance writer with bylines in the Atlantic and Huffington Post. Erin is drawn to stories because they are powerful forces of human connection and agents for change.
Erin Nicholson, VA
A Boston-based writer, Erin has a master’s degree in screenwriting and worked in film development for DreamWorks Studios and Paramount Pictures. A shift to nonprofit communications came after traveling and working as a tour guide in Southeast Asia, and she later earned an MA in international studies, focusing on advocacy and media. When she’s not writing or adventuring, she’s happiest hiking in the wilds of New England with her husband and two kids.
Erin Rae Miller, CA
Erin co-wrote a musical that toured nationally for eighteen months and has had five plays produced in Los Angeles to sold-out audiences. She wrote a weekly relationship advice column for several years for both the Chicago and Los Angeles Examiner, and many of her articles trended number one on the paper’s website. She also has a screenplay that was a finalist in the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship, and her first book was a finalist in the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.
Everett Cook, NY
After earning a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, Everett has written about sports for The Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe, food for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, and small businesses for a San Francisco startup. His freelance work has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Detroit Free Press, and others. He also taught English and outdoor education in the woods of New Hampshire with Michigan’s New England Literature Program. Everett currently writes for a variety of publications and teaches in Queens, NY.
Gemma Appleton, CA
A freelance writer and filmmaker, Gemma has a BA in Fine Art from Norwich School of Art and Design. Telling stories is her passion, whether they are written or visually expressed in film. Gemma has lived all over the world, in Europe, the US, and Asia. She worked for Jamie Oliver in London, editing his short videos and writing for his online content, and is now focusing on her freelance career in the US.
Genie Davis, CA
Genie is an LA-based published novelist, journalist, and produced screenwriter with a wide range of interests and skills. She writes and edits for a wide range of publications including SOVO //, Art & Cake, Whole Life Times, Only in Hollywood, and more. Her novels range from suspense to romance, mystery, and literary fiction. Her written work within film productions covers a wide range, including supernatural thriller and family comedy. She has also written, produced, and directed reality programming for TLC and HGTV.
Ginnie Graham, OK
For nearly 30 years, Ginnie has written about the people, places, and events in her home state of Oklahoma. She has a conversational style often incorporating humor but also using a straight-forward dialogue around serious topics. After growing up in small towns, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Her career has been at the Tulsa World, currently as a columnist. Sooner Magazine has published many features, and she wrote a history of Tulsa medicine for the Tulsa County Medical Society.
Ginny Rhodes, NC
Ginny is a professional writer with an easy-going interview style who understands the importance of preserving family history and individual stories for generations to come. Since 2013, she has worked hard and steadily as a multimedia journalist at The McDowell News in Marion, North Carolina. Her articles have been featured in newspapers, online editions and magazine publications across the state, nation, and world through Berkshire Hathaway. She’s also the content editor for a weekly publication called The Express, which highlights arts, films, museums, celebrities, entertainment, and lifestyles. She’s a mother and wife who enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Along with her kids, she has a jack weenie dog, a cat, two chickens, and a rooster.
Gwyneth Knauer, CA
Gwyn has lived in New York City, the Ozarks and Los Angeles. She has a BA in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University, where she wrote her thesis on ecopoetics. She has worked on scientific journals, biographies, a memoir translated out of Japanese and volunteered in Peru, Guatemala, Morocco and Thailand. She is a writing mentor for The Prison Arts Coalition and on the board of The National Association for Poetry Therapy. Her favorite book is Walk Two Moons.
Haley Hamilton, MA
Haley is a Boston-based freelance journalist, editor and columnist with an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University. She thinks storytelling is the best type of work and doesn’t believe in awkward silences. Sometimes silence is golden and sometimes it’s a pause while people collect their thoughts. Her work can be found Boston’s alt-weekly, DigBoston, and in Tales of the Cocktail, MELMagazine, Skirt!Magazine, Spoonful Magazine, and elsewhere.
Hannah Pitstick, PA
Hannah graduated from the University of Illinois with a journalism degree, and made a brief detour on the features desk of a daily newspaper, before jumping ship to the marginally less unstable land of freelance. She has a history of writing about oddballs and outliers, from men with alarmingly large taxidermy collections to couples who live in frighteningly small houses, but she’s convinced everyone is an exceptional weirdo at heart and she thrives on digging out and polishing their best stories. Her current clients include international financial publications and a British animal trainer who is documenting his life story.
Hannah Wyble, NE
Writers are born, not made. At four-years-old, Hannah was given her first journal and pen, both of which became an instrument in her hands. Twenty-six journals later, along with countless professional writing projects, she has found that her passion lies in taking the abstract and making it come alive on paper. Throughout her professional career, she has written countless articles, crafted over two dozen personalized narratives for refugee families, and has worked as a ghostwriter for an international autobiographical company.
Harry Victor, CA
Raised in New York, Harry is now a Los Angeles based TV writer, producer, playwright, and script doctor. He’s written for numerous TV shows, including such critically acclaimed series as Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, LAX, and Eureka. He is a screenwriting mentor for the Directors Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute and teaches screenwriting at the New York Film Academy. He also works with numerous writer clients through his company, Script Archeology. He earned his BA in Theater Arts from Buffalo State College.
Heidi Philipsen, MI
Heidi has been writing since she was nine years old when she loved to write poetry and essays in her personal journals. She translated that love for writing into a profession when, seeking adventure and new experiences, she moved abroad and became a freelance English-language writer in Germany for such publications as Die Welt newspaper, The Berlin Journal Quarterly and a memoir for a Berlin-New York artist. When not writing memoirs, this University of Michigan and Columbia University alum enjoys penning articles and interviews for film publications, and may even write her own memoir one day.
Irene Park, NY
Born in LA, raised in Korea, and now living in New York, Irene has a penchant for solo traveling and living in different places around the world. Her publishing background is as varied as the cities she’s lived in, with Zagat Survey, Vogue, and Footwear News Magazine rounding out some of her top titles. When Irene isn’t writing or editing, she likes to sing, illustrate, and work on her graphic design business. Oh, and cuddle with her dog, Kenji.
Jamar Muhammad, MS
Jamar likes to think of himself as a country boy with a city attitude. Growing up, writing was all Jamar wanted to do and now he feels that he’s living his dream. He’s a journalist and ghostwriter, and his work has been featured in USA Today. When he’s not writing, Jamar spends his time listening to good music, watching good movies, or listening to the stories of good people. The latter is his favorite because he’s an avid believer in the saying, “Everyone has a story to tell.”
Jason Keil, AZ
Jason grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, a city known for its music. Now he writes about the amazing songs coming from Phoenix, Arizona, a desert metropolis increasingly recognized for the amazing artists who visit and reside within the city limits. When he’s not interviewing the bassist from your favorite band, he’s writing for companies large and small, training for endurance events, learning photography, traveling, and preparing for parenthood with his wife Kristen.
Jeanine Gordon, British Columbia, Canada
Working as a freelance writer and editor, Jeanine possesses a special passion for storytelling. Whether writing for a business or working on a fiction piece, Jeanine loves to find the heart of every piece. Since 2012, Jeanine has written extensively for clients across all business sectors as well as on topics such as personal relationships and psychology. When not writing, Jeanine is at home in Vancouver, BC, spending time with her husband and two kids.
Jeffrey Miller, AR
Jeffrey is a full-time freelance ghostwriter, published author, and world traveler. He has written books for entrepreneurs, thought leaders, subject matter experts, and interesting people from a wide variety of backgrounds, helping them to share their stories and expertise. His travels have taken him to far-flung places like London, England; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Niagara Falls, Canada; La Plata, Argentina; Juarez, Mexico; Punta Gorda, Belize, and, yes, Disney World. As a single father, he likes sharing these experiences with his children. A graduate of the Creative Writing program at the University of Arkansas, he is also a regular speaker at area schools, teaching interactive writing workshops to junior high and high school students.
Jehanne Moharram, OK
Jehanne Moharram grew up in Kuwait and Egypt before moving to the United States in her early twenties. Her love of the written word led her to work as a journalist in Egypt before studying book publishing in London. She has worked as a freelance copyeditor of non-fiction books since 2006, and is bilingual in English and Arabic. Jehanne loves her kids, pets, gardening, knitting, large bodies of water, and books, despite the fact that her husband is trying to gently wean her off going to any more book sales.
Jen Manglos, WA
Jen fell in love with stories at a young age and never quite recovered. During grad school, this love took shape in the form of a blog, where she mastered the art of storytelling. In her previous work for Saddleback Church she wrote curriculum on spiritual practices and published articles on a variety of websites, including Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal. When she’s not writing, Jen is a spiritual director, helping people process through and celebrate their own stories.
Jenifer DeBellis, MI
Metro Detroit Freelance Writer Jenifer DeBellis’s debut micro-memoir in verse, Blood Sisters, is now available from Main Street Rag (2018). She’s Pink Panther Magazine’s executive editor and directs the Detroit Writers’ Guild. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Solstice of Pine Manor College. A former writer-in-residence for the Meadow Brook Writing Project, she facilitates workshops for Oakland University’s MBWP Writing Camps. JDB teaches writing and literature for Saginaw Valley State University and Macomb Community College. When she’s not editing or writing for others, she sneaks in time for her own craft, which was nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize and appears in AWP’s Festival Writer, Good Men Project, Literary Orphans, Sliver of Stone, Solstice Literary Magazine, and other fine journals.
Jennifer Costa, FL
Writing has long been Jennifer’s favorite art form. After spending a good portion of her career working for and managing non-profit organizations, she decided to take a step back, live out her dream and become an author. Her first book, The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Positive Discipline was published in 2016. Jennifer now ghostwrites for organizations around the country. She is the mom to a daughter who is an aspiring playwright and a son who loves all animals. She also lives with a hyper dog, two cranky cats and a bearded dragon.
Jennifer Kennedy, PA
Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from Susquehanna University, where she minored in creative writing and business. She worked in marketing and public relations at Prudential Financial and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins before becoming a freelance writer. She creates marketing and public relations content but most enjoys the personal side of writing. Jennifer’s story “Space Mountain at Midnight” was published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Wonder of Christmas.” Most recently, she wrote about the extraordinary way her father has faced pancreatic cancer in “Darkness & Light” for Deborah Norville’s new book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, Live Happy.” She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband of seventeen years, two sports-loving sons and a well-loved rescue dog.
Jennifer Meier, CA
For Jennifer, family celebrations, traditions and memories have always revolved around food. She turned her passion for food into a profession after earning a degree in Culinary Arts from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. She worked in restaurants and cheese & wine shops for almost a decade, while writing on the side. Jennifer now writes full-time, developing recipes for a variety of websites and also writing personal essays, usually about cooking or parenting. Jennifer has also co-written three cookbooks and ghostwrote a book about French cheese.
Jennifer Myers, CA
Jennifer is an author who believes in the power of sharing our stories, even the ones hard to tell. Through her own journey of adversity, Jennifer found her love for restorative justice where she helps people take their own stories of pain and turn them into magic. Jennifer is an expert interviewer, TEDx speaker and coach, whose niche is helping others uncover the moments that light-up their lives and strike at our hearts. She has been published in Salon Magazine, The Huffington Post, and other literary journals. Her memoir was published in 2013, and she has appeared on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Good Morning America as a prison expert. Whether our past is filled with sparkly fond memories or sprinkled with strife, Jennifer knows every moment shapes our lives into a story that is special to tell.
Jennifer Walker, NV
Jennifer is an author, copywriter/editor, and ghostwriter originally from Chicago, Illinois. Having lived in cities scattered from east to west, she currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, and covers industry news as associate editor for a local print publication. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in writing (minor in poetry) from Columbia College Chicago, she’s applied her journalistic know-how to projects and publications ranging in topic from music to weddings to cannabis and beyond. With a passion for people, Jennifer loves a great human-interest story. Working as a radio DJ, as well as bartending in casinos and local pubs, throughout her formative years has provided her with a plethora of creative material and a patient ear. She loves music, art, bad movies, and is forever in search of the perfect cup of coffee.
Jera Brown, IL
Jera’s work has appeared in VICE, BUST, Marie Claire, Daily Dot, and Sojourners among many others. She received her MFA from Columbia College, Chicago and has taught creative writing at Ivy Tech Bloomington. In the past, she’s been a tech specialist, an opera, jazz, and folk singer, and an aerobics instructor. She now lives in Chicago where she’s active in interfaith spiritual and social justice communities, and she escapes the city whenever she can with her beloved shelter mutt Sherman to seek out adventures in the wild (even if the wild is a well-marked trail in Indiana).
Jessica Farthing, GA
Jessica has always been a good listener, and interested in the stories around her that make up the framework of people’s lives. As a journalist, she’s found that her friendly and approachable nature keep people at ease, even during an interview. An accomplished magazine writer, Jessica has worked with Omni Escapes, Microsoft News, Eat This, Not That and New Mobility Magazine, among other brands. “In the business world, she’s developed creative marketing concepts for healthcare, real estate and hospitality. Jessica is happy to use her skills and experience to bring your personal family history, business acumen or inspirational experience to life through the written word.
Jessica Spinelli, CT
Jessica grew up in Yonkers, NY, right outside of New York City. She received her BA in Journalism from St. John’s University and an MA in Media Studies from New School University. She launched her publishing career at Archie Comics Entertainment while writing for various print and online publications, before switching gears to television: producing, casting and project managing for several successful TV production studios. She returned to publishing as a freelance copywriter and as a writer for Best Version Media. Jessica also directs and produces music and promotional videos.
Jim Corrigan, PA
Jim writes to gain access to fascinating people. Two decades of interviews have shown him that every person holds a special insight on life. From brain surgeons and fighter pilots, to scientists and business leaders, even the occasional convicted felon, Jim has gleaned countless nuggets of wisdom. History is his passion, with two books in print and a third on the way. He holds a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins and maintains a client list of magazines, nonprofits, and children’s nonfiction publishers. Jim and his wife, Connie, are on a lifelong mission to visit all 419 U.S. National Park sites. (They have a long way to go.)
Joanna Hong, CA
Joanna is a multilingual writer, editor and translator. Her work has been featured in Newsweek, Dazed and Confused, The Guardian, NK News, Byline Media, and more. She has extensive international experience with NGOs and companies such as Google. She covers human rights, arts, culture, and politics, but creative writing remains her first love. After finishing her BA in European Studies (Italian) at the Claremont Colleges, she completed her MA in Human Rights at University College London. Los Angeles is her hometown. She speaks Korean, German, Italian, French, and Spanish.
Jocelyn Edelstein, OR
Jocelyn’s stories have covered the glee of samba dancing in Rio, the lust of gelato hunting in Florence, the dark scent of an Oregon pine forest after a heavy rain and the journey of one girl learning to ride a bike at twenty-eight. (That girl was Jocelyn). She has published creative nonfiction in literary journals and travel writing anthologies, and worked as a copywriter for blogs and major companies. When Jocelyn isn’t wielding the written word, she’s making documentaries about Brazilian hip hop dancers. She believes there are many mediums where story resides.
Joel Freeman, WI
Joel’s professional writing career began more than 30 years ago with freelance articles about wine for the Dallas Morning News. His later work has appeared in publications as diverse as Wisconsin Trails and Scientific Communications, on topics ranging from a day in the life of a nature photographer to nanotechnology manufacturing. Writing a history commemorating the centennial of the nation’s third-oldest athletic club launched his interest in origins that continues to this day. Joel received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Dallas, where he studied anthropology.
Johanna DeBiase, NM
Johanna loves adventure and living life fully; it makes great material for stories. She is a world traveler and enjoys being outdoors in nature as much as she enjoys exploring museums in exotic cities. A Jewish-Italian New Yorker, her family was shocked when she moved to Alaska for several years before settling down in New Mexico and raising a family. Now, she can’t imagine living anywhere else—red rock canyons, green chile stew, and the howl of coyotes root deep in her heart. Johanna earned an MFA in Creative Writing and has a published novella and chapbook of poetry. Her essays, fiction, and poetry have been printed in several literary journals and online magazines. She writes book reviews and interviews creatives for the Taos News. Sometimes, she’s a yoga instructor too.
John Feldman Jr., FL
John has been writing for twelve years, but approaches every day with the mindset that there’s so much more to learn. With a Bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University, John is an avid reader and writer. When he’s not writing his own work, he makes a living as an experienced ghostwriter, working from a range of sports to medical work, bringing the imagination of others to life. He also talks a lot about “getting back into exercising,” but has yet to follow through on the idea.
Judith Sears, CO
Listening and writing, and writing and listening – that’s Judith’s story. She’s put her master’s in social work training to use as an HR specialist, helping people sort through their dreams, goals, successes and failures. Subsequently, for print and online publications she’s told the stories of some very different people, for example, pioneering women IT executives for Rocky Mountain Techline; seniors who’ve embarked on entrepreneurship instead of retiring, for Independent Banker; and the inspiring stories of African Americans’ service in the Coast Guard for Equal Opportunity Journal. She knows that everyone’s story is different and it matters.
Julia Tilford, FL
Based in Orlando, Florida, Julia is a freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles for both online and print publications on medicine and health, the arts, entertainment, breaking news, and various other subjects. She also writes fiction in many different genres including romance, YA, and literary fiction. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in English with a minor in Classical Studies. When she’s not writing, she likes watching TV with her cat Buddy Holly and spending time with her friends.
Justin Goldberg, NC
Justin is an experienced journalist and communications professional who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has written for The Roanoke Times, C-VILLE Weekly, and D3sports.com, as well as universities and businesses. Justin received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Whittier College and an MFA in creative writing from Hollins University. With a diverse portfolio of arts, business, and academic writing, he operates under the principle that an engaging and artful story can be created from any subject and anyone’s perspective.
Kaitlin Phillips, NC
Kaitlin has been a writer since kindergarten, but didn’t go pro until attending college at Elon University, where she majored in journalism. After finishing grad school at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she worked for nearly eight years as a legal, financial, and technology reporter, trying to find the human narrative in every story. In 2018, she moved back home to North Carolina to work in nonprofit communications and finish writing her first book. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, from the Durham Herald-Sun and Greensboro News & Record to VICE and Salon.com.
Karen Briner, CA
Karen is the author of two middle grade novels, most recently Snowize & Snitch: Highly Effective Defective Detectives. Her work as a scriptwriter includes the medical drama, Jozi-H (co-creator), the soap opera Generations, and animated series Magic Cellar, which aired on HBO. She has a BA in English and Psychology from the University of Cape Town and a degree in Journalism from Rhodes University. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire South Africa and her prize-winning screenplay Amanzi has recently been optioned.
Karen Cummings, Ontario, Canada
Karen believes stories are the universal language. She has spoken through hundreds of published articles, scripts, award-winning strategies and events, and million-dollar grant applications. Described as a terminal optimist, Karen’s positivity created opportunities from working on the 1996 Olympics to building the largest sanctuary for polar bears in the world. When she’s not trying to save the planet, Karen will most likely be playing with plants, letting her dog walk her, or patiently awaiting another tall tale to whisper, “write me.”
Karen Veazey, NV
Karen is a Colorado girl transplanted into the wilds of Las Vegas, NV. She left a successful career in radio to return to her first love, writing, and has never looked back. In the years since she’s been published in The Atlantic, The Lily, Romper, SheKnows, Patheos, and more, and writes website copy for corporate clients. She holds an MFA from Western Connecticut State University in Creative and Professional Writing and has completed her own memoir manuscript. In her downtime, Karen likes to read and jog (quickly and slowly respectively) and spend time with friends. She lives with her husband and is tolerated by two cats.
Karl Hyppolite, FL
Karl is a writer and editor hailing from South Florida by way of Haiti. Karl discovered his passion for words, prose and storytelling at an early age. Whether it was writing episodes of his favorite cartoons as a small child or dabbling in poetry as a teen, content creation and expression has always been a part of his life. When Karl enrolled at the University of Florida, he decided to make this passion a career as he majored in English and pursued journalism. And for the better part of the past dozen years, he’s written and edited for a diverse set of outlets and publications including Sports Illustrated, The Tampa Tribune, The Maritime Executive, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Kate Mazzarella-Minshall, NV
Kate has made a career in the hospitality industry in Las Vegas for over 35 years planning corporate and social events. Her commitment to deliver the best customer service experience is her goal behind every event that she plans. She enjoys teaching like-minded individuals about the industry and has been a mentor to several UNLV students preparing them on their career path to event planning. Kate attended Fordham University in New York City and The New School, also in New York City where she studied Dance and earned a B.A. in Media Studies/Journalism. Her education prepared her well and she is proud to have over 100 articles and restaurant reviews published for various print magazines and online publications, and her colleague uses several of Kate’s articles to teach her class in event planning at the community college in Las Vegas.
Kate Tulloch-Hammond, FL
Like any Irish girl, Kate loves to tell stories. A College of Charleston graduate with a degree in journalism, Kate is a freelance writer and editor based in New York. She has ghostwritten, authored, blogged, and edited for Be Found Online, StubHub, Shutterfly, Children’s Learning Adventure, Primo Water, Caesars Entertainment, PULSE Magazine, DANTES (R. Lee Ermey “Letters to Gunny” series), SalesX, and more, on topics from “Adult Education” to “Zen Dens.” Her CheekySkirt blog is really just Kate’s way of making fun of her husband—in public—and getting away with it.
Katie Doyle, NY
A graduate of the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, Katie runs a media company, Cambia Creative, and is a producer, writer and photographer. Her work has appeared on Spring.St, Beyond Type 1, Her Packing List, and in Market South’s The Life magazine and the Diabetes New Zealand magazine, among others.
Katya Fishman, OR
Katya has experience engaging with multiple aspects of the writing process. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, she became a writer, thought partner, research assistant, interviewer, editor, and ghostwriter for multiple published books and monthly newsletters. After writing curriculum at a private school she co-founded in her hometown of Boise, Idaho, she moved to Aspen, Colorado to be a freelance journalist for The Aspen Daily News. While there, she was hired to write her first memoir project, and fell in love with helping people share their stories with the world. In addition to running her own business, EndeavorInk, she works as a systems consultant and project manager for multiple clients.
Kelly Burch, MA
Kelly is a journalist who shares stories of mental illness, addiction, family and wellness. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Atlantic’s City Lab, Quartz, Vice and other publications. She graduated from Boston University with a journalism degree and worked for Yoga magazine in London and as a children’s television writer in Australia before returning to the U.S. Kelly is married to an Australian immigrant who is now a police officer, and she formerly worked on a book commemorating the experiences of American veterans. She is dedicated to sharing stories of those who serve others, as well as people who have overcome stigmas and challenges to persevere.
Kim Morgan, VA
Kim is a writer of books, magazine articles, company profiles, blogs, and literary analyses. She grew up as an Air Force brat and lived in England during her childhood and teen years. Her life on the move prepared her to take risks, like attending Columbia College in Missouri sight unseen, some 2,000 miles from home; moving to Chicago as a young adult; reuniting with her high school sweetheart after a chance encounter while on vacation; and having a baby at age 41. Her natural curiosity drives her desire to know the backstory of strangers and ask the questions that get people talking about their lives. In the past, Kim taught Humane Education, turning her into a passionate animal lover. She is also an artist on the side.
Kindi Lantz, MT
Kindi became aware of her writing potential when her third grade teacher required her to enter a contest. To her surprise, the effortlessly written poem about her big toe took first place. Kindi danced around her love of writing for fear of becoming the dreaded “starving artist”, instead obtaining degrees in Marketing and Advertising. Despite a successful career including Director positions for three separate companies, she was unfulfilled. While working for a company offering online storytelling courses, she surrendered to her passion, dropped the 9-5, and pursued a writing career.
Kimberlee Morrison, AZ
Kimberlee is a freelance writer, a yoga teacher, and co-author of the Freedom Writer’s Diary, a collection of autobiographical short stories, a New York Times Best Seller, and the basis for the Paramount Feature Film, “Freedom Writers.” In addition to writing under her own byline, she works with entrepreneurs and business executives to provide ghostwritten editorial contributions for a variety of digital publications. When she’s not in her writing cave, you’ll find Kimberlee at her favorite local studio taking or teaching a yoga class.
Laura McCamy, CA
Laura was an English major at Yale, where she received a Scholar of the House fellowship in creative writing. Her work has appeared in a variety of online publications including Business Insider and Oakland Local. She is a compassionate listener with a passion for helping people bring stories to life. In her spare time, Laura loves to ride her bike around the beautiful Bay Area and birdwatching.
Laura Stoddard, AZ
Laura was born in Idaho, and spent her formative years running amok in the great outdoors. She received her bachelor’s degree in english from Arizona State University, and in the ensuing years has embraced both fiction and nonfiction writing. In 2014 her debut novel, The Dreamosphere, (a Middle-Grade adventure) was published, and over the years her journalistic pursuits have included the roles of staff writer, freelance writer, editor and content director for various publications. Aside from writing, Laura loves volunteering, travelling, being outdoors, doing DIY projects, and laughing whenever possible.
Laurel Kashinn, WI
Laurel is a certified ghostwriter with 18+ years experience writing books and résumés. She loves helping people find authentic expression in memoirs and other nonfiction, including business, self-help, wellness, and career writing. She earned her certification at CSULB and her bachelor’s in Journalism from UW-Madison. A former indie publisher and radio producer, she worked at Gareth Stevens Children’s Books, American Media, and Wisconsin Public Radio. Laurel enjoys spending time with her artist husband, musician daughter, and her Decker terrier, and takes interest in essential oils and gluten-free baking.
Linda Hummel, MD
Linda’s writing career began in sixth grade when she tripped and fell on her way to the podium to read her entry in a short story contest and ended up winning third place. She has worked as a college writing instructor, editorial director, and freelance writer in Baltimore for the last thirty years. Her extensive publications list includes Chicken Soup for the Soul, Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, and more. Linda has Master’s Degrees in both English and Education. Her knack for carving out themes and helping writers “see” them serves her well as a ghost writer. She’s a respectable cook, who finds most of her inspiration at holiday gatherings around her ample dining room table. Oh, and she’s also funny, or so say her eight grandchildren.
Lisa Daniels, NC
Lisa is a freelance writer and editor with a special interest in writing about art and history. She holds a Master’s degree in Art, Style and Design from Christie’s Education London/University of Glasgow and has worked at Christie’s in New York. Since moving to London from New York seven years ago, she has written for a variety of publications on topics that range from general interest to scholarly research.
Lisa Fish, PA
Lisa is a freelance appellate attorney and writer living in the Philadelphia area with her husband and precocious toddler. She writes award-winning novels and short fiction under a pseudonym. As a writer for Story Terrace, she is delighted to use her experience with research and narrative to help customers turn their life stories into beautiful books. In her free time, she enjoys reading and going for leisurely walks.
Lisa Grazan, PA
A graduate of Allegheny College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Lisa is an attorney-turned-writer and author. Lisa spent a good portion of her 30-year legal career either in front of the court as a litigator or behind the scenes translating German language documents for use at trial. Her passion is holistic health and now, as a Doctor of Naturopathy and Certified Natural Health Professional, she has written her first book about how to follow your own inherently unique blueprint for a healthy, balanced life.
Lisa Howard-Fusco, NJ
Lisa has been using her super ability to weave effective, engaging words for two decades, beginning in the New York City area but now from the wilds of the Southern Jersey Shore. As a publishing professional and features journalist, she has always loved eking out the “story behind the story.” Her work has appeared in USA Today, New Jersey Monthly, and WHYY Newsworks, and she and her husband’s food blogging hobby twice landed them mentions in the New York Times. She blames her passion for food and restaurants on her Italian grandmother, in whose kitchen she learned to cook and happily consume eel and clams while other kids whined for mac and cheese. She’s also been a speaker and life coach, and loves the ongoing dialogue about the gorgeous insanity of being human. She’s currently working on her first novel, and getting her binging on classic films and reading well-written Doctor Who/Harry Potter/Sherlock fanfiction into the wee hours under control.
Lisa Montalto, CA
Lisa believes that everyone has an interesting life story, not just the rich and famous! An avid reader from the age of four, it was a high school assignment writing about a family member’s life that got her hooked on telling other people’s stories. A bonafide ghostwriter with published works in magazines, online, and in print, Lisa’s superpower is her exuberant personality, making it easy for clients to share their lives. If you lived it, then it’s greater than fiction because, as Dr. Suess said, ”there’s no one alive that’s youer than you!”
Lisa Rosenberg, CA
Lisa is a screenwriter, journalist, story consultant, and especially, a passionate teller of stories. Recently, she co-wrote a documentary feature script on the spiritual and cultural resilience of the contemporary Maya, and wrote a dramatic feature screenplay on a little-known chapter of American history for an independent production company in Los Angeles. She has also written “house histories” of historic mansions and children’s dramas for public TV, illustrating how the U.S. Constitution comes to life in our everyday lives. She is married to a composer and has two amazing daughters.
Lisa Rowan, FL
Lisa is a writer, editor, and podcaster based in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. She got her start in local journalism early, but has also worked in a variety of small businesses, including her own vintage clothing store. Now, she works as a personal finance reporter by day, while co-hosting a weekly podcast about the business of fashion by night. When she’s not working, you can find Lisa watching baseball, enjoying the Florida coastline, and playing in a shuffleboard league.
Lisa Winkler, NJ
Lisa loves cycling, hiking, swimming, yoga, reading, cooking, baking, knitting, and writing. She’s worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance magazine journalist. As a personal historian, she’s written memoirs, edited an anthology of essays by women writers, and compiled a cookbook of her mother’s favorite recipes. In her spare time, she blogs, writes poems and plays, and walks her rescue dog, Moses. She loves meeting people and helping them share their stories.
Lorna Garano, CA
Lorna has been writing stories—both real and imagined—since she could hold a pen. She is the author of numerous articles; coauthor of three published books, most recently An Intimate Life; and she’s probably penned a metric ton of marketing copy. After nearly two decades working in the publishing industry, Lorna launched her own publicity firm in 2007 specializing in media relations for authors. She loves writing memoirs because she believes everyone’s story deserves to be told. Lorna is also a sculptor and assistant to a rather demanding cat.
Lusine Khachatryan, CA
Born in Armenia, Lusine received her roots in writing in her native tongue. When her family fled the crumbling USSR to pursue the American dream, she quickly fell in love with the English language and has been quietly writing stories of creative nonfiction since. She holds a BA in English from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University where she served as Editor-in- Chief of the literary magazine Fourteen Hills. She recently completed her first novel, a story exploring the divided self of an Armenian-American and the struggle and strength in knowing two worlds but living both in only one life.
Lynelle Kerstine, CA
Gone with the Wind. Thelma and Louise. James Bond series. Lynelle began her career introducing classic films to new audiences as a copywriter in the home entertainment advertising group at MGM. After rising to Senior Creative Director, Lynelle was inspired by her daughter to write an empowering children’s book series. The Flower Girl World books feature diverse characters who build friendships, learn about new cultures, and experience global adventures. Lynelle grew up in Ohio and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She is always tap dancing, literally and figuratively.
M. Tara Crowl, NY
Tara is the author of the middle grade novels Eden’s Wish and Eden’s Escape, published by Disney-Hyperion. She grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and studied Cinematic Arts at USC in Los Angeles, California. While working in Hollywood, she realized her childhood dream of writing books had never gone away, so she finally decided to pursue it. She moved to Sydney, Australia and earned an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University. She now lives with her husband between New York City and their farm in the northern Catskills, where they raise grass-fed cows and pastured chickens.
Marla Cantrell, AR
Marla is an award-winning writer, editor, and writing instructor who lives in Arkansas. Her first media job was in broadcast news where she learned to edit stories and work on tight deadlines. From there, she worked at a business journal, and then at a lifestyle magazine where she found her true calling: writing profiles of everyday people. She’s been published in the Huffington Post, Woman’s World, and numerous regional publications. She also writes fiction and is an Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship Award for Short Fiction.
Mary Calkins, AZ
As a child, Mary loved to listen to family stories, asking for favorites time and time again so she could learn the cadence and pacing to tell a good story. Now, Mary is a teacher and coach of memoir and creative writing. With degrees in English (B.A.) and Counseling (M.S.), and years of experience caregiving and teaching, Mary’s ability to draw stories from people has become almost second nature. She has ghost-written and edited others’ memoirs, and is even currently writing her own.
Mary Yoo, CA
From a young age, Mary’s parents found her surrounded by piles of books. The joy, tears, and connection she felt as she lost herself in those pages inspired her to become a writer. Although life and work has taken Mary on adventures all around the world, the one constant she’s had in every season was writing and storytelling. Mary has authored articles, screenplays, and two semi-autobiographical novels. She particularly loves telling stories that highlight unique perspectives and cultural nuances. Mary currently lives in Los Angeles, California, where she enjoys a variety of hobbies including hiking, filmmaking, and playing her ukulele.
Marykate Smith Despres, MA
Dictating fairy tales and poems to her mom before she could write, Marykate has been making stories for as long as she can remember. She is the Associate Editor at Edible Pioneer Valley Magazine, a regular contributor to WinkBooks, and has written about people, food, and art for various publications, both online and in print. Marykate knits daily, bakes cakes weekly, and grows enormous zucchini and zinnias seasonally. She is also a visual artist who makes everything from sculptures to books to thread drawings.
MaryLois Altmann, FL
MaryLois wrote her first story at five years old and spent decades writing “on the side” of her careers as a Financial Advisor, Business Manager and Manager/Merchandiser. Now, from her home office on Florida’s Treasure Coast, she writes for over a dozen websites, publications and blogs. With several published books to her credit, MaryLois’ passion is “paying forward” what she has learned and helping people find their voice through writing and book studies.
Melanie Flores, Ontario, Canada
Melanie Flores has always loved words and the magic they can create. Reading and reciting poetry from an early age, Melanie’s passion for the written word persisted, even as she engaged in a lengthy career in business publishing with Thomson Reuters. Since starting her communications business, Melanie has worked as a proofreader, editor and writer. Her personal writing has garnered several awards, including first place in a national poetry competition in 2017, and her short stories and poems have appeared in anthologies and journals. Besides writing, Melanie loves gourmet cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Melanie Plenda, NH
Melanie is an award winning freelance journalist, writer, and mom. She loves her babies, and her writing too. She also likes loosely paraphrasing Tom Petty occasionally. The best advice she got was from her mother who said, in conversation, when in doubt, ask the person questions about themselves, then, really listen to the answers. These wise words and her natural curiosity has helped her tell stories featured in The Atlantic.com, The Daily Beast, Parents, Salon, and a myriad of other regional, national, and corporate outlets. Now, she wants to tell your story.
Melissa Ligertwood, Alberta, Canada
Lover of words, aspiring jazz singer, wannabe kickboxer, and notorious slayer of run-on sentences. Melissa is a versatile writer with a fascination for people and their stories. She left the psychology field in 2008 to pursue her passion for writing, building her chops. In 2013, she landed her first full-time paid position as a freelance journalist. Since then, she’s built a thriving communications practice in Calgary where she is inspired every day by ordinary people and the amazing things they accomplish.
Michele Vrouvas, NJ
A former history teacher, Michele has been a litigation paralegal for more than twenty years. She is also a freelance writer with an interest in law, history, education, and food. Her articles have appeared on LegalZoom and TheNest.com. She has branched out into print journalism, covering local government and profiling residents for several newspapers in New Jersey.
Michelle Booth, FL
As a writer, ghostwriter, and editor, Michelle has more than 20 years of experience helping clients tell their stories. She has edited the memoir of a former NBA basketball player, and profiled NBC’s The Biggest Loser for Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Magazine. In addition to working in publishing, she helps companies in a variety of industries—from oil and gas, higher education and gourmet food to senior living — with their marketing and public relations efforts. Michelle is an avid reader and has been an adult literacy tutor helping others discover the joy of reading.
Mike Dunphy, NY
Vermont is a wonderful place to grow up, but not the most exciting place to sew some wild oats. The Peace Corps offered a way out, and Mike taught English as a second language in Estonia for two years. With credentials under his belt, he continued the adventure over the next 10 years, teaching in the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, and finally Turkey, where journalism became his focus. Returning to the U.S., he earned a master’s degree in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College and moved to New York City. Today, he earns his living writing and editing for print and online publications, and teaching classes in article writing and creative non-fiction.
Mikeie Reiland, TN
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Mikeie has graduated from Davidson College and lived abroad in Paris and Madrid: experiences that have cultivated a lifelong appreciation for Stephen Curry, ham and cheese sandwiches, and Atlético de Madrid. Now, he works as a writer and entrepreneur, penning articles for Into the Calderón and Higher Education while also working on a startup nonprofit in Nashville. Aside from crafting longform articles and nonfiction, Mikeie loves playing ultimate frisbee with his club team, the Nashville Trash Pandas.
Molly Barari, SD
Molly is a freelance writer and marketer in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. She is almost finished with her first book, a collection of senior memoirs from the Black Hills, titled Dakota Heirlooms. The book is the capstone project for her Master of Fine Arts degree from Wilkes University. Molly loves traveling; wine tasting; reading; flowing through sun salutations in yoga class; and watching Alfred Hitchcock films with her husband, David. She believes that everyone has a story and that everyone deserves to have their voices heard. Her life’s passion is helping people tell their unique tales.
Monique Roy, TX
Monique loves writing, as it transports her to another time or place. Her passion for writing began as a child while penning stories in her journal. Now, as a freelance writer, she has 20 years of experience in corporate marketing communications and is the author of two novels. Monique was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and her grandparents were European Jews who fled their home as Hitler rose to power. It’s their story that was the inspiration behind her historical novel, Across Great Divides. She looks forward to deepening her passion by creating unique stories as a ghostwriter.
Naima Karp, NY
A 23-year-old New Yorker, born and raised in the East Village, Naima studied Writing and Literature at Emerson College and has been freelance writing since she was just 16 years old. With a Pakistani mother, a Russian Jewish father, and a Sikh boyfriend, she enjoys interweaving her writing with cultural discussions of all kinds. Her role models are strong female authors like Toni Morrison and Jhumpa Lahiri, and she hopes to one day belong to the same category as them.
Nancy Clifford, MD
As a freelance writer and narrative life coach, Nancy helps people explore pivotal life moments—those that bring joy and those that show where resiliency resides. A certified personality type practitioner, her deep insights tap into a storyteller’s “voice” to amplify their strengths and struggles. Nancy has written on diverse subjects including wellness, addiction recovery, careers, home design, and film (she’s a movie buff). Credits include magazine features, blogs, memoirs, and work for nonprofits and corporations (Annapolis Film Festival, QVC, Caron Treatment Center). She has a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and an M.A. in Education from Cornell University.
Nicole Kidder, WA
A bayou girl living in a Pacific Northwest world, Nicole discovered her love for telling others’ stories when her mom bribed her to join the high school newspaper. Since earning her degree in journalism, with an emphasis on cross cultural communication, she has spent her two-decade career writing about the ordinary lives that make our communities special. Her articles have appeared in dozens of publications internationally, and she works with nonprofits, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies to help tell their unique stories.
Odeen Jon Domingo, AZ
Having a keen eye for detail and a quick wit for copy, Odeen has managed, edited, and written content for more than 11 years in print and digital media. He has led the messaging behind some of the strongest local and national brands as a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist as well as the editorial director of Phoenix-based design firm eeko studio. He can write and edit words the way Frank Sinatra sang them. He has more than a decade’s worth of experience in the media business, adapting to and mastering several different beats and environments in his time as a journalist. He does not believe in writing content. He believes in creating poetry. Masterpieces.
Osmond Arnesto, DC
Osmond still believes in stories. After working overseas, he learned that there will be too many stories that will go untold. So, he decided to get to work. Currently, Osmond is a freelance writer and a lifelong student. Wherever he may be living in the United States right now, he brings with him a love of strange people, strange foods, and D&D. His fiction was featured in Worlds Without Master, Protodimension, and Fiction365.
Patricia Wood, OH
Patricia is a former high school English teacher/lyrical gangster turned stay-at-home mom with a Masters in Literature from Slippery Rock University. As the co-founder of the I Remember Committee, she worked with students to raise funds for and increase awareness of atrocities such as the Holocaust and other genocides/human rights situations for those in her community. Published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers as well as online platforms such as HerViewFromHome, BluntMoms, and ESME, Patricia loves to explore the stories of her life and those around her using the written word.
Pepa Valenzuela, NY
“Hurry up!” These were Pepa’s very first, large words to her parents in Santiago, Chile, where she was born and raised. She has two novels: A Place on Earth, which is about the year that changed her life, and Papito Corazon, the story of her father: a very closed and impenetrable soldier who always was an unsolved mystery for her. Pepa Valenzuela has a Master´s degree in Creative Writing in Spanish from NYU and currently works for El Mercurio magazine, teaches Spanish at NYU, and is writing two non-fiction books.
Peter Jones, CO
Peter is an award-winning storyteller who loves mining for biographical gems. A graduate of the University of Colorado School of Journalism, his work has appeared on National Public Radio, Billboard, America Online and The Christian Science Monitor, among many others. Peter has also been a radio talk show host, most memorably for the controversial Prove It!, where he delved playfully into the world of unproven claims and attracted international attention from both skeptics and believers. He is also a father, an avid music fan, a film and history buff, and a less-than-limber yoga practitioner.
Phoenix Roberts, UT
This native New Yorker and transplanted Utahn grew up surrounded by classics of literature and motion pictures. The former Overstock.com web content specialist now writes for periodicals, corporations, and individuals, telling every kind of story. The self-described “gifted amateur” historian loves bringing the facts of the past to life with stylish prose and an ever-surprising sense of humor. He can even be found living the past—performing a one-man show portraying Delaware’s Jacob Broom at the 1787 Federal Convention or re-enacting the trials and triumphs on America’s pioneer trails during the 1840s.
Rachel Arterberry, CT
An experienced business person, a savvy writer, and a mom, Rachel is passionate about bringing words to life! With two master’s degrees, Rachel spent the first 20+ years of her professional career working in the business world. Although always having a love of writing, she never explored the opportunity until the “itch” to write was so strong that she could no longer resist it. She dipped her toe into writing with a biography about her husband’s life and struggles with a medical condition. She then felt compelled to help others reach their goals of sharing their stories as well.
Ray Rivard, WI
Many have called Ray a Renaissance man. He’s worked as an award-winning journalist, a features editor, and a photographer for Wisconsin community newspapers. He plays the guitar and drums, once managed a single screen motion picture theater, and even held a sandman’s job with a rock-and-roll band. On the side, Ray runs Lombardi Ave, a website dedicated to the Green Bay Packers and their fans.
Rina Gibbons, Ottawa, Canada
Escaping from Winnipeg at age 18, Rina began her life of travel and adventure. Having visited over 28 countries, she has resided in Japan, France, India, and most recently, Bermuda. The Triangle spit her out after 11 years and Rina landed in Ottawa. A graduate of the Professional Writing Program at Algonquin, she has also obtained a Bachelors of Commerce in Marketing and International Business from Carleton. Published widely online and in print, her award-winning essay about her daughter’s autism diagnosis is the jewel in her crown.
Robert Benvie, Ontario, Canada
Rob hails from Nova Scotia, but currently hangs his hat in Toronto. There’s nothing Rob enjoys more than bringing compelling narrative to life, whether it’s his writing/editing work for ad agencies and non-profit organizations, or freelancing for publications like Vice, Dazed, The Toronto Star and many others. However, his true love is fiction, with two novels to date and a third forthcoming in 2020. He has a BA in English from University of Toronto and an MA from Concordia University (Montreal). In his younger days he recorded and toured internationally with obscure rock bands—get to know him and he might share a few road stories.
Robert Hoekman Jr., VA
Robert is an award-winning writer and editor, and part of the Litmus Collective on Medium, a short fiction publication wherein members serve as each other’s editors and editorial board. He has authored and edited a number of nonfiction books, including The Build (Octane Press, 2016)—a six-month Amazon bestseller and IBPA award-winner. He also curated the “Spillers” fiction reading series and cohosted the “Spillers After Show” podcast, voted Best of 2016 by Phoenix New Times. His nonfiction work has been featured by Fast Company, Wired, Huckberry, and many others.
Robin Shreeves, NJ
Robin’s fifteen-plus years of writing experience have often found her telling stories, such as those of hundreds of women of faith in the book, The One Year Women in Christian History, which she co-wrote. In her award-winning “On the Wine Trail” column for Courier Post, she tells the stories of the wines, wineries, and winemakers in New Jersey. Her writing has appeared in dozens of publications including Mother Nature Network, Wine Enthusiast, VinePair, Food Network, Apartment Therapy, Woman’s Day, Realtor.com, Edible Jersey, Edible Philly, Spirited magazine, Drink Philly, and the American Bible Society’s Engager’s Blog. Robin holds a B.S. in Bible from Cairn University and a post-baccalaureate K-12 English teaching certification from Rowan University.
Sabriga Turgon, CA
Sabriga (pronunciation guide:sah-BREE-ga) is a certified ghostwriter, a contented content creator, and a fairly hilarious human. She believes everyone should write a memoir, because inside the most common story is a fascinating person’s struggles and successes. Her day job is breathing, but her other day job is writing and editing for businesses, books, and blogs. She’s the world’s best listener – a rare skill honed from years as a counselor, massage therapist, and doula. From PC to CMT to ESL to HIV, she’s got acronyms down to a science. And she wants to hear your story (or is that, STRY?).
Sandy Vettel, OH
A former award-winning journalist, Sandy makes her living as a freelance writer. She has a broad background which spans newspaper writing, book writing, editing and public relations. She’s happy to sit at her home office on the shores of Lake Erie, turning the thoughts and ideas of others into words that can transform lives. When she is not at her laptop, you will find her at Cleveland area gyms working as a certified personal trainer, mostly with Baby Boomers, helping them become more empowered physically, spiritually and mentally.
Sarah Rappaport, ME
Sarah is a freelance writer, multimedia editor, and environmental conservationist based in Portland, Maine. She has degrees in environmental studies from Tulane University and a master’s in journalism from Boston University. Sarah has worked as a marine mammal specialist, an assistant producer for an environmental radio program, and a scuba diver. After nearly three decades roaming the planet, Sarah’s realized a few things: There’s nothing better than writing with a dog or two by her side, winter sunsets are highly underrated, and she’ll never be able to carry a tune. Really. She’s a horrible singer.
Selin Thomas, NY
Having received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University, Selin has been working for five years in Harlem as an independent journalist. Her published work centers around personal and historical narratives, particularly identity, and she is passionate about social justice issues. She received her master’s degree in political journalism and global affairs from Columbia University School of Journalism in 2016. She documented the plight of Syrian refugees in Turkey for the Pulitzer Center, and wrote cultural criticism for the Village Voice and the Paris Review, as well as a long-form historical narrative about a century-past lynching for the Delacorte Review. Selin is passionate about family narratives and their potential to surprise and affect us, as she has researched, interviewed, and written about her own family for years. Her experience with survivors of trauma has informed all of her work, and her approach to any story is one of great respect for the storyteller. In her spare time, she reads, cooks, and runs marathons.
Shannon Luders-Manuel, CA
Shannon grew up in a family of storytellers, and she is currently writing a memoir about taking care of her father at the end of life. She holds dear the long-form family history that her maternal great aunt left behind before passing away at age 99. Shannon is the author of an educators’ guide, was a featured writer at a national festival, and has had articles published in Vanderbilt University’s AmeriQuests and the New York Times. She works as a freelance writer and editor and received her M.A. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Sheila Trask, VT
Hailing from central Vermont, a spot so rural that reading sometimes counts as conversation, Sheila loves talking with real people—especially authors who need help getting their stories out of their heads and onto the page. Through her work with companies like Book in a Box, Kirkus Editorial, and BookPage, Sheila acts as an editor, writer, and reviewer, shepherding books across their journey into the world. She holds a Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and is a certified copyeditor.
Shelly Barnec, Alberta, Canada
Shelly helps people realize their imaginative sparks by using clarity and understanding to reveal what is hidden beneath the surface. She has written professionally for innovative community programs and business development projects. She also led the collaborative writing and producing of a 500-page family biography book with over 300 photos. Reflecting on even the most common of things can bring realization, inspiration, and joy. She has learned that exploring the ordinary or extraordinary can be equally insightful. And, everyone—yes, everyone—has something interesting to share.
Shonda Dudlicek, IL
For Shonda, writing is more than a career. It’s spilled over into being a hobby. A professional journalist for more than 25 years, Shonda specializes in feature writing. She writes dining profiles for the Chicago Tribune and feature stories for local magazines, telling ordinary folks’ stories through reporting and description. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism and teaches writing at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she helps students improve their writing and tell stories.
Shruti Dargan, Ontario, Canada
Shruti is a journalist with a decade of experience in Indian media, having covered everything from city events and people profiles to pop culture, lifestyle, and entertainment. Since moving to Toronto, she has been freelancing, juggling between lifestyle writing, reporting on all things immigration and documenting people’s stories for diverse media websites. Storytelling makes its way to her one way or another, as Shruti often finds herself chatting with someone she met on the go or when she’s unwinding amid nature’s beauty. She also enjoys travelling, binge-watching her favorite shows and DIY videos, and organizing her life with planners, journals, and pretty boxes—the last one’s almost a fetish.
Sienna Lee-Coughlin, Ontario, Canada
Sienna is an Ottawa-born storyteller with a love for all things bookish and historical. Her passion is to tell stories, both past and present. As a historian, she researches the history of women and religion in Europe and North America; as a journalist, she has interviewed countless fascinating people about their everyday lives and extraordinary accomplishments. She has a B.A. in journalism from Ryerson, an M.A. in history from the University of Toronto, and next on the agenda: completing her history PhD at Carleton University.
Stephanie Yuhas, NY
A professional writer and producer at Cinevore Studios, Stephanie has a BFA from the University of the Arts and has co-founded a non-profit movie studio, and arts district. Her Nancy Pearl Award-winning memoir, American Goulash, was optioned and developed into an original animated series. She has worked behind-the-scenes on several notable projects, including the reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000, MST3K Turkey Day ’13 & ’14, and Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie.
Summer Pao, TX
Summer holds a BA in Chinese from Tsing Hua University and an MA in World Cultures and Literatures, Chinese from the University of Houston. Her published books in translation include: Think and Grow Rich, Being Logical, Feel the Fear but Do It Anyway, Hope and Help for Your Nerves, Napoleon Hill Law of Success and Outwitting the Devil. This hopeless gourmet also doubles as a professional wordsmith and a creative Chinese teacher. It’s marvelous how cooking and writing go hand-in-hand; both are creative endeavors that are personal, unique, and when done properly, can be quite nourishing to the body and the mind.
Susan Miller, IN
Susan has been a journalist most of her adult life for newspapers and magazines, including a few pieces for USA Today and the Huffington Post. She’s also written two social studies books. The stories she likes to write best, however, are stories about people. They may be stories told for family archives, stories that will inspire others, or stories that help someone come to terms with life events. To be entrusted with the telling of someone’s story is both an honor and a privilege.
Susan Mistrey Wells, NY
The best Christmas gift Susan recieved was a printing press when she was 10 years old. She began writing “professionally” when she edited her 5th-grade newsletter. After a stint as a newspaper reporter and public relations executive for private schools and colleges, Susan wrote about health, mental health, and homelessness for the federal government for nearly 30 years. She’s happy to say that did not stifle her creativity one bit! Her goal, going forward, is to help people tell their stories. She writes blog posts and speeches and edits books.
Tara Leigh Parks, TN
Tara Leigh Parks worked as a professional actor for over fifteen years, appearing on stages across the U.S. and Bermuda as well as doing cartoon voiceovers and commercials. As an author, she works in a variety of genres including health, marketing, travel, creative non-fiction, and fiction. Her current fiction projects include a comic book series called Moonshine Dust as well as short stories for Kindle. After living in Chicago, Miami, and Manhattan, she now resides in her hometown of Chattanooga where she loves to hula-hoop dance, hang with her pets, and make yummy messes in the kitchen.
Thomas Marcetti, MI
Thomas spent almost a decade in newsrooms. Writing primarily for newspapers, he covered the gamut of journalism including hard news, investigative reporting, lifestyles, and human interest. He spent six years working in the largest retirement community in the United States. While there, he spent virtually every day telling the stories of people’s lives — childhood memories, great loves, successes, and hardships. Thomas now works in publishing for non-profits and associations helping them tell stories that define their work and inspire their communities.
Tim Hull, AZ
A professional writer for 20 years, Tim is the author of several travel guidebooks about the Southwest, where he’s been a staff reporter for a business journal, a community newspaper, and a legal news website. As a freelancer, he’s written articles and reviews for various publications and websites, and published fiction in literary journals. He often carries a novel under one arm and a book about history or anthropology under the other, though typically not while hiking in the Grand Canyon or along the rocky desert trails near his home in Tucson.
Tony Hicks, CA
Tony was an award-winning news and features writer for Bay Area News Group for more than 20 years. He was the features columnist of the Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune, emphasizing his adventures with his four daughters and their many dogs, cats, and rodents. Before journalism, Tony tried being a rock star in Hollywood, which he’ll one day chronicle once his kids can understand why people used to dress like that. Now freelancing for magazines and websites, he believes great personal stories are the key to great writing.
Tracie Mauriello, VA
Tracie is the Washington bureau chief for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a ghostwriter specializing in memoir and historical biography. Tracie has served as education writer for the Republican-American in Waterbury, CT, assistant city editor of the Springfield News-Sun in Ohio, education and municipal government reporter for The Herald in New Britain, CT, and executive director of the Journalism Association of Ohio Schools. She taught journalism at Urbana University in Ohio and co-wrote a chapter about libel law in the 2006 textbook Emerging Issues in Contemporary Journalism. Tracie has a bachelor’s degree in English from Central Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University. She is a former National Press Foundation Paul Miller Fellowship program and is a member of the Washington Gridiron Club, the Regional Reporters Association, and the Association of Ghostwriters. Her long-term goal is to return to Oakville, CT, to resurrect The Day and return it to its former glory as the best two-page monthly in the entire Davis Street neighborhood.
Vanessa Petit, NY
Vanessa believes storytelling is a way of making sense of the world around us, and speaking fluent English and Spanish is a superpower that allows her to communicate in two very different ways. She earned a master’s in Political Science from the University of Belgrano, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a bachelor’s in Journalism from Catholic University of Buenos Aires. During her time in Argentina, she worked for the Los Angeles Times and Radio la Red. Upon returning to the United States, Vanessa lived in Miami, working as a reporter for the Associated Press, before relocating back in New York, where she worked as an editor to three Spanish language magazines. She has over fifteen years of experience as a bilingual writer, editor, and translator, and has written hundreds of articles on a variety of topics that range from education, women’s and children’s health, immigration to celebrity profiles and entertainment/lifestyle features. She now currently resides in Long Island with her husband and two children.
Veronica Harvey, CO
Most of Veronica’s professional career was spent as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers, most notably the Omaha World-Herald in Omaha, Neb. There, she covered education before launching a community section featuring neighborhood news and, later, a niche website and magazine for moms. Her writing hits on the deepest human emotions and beautifully depicts the human experience. She has interviewed authors Anne Lamott and Elizabeth Gilbert. She has been published in Better Homes and Gardens, and she also writes on her personal blog. She is a mom of three children and spent last year teaching third grade at a low-income public school. She also teaches yoga.
Virginia Drago, LA
A Mobile, Alabama native, Virginia has been writing since the age of four, when she fist learned to write stories with her grandfather on his typewriter. After various roles at magazines, newspapers, and publishing departments, she published her creative nonfiction memoir about childhood summers spent on Mobile Bay. In her recent work in Amazon Createspace’s editorial department, she worked with authors to create clean manuscripts and marketing copy.
Wakeelah Cocroft-Aldridge, IL
Formerly a High school Teacher, Wakeelah holds a BA in English and an MAED with Curriculum Technology. She is currently a Freelancer / Columnist. Her work includes education writing, magazine articles, creative writing, and, at times, taking on project management roles. Through her column, she interviews, transcribes, and authors profiles of gospel music artists. Her goals are (but are not limited to) devising children’s novels, mysteries, screenplays, songs, and continuing to pen poetry and shape stories. Wakeelah looks forward to working with storytellers to transform their stories into tangible memories.
Wendy Strain, MS
Always excited about sharing the next story, Wendy’s background includes reporting for several papers in the Star Newspaper Group of Texas, self-owned teaching and grant writing at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and freelance writing and ghostwriting. She has a Master’s degree in English with distinction in literature, business/technical writing, and rhetoric. Wendy’s special talent is telling a complicated story simply, a talent she uses to create intriguing manuscripts, help others discover their authentic voice, and share their ideas with the world.
Wendy Lyons Sunshine, FL
Wendy is an award-winning writer, editor, and book collaborator with extensive publishing experience. Her credits include hundreds of articles for leading publications, a best-selling book that’s sold over 130,000 copies, and proposals that have earned millions in contract awards. When she’s not wordsmithing, she enjoys table tennis, finding clever solutions to household challenges, preparing fresh organic food, and feeding one husband, two rescue cats, and a generic brown dog.
William Alton, OR
Bill is a writer and an artist, a teacher and student. He trained as a poet, and loves the stories that make up the world. Bill started writing when he was young. As he grew older, he found a certain joy in moving people to see things they might have missed the first time. Bill works for Forest Grove School District as a Skills Trainer in a Special Education program. He spends a lot of time working with his students teaching and learning alternate methods of communication.
Alex Wolinetz, CA
Alex hails from Rockland, New York, but inherited a Bronx accent from his parents and Yiddish witticisms from his grandparents. He graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication before moving to New York City and then Los Angeles. His first play “Ravel” debuted to a sold-out run in 2016. Alex cherishes the importance of preserving personal and family histories. When his grandparents emigrated to America as Holocaust survivors, their stories were all they had to bring. People cannot live forever, but their stories can. And should.
Alexander Jones, NJ
Alexander found writing at age ten. Since then, he’s published some short stories and freelanced. An essay he wrote in 2012 won him a trip to Washinton, D.C. where he got to meet his congressman. He’s worked as a welder, plumber, waiter, and convenience store clerk. In parallel, he attended a private prep school, has a BA in Creative Writing and is completing an MA in Literacy Education. He was raised in a forest but lives in a concrete jungle. He reads, bicycles, and plays chess. And writes. Every day.
Alexis Reed, AZ
The only time Alexis can sit still is when she’s writing. Otherwise, she’s following her adventurous heart traveling, attending theatrical performances, and listening to people’s stories. Originally from Cincinnati, Alexis now lives in Arizona and is working on building her freelance writing business. Her ambition is to explore as much of the world as she can, push her limits, and try to make sense of it all through the written word.
Amanda Warner, CA
Amanda Warner graduated from Biola University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She has written for local newspapers, worked as a copy editor, and has been telling people’s stories for the last decade. Her first book was published in 2018, a biography titled Reformed: How a Life Sentence Became My Saving Grace, which tells the true story of a gang member who found redemption in prison. As a trained journalist, she loves listening, asking detailed questions, and making true-life stories read like fiction.
Arielle Dollinger, NY
Arielle is a bilingual, New York-based freelance journalist. Her words and photographs have been published by such outlets as The New York Times, Forbes, Newsday, The Arizona Daily Star, Long Islander Newspapers, and Long Island Pulse Magazine. She has also worked in broadcast, editing video for CBS News. Arielle graduated Stony Brook University in 2013 with degrees in Journalism and Spanish Language & Literature.
Ashley Okwuosa, NY
Ashley is a Nigerian born writer and journalist. She has written about everything from immigration, education, and politics to beauty and lifestyle. Her work has appeared on WNYC, Quartz, and other news sites. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School, as well as a degree in Journalism and Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University-Newark. When she is not writing, Ashley is nose deep in her favorite books or out looking for her next story.
Bailey McAlister, GA
Bailey currently studies rhetoric and composition in Georgia State University’s English PhD program. She believes practical writing is the key to effective communication in any field. She has worked as an academic writer, technical communicator, and web content manager, and she loves to use writing to gain an understanding of a new perspective. As a writer, she encourages people to share their stories with a specific audience in mind and to use that audience to drive the focus of their story.
Benedetta Cutolo, NY
Benedetta is a writer, journalist, and filmmaker who has worked on projects for The New York Times, Time Magazine, PBS, and MSNBC. She holds an MA in Journalism from New York University and a double MA in comparative literature from the Strasbourg University and the University of Bologna. She was raised in Rome, Italy, but has spent the past ten years of her life between Paris and NYC. Bi-lingual in Italian and Spanish, she is also perfectly fluent in English and French. As a journalist, Benedetta has covered stories about international politics and social justice. Since September 2018, she is also a regular visiting lecturer at The New School where she shares with the students her experience in documentaries and visual storytelling. She is currently working on her first fiction novel.
Benjamin Hettick, TX
As long as Benjamin can remember, he’s had a book in his hand, and that book was soon accompanied by a pen. He spent his education writing whatever he could, from newspaper articles to research projects to material for nonprofit organizations. He resides in Texas and and is preparing to start a family with a wonderful woman. He’s looking forward to a life of reading, writing, and family, and hopes that he can be of service to anyone who has a story to tell.
Brandon Gomez, NY
Brandon is a passionate multimedia reporter based in New York City. After growing up in Connecticut, he headed to Massachusetts and earned his B.A. in English and Theatre at the College of the Holy Cross. He is now working towards his M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at New York University. Over the years, Brandon has collected many personas – actor, singer, runner, volunteer, traveler. At the core of every experience and encounter, he is committed to hearing and sharing the compelling stories of those he meets.
Brandy Dykhuizen, FL
Brandy is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in entertainment blogs and So Say We All’s storytelling showcases. Having lived all over the U.S., she feels most at home shucking oysters beside a tidal creek, surrounded by Spanish moss. That’s not to say she’s ever turned down an adventure, and she credits past travels and hijinks for her ability to tease a good tale out of any willing participant. With plenty of family and experiences abroad, she’s especially adept at helping non-native English speakers tell their stories.
Caillin Murray, TX
New York-born, Texas-raised, and Midwest-educated, Caillin is a native of nowhere, but likes to think of everywhere as her home. Caillin earned her BA in Journalism from Webster University in 2013, and has since been published in American Way magazine, as well as on several climbing and outdoor lifestyle blogs. When not busy with her job as an event planner for a chain of climbing gyms in the Dallas area, she is always planning her next climbing trip.
Camile Sardina, NY
Camile has been freelance writing for three years, covering music and wellness-based topics across publications such as Teen Vogue, Elite Daily, LADYGUNN and more. She has also been a freelance publicist for three years, so newsworthy story ideas are her specialty. One story idea (pitch) of hers went viral, the bulk of the story being her own work. It was published in The Washington Post, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, and more.
Carly Wilson, TX
In a grand adventure, Carly exchanged her condo and corporate job for a used RV. She is journeying through America with her husband Elijah, the love of her life and her steadfast prayer partner.
Carly majored in literature at the University of California, San Diego. She has written for a wedding planner, a satirical newspaper, a women’s health website, nonprofits, a mutual fund company, and Saddleback Church. She launched her own inspiring blog of true stories. She brings purpose and hope to her clients and readers.
Christopher Armstrong, CA
Much like his literary heroes from the roaring twenties, Christopher Andrew Armstrong lives life as an expatriate. Okay, this technically isn’t true; he still resides within the confines of America’s borders, but migrating to Los Angeles after spending his first twenty-eight years living in the South certainly feels like moving to a different country. His writing drifts along different subjects, much like the Santa Ana Winds gusting in from the north, floating freely from high-end liquor, the sharing economy, and hip-hop, but now he’s focused on writing your story.
Clara Lee, CA
When Clara was in the fourth grade, she was voted as the class president in Seoul, South Korea, however, the very next day, she immigrated to California. With her short-lived political career behind her she became a journalist, dedicated to tell the stories of the world around her. Currently, she is a freelance journalist and writer, but when she isn’t typing on her laptop, she is producing, directing, and editing her documentary, which she began as a graduate student at Northwestern University.
Crystal Kang, WA
A Chicago native, Crystal got in touch with her heritage by studying abroad in Seoul, Korea, before college. There, she developed an unabashed curiosity for meeting people and asking questions about her own culture. A Columbia Journalism School graduate, Crystal worked in newsrooms and startups throughout New York City, interviewing entrepreneurs and C-level execs. At one point, she ran her own podcast. Currently, she writes for a startup focused on millennials facing a quarter-life crisis. When she’s not telling stories, she’s hiking around the Pacific Northwest.
Dakota Smith, NY
A poet, journalist, and cultural critic, Dakota has spent the last six years of her life writing and working in cities around the world. An empathetic interviewer and keen conversationalist, she’s written for Willamette Week, Nursing Times, and WUSSY Magazine among others. Originally from California, she’s currently based in NYC, where she reads voraciously and performs poetry. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Colorado and is currently studying for her MFA in Poetry at Randolph College.
David Miller, IL
David is a writer, laborer, and philosophical tinkerer operating out of Chicago, Illinois. Inspired by the encyclopedic novels by authors like Herman Melville, David Foster Wallace, and Thomas Pynchon, he’s made a habit of synthesizing highly technical information, vibrant prose, and intimate personal narratives within his work. As a trade journalist, he’s written for a string of industry-specific publications, including Electrical Apparatus Magazine, Realtor Magazine, and Green Building and Design Magazine. He has an eye toward finding stories — sometimes of mythic proportions — within the most mundane and bureaucratic crevices. David is most drawn to narratives that explore the influence of work, spirituality, and the geographical landscape on the way we fashion our inner worlds.
Devin Holt, CA
Devin’s work has appeared in San Francisco Magazine, SF Weekly, Voices of New York and the NPR-affiliate KQED. Besides being a writer, Devin has been a lot of things: A wayward street-corner youth, a circus performer, and a farm boy loading firewood into the family pickup truck. He has hitchhiked across America more than once, lived in the rafters of a communal artist warehouse in San Francisco, and studied kung fu in a quiet academy on top of a hill in rural China. Now, he reports on strange people, forgotten murals and, occasionally, his own bizarre past.
Elijah Sarinana, CA
Elijah is a writer and filmmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his BA in English from Saint Mary’s College of California. Whether through his writing or filmmaking, Elijah is focused on constructing compelling narratives, creating stories that delight, provoke, and inspire. He currently works as a freelance writer and content creator for startup companies in and around the Bay Area. Recently, Elijah has also begun collaborating on screenplays for both feature films and television.
Emily Nagin, PA
Emily received an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She is the social media manager for Print Oriented Bastards, an online literary journal for emerging writers and artists. Her short stories have appeared in New Ohio Review and the Main Street Rag, and she is currently at work on a novel. Emily’s hobbies include knitting, thrifting, hanging out with her cat, and reading as much as possible. She used to row, but quit after sinking a boat.
Emma Callen, NY
Emma is a freelance writer fascinated by the relationship between history and psychology. She graduated cum laude from Colorado College, where she spent her free time writing poetry in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She now writes both creative essays and articles that explore everything from mythology to artificial intelligence. Emma’s love for writing first took hold as a child growing up in a close-knit cooperative community in New York. She spent her formative years exploring the woods surrounding her community, writing beneath the trees.
Gabriella Seatris, CA
A travel, fashion, product and lifestyle writer, Gabriella is currently working on her first novel. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.A. in International Relations and Italian with a minor in Textiles and Clothing. As a passionate adventurer who enjoys meeting new people and trying new experiences such as skydiving and surfing, she believes that everyone has a beautiful story to share.
Jaclyn Norton, WA
Jaclyn loves making things with words for a living. As a poet, writer, and artist she believes in the power of our stories to help us find understanding and activate social change. A graduate of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University, Jaclyn went on to work in editorial at Seattle Magazine and freelance for various publications like Marie Claire and Thrive. She also works in copywriting, publishing, and is a yoga instructor. Regardless of the medium, Jaclyn’s specialty is her ability to listen and lead, helping people find their truth and express from that place.
Jana Hodgins, OR
Jana began writing stories on long, cross country road trips. She grew up with a wild imagination, which was expanded through traveling with her military family. In college, she advanced her writing skills with a degree in Strategic Communications. During this time she was also the captain of the Oregon State Speech and Debate team. In her professional life, Jana works at a creative agency and shares stories of success for people who have experienced traumatic life events. Jana is great at asking the right questions with empathy and respect.
Jason Norman, VA
After a resume of over 2,700 articles, two Virginia Press Association awards, six published books—everything but a partridge in a pear tree!—Jason has written enough life stories to fill up the colleges at which he’s taught English all over Hampton Roads for over a decade. Jason earned a BA in Journalism from Old Dominion University in 2001, then spent the next four years in the local newspaper field. In 2006, he went back to ODU and left with an MA in Professional Writing the next year. He’s now a college English instructor in Norfolk—but no job will ever be as important as being a great husband to Jennifer and dad to Kennedy!
Jennifer Zahlit, NY
Jennifer won a mug in Kindergarten for checking out 500 books from the library. She still has that mug today—but more importantly, her love of stories has shaped her life and passions. A California native and NYC dweller, she is an actor-director-musician who tutors kids by day (she never thought she would still be doing Calculus after high school). She loves walking the streets of New York City, people-watching, cooking, and live music.
Jeremiah Blue, AZ
Jeremiah’s passion resides in people and their stories, and he believes writing to be the avenue to both. This ardor first developed with his BA in Sociology, and then in Poetry. He now attends Wilkes University on scholarship for an MA in creative non-fiction, where he is writing his memoir. With a focus on personal narrative and storytelling, he has represented Phoenix, AZ at three national poetry events. His non-fiction won the 2016 Etruscan Press Prize, and his poetry has been featured by TEDx, in radio shows, museums, and college courses.
Jessica Peralta, CA
From a young age, Jessica has had a passion for animals, writing, and … horror. As a journalist, she’s had the great fortune of exploring all these passions and more. With over 15 years of journalistic experience, Jessica has written and edited for newspapers, magazines, and websites. She’s covered an array of topics, ranging from raising dogs holistically to Halloween haunted houses. Between her work and her pets – German shepherd, Guinness, and black cat, Riot – she keeps herself very busy.
Jodi Crawford Potgeter, MI
Jodi likes to pretend she has other hobbies like cooking and camping and crafting, but mostly those things are messy, and that annoys her. Truthfully, she’d rather spend her time reading a book outside. Her history in the child welfare field has given her a love for working with people of all backgrounds in a myriad of life circumstances. She started writing a diary when she was seven and has been writing ever since. She is currently a web content writer who thrives on creating the perfect composition that clients love.
Johnny Crowder, FL
In short, Johnny is your new best friend. As a professional writer, speaker, musician, comedian, listener, reader, and pizza connoisseur, he is understandably far too concerned with composing hit singles, piecing together B-list jokes, and wafting melted mozzarella to smile in a profile photo. If you’re searching high and low for an amiable soul to sprinkle palatable humor, personality, and conversational inclusivity atop the crests of your project, you can sponsor this rust-haired Labrador retriever mix.
JoVona Taylor, NY
Since the age of 10, JoVona knew she wanted to be a writer. She joined just about every writing program willing to accept her as a child in Chicago. In college, JoVona double majored in journalism and creative writing. Soon after graduating, she went on to earn her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. JoVona has worked in multiple editorial roles for companies like Time Inc., Tribune Publishing, and Dennis Publishing. Her writing has been published by established media outlets like the Chicago magazine, VICE.com and xoJane.com.
Kate Zipse, VA
Kate draws and writes stories that capture the human desire for mystery, exploration, discovery, and expression. Her work focuses on relationships of friendship, the familial, and the natural world. She holds a BA in Psychology, an MA in Religious Studies, and is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing. She runs the First Novelist Award at Virginia Commonwealth University and teaches undergraduate honors courses in Creative Writing.
Libby Baldwin, FL
Libby earned her B.A. in journalism at the University of South Florida, while honing her skills in a delightful variety of part-time writing positions. She spent 2016–2018 as a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times, using her professional people skills and sense of humor to get extraordinary stories out of ordinary people. Her other passion is whales, and she has spent every summer since 2011 as a deckhand, naturalist guide and, as of 2018, a USCG-licensed captain on whale-watching boats in the Pacific Northwest.
Maria Cruz, Ontario, Canada
Maria is a Canadian journalist, short story writer, and avid reader. She’s a University of Toronto alumna with a double major in English and Professional Writing and Communications. Her work has appeared in The Medium, Oola, and Women’s Post. She also runs a blog featuring artists’ stories. Outside the newsroom, Maria enjoys writing fiction and creative nonfiction short stories. In 2012, her piece on mental health, “Don’t Move” was published by the University of Toronto. Everyone has a story to tell and she’s excited to bring yours to life on paper.
Melia Grasska, CA
A Summa Cum Laude graduate, Melia earned her B.A. from UCLA in English Literature. She’s published with Surfer Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and has developed quite the ghostwriting repertoire; she’s currently working on her first novel. The only thing that makes Melia happier than hearing a great story is creating a great story, and that’s why she’s always looking for her next adventure. Born, raised, and based in Los Angeles, Melia’s a classic California girl who loves surfing, sailing, mountain biking, and her local taco truck.
Mollie Nelson, WI
Mollie found reading before she found writing, but it wasn’t long before one inspired the other. She focused on English throughout her academic career, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. After college, she worked in marketing and publishing. Currently, she is focusing on building her freelance career. Mollie lives in Wisconsin with her partner and the dream of someday adding a couple pets to their household. She can often be found reading a good book, delving into a good TV show, taking a walk, or playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends.
Molly Wolchansky, TX
At seventeen years old, Molly had two plays produced in Dallas, and by the time she was eighteen, she had her first book published. After success in the theater and in the literary scene, her articles were published for D Magazine, TexasLiving, D Ceo, and HeardTell. She also had a short story published in a literary journal and, as a result, she landed editing gigs for three fiction novels — one of which is being rewritten for the big screen.
Patricia Lidis, NY
Born in Toronto, Canada, Patricia is a first generation North American, with her parents and four older siblings being immigrants from Riga, Latvia. She’s written both fiction and non-fiction for multiple publications, but her passion lies in captivating story-telling and stories that make a little bit more sense of the world. Patricia speaks fluent Russian, enjoys cleaning, traveling with family, drinking wine, listening to anecdotes, and running in Brooklyn with her hyper dog, Timbit. But not all at once. She also received her BFA from Pratt Institute in Writing.
Renee Donovan, CA
Renée is a freelance writer, editor, and ballet teacher. She grew up in San Francisco and received a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. Before joining Story Terrace, she worked for one year in book publishing, first interning at W.W. Norton & Co., Sterling Lord Literistic, and McSweeney’s, and later working at The Zoë Pagnamenta Agency. In her free time, she volunteers at Dance for PD, teaching dance to individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease, and Garden for the Environment, an urban demonstration garden in San Francisco. She tells live stories at The Moth’s StorySLAMs, and she practices storytelling across different media through songwriting and choreography. She is currently at work on a children’s book.
Sarah Van Rijsewijk, NY
Sarah is an experienced freelance writer living in Upstate NY. She began her writing career as a feature writer interviewing local business owners and promoting events throughout the Adirondack Mountains – the place she calls home. She has contributed guest articles to several different websites focusing on wellness, spirituality, and parenting. In 2016 she interviewed for and composed an article about world-renowned meditation teacher and best-selling Hay House author, Davidji, who was hosting a retreat in Sarah’s “neck of the woods.” That same year, she interviewed a former Iditarod participant and composed an article for a well-respected Adirondack magazine, highlighting his experience in the famous Alaskan race. No matter what she is writing about, Sarah has a desire to hear others’ stories and bring them to life. On top of her writing career, she is a certified life coach and assistant teacher in a 2nd grade classroom. Her other loves include drinking way too much coffee and spending time in nature with her husband, her two daughters, and their dogs. She is an avid kayaker, snowboarder, meditation enthusiast, and Tarot card advisor.
Shalin Thomas, Alberta, Canada
After graduating with a degree in biochemistry, Shalin decided to put down the pipette and pick up the pen. She got a postgraduate diploma in print journalism and worked for various national publications in India for over ten years. Her articles have been published in the Calgary Herald, The Huffington Post, and TimeOut magazine, among others. Reading memoirs and listening to people’s stories have been her favourite forms of learning. She now lives in Calgary and works as an ESL teacher and freelance writer.
Shreya Kalra, Ontario, Canada
Shreya’s birth outside of her home country in Singapore was a portentous one, setting her up for a life of travel. Growing up in the multicultural milieu of six countries, listening to people’s stories, their way of life became a way for her to integrate into new places. She ultimately combined her two grand passions for life and people by graduating with degrees in philosophy and journalism, giving her a platform to tell reflective and empowering stories. Her work has been published in VICE, Huffpost, The Independent, and others. She’s also a yoga teacher, poet, self-certified philosopher, and a firm believer of savoring every bit of life till its very last drop.
Stephanie Taylor, CA
A storyteller through and through, writing about people’s stories is something that Stephanie has always been passionate about. Give her a person or an event, and she will weave together a story that paints an elaborate picture. Her writing has been published in the USA Today, Delta Sky magazine, Hello Giggles, FabFitFun, Essence, The Tulsa World and The Mighty, having covered topics from mental illness and disability to modern day feminism. When she is not writing, you can likely find her in a yoga studio or training for a race.