Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

David Berner is the author of the memoirs Walks with Sam, October Song, (both Roundfire) and The Consequence of Stars (Adelaide); the novels Things Behind the Sun (Adelaide) and A Well-Respected Man (Strategic); and the novella Sandman: A Golf Tale (Roundfire, forthcoming). His essays and short stories have appeared in Chicagoland Journal, Clef Notes, Epiphany, Eunoia Review, Longshot Island, Under the Gum Tree, and Write City. He is a reporter/anchor for WBBM Radio-Chicago and a contributor to the CBS Radio Network. He is the producer/writer of the audio documentaries NaNoWriMo (PRX/WRST Oshkosh, WI), Bracelets of Grace (Prairie Public Radio), and Finding My Kerouac (WFUV Radio, NYC). He teaches at Columbia College. He holds a BS from Clarion University, an MA in Teaching from Aurora University, and an MFA in Creative Writing-Nonfiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Nina Boutsikaris is the author of the memoir I’m Trying to Tell You I’m Sorry: An Intimacy Triptych (Black Lawrence Press), a Small Press Distribution Bestseller. Her essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Third Coast, Hobart, and the Los Angeles Review, among others; anthologized in The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Fiction (Rose Metal Press); and named Notable Essays by the Best American Essays series. She has taught at the University of Arizona and the New School, and is the archivist at John Ashbery's Flow Chart Foundation. She holds a BA from Ithaca College and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arizona.

Carmen Bugan is the author of the memoir Burying the Typewriter (Picador), the essay collection Poetry and the Language of Opression (Oxford University), and the poetry collections Time Being, Lillies from America, Releasing the Porcelain Birds, The House of Straw (all Shearsman Books), and Crossing the Carpathians (Carcanet Press). Her poems and essays have appeared in the Irish Times, the Harvard Review, the International Literature Quarterly, the Nieman Storyboard, and the anthologies Centres of Catacylsm (Bloodaxe Books), See How I Land (Heaven Tree Press), and Penguin’s Poems for Life (Penguin). She has taught at Grand Valley State University, the University of Fribourg, the Geneva Writers’ Group, and Oxford University. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and a Master’s and Ph.D, both in English Literature, from Oxford University.

Kelly Caldwell is the dean of faculty at Gotham Writers Workshop. Her nonfiction has appeared in Vox, House Beautiful, SugarSugarSalt, Pacific Standard, New York Newsday, Time Out New York, The Writer, and Essay Daily, and been named Notable by the editors of the Best American Essays series. She's also been anthologized in If These Walls Could Talk: Thoughts of Home (Hearst) and Getting to the Truth: The Craft and Practice of Creative Nonfiction (Hippocampus Books).  She holds a BJ from the University of Missouri and an MS from Columbia University.

Elizabeth Cohen is the author of the memoir The House On Beartown Road (Random House), the short story collectionThe Hypothetical Girl (Split Oak Press), and the poetry collections The Economist's Daughter (Ecstatic Utterance), What the Trees Said (Split Oak Press), Bird Light, The Patron Saint of Cauliflower (both Saint Julian Press), and Wonder Electric (Kelsay Books). She is also co-author of the nonfiction book The Scalpel and the Silver Bear (Bantam). Her nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Newsweek, People, the New York Times Magazine, and Yale Review, as well as the anthology Walk on the Wild Side. She has taught at SUNY Plattsburgh, Binghamton University, University of New Mexico, the New School for Social Research, and Western Connecticut State University. She holds a BA from University of New Mexico, an MA in Documentary Filmmaking from Temple University, and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University.

Andrew Collins contributes to various guidebooks (including Mexico City, Pacific Northwest, New England, Utah, and National Parks) for Fodor's Travel, and he’s the author of the LGBTQ travel book Destination Pride and the book Ultimate Road Trips USA & Canada (both Hardie Grant). He’s the editor of the official visitor guides of Washington State, Washington State Wine Commission, Seattle, and Asheville, and has written for New Mexico Magazine, Travel + Leisure, The Advocate, and Sunset. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University.

Anita Diggs is co-author, with Ida Keeling, of the memoir Can't Nothing Bring Me Down: Chasing Myself in the Race Against Time (Zondervan). She is the author of four novels, including A Meeting in the Ladies Room, (Kensington Books), and the nonfiction book Talking Drums: An African-American Quote Collection (St. Martin’s Press). She has served as senior editor and director of One World Books for Ballantine/Random House. She has taught at Salem College. She holds a BA from the State University of New York/Empire State College and an MFA in Creative Writing/Memoir from Hunter College.

Janet Flora has published nonfiction in Yalabusha Review, Willow Review, Forge, and the Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine. Her short stories have appeared in New Orleans Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Portland Review, and Hawaii Pacific Review. She has taught at NYU and the School of Visual Arts. She holds a BA from City University, Richmond College, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from The New School.

Anita Gill is the nonfiction editor for Hypertext Magazine, and her nonfiction has appeared in Coachella Review, Kweli Journal, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Brevity, Hippocampus, The Citron Review, The Offing, and the Baltimore Sun. She has received two Fulbright fellowships in creative writing, has worked for the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, and has taught at the UCLA Extension and Santa Monica College. She holds a BA from New York University, an MA in Literature from American University, and an MFA in Writing from Pacific University.

Brendan Halpin is the author of the novels Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Long Way Backand Donorboy (all by Villard); the memoirs Losing My Faculties and It Takes a Worried Man (both by Villard); and the author or co-author of eight young adult novels, including Legacy (Gum Road), Forever Changes (by Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom (Walker Books), and A Really Awesome Mess (Egmont USA). His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Sunday Times (of London) Magazine, Best Life Magazine, Rosie Magazine, and Ladies’ Home Journal. He has taught at Emmanuel College, Bunker Hill Community College, and the Wentworth Institute of Technology. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Teaching from Tufts University.

Cindy House is the author of the memoir Mother Noise (Scribner/Marysue Rucci Books), and her essays and short fiction have appeared in Passengers Journal, Lily Poetry Review, Wig Leaf, Solstice Literary Magazine, Longleaf Review, and So To Speak, among others. She is a humorist who opens regularly for David Sedaris at Kennedy Center, Symphony Hall, and The Town Hall in New York, among others. She teaches in the MFA program at Lesley University. She attended the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and holds an MFA in Fiction from Lesley University. 

Scott LaCounte (also writing as Scott Douglas) is a long-time contributor to McSweeney’s, from which his humor series was turned into the memoir Quiet, Please: Dispatches From a Public Librarian (Da Capo Books). He has independently published a wide range of books on religion, as well as books for children and in the science fiction and humor genres. He holds a BA from California State University-Fullerton, and an MLIS in Library Science from San Jose State University.

Joselin Linder is the author of the memoir The Family Gene (Ecco/Harper Collins), and co-author of the nonfiction books The Gamification Revolution (McGraw Hill), Game-Based Marketing (Wiley and Sons), and The Good Girl’s Guide to Living in Sin (Adams Media). She is also co-author of the humor books The Stoned Family Robinson (Adams Media) and The Purity Test (St. Martin’s Press). Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Elle, This American Life, NPR’s Morning Edition, StoryCollider, Life of the Law, and the New York Post. She holds a BA from Tufts University.

Sarah McColl is the author of the memoir Joy Enough (Liveright Publishing). She was the founding editor-in-chief of Yahoo Food, and her food writing has appeared in Bon Appetit, Food52, Epicurious, House Beautiful, Edible Brooklyn, Smithsonian magazine, JSTOR Daily, and TakePart. Her essays have appeared in the Paris Review, McSweeney's, Story Quarterly, South Dakota Review, In Context Journal, and in the anthology The Shell Game (University of Nebraska Press). She’s been a senior editor and producer for Condé Nast Publications, and worked for Cambridge University Press. She holds a BA from Macalester College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Nan Mooney is the author of the memoir My Racing Heart: The Passionate World of Thoroughbreds and the Track (HarperCollins), and the nonfiction books (Not) Keeping Up With Our Parents (Beacon Press) and I Can't Believe She Did That: Why Women Betray Other Women at Work (St. Martin's Press). Her nonfiction has also appeared in The Atlantic, the Washington Post,Slate, Motherwell, Alternet, and Babble. She holds a BA from Scripps College.

N. West Moss is the author of the memoir Flesh and Blood (Algonquin), the short story collection The Subway Stops at Bryant Park (Leapfrog Press), and the middle-grade novel Birdy, (Christy Ottaviano Books/Little Brown Books for Young Readers, forthcoming). Her short stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Stockholm Review, Blotter Magazine, and Westchester Review. Her nonfiction has appeared in Salon, the New York Times, Brevity, River Teeth, Dorothy Parker's Ashes, and Ars Medica. She has taught at William Paterson University, Montclair State University, and Passaic County Community College. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, a Master of Secondary Education from Mercy College, an MFA in Creative Writing from William Paterson University, and a CPA in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.

Stephanie Nieves has published short memoir in Ghost Girls Zine and Sumou magazine, and her essays, articles, and criticism have appeared in Business Insider, The Muse, FGRLS Club, Fairygodboss, and Thought Catalog. She is the editor of the digital literary magazine Karma Comes Before, and has worked as an editorial fellow at The Muse, a writing colleague at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and taught for Success Academy Charter Schools. She holds a BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Amanda Oliver is the author of the nonfiction book Overdue: Reckoning With the Public Library (Chicago Review Press), and her essays have appeared in Electric Literature, the Los Angeles Times, the Rumpus, PANK, and Medium, among many others. She is the nonfiction editor of Joyland Magazine, and she has taught for the University of California at Riverside. She holds a BA and an MLS from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and an MFA in nonfiction from the University of California at Riverside. 

Stacy Pershall is the author of the memoir Loud in the House of Myself  (W.W. Norton), selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program, and her work is included in the anthologies Lost and Found (W.W. Norton) and Spent (Seal Press). She has taught at Writopia, Pratt Manhattan, City College of New York, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She holds a BA from the University of Arkansas and an MFA in Performance Art from the University of Cincinnati.

Melissa Petro is a regular contributor to Insider and has published nonfiction in Allure, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, the Guardian, InStyle, the Kitchn, Marie Claire, Narratively, New York Magazine, Pacific Standard magazine, Real Simple, Salon, the Washington Post, and The Writer. She is the editor of two anthologies: Pros(e): Writings by Individuals with Experiences in the Sex Industries and Corner Stories: Writings by the Washington Heights CORNER Project Community, and one of her essays was included in the anthology Women Talk Money: Breaking the Taboo (Simon & Schuster).  She has been a finalist for the PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize. She holds a BA from Antioch and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from The New School.

Jil Picariello is the co-author of the memoir Jessica Lost (Union Square Press). She is the Theater Editor for ZealNYC, and her nonfiction has appeared in Afar, Food + Wine, New York, Seventeen, and USA Today. She has worked as a copywriter for New York and People, as copy chief for The Parenting Group at Time Warner, and as copy director for Reader’s Digest. She has taught at Media Bistro. She holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA in creative writing from The New School.

Amy Scheiner has published essays and short nonfiction in Slate, the Stonecoast Review, Blue Mesa Review, the Southampton Review, Longreads/Memoir Monday, Trouble Maker Fire Starter, and the Matador Network, among others. She has taught for Stony Brook University, the Young Artists and Writers Project, and the Community College of Philadelphia. She holds a BA from Boston University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Stony Brook University.

Barbara Schoichet is the author of the memoir Don’t Think Twice: Adventure and Healing at 100 Miles Per Hour (Putnam) and the nonfiction book The New Single Woman: Discovering a Life of Her Own (Lowell House). Her short stories have appeared in MSS, the Sarah Lawrence Review, Permafrost Magazine, and Westword, and she has worked as a literary agent for Flannery, White and Stone, as an editor for RGA Publishing, and head publicity writer for Paramount Pictures. She has taught at Denver University, Lancaster University, Long Beach City College, Santa Fe Community College, and Stephens College. She holds a BA from Stephens College, an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and a Ph.D in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in England.

Dani Segelbaum is a literary agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, where she represents fiction and nonfiction. Previously she worked at HarperCollins. She holds a BA from Boston University.

David Seigerman is the author of the nonfiction books Becky Sauerbrunn and Tamba Hali (both Aladdin), and the co-author of Take Your Eye Off the Ball, Under Pressure, and Quarterback (all with Triumph Books). He is the writer/producer/editor of his independent sports storytelling podcast Out of Left Field, and has been contributing features of Olympic athletes to TeamUSA.org. He has served as a senior producer for RealFootballNetwork, a senior analyst for Football.com, managing editor of College Sports Television, and a producer/writer for CNN-Sports Illustrated. He co-produced and co-wrote the feature-length documentary The Warrior Ethos: The Experience and Tradition of Boxing at West Point. He has taught at Manhattanville College. He holds a BA from Ithaca College.

Cullen Thomas is the author of the memoir Brother One Cell (Viking). His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Salon, The Rumpus, The Sonora Review, World Hum, Current Biography, and Penthouse. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and the National Geographic channel and has taught at NYU. He holds a BA from Binghamton University.