Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

María Alejandra Barrios is the author of the novel The Women of Caminito (Lake Union Publishing, forthcoming). Her short stories have appeared in Fractured Lit, The Offing, The Citron Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Jellyfish Review, Bandit Fiction, Lost Balloon, Reservoir Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Fresh Ink, El Malpensante, WaxWing Mag, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Shenandoah Literary and been anthologized in Best Small Fictions. She has taught for the Universidad Del Norte Barranquilla, Paragraph New York, and the Beaubourg Theatre in New Orleans. She holds a BA from the Universidad de los Andes and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester.

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.

Susan Breen is the author of the Maggie Dove mystery series, originally published by Penguin Random House/Alibi and rereleased by Under the Oak Press, as well as the novel The Fiction Class (Plume/Headline Review UK). Her short stories have appeared in American Literary Review, the Chattahoochee Review, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, as well as the anthologies Best American Nonrequired Reading and Murder Most Diabolical. She holds a BA from the University of Rochester and an MA in Economics from Columbia University.

Benjamin Buchholz is the author of the novel One Hundred and One Nights (Back Bay Books/Little, Brown), the nonfiction book Private Soldiers (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), and two poetry chapbooks:Thirteen Stares (Magic Helicopter Press) and Windshield (BlazeVox Press). He is also co-author, with Sam Farran, of the memoir The Tightening Dark: An American Hostage in Yemen (Hachette). His short stories have appeared in Storyglossia, Hobart, Mad Hatter’s Review, and Prime Number Magazine, and been anthologized in the Dzanc Press Best of the Web collections. His nonfiction has appeared in Military Review, Infantry, and The Writer. He has served as a foreign area officer and U.S. Army attaché in Oman, Yemen, and Uzbekistan, and lectured at Princeton University. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed the Omani Royal Air Force Staff College in Arabic Language, and holds an MA in Near East Studies from Princeton University.

Tom Cooper is the author of the novels Florida Man (Random House) and The Marauders (Broadway Books/Crown Publishing). His short stories have appeared in the Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, Boulevard, Smokelong Quarterly, and Oxford American. He has taught at Florida State University, Nicholls State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of South Florida-Tampa. He holds a BA from Florida Atlantic University, an MA in Literature from the University of South Florida, and a Ph.D in Creative Writing from Florida State University.

Holley Cornetto is the author of the horror novel They Are Cursed Like You (Eerie River Publishing) and the novella We Haunt These Woods (Bleeding Edge Books). Her short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Flame Tree Press Newsletter, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Collective Realms Magazine, among many others. Her stories have been anthologized in A Woman Built by Man (Cemetery Gates Media), AFTER: A Post-Apocalyptic Survivor Series (Eerie River Publishing), and Banned (Black Hare Press), among others. She writes the Horror Tree's weekly newsletter, is a regular reviewer for Booklist, Ginger Nuts of Horror, and the Horror Tree, and she has taught at Southern New Hampshire University, Passaic County Community College, and the County College of Morris. She holds a BA from William Paterson University, an MLIS from San Jose State University, and an MFA in Fiction from Lindenwood University.

Shari Goldhagen is the author of the novels In Some Other World, Maybe (St. Martins), Family and Other Accidents (Random House) and 100 Days of Cake (Atheneum Books for Young Readers). Her short stories have appeared in Indiana Review, Prism International, Beacon Street Review, and Wascana Review, and her nonfiction has appeared in the National Enquirer, Complete Woman, teenStyle, Ohioana, and Restaurants and Institutions. She is editor of the nonfiction anthology Witches Then and Now (Centennial), and editor-in-chief of Women & Weed magazine. She has taught at Ohio State University. She holds a BSJ from Northwestern University and an MFA in Fiction from Ohio State 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.

Scott Alexander Hess is the author of five novels, including Skyscraper, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, The Butcher's Sons, named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015 (both Lethe Press), and the novellas, A Season in Delhi, The Root of Everything & Lightning (all Rebel Satori Press). His work has appeared in HuffPost, Genre Magazine, The Fix, and Thema Literary Review. He co-wrote “Tom in America,” an award-winning short film, and curates Hot Lit, an LGBTQ+ themed monthly newsletter. He holds a BJ from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MFA in Fiction from The New School.

George Jreije is the author of the Shad Hadid children's fantasy series, the novel Bashir Boutros and the Jewels of the Nile, and the forthcoming graphic novel Tarik’s Bazaar Adventure (all HarperCollins). He has also written short stories published in collaboration with UNICEF. He has taught for the Concord (Massachusetts) Library System, the Orlando Libraries, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He holds a BS and an MBA from Clark University. 

Meghan Kenny is the author of the novel The Driest Season (W.W. Norton & Company), a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, and  the short story collection Love Is No Small Thing (LSU Press). Her short stories have appeared in Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Gettysburg Review, Cincinnati Review, Hobart, and Pleiades. She has taught at Boise State University, Johns Hopkins University, and Franklin & Marshall College. She holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MFA in Fiction from Boise State University.

Kody Keplinger is the author of the young adult Hamilton High series (Little Brown/Poppy), which includes the New York Times best-selling The DUFF, also the young adult novels That's Not What HappenedRun (both Scholastic), Secrets and Lies (Poppy)and the graphic novel Poison Ivy: Thorns (DC Comics). She is also the author of the middle grade novels Lila and Hadley and The Swift Boys & Me (both Scholastic). She has published fiction in Young Adult Review Net, and nonfiction in Seventeen, YA Highway, and Poptimal.

Megan Kruse is the author of the novel Call Me Home (Hawthorne Books). She has published short stories and nonfiction in Narrative Magazine, Drunken Boat, Witness Magazine, The Sun, Bellingham Review, and Psychology Today, and her short fiction is included in the anthologies Portland Noir (Akashic) and Portland Queer (Lit Star Press). She was named a 5 Under 35 honoree by the National Book Awards. She has taught for Eastern Oregon University, the University of Montana, Ashford University, Badgerdog in Austin, and Hugo House in Seattle. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.

Angela Lam is the author of the memoir Red Eggs and Good Luck (She Writes Press), the novels Friends First, The Divorce Planner, and the Women of the Crush series (all The Wild Rose Press), and Blood Moon Rising (Eternal Press), and the short story collection The Human Act and Other Stories (All Things That Matter Press). Her nonfiction has appeared in The Sun, the San Jose Mercury News, SFGate, the Portland Book Review, and the Bohemian. She holds a BA from Sonoma State University.

Carolyn MacCullough is the author of the young adult novels Falling Through Darkness, a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age, Stealing Henry, Drawing the Ocean (all Roaring Brook Press)and the fantasy Witch series (Graphia). She has taught at the New School. She holds a BA from Grinnell College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School.

Christine Meade is the author of the novel The Way You Burn (She Writes Press), and her personal essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, Chicago Literati, HuffPost, the Manifest-Station, and Writer’s Digest. She has taught for 826 Boston, Lasell College, and Curry College. She holds a BA from Northeastern University and an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts.

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.

Benjamin Obler is the author of the novel Javascotia (Penguin UK). His short stories and essays have appeared in The Guardian, London Times, Mirror, Electric Literature, Long Reads, Puerto Del Sol, The Junction, Belle Ombre, Qwerty, Sundress, Thirty-Two, Cottonwood, and Evansville Review. He has taught at the Loft Literary Center. He holds a BA from the University of St. Thomas and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow.

Kristin Rockaway is the author of the novels Smart Girl Summer, Life, Unscheduled (both Montlake), How to Hack a HeartbreakShe’s Faking It(both Graydon House), and The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World (Center Street), as well as the young adult novel My Epic Spring Break (Up) (Underlined). She’s written essays and blog posts for Fresh Fiction, Frolic, Novel Novice, We Heart Writing, and Women Writers, Women’s Books. She holds a BA from New York University.

Alanna Schubach is the author of the novel The Nobodies (Blackstone Publishing). Her short stories have appeared in Sewanee Review, Massachusetts Review, Juked, and Electric Literature's Recommended Reading. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Atlantic, The NationJacobin, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, and the LA Review of Books. She has taught at the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, the College Readiness Program, the Westchester County Department of Corrections, and Girls Write Now. She holds a BA from American University and an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

Radhika Sharma is the author of the novel Mangoes for Monkeys and the short story collection Parikrama, (both Frog Books/Leadstart Publishing). Her short fiction has appeared in the Santa Clara Review and The Fanzine, and her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Times of India, the Economic Times, Pacific Time, Perspectives, In the Fray, and the Forum on KQED FM, among many others. She is a former assistant fiction editor for 14Hills literary magazine, and she has taught for San Francisco State University, Milipitas Adult Education, and the Learning Bee. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

Tatjana Soli is the author of the novels The Lotus Eaters, a New York Times bestseller, The Removes (Sarah Crichton Books), The Forgetting Treeand The Last Good Paradise (both St. Martin’s Press). She has published short stories in StoryQuarterly, Confrontation, Gulf Coast, Other Voices, Nimrod, Third Coast, Carolina Quarterly, Sonora Review and North Dakota Quarterly, and her work has been twice cited in Best American Short Stories. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MFA in Fiction from Warren Wilson.

Divya Sood is the author of the novels Find Someone to Love and Nights Like This (both Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have won the New Jersey Arts and Letters First Prize for Short Fiction and appeared in The Masters Review. She has taught at Rutgers University and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from Rutgers University, an MA in English, and an MFA in Fiction, both from New York University. 

Jessica Sticklor (also writing as Jessica Stilling and J.M. Stephen) is the author of the novels Just So Many Places (NineStar Press), After the Barricades, The Weary God of Ancient Travelers (both D.X. Varos), The Beekeeper's Daughter (Bedazzled Ink Press), and Betwixt and Between (Ig Publishing), and the young adult Pan Chronicles series and The Rise of Runes and Shields, book one of her Seidr Sagas young adult fantasy series (all D.X. Varos). Her short stories have appeared in The Paper Nautilus, Open Wide Magazine, Conclave, The Skyline Review, Chiron Review, and Kudzu, and her nonfiction has appeared in The Writer, Ms., and Tor.com. She has worked as an editor at The House of Books. She holds a BA from The New School and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY.

Katherine Taylor is the author of the novels Valley Fever and Rules For Saying Goodbye (both Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). Her essays and short stories have appeared in Elle, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Ploughshares, ZYZZYVA, Southwest Review, Town and Country, Prairie Schooner, and Shenandoah. She holds a BA from USC and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Arlaina Tibensky is the author of the novel And Then Things Fall Apart (Simon & Schuster). Her short stories and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, SmokeLong QuarterlyMcSweeney's, Madison ReviewThe Dinner Party DownloadNew Stories from the Midwest 2018 (New American Press), the New York Times, and elsewhere. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.

Irene Zabytko is the author of the novel The Sky Unwashed (Algonquin), and the short story collection When Luba Leaves Home (Algonquin). Her short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and her nonfiction has appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, the New York Times Book Review, and the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine. She received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award in Ukraine for an upcoming novel based on the life of Nikolai Gogol. She holds a BA from Vermont College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College.