Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Susan Breen is the author of the novel The Fiction Class (Plume and Headline Review UK), and the Maggie Dove series of mystery books (Random House Alibi). She has published short fiction in American Literary Review, Chattahoochee Review, Nebraska Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, anderbo, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. 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 Books, forthcoming). His short fiction has appeared in Storyglossia, Hobart, Mad Hatter’s Review, and Prime Number Magazine, and been anthologized in the Dzanc Press Best of the Web collections. He writes the Path to Professionalizing column for The Writer magazine, and the Stories from the City column for Burning Man. He has published articles in Military Review magazine and Infantry magazine, and served as a foreign area officer and U.S. Army attaché in Oman and Yemen, 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.

Shari Goldhagen is the author of the novels Some Other World, Maybe (St. Martins), Family and Other Accidents (Random House) and 100 Days of Cake (Atheneum Books for Young Readers). She has published fiction in Indiana Review, Prism International, Beacon Street Review, and Wascana Review, and she has published articles in the National Enquirer, Complete Woman, teenStyle, Ohioana, and Restaurants and Institutions. 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 WaitressLong 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 Forever Changes  (by Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom (Walker Books) and A Really Awesome Mess (Egmont USA) . He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Teaching from Tufts University. 

Masha Hamilton is the author of the novels 31 Hours, What Changes Everything, and The Distance Between Us (all Unbridled Books), The Camel Bookmobile (HarperCollins), and Staircase of a Thousand Steps (BlueHen/Penguin Putnam Publishing Group). As a journalist, she worked for the AP in Israel, as the Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and she wrote a column on Moscow for U.S. newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Dallas Morning News and the Miami Herald. She is the founder of the Afghan Women Writer's Project. She served as director of communications and public diplomacy for the US Embassy in Afghanistan and vice president of communications for the international NGO Concern Worldwide. She holds a BA from Brown University.

Scott Alexander Hess is the author of the novels The River Runs Red, Skyscraper, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and The Butcher's Sons (all Lethe Press), Bergdorf Boys, and Diary of a Sex Addict, (both JMS Books). His short fiction and essays have appeared in Genre Magazine, The Fix, and The Huffington Post, and he co-wrote the short film Tom in America, which screened at more than a dozen film festivals. He holds a BJ from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MFA in Fiction from The New School.

Tommy Jenkins wrote the short film "Come Back to the Five and Dime Buster Keaton, Buster Keaton," which won Best Comedy at the Polo Ralph Lauren/New Line Columbia Film Festival, and his short film "Obit" has been screened at several film festivals. He authored a chapter on Plot in Gotham's book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA), and he is the author of Movie Trivia Quiz Book and The TV Trivia Book (Barnes & Noble). He is also the author of the graphic novel Drawing the Vote (Abrams ComicArts). He has taught at Columbia University and Louisburg College. He holds a BA from UNC at Chapel Hill and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

Jaime Karnes has published fiction and nonfiction in Granta, Storyglossia, Willard & Maple, HTMLGIANT, PopMatters and TransLit Magazine. She is an Editor-at-Large in fiction at The Utopian. She has taught at Rutgers and Essex County College. She holds a BA from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark 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 of the short-story collection Love Is No Small Thing (LSU Press). Her short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Gettysburg Review, The Cincinnati Review, Hobart, and  Pleiades, among many others. She has taught at Boise State University, The Cabin Literary Center, for the Writers in the Schools Program in Idaho, and at the Gilman School as a Tickner Writing Fellow. She holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MFA in Fiction from Boise State University.

Kody Keplinger is the author of the novel The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), which reached No. 2 on the New York Times Young Adult Best Sellers List and was made into a feature film by CBS Films. She is also the author of the young adult novels That's Not What Happened, Run, Lying Out Loud, (all Scholastic), Shut Out, Secrets and Lies, and A Midsummer’s Nightmare (all Little Brown Books for Young Readers), and the middle-grade novel The Swift Boys & Me (Scholastic). She has published fiction in Young Adult Review Net, and nonfiction in Seventeen magazine, YA Highway, and Poptimal.

Megan Kruse is the author of the novel Call Me Home (Hawthorne Books). She has published fiction 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 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.

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

Thaïs Miller is the author of the novel Our Machinery and the short story collection The Subconscious Mutiny and Other Stories (both Brown Paper Publishing). Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Nautilus, Bleak House Review, AmLit, and the anthology  Lethal Rejection (Carolina Academic Press). She holds a BA from American University and an MA in Creative Writing for Social Activism from NYU. 

N. West Moss is the author of the short-story collection The Subway Stops at Bryant Park (Leapfrog Press), and her fiction has been published in McSweeney’s, the New World Review, The Saturday Evening Post, Cahoodaloodaling, The Stockholm Review, Salt,Blotter Magazine, and The Westchester Review, among many others. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Salon, The New York Times, Brevity, Memoir Journal, Sou-Wester, Ars Medica, and Hospital Drive Magazine, among others. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and 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, and an MFA in Creative Writing from William Paterson University.

Amy Sue Nathan is the author of the novels The Last Bathing Beauty (forthcoming, Lake Union Publishing), Left to ChanceThe Good Neighbor, and The Glass Wives, (all St. Martin’s Press). She was a columnist for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Perspectives section, and her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Psychology Today, Imperfect Parent, Writer’s Digest, and Writer Unboxed, among many others. She writes the Women’s Fiction Writers blog, and has taught for the Chicago Writers Workshop, the Philadelphia Writers Workshop, and Writer’s Digest. She holds a BA in journalism from Temple University.

Benjamin Obler is the author of the novel Javascotia (HamishHamilton), and he has published short fiction and essays in Cottonwood, the Evansville Review, the Times of London, QWERTY, and The Slate. 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.

Lisa Reardon is the author of the novels The Mercy Killers (Counterpoint Press), Blameless (Random House), and Billy Dead (Viking), which was named one of 20 Top First Novels by Booklist. She has also written numerous plays which have been produced throughout the country. She has taught at the Circle Repertory School, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Division of Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Playwriting from Yale.

Lev AC Rosen is the author of the novels Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) (Little, Brown), Depth (Regan Arts), and All Men of Genius (Tor), and the middle-grade novels The Memory Wall (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers), and Woundabout (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). He has published short fiction in Esopus and written for Tor.com. He has taught at the Oberlin Experimental College. He holds a BA from Oberlin and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence.

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 fiction 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 and an MA in English from New York University. 

Nelsie Spencer is the author of the novel The Playgroup, (St. Martin’s Press), and the feature screenplay A Girl's Best Friend. She co-wrote the feature film Valley Inn, which debuted at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. She wrote, produced, and co-hosted the radio show The Radio Ritas, (Greenstone Media) and hosts the podcast Losing It. She co-wrote and starred in the play My Heart Belongs To Daddy, produced at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Dorothy Lyman’s A Director’s Theater in Los Angeles, and at Duke University’s Pre-Broadway series, and her one-woman show Goodbye Cream played at the When I’m 34 Festival in Los Angeles. She studied dance and theater at Orange Coast College, and fiction at The New School.

Jessica Sticklor is the author of the novels The Beekeeper's Daughter (Bedazzled Ink Press) and Betwixt and Between (Ig Publishing), under her author's name Jessica Stilling, and the young adult novel Into the Fairy Forest (D.X. Varos), under the name J.M. Stephen. She has written craft articles for The Writer magazine and essays for Ms. magazine and Tor.com, and her short fiction has appeared in The Paper Nautilus, Open Wide Magazine, Conclave, The Skyline Review, Chiron Review, and Kudzu, among many others. 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 fiction have appeared in Elle, The New York 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 fiction and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the Madison Review, and The Dinner Party Download on NPR. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.

David Yoo is the author of the YA novels Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before (Hyperion) and Girls for Breakfast (Delacorte), the middle grade novel The Detention Club (Balzer + Bray), and the essay collection The Choke Artist (Grand Central). He has published fiction and nonfiction in Massachusetts Review, Rush Hour, Maryland Review, and the anthology Guys Write for Guys Read (Viking). He is also a columnist for KoreAm Journal. He has taught at Pine Manor College, Eckerd College, and CU-Boulder. He holds a BA from Skidmore College and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder.