Writer to Writer’s Spring 2019 Mentees

AWP celebrates the 30 writers selected to participate in the Spring 2019 session of Writer to Writer. We received hundreds of applications for this session. Mentors were each given several strong applications to choose from and selected their own mentees.

If you would like to apply for a mentor, mentee applications for the Fall 2019 session will be accepted August 1–12 via Submittable.

  • Talea Anderson

    Talea Anderson

    Creative Nonfiction

    Talea Anderson is a librarian at Washington State University. She received a BA in history and creative nonfiction writing from Walla Walla University as well as master's degrees in library and information science and history from the University of Washington and Central Washington University. She particularly enjoys creative nonfiction writing. 

    Talea Anderson is working with Sandra Gail Lambert of Gainesville, FL.

  • Nicole Barden

    Nicole Barden


    Nicole Barden is a poet whose work uses themes such as identity, faith, and morality as prisms for understanding herself and the world around her. She studied English at Spelman College. Nicole was born in Richmond, VA, and currently lives in Washington, DC with her wife and daughter.

    Nicole Barden is working with Allen Braden of Lakewood, WA.

  • Evana Bodiker

    Evana Bodiker


    Evana Bodiker is a poet born and raised in North Carolina living in Boston. She is the author of the chapbook Ephemera (Texas Review Press 2018), which won the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied religious studies and creative writing, she won the Robert B. House Memorial Prize for poetry. Currently, she reads for Salamander Magazine. Her poems are forthcoming or can be found in The Oyez ReviewThe Emerson ReviewLEVELERNoble / Gas Qtrly, and elsewhere. You can follow her on Twitter @evanakaelyn.

    Evana Bodiker is working with Athena Kildegaard of Morris, MN.

  • William Ward Butler

    William Ward Butler


    William Ward Butler is a writer and educator from northern California. He studied literature, creative writing, and education at UC Santa Cruz, where he was a senior editor of Chinquapin Literary Magazine and co-editor-in-chief of Fish Rap Live, a satirical newspaper. He has read his poems at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Nourse Theater in San Francisco, and has been published in Assaracus, Bodega MagazineHobart, and other journals. He works for the Young Writers Program in Santa Cruz and leads Word Lab, a free after-school creative writing program for middle school and high school students.

    William Ward Butler is working with Richard Terrill of Minneapolis, MN.

  • Gillian Esquivia-Cohen

    Gillian Esquivia-Cohen


    Gillian Esquivia-Cohen is an alumna of the Tin House Summer Workshop whose work has appeared in Crossing Class: The Invisible Wall (Wising Up Press, 2018) and A-Minor Magazine. She is currently working on a novel that explores how the past is experienced as a living present and the ways in which this experience of history colors how we understand ourselves and the world. She lives in Bogotá, Colombia.

    Gillian Esquivia-Cohen is working with Natalia Treviño of Helotes, TX.

  • Michael Freed-Thall

    Michael Freed-Thall


    Michael Freed-Thall grew up in Philadelphia, nurtured by progressive activists and sports fanatics. He and his wife built their home in Vermont and raised two children. Their grandson just turned three. Since he retired as a school principal, gardening, travel, and writing have been his passions. His work has appeared in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Best of the Burlington Writer’s Workshop Anthologies, as well as Seven Days. Recently he helped edit the 2018 Cold Lake Anthology, He is currently finishing his first historical novel, The Horodno Bookshop Lady, set in the 19th century Russian Empire.

    Michael Freed-Thall is working with Lex Williford of El Paso, TX.

  • Annelyse Gelman

    Annelyse Gelman


    Annelyse Gelman’s work has appeared in BOMB MagazineThe New YorkerThe Iowa ReviewVerse Daily, the PEN Poetry Series, and elsewhere, and she is the author of the poetry collection Everyone I Love Is a Stranger to Someone (2014). She was the inaugural poet-in-residence at UCSD's Brain Observatory and a Fulbright grantee in Berlin for her work at the intersection of poetry, music, and film, and currently holds a fellowship at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, TX. Find her at annelysegelman.com.

    Annelyse Gelman is working with Michael Meyerhofer Fresno, CA.

  • Stephanie George

    Stephanie George


    Stephanie George is a storyteller, curator, and grassroots fundraiser from the Bronx, NY. Across mediums, she creates spaces that grapple with notions of home, belonging, and remembering. In her poetry, she insists the body can still feel—still remember—home across temporalities, lifetimes, and forms. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from Vassar College and works at Materials for the Arts in Queens, NY.

    Stephanie George is working with Danielle Hanson of Atlanta, GA.

  • Amy Huang

    Amy Huang


    Amy Huang lives in San Francisco and writes poetry, essays, and fiction. She is an alumna of Kearny Street Workshop's Interdisciplinary Writers Lab. Her writing draws inspiration from the experiences of diasporic communities.

    Amy Huang is working with Jenny Sadre-Orafai of Atlanta, GA.

  • Patrycja Humienik

    Patrycja Humienik


    Patrycja Humienik is a trilingual Polish-American writer and performance artist living in Seattle, WA. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Dream Pop and Poetry is Dead. Patrycja collaborates on performance projects with people in solitary confinement through letters via Dances for Solidarity and works in support of underrepresented graduate students and faculty at the University of Washington. 

    Patrycja Humienik is working with Jehanne Dubrow of Denton, TX.

  • Emily Alice Katz

    Emily Alice Katz


    Emily Alice Katz lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her family. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in LilithFlywaySky Island JournalMud Season Review, and Kindred and has been recognized by Glimmer Train. A songwriter and vocalist, she’s currently a member of Manifesto Klezmer Band. She earned a PhD in modern Jewish studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2008 and is the author of Bringing Zion Home: Israel in American Jewish Culture, 1948-1967. She aims to keep her grad-school Yiddish fresh enough to inspire new creative endeavors. 

    Emily Alice Katz is working with Amy Gottlieb of Bronx, NY.

  • Abbie Kiefer

    Abbie Kiefer


    Abbie Kiefer is a stay-at-home parent who has also been a journalist and a copywriter. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in The Penn Review, The Comstock Review, Iodine Poetry Journal and other publications. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and sons.

    Abbie Kiefer is working with Christina Olson of Statesboro, GA.

  • Burcu Koray

    Burcu Koray


    Burcu Koray, who was born and raised by the north coast of Istanbul, is a Turkish writer/filmmaker working with natural landscapes, human bodies, mythologies. Her site-specific pieces have been installed in an arboretum, an airport, an Arctic church and a fishing vessel touring the Black Sea. Her work has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, the Guild Hall of East Hampton, the Muse and the Marketplace, and others. Burcu is working on Songs from the Word Shed, a novel which tackles the mystery of speech; and Word Flight, a spatial reading platform which combines literature with the cinematic imagination and AR.

    Burcu Koray is working with Emily Fridlund of Ithaca, NY.

  • Brandi Lee Metzger

    Brandi Lee Metzger

    Speculative Fiction

    Brandi Lee Metzger lives in Indianapolis, IN and writes speculative fiction for young readers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Oberlin College and is an alumna of the New York State Summer Writers Institute. Professional cat lover. 

    Brandi Lee Metzger is working with Joe Milazzo of Dallas, TX.

  • Amalia Melis

    Amalia Melis

    Creative Nonfiction

    Amalia Melis is a Greek-American writer from New York who lives/writes/plays in Greece. She has published short stories/essays in Guernica and Glimmer Train. She is a freelance writer who has worked as a hard news reporter/feature writer for newspapers, magazines reporting from Greece and the U.S. When facing the blank page, she creates assemblage pieces from discarded metal and wires she finds to tell three-dimensional stories. She has an MA from the New School for Social Research, New York. She created and organizes the Aegean Arts Circle writing workshops held in Andros, Greece for the last 17 years.

    Amalia Melis is working with Xu Xi in New York, NY.

  • Liz Paley

    Liz Paley


    Liz Paley was born and raised on Long Island, NY where her parents, a community newspaper publisher and teacher, instilled in her a love of reading and writing. She has a master's degree in psychology and has worked in social services for twenty-five years. Now settled in Concord, MA, she has two grown daughters. A mainstay of her life includes classes at GrubStreet in Boston where she recently completed the Short Story Incubator Program. Last summer, she attended the 2018 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Liz draws inspiration for her short stories from the people who have most impacted her life.

    Liz Paley is working with Benjamin Ludwig of Barrington, NH.

  • Mary Pan

    Mary Pan

    Creative Nonfiction

    Mary Pan is a writer and family medicine physician with a background in global health and narrative medicine. Her work appears in Intima, Hektoen International, Pulse, Blood and Thunder, and elsewhere. Her essays have been anthologized or are forthcoming in Nine Lives, Humanity, My Caesarean, and This Side of Doctoring. She lives in Seattle with her husband and three young children. More at marypanwriter.com.

    Mary Pan is working with Emily Maloney of Evanston, IL.

  • Emma Pattee

    Emma Pattee


    Emma Pattee is a writer from Portland, Oregon. Her work has been published in Carve Magazine, Word Riot, and is forthcoming in the New York Times. Learn more at emmapattee.com.

    Emma Pattee is working with Pamela Erens of Maplewood, NJ.

  • Alexandra Peetz

    Alexandra Peetz


    Alexandra Peetz’s a little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing: a curious intellectual, a hyper delinquent, an impatient teacher, a student of Buddhism, a fanatical minimalist, a consummate opportunist, a music addict, and a sober realist. Her punk poetry has been published and performed; she also writes incendiary novels and resides in the wildfire-scorched hills of Oak Park, CA.

    Alexandra Peetz is working with Katie Rose Guest Pryal of Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Ken Post

    Ken Post


    Ken Post, originally from the suburbs of New Jersey, recently retired from the Forest Service after working in Alaska for 40 years studying grizzly bears, building trail, as well as managing a large mine and several wilderness areas. He previously published nonfiction in Forest World and has moved on to fiction, often drawing on his experience in the woods. During the long, dark winters, he writes short stories. He currently resides in Juneau, Alaska in a remodeled beach home on Lena Cove that looks across a glacial fiord—a constant inspiration for his writing.

    Ken Post is working with Evan Morgan Williams of Portland, OR.

  • Tammie Rice

    Tammie Rice

    Creative Nonfiction

    Tammie Rice's vocational path resembles the dance of a drunken octopus, with work experience in jewelry design/repair, ice/roller-skating instructor, coliseum and arts council marketing director, and elementary/middle school technology coordinator. While earning an MFA at Mississippi University for Women, Tammie interned for Carolina Wren Press and was managing editor for Ponder Review. She is presently assistant editor of Poetry South and reader for the 2019 CLMP Firecracker Awards. Living under a piedmont sky with two cats and a husband she doesn't deserve, Tammie keeps busy with freelance work in editing, graphic design, web construction, and marketing. Long Live the Oxford Comma!

    Tammie Rice is working with Alex Lemon of Fort Worth, TX.

  • Whitney Rio-Ross

    Whitney Rio-Ross


    Whitney Rio-Ross teaches English as an adjunct instructor at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, where she lives with her husband and practically perfect pup. She received her Master’s in Religion and Literature from Yale Divinity School, decided to stop studying theology, and now can’t stop writing about the divine. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Rock & Sling, Saint Katherine Review, Gravel, America Magazine, The Windhover, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter at @whitlynnrioross.

    Whitney Rio-Ross is working with Jay Sheets of Plymouth, MA.

  • Rashi Rohatgi

    Rashi Rohatgi


    Rashi Rohatgi teaches English in arctic Norway.

    Rashi Rohatgi is working with Faiqa Mansab of Pakistan.



  • Angela Sanchez

    Angela M. Sanchez

    Speculative Fiction

    Angela M. Sanchez is a Los Angeles native and 2018 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow. Working at the nexus of higher education, policy, and the nonprofit sector, Angela focuses on narratives that have been typically underrepresented in children's literature. She has written and self-published a children’s book, Scruffy and the Egg, about single-parenthood and homelessness. Her first novel, a YA urban fantasy, received SCBWI's 2017 Work in Progress Award. Angela was a 2018 finalist for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Diverse Writers/Worlds Grant. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Exponent Philanthropy, and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.

    Angela M. Sanchez is working with Fran Wilde of Philadelphia, PA.

  • Rowan Sharp

    Rowan Sharp


    Rowan Sharp grew up on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest but lived for many years in New Orleans. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Literary Review and the Beloit Poetry Journal. Her translations, from Spanish, have appeared in several journals and in Pinholes in the Night: Essential Poems from Latin America, from Copper Canyon Press. She now lives in Port Townsend, Washington, where she proofreads and copy edits poetry for Copper Canyon. She also works as a landscaper, throws generator dance parties, and co-captains a small, rickety sailboat.

    Rowan Sharp is working with Anne Sanow of New Orleans, LA.

  • Phylise Smith

    Phylise Smith


    Phylise Smith is a dancer poet from Los Angeles County. She's received writing conference scholarships and has studied poetry at various workshops and abroad including Tin House, Winter Tangerine, 92nd Street Y in New York, Poets on the Coast in Seattle and other places. Phylise's poetry focuses upon identity, femininity, the marginalized, and family.   She has served as a reader for Expo Review and her poetry has been published in aaduna.org, Selkie Lit, Los Angeles Calendar and other places. Phylise has published online and in Los Angeles Print Journals.

    Phylise Smith is working with Kristi Maxwell of Louisville, KY.

  • Donna Tallent

    Donna Tallent

    Creative Nonfiction

    Donna Tallent is an alumna of the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, the recipient of a Slice Literary Conference scholarship, and is currently completing the final semester of her MFA at Queens University of Charlotte. She grew up in Spotsylvania, VA and currently resides in Queens, NY. Her website is www.donnatallent.net

    Donna Tallent is working with Suzanne Farrell Smith of Wilton, CT.

  • Laurie Thomas

    Laurie Thomas


    Laurie Thomas is a fiction writer and filmmaker with roots in Miami, Florida and Kingston, Jamaica. As a fiction writer, Thomas has been a participant of the Tin House Intensive Workshop and has received a work-study scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. 
    As a filmmaker, Thomas was nominated for a 2017 National Magazine Award in Video. Thomas holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University and is a current Tulsa Artist Fellow working on a collection of short stories.

    Laurie Thomas is working with Renee Simms of University Place, WA.

  • Faerl Marie Torres

    Faerl Marie Torres


    Faerl Marie Torres holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico. She writes both literary and commercial fiction with a focus on Women’s Fiction. Pieces of her short fiction have appeared in Centum Press with publication forthcoming in The Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review. Faerl is the recipient of the 2018 Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction, the 2018 Hillerman-McGarrity Creative Writing Endowment, the 2016 Dear Lucky Agent Award, as well as a finalist for the 2016 Charles Johnson Fiction Award. Faerl lives with her husband and daughter in the mountains near Albuquerque.  

    Faerl Marie Torres is working with Tif Marcelo of Springfield, VA.

  • Jesse Weiner

    Jesse Weiner

    YA Fiction

    Jesse Weiner graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with dual degrees in English and International Affairs. Before deciding to write for young adults, she worked with them as a high school teacher and academic advisor. She lives in Colorado with her husband, daughter, and two fur children. Jesse is currently seeking representation for a gritty YA fantasy novel. Her short stories have appeared in publications such as Youth Imagination MagazineThe Saturday Evening Post, and more. Connect with her on Instagram @jesse.weiner or read some of her work at Jessemaeweiner.com.

    Jesse Weiner is working with Phoebe Kitanidis of Seattle, WA.

Previous Participants

See lists of previous Writer to Writer participants.