Writer to Writer’s Fall 2021 Mentees

AWP celebrates the 20 writers selected to participate in the Fall 2021 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 Spring 2022 session will be accepted March 15–April 15 via Submittable.

  • Megan Pinto

    Megan Pinto


    Megan Pinto is a poet living in Brooklyn. Her work has received support from Bread Loaf, the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, the Port Townsend Writers' Conference, and an Amy Award from Poets & Writers. She holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson. Find her online at www.meganpinto.com.

    Megan Pinto is working with Neil Aitken.

  • Amy Alvarez

    Amy Alvarez


    Amy Alvarez is a Black Latina poet, educator, and scholar. Her work focuses on race, ethnicity, gender, regionality, nationality, and social justice. She has been awarded fellowships from CantoMundo, VONA, Macondo, VCCA, and the Furious Flower Poetry Center. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, River Styx, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Alaska Quarterly Review, PRISM international, and elsewhere. Born in New York City to Jamaican and Puerto Rican parents, she now lives and teaches in Morgantown, West Virginia.

    Amy Alvarez is working with Claire Wahmanholm.

  • Jennifer Poteet

    Jennifer Poteet


    Jennifer Poteet lives in Montclair, New Jersey. Her work has been published recently in The Night Heron Barks, Swwim, The Mom Egg Review, Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her chapbook Sleepwalking Home was published by Dancing Girl Press. Jennifer’s website is jenniferpoteet.com.

    Jennifer Poteet is working with Matthew Thorburn.

  • Sharon Browning

    Sharon Browning


    Sharon Browning has worked in public health for over twenty years. She is a program manager with the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program at the Pima County Public Health Department. When she is not conducting drills to prepare for natural or manmade disasters, she writes poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction featuring the history and experiences of Black women. Sharon graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in biochemistry. In 2021, she attained her MFA from Lindenwood University. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Alpha Chi, and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies.

    Sharon Browningis working with Sean Singer.

  • Nina Murray

    Nina Murray


    Nina Murray was born and raised in the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv. She holds advanced degrees in linguistics and creative writing. She is the author of the poetry collection Alcestis in the Underworld (Circling Rivers Press, 2019) as well as the chapbooks Minimize Considered (Finishing Line Press, 2018), Minor Heresies (Heartland Review Press, 2020), and Damascus Electric (Pen & Anvil Press, 2020). Her award-winning translations include Oksana Zabuzhko’s Museum of Abandoned Secrets, and Oksana Lutsyshyna’s Ivan and Phoebe (forthcoming from Deep Vellum).

    Nina Murray is working with Alexa Doran.

  • JC Williams

    JC Williams


    JC Williams came to writing poetry later in life after careers as a philosophy professor and an attorney. She has a PhD in philosophy from the University of California, Davis and a JD from the University of Richmond. Born in eastern North Carolina at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, she attended undergraduate school in Georgia before moving west for graduate school. Her birth culture, early experiences in the South, love of the outdoors, and extensive travels find their way into many of her poems.

    JC Williams is working with Jehanne Dubrow.

  • Simona Carini

    Simona Carini


    Born in Perugia, Italy, a graduate of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan, Italy) and of Mills College (Oakland, California), Simona Carini (she/her) writes poetry and nonfiction and has been published in various venues in print and online. Her first poetry collection is forthcoming from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions in 2022. She lives in Northern California with her husband and works as a data scientist at an academic research institution. Her website is https://simonacarini.com.

    Simona Carini is working with Jim Kates.

  • Christopher Vaughan

    Christopher Vaughan


    Christopher R. Vaughan’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including the Cincinnati Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Off the Coast, and Del Sol Review, and his poetry reviews have appeared in Great River Review and Kenyon Review Online. He was a winner of the 2020 Princemere Poetry Prize, and he received the Sharon Olds Honorary Scholarship from the Community of Writers in 2021. He lives in Minneapolis.

    Christopher Vaughan is working with Doug Sutton-Ramspeck.

  • Samar Al Summary

    Samar Al Summary

    Creative Nonfiction

    Samar Al Summary is a writer and visual artist born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She is an alumna of Tin House as well as the Ashkal Alwan Educational Residency in Beirut, Lebanon. Her work has been exhibited and screened internationally. Her writing has been published by Well Gedacht, and her photography has been published in Aperture. She was recently an artist in residence at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska.

    Samar is working with David Eye.

  • Lacey Dunham

    Lacey Dunham

    Creative Nonfiction

    Lacey Dunham’s work has been nominated for the Best American Short Stories and appears in Ploughshares online, Witness, Southwest Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Pigeon Pages, Full Stop, and the Maine Review, among others. A first-generation college graduate, she lives in Washington, DC. Find her on Twitter @bookbent.

    Lacey Dunham is working with Dawn Raffel.

  • J.P. Der Boghossian

    J.P. Der Boghossian

    Creative Nonfiction

    J.P. Der Boghossian (he/they) is the founder of the Queer Armenian Library, the world's first library devoted exclusively to literature by and about queer Armenians. He edited and published an academic chapter on the Minnesota LGBTQ Standards of Inclusion for Health and Human Services. Their essays are featured in The Sun Isn't Out Long Enough (Anamot Press) and Imagining and Seeing: Voices from the Armenian Diaspora (University of Texas Press, 2022). J.P. serves on the Board of the International Armenian Literary Alliance. queerarmenianlibrary.com.

    J.P. Der Boghossian is working with Lara Lillibridge.

  • Rachel Howard

    Rachel Howard


    Rachel Howard (he/she/they pronouns) is an artist and author from the Pacific Northwest, currently residing on Spokane land. By day they are a server at a ceviche bar, and by night, a maker of illustrated novels and zines seeking to evoke wonder, love, and self-acceptance through words and art. They are trilingual and have one cat.

    Rachel Howard is working with Jen Breach.

  • Lorinda Toledo

    Lorinda Toledo


    Lorinda Toledo’s novel-in-progress, “The Nature of Fire,” was named first runner-up for the 2019 James Jones First Novel Fellowship, and her short fiction has been published in the Mississippi Review, The Normal School, and elsewhere. Lorinda earned a doctorate in literature with creative dissertation from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 2019, where her work was supported by a Barrick Graduate Fellowship, a Black Mountain Institute PhD Fellowship, and other awards. Learn more at lorindatoledo.com.

    Lorinda Toledo is working with Daniel Olivas.

  • Jess Guinivan

    Jess Guinivan


    Jess Guinivan is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Writing for Screen and Television program. Her debut short fiction “Salsola” appeared in Weber—The Contemporary West. She works as a publicist for stand-up comedians in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

    Jess Guinivan is working with Joann Smith.

  • Laysha Ostrow

    Laysha Ostrow


    Laysha Ostrow is a writer, scholar, and entrepreneur on the central coast of California. She has published two short stories in the literary magazines STORGY and Idle Ink and over thirty peer-reviewed scholarly articles and book chapters. Laysha holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree from Brandeis University and is pursuing a certificate in creative writing from UCLA. Laysha is the founder/CEO of Live & Learn, Inc., the only psychiatric survivor-research organization in the US. In both her creative and academic work, Laysha focuses on connection and dignity as forms of personal resistance against institutional forces.

    Laysha Ostrow is working with Lucy Ferriss.

  • Laura Joyce Davis

    Laura Joyce Davis


    Laura Joyce Davis is an award-winning fiction writer and podcaster, the founding president of the Kasama Collective, and the host and creator of Shelter in Place, which won the Changing the World One Moment at a Time Award at the 2021 International Women's Podcast Awards. Her fiction has been recognized with a Fulbright scholarship, a Poets & Writers Exchange Award, Pushcart Prize nominations, and occasional praise from her three children, who believe that anything is possible with a good book, a cape, and a crown (she doesn't disagree).

    Laura Joyce Davis is working with Anne Leigh Parrish.

  • Sarah Schiff

    Sarah Schiff


    Sarah Schiff earned her PhD in American literature from Emory University but is a fugitive from higher education. She now writes fiction and teaches high school English in Atlanta. Her stories have appeared in Cleaver, Raleigh Review, J Journal, MonkeyBicycle, and Fiction Southeast, among others, and one has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently at work on her first novel, “As Though to Breathe Were Life.”

    Sarah Schiff is working with Kristen Witucki.

  • Sal Ragen

    Sal Ragen


    Sal Ragen is a poet and writer from southeast Iowa. She is the recipient of the 2021 Helen W. Kenefick Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and is currently a student at the University of Nebraska Omaha Writers’ Workshop. Sal is at work on a novel and poetry chapbook.

    Sal Ragen is working with Mark Pleiss.

  • Katheryn Gallant

    Katheryn Gallant


    Katheryn Gallant was born and raised in Southern California. She received her bachelor of arts in liberal studies from California State University, Los Angeles. She has written for Brazzil and the Journal of Liberal History but primarily writes upmarket historical fiction and alternate history with real-life female protagonists. When not writing, she enjoys puns and matching her wits with contestants while watching Jeopardy! on TV. She shares a home in Southern California with her mother, brother, and three cats. You can find her on Twitter @Gentillylace.

    Katheryn Gallant is working with Maryka Biaggio.

  • Chital Mehta

    Chital Mehta


    Chital Mehta Chital Mehta is a writer of color and an MFA graduate from Lindenwood University. She serves as a fiction reader for Ploughshares magazine, and her fiction has appeared in LandLocked and Sangam. Her fiction is forthcoming in The Noyo Review and her essay is forthcoming in a Parenting anthology, Keeping Under the Wraps. She lives in Delaware, where she is revising her novel.

    Chital Mehta is working with Rochelle Spencer.

Previous Participants

See lists of previous Writer to Writer participants.