Writer to Writer’s Spring 2018 Mentees
AWP celebrates the writers selected to participate in the Spring 2018 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 2018 session will be accepted August 1–12 via Submittable.
Allison Albino studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and has an MA in French literature from NYU. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest and the Apeiron Review, and she has a personal essay on the craft of writing in the Critical Flame. She received the Lucille Clifton Memorial Fellowship for the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and her poem, “Advice From My Immigrant Father,” was a finalist for the Joy Harjo Poetry Award. She has attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Tin House. She teaches French at The Dalton School in Manhattan.
Allison is working with the poet Neil Aitken.
Ona Anosike splits her time between Cambridge, MA, and Dallas, TX, where she works in the education field. She obtained her MFA in writing from Lesley University and writes both YA and adult literary fiction. Her work focuses on first-generation Nigerian-Americans and marginalized populations.
Ona is working with the writer Stephanie Powell Watts.
Noah Bogdonoff is a writer and clinical social worker living in Providence, Rhode Island. His fiction has appeared in Catapult and the Forge. He has a degree in environmental studies, and a cat named Alaska.
Noah is working with the writer David Ebershoff.
Arun Chittur lives with his wife and two faithful canine companions in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he teaches leadership and instructional design. Cultivating a lifelong passion for writing, he graduated in January from the Mountainview MFA program with a novel draft in-hand. Turning his attention back to nonfiction, his first published piece can be found in Assignment Online, his alma mater’s online companion to its literary magazine. Through his writing, Arun hopes to remind readers of our common experiences and all the ways our shared humanity enables us to be our best selves.
Arun is working with the writer Anjali Enjeti.
Dayna Cobarrubias is an LA based nonprofit executive and writer. In 2014, she was a Voices of Our Nation (VONA) participant, where she worked with Junot Diaz. Most recently, Dayna worked with Justin Torres through the Writing x Writers workshop in 2016. She has led growth and fundraising efforts for organizations working for educational equity for nearly 15 years, and currently serves as Vice President, Development & Strategy for Teach for America Los Angeles. Dayna is a proud third generation Angelena and graduate of Stanford University where she received her BA in political science and MA in sociology.
Dayna is working with the writer Shanthi Sekaran.
Christina is the co-author of Historic Photos of University of Michigan and has had work featured in HuffPost, Short Fiction Break, Flights: The Literary Journal of Sinclair Community College, Tribe Magazine, and Literary Mama, where she serves as Senior and Profiles Editor. She is a founding member of The Plot Sisters, a local writing group that strives to offer compassionate writing critiques and promote literary citizenship and is a member of the board of Antioch Writers’ Workshop. Along with writing and editing, Christina teaches anatomy and physiology at Sinclair Community College. Learn more about Christina at http://christinaconsolino.com.
Christina is working with the writer Anne Valente.
Molia Dumbleton is a Chicago-based writer and teacher. Her fiction has been awarded the Seán Ó Faoláin Story Prize, the Columbia Journal Winter Contest Award, and the Dromineer Literary Festival Flash Fiction Award. Her debut short story collection was a finalist for the 2018 Iowa Short Fiction Award. She has been the grateful recipient of a Peter Taylor Fellowship to the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, as well as a Susannah McCorkle Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is so flattered to be among such extraordinary company here, and so grateful to the generous Writer to Writer Mentors for holding the door open.
Molia is working with the writer Pamela Erens.
Creative Nonfiction and Fiction
Ruth Ebenstein is an award-winning American-Israeli writer, public speaker and peace/health activist who loves to laugh a lot. She is completing her memoir, Bosom Buddies: How Breast Cancer Fostered an Unexpected Friendship Across the Israeli-Palestinian Divide. Her essays have appeared in the Atlantic, The Washington Post, TriQuarterly, Tablet, Entropy, the Forward, Stars and Stripes, and other publications. Ruth completed a B.Sc. in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and an M.A. in Germany history, magna cum laude, from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She penned the children’s book, All of this Country is Called Jerusalem. Her website is http://laughthroughbreastcancer.com.
Ruth is working with the writer Amy Gottlieb.
Lupita Eyde-Tucker was raised in New Jersey and Guayaquil, Ecuador. A bilingual poet, she writes and translates in English and Spanish. Her work has appeared in Naugatuck River Review, Glass Mountain, Baltimore Review, SWWIM Every Day, and is forthcoming in Muse/A Journal and Azahares. She is the recipient of Katharine Bakeless Nasonscholarships to study poetry at Bread Loaf Translators andEnvironmental Writers Conferences, and is a fellow at The Watering Hole. She and her husband homeschool their five children—who in turn enthusiastically encourage and support her poetry and writing. In 2017, she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Lupita is working with the poet Maggie Smith.
Emily Goff is a sophomore at York College of Pennsylvania, studying English and creative writing. As part of her school’s Writing Center, she is a tutor and a writing fellow; she works for The York Review,and will have several poems in its upcoming volume. Her poetry has also appeared in NoVa Bards 2017 and Bourgeon online. Inspired by Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson, she, as a writer, finds herself exploring the universe of the mind and trying to reconcile with mental illness. Her aspirations are to grow as a poet and to empower individuals across dis/abilities to share their stories.
Emily is working with the poet Jenny Yang Cropp.
Kirin Mushtaq Khan is a writer living in Oakland, CA, who calls Albuquerque, New Mexico her hometown, and Peshawar, Pakistan her homeland. An alum of the VONA/Voices and Las Dos Brujas workshops, a 2017 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, and a 2017 SF Writers Grotto Fellow, her work has appeared in Your Impossible Voice, 7x7.LA, sPARKLE & bLINK, and Uproot. Kirin is working on her first novel.
Kirin Khan is working with the writer Laura Ellen Joyce.
Gabriela writes poetry and short stories in Anchorage, Alaska, under the season of the midnight sun or the long nights of winter solstice. A series of her poems and photographs were featured at the University of Alaska’s Arctic Perspectives: An Art and Science Event. Gabriela’s day job is a social science researcher, traveling and engaging with communities in remote Alaska. She is also a board member for the Alaska Center for the Book. Her work explores the intersection of culture, nature, and identity. Weaving people interacting with place, she writes the blurring of those boundaries.
Gabriela is working with the poet Ken Waldman.
B.C. Krygowski is elated to be part of AWP’s Writer to Writer Mentorship Program. Her background is in medicine, but her first love has always been writing. In fact, she’s attended Eckerd College’s Writers in Paradise Workshop so many times that she’s referred to as a “recidivist” there. B.C. works in Palliative Care at the VA, where retired warriors regale her with war stories. When she’s not using her overactive imagination to write YA fantasy based on these combat tales, she’s running after her two young sons—who keep her from getting a full night’s sleep. She can be found at http://BCKrygowski.com.
B.C. is working with the writer Benjamin Ludwig.
Megan Lahman is a proud working class, non-neurotypical, Appalachian poet hailing from Frostburg, Maryland. She’s a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with her degree in civic journalism, and is also an alumnus of the university’s creative writing undergraduate residency program, the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House. Other literary achievements include publication in the Backbone Mountain Review, a 2008-2009 Folger’s Poetry Lannan Fellow, and a 2008 Friends of the Fine Arts Work Center scholarship recipient for the FAWC in Provincetown. She currently works at a call center, still occasionally a music journalist during free time, and dreams of attending graduate school.
Megan Lahman is working with the poet Natalie Giarratano.
Sarah Leamy was once the boring little sister who suddenly packed up her rucksack and took to the road at eighteen. Since then she has lived in Europe, Guatemala, and all over the States. She settled in New Mexico, although she is currently a MFA student at VCFA. She has won NM/AZ Book Awards for two novels, another contest for her travelogue Van Life. She has received the VCFA Director's Award, Vermont Book Award Fellowship, and a scholarship to the Post Graduate Writer's Conference in 2018. Sarah is currently finishing another novel and a collection of short stories. Learn more about Sarah at https://sarahleamy.com.
Sarah is working with the writer Alex DiFrancesco.
Aurora Masum-Javed is a writer and educator. She currently lectures at Cornell University, where she recently received her MFA. Her work can be found in or is forthcoming from Black Warrior Review, Nimrod, Aster(ix), Callaloo, Jaggery, and So To Speak. She was the 2016 winner of the Winter Tangerine Award, a Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize finalist, a finalist for the Flash Prose Contest, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has received fellowships from Callaloo, Squaw Valley, PinkDoor, and BOAAT.
Aurora is working with the poet Callista Buchen.
David L. Mintzer
David L. Mintzer is a pre-famous writer and street photographer living in Baltimore, MD, with his wife Cinda, and animals too numerous to name. After a lengthy career as a systems consultant and trainer, he’s finally run out of reasons to avoid working on his novel, Map of the State Flowers. He is also working on a collection of short stories and flash fiction. When not writing or taking too many photos, he volunteers as a tutor and computer trainer at an adult learning center. He admits that he occasionally allows the word processor to suggest alternative words.
David is working with the writer Joseph Schuster.
Kelsey Myers is a queer creative nonfiction writer living in northeastern Ohio. Her work draws from her personal experiences of mental illness, queer identity, and growing up in the rust belt (where the steel industry died) to explore universal themes of perseverance, the search for meaning, and hope. She earned a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Ashland University.
Kelsey is working with the writer Sandra Gail Lambert.
Kelley Nebosky is an epidemiologist and currently lives in Indiana. In a previous career she worked outdoors in the western U.S., and much of her writing relates to the natural world. Her work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review.
Kelley is working with the poet Keith Kopka.
Amy Nastase lives in Oceanside, California with her husband and daughter. She has a master's degree in international affairs from UC San Diego. Her fiction has appeared in San Diego Writers, Ink anthologies. Amy is currently at work on a novel about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
Amy is working with the writer Claire Messud.
Alex Niemi currently teaches Russian at the University of Iowa where she received her MFA in literary translation in 2014. Her poetry and translations from the French, Russian, and Spanish have appeared in Anomaly, Asymptote, Action Yes, Horse Less Press Review, Prelude, Dusie, and others. Her translation from the French of The John Cage Experiences by Vincent Tholomé is forthcoming in 2018 from Autumn Hill Books.
Alex is working with the poet Kristi Maxwell.
Jennifer O’Grady earned an MFA in poetry from Columbia University and began writing plays after publishing her first poetry book and while raising her two children. Her plays have been staged in New York, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas, and Dublin, Ireland, and have won the Henley Rose, the NEWvember New Plays Festival, and the NEWborn Festival Awards. Her work is published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017 and 2016, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017 and 2014, and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35. Her books of poetry are White (Mid-List Press First Series Award) and Exclusions & Limitations (Plume Editions, 2018). She lives with her family near New York City.
Jennifer is working with the playwright Barbara Lindsay.
Adeeba Afshan Rana is a poet and librarian who reads and writes in Brooklyn, NY. She often goes on adventures, works with young people, swims in oceans, and cooks meals for family and friends. Adeeba earned her MFA in poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine and her Master's in library science at Pratt Institute. She is committed to compassion, engagement, and the wonder of inquiry. Adeeba can be found behind the desk at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brighton Beach branch and is most often referred to as a goddess of knowledge.
Adeeba Rana is working with the poet Sandy Spencer Coomer.
Saba Sebhatu was born in Italy and raised in Washington DC where she completed a BA in journalism. She then moved to Eritrea where she began working as a peacebuilding practitioner in conflict resolution initiatives in the Horn of Africa. A previous Callaloo writing fellow, her current work focuses on the African diaspora and their geographies. She is currently pursuing her MFA in nonfiction writing at the New School in New York City.
Saba Sebhatu is working with the writer Kao Kalia Yang.
Rese was born in Florida where she first discovered poetry as a teenager. After receiving her GED from Boise State University, Rese took some time off to explore Alaska and her passion for photography. In 2014, she enrolled at the University of Alaska, Anchorage where she is pursuing her BA in English literature. Her work has appeared in Understory and Lavender Review.
Rese Schille is working with the poet Grant Souders.
Sheree Shatsky is a former space brat, a nickname given children whose parents relocated to Florida to live, work and breathe NASA’s race to the moon. This short fiction writer recently celebrated 34 years as an educator by traveling 26 states in 30 days by motorhome. During this trip and others, she places words in nature for people to find in effort to spread good words and promote literacy. Her most recent short story appeared in the Shallows, the biannual issue of Cold Creek Review, with additional work published or forthcoming. Follow her adventures with Wild Words on Twitter @talktomememe.
Sheree is working with the writer Doug Sutton-Ramspeck.
Kira Sutherland was born on Florida's space coast and grew up watching shuttle launches from her backyard. She is a speculative fiction writer with a lifelong love of storytelling. Kira is an IT professional currently based in New York. She is excited to be a part of such a talented group of mentors and mentees.
Kira is working with the writer Tyler Dilts.
Carolyne Van Der Meer
Carolyne Van Der Meer is a Montreal journalist, public relations professional, and university lecturer. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in literature from University of Ottawa and Concordia University respectively, and a Graduate Certificate in creative writing from the Humber School for Writers. She has published journalistic articles, essays, short stories, and poems internationally. Her first book, Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience, was published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2014. Her second book, a collection of poetry entitled Journeywoman, was published in 2017 by Toronto-based Inanna Publications. She is currently at work on a YA fiction novel.
Carolyne is working with the YA author Caroline Bock.
Kendra L. Vanderlip was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is finishing her final year as a nonfiction candidate at The University of Memphis in Memphis, TN. She earned her BA from Grand Valley State University, in Allendale, Michigan. She has worked in multiple positions for the Pinch, the MFA’s literary journal, most recently as Managing Editor. She was an AWP Intro Awards nominee in poetry in 2015 and won the University of New Orleans Study Abroad Scholarship for Nonfiction in 2016. She has work in Whiskey Island.
Kendra is working with the writer Jill Talbot.
Mariette Williams is a creative nonfiction writer, speaker, and adoption reform advocate. Her writing is deeply rooted in her experience as a transracial adoptee. She has been featured in various online outlets including the Atlantic and For Harriet, and she has a curated collection of adoption stories on her website, mariettewrites.com. She is a columnist for the Lost Daughters blog and a contributing author to the book, Black Anthology: Adult Adoptees Claim Their Space. She is also the founder and organizer of the largest group of Haitian Adoptees in the diaspora. Mariette teaches high school journalism and lives in South Florida with her husband and two children.
Mariette is working with the writer Elizabeth Isadora Gold.