Season 17 Mentors

AWP celebrates the writers serving as mentors in Season 17 of the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program. We selected twelve mentors for this session based on their experience, their willingness to serve, and the needs prevalent in the mentee applications. Mentors were each given several strong applications to choose from and selected their own mentees.

If you would like to volunteer as a mentor, AWP accepts applications year-round . We will soon announce when next season's applications open for mentees.

  • AnthonyR.KeithJr

    Anthony (Tony) R. Keith, Jr.


    Anthony (Tony) R. Keith, Jr., Ph.D. is a Black gay poet, spoken word artist, and Educational Emcee. He is the author of two forthcoming YA books: How the Boogeyman Became a Poet - a memoir in verse, and Knucklehead - a poetry collection. Tony is a multi-year fellow of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and serves as Founder and CEO of Ed Emcee Academy in his hometown of Washington DC, where he lives with his husband Harry Christian III. Website:

    Anthony (Tony) R. Keith, Jr. is working with a. adenike phillips.

  • Gustavo Adolfo Aybar

    Gustavo Adolfo Aybar


    A lover of hybrid forms of literature, tattoos, and all things martial arts, Gustavo Adolfo Aybar writes about fatherhood, masculinity, baseball, and law enforcement. With an MA in Romance Languages and Literature from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Aybar became a writer, translator, and scholar. His first full-length collection, We Seek Asylum is indicative of his education and diverse passion, along with new work available online via

    Gustavo Adolfo Aybar is working with Daniela Paraguya Sow.

  • Claire Wahmanholm

    Claire Wahmanholm


    Claire Wahmanholm is the author of Night Vision (New Michigan Press 2017), Wilder (Milkweed Editions 2018), Redmouth (Tinderbox Editions 2019), and the forthcoming Meltwater (Milkweed Editions 2023). Her work has been supported by The McKnight Foundation, The Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her poems most recently appear in Ninth Letter, Blackbird, Washington Square Review, Good River Review, Descant, Copper Nickel, and Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in the Twin Cities. Find her online at

    Claire Wahmanholm is working with Elizabeth Galoozis.

  • Matthew Thorburn

    Matthew Thorburn


    Matthew Thorburn is the author of The Grace of Distance, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. His book Dear Almost won the Lascaux Prize. He lives near Princeton, New Jersey, and works in corporate communications in New York City.

    Matthew Thorburn is working with Alice White.

  • Doug Ramspeck

    Doug Ramspeck


    Doug Ramspeck is the author of nine collections of poetry, one collection of short stories, and a novella. Individual poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Slate, Missouri Review, and many other literary journals. His author website can be found at

    Doug Ramspeck is working with Genevieve Leone.

  • Patricia Clark

    Patricia Clark


    Patricia Clark is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Self-Portrait with a Million Dollars (Terrapin, 2020) and three chapbooks. She has published poems in The Atlantic, Poetry, Seattle Review, The New Criterion, Stand, Galway Review, & elsewhere. Work forthcoming in Plume, Cimarron Review, and Galway Review. She recently retired from Grand Valley State University where she taught for thirty years and was the university’s poet in residence. She is completing a new manuscript of poems.

    Patricia Clark is working with Bethany Chez.

  • David Eye

    David Eye


    David Eye is the author of Seed (The Word Works, 2017), chosen by Eduardo C. Corral. David earned an MFA in 2008 from Syracuse University and has received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Fine Arts Work Center. David has taught at New York University, Syracuse University, and Manhattan College, and he serves as an associate editor at 32 Poems. David is currently visiting assistant professor of English at Ohio Wesleyan University.

    David Eye is working with Erin Jin Mei O’Malley.

  • Michael Meyerhofer

    Michael Meyerhofer


    Michael Meyerhofer is the author of five poetry books, five poetry chapbooks, and a fantasy series. His poems and short stories have appeared in Rattle, Hayden's Ferry, Ploughshares, Atlanta Review, Missouri Review, and other journals. For more info and an embarrassing childhood photo, visit

    Michael Meyerhofer is working with Jacqueline Schaalje.

  • Helen Thorpe

    Helen Thorpe

    Creative Nonfiction

    Helen Thorpe is the author of four books of narrative nonfiction about people who have moved between countries: Just Like Us, Soldier Girls, The Newcomers, and Finding Motherland. Her books document the experiences of immigrants, soldiers deployed in foreign conflicts, asylum seekers, and refugees in the midst of resettlement. She teaches narrative nonfiction at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

    Helen Thorpe is working with Caitlin McKenna.

  • Joanna Rakoff

    Joanna Rakoff

    Creative Nonfiction

    Joanna Rakoff is the author of the international bestselling memoir My Salinger Year and the bestselling novel A Fortunate Age, winner of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction and the Elle Readers’ Prize. Rakoff’s books have been translated into twenty languages. The film adaptation of My Salinger Year opened in theaters worldwide in 2021 and is now streaming. She has written for Vogue, The New York Times, The Guardian, and many other publications, and has taught at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and Aspen Words. Her new memoir, The Fifth Passenger, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in 2024.

    Joanna Rakoff is working with Hannah Rumsey.

  • Nina Renata Aron

    Nina Renata Aron

    Creative Nonfiction

    Nina Renata Aron is a writer and editor living in Oakland, California. She is the author of Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The New Republic, Poetry Foundation, Jewish Currents, Elle, Eater, Departures, and elsewhere.

    Nina Renata Aron is working with Mae Oetjens.

  • Gina Nutt

    Gina Nutt

    Creative Nonfiction

    Gina Nutt is the author of the essay collection Night Rooms (Two Dollar Radio), which NPR named a best book of 2021. She is also the author of the poetry collection Wilderness Champion, as well as two chapbooks, Ars Herzogica and Here Is My Adventure I Call It Alone. Her writing has appeared in publications including Joyland, Ninth Letter, and Cosmonauts Avenue.

    Gina Nutt is working with Katie Bennett.

  • Jeannine Ouellette

    Jeannine Ouellette

    Creative Nonfiction

    Jeannine Ouellette's memoir in fragments, The Part That Burns, received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publisher's Weekly and was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award in Women's Literature. She is a fellow of Millay Colony and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and teaches writing at the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, Catapult, and Elephant Rock. She is working on a novel.

    Jeannine Ouellette is working with Becky Band Jain.

  • Garrard Conley

    Garrard Conley

    Creative Nonfiction

    Garrard Conley is the author of the New York Times Best Selling memoir Boy Erased (Penguin 2016), now a major motion picture. He is also a creator and producer of the podcast UnErased, which explores the history of conversion therapy in America through interviews, historical documents, and archival materials provided by the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. His work can be found in The New York Times, Oxford American, TIME, VICE, CNN, BuzzFeed, Them, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Huffington Post, among other places, and his first novel is forthcoming.

    Garrard Conley is working with Brian Watson.

  • Lara Lillibridge

    Lara Lillibridge

    Creative Nonfiction

    Lara Lillibridge (she/they) is the author of Mama, Mama, Only Mama; Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home, and co-editor of the anthology, Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility. Her essay collection: The Truth About Unringing Phones, is forthcoming with Unsolicited Press. Lara is the interviews editor for Hippocampus Magazine, a creative nonfiction editor for HeartWood Literary Magazine, and holds an MFA from West Virginia Wesleyan College.

    Lara Lillibridge is working with Melanie Farmer.

  • Leland Cheuk

    Leland Cheuk


    Leland Cheuk is an award-winning author of three books of fiction, most recently No Good Very Bad Asian. Cheuk’s work has appeared in publications such as NPR, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, among other outlets. He is the founder of the indie press 7.13 Books and lives in Los Angeles.

    Leland Cheuk is working with Danielle Tran.

  • Anika Scott

    Anika Scott


    Anika Scott is the internationally bestselling author of The German Heiress (William Morrow, 2020) and The Soviet Sisters (William Morrow, 2022). Her stories meld historical fiction with suspense and look at the deeper moral issues of past and present. Originally from the Detroit area, she now lives in Germany with her husband and two daughters.

    Anika Scott is working with F.M Deemyad.

  • Joann Smith

    Joann Smith


    Joann Smith has published stories in many literary journals, and her work has been anthologized and selected as notable stories of the year by Best American Short Stories. She is also the author of A Heaven of Their Choosing, a collection of short stories, and When I Was Boudicca, a novel of historical fiction. She lives in the Bronx where she finds most of her characters.

    Joann Smith is working with Sascha Golubof.

  • Lucy Ferriss

    Lucy Ferriss


    Lucy Ferriss is the author of eleven books, including her latest collection, Foreign Climes: Stories, and the 2022 re-release of her prescient novel, The Misconceiver. Other recent work includes the 2015 novel A Sister to Honor, as well as essays and short fiction in American Scholar, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Forthcoming in 2023 is a book of essays from Wandering Aengus Press, Meditations on a New Century. She lives with her husband, Don Moon, in Connecticut and the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

    Lucy Ferriss is working with Chideraa Ike-Akaenyi.

  • Rachel Beanland

    Rachel Beanland


    Rachel Beanland is the author of the forthcoming novel, The House Is on Fire, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in April 2023. Her debut novel, Florence Adler Swims Forever, was selected as a book club pick by Barnes & Noble, a featured debut by Amazon, an Indie Next pick by the American Booksellers Association, and one of the best books of 2020 by USA Today. It was also named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and was recognized with the 2020 National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction (Greenberg Prize). To date, it has been published or is forthcoming in nine countries.

    Rachel’s writing has also appeared in Lit Hub, Business Insider, Creative Nonfiction, and Broad Street, among other places. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned her MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Rachel lives in Richmond, Virginia with her family.

    Rachel Beanland is working with Mack Marsden.

  • Anne Leigh Parrish

    Anne Leigh Parrish


    Anne Leigh Parrish’s next novel, an open door, will be published in October 2022 by Unsolicited Press. Recent titles from Unsolicited Press are the moon won’t be dared, a poetry collection, October 2021, and a winter night, a novel, released in March 2021. She lives in Olympia, Washington.

    Anne Leigh Parrish is working with Hayley Boyd.

  • Maryka Biaggio

    Maryka Biaggio


    Maryka Biaggio is an award-winning novelist specializing in historical fiction based on real people. Her published novels include Parlor Games(Doubleday, 2013), Eden Waits (Milford House Press, 2019), The Point of Vanishing (Milford House Press, 2021), and The Model Spy (Milford House Press, 2022).

    Maryka Biaggio is working with Beth Brown Peterson.

  • Daniel A. Olivas

    Daniel A. Olivas


    Daniel A. Olivas is the author of ten books including "The King of Lighting Fixtures: Stories" (University of Arizona Press), and "How to Date a Flying Mexican: New and Collected Stories" (University of Nevada Press). He is also a playwright, poet, book critic, and attorney. Olivas earned a BA in English literature from Stanford University, and law degree from UCLA.

    Daniel A. Olivas is working with Brooke Segarra.

Previous Participants

See lists of previous Writer to Writer participants.