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  TWC's Instructors
Judith Lindbergh, Founder & Director | Michelle Cameron, Co-Director
Laurie Lico Albanese | Steph Auteri | Donna Baier Stein | Paula Balzer | Ariel Bernstein | Scott Caffrey | Jeff Campbell
Dave Conti | Robin Cornelison | Vinessa DiSousa | Catherine Doty |Lizzie K. Foley | Sondra Gash
Margie Gelbwasser | Stacey Gill | Christina Kapp | Kristen Kemp | Sarah Lyman Kravits
Benilde Little | Don London | Lisa Romeo | Ingrid Steffensen | Jennifer Walkup | BJ Ward | Paul Witcover
Judy

TWC Founder & Director Judith Lindbergh
Specialties: Fiction, Novel Writing, Adult Writers Circle, Children, Teens

Judith Lindbergh’s debut novel, The Thrall's Tale, about women in Viking Age Greenland, was a Booksense (IndieBound) Pick, a Borders Original Voices Selection and praised by Pulitzer Prize winners Geraldine Brooks and Robert Olen Butler. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Archaeology Magazine, Scandinavian Review, The World & I, the literary journal Other Voices, and most recently in UP HERE: The North at the Center of the World published by University of Washington Press. She also contributed to the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibition Vikings: The Norse Atlantic Saga and was an expert commentator on the History Channel’s documentary series MANKIND: The Story of All of Us.

 

Since 2006, Judith has mentored adult writers through the Writers Support Circle at the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School. In January 2010, she created The Writers Circle, extending her workshops to children and expanding her offerings for adults.

 

She traces her teaching approach to her background as a professional dancer and actress, and from the lessons learned from one of her greatest writing mentors, Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time.

Judith believes in the uniqueness of each writer’s voice. All writers have something valid to say. Judith’s classes aim to coax that pure, honest expression from each of her students.

 

Learn more at www.judithlindbergh.com.

 

"Judith Lindbergh is delightful, knowledgable, and very supportive. She's a mom and has great rapport with kids."
    - Susan B., West Orange, NJ

 

laurie

Laurie Lico Albanese
Specialties: Fiction, Memoir, Novel Writing, teens

Laurie Lico Albanese has published in almost every genre, including fiction, poetry, journalism, creative nonfiction and memoir. Her books include Stolen Beauty, Blue Suburbia: Almost a Memoir, Lynelle by the Sea, and The Miracles of Prato, co-written with art historian Laura Morowitz. Her travel and general-interest pieces appear in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Mothering magazine, and elsewhere.

 

Laurie is pursuing and MFA at Stonecoast/The University of Southern Maine. She has taught creative and formal writing to all ages, from Montclair elementary schools to her adult workshops at Studio 129 in Montclair, as well as Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper School and Wagner College on Staten Island.

 

steph

Steph Auteri
Specialties: Memoir,Creative Nonfiction

Steph Auteri has written about women's health and sexuality for Undark, Narratively, Pacific Standard, The Atlantic, VICE, The Washington Post, Jezebel, Salon, and other publications. She is also the Managing Editor for sexuality education site Good in Bed, and blogs for the Center for Sex Education, Book Riot, and mom.me.

 

Presently, Steph is also at work on a memoir in essays that tackles the ways in which the pharmaceutical industry, the medical community, and our culture at large are conspiring to pathologize women's sexuality.

Somehow, Steph manages to get all of this done despite the twin distractions of a work-at-home husband and a 2-year-old daughter. She lives and works with them—and their three cats—in Verona.

 

Ariel

Ariel Bernstein
Specialties:Children

Ariel Bernstein is a children's book author and short story writer. Her debut picture book, illustrated by Scott Magoon, is I Have A Balloon (Simon and Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2017), and her debut chapter book series begins with Warren and Dragon's 100 Friends (Viking Children's, Summer 2018). Ariel's work has been published on the Scary Mommy parenting blog and the Atticus Review online literary journal.

 

Ariel is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Picture The Books, a group of 2017 debut authors and illustrators.

 

Donna

Donna Baier Stein
Specialties: Short Fiction, Poetry, Where Do I Begin?

Donna Baier Stein is the author of Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist and Finalist in the 2015 IndieBook Awards-Short Fiction), The Silver Baron’s Wife(forthcoming--and recipient of the PEN/New England Discovery Award), and Sometimes You Sense the Difference (poetry chapbook). Her stories and poems have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Confrontation, New York Quarterly, and many other journals and anthologies.

 

She is the founder and publisher of Tiferet, a non-sectarian journal of literature and spirituality, and Founding Poetry Editor of Bellevue Literary Review. Johns Hopkins University MFA, Bread Loaf Scholarship, three Pushcart nominations, and more.

 

"Where Do I Begin was a great class, and I found myself with the spirit to write again. Thank you for that inspiration and needed push to get it going, and most important, for allowing me to actually know that I could write."
    - Christine Kline

 

Paula

Paula Balzer
Specialties: Memoir, Nonfiction, Publishing, Author Platforms

Paula Balzer is a literary agent and the author of Writing & Selling Your Memoir (Writers Digest Books/July 2011). Her authors include New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins (Pledged, Quarterlife Crisis, Secrets of the Tomb), Oscar-Award winning writer of “Juno” Diablo Cody (Candy Girl), American Idol judge Randy Jackson (What’s Up Dawg?) and Bobby Henderson (Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster).

 

"Paula Balzer leads a nurturing and supportive group for writers at all levels. This group really made me think about different approaches that will make my story a more well-crafted and compelling experience for readers. I highly recommend Paula's book, Writing & Selling Your Memoir and any opportunity to participate in her workshops and classes. She is the best!"
    - Vivian Fransen


Scott

Scott Caffrey
Specialty:Creative Writing for kids, Sports Writing

Scott Caffrey has published sports history books for young readers about many prominent NFL and NBA teams. He is also a long-time music journalist whose writing has appeared in Relix Magazine.

 

After working in educational publishing for a decade, both as a writer and editor, he changed course to his current profession as a high school history teacher. 

Scott holds a Journalism degree from St. Michael’s College and a Political Science degree from Kean University. He lives in Summit with his wife and two children. Within his family, Scott is known as a weaver of tales, and is at work on a series of fictional children’s books.


"Scott encourages and inspires my son to not only become a much better writer but to enjoy writing more than he ever has. He is a natural teacher and is able to consistently reach and motivate the kids in warm and friendly way."
    - Kelley Sponheimer

 

Jeff

Jeff Campbell
Specialties:Creative Writing for kids, Travel Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Jeff Campbell is the author of two nonfiction books for young adults, the IPPY-award-winning Daisy to the Rescue (Zest, 2014) and Last of the Giants (Zest, 2016), a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. For twelve years, he was a travel writer for Lonely Planet (covering US destinations like Hawaii, California, Florida, and New Jersey), and he has been a freelance book editor for over twenty-five years. He is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

 

Since 2010, Jeff has taught an after-school creative writing program for grade-school students in Morristown, where he lives, and he has been teaching with The Writers Circle since 2014. One day, he hopes that his long-suffering work-in-progress (a coming-of-age sci-fi novel) will see the light of day.

 

"[Jeff's] questions and comments are incisive and helpful. I've rarely had anyone respond to my work so thoughtfully and thoroughly.... [Jeff is] a great facilitator and the course was challenging and inspiring."
    - Linda T.

 

 

 

Michelle
TWC Co-Director Michelle Cameron
Specialties: Novel Writing, Poetry,
Children, Teens

Michelle Cameron's The Fruit of Her Hands: the story of Shira of Ashkenaz relates the life of the author's 13th Century ancestor, Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg. Publisher’s Weekly praised the novel’s “powerful immediacy” and Library Journal its “rich details.”

Her full-length novel in verse, In the Shadow of the Globe, was named the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's 2003-4 Winter Book Selection.

 

Michelle taught business and marketing writing at the College of Saint Elizabeth, creative writing at the Poetry & Prose Winter Getaway in Cape May and Seaview, and gave seminars and workshops for Murphy Writing Seminars, the Morris Museum, Drew University’s Shakespeare in Performance Colloquium II, Brandeis University, and at various local libraries and poetry festivals.

 

"My son is enjoying Michelle's class very much. He says that she allows him to be imaginative and creative as he is often times restricted in his school. "
    - Anthony E., Livingston, NJ

 

Dave Conti

Dave Conti
Specialty: Nonfiction, Book Proposals, Book Collaboration

Dave Conti is an accomplished writer, book coach, and award-winning editor with 35 years of experience.  He co-authored and collaborated on books and book proposals, including personal and business memoirs, and nonfiction books on a variety of topics, winning contracts with some of the most prestigious publishers.  Among his work: My Life at Liz Claiborne by Jerome A. Chazen; Affordable Excellence: The Singapore Healthcare Story, by William A. Haseltine; Tough Calls from the Corner Office with Harlan Steinbaum. Dave also writes op-ed, articles and blogs in support of his authors’ platforms.


Before becoming an independent writer and consultant, he was an Executive Editor at HarperCollins Publishers and Editorial Director at Business McGraw-Hill. He acquired and edited several award-winning and best-selling books, including a #1 New York Times Non-Fiction Bestseller.


As a writing coach and consultant, Dave specializes in bringing out the best in his authors’ work in a respectful, nurturing environment. He relishes the process of shaping and structuring ideas into coherent, marketable book concepts.

 

Robin

Robin Cornelison
Specialty:Writing Basics for kids

Robin Cornelison is a certified Elementary School teacher who earned her Masters in Education from Mercy College in New York. Her previous years working as a Television Producer helped her develop a fresh approach to teaching all ages on all different levels. After working as an elementary school teacher in the Bronx, Robin realized the importance of spontaneity and creativity. Her passion, energy and overall love for reading and writing are apparent when teaching her classes. In her spare time she teaches swimming, reads and enjoys traveling with her husband, two children and her dog, Daisy.

 

vinessa-disousa

Vinessa DiSousa
Specialties:Revision

Vinessa DiSousa is a freelance writer and book editor. In the past twenty years, she has written and edited for numerous general interest magazines and for NBC and USA networks and has worked as a ghostwriter/editor. She has an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and won the Kinsella award for Excellence in Writing from Rutgers University.

 

Vinessa is a devoted rewriter, believing in the power of revision to produce your best work. She is currently at work on a novel and loves working with other writers to fine-tune their completed drafts. In addition to writing, she chases after a very active one year old.

 

cat-doty

Catherine Doty
Specialties:Poetry

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Catherine Doty is the author of Momentum, a volume of poems, and Just Kidding, a collection of cartoons. She is widely published in journals and anthologies, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and The New York Foundation for the Arts. Cat will teach in the 2015 Summer Creative Writing Intensives.

 

Carol

Lizzie K. Foley
Specialty: Children's Books

Lizzie K. Foley's middle-grade novel Remarkable (Dial Books for Young Readers) was a Kid’s Indie Next List selection, a Horn-Book Summer Reading Recommendation, and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist as well as a review in the New York Times. She has an undergraduate degree in screenwriting from the University of Southern California, a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University, and has spent many years happily participating in writing workshops in as both a student and a teacher.

 

Lizzie’s teaching philosophy is that the best work gets done when individuals are allowed to write what they want and take creative risks without fear. Her goal with any workshop is to create an environment in which writers come together to focus on what’s working and strengthen what’s not through constructive suggestions and discussion.


Sondra

Sondra Gash
Specialties: Memoir, Poetry

Sondra Gash's collection of poems, Silk Elegy, (CavanKerry Press, Ltd.) tells the story of a young girl from an immigrant family whose life is disrupted by her mother’s mental illness. The setting is Paterson, NJ, the silk manufacturing capital of the country during the turbulent years of the early 20th century. Silk Elegy was chosen as a Finalist for the 2003 Paterson Poetry Prize.


Sondra's poems have appeared in the New York Times, The Paterson Literary Review, Calyx, U. S.1 Worksheets and the anthology Washing Lines. A featured reader and teacher at the Dodge Poetry Festival in Waterloo, NJ, she has taught writing skills at Rutgers University and has had several residencies in public and private schools in the area .She is a recipient of fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (for fiction and poetry), Yaddo, The Puffin Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.


Presently Sondra is at work on a memoir about a woman who works as a museum curator and has grown up in the family of an idealistic activist father who became a prominent political leader.

 

Sondra

Margie Gelbwasser
Specialties: YA, Children, Teens

Margie Gelbwasser has written for many magazines, including SELF, Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, and New Jersey Monthly. She's had two YA novels published by Flux. Inconvenient (2010) was named a 2011 Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens, and Kirkus called Pieces of Us (2012) “suspenseful, disturbing, and emotionally fraught.”

 

Her next YA, Violent Ends, is a collaborative novel with sixteen authors including Brendan and Neil Shusterman and Beth Revis and will be published by Simon Pulse in Fall 2015.

 

She also writes Middle Grade books under the name Margaret Gurevich. Her first MG, Chloe by Design: Making the Cut, billed as a "Project Runway for Teens," was published by Capstone in September, and the sequel, Balancing Act, will be out Fall 2015.

 

Kristen

Kristen Kemp
Specialties: Children, Teens, Journalism

 

Kristen Kemp is the author of sixteen books for Scholastic, Simon & Schuster and other major publishers. Her latest nonfiction project was Redemption (Random House, paperback March 2012). Recent young adult titles include Breakfast at Bloomingdale's (Scholastic Press, 2007) and This is Push: New Stories from the Edge (Push, 2007). She is also the book reviewer for Parents Magazine. 

 

Kristen has been an editor at Cosmopolitan and Girls' Life magazines, with articles appearing in Parents, Self, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, CosmoGIRL!, Seventeen, Marie Claire, The New York Daily News, Men's Health, Publisher’s Weekly and many others. Her teaching credits include adult novel writing and magazine writing for Ed2010, Mediabistro and The Woodhull Institute with Naomi Wolf as well as kids of all ages through The New York Public Library.

 

She is co-founder and editor of HealingSisters.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rape and incest survivors. Kristen was health editor at CafeMom.com before founding and then selling her own local parenting website, BaristaKids.com.

Chris

Christina Kapp
Specialties: Fiction, Poetry, Where Do I Begin? and Once You've Begun


Christina Kapp
has spent most of her life writing and nurturing an obsession with books. After beginning her career in book publishing at William Morrow, she left to pursue a M.A. in writing at Johns Hopkins University and become an academic administrator for Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities.


Christina has published her short fiction, poetry, and essays in numerous publications including Poetry Quarterly, Tanka Journal, Storyscape Journal, Monongahela Review, Barn Owl Review, Anderbo.com, Forge, PANK and many others. As well as her M.A. in writing, she also has a M.A. in English literature from Rutgers University. She currently teaches at Rutgers—Newark and works as a freelance writer, editor, and tutor.

 

"Chris has been a perfect mind motivator and confidence builder in my short writing life."
    - Maria Stappenbeck

 

Sarah

Sarah Lyman Kravits
Specialties: College Essay

Sarah Lyman Kravits brings over 20 years of experience writing about and coaching high school and college students on their careers. She is the co-author of The Career Tool Kit and the Keys to Success series which is published by Pearson Education and used at colleges around the nation. As an expert in student success, critical thinking, and study skills, Sarah teaches the New Student Seminar at Montclair State University, and gives workshops on student success topics to both students and faculty at a variety of schools and conferences. For over 20 years, Sarah has also read applications and interviewed candidates as a member of the advisory committee for the Jefferson Scholarship at the University of Virginia.

 

benilde little

Benilde Little
Specialty: Novels, Memoir

Benilde Little is the bestselling author of the novels Good Hair, The Itch, Acting Out and Who Does She Think She Is? all

published by Simon and Schuster. Atria Books published her memoir, Welcome to My Breakdown. The Los Angeles Times named Good Hair one of the best books of the year; Natalie Cole bought

the film rights and Regency Films signed on to produce it.

 

Benilde's work has appeared in the New York Times, Essence Magazine and numerous anthologies, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Essence, Jet, People Magazine, Heart and Soul, More magazine, among many others. She has had numerous media appearances including NPR, the Today Show, and Tavis Smiley.

 

She received a B.A. from Howard University and attended graduated school at Northwestern and studied writing with Abigail Thomas. Benilde has taught creative writing at Ramapo College. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband and teenage son. Their daughter is away at college.

 

benilde little

Don London

Specialty: TV and Film

Don London is a television writer who started on the MTV series Beavis and Butthead.  He also wrote for Cartoon Network and Comedy Central before relocating to Los Angeles where he worked on several animated series for Disney/ABC including Jungle Cubs, 101 Dalmatians, and Genie's Great Minds featuring Robin Williams.  Don was head writer for Fox Family Channel's Monster Farm, and wrote the bible and pilot for several other Fox series. 


Don sold The Last Chance, a comedy screenplay, and later worked in reality TV as Story Producer for several shows at TBS, Spike, MTV, SciFi, HGTV and E! Entertainment.


Don taught at the UCLA Extension Writer's Program and won a writing fellowship to the Blue Mountain Center summer residency.  He is a graduate of Harvard, Yale, and Millburn High School.  He is presently working on the feature thriller he always meant to write.

 

Lisa

Lisa Romeo
Specialties: Creative Nonfiction, Memoir


Lisa Romeo teaches in the Bay Path University online MFA program, at Montclair State University, and privately online. She works as an independent manuscript editor, freelance writer and editor, and writing coach. Her nonfiction essays, narratives, and articles have appeared in mainstream media (including The New York Times, O-The Oprah Magazine, Inside Jersey, Babble, Your Tango); print and online literary venues (including Under the Sun, Sweet!, Barnstorm, Sport Literate, Gravel, The Healing Muse, Under the Gum Tree, and many others); in anthologies (Women Writing on Family); and several essay collections (including Feed Me! Writers Dish on Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image).

 

Lisa holds a B.S. in journalism and an MFA in creative writing. Her work has been recognized with several awards and she has received grants and scholarships from the Vermont Studio Center and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.  Lisa's memoir of linked essays has been a finalist in several contests; an excerpt was nominated for Best American Essays 2014.  She lives in Cedar Grove with her husband and two sons.

 

“Lisa, you are an amazing teacher and I would have loved to take your classes as a college student!”
    - Marisa Christmas


Lisa

Ingrid Steffensen
Specialties: Creative Nonfiction, Memoir

Ingrid Steffensen is a recovering academic, writer, wife, mom, racecar driving instructor, and occasional demon chef. She has taught art and architectural history at Princeton, Rutgers, NJIT, and Bryn Mawr.  She is the author of numerous articles and books on nineteenth- and twentieth-century art and architecture. 

 

Having discovered a passion for high-performance driving and a desire to write for a broader audience, she has written about such topics in articles that have appeared in The New York Times, The Wine Enthusiast, Popular Mechanics, New Jersey Monthly, and skirt!, to name a few. 

 

Her first non-academic book, Fast Girl; Don’t Brake Until You See the Face of God and Other Good Advice from the Racetrack, was published by Seal Press. She is currently at work on a novel set in small-town central Pennsylvania. 

 

Jenn

Jennifer Walkup
Specialties: Young Adult Fiction, Novel Writing, Creative Writing for kids

Jennifer Walkup is a young adult author whose first novel, Second Verse, won of the gold Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and the Golden Leaf Award.

 

Jennifer can most often be found writing, reading, and spending time with her husband and young sons. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also works as an editor and creative writing instructor, and is an advocate for Epilepsy awareness. This Ordinary Life is her second novel.

 

"Jenn helped me get past my internal editor and critic, which freed me to create and put my thoughts on paper - something I had not been able to do for literally decades. "
    - Steven S., Montclair, NJ

 

BJ

BJ Ward
Specialty: Poetry

BJ Ward taught in the 2014 Summer Creative Writing Intensives. His most recent book is Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013 (IO Poetry Series/North Atlantic Books). His poems have been published in Poetry, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The New York Times, and The Sun, among others.


BJ is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts. He co-directs the Creative Writing degree program at Warren County Community College.

 

Paul

Paul Witcover
Specialty: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Paul Witcover is the author of five novels, most recently The Emperor of All Things and the forthcoming Eternity in Love. He has been a finalist for the World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, James Tiptree, and Nebula awards -- someday he hopes to actually win one!

 

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