creative writing workshops for children and adults

Instructors

Judith Lindbergh, Founder & Director | Michelle Cameron, Co-Director

Laurie Lico Albanese | Steph Auteri | Donna Baier Stein | Pam Bachorz | Ariel Bernstein | Scott CaffreyJeff Campbell
Dave Conti | Libby Cudmore | Vinessa DiSousa | Catherine Doty | Christina Kapp
Sarah Lyman Kravits | Benilde Little | Kevin C. Pyle | Lisa Reznik | Laura Romain | Lisa Romeo  | Marissa Rothkopf Bates
Lesley Scammell | Eric Shandroff (Myster E) | Marissa Volshteyn | Jennifer Walkup

 

Judith Lindbergh
Judith Lindbergh

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.


Michelle Cameron
Michelle Cameron

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.


Laurie Lico Albanese
Laurie Lico Albanese

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 TribuneMothering magazine, and elsewhere.

Laurie has an MFA from 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 Auteri
Steph Auteri

Steph Auteri
Specialties: Memoir, Creative Nonfiction

Steph Auteri has written about women’s health and sexuality for the Atlantic, Pacific Standard, the Washington Post, VICE, and other publications. She is also regular contributor to Book Riot, and an editor for Simplemost. Steph’s reported memoir, A Dirty Word, is out from Cleis Press in October 2018.

Steph lives in Verona, with her husband, her daughter, and three cats.


Pam Bachorz
Pam Bachorz

Pam Bachorz
Specialties: Children, Teens, YA

Pam Bachorz is a young adult author who has also worked in educational publishing for nearly twenty years. Her first novel, Candor, was a Junior Library Guild selection, Indie NEXT selection and YALSA Popular Paperback. Her second novel, Drought, was also an Indie NEXT selection, as well as a YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominee.

Pam frequently draws inspiration from the interesting places where her family has lived, including: upstate New York; Boston; Celebration, Florida; the Washington DC metro area; Austin, Texas; and now, northern New Jersey. Among her degrees are a BS in Print Journalism from Boston University and a Masters of Library Science from Simmons College. Pam enjoys hiking, travel adventures both big and small, and cheering on her teenage son’s baseball team.


Donna Baier Stein
Donna Baier Stein

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

Donna Baier Stein is the author of the novel The Silver Baron’s Wife (PEN/New England Discovery Award, Bronze in Foreword reviews 2017 Book of the Year Award, Will Rogers Medallion Award and Paterson Prize for Fiction Fiction, more), story collection Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist and 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist), Sometimes You Sense the Difference (poetry chapbook), and the forthcoming Letting Rain Have Its Say (poetry, Kelsay Books).

She was a Founding Editor of Bellevue Literary Review and founded and publishes Tiferet Journal. She has received a Bread Loaf Scholarship, Johns Hopkins University MFA Fellowship, grants from the New Jersey Council on the Arts and Poetry Society of Virginia, a Scholarship from the Summer Literary Seminars, and more. Her writing has been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, New York Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Writer’s Digest, Saturday Evening Post, and elsewhere.


Ariel Bernstein

Ariel Bernstein
Specialties: Children, Writing for Children, Short Stories

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). Her 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.


Scott Caffrey
Scott Caffrey

Scott Caffrey
Specialties: Children, 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.


Jeff Campbell
Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell
Specialties: Children, Teens, 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 for over twenty-five years he has been a freelance book editor (of nonfiction and YA fiction) and a writing coach, helping authors develop their manuscripts for publication. 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.  


Dave Conti
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.


Libby Cudmore
Libby Cudmore

Libby Cudmore
Specialty:Writing Sci-Fi/-Fantasy and Mystery

Libby Cudmore’s debut novel, The Big Rewind, received a starred review from Kirkus and praise from Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today. Her short fiction, poetry and essays have been published in PANK, The Stoneslide Corrective, the Barrelhouse blog, The Big Click, Big Lucks, The Writer and Writer’s Digest, and the anthologies Welcome HomeMixed Up and the Locus-nominated Hanzai Japan, where her story, “Rough Night in Little Toke” was singled out as a “polished gem” by the Japan Times.

She is the managing editor for the Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta, newspapers, as well as a regular columnist for SleuthSayers. As a music journalist, a frequent contributor to Vinyl Me Please, Albumism and Paste, and hosts the weekly #RecordSaturday live-tweet on her Twitter, @libbycudmore.

She is a mentor in the low-residency MFA program at Western Connecticut State University and has taught writing for Education Unlimited, as well as at the Pen in Hand Young Writers Conference and the Young Writers Conference at Colgate University.


Vinessa DiSousa
Vinessa DiSousa

Vinessa DiSousa
Specialties:Revision

Vinessa DiSousa is a freelance writer and book editor. In the past twenty years, she has worked as a ghostwriter/editor, and written and edited for numerous general interest magazines and for NBC and USA networks. Her fiction has been published in PANK magazine, and has won honorable mentions for the GlimmerTrain “Family Matters” short story contest and from the Pen Parentis Writing Fellowship for New Parents. She has an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

Vinessa is a devoted “rewriter” and loves working with other writers to fine-tune their completed drafts. She is currently at work on a novel.


Catherine Doty
Catherine 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.


Christina Kapp
Christina Kapp

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 MA 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 MA in writing, she also has a MA in English literature from Rutgers University. She currently teaches at Rutgers—Newark and works as a freelance writer, editor, and tutor.


Sarah Lyman Kravits
Sarah Lyman Kravits

Sarah Lyman Kravits 
Specialties: College Essays

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

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 BreakdownThe 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.


Kevin C. Pyle
Kevin C. Pyle

Kevin C. Pyle 
Specialties: Graphic Novels

Graphic novelist Kevin C. Pyle has been teaching graphic novel/comics workshops since 2007. He has taught in a wide variety of educational environments, including the Montclair Cooperative School, Montclair State University, and Princeton University. He is the author/illustrator of the graphic novels Blindspot, Katman, Take What You Can Carry, and Bad For You, all published by Henry Holt for Young Readers. Blindspot was included in the Best American Comics for 2008. He has done illustrations for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications, and has done social justice comics about incarceration, worker’s rights, and immigrants’ rights.


Lisa Reznik
Lisa Reznik

Lisa Reznik
Specialties: Screenwriting, Playwriting

Lisa Reznik has taught composition, journalism and film studies at the City University of New York and at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her screenplays Hundred Dollar Bill and Left Bank Bookseller have won a number of film festival screenwriting competitions including the Amsterdam International Film Festival, the Finow Screenwriting Competition – Germany, the Tinsel Town Productions Screenwriting Contest – UK, and the Oaxaca Global Script Challenge – Mexico.

A firm believer in the power of film to educate and connect people on important topics, Lisa founded the Film Society of Summit (NJ) which screens independent films for the community followed by discussion with the filmmakers.


Laura Romain
Laura Romain

Laura Romain
Specialties: Yoga and Meditation

Laura Romain has drawn on the principles of yoga to enhance her personal writing practice for more than a decade. After working as an editor at the book publisher W. W. Norton & Company, she transitioned into a freelance career as a writer, yoga teacher, and Reiki master.

A Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) with the Yoga Alliance, she aims to cultivate a warm, welcoming environment for her students.

Her writing has appeared in Shape.comThe Manifest-Station, Stirring: A Literary Collection, PennyDay OneThe Hartskill Review, and Rust+Moth, and she blogs at http://lauraromain.com.


Lisa Romeo
Lisa Romeo

Lisa Romeo
Specialties: Creative Nonfiction, Memoir

Lisa Romeo  is the author of Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love After Loss (forthcoming from University of Nevada Press, May 2018), as well as many short works of narrative nonfiction, personal essay, and journalism. Her essay, “Not Quite Meet-Cute” is listed among Notables in Best American Essays 2016, and other work has been nominated for BAE and Pushcart Prizes.

Lisa is part of the core faulty of the Bay Path University online MFA program, and has taught creative writing at Montclair State, Rutgers, and privately. Her daily work includes freelance writing, editing book-length manuscripts, and private writing coaching. Lisa frequently presents and speaks at conferences and workshops, and is an editor with Compose Journal and Cleaver Magazine.\

Her hundreds of publication credits include The New York Times, O The Oprah Magazine, Inside Jersey, Brevity, Under the Sun, Hippocampus, Sweet, Babble, Barnstorm, Brain Child, Front Porch, Sport Literate, River Teeth’s Beautiful Things, Full Grown People, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Word Riot, and anthologies including Feed Me! Writers Dish on Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image (Random House)and Why We Ride: Women Writers on the Horses in Their Lives (Seal Press).

Lisa holds a B.S. in journalism (Syracuse) and an MFA in creative writing (Stonecoast), and has received grants and scholarships from the Vermont Studio Center and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She lives in Cedar Grove with her husband and sons.


Marissa Rothkopf Bates
Marissa Rothkopf Bates

Marissa Rothkopf Bates
Specialty: Food Writing

Marissa Rothkopf Bates writes about food for The New York Times, Food52, Newsweek and New Jersey Monthly, among others. Marissa has worked at SPY magazine, Nickelodeon, CondéNast and Oxygen TV. Marissa has a graduate degree in history and earned her professional qualification as a chef from the Institute of Culinary Education, yet still gets nervous when asked to make custard. In her spare time she enjoys writing about herself in the third person. For tips on the best pizza in NJ, follow her: Twitter@MarissaRothkopf and Insta @MarissaRothkopfEats.


Lesley Scammell
Lesley Scammell

Lesley Scammell
Specialties: Playwriting, Scriptwriting

Lesley Scammell received a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts for her first play, Make Me an Angel and spent the next three years writing for Garter Lane Arts Center in Ireland; Bluebarn Theatre in Omaha, and Circle Rep in Seattle, before completing an MFA in playwriting at The Actors Studio Drama School at The New School.

Lesley’s plays have been seen at Luna Stage, The Shooting Gallery, MCC Theatre and New Dramatists in New York, Show of Strength Theatre in Bristol, England, Blue Barn Theatre in Omaha and Circle Rep in Seattle. Her screenplay for the short film, The German Lullaby, received Best Short film awards in the 2008 International Film Festival, England and the 2008 Reelheart International Film Festival, Toronto; among other accolades.

She was Assistant Director of Arts in Education at MCC Theatre, NY, taught creative writing in Hong Kong, playwriting at the International Schools Theatre Association in Beijing, and creative writing for 5th-8th grade students at the Montclair Cooperative School in Montclair. She has also worked in Arts in Education in New York City and as a writing mentor for the PEN Prison Writing Program. Lesley is a script reader for Luna Stage in West Orange and the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha.


Eric Scott Shandroff (Myster E)
Eric Scott Shandroff (Myster E)

Eric Scott Shandroff  (Myster E) 
Specialties: Poetry, Rap, Spoken Word

Eric Scott Shandroff (Myster E) is a New Jersey native, Emcee/Spoken Word Artist, Edutainer, writer, and reciter. Through lyrical lessons he’s made a name for himself with his performance-poetry around the state and the world. Some call him a poet, others call him a rapper, but as long as you feel his words, then that’s really all he’s after.

The Myster has opened up for hip hop icons such as KRS One, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Joel Ortiz, Papoose and many more. He was featured as a special guest performer at the Newark Museum and performed at SXSW in Austin, TX 2016. He is currently a Teaching Artist for NJPAC Arts Education doing residencies in schools teaching through poetry and hip hop, and is the Director/Coordinator for the Hip Hop Institute at the Monmouth County Boys & Girls Club in partnership with Lakehouse Studios.

Myster E writes from a free-verse background with a focus on concept-themed writing and rhyming. E says, “Poetry is a part of me, my pen hits the pad with the power of an arrow during archery, it ain’t hard to see, writing pours through my blood, veins and arteries.”


Marissa Volshetyn
Marissa Volshetyn

Marissa Volshetyn
Specialties: Young Adult Fiction, Novel Writing, Creative Writing for kids

Marissa Volshetyn has been a teacher for almost two decades. After several years as an AP English instructor in Austin Texas, she moved to New York to pursue an MA at Columbia University.  She is now a professor of English Literature at Union County College, but the summer she spent working with middle schoolers in Chinatown to create their own comic book adventures might be one of her greatest accomplishments. A lover of that magical awkwardness that is adolescence, she is currently at work on a YA novel about a young Hispanic girl taking a gap year.


Jennifer Walkup
Jennifer Walkup

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.


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