Judith Lindbergh, Founder & Director | Michelle Cameron, Co-Director
Laurie Lico Albanese | Mike Allegra | Joe Amditis | Donna Baier Stein | Pam Bachorz | Katie Barasch | Rachel Barry | Scott Caffrey
Doris Cheng | A.J. Colucci | Libby Cudmore | Kathy Curto | Chip Davis | April Darcy | Vinessa DiSousa | Catherine Doty | Allie Dvorin
Jared Harél | Christina Kapp | Sarah Lyman Kravits | Jonah Kruvant | Lisa Levy | Heather Newman | Natasha Persaud
Jill Smolowe | Eric Shandroff (Myster E) | Kris Waldherr | Helen Wan | Paul Witcover
TWC Founder & Director Judith Lindbergh
Specialties: Fiction, Novel Writing, Creative Nonfiction, 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.
TWC Co-Director Michelle Cameron
Specialties: Novel Writing, Poetry, Children, Teens
Michelle Cameron’s Beyond the Ghetto Gates, set during Napoleon’s incursion into Italy when he demolished that country’s ghetto gates, was published by SheWrites Press in April 2020 and awarded the Silver Medal in Historical Fiction by the Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPYs). In advance praise, international bestselling historical novelist, Michelle Moran, called the novel “Beautifully written and completely engaging!”Previous work includes The Fruit of Her Hands: the story of Shira of Ashkenaz, which 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
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 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.
Specialties: Children, Writing for Children, Playwriting
Mike Allegra is the author of the picture books Sarah Gives Thanks (Albert Whitman & Company, 2012), Everybody’s Favorite Book (Macmillan, 2018), Scampers Thinks Like a Scientist (Sourcebooks, 2019) and the forthcoming Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles (Page Street Books, 2022). He also pens two chapter book series: Prince Not-So Charming (Macmillan, 2018-19, pen name: Roy L. Hinuss) and Kimmie Tuttle: Humble Genius (Abdo, 2021).
Mike has had his plays read and performed around the country. He won the Chameleon Theatre Circle’s New Play Festival and the Atwater Theatre’s One-Act Play Competition and was selected for the Jersey Voices One-Act Festival. He also received an Independent Artist Fellowship for playwriting from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Mike lives in Scotch Plains with his wife, Ellen; son, Alex; and gerbil, Fuzzy Britches. He also juggles, watches silent films, and plays the banjo—yet still can’t understand why he isn’t invited to more parties.
Joe Amditis is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. He graduated from Rutgers University in 2013 and earned his B.A. with a double-major in political science and criminal justice before going on to earn his M.A. from the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in New York City. He is the cofounder and former director of operations of Muckgers, and investigative publication for the Rutgers-New Brunswick community.
Joe is also a seven-year veteran of the New Jersey Army National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq from 2008-2009. He also has experience as an international relations researcher, graphic designer, 360 video producer, audio and video editor, and podcaster. Over the last several years, Joe has coordinated three statewide collaborative reporting projects in New Jersey: Dirty Little Secrets: New Jersey’s Toxic Legacy; In the Shadow of Liberty: Immigration in NJ; and Voting Block
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
Specialties: Novels, Short Stories, Poetry
Donna Baier Stein is the author of The Silver Baron’s Wife (PEN/New England Discovery Award, Bronze winner in Foreword reviews 2017 Book of the Year Award, Will Rogers Medallion Award and Paterson Prize for Fiction, more), Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist and 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist), Sometimes You Sense the Difference (chapbook), and Letting Rain Have Its Say (poetry book), and the forthcoming Scenes from the Heartland: Stories Based on Lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton. 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.
Donna’s writing has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Saturday Evening Post, Writer’s Digest, Confrontation, Prairie Schooner, New York Quarterly, Washingtonian, New Ohio Review, and many other journals as well as in the anthologies I’ve Always Meant to Tell You (Pocket Books) and To Fathers: What I’ve Never Said (featured in O Magazine).
Specialties: Children, Teens, Fiction
Caitlin Barasch is the author of A Novel Obsession, forthcoming in March ’22 from Dutton/Penguin Random House. Born and raised in New York, Caitlin earned her BA from Colorado College and her MFA from New York University, where she also taught creative writing. Her writing has appeared in Catapult, Amazon’s Day One, Jellyfish Review, Hobart, The Forge, and Atlas and Alice, among others, and she has also been nominated for Best Small Fictions. When not writing or reading, Caitlin enjoys hiking, bouldering, horseback riding, and playing with her cat.
Specialties: Publishing, Book Marketing, Platform Building
Rachel Kempster Barry has been an author, big-name publisher marketing exec, indie bookseller, and book festival director. As the president of Tuesday Magic Marketing, a bookish consultancy, she works with authors, publishers, small businesses, and non-profits. Rachel has co-written several books about creativity and kindness including The Happy Books (Sourcebooks) and This Book Is About You (DK Books). She lives in Madison, NJ.
Specialties: Children, Sports Writing
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.
Doris W. Cheng
Specialty: Short and Flash Fiction
Doris W. Cheng’s short fiction has been published in The Normal School, The Cincinnati Review, The Pinch, New Delta Review, The Southampton Review, CALYX Journal, and other literary publications. She received an MA in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where she taught undergraduate writing, and has taught fiction and poetry in New York and New Jersey since 2014. www.doriswcheng.com Twitter: @doris_dwycheng
Specialty: Mystery/thrillers, Fiction, Novel Writing
A.J. Colucci is an author of books and screenplays, including mysteries, crime fiction, horror, and science thrillers. Her latest novel by MacMillan, SEEDERS, was described by #1 New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston as “Gripping and brilliantly original.” Her debut novel THE COLONY was given a starred review by Publishers Weekly and Booklist called it “a frightening combination of well-researched science and scenes of pure horror.”
A.J. published hundreds of articles over fifteen years as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor and writer for corporate America. She has participated in workshops and panel discussions on writing, and has served as a judge for New Jersey Film Festival’s Screenwriting Contest and the ITW Thriller Awards. A.J. is a member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America.
Specialties: Mystery and Crime Writing
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 Home, Mixed 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.
Specialties: Creative Nonfiction, Memoir
Kathy Curto teaches at The Writing Institute and Montclair State University, as well as several nonprofit organizations and community centers in the NY metropolitan area. She is the author of Not for Nothing-Glimpses into a Jersey Girlhood, published by Bordighera Press. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, on NPR, in the essay collection, Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now, and in Barrelhouse, Toho Journal, The Mom Egg Review, HerStry, La Voce di New York, Drift, Talking Writing, The Inquisitive Eater, Voices in Italian Americana, Ovunque Siamo and Lumina, among others. She has been the recipient of the Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellowship and two fellowships at Montclair State University, both promoting engaged teaching and community writing projects. Kathy also serves on the faculty of the Joe Papaleo Writers’ Workshop in Cetara, Italy. Kathy and her family live in the Hudson Valley.
Specialties: TV Writing & Series Development, Playwriting, Pitching & Public Speaking
Chip Davis has worked in both theatre and television for the past thirty years. An alumnus of The Juilliard School’s Drama division, he has acted, written and directed in numerous mediums including Off-Broadway, online, and a few other off-and-on places. His project, Resonant Pitch, is an online web/blog drama. Chip’s most recent venture is into audiobook narration and voice acting. Learn more at www.chipdavis.net.
Specialties: Short Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
April Darcy‘s fiction can be found in Shenandoah, where she was awarded the Shenandoah River Fiction Prize, and her nonfiction can be found in North American Review, where she was a finalist for the Torch Nonfiction Prize. She has been shortlisted for Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers and Family Matters competitions; the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize; the Iowa Review Nonfiction Prize, judged by Wayne Koestenbaum; and the Sonora Review Nonfiction Prize, judged by Jo Ann Beard. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Napa Valley Writers Conference and the New York State Summer Writers Institute, and was awarded a 2020 Elizabeth George Foundation grant. She holds an MFA in writing and literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars.
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Catherine Doty is the author of Wonderama, a collection of poems that captures 1960s Paterson, New Jersey, as experienced by the poorest, most vulnerable children living there. She is also the author of an earlier volume of poems, Momentum, 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.
Specialties: Screenwriting, Digital Content
Allie Dvorin is an Emmy Award-winning producer, a professional writer and director. He is best known for writing THE SANDLOT 3, LIKE MIKE 2, and DR. DOLITTLE 3, all produced by 20th Century Fox. Projects in development include THE PETER WESTBROOK STORY at Disney, THE CLUB at Paramount Pictures, and SPY vs. STU at New Line Cinemas. Allie’s feature film directorial debut, A NOVEL ROMANCE, starring Steve Guttenberg, Shannon Elizabeth, Jeffrey Ross, and Kelly Bishop, was released globally in theaters in 2011. Chosen as the “Closing Night Film” at the 2011 NY Independent Film Festival, it won the Audience Award at the 2011 Berkshire Film Festival. His second feature as director INVERSION, released in 2013, starred Vinnie Jones.
Allie is currently Vice President of Digital Production at AMC Networks, overseeing all digital content for THE WALKING DEAD. He won the 2017 Emmy Award for Best Short Form Comedy or Drama for producing the BETTER CALL SAUL: LOS POLLOS HERMANO TRAINING VIDEO SERIES. A graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts, Allie lives in West Orange, NJ, with his wife and two children.
Specialties: Poetry, Fiction
Jared Harél is the author of the poetry collection, Go Because I Love You (Diode Editions, 2018) and the narrative long-poem, The Body Double (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2012). He’s been awarded the ‘Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize’ from American Poetry Review, the ‘William Matthews Poetry Prize’ from Asheville Poetry Review, and two Individual Artist Grants from Queen Council on the Arts. His writing has recently appeared in such journals as Arts & Letters, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, The Sun and The Threepenny Review. He lives with his wife and two children in Queens, NY..
Specialties: Fiction, Poetry, Where Do I Begin?
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
Specialty: 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 works as an academic coach at Rutgers University, has taught 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.
Specialty: Children, Teens
A writer, teacher, and student of the world, Jonah Kruvant received his Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, his Master’s degree in Teaching from Fordham University, and his MFA degree from Goddard College.
After living abroad in four different countries, Jonah settled in the New York area, where he wrote The Last Book Ever Written, published by PanAm Books in April, 2015. His work has appeared in Digital Americana, Bewildering Stories, Fiction on the Web, On the Verge, the Scarlet Leaf Review, and LIMN Literary and Arts Journal. www.jonahkruvant.com
Specialty: Creative Nonfiction
Lisa Levy is a writer, essayist, and critic. Her work has appeared, among others, in the New Republic, the LARB, the Believer, the Millions, the Rumpus, TLS, the CBC, and Lit Hub, where she is a contributing editor. She is also a columnist and contributing editor to Crime Reads. Her essays are included in the collection Talking About Pauline Kael and the forthcoming anthology Dating & Sex: The Theory of Mutual Self-Destruction.
Lisa has taught or is teaching at Writers Workshop Dallas and Sackett Street Writers Workshop. She is pursuing an MFA in nonfiction writing at Goucher College.
Aside from reading, writing, and squeezing in some reality TV, Lisa posts a dress of the day on social media; Instagrams her night reading; eats varieties of Cadbury Dairy Milk bars, and loves her Lilli Ann coats (none of which are really warm enough for Canada). Lisa lives with her husband and their Basset hound, Daisy, in Toronto, where she moved from New York City in 2019. She considers herself an amateur Canadian.
Heather Newman’s work has appeared in Barrow Street 4×2, Hanging Loose, Hole in the Head Review, Love’s Executive Order, The Pi Review, Right Hand Pointing, The Inquisitive Eater, Matter, New Verse News, Voices From Here, Vol. II (Paulinskill Poetry Project) and more. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School (2019) and is a member of The South Mountain Poets. She has a poem included in Storey Publishing’s upcoming anthology, How To Love the World, and was excited to hear that Amanda Gorman has a poem in the anthology as well!
Heather has lived in Short Hills for twenty-four years and, before raising two children, had a career in advertising and television production. Heather believes in the creative power of poetry workshopping, as well as the C.S. Lewis quote: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
Natasha Persaud is an Indo-Caribbean, American Immigrant writer. Natasha worked as a book reviewer for Vine Leaves Literary Journal and an editorial assistant for Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy. A Hertog research fellow, her nonfiction has been published in Gay Mag and PATHS. Natasha earned a M.F.A from Hunter College where she concentrated in Memoir writing. She is currently working on her book in progress about growing up in the tenements of Georgetown, Guyana.
Specialties: Memoir, Essay, Magazine Journalism
Jill Smolowe is the author of the memoirs Four Funerals and a Wedding: Resilience in a Time of Grief and An Empty Lap: One Couple’s Journey to Parenthood, and co-editor of the anthology A Love Like No Other: Stories from Adoptive Parents. An award-winning journalist, she clocked 35 years as a foreign affairs writer for Time and Newsweek, and a senior writer for People.
Jill’s essays have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, among them the New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, More, Money, Time, Adoptive Families and the Reader’s Digest “Today’s Best NonFiction” series. She has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC and NPR.
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.”
Specialties: Novel Writing, Tarot
Kris Waldherr is an author, illustrator and tarotist whose debut novel The Lost History of Dreams was published last year by Atria Books. It received a Kirkus-starred review and was named a best book of the year by CrimeReads. Her fiction has won fellowships from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and a works-in-progress reading grant from Poets & Writers. Waldherr has also authored numerous nonfiction books for adults and children including Doomed Queens, which The New Yorker praised as “utterly satisfying.” She is the creator of The Goddess Tarot, which has over a quarter of a million copies in print, and has been working with the tarot for over thirty years.
Specialties: Fiction, Essays, Opinion
Helen Wan is a novelist. She writes and consults on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, especially relating to women and minorities on the career ladder and the complicated pursuit of success. Her novel, THE PARTNER TRACK (Macmillan, 2013), about a young woman of color up for partnership at a powerful law firm, was a Book Club selection of REAL SIMPLE and The National Association of Women Lawyers, and became the subject of a Washington Post Magazine cover story on glass ceilings. She has written for The Washington Post, CNN.com, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. Previously, Helen was a media lawyer in New York.
Helen lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband, their son, one fish, and a lot of Matchbox cars. Her author website is helenwan.com.
Paul Witcover teaches the Summer Creative Writing Intensives. He 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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