Instructors

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

Mike Allegra | Mary Amato | Katie Barasch | Rachel Barry | Mally Becker | Matt Belford | Mike Bell | Scott Caffrey | Libby Cudmore| Kathy Curto | Chip Davis | April Darcy | Vinessa DiSousa | Catherine Doty | Allie Dvorin | Darcey Gohring | Lillie Hannon | Jared Harél | Christina Kapp | Rebecca Kilroy | Sarah Lyman Kravits | April Salazar | Jill Smolowe | Kris Waldherr | Helen Wan

Judith Lindbergh

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

Judith Lindbergh’s new novel, Pasture of Heaven, about a nomad woman warrior on the Central Asian steppes in the 5th c. BCE, is forthcoming from Regal House Publishing in spring 2024. Her 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 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 approach aims to coax that pure, honest expression from each of her students. Learn more at www.judithlindbergh.com.


Michelle Cameron

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 has two forthcoming novels. The first, Babylon: a story of Jewish exile & return, will be published by Wicked Son Press in the fall of 2023.  The second, Napoleon’s Mirage, the sequel to Beyond the Ghetto Gates, will be published by She Writes Press in spring 2024. .


Mike Allegra

Mike Allegra
Specialties: Children, Writing for Children, Playwriting, Teens

Mike Allegra is the author of 17 books for children including the picture books Pirate and Penguin (Page Street, 2023), Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles (Page Street, 2022), Scampers Thinks like a Scientist (Dawn, 2019), Everybody’s Favorite Book (Macmillan, 2018), and Sarah Gives Thanks (Albert Whitman and Company, 2012). He also wrote the chapter book series Kimmie Tuttle (Abdo Books, 2021) and Prince Not-So Charming (Macmillan, 2018-19; pen name: Roy L. Hinuss). Scampers was the winner of Learning Magazine’s 2020 Teacher’s Choice Award and was selected for inclusion in the Literati Kids subscription box. His story, “Harold’s Hat,” was the winner of the 2014 Highlights fiction contest and was published in the July 2015 issue.

Mike’s essays have appeared in The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and various anthologies. He has 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 a pair of neurotic gerbils, Dusty and Oreo. He also juggles, watches silent films, and plays the banjo—yet still can’t understand why he isn’t invited to more parties. 


Mary Amato

Mary Amato
Specialties: Children, Fiction, Poetry, Songwriting

Mary Amato writes fiction, poetry, essays, plays, and songs. Her work for adults has appeared in many publications, including The Washington Post, Mothering, 100 Word Story, SoFloPoJo, Viewless Wings, Muse, Teacher, and Cicada. She has also published over 25 novels for young adults and children, including four series, and is the winner of The Buckeye Book Award, The Rebecca Caudill Award, The Keisler Poetry Prize, and more. She has been a featured workshop leader for organizations, including The National Book Festival, the American Library Association, The National Council of Teachers of English, and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her passion is teaching and helping others enjoy the writing process.


Katie Barasch

Caitlin (Katie) Barasch

Specialties: Children, Teens, Fiction

Caitlin Barasch is the author of A Novel Obsession, was published in March ’22 by 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.


Rachel Kempster Barry

Rachel Kempster Barry

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.


Mally Becker
Mally Becker

Mally Becker

Specialties: Mystery

Agatha Award-nominated writer Mally Becker combines her love of history and crime fiction in historical mysteries that feature strong, independent heroines. She is the author of The Turncoat’s Widow, which Kirkus Reviews called, “A compelling tale … with charming main characters,” and of The Counterfeit Wife, which will be released this summer. A member of the board of the Mystery Writers of America’s New York chapter, Mally was an attorney until becoming a full-time writer. She and her husband live in Somerset County, New Jersey, where they raised their son. 


Matt Belford

Matt Belford

Specialties: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Matt Belford is a Licensing Editor with Del Rey Books. Previously he was a Senior Literary Agent at The Tobias Literary Agency, where he represented clients working on illustrated works, graphic novels, and adult novels in the SF/F space. A self-proclaimed nerd with a love for video games, TTRPGs, and of course, books, Matt received his MFA from Emerson College, and has devoted himself to working on stories that emotionally resonate with him. Matt lives in Jersey City, NJ.


Mike Bell

Mike Bell

Specialties: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Mike Bell is a writer and educator from Bergen County. With forays into fantasy, horror, and science fiction, his short speculative fiction appears in Shimmer, Apex, and Fusion Fragment magazines, among others. He joined the Apex Magazine team as a slush editor in 2017, reading story submissions and making recommendations for publication. A tireless reader and writer since childhood, Mike also has 20 years’ experience as a teacher and administrator, with his Masters in Education from Harvard. In addition to writing, Mike works as a learning specialist and education consultant for adolescents with a variety of processing styles.


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.


Libby Cudmore
Libby Cudmore

Libby Cudmore
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 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.


Kathy Curto

Kathy Curto
Specialties: Creative Nonfiction, Memoir

Kathy Curto teaches at Sarah Lawrence College/The Writing Institute, Montclair State University and The Writers Circle as well as several nonprofit organizations and community centers in the metropolitan area. She is the author of Not for Nothing-Glimpses into a Jersey Girlhood. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, on NPR, in the anthology Listen to Your Mother:  What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now, and in Barrelhouse, Toho Journal, The Mom Egg Review, Drift and Talking Writing among others. Her piece, “Still Cooking Side by Side” considered a “Modern Love in miniature” by The New York Times, was included in The Best of Tiny Love Stories in August 2021. Kathy lives with her family in the Hudson Valley.  Please visit: www.kathycurto.com.


Chip Davis
Chip Davis

Chip Davis
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


April Darcy

April Darcy
Specialties: Short Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

April Darcys 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. In 2022, she received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. April holds an MFA in writing and literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars. 


Vinessa DeSousa

Vinessa DiSousa
Specialty: Revision

Vinessa DiSousa is a 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 Redivider and PANK, and has won honorable mentions for the Glimmer Train 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 and was the recipient of the Michael K. Smith Fellowship at The Porches for her novel-in-progress. 

Catherine Doty
Catherine Doty

Catherine Doty
Specialty: Poetry

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.


Allie Dvorin
Allie Dvorin

Allie Dvorin
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.


Darcey Gohring

Darcey Gohring
Specialties: Memoir, Essays

Darcey Gohring has more than 20 years of writing and editorial experience. She specializes in human interest stories and essays. Her essay “Looking Back at Cancer and Coronavirus” was recently nominated for a Zibby Award. She was a contributing author to the anthology book Corona City: Voices From an Epicenter and is currently completing her debut novel. In addition to teaching writing workshops, she is the host of the Moms Don’t Have Time to Write Online Writing Community and was selected to be the keynote speaker at the Horace Greeley Writers’ Symposium in 2021..


Lillie Hannon

Lillie Hannon
Specialties: Children

Lillie Hannon received her Master’s in Education from Rutgers University and has taught creative writing to students in grades 3-8. Her favorite genres are magical realism, comedy, and children’s literature, of course. Her published works include a non-fiction essay for Listen to Your Mother and her short story Cursed, which won first place for the Evelyn Hamilton Award. Lillie lives in Jersey City with her dog Sadie and her many, many plants.


Jared Harél

Jared Harél
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.


Christina Kapp
Christina Kapp

Christina Kapp
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.


Rebecca Kilroy

Rebecca Kilroy
Specialties: Children

Rebecca Kilroy has been part of The Writers Circle for seven years as a student, intern, teaching assistant, program coordinator and now instructor. She is a novelist and short story writer working on historical fiction, fantasy and magical realism. Her work has been published in The Copperfield Review Quarterly, Laurel Moon, Capulet Magazine, The Jane Austen Society of North America online and The Mount Holyoke Review for which she’s also served as prose editor. She also works part-time as a writing mentor and freelance instructor.

When not writing or teaching she enjoys reading, hiking, and challenging her friends to games of Ultimate Frisbee. She lives in Somerset County, New Jersey.


Sarah Lyman Kravits
Sarah Lyman Kravits

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.


April Salazar

April Salazar
Specialty: Storytelling

April Salazar is a writer and storyteller. She’s shared stories in The New York Times, on The Moth Radio Hour, NPR’s Latino USA, and on many podcasts. With The Moth, she’s been on stages as eclectic as The Bitter End in New York City to The Herbst Theater in San Francisco. April is also a proud Chicana and an even prouder mom. She wrote about her quest to make tortillas with her sweet little girl in the anthology SisterWriterEaters.


Jill Smolowe

Jill Smolowe
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. A Princeton grad and a Duke Visiting Journalism Fellow, Jill has guest-lectured at several of the area’s journalism schools. She ran a writing workshop in Ridgewood for two years before joining the Writers Circle in 2020 as a memoir instructor. .


Kris Waldherr
Kris Waldherr

Kris Waldherr
Specialties: Novel Writing, Romance, Tarot Creativity

Kris Waldherr is an author, illustrator and tarotist whose debut novel The Lost History of Dreams 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. Upcoming publications include Unnatural Creatures: A Novel of the Frankenstein Women


Helen Wan
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.