Judith Lindbergh, Founder & Director | Michelle Cameron, Director
Laurie Lico Albanese | Mike Allegra | Joe Amditis | Steph Auteri | Donna Baier Stein | Pam Bachorz | Scott Caffrey | Jeff Campbell
Doris Cheng | A.J. Colucci | Libby Cudmore | Chip Davis | Vinessa DiSousa | Catherine Doty | Debra Galant | Christina Kapp
Sarah Lyman Kravits | Jonah Kruvant | Benilde Little | Heather Newman | Priscilla Orr | Kevin C. Pyle | Lisa Romeo
Laura Sims | Jill Smolowe | Eric Shandroff (Myster E) | Jennifer Walkup | 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 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. Her forthcoming historical novel, Beyond the Ghetto Gates, will be published by SheWrites Press in April 2020. In advance praise, international bestselling historical novelist, Michelle Moran, called the novel “Beautifully written and completely engaging!”
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), and Scampers Thinks Like a Scientist (Dawn, 2019). He also not-so secretly pens the Prince Not-So Charming chapter book series (Macmillan, 2018-19, pen name: Roy L. Hinuss). He received an Independent Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, won the 2014 Highlights Fiction Contest, and received a 2019 Creative Access Fellowship. In January 2019, he giddily signed a deal to write a new chapter book series, 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 and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
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: 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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 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: 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 Off-Broadway, online, and a few other off-and-on places. His latest online project is Resonant Pitch, available online www.chipdavis.net.
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.
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.
Debbie Galant is a serial re-inventor who now keeps sketchbooks as well as journals. She wrote the Jersey column for The New York Times from 1998 to 2003, co-founded Baristanet, published three novels, and began painting in 2018..
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
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 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: 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.
Heather Newman received her MFA in Creative Writing/ Poetry from The New School (NYC) in May 2019. Her work has appeared in The Inquisitive Eater, Matter, The New Verse News, Two Hawks Quarterly, The Potomac, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop University of Dayton, Aji Magazine, and Paulinskill Poetry Project’s anthology, Voices From Here, Vol. II. She is a member of the South Mountain Poets.
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 workshops, as well as the C.S. Lewis quote: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”.
Priscilla Orr, author of Jugglers & Tides and Losing the Horizon from Hannacroix Creek Books, has published in Southern Poetry Review, Tiferet, and other journals. She’s received awards and fellowships from Yaddo, NJ State Arts Council. A Dodge poet, Priscilla is founding Director of the Silconas Poetry Center and The Stillwater Review.
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..
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
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.
Specialty: Kids, Poetry, Fiction
Laura Sims’s debut novel, Looker (Scribner, 2019), was chosen by Vogue, Lit Hub, and Crime Reads as one of the Most Anticipated books of 2019, and as a Best New Book by People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and Cosmo UK. Sims has published four books of poetry, including, most recently, Staying Alive (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2016), and her first poetry collection, Practice, Restraint, was the winner of the 2005 Fence Books Ottoline Prize. She has been the recipient of a US-Japan Creative Arts Fellowship and is an editor-at-large for The Scofield. She has taught creative writing for kids and adults at various institutions, including 826NYC, Japan Society, and NYU. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Boston Review, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Gulf Coast, The New Republic, and other journals.
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. For two years, she ran a writing workshop in Ridgewood.
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: 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.
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.
Photo Credit: Anna Campanelli Photography
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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