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YWW: Faculty Bios

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Yale Writers' Workshop Faculty 2018

Our faculty are accessible teachers as well as accomplished writers and editors. Along with classroom and conference time, they will be available to writers in the dining hall during meals and around the college throughout the day.

.Visiting Faculty

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), The Snow Queen, Specimen Days, and By Nightfall, as well as the non-fiction book, Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown. His new book, A Wild Swan and Other Tales (illustrated by Yuko Shimizu) was published in November 2015. He lives in New York and teaches at Yale University. Craft Talk June 3rd 4 pm - 5:30 pm.

Anne Fadiman

Anne Fadiman is the author, most recently, of The Wine Lover's Daughter, a memoir about her father. Her first book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Salon Book Award. Fadiman has also written two essay collections, Ex Libris and At Large and At Small, and edited Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love. She worked with the family of her former student Marina Keegan to edit The Opposite of Loneliness, a posthumous collection of Keegan's work. Fadiman is the Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale. Craft Talk June 5th 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm.

Fiction

Sybil Baker

Sybil Baker’s Immigration Essays was selected as the 2018-2019 Read2Achieve book for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Freshmen First Year Reading Experience. She is also the author of The Life Plan, Talismans, and Into This World, which received an Eric Hoffer Award Honorable Mention and was a finalist for Foreword’s INDIES Best Book of the Year Award. A UC Foundation Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Sybil was awarded two MakeWork Artist Grants and a 2017 Individual Artist's Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission. She is on faculty for VCFA’s inaugural low-residency international MFA program. Her next novel While You Were Gone will be published in March 2018.

Kirsten Bakis

Kirsten Bakis's novel Lives of the Monster Dogs was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won a Bram Stoker Award, was shortlisted for Britain's prestigious Baily's Prize, and has a band named after it. A special 20th anniversary edition was released in 2017 from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, with an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer. Bakis is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Michener/Copernicus Society of America grant, and a Teaching/Writing Fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She's currently at work on various literary projects, is an editor-at-large for the literary journal Origins, teaches at the Hudson Valley Writers' Center, and has been a member of the resident faculty at the Yale Summer Conference since it began.

Jotham Burrello

Jotham Burrello is the director of the Yale Writers’ Conference. He is the publisher of the award-winning Elephant Rock Books, professor of English at Central Connecticut State University, and curator of the Roar Reading Series. He’s written and produced multimedia on the craft of writing, and edited The Craft, essays on writing from the YWC faculty. With Janet Burroway, he produced the instructional DVD, So, Is It Done? Navigating the Revision Process, and Submit! The Unofficial Guide to Submitting Short Prose. His writing has appeared in literary journals, the Christian Science Monitor, and he’s a proud winner of the New Yorker Caption Contest. When away from his desk, Jotham raises boys and flowers on Muddy Feet Flower farm, the Nutmeg state’s premier cut flower farm located in lovely, Ashford, Connecticut.

Lisa Page

Lisa Page is a writer, a teacher, and a literary ambassador. She is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, Passing,  published by Beacon Press.  Her work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, Playboy, Playbill, Phoebe, The Crisis, the Washington Post Book World and other publications and anthologies.  She directs the creative writing program at the George Washington University.  She is also vice president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and former president. She has taught writing workshops in a Maryland correctional facility as well as in universities in Chicago, Washington, DC, Virginia, and New Haven, CT. She has interviewed writers for television, magazines and public forums. She has also coached writers, individually, and edited a literary magazine.  She lives outside Washington, DC.

Sergio Troncoso

Sergio Troncoso is author of From This Wicked Patch of Dust, which Kirkus Reviews named as one of the Best Books of 2012 in a starred review. The novel won the Southwest Book Award. Troncoso also wrote Crossing Borders: Personal Essays, winner of the Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews. The Portland Book Review called the collection “Heart-wrenching.” He is also the author of The Nature of Truth, hailed by The Chicago Tribune as “impressively lucid.” Publishers Weekly said of Troncoso’s first book, The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, “These stories are richly satisfying.” Inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters, he is currently on the board of councilors of the TIL. Troncoso also served as one of three national judges for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

Non Fiction

M.G. Lord

MG Lord is the author of Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll and Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science, a family memoir of aerospace culture during the Cold War. She is a frequent contributor to the NY Times Book Review; her work has appeared in Discover, the New Yorker, Los Angeles, Travel + Leisure and ArtForum. She has been awarded artistic residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, as well as an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation science-writing grant. She teaches writing at USC. Her most recent book, The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice, won the Los Angeles Press Club Award for the best book published on an entertainment subject in 2012. In 2013, she was a judge for the National Book Award in Nonfiction.

Mishka Shubaly

Mishka Shubaly is a songwriter, comedian, storyteller, author, and sober alcoholic. He was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship for Fiction by Columbia University. His six Kindle Singles for Amazon have all been bestsellers. His work has been praised by artists as diverse as Johnny Depp, Caitlin Flanagan, Joe Perry, Doug Stanhope, and Rob Sheffield. He tours around the world and has shared the stage with everyone from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Richard Price. His third album "Coward's Path" was released in 2015. His first hardcover memoir "I Swear I'll Make It Up to You" was released in 2016.

.Visiting Faculty

Allegra Goodman

Allegra Goodman’s novels include The Chalk Artist, Intuition, The Cookbook Collector, Paradise Park, and Kaaterskill Falls (a National Book Award finalist). Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Commentary, and Ploughsharesand has been anthologized in The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She has written two collections of short stories, The Family Markowitz and Total Immersion and a novel for younger readers, The Other Side of the Island. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, and The American Scholar. Raised in Honolulu, Goodman studied English and philosophy at Harvard and received a PhD in English literature from Stanford. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Mass, where she is writing a new novel. Craft Talk June 11th 3 pm - 4:30 pm.

Children and Young Adult

Sarah Darer-Littman

Sarah Darer Littman is the critically acclaimed author of fifteen middle grade and young adult novels including Backlash, In Case You Missed It, Confessions of a Closet Catholic, Charmed I’m Sure and Fairest of them All. Look for her latest YA novel, Anything But Okay in October 2018. When she’s not writing young people, Sarah does freelance political journalism –she’s written for Alternet, CTNewsJunkie, and Hearst.  This keeps her life balanced with a fascinating mix of fan mail and hate mail. She also teaches writing as an adjunct professor in the MFA program at Western Connecticut State University.

Historical Fiction

Emily Barton

Emily Barton is the author of the novels The Book of Esther, Brookland, and The Testament of Yves Gundron as well as numerous stories, essays, and reviews; she has been writing for The New York Times Book Review for twenty years. A recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michener/Copernicus Society of America, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, she has taught undergraduate creative writing at Yale and Princeton, among other institutions. She currently teaches in the graduate creative writing program at New York University.

Mystery and Crime Fiction

Hallie Ephron

Hallie Ephron is the New York Times bestselling author of ten crime novels. Reviewers have called her stories “deliciously creepy” (starred PW review). Her standalone suspense, Never Tell a Lie (Wm. Morrow), was made into a Lifetime movie. Her new novel, You'll Never Know, Dear (Wm. Morrow), tells the story of a little girl’s disappearance and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to her fate. It was named a Best of 2017 by Audiofile Magazine. Hallie is a 4-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel (Writers Digest Books) was an Edgar Award finalist. For 12 years she wrote an award-winning On Crime book review column for the Boston Globe. Hallie lives near Boston with her husband.

Personal Essay/Memoir

Lary Bloom

During 30 years as a magazine editor, Lary Bloom published hundreds of personal essays by prominent and unknown writers. He nurtured many new talents, including Pulitzer Prize winners Dave Barry and Madeleine Blais, and best-selling author Wally Lamb. His books include The Writer Within, Lary Bloom’s Connecticut Notebook, the upcoming biography Sol LeWitt: A Life of Ideas, and, as coauthor, the memoirs The Test of Our Time and Letters From Nuremberg. As a freelance editor, he brought many books to publication. He is cofounder of Writing at the Mark Twain House, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival and a writing retreat in Italy. His plays include Worth Avenue, Wild Black Yonder and A Woman of a Certain Age (lyricist).

Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour is the author of the forthcoming memoir Sick (HarperPerennial, 2017), and the novels The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014)—a 2014 "Best Book of the Year" according to NPR, Kirkus, Buzzfeed, Popmatters, Electric Literature, and more — and Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove, 2007)—the 2007 California Book Award winner in “First Fiction,” one of the Chicago Tribune’s “Fall’s Best,” and a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.” Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America, Bookforum, Slate, Salon, Spin, The Daily Beast, Elle, and many other publications around the world.  Born in Tehran and raised in Los Angeles, she lives in New York City.

Short Stories

Molly Gaudry

Molly Gaudry is the author of We Take Me Apart, which was shortlisted for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil. In 2017, Ampersand Books will release its sequel, Desire: A Haunting. A hybrid- and multi-genre writer, Molly is also the author of a flash fiction collection, "Lost July," published in the 3-author volume Frequencies, and her chapbook "Wild Thing" includes poems and essays about recovery after brain injury. She is the founder of Lit Pub, and a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Utah. She holds an MFA in poetry from George Mason University, an MA in fiction and BA in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati, and a vocational degree in creative writing from the School for Creative and Performing Arts, the nation's only K-12 school of the arts.

Marian Thurm

Marian Thurm is the author of seven novels and four short story collections, including the most recent, Today Is Not Your Day, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her novel The Clairvoyant was a New York Times Notable Book. Her short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Michigan Quarterly, the Southampton Review, and many other magazines, and have been included in The Best American Short Stories, and numerous other anthologies. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Swedish, Dutch, German, and Italian. In addition to teaching at the YWC since 2013, she has taught creative writing at Yale and Barnard, and in the MFA programs at Columbia University and Brooklyn College.

Writing the Novel: The First Ten Pages

Julie Buntin

Julie Buntin's debut novel Marlena was longlisted for The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, named a best book of 2017 by The Washington Post, iBooks, NPR, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Esquire, NYLON, and others, and is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize for a first book in any genre. Buntin's fiction and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, Slate, Electric Literature, and One Teen Story, among other publications. She has taught creative writing at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and is the Director of Writing Programs at Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, but she is from northern Michigan.

Session I

Jennifer Acker

Jennifer Acker is founder and editor-in-chief of The Common. Her short stories, essays, translations and reviews are forthcoming from, or have appeared in, Amazon Original Stories, The Washington Post, n+1, Harper’s and Ploughshares, among other places. She has an M.F.A. in fiction and literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches literature and editing at Amherst. Her debut novel, The Limits of the World, will be published in fall 2018.  Literary Journal Panel June 6th 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm.

Annie Awang

Annie Hwang is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management where she represents literary and upmarket fiction as well as select nonfiction. She is actively building her list and gravitates toward high-concept literary fiction featuring diverse characters and authentic voices; rich historical fiction where the setting takes on a life of its own; literary thrillers with dark psychological grit; and nuanced speculative/science-fiction that questions what it means to be human in the age of technology. Underrepresented voices occupy a special place in her heart and she is particularly drawn to braided narratives, complex characters, and layered plots. A California native and former journalist, Annie is constantly on the hunt for gifted storytelling that stretches its genre to new heights. Agent Panel June 6th 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm.

Claudia Ballard

Claudia Ballard has been an agent at WME since 2008. She represents mainly literary fiction, from established short-story writers to debut novelists and beyond, as well as voice-driven nonfiction and memoir. She works with authors such as Amelia Gray, Alexandra Kleeman, Alice Sola Kim, Julie Buntin, Marie-Helene Bertino, Rachel B. Glaser, and Emma Straub amongst many others.  Agent Panel June 6th 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm.

Mark Gottlieb

Mark Gottlieb attended Emerson College and was President of its Publishing Club, establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature & publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP. Mark’s first position at Publishers Marketplace’s #1-ranked literary agency, Trident Media Group, was in foreign rights. Mark was EA to Trident’s Chairman and ran the Audio Department. Mark is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident. He has ranked #1 among Literary Agents on publishersmarketplace.com in Overall Deals and other categories. Agent Panel June 6th 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm.

Cat Richardson

Cat Richardson is the editor in chief of Bodega, a monthly online literary magazine that can be read in one sitting. Her poetry has appeared in Narrative, Ploughshares, Tin House, Wreck Park, and Four Way Review, and her reviews and interviews can be found at Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, Pleiades, and The National Book Foundation. She works as a writer for NYU's office of marketing communications. Literary Journal Panel June 6th 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm.

Sophfronia Scott

Sophfronia Scott was a writer and editor at Time and People before publishing her first novel, All I Need to Get By (St. Martin’s Press). Her latest novel is Unforgivable Love (William Morrow). She’s also author of an essay collection, Love’s Long Line, from Ohio State University Press and a memoir, This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-written with her son, from Paraclete Press. Her work has appeared in Killens Review of Arts & Letters, Saranac Review, Ruminate, Barnstorm Literary Journal, NewYorkTimes.com, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Sophfronia teaches at Regis University’s Mile High MFA and Bay Path University’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Craft Talk June 3rd 2 pm - 3:30 pm.

Chris Campanioni

Chris Campanioni is a first-generation Cuban- and Polish-American who lives in Brooklyn, where he wrote his new book, Death of Art (C&R Press). His “Billboards” poem responding to Latino stereotypes and mutable—and often muted—identity in the fashion world was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize and his novel Going Down was selected as Best First Book at the 2014 International Latino Book Awards. He edits PANK, At Large, and Tupelo Quarterly, and teaches literature and creative writing at Pace University and Baruch College.  Literary Journal Panel June 6th 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm.

Jess Dallow

Jess has always had a love for books, especially YA and adult commercial fiction. She loves family stories, thrillers, mysteries, and women’s fiction, especially one that features ladies supporting ladies. She’s looking for strong, complex female characters and a book she can’t put down no matter what time it is. And as much as she loves romance, she’d be interested in seeing it more as a B plot, then a straight forward romance. She has a BFA in Writing for Film and Television from the University of the Arts and worked in entertainment for eight years before returning to her home state of NY to join the world of publishing. Currently an associate agent at Brower Literary. Connect on Twitter: @JLDallow Agent Panel June 6th 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm.

Session II

Jess Regal

Originally from Iowa, Jess graduated from Hunter College with a degree in English Literature. She represents young adult and middle grade books, as well as adult fiction and nonfiction. In the nonfiction space, she represents memoir and pop culture, with an emphasis on female voices, humor, or single-topic narratives that would appeal to a female audience. She also represents children’s nonfiction and YA memoir. In the fiction space, Jess is passionate about discovering projects that are compulsive, contagious, and creative. Publishing Talk June 11th 4 pm - 5:30 pm.