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Yale Writers' Workshop Faculty Bios

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Yale Writers' Workshop Faculty 2023 

Our faculty are accomplished writers and editors.


Sybil Baker

Sybil Baker's latest novel Apparitions, will be published in early 2023. She is also author of four other works of fiction, including While You Were Gone (IPPY Silver Award winner),  The Life Plan, Talismans, and Into This World, which received an Eric Hoffer Award Honorable Mention and a Foreword’s INDIES Book of the Year finalist. Her essay collection Immigration Essays was the 2018-2019 Read2Achieve first year selection at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A UC Foundation Professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Sybil received a 2017 Individual Artist's Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission for her work. She is currently working on a collection of essays called Lost Nostalgias.

Jotham Burrello

Jotham Burrello is the director of the Yale Writers’ Workshop. His novel, Spindle City, was longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway award, and a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. His writing has appeared in  literary journals, the Hartford Courant, the  Christian Science Monitor, and he’s a proud winner of the New Yorker caption contest. He teaches writing at Central Connecticut State University, founded Connecticut Literary Festival, and is the former publisher of the award-winning Elephant Rock Books. He and his wife raise flowers and boys on Muddy Feet Flower farm in rural Connecticut.  Required Reading Toya Wolfe's Last Summer on State Street

Molly Gaudry

Molly Gaudry is the founder of Lit Pub and the author of the verse novel We Take Me Apart, which was a finalist for the Asian American Literary Award and shortlisted for the PEN/Osterweil. Its sequel, Desire: A Haunting, is also now available. Molly holds masters degrees in fiction and poetry from the University of Cincinnati and George Mason University, respectively, and a PhD in experimental prose from the University of Utah.

Lisa Page

Lisa Page is co-editor of We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America,  (Beacon Press).  Her work has appeared in The Atlantic,  The Crisis, LitHub Weekly, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, Playboy, the Washington Post Book World, Washingtonian, and other publications. She is assistant professor of English at the George Washington University and Director of Creative Writing.  She previously served as Interim Director of Africana Studies.

Sergio Troncoso

Sergio Troncoso is most recently the author of Nobody’s Pilgrims, which won the Gold Medal for Best Novel- Adventure or Drama in English from the International Latino Book Awards. He also wrote A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son, which Junot Díaz called “a masterwork” and “an extraordinary performance.” Troncoso edited Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds, which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. A Fulbright scholar, Troncoso is past president of the Texas Institute of Letters.


Mary Collins

Mary Collins has published a range of award-winning narrative nonfiction books including American Idle: A Journey Through Our Sedentary Culture, and At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Smithsonian, Lit Hub, Out Magazine, Cargo Literary and elsewhere. She recently received a book contract to publish a collection of personal essays and paintings, A Playbook: Creating Writers, Creating Citizens. This is her fifth year teaching in the Yale Summer program and she welcomes both new and former students!

Mishka Shubaly

Mishka Shubaly is an author, songwriter, and storyteller. His most recent work, Cold Turkey: How to Quit Drinking By Not Drinking was a New York Times bestseller. He was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship for Fiction by Columbia University. His seven nonfiction Kindle Singles for Amazon have all been bestsellers. He tours around the world and has shared the stage with everyone from Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Richard Price. I Swear I’ll Make It Up to You, his hardcover memoir, was released in 2016. Purgatory, his ninth album, was released in 2021.


Kirsten Bakis

Kirsten Bakis is is the recipient of multiple awards, including a Whiting Award, Michener-Copernicus Society of America Grant, and a 2021 Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant. Her acclaimed novel Lives of the Monster Dogs was released in a 20th anniversary edition in 2017 by FSG, with introduction by Jeff VanderMeer. Her new novel King Nyx is forthcoming from Liveright/Norton. 2023 will be her eleventh year teaching at the Yale Writers’ Workshop.

Jacquelyn Mitchard

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the author of 14 novels for adults, seven novels for teenagers and five children's books. Her novels have enjoyed popular and critical acclaim. A former newspaper reporter, she has taught Creative Writing at the MFA level in five programs and is a Distinguished Fellow of The Ragdale Foundation and a DeWitt Readers Digest Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and adapted for a feature film; three other of her novels are in film development. Her newest novel, A Very Inconvenient Scandal, will be out in October from HarperCollins. She lives on Cape Cod with her family

Children and Young Adult

Sarah Darer Littman

Sarah Darer Littman is the critically-acclaimed author of 19 novels for young people including Some Kind of Hate from Scholastic Press. Sarah mentors writers in the MFA program at Western CT State University. The nastygrams she received as a columnist for Hearst and CTNewsjunkie were great preparation for Kirkus Reviews.  Sarah lives in Connecticut with her husband and two spoiled but adorable dogs.

First Ten Pages: Fiction and Memoir

LaTanya McQueen

LaTanya McQueen is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment of the Arts (2022 Fellowship in Prose) and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is the author of two books—the essay collection And It Begins Like This (Black Lawrence Press, 2017) and the novel When the Reckoning Comes (Harper Perennial, 2021). Her stories and essays have been published in West Branch, TriQuarterly, Pleaides, New Ohio Review, The Arkansas International, The Florida Review, Bennington Review, Passages North, Black Warrior Review, Fourteen Hills, The North American Review, Ninth Letter, New Orleans Review, Indiana Review, and other journals.She is currently is an Assistant Professor of English-Creative Writing and African American Studies at Coe College.

Personal Essay/Memoir

Amy Shearn

Amy Shearn is the award-winning author of the novels How Far Is the Ocean from Here, The Mermaid of Brooklyn, and Unseen City. She has worked as an editor at Medium, JSTOR, Conde Nast, and elsewhere, and her essays have recently appeared in the New York Times Modern Love column, the anthology The Lonely Stories, and O, the Oprah Magazine. Amy has an MFA from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Brooklyn with her two children.

Short Stories / Novel Excerpts

Christina Chiu

Christina Chiu is the winner of the James Alan McPherson Award for her novel Beauty, which was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2020 and chosen as The Millions Most Anticipated Book of the Year. She is also author of Troublemaker and Other Saints. Troublemaker was a nominee for the Stephen Crane First Fiction Award and winner of the Asian American Literary Award. Chiu has published in Tin House, The New Guard, Washington Square, The MacGuffin, Charlie Chan is Dead 2, Not the Only One, Washington Square, and has won literary prizes from Playboy, New Stone Circle, El Dorado Writers’ Guild, World Wide Writers, and others.  Chiu curates and co-hosts the Pen Parentis Literary Salon in New York City. She is a founding member of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.

Ethan Rutherford

Ethan Rutherford’s fiction has appeared in BOMB, Tin House, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, One Story, and The Best American Short Stories.  His first book, The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, received honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. His second collection, Farthest South, was published by A Strange Object in May 2021. His novel, North Sun, will be published in 2024.

Write Here, Write Now

Patricia Ann McNair

Patricia Ann McNair writes fiction and nonfiction. Her collection of stories, Responsible Adults, was named a Distinguished Favorite by The Independent Press Awards. The Temple of Air (stories), won Southern Illinois University Devil’s Kitchen Readers Award, Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year, and was a finalist for Society of Midland Authors Fiction Award. And These Are The Good Times (essays), was a Montaigne Medal finalist. McNair is an associate professor emerita in CreativeWriting at Columbia College Chicago.

On Campus

Audrey Crooks

Audrey Crooks is an Associate Agent at Trident Media Group. She joined the agency in 2020 after interning at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency. She has previously worked as a bookseller, and from 2017-2018 she lived in Jordan, working for a nonprofit serving Gazan women refugees. Audrey’s academic background is in poetry and Middle Eastern Studies. June 9 @ 2 pm

Mary Gannon

Mary Gannon is the Executive Director of the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping independent publishers thrive. Prior to joining CLMP, she was Associate Director/Director of Content for the Academy of American Poets and Editorial Director of Poets & Writers. She is co-author of The Poets & Writers Complete Guide to Being a Writer, published by Avid Reader Press in 2020. Craft Talk June 6 @ 2 pm

Courtney Maum

Courtney is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking publishing guide that Vanity Fair recently named one of the ten best books for writers, Before and After the Book Deal  and the memoir The Year of the Horses, chosen by The Today Show as the best read for mental health awareness. A writing coach, executive director of the nonprofit learning collaborative “The Cabins,” and educator, Courtney's mission is to help people hold on to the joy of art-making in a culture obsessed with turning artists into brands. You can sign up for her publishing tips newsletter and online masterclasses at  June 5 at 2 pm 

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of a novel The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, a Haven (Noemi Press, 2018), which won an Asian/ Pacific American Award and Names for Light: A Family History (Graywolf Press, 2021), which won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and was a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Amherst College. June 4 @ 2 pm

Okey Ndibe

Okey Ndibe is the author of Foreign Gods, Inc. and Arrows of Rain (novels) and a memoir, Never Look an American in the Eye. He earned MFA and PhD degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and has taught at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York; Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut; Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar). He was a 2015 Shearing Fellow of the Black Mountain Institute (BMI) at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His editorial pieces have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Hartford Courant, BBC online, The Guardian (UK), Financial Times, and D La Repubblica (Italy). Guest Author June 8 @ 7:30 pm

Sydnie Thornton

A native Memphian, Sydnie majored in English Literature at Rhodes College. Every summer, she escaped the Memphis heat to intern at various NYC agencies and eventually joined IGLA in 2021. She does not miss the humidity. She does miss her dog. On the weekends, you can find her baking or curled up with hot chocolate and a good book. She’s taking on select co-agenting projects with Barbara Poelle. Sydnie is interested in YA across all genres: fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary that leans literary, as well as thrillers with upmarket qualities and distinctive characterization. As for the adult side, Sydnie is actively looking for transportive, complex historical fiction and whimsical contemporary fantasy. Regardless of genre, she’s very likely to connect with manuscripts that bridge the YA/Adult divide. She’s also eager to champion any book that prominently features disability representation. June 9 @ 2 pm

Maria Whelan

Maria graduated from University College Dublin with a BA in English and Drama, then obtained her Masters in Modern Literature from the University of Edinburgh. She moved from Dublin to New York in the hopes of pursuing a career in publishing. She has been working at InkWell for over 6 years. Her authors include Erin Mayer, Audrey Burges, Vinod Busjeet, Liz Topp, Luke Dumas, Dima Alzayat, Sarah Fay and Eduardo Garcia. June 9 @ 2 pm


Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of thirty-nine books.  An expert consultant with the U.S. Fulbright Commission, Dr. Darling’s work has been recognized with awards from Yaddo, the American Academy in Rome, the Andorran Ministry of Culture, the Elizabeth George Foundation, Harvard University’s Kittredge Fund, the Heinz Foundation, Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and the Whiting Foundation.  She serves as Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press and Tupelo Quarterly and teaches at the American University of Rome.  Born and raised in the American Midwest, Dr. Darling now divides her time between the United States, Greece, and the Amalfi Coast.. Lit Journal Panel June 15 @ 12:30  pm.

Alex Kane

Alex joined WME in 2017. He represents bestselling and award-winning nonfiction and fiction, and he is especially drawn to stories that have a strong social or political conscience. His clients have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, New York Magazine, The Paris Review, Harper’s, n+1, and The Baffler among others. He is based in Los Angeles. June 15 @ 2 pm

Jamil Kochai

Jamil Jan Kochai is the author of the short story collection The Haunting of Hajji Hotak, out now from Viking, as well as 99 Nights in Logar (Viking, 2019), a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. He was born in an Afghan refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan, but he originally hails from Logar, Afghanistan. His short stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Ploughshares, and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2018. Currently, he is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. June 13 @ 12:30 pm

Achy Obejas

Achy Obejas is the author of Boomerang/Bumerán, a bilingual collection of poetry written in a mostly gender-free English and Spanish that addresses immigration, displacement, love and activism. She also authored The Tower of the Antilles, which was a PEN/Faulkner finalist, among other honors. As a translator, Havana-born Achy has worked with Wendy Guerra, Rita Indiana, Junot Díaz and Megan Maxwell, among others. A recipient of a USA Artists fellowship, an NEA and a Cintas fellowship, among other awards, she lives in the San Francisco Bay area. June 15 @ 7 pm

Cat Richardson

Cat Richardson is the editor in chief of Bodega Magazine and a former poetry editor at Phantom Books. Her poetry has appeared in magazines such as Narrative, Ploughshares, Tin House, and Four Way Review, among others, while her reviews and interviews can be found at Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, Pleiades, and The National Book Foundation. She is also the director of content strategy and development at NYU's Office of Marketing Communications. June 15 @ 12:30 pm

Andrea Rindard

Andrea Rinard is a former high school teacher who is now a student in the University of South Florida's MFA program. She was nominated for Best of the Net in 2020 and 2021 and Best Small Fictions in 2020 for her flash fiction and has work in some of her favorite online literary journals. Her collection of flash and short fiction, Murmurations, was published by EastOver Press in 2023. A native Floridian who wears shoes against her will, Andrea lives in Tampa with her 1988 Prom date. June 16 @ 12:30 pm

Julie Stevenson

Julie Stevenson is a literary agent with Massie & McQuilkin in New York. She represents literary and upmarket fiction, suspense, memoir, graphic novels, narrative nonfiction, young adult fiction and children’s picture books. She is drawn to storytelling with unforgettable characters, an authorial command of voice, and a strong sense of narrative tension. She looks for work that both entertains and explores the depths of human experience, particularly the many facets of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and regional backgrounds. She’s agented books that have won the Pulitzer Prize, the MWA Edgar Award, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Caldecott Honor. Before she became an agent, Julie worked in the editorial departments of Tin House and Publishers Weekly. She received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. June 15 @ 2 pm

Mark Gottlieb

Mark Gottlieb is a prominent literary agent working at book publishing’s leading literary agency Trident Media Group in New York City. He has ranked highly among literary agents across the industry for overall number of deals. While at Trident Media Group, Mark Gottlieb has represented New York Times bestselling authors as well as award-winning authors. He has optioned and sold numerous books for film and TV adaptation. June 15 @ 2 pm