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instructor bios




Marci Alboher is a writer/speaker/coach who focuses on workplace and career issues. Her book, One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life, was published by Warner Books in February 2007. A former corporate lawyer, she became interested in the myriad ways careers are being reinvented when she used law to springboard into a new career as a freelance journalist. Marci holds an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from American University's Washington College of Law. Marci began her career at a boutique law firm in New York City; later she served as in-house counsel for Reader's Digest, first in New York and then in Hong Kong. Marci is a regular contributor to The New York Times where she writes about business travel, small business, and the workplace. Her articles have also appeared in Travel and Leisure, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Time Out New York, and Legal Affairs, among other national publications. She is the author of the book, I Think I Need a Lawyer, Now What', a layperson's guide to the law, published by Silver Lining Books in 2002. Marci is a sought-after speaker on workplace issues and nonfiction writing. She lives in New York City. For more about Marci, visit www.heymarci.com.


Kimberlee Auerbach Berlin is a storyteller, writing instructor and author of The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot, a memoir adapted from her one-woman show. She teaches for New York Writers Workshop, Gotham Writers' Workshop, Mediabistro, The Open Center,UCLA Extension Writers' Program, and Bank Street College of Education, where she won "Teacher of the Year." For more information: www.kimmiland.com.


In 1996 Jennifer Belle burst on to the literary scene with her critically-acclaimed, best-selling novel Going Down, which was named best debut novel of the year by Entertainment Weekly, published in many languages, and optioned for the screen by Madonna for whom she wrote the screenplay. Her second novel High Maintenance, was also a national-bestseller, and optioned by HBO and Fox. Her new novel Little Stalker was just out in paperback in summer 2008. She is the author of Animal Stackers, a picture book for children, and her essays and short stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, London's The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Ms., Mudfish, and several anthologies. She has taught novel-writing at Marymount and The New School, has led an on-going workshop in her home since 1997, and appears on the acknowledgments pages of dozens of published novels by friends and students she has helped along the way. Visit her at www.jenniferbelle.com.


Jacqueline Bishop is the author of five books, most recently Snapshots From Istanbul (Peepal Tree Press.) She is also an accomplished visual artist with recent exhibitions in Italy and Belgium. Ms. Bishop was a 2008–2009 Fulbright scholar to Morocco and is the 2009–2010 UNESCO/Fulbright Fellow. She is a full time Master Teacher in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University.


Maureen Brady is the author of the novels Ginger's Fire, Folly, and Give Me Your Good Ear, the short story collection The Question She Put to Herself and three books of nonfiction. Ginger's Fire was nominated for a Lamda Literary Award, the Ferro Grumley award and the ALA Gay Book Award. She also teaches creative writing at NYU and works as a freelance editor for fiction and nonfiction writers. Her recent essays or stories have appeared in In The Family; Cabbage and Bones: Irish American Women Writing (Henry Holt); Mom, Alyson, and Intersections: Poetry and Fiction by Banff Writers. She has been awarded grants by The New York State Council on the Arts, The Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and The Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund among others. She is currently Board President of The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Visit her website at www.maureenbradyny.com for further information or to purchase books.


James Braly is the writer and performer of the monologue Life in a Marital Institution, which premiered at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, sold-out 59E59 Theaters in New York City, and transferred Off Broadway to the Soho Playhouse. The show has played over 120 performances, and will tour nationally in 2009. Optioned for film & television by Meredith Vieira Productions, Life in a Marital Institution is also a forthcoming memoir from St. Martin's Press.

James has performed other autobiographical stories on NPR and at The Whitney Museum, Long Wharf Theatre, and The Moth, where he was featured on the TNT National Story Tour and is the only two-time winner of the Moth GrandSlam storytelling competition. His commentaries have been broadcast nationally on Marketplace, and his essays appear in the recently published anthologies Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, from W.W. Norton, and Afterbirth, from St. Martin's Press.

Visit James's website at www.jamesbraly.com.



June Rifkin Clark is a partner in Get There Media, Inc., a promotion and brand development company, providing strategic guidance to writers, experts, and businesses, by building platforms, creating awareness, and providing PR outreach to consumers and the media.

For over 20 years, June worked in marketing and promotion, retained by numerous agencies to write and develop promotional materials for companies like Food Network, Bravo, A&E, NBC, AOL, eBay and Kraft Foods, many of which won PMA and Reggie Awards. June also worked in cable TV at Showtime, Group W Cable, and as head of her own agency, Concepts. She is the recipient of a Cable ACE/Emmy award.

After receiving her MA in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College, June became a literary agent at the Peter Rubie Literary Agency in New York (now FinePrint Literary Management), specializing in nonfiction books. Clients include floral designer Michael George, Forbidden Broadway creator Gerard Alessandrini, Cosmopolitan's "Bedside Astrologer" Hazel Dixon-Cooper, I Love Lucy writer Madelyn Pugh Davis, Soupy Sales, and The Friars Club. She is still an Agent-at-Large at FinePrint to serve her long-term clients.

A published author and playwright, June wrote (and co-wrote) four books, several plays, and has given workshops on topical issues on writing and publishing.

For more information, visit www.juneclark.com.



Mike Cohen is a graduate of the MFA writing program at The Ohio State University and has a BA in English Literature from Dartmouth College. At Ohio State, Mike had the privilege of studying with Melanie Rae Thon, Lee K. Abbott and Michelle Herman; he also taught undergraduate creative writing classes and served two years as the Associate Editor for the Sandstone Prize. He is the recipient of an artist's residency from the National Arts Club, and his short stories have been published in The Gettysburg Review, Web Del Sol, Stonefence Review, and other journals. Mike also wrote a play called, The End of You, which was developed by the Directors Company and directed by Erica Schmidt. The play was produced Off-Broadway by Lit Live Production and Pennyseal Productions at The Lion Theatre on Theatre Row. A short film he wrote called Leave You in Me has appeared in over a dozen festivals, winning Best Fiction Film at Action/Cut Festival. Mike is represented by the literary agency ICM. He has written two novels; the second is currently under submission.


Patty Dann's novel SWEET&CRAZY was published in 2003 by St. Martin's Press. She is also the author of The Baby Boat: A Memoir of Adoption, which was published by Hyperion. Her novel, Mermaids, has been translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese. It was also made into a movie, starring Cher, Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci. Her writing has been published in The Writers Handbook:2001. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Redbook Magazine. She has served as a judge for the Scholastic Young Writers Awards. She has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College and the West Side YMCA. She was cited by New York Magazine as one of the "Great Teachers of NYC."


Martha Hughes, a free-lance editor, is author of Precious In His Sight, Viking/Penguin; A Buyer’s Guide to Cosmetics, Random House; and The Woman’s Day Book of Household Hints, Wm. Morrow/Fawcett. A personal essay is in the Random House anthology, Out of Her Mind: Women Writing on Madness, ed. by Rebecca Shannonhouse. Her work has also appeared in Details, Bomb and Cosmopolitan magazines.

In 1991, she founded The Peripatetic Writing Workshop, Inc., a nonprofit summer writing workshop and retreat, which has met on Shelter Island and Woodstock, NY; Achill Island, Ireland; and for the past three years in Guatemala. She teaches the Advanced Fiction Workshop in New York University’s SCPS program and has also taught essay writing at Marymount College, the Bronx Community College, Mount Saint Mary’s in Newburgh, as well as English as a Second Language for NYANA. She received her MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College and her BFA in Fine Arts at Hunter College.



Allison Estes has written fifteen books for young readers, including The Short Stirrup Club series (Simon & Schuster.) She has been teaching children and adults of all ages for nearly twenty years. She trains horses and plays softball when she isn't busy being a soccer mom and appearing at schools and libraries all over the country.


Laura Zinn Fromm is the author of the forthcoming How I Killed the Tooth Fairy and Other Tales of Flawed Mothering. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University and teaches fiction and creative non-fiction in the Columbia Artists/Teachers program. A former editor at Business Week magazine, she is the winner of the Clarion Award and the Newspaper Guild's Page One Award for Labor Reporting. Visit her blog at flawedmom.blogspot.com.


Doug Garr is the author, most recently, of "IBM Redux: Lou Gerstner and the Business Turnaround of the Decade," (HarperBusiness, 1999). He is also the author or co-author of three other books. He wrote economic speeches for former New York Governor Mario Cuomo during his last administration, and he was the principal ghostwriter of the governor's book, "The New York Idea: An Experiment in Democracy" (Crown, 1994). His magazine work has appeared in several national publications, including Business Week, Fortune's Technology Review, GQ, Popular Science, Worth, New York, Strategy & Business, and MIT's Technology Review. His essays have appeared in The East Hampton Star and on the Op-Ed Page of The New York Times.


Richard Goodman is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France. He has written on a variety of subjects for many national publications, including The New York Times, Garden Design, Creative Nonfiction, Commonweal, Vanity Fair, Grand Tour, salon.com, National Gardening, Saveur, Ascent and The Michigan Quarterly Review. He has twice been awarded a fellowship at the MacDowell Colony and was awarded a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2003. He created, wrote and narrated a six-part series about New York City for Public Radio in Virginia. He has taught creative writing in New York City for a number of years where he also works as a landscape gardener. He presently teaches creative nonfiction at Spalding University's Brief Residency MFA program in Louisville, Kentucky. He wrote the introduction for the recently published Travelers' Tales Provence, and one of his essays will appear in the forthcoming The Best Travelers' Tales 2004.


Mary Stewart Hammond was reared in Roanoke, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. Her poems have been published in many magazines, including American Poetry Review, The American Voice, The Atlantic Monthly, Boulevard, Field, The Gettysburg Review, The New Criterion, The New England Review, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Yale Review. Anthologies where her poems have appeared include Wedding Readings: Centuries of Writing and Rituals for Love and Marriage, ed. Eleanor Munro, The KGB Bar Book of Poems, ed. David Lehman and Star Black, Inventions of Farewell: A Book of Elegies, ed. Sandra M. Gilbert, Stone and Steel, ed. Bascove, and Where Books Fall Open, ed. Bascove.

Her book, Out of Canaan, received the 1992 Best First Collection of Poetry Award from the Great Lakes Colleges Association. Other awards include MacDowell Colony and Yaddo fellowships, and a Writer's Community Poet-in-Residence fellowship. She lives in New York City. Besides conducting workshops and giving readings at many colleges and universities in the East and the Midwest, she taught advanced level workshops at the Writer's Voice of the West Side Y for nine years and at the JCC for one. She now conducts workshops privately from her home. Her students, some of whom come to her already possessing a few publication credits, or graduate degrees from various writing programs, or just raw talent, go on to win awards such as the Discovery/The Nation, the Nicholas Roerich book publication Prize from Story Line Press, Pushcart Prizes, chap book publication prizes. Others achieve more substantial publishing credentials, or admittance into top graduate writing programs. More information can be found on her website, www.marystewarthammond.com.



Helen Kaplan's short film Return to Sender has screened at over 20 festivals and received many awards. She has taught screenwriting and filmmaking at Barnard's Pre-College Program, Hunter College, MediaBistro, The 92nd St Y/Makor, The New York Film Academy, and the International Film and Video Workshops in Maine. Helen also contributed a chapter on subplots for the screenwriting book Writing Movies. She has worked as a film editor and was an associate producer on the PBS documentary New York. Helen received an MFA in film from Columbia University.


Sally Koslow, former editor-in-chief of McCall's and Lifetime, is the author of three novels: The Late, Lamented Molly Marx (currently a bestseller in Germany), Little Pink Slips (about the magazine industry) and the forthcoming With Friends like These. Her articles and essays appear frequently in magazines and online venues including More, Real Simple, O the Oprah Magazine, wowOwow.com, Ladies' Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Readers' Digest, and others. She has also taught at the Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College. For more on Sally, please visit www.sallykoslow.com.


Instructor Jonathan Kravetz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of DUCTS.org, a biannual literary webzine devoted to publishing engaging personal essays, memoirs, art, fiction, humor and more. His play, Prayer, was produced to sold-out houses at the New York City Fringe Festival, 2008. Violins, a ten-minute play, was one of the winners of the Bite-Sized International Playwriting Competition and was performed at the Brighton Fringe Festival in spring, 2008. Prayer was a semi-finalist in the annual Reverie Productions Play competition in New York, 2008. Jim and Dana, another ten-minute play, finished in the top ten of the 2009 Oxford, MS Ten Minute Play Contest. Mr. Kravetz is one of the founding members of the prestigious Writers Forum at the Manhattan Theatre Source in New York. He is also the founder of the monthly reading series, Trumpet Fiction, which is held the second Saturday of every month at KGB Bar in the East Village. Jonathan holds a Masters in Cinema Studies from New York University.


Jeff McCracken is an accomplished director, producer, actor and writer. He developed and co-produced the Robert Redford feature film, Quiz Show that won the New York Film Critics Award as well as being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. He also Executive Produced, "One Cup of Coffee" which won the Audience Award for Best Picture at the Sundance Film Festival and was released by Miramax as "Pastime." He's directed over seventy episodes of television including NYPD Blue, Still Standing, Boy Meets World, Dinosaurs. As an actor he's starred on Broadway, Off-Broadway, films and television. He's recently written a new dramatic play Nectar From the Gods and the feature film Jimmy Nolan that he's also preparing to produce and direct. He teaches in the film and television department at Chapman University.


Hermine Meinhard's first book, Bright Turquoise Umbrella (Tupelo Press, 2004), follows a child into young womanhood through a shifting, magical realist world. Her poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, La Petite Zine, How2, Luna, The Prose Poem, Verse Daily and other publications. She was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America's 2004 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award, the winner of the Sue Saniel Elkind Poetry Award, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Other honors include fellowships at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ragdale Foundation and the Blue Mountain Center. Poetry editor of the literary journal 3rd bed, she also teaches at New York University, and this June will conduct a one-week poetry workshop, "The Soul of a Poem in the Heart of Italy," in Tuscany. She has an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.


Jenny Milchman is a writer from northern New Jersey. Her short fiction has been published on-line and her novel of literary suspense, Out of Nowhere, is currently on submission. Jenny is founder and co-host of the series, Writing Matters: A Dialog on the Craft & Business of Words, which draws authors from as far away as South Carolina and New Hampshire to standing room only events at a local independent bookstore. She blogs about writing at suspenseyourdisbelief.com, featuring Edgar nominees as well as authors published by micro presses in the Made It Moments forum. Jenny talks about life as an emerging writer on radio shows and at conferences. At the New York Writers Workshop Pitch & Shop, Jenny presents a unit called Perfect Pitch geared toward getting the most out of the conference…and beyond. Please visit her at jennymilchman.com to take part in an ongoing discussion with other authors, writers, and readers about the process of becoming published.


Charles Salzberg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Esquire, New York Magazine, GQ, Elle, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times Arts and Leisure, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review and various other publications. He is the author of From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, An Oral History of the NBA, and On A Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place, Baseball's 10 Worst Teams of the Century (with George Robinson) and co-author of My Zany Life and Times, by Soupy Sales, Missy Hyatt, The First Lady of Wrestling (with Mark Goldblatt), and the forthcoming Catch Them Being Good by Tony DiCicco and Colleen Hacker, PhD. He is currently a visiting professor of magazine journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and teaches advanced non-fiction at Sarah Lawrence College. He was cited by New York Magazine as one of New York's Great Teachers.


Charlie is the bookwriter of the new musical "The Fartiste" (OUTSTANDING MUSICAL FRINGENYC 2006) "The Fartiste" is based on his original screenplay and will have an commercial run Off-Broadway in 2007. His chapter on Playwriting is published in The Portable MFA In Creative Writing (Writers Digest). Charlie teaches screenwriting in the Dramatic Writing Program at New York University and playwriting at Spalding University’s MFA program.

AWARDS: Avery Hopwood Award for Drama, Paulette Goddard Fellowship, Charles McArthur Award for comedy.

OFF-BROADWAY Credits: Angel of Death (American Jewish Theater) The Ground Zero Club (Playwrights Horizons) and The Birthday Present (Circle Rep).

His plays are published by The Dramatist Play Service and in several anthologies.



Rachel Sherman was born in 1975. She holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Her short stories have been published in McSweeney's, Open City, Post Road, Conjunctions, and Story Quarterly, among other publications, and in the book Full Frontal Fiction: The Best of Nerve Anthology (Three Rivers Press, 2000).

Her book of short stories THE FIRST HURT, was published by Open City Books in May 2006. (www.thefirsthurt.com)



Daniel has written for several of the nation's top publications, including U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, and Salon. He has covered a wide range of topics from science to pop culture, in feature articles, book reviews, essays, short stories, and news reports. Most recently he has taught creative writing, literature, poetry, and publishing courses at various institutions, including Hunter College and the 92 Street Y in New York City and the University of Colorado in Boulder. In addition, he runs a premier private tutoring and college prep company in Manhattan, Metro Academic Prep.


The media savvy social satirist has been a featured lifestyle trend writer on national morning shows and talk shows including ABC, CBS, CNN and most recently, VH1. Her articles cover a range of topics, from beauty and food trends to celebrity interviews, appearing in an array of publications and newspapers such as: The New York Times, The New York Post, and Daily News, as well as national magazines: Time Magazine, Town & Country Travel, Travel & Leisure Golf, Marie Claire, Self, Men's Health, and Outside, among others. Alix has been writing about lifestyle trends for the past two years covering such topics as: High-end invites, A-list parties, Goodie bags, Diva Diets, Slumber parties, Must-have-beauty-products and Trailer-trash treats. Her collection of shorts, THE JOY OF FUNERALS, was published by St. Martin's Press in both hard and soft cover. The Joy of Funerals will be heading to the big screen with Stockard Channing attached to direct. Alix will write the screenplay as well. Currently, she is working on a novel.

The Joy of Funerals is the recent winner of the Ingram Award, and was named Best Debut Novel by The New York Resident. In addition, Alix's work has been anthologized, and her short fiction has appeared in the Hampton Shorts Literary Journal, the Idaho Review, Quality Women's Fiction, The Blue Moon Café III, and A Kudzu Christmas. Her short story, Shrinking Away, won the David Dornstein Creative Writing Award. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships: The Wesleyan Writers Conference, Skidmore College Writer's Institute, Sarah Lawrence Summer and Squaw Valley's Screenwriters' Summer program.

Alix has spoken at numerous conferences and panels including: The Southern Festival of Books, The Northwest Bookfest, The New England's Writer's Conference, Wesleyan Writer's conference, The 92nd Street Y, NYU, Center For Communications, Mediabistro, Columbia University, among others. She hosted a monthly event at Makor called Word of Mouth Thursdays, readings of personal essays, works in-progress and novel excerpts.

For more information, visit her website at Joyoffunerals.com.



Erich Sysak is the author of Dog Catcher (Monsoon 05), a novel that explores the hostile sub-culture of organized greyhound racing in Central Florida. His short stories, articles and essays also appear in Oxford Magazine, storySouth, the Paumanok Review, and Projected Letters, the Bangkok Post, the Nation newspaper, Antiquarian Book Review, Knot Magazine and International Living. He teaches Creative Writing at Webster University in Cha am, Thailand. Cha am sits on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 150 kilometers south of Bangkok.


Tim Tomlinson's fiction has appeared in many venues, including The Missouri Review, The Gettysburg Review, Libido, Hampton Shorts, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and The North American Review. He has published haiku in Black Bough, Modern Haiku, Parnassus Literary Journal, Potpourri, and Time Haiku. His articles on travel, scuba diving, and the arts have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, Musician, Downtown Express and Spa Magazine. He has taught fiction and screenwriting workshops at the University of the Philippines. He consults regularly with television and screenwriters for the Media Development Authority in Singapore. His workshop, Building the Dramatic Arc, will be a featured event in a New York Writers Workshop Intensive Retreat in Hua Hin, Thailand, in January 2006. He is fiction editor of the webzine ducts.org. At NYU he teaches courses on writing and contemporary culture.

the JCC in Manhattan