Come to The Muse for Writing Workshops in Norfolk, Virginia (VA)

the muse's facilitators & teachers

  • John Aguiar
  • Sheila Arnold
  • Robert Arthur
  • Marilyn Barton
  • James Beardsley
  • Erin Beaty
  • Jeff Becker
  • Remica L. Bingham-Risher
  • Angela Blue
  • Ellen Bryson
  • Dana Buchanan
  • Anthony Burcher
  • Bill Candler
  • Hannah Capin
  • Madeline Carey
  • Jason Carney
  • Tucker Casanova
  • Robbie Ciara
  • Linda Carol Cobb
  • Lisa Cooper
  • Shannon Curtin
  • Rebekah Coxwell
  • Christina Dalcher
  • Sarah Darrow
  • Cynthia Davis
  • John DeDakis
  • Alicia Dekker
  • Grace M. DeLeesie
  • Christopher De Matteo
  • Eddie Dowe
  • Dan Duke
  • Simon Edwards
  • Rick Eley
  • Belinda Elliott
  • Nicole Emmelhainz
  • Leslie Entsminger
  • Patrick Evans-Hylton
  • Diane Fine
  • Rick Fischer
  • Anna Fitzgerald
  • Cristina Foss
  • Matt Foster
  • Matt Friedman
  • Rekaya Gibson
  • Lamar Giles
  • Shawn Girvan
  • Nathaniel Glanzman
  • Farideh Goldin
  • Amanda Gomez
  • Dexter Gore
  • Jennifer Graham
  • Noa Greenspan
  • Jacob Gregory
  • Will Harris
  • Jeffrey Hecker
  • Patti Hinson
  • Joseph Hoyt
  • Charlotte Walker Hurley
  • Gabriela Igloria
  • Luisa Igloria
  • Joe Jackson
  • Coral Kendall
  • Jessica Kelley
  • Michael Khandelwal
  • Marcieanna Klaustermeyer
  • Jean Klein
  • B. Elizabeth Kostal
  • Christine Koubek
  • Libby Kurz
  • Matthew Larrimore
  • Maggie Libby
  • Sylvia Liu
  • Michael Lovely
  • Jennifer Malia
  • Catherine Malley
  • Christina Marable
  • Al Markowitz
  • Malcom Massey
  • John McCarthy
  • Patti McCracken
  • Karrie McDaniels
  • Kindra McDonald
  • Kerry McNamara
  • Kristin Mehaffey
  • Renee Olander
  • Derek Nelson
  • Lydia Netzer
  • AJ (Andrea) Nolan
  • Gavin Pate
  • Susie Pedigo
  • Leslye Penelope
  • Princess Perry
  • Zachary Piggott
  • Peter Porosky
  • Maya Porten
  • Lauralyn Prince
  • Sarah Pringle
  • Abi Putnam
  • Lisa Ray
  • Noah Renn
  • Charles Rhodes
  • Suzanne Rhodes
  • Mira Roberts
  • Tom Robotham
  • Christine Rucker
  • Tim Sanderson
  • Colin Sargent
  • Jesse Scaccia
  • Alison Schoew
  • Tim Seibles
  • Sarah Sheppard
  • Sheila Sheppard
  • Dean Silkstone
  • Kelly Sokol
  • Dana Staves
  • Melissa M. Stewart
  • Lauran Strait
  • Grace Tazewell
  • Wyatt Thacker
  • Jeffrey Walker
  • Fran Ward
  • Tammy Wartell
  • Wendi White
  • Cait Woods
  • Donna Wynn
  • Michele Young-Stone
  • Tom Yuill
  • Skye Zentz
  • Past Teachers & Facilitators

  • John Aguiar

    John Aguiar earned a Master's in marine biology from ODU and a Ph.D. in wildlife biology from Texas A&M. His doctoral research focused on the biogeography and conservation of small mammals in the Brazilian Amazon. He has worked as an editor at several international journals, where he shepherded manuscripts in three languages—English, Spanish and Portuguese—through every stage of the publication process. He has also worked as a science writer for the Cousteau Society and other environmental groups. He writes in a variety of fiction and nonfiction formats, although people tell him that his short stories really need to be thousand-page novels.

    Classes taught: Ancient Cities and First Civilizations, Beyond Earth: Geography of the Galaxy, Biomes and Exotic Ecosystems: A World Building Seminar, Black Holes and Exotic Stars, Building a Real World, Imagined; The Deep History of Words; Forging A Continent: Real World Building, Hominid Heresies; Nearby Stars and Exoplanets, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Sheila Arnold

    Sheila Arnold has been performing since she was 8 years old. She currently lives in Hampton, VA and presents Storytelling Programs, Historic Character Presentations, Christian Monologues, and Professional Development for Educators and Inspirational/Motivational Speaking for schools, churches and organizations throughout the US. She also performs in, manages and contracts new business for History’s Alive!, which mentors and provides employment opportunities and guidance to other performers. She has been performing full-time since 2003, and goes to over 150 different venues a year. Sheila Arnold is a Mt. Vernon Research Fellow with her work being focused on Oney Judge, the enslaved personal maidservant of Martha Washington.

    Classes taught: History Storytelling, Storytelling: The Stories Inside Us, Storytelling 2: Taking Your Story Further, Storytelling: Winter Stories.
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    Robert P. Arthur

    A finalist for Poet Laureate of Virginia in 2008 and 2010, Robert P. Arthur is President Emeritus of the Poetry Society of Virginia and a retired Writer in low- Residence in the graduate creative writing program at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. He has published over twenty books of poems and poem/plays and produced seven shows of poetry and music. His poem/play with music, Hymn to the Chesapeake, has played in Virginia and Maryland, Washington D.C., New York City, Norway, and St. Petersburg, Russia. His new books include Angel Band, and Robert P. Arthur:Selected Works. Books soon to be released are Disclosures, Master William and the Finman, and Silver Beach Road.

    Classes taught: Beginnings and Endings in Poems; How Does a Poem Mean?; Poetry from the Dark Side; Poetry in Performance; Poetry Today: A Workshop in Craft and Technique; Revising & Arranging for a Chapbook; Revolutionary Poets: Charles Olsen and Beyond; The Sea as Metaphor: Poetry of the Sea; Writing Subjective Poems.
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    Marilyn Barton

    Marilyn has lived in Hampton Roads since 1984. She earned a bachelor of science in nursing from Georgetown University and worked as an RN in a variety of hospital settings: psych (as a student), critical care, ER, research, staff education, and quality. Marilyn also became a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor as community outreach and taught classes from 2012 to 2017. Following retirement from a thirty-five year career, she started writing stories about healthcare from her perspective as a nurse. Ten of these have been published in pulse--more voices from the heart of medicine and one in Marilyn developed an interest in storytelling while working with Riverside Health System's annual nursing magazine in Newport News, VA. She then served as editor for a coffee table book, The Color of Their Eyes. One hundred nurses contributed stories, poems and articles to this book, published by Riverside in 2007. Marilyn is a member of Hampton Roads Writers and attends meetings with two local groups, Tidewater Writers and Virginia Beach Writers, for readings, critiques, and camaraderie.

    Classes taught: How to Write Characters with Mental Illness: Culture vs. Science.
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    James Beardsley

    James Beardsley grew up in Hampton Roads, received his BA in English from The College of William and Mary, and is an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at Old Dominion University, where he has worked as a writing tutor and as the nonfiction editor for the literary magazine, Barely South Review. He specializes in memoir and strives to tell stories in creative, gripping ways while still hewing to the truth.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Memoir and Creative Nonfiction, Making Memory into Story, Writing About Movies, Writing Around Our Gaps in Memory.
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    Erin Beaty

    Erin Beaty has a B.S. in rocket science from the US Naval Academy (no, really!). She served as a fleet weapons officer and a leadership instructor before resigning to pursue her side hobby of populating the Church of Rome. Once all five kids were in school, she started letting the crazy out in the form of writing. Erin is represented by Valerie Noble of Donaghy Literary Group, and her first novel, a young adult fantasy adventure, will be published in Fall 2017 by Imprint, Macmillan. When she’s not imagining ways to torture her characters, Erin can usually be found training for her next half marathon.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, Giving Your Characters Personality, Let Your Story Shine: Avoiding Mistakes that Kill Your Prose, The Picture of Your First 1000 Words, Time is on Your Side.
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    Jeff Becker

    Jeff Becker is a defense futurist and international security analyst and is currently supporting the Joint Concepts Division of the Joint Staff J7. Mr. Becker has over 18 years experience conducting and managing future military studies, analysis, and experimentation projects. He has provided analytic support focused on considering the implications of strategic and military change for the structure and function of military forces and national strategy for a wide range of organizations including the Joint Staff J-7, U.S. Joint Forces Command, NATO/Allied Command Transformation, OSD/Net Assessment, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Army and Navy. Mr. Becker has worked with a wide range of foreign partners on joint analytic projects abroad, including the NATO Alliance, the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Chile, Peru, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan. Jeff was the primary author of the Joint Staff’s 2016 deep futures study, Joint Operating Environment 2035: The Joint Force in a Contested and Disordered World which surveys science and technology, human, and geopolitical trends and develops their military implications for the Joint Force. He has written numerous articles on future military challenges. Jeff has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa and a Masters in International Studies from Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: The Future of Society and Conflict, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Remica L. Bingham-Risher

    Remica Bingham-Risher, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, is an alumna of Old Dominion University and Bennington College. She is a Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian Poet. Among other journals, her work has been published in The Writer’s Chronicle, New Letters, Callaloo and Essence. She is the author of Conversion (Lotus, 2006) winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, What We Ask of Flesh (Etruscan, 2013) shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Award and Starlight & Error (Diode, 2017) winner of the Diode Editions Book Award. She is the Director of Writing and Faculty Development at Old Dominion University and resides in Norfolk, VA with her husband and children.

    Classes taught: Inventive Forms: Exploring Formal Poetry, Love Poems: The Hunger of Words, What's Going On? Poetry in Conversation with the News, Writing Across the Lines: Poetry Exploring Race, Culture and Ethnicity
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    Angela Blue

    Angela Blue is the Associate Editor of Hampton Roads Magazine, Hampton Roads Bride and Virginia Wine Lover magazines. She writes the "Hampton Roads Bride Blog" among various other online articles, provides editorial content for weekly and monthly newsletters sent on behalf of three publications and manages the editorial and web editorial internship programs at HRM. Angela earned a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in journalism from Old Dominion University and has freelanced for local and regional lifestyle publications.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Magazine Writing, The Pitch: Magazine Articles and Features.
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    Ellen Bryson

    Ellen Bryson authored The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno, a novel set in P.T. Barnum's American Museum in the New York of 1865, about human appetites and longings, and what it means to be profoundly unique. Transformation was selected Indie Pick of the Month, Notable, in July 2010, the Book-of-the-Month Club Alternative, 2010, and won the San Diego Book Award for Historic Fiction, 2010. Ellen earned her BA in English from Columbia University and her MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, The Fiction Studio, Bringing Historic Characters to Life, Building Story: Meet the Madman, From the Horse's Mouth: Crafting First Person POV, How to Write Your Novel, Psychic Distance: How Close are Your Characters?, Research for Writers: Tips and Techniques, Subtext: Using Misconception and Mystery, The Art of a Sentence, The Novel Doctor, The Novel Studio, The Urge, the Ache: Evoking Emotion in Fiction, Words on the Page
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    Dana Buchanan, MD

    Dr. Dana Buchanan is double boarded in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and has a Masters in Public Health. Earning her B.A from Wellesley College, she focused on political economy and anthropology. Then she completed her medical training at the University of Connecticut followed by an internship and residency at Baystate Medical Center, a Tufts University affiliated program in Springfield, MA. She has a wide range of interests including international health and travel medicine, Women's Health, Weight Loss Management, Diabetes, Cardiovascular health, and Genomics. She has been a part of Sentara Medical Group for eight years and is currently employed at the Dedicated Care Center at Fort Norfolk Plaza, Norfolk, VA. Outside of the office, Dr. Buchanan loves to travel and has been to every continent but Antarctica and Australia, enjoys most outdoor activities such as running, kayaking, and paddle boarding, plus early morning workouts at the gym. She is the mother to three school aged children and has been involved in women's bible study leadership and healing prayer.

    Classes taught: Doctors & Disease, Patients & Prescriptions, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Anthony Burcher

    Anthony was born and raised in Tidewater, Virginia and now travels around the state and country telling tales of his experiences growing up right here. Besides being a professional storyteller, Anthony is also an Outreach Instructor for the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation. Both he and his wife Michelle have just retired from 30 years as Presbyterian Camp Directors. Anthony has 3 CDs and 2 books on telling stories, recreation and play.

    Classes taught: Discovering Lost, Personal Stories Through Storytelling Games, Wordplay: Games that Teach the Skills of Storytelling.
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    Bill Candler

    Bill Candler, now retired, was the co-founder of the area’s former lifestyle and arts publication Port Folio Magazine. He was its editor for 10 years. Prior to that, he variously served as the editor of the former Metro, The Magazine of Hampton Roads; as a partner in the Donning Company, then a local book publishing company; and as admin assistant to the president of ODU. He also was the first college-wide Director of Communications for the four-campus Tidewater Community College. At the time of his retirement, he was Senior Editor for the editorial division of Landmark Media’s subsidiary, Dominion Enterprises. Originally from northern Virginia, he has been in the area since 1970, and now lives in Downtown Norfolk with his spousal equivalent, Jean Trask. He has two children and three grandchildren. His interests include domestic and foreign travel, reading, hiking and biking, hanging out in area coffee shops, and, in the past, whitewater canoeing.

    Classes taught: Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Hannah Capin

    Hannah Capin completed her first manuscript at age 11. Although that project remains locked in a vault, her debut YA novel, The Dead Queens Club, is forthcoming from Harlequin Teen (winter 2019). When she isn’t working on her next novel, you’ll find her sailing, singing, or holding late-night gossip sessions with her girl squad. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and her master’s degree from Columbia University.

    Classes taught: The YA & Crossover Workshop, Writing Great YA, Writing Unforgettable YA Characters.
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    Madeline Carey

    Maddie Carey is an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at Old Dominion University where she has worked as a writing tutor and editor, composition instructor, and with Writers in Community (WinC). Likewise, as a West Virginia native who has fallen in love with Hampton Roads, Maddie looks forward to taking over as coordinator for ODU's community outreach creative writing element, WinC, in mid-2018.

    Classes taught: The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop, Young Writers Week.
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    Jason Carney

    Jason Ray Carney teaches popular literature and creative writing at Christopher Newport University. His academic study of pulp fiction, Weird Tales of Modernity: The Ephemerality of Ordinary in the Stories of Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and H.P. Lovecraft, is forthcoming from McFarland Academic Press (Summer 2019). He has published scholarly articles on several topics: pulp fiction, horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Additionally, he is co-editor of the academic journal, The Dark Man: Journal of Robert E. Howard and Pulp Studies. He has published pulp fiction in Skelos: Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Phantaxis: Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, Swords and Sorcery Magazine, Cirsova: Heroic Fantasy, Science Fiction Magazine, and others. Jason earned his Ph.D. in English from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

    Classes taught: The Memoir Workshop, Destroying the Ordinary: Writing Supernatural Horror, The Glory of Fantasy: Creative Secondary Worlds, The Salvation of Science Fiction: Imaginary Technology, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Tucker Casanova

    Tucker Casanova is lover and writer of fiction. He completed his Funeral Director apprenticeship at HD Oliver Funeral Apartments before finding his place at the Lions Medical Eye Bank of Eastern Virginia where he works as an educator of hospital staff and the public. When he is not answering questions about Organ, Tissue and Corneal Donation he volunteers as a Lion and spends time with his wife and children.

    Classes taught: Writing the Eulogy.
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    Robbie Ciara

    Robbie has received both his B.A. in English and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. He is a long-time fixture on the spoken word scene in Hampton Roads as both poet and host. He also serves as Poetry Editor for Barely South Review and host of Old Dominion’s annual Poetry Slam. You can find Robbie acting in and producing independent film and television projects for Motion Arts Media and WTKR.

    Classes taught: Start Writing, Keep Writing... Write Now, From Page to Stage: Spoken Word, Teen Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week, Teen Writers Week.
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    Linda Carol Cobb

    A professed grammar nerd, Linda is a retired high school teacher with an M.A. in communications. She coached forensics, sponsored Shore Lines, Bayside High's award-winning newsmagazine, and taught journalism, advanced composition and public speaking among other English electives. Linda has taught sessions at Columbia Scholastic Press Association and Virginia High School League conferences, Evenings at Saint Patrick and for ODU's Career Switcher Program. Linda is a free-lance copyeditor and a public speaking coach. She is writing a collection of short, true stories about her quirky Tennessee family and personal experiences.

    Classes taught: A Grammar Refresher, Preparing for Your Reading (August session), A Punctuation Refresher, Crafting the College Application Essay.
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    Lisa Cooper

    Lisa Cooper Scrivanich is a certified Peer Recovery Specialist for the state of VA and an adjunct English instructor. She brings her knowledge of mental health issues, substance abuse, and trauma/grief healing into the classroom to engage students in all forms of personal and professional writing. She earned a Master's degree in English and Creative Writing from Seton Hill University and a graduate certificate in literature from The University of Oxford.

    Classes taught: The Breakup: Writing to Recover from Lost Love, Writing Through Trauma and Grief, Introduction to Memoir and Creative Nonfiction, The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop.
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    Rebekah Coxwell

    Rebekah Coxwell received her MFA from Arcadia University. During her time in graduate school she was editor for a small editing company call Rothwell Affordable Editing Services as well as for the literary magazine Marathon. She recently finished her first manuscript, is in the midst of another, and has short stories and poetry published in The New Southern Fugitives, the Opiate, Bridge Eight, 50 Haikus, Brief Wilderness, and Adelaide literary, as well as forthcoming work in A Room of Her Own and Midnight and Indigo.

    Classes taught: Lyrical Fiction: Keeping the Poetry in Your Prose.
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    Shannon Curtin

    Shannon J. Curtin is a poet, essayist, and ever-aspiring fiction writer. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Motherland (Anchor and Plume Press), and File Cabinet Heart (ELJ Publications) and the mother of two human collections of stardust and biomatter. Her poems and essays have been featured on McSweeney's, Mothers Always Writer, Scary Mommy, Sammiches and Psych Meds, The Muddy River Review, Vox Poetica, and MamaLode. She holds an MBA, competitive shooting records, and her liquor. She would probably like you.

    Classes taught: 31 Poems in 31 Days: Writing Your Way Through OctPoWriMo, Writing Through National Poetry Month: 30 Poems in 30 Days, How to Submit Your Work to Magazines and Journals), Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Christina Dalcher

    Christina Dalcher is a full-time writer of both the short and long form. Her flash fiction appears in Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, Maudlin House, After the Pause, among others. Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary represents Christina's novels, which include a middle-grade adventure centered on America's eugenics movement, a young-adult retelling of The Return of Martin Guerre, and an adult thriller featuring a curmudgeonly phonetician. When she isn't writing, Christina channels Shirley Jackson and Roald Dahl and practices the hula-hoop. Christina earned a B.A. in Drama from the University of Virginia, M.A. in English from George Mason University, and Ph.D. in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, Flash Fiction: Quick Storytelling, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Sarah Darrow

    Sarah has more than ten years of social media experience, managing brands ranging her neighborhood's book club to CNN International. She founded the Hampton Roads Social Media Collective, and hosts panel discussions with the goal to help individuals, businesses, and communities best use social media to spread positive messages, make money, and perform good acts. In her spare time, she runs half marathons and is trying to finish her novel.

    Classes taught: Instagram for Writers, Social Media for Writers, Twitter and Twitter Pitches, Writers Writing Press Releases, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Cynthia Davis

    Cynthia Vacca Davis teaches Composition and Creative Nonfiction at Christopher Newport University. She holds an MFA from ODU and MAT in English Education from CNU. Cynthia served as a judge in an annual high school nonfiction contest that she helped establish in Pennsylvania and also coordinated the Christopher Newport University Writer’s Conference. She has written hundreds of essays and feature stories for the Daily Press and the Oyster Pointer in Newport News, and is currently seeking publication for her completed her first nonfiction manuscript. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Cynthia loves to travel, grow her photography business, and pet her two dogs and three cats. She lives with her husband in a very old and storied home in Hampton.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Memoir and Creative Nonfiction, The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop.
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    John DeDakis

    Journalist and novelist John DeDakis is a former Senior Copy Editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." DeDakis (pronounced deh-DAY-kiss) is the author of four mystery-suspense novels featuring AP White House correspondent Lark Chadwick. His most recent novel, Bullet in the Chamber, is the winner of Reviewers Choice, Foreword INDIES, and Feathered Quill book awards in 2017. His fifth novel, Fake, (as in "fake news") will be released in September. He is currently at work on his 6th novel, and a memoir. DeDakis is a writing coach, manuscript editor, and writing workshop leader. During his award-winning 45-year career in journalism (25 years at CNN), DeDakis has been a White House Correspondent and interviewed such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. DeDakis lives in Baltimore, has taught journalism at the University of Maryland-College Park, and regularly teaches novel writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland and at the Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. In his spare time, what little he has of it, he is a jazz drummer.

    Classes taught: Characterization Through Dialogue, From Novice to Novelist, How to Write a Key Scene, How to Write in the Voice of the Opposite Sex, Planning vs. Seat-of-the-Pantsing, Writing What You DON'T Know, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Alicia Dekker

    Alicia Dekker is completing her MFA in fiction at Queens University. She holds a B.S. in Drama from Syracuse University, and a M.S. in Telecommunications from Kutztown University. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her work has been published in The Quotable and Barely South Review, among others. Alicia is an editorial assistant for Qu Literary Magazine and an emeritus board member of The Muse Writers Center.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, The Age of Autofiction, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Grace M. DeLeesie

    Grace M. DeLeesie is a Virginia author, with 10 books published as of April 2018. Grace is President of Chesapeake Bay Writers (2018-2020). Grace is also a member of Romance Writers of America, the Washington DC Romance Writers, and Virginia Romance Writers, where she participates as hospitality chair.

    Classes taught: Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
    Website: or follow her @gracemdeleesie.
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    Christopher De Matteo

    Christopher De Matteo holds a BA in History and a BA in Political Science from the University of Virginia's College at Wise, an MA in History from Old Dominion University, where he worked as a Teacher's Assistant, and an MT in Secondary Education from VCU. He currently teaches high school history. Chris has presented research at undergrad and graduate research conferences, and has been published in several journals, in both history and fiction. He has a love of science fiction and an obsession with world building; he is working on his first novel.

    Classes taught: The Nuts and Bolts of Scrivener, Advanced Scrivener, Making Historical Writing Real, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Eddie Dowe

    Eddie Dowe is in his 17th year teaching high school English and Creative Writing, while also teaching English at Tidewater Community College. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. He has poems previously published in Mannequin Envy, Boiling River, The Strange Fruit, Lunarosity, Shape of a Box, and Simply Haiku, among others.

    Classes taught: The Beat Generation Poetry Workshop, Eastern Asian Poetry Forms: A More Perfect Union, Ekphrastic Hybridity: The Poet Photographer, Leaping, Hopping, and Steady Light, Poetry as Play, Surrealist Poetry.
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    Dan Duke

    Dan started playing guitar as a teenager in the previous century, digging into rock and the blues. A visit to a Muse Jam in 2010 rejuvenated his interest in performing. He wants to keep the Muse Jam alive and continue the spirit of openness to music, poetry and whatever else people are interested in sharing. He has worked at The Virginian-Pilot for 23 years as an editor for the business section, features section and copy desk, and currently is in charge of the paper's arts and entertainment coverage.

    Host of the 2nd Friday Muse Jam
    Classes taught: Advocacy Writing with Voice, Copy Editing, Copy Editing 2, Copy Editing for Yourself & Others, How to Edit Your Own Writing, Writing Arts Reviews.
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    Simon Edwards

    Simon Edwards is a Freshman at Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia. He enjoys playing soccer for Beach FC and likes burgers that his dad makes for him. Simon is very happy to be part of The Muse family.

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    Rick Eley

    Rick Eley is a Tidewater native, IT professional, author, and was using MS Word before the first Windows operating system existed. He writes sci-fi, dabbles in literary fiction and non-fiction from time to time, and is hard at work on several novels. To avoid writing, he organizes the Tidewater Writers critique group and is a member of both Virginia Beach Writers and Hampton Roads Writers. His editorial on light rail was published in The Virginian-Pilot, one of his short stories garnered an honorable mention in Issues in Science and Technology's first sci-fi contest, and he recently won second-place in the non-fiction category at the 2017 HRW Writers Conference. Rick has taught classes for HRW's Traveling Pen Series and at the HRW Writers Conference, is a guest critiquer at HRW Show and Grow Your Prose events, and he recently lead a creative writing enrichment course at a local intermediate school.

    Classes taught: Microsoft Word for Writers; The Snowflake Method: Turning a Single Idea into a Novel in One Afternoon; Writing in the Now: Using the Present Voice; Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Belinda Elliott

    Belinda Elliott is the Online Content Manager at WHRO Public Media. She earned a B.A. in Communication Studies with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. Upon graduating, she worked at her hometown newspaper and quickly fell in love with feature writing. While earning her master’s degree in Journalism, she discovered a passion for writing for the web. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found curled up with her iPad reading posts by her favorite bloggers.

    Classes taught: Creating a Web Presence and Blog.
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    Nicole Emmelhainz

    Nicole Emmelhainz earned her Ph.D. in Writing History and Theory from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She also holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Ohio University, where she focused on poetry and creative non-fiction/memoir writing. She is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Christopher Newport University, where she teaches, among other writing courses, Memoir/Nonfiction Workshops. She is currently working on publishing a collection of her poetry, as well as writing a part nonfiction, part memoir of Galloway, Ohio and the Darby Creek watershed, where she was born and raised.

    Classes taught: The Memoir Studio.
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    Leslie Entsminger

    Leslie Entsminger graduated from Purdue University in 1979 in Interdisciplinary Engineering. She worked for Mobil Oil as a geophysicist before retiring in 1986 to raise three children. While in Houston from 2000 to 2011, she worked as an artist in oil painting and printmaking. She graduated this May from Old Dominion University’s MFA program in Creative Writing/Fiction. Her recent work can be found in The Cincinnati Review, the Barely South Review, and Shark Reef Journal. She received an Honorable Mention for the 2015 ODU Ruhi Dayanim Poetry Prize and was nominated for a Pushcart by The Cincinnati Review in 2016.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop.
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    Patrick Evans-Hylton

    Patrick Evans-Hylton is a Johnson & Wales-trained chef and an award-winning food journalist, covering tasty trends since 1995 in print, broadcast and electronic media. He is publisher of Virginia Eats + Drinks Magazine; subscribe free at Evans-Hylton encourages writers, photographers and artists to contact him about contributing to Virginia Eats + Drinks Magazine via email, He is a cookbook author (Popcorn, Dishing Up Virginia, Nuts), food historian, culinary advisor for the Commonwealth of Virginia and a media awards judge for the prestigious James Beard Awards. He runs a cooking and wine school at TASTE, a gourmet grocer in Coastal Virginia, and teaches a number of food media-related classes at The Muse Writer's Center in Norfolk, and elsewhere nationwide. Evans-Hylton cooks and writes in his Chesapeake Bay kitchen in Coastal Virginia.

    Classes taught: Bites and Blogs, Expressions in Food, Food Blogging from Start to Finish; Food & Photography: Sip, Sup, Scribble, & Shoot, Food Writing: From Elemental to Exceptional, Hashbrowns and Hashtags, Noodle, Nibble, and Scribble, Noshes and Knapsacks, Savor and Share, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Bites, Writing Cookbooks.
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    Diane Fine

    Diane Fine has been a professional screenwriter and "script doctor" in Hollywood for over 20 years. Her credits include Storm starring Martin Sheen and Luke Perry, Firetrap starring Dean Cain, Lori Petty and Mel Harris, Art Heist starring Ellen Pompeo and Billy Baldwin, and Purgatory Flats starring Brian Austin Green, Nick Turturro and Gregg Henry. The BET movie-of-the-week she co-wrote, Fire & Ice, starring Kadeem Hardison and Lark Voorhies, was one of the highest-rated MOW's in BET's history and was nominated for an NAACP Image award. A graduate of USC's School of Cinematic Arts, she has taught screenwriting, creative writing and elements of storytelling to children, teens and adults in Los Angeles. After recently relocating to Norfolk, she currently teaches Screenwriting as well as Film Production at Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: The Screenwriting Workshop, Using Final Draft Screenwriting Software.
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    Rick Fischer

    Rick Fischer earned an MFA in Film Production at New York University’s Graduate Institute of Film and TV Production. He wrote an original screenplay for his NYU thesis film, and was the cinematographer; Rest Stop, won three awards in student film categories from the Atlanta, San Francisco and NYU film festivals. After graduation, Rick worked in New York City’s freelance film community as an editor and crewmember on independent features, short films and regional TV commercials. After relocating back to Norfolk, Rick, produced, scripted, directed and edited healthcare training films for the federal government, and produced/wrote promotional videos and shot documentary footage for NASA’s NESC Academy. These recent videos have won more than 14 national awards. Rick also conceived of and teaches a college-level course on the visual means of storytelling elements utilized in Hollywood narrative films, "The Visual Vocabulary of Film," and currently teaches Screenwriting at Old Dominion University and The Muse Writers Center.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Screenwriting, Screenwriting, The Screenwriting Workshop, The Visual Vocabulary of Film, Teen Writers Week, Screenwriting Seminar for Teen Writers.
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    Anna Fitzgerald

    Anna Fitzgerald, The Muse Writers Center's Program Associate, holds a degree in Art Education and has taught art K-12 in multiple settings, including at an international school in Costa Rica. Her philosophy of teaching includes multiple intelligences and holistic approach to the student as a learner and member of the education ecosystem. She founded a music program at age 19 with two of her best friends in Tennessee that eventually became an arts & music nonprofit. It’s called Youth Empowerment through Arts & Humanities, YEAH, and is headquartered in Nashville, TN. This TN nonprofit serves youth ages 10-17 through summer camps both all girl, co-ed, and transgender inclusive. Instructors are community artists, musicians, and arts supporters. YEAH! is now 16 yrs old and funded by the TN arts Commission and companies such as Guitar Center, Fender, and Gibson. She holds a masters in Radio/TV/Film from the University of Texas at Austin, TX in Radio/TV Film. Her published research includes the history of concert posters and music subcultures. She has presented at the National Art Education Association conference, to many organizations, and enjoys contributing to her community wherever she may be as a volunteer and positive leader. Her professional experience includes 16 yrs of volunteer & nonprofit management, music publishing, vinyl production, and administrative support. She is originally from NC, plays the cello, and loves being in nature.

    Classes taught: Developing Personal Power as Writers, Getting into the Creative State of FLOW, Writing Affirmations and Learning to Reframe With Words, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Cristina Foss

    Cristina Foss received a B.A. in English from the University of Texas and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Vermont. She is a National Board Certified teacher who has taught at both the high school and college level for 20 years. She is currently teaching literature and theory of knowledge in the International Baccalaureate program at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, VA.

    Classes taught: Nonfiction in a Flash.
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    Matt Foster

    Matthew Foster graduated with his Ph.D. in Computational Quantum Physics in 2006. He has authored and coauthored 29 peer-reviewed journal articles with over 1,000 citations in atomic and plasma physics. Matthew started creative writing in 2014 at The Muse Writers Center and published his first short story, "Smokes and Heat," in the University of Arkansas-Monticello's literary magazine, Foliate Oak. He is working to complete a novel-length manuscript, which is a comedic satire.

    Classes taught: Humor in Fiction: Unfunny People Writing Hilarious Stories, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Matt Friedman

    Matt Friedman teaches filmmaking at the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia. He wrote the local independent feature comedy, Moving, in the early 2000s (for which he won "Best Screenplay" at the Digital Visions film festival in Chicago), then his second script won him a fellowship to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, where he was the inaugural recipient of the Sloan Foundation Fellowship for science themes in film. He assistant directed the 2012 Doritos commercial "Man's Best Friend," which became the #1 ad of that year's Superbowl, then wrote and co-wrote several followups. He edited the Luthiel's Song fantasy series and Growth Shock by Robert Fanney. He is also active in the theater, having acted in and directed several plays including Enron and Hand to God, mostly at the Generic Theater, where he was a founding member of the Artistic Team and for whom he has written and directed a series of comedy shorts. In 2016, he produced and scored the short film Moss Manor, which won Best Film at the Hampton Roads 48 Hour Film Project and also garnered him the award for Best Original Score. He later won the 2017 prize for "Best Writing" for his short film at the Seven Cities Film Showcase. He has been a screenwriting panelist at the Virginia Festival of the Book, a screenwriting workshop instructor at the CNU Writer's Conference, and helped launch the new film department at the Governor's School for the Arts, where he adapted and directed their educational feature, The Unknown Variable. He has also kept himself busy over the years as a volunteer EMT, and a graphic & web designer at Frame25 Productions.

    Classes taught: Screenwriting.
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    Rekaya Gibson

    Rekaya Gibson is an author and freelance journalist. She also curates products for Cuisine Noir Magazine. She has written and published seven books in multiple genres. She has contributed content for Amtrak, Writer’s Digest Books, and several lifestyle magazines. Connect with her at

    Classes taught: Connecting to Promote Your Book.
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    Lamar Giles

    Lamar Giles writes novels and short stories for teens and adults. He is the author of the 2015 Edgar® Award Nominee Fake ID, the 2016 Edgar® Award Nominee Endangered, and the forthcoming YA mystery/thriller Overturned. He is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and resides in Chesapeake with his wife.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, Reading for Writers: Fake I.D., Writing Young Adult Fiction, How to Find & Query an Agent.
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    Shawn Girvan

    Shawn Girvan received his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. His work has appeared in The Pitkin Review, Wraparound South, and West Texas Literary Review. He has also produced a critically acclaimed documentary film, has owned a wedding videography business, and studied and performed improvisation at the Second City and IO Theaters in Chicago. Shawn currently resides in Virginia Beach where he is finishing his first memoir and watching Jeopardy with his lovely wife.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction; Introduction to Memoir and Creative Nonfiction; The Creative Nonfiction Workshop; Short Memoir: Narratives in a Flash; The Memoir Workshop; The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop; Nonfiction in a Flash; Advanded Nonfiction in a Flash; Building Your Memoir: From Blueprint to Book; Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Nathaniel Glanzman

    Nathaniel Glanzman is a high school English teacher on the Autism Spectrum who also works as a professional sensitivity reader. He graduated from The State University of New York at New Paltz and is certified to teach in two different states. He is obsessed with psychology, owns all of the DSMs and will talk for hours about synaptic transmission if you don’t stop him. He is currently unpublished, but writes character-centric, slice of life contemporary novels featuring an ensemble cast of neurodivergent, queer and mentally ill misfits. He is currently in the query trenches attempting to publish his debut novel.

    Classes taught: Sensitivity Reading: How to Properly Represent Marginalized Characters, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Farideh Goldin

    Farideh Goldin was born in 1953 in Shiraz, Iran, to a family of dayanim, judges, and leaders of the Jewish community. She studied English literature at Pahlavi University and earned an MA (humanities) and MFA (creative nonfiction) from Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia. Her first book, Wedding Song, concerns her struggle to reconcile her Western education with her deeply rooted Iranian Jewish upbringing. A forthcoming volume, Burying Yehetzkel, chronicles her life as a new immigrant to the United States and her father’s struggle to leave Iran and rejoin the family in Israel. She teaches literature and is the director of the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: The Memoir Studio.
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    Amanda Gomez

    Amanda Gomez is an MFA candidate in poetry and the Writers in Community (WinC) Coordinator at Old Dominion University. She has taught creative writing in Norfolk city public and private schools, and currently, she teaches creative writing at the Norfolk City Jail through the program, Humanities Behind Bars. Some of her works have been published in the following publications: Ekphrastic Review, Manchester Review, San Pedro River Review, Avalon Literary Review, Barely South Review, and Writers Resist.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry; Exploring our Landscapes: Poetry and Place; Ghazal Seminar; Writer’s Cut: Writing Poetry about Movies; You Do Not have to be Good: Honoring Mary Oliver; Split Open: Women Writing Ourselves; Young Writers Workshop; Young Writers Day; Young Writers Week.
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    Dexter Gore

    Dexter Benjamin Gore is a native to Aynor, South Carolina but has spent the past year working on his MFA at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. His work has appeared in Deep South Magazine, TEMPO, Lavender Bluegrass: LGBT Writers on the South, Inklette, Archarios, and is forthcoming in Four Chamber Heart Press. When he's not reading or writing, Dexter serves as a member of the ODU Safe Space committee. Dexter currently lives in Ghent and is working on his first novel and collection of short stories.

    Classes taught: How to Write Diverse Characters, Writing Real and Unreal Places: How to use Regionalism to Better Your Stories, Young Writers Week, Teen Writers Week.
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    Jennifer Graham

    Jennifer Lynn Graham, a native of Virginia Beach, holds a B.A. in Psychology from Virginia Wesleyan College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (poetry) along with a Graduate Certificate in Literature from Old Dominion University. An interview about her poetry appeared in the RED OCHRE LiT journal in February 2011. She has had poems published in RED OCHRE LiT and in Noctua Review. Jennifer is currently training to become a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator, to work in the poetry therapy field, which combines her love of psychology, literature, and creative writing together to lead people toward positive change and to healing.

    Classes taught: Stressbusting: Writing Through Troubled Times, Writing Your Dreams.
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    Noa Greenspan

    Noa Greenspan is a student at Norfolk Academy and a member of the Literacy Fellows, a program through which she tutors children in fluency, reading comprehension, and creative writing. She enjoys writing realistic fiction and has received recognition for creative writing from her school and local competitions. A Muse intern, Noa loves the idea of expanding the teenage writers community through open mics.

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    Jacob Gregory

    Jacob Gregory received his BFA in Creative Writing at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, TX, and an MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College in Boston, MA. He is currently teaching writing and literature courses at Old Dominion University. He has published poetry and fiction in numerous journals, including Blazevox. He is working on a novel set on Mars.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, Letting Your Characters Talk: Writing Organic Conversation in Fiction.
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    Will Harris

    Will Harris is a full-time freelance pop culture journalist who lives in Chesapeake, VA with his wife and daughter, both of whom just smile and nod as he giddily tells them about whatever great interview he’s just done. He is a regular contributor to the Onion A.V. Club,, The Virginian-Pilot, and TV Week Magazine in Vancouver, BC, and he has also written for, Vulture, Indiewire, The Dissolve, Bullz-Eye, Popdose, and the New York Post. Having typed out all of these outlets, he now has a better understanding as to why he’s so tired all the time.

    Classes taught: The Art of the Interview.
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    Jeffrey Hecker

    Jeffrey Hecker is the author of Rumble Seat (San Francisco Bay Press, 2011) & the chapbooks Hornbook (Horse Less Press, 2012), Instructions for the Orgy (Sunnyoutside Press, 2013), & Before He Let Them Guide Sleigh (ShirtPocket Press, 2013). Recent work has appeared in Mascara Literary Review, Atticus Review, La Fovea, Zocalo Public Square, LEVELER, Spittoon, decomP, Entropy, & BOAAT. He holds a degree from Old Dominion University. He resides in Norfolk with his wife Robin.

    Classes taught: Eastern Asian Poetry Forms: A More Perfect Union, The Beat Generation Poetry Workshop, Ekphrastic Hybridity: The Poet Photographer, Leaping, Hopping, and Steady Light, Poetry as Play, Surrealist Poetry, Teen Writers Workshop
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    Patti Hinson

    Patti Hinson holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University where her collection of personal essays, Pulls Like Gravity, was awarded the Myra Sklarew Prize for Outstanding Thesis. Her prose and poetry have been featured in a variety of venues, literary and otherwise, including past and current photography exhibits at The Mariners' Museum. She is a member of the board of directors of The Muse.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, The Poetry Workshop, The Prose Poem Workshop, Personal Narratives: An Introduction to Memoir, The Memoir Workshop, Short Memoir: Narratives in a Flash, Poetry Workshop for Teen Writers, Memoir Workshop for Teen Writers: Life Stories
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    Joseph Hoyt

    Bio coming soon.

    Classes taught: Shipwrecks and Underwater Archaeology.
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    Charlotte Walker Hurley

    Charlotte Walker Hurley attends Norfolk Christian High School and has been a member of the Teen Writers Workshop for three years. She loves to bike, read, write, be outside, skateboard, listen to music, and watch movies. Her favorite place in the world is Alaska; she travelled there two summers ago and has been in love with it ever since. Last summer, she biked the length of Vermont in two weeks, and this past summer, she biked Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. In two years time, she plans on biking across the United States. Charlotte loves the Muse, and is excited to be an intern and take even more classes at the new center.

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    Gabriela Igloria

    Gabriela Igloria is a poet, visual artist, and activist. She is currently a senior at Granby High School, where she is the editor-in-chief of the school's literary and arts magazine, The Cupola. Her poems have appeared in publications by Rattle, Whurk Magazine, and Paloma Press. Whether it be to take classes or to just hang out, she enjoys spending time at The Muse. Gabriela regularly interns at The Muse because she appreciates the hard work and creative energy the community exhibits every year and wants to support the center's growth.

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    Luisa A. Igloria

    Luisa A. Igloria is one of 2 Co-Winners of the 2019 Crab Orchard Poetry Open competition for her manuscript Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in 2020). In 2015, she was the inaugural winner of the Resurgence Prize (UK), the world's first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. Former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey selected her chapbook What is Left of Wings, I Ask as the 2018 recipient of the Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Prize. Other works include The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2018), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), and 12 other books. She is a Louis I. Jaffe Endowed Professor and University Professor of English and Creative Writing, and teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015; as well as at The Muse Writers Center, where she also serves as member of its board of directors.

    Classes taught: Don't Look Away: Poetry and the Work of Witness; Here and in the World: Writing Poetry About Inner and External Landscapes; Inside the Room, the Ceiling will be the Sky: A Workshop in Poetry Forms; Leaps and Turns: Creating Spaces for Grace in the Poem; A Little Fire, A Little Salt, A Little Need: Transformations in the Poem; Living and Writing the Poetry of the Ephemeral: A Workshop on Ecopoetry; Love Child: The Prose Poem; Obsessions, Variations, and other Hauntings: A Poetry Workshop on Making Poems New; Our Only World: Writing about Nature and the Environment in Poetry; Prose Poems and Other Hybrid Experiments; Rewriting the World, from the Margins: Poetry, Exile, and Displacement; Shut the Eyes With Coins, Set the Boat of the Poem Afloat with Lanterns: Poems on the Body’s Passage, Time and Age, Mortality and the Infinite; Sexy as F*** (Form, that is): Studies and Practice in Form and Technique; Sustenance and Savor: A Food Poetry Workshop; With Blowtorch and Buff Cloth: A Poetry Workshop in Radical Revision.
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    Joe Jackson

    Joe Jackson is the author of one novel and seven nonfiction titles, including The Thief at the End of the World, named one of Time magazine’s Top Ten Books for 2008, and Leavenworth Train, a finalist for the 2002 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. Jackson holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas and was an investigative reporter for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot for twelve years, covering criminal justice and the state's Death Row. His journalism has resulted in the acquittal of a man wrongly convicted of murder, the federal investigation of a jail in which sixteen prisoners died of medical neglect, and the recantations of two men whose testimony helped send men to Death Row. He is currently the Mina Hohenberg Darden Endowed Professor of Creative Writing in Old Dominion University’s MFA creative writing program. His biography of Sioux holy man Black Elk, known from the oral history Black Elk Speaks, was released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in October 2016, and was winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, winner of the Society of American Historians' Francis Parkman Prize, winner of the Western Writers of America's Spur Award for Best Biography, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography.

    Classes taught: The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Studio, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Coral Kendall

    Coral Kendall is an aspiring poet who, in her spare time, interns and helps out at The Muse Writers Center when she is needed. Coral is an interesting genre of human being who is between 4’11 and 5 feet, Caucasian, Jewish, and often spotted wearing her favorite granny glasses. If you attempt to approach this creature while visiting, it would be wise to make small talk about any topic ranging from comic book deaths to the extinction of bees and how it’s definitely weird everyone has just now started to make a big deal out of it even though she’s been worried since The Bee Movie came out. But remember, this creature is nearly completely harmless. She won’t bite--unless you joke her feminism--then you’re screwed.

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    Jessica Kelley

    Jessica Kelley is an accountant by day and writer by night. She greatly prefers her night job. She's an author and poet, and her young adult novels have received over a dozen awards and contest wins, including the contest, the Daphne Du Maurier and the Emma Merritt. Jessica is represented by John B. Bryans of the B.Bryans literary agency. She holds a BA in Finance and a BA in Accounting. When she isn't buried in books she spends her time writing music. Sometimes she tries to be a painter, but the product of her efforts prove it's all in her head.

    Classes taught: Writing Great YA, Writing Unforgettable YA Characters, The YA & Crossover Workshop, Teen Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week, Teen Writers Week.
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    Michael Khandelwal

    Michael Khandelwal is the Executive Director of The Muse Writers Center, a nationally recognized literary center in Norfolk, Virginia. An award-winning writer and teacher, he writes poetry and fiction as well as editorials, profiles, and feature articles for Coastal Virginia Magazine, Alt Daily, and others and teaches poetry and fiction workshops for The Muse.

    Michael attended USC as an undergraduate and graduate student (MPW with three theses: fiction, poetry, screenplay) and has studied under poets James Ragan, William Matthews, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko and writers Betty Friedan, Shelly Berman, Paul Gillette, John Rechy, Ben Masselink, Sy Gomberg, Shana Alexander, and Gay Talese. In Los Angeles, he also worked in film and on the radio while teaching neuroscience at USC and poetry writing, drama, and acting in the city. He is a past web content management specialist for The American Council on Education, is the past President of the 2008 Electoral College of Virginia, and is the current Vice Chairperson of the Norfolk Electoral Board.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, The Poetry Workshop, The Poetry Studio, Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, The Fiction Studio, Fiction Workshop for Teen Writers, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Marcieanna Klaustermeyer

    Marcieanna (Jasko) Klaustermeyer began as a working professional on Broadway and Off-Broadway over 15 years ago as an Associate for the late Benjamin Mordecai and August Wilson. Her credits include King Hedley, Jitney, and If It Was [sic] Easy (Off-Broadway). Several years later she would have producing credit with Apples and Oranges Productions for the Tony Award-Winning New Musical, Memphis. An additional interest in Screenwriting led Marcieanna to study the craft with the University of Southern California’s Rome Summer Production Workshop at Cine Citta Studios in Rome, Italy. She consequently earned her M.F.A. in Producing for TV/Film at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Screenwriting courses were heavily emphasized which helped Marcieanna become a story analyst in Hollywood, thanks to an initial internship with The Mark Gordon Company on shows like Criminal Minds and Grey’s Anatomy. She worked in TV Literary (Long-Form) at International Creative Management (ICM). She script-doctored the screenplay for the feature film, Fling (starring Brandon Routh), and was credited as Associate Producer. She’s produced several short films, commercials and PSAs before landing an opportunity in creative development for Mary Parent and Cale Boyter’s first-look deal at Paramount Pictures, receiving credit for big-budget films, Noah, Pacific Rim, Godzilla, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and developing the scripts of several other projects, including adaptations of a few New York Times Bestsellers. Marcieanna left the hustle and bustle of the studio to have her first child and consult for the Jim Henson Company, Rehab Entertainment and Chaotic Good Studios. When it came time for her second child she decided Hollywood was not a place to raise her children, and her husband took a job at Grow ad agency in Norfolk, VA. Marcieanna currently teaches Screenwriting courses and Scene Study at Regent University.

    Classes taught: Playwriting: Writing the Ten-Minute Play, The Screenwriting Workshop, The Adapted Screenplay Workshop, Teen Writers Week.
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    Jean Klein

    A non-fiction writer and playwright, Jean Klein holds an MA and an MFA from the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa and studied playwriting at the U of I and at Carnegie-Mellon University. She currently teaches playwriting in the MA and MFA program at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. As a free-lance writer and editor, she has won awards for magazine articles, plays, and television scripts. For three years, she served as Contributing Editor for Metro magazine and for one year as Cultural Editor for Portfolio. She has also published three books on writing skills and customer service. Her short play, Snapshots was a winner in the Kernoble Contest at the University of Arkansas in 2010 and her full length play, The Refraction of Light is scheduled for production during the Summer Playfest in Norfolk in 2012. She is co-owner of a dramatic publishing company, HaveScripts and ScriptWorks Press.

    Classes taught: Beyond the Linear Plot Structure; Creating a Character Web, Developing Characters; The Film: An Autopsy; Flashing Back: Bringing the Past to the Present; Making Stories Move: Plot & Action; Marketing Your Work; Mind Mapping for Plot and Character; Our Characters: Creating & Exploring Their Inner Dimensions; Playwriting; Point of View: Whose Story is it?; Premise: Crafting a Treasure Map; Settings: Give Your Characters Somewhere to Go; Settings: More Than Just a Time and Place; The Short Story: An Excavation; Technical Writing: Opportunity for Freelancers; Turn Your Fragments into Stories; Write Great Sentences; Writing Compelling Heroes; Writing Great Internal Monologue; Writing Great Scenes That Push Your Story Forward; You Talkin’ to Me? Writing Great Dialogue; Writing Great Scenes; Writing Great Sentences; Writing Sidekicks & Side Characters; X-Ray Your Characters: What Makes Them Tick?; Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    B. Elizabeth Kostal

    Dr. B. Elizabeth Kostal is a physician, as well as a subject matter expert in Human Gross Anatomy and Human Physiology. She additionally has a master’s degree in Nutrition and Human Performance. Dr. Kostal completed a clinical research Fellowship within the Department of Neuroendocrinology & Metabolic Disorders in collaboration with the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). Currently Dr. Kostal is a full-time University Professor responsible for curriculum design, as well as teaching in the subject areas of Anatomy & Physiology, Clinical Nutrition and Chemistry. She was once the recipient of Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Fun, Fearless Female, Chanel’s Women of Influence and Missouri’s Most Magnetic. Additionally, Dr. Kostal holds her pilot’s license and instrument rating. Dr. Kostal is married and has two children, Ellie and Livie; she met her husband, Eric when he became her commercial flight instructor. She has recently dabbled as a stand-up comedian at the Push Comedy Theater, but that is a long, drawn-out story.

    Classes taught: Once Upon a Time in Anatomy and Physiology.
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    Christine Koubek

    Christine Koubek's creative nonfiction, essays, and stories have appeared in The Washington Post; Poets & Writers; Brain, Child; Bethesda; Chautauqua literary journal, and more. Her essays have won awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Christine received an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, and is the recipient of residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Ragdale.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Memoir and Creative Nonfiction, The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop.
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    Libby Kurz

    Libby Kurz holds a BS in Nursing from UNC-Charlotte and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. Her work has been published in The Poet’s Billow, Relief Journal, Driftwood Press, and is forthcoming in Literary Mama. Her poetry was awarded first prize in the New Voices category of the Poetry Society of Virginia’s 2017 Contest. She’s a regular contributor at Red Tent Living, an online, faith-based publication for women. After years of moving cross-country with the US Air Force, she now resides on the coast of Virginia with her family. When she’s not reading, writing, and keeping tabs on her three kids, she works part-time as registered nurse in the operating room.

    Classes taught: I Must Confess: Poems from Personal Experiences, The Imitation Game, The Practice of Poetry, This Difficult Friendship: Crafting Poems about The Human Body
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    Matthew Larrimore

    Matthew Larrimore was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, but spent 2007-2013 in the West. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in English in 2010 from the University of Northern Colorado and his Master's degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing in 2012 from Northern Arizona University while working as a Graduate Instructor and then Faculty Instructor. He is currently working on his MFA (Poetry) at Old Dominion University where he teaches 100 and 200 level composition. An active volunteer in the literary community, he's a veteran of six annual literary journals, including serving as the managing editor of Thin Air Magazine (2011-2012); and he currently serves as a Poetry Editor of Barely South Magazine. He also publishes

    Classes taught: The Art, Technique, and Necessity of the Literary Review<, Literary Book Review Workshop, Creating a Web Presence and Blog, How to Start an Author Blog/Website, Launching an Online Magazine.
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    Maggie Libby

    Maggie Libby received her BA in English and BBA in Accounting simultaneously from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She also holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she's an accountant by day and writer by night. It's not hard to imagine which she prefers. Her work has been published in Voices and the Barely South Review, among others.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing.
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    Sylvia Liu

    Sylvia Liu is a picture book author and children’s illustrator. Her debut picture book, A Morning With Grandpa, illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books 2016), won the Lee & Low New Voices Award and has received excellent reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and others. She is a contributing author to the picture book, Thanku: Poems of Gratitude, ed. Miranda Paul (Lerner 2019) and has a creative nonfiction memoir essay published in The Potomac Review (Spring 2018).

    Classes taught: Writing Children's Picture Books, Writing Children's Picture Books Studio.
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    Her Kid Lit Resource Website:, named by Writers Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
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    Michael Lovely

    Lt. Michael Lovely is an active member of the public safety community in Virginia. He has several years' experience investigating violent crimes, to include over 500 robbery investigations and 42 bank robberies. He is a Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Gang Specialist and General Instructor, and has been certified as an expert in suspect identification. His specialized training includes all aspects of criminal investigation including crime scene forensics, blood spatter and analysis, and interviews and interrogation. He is also a licensed polygraph examiner, and conducts training for financial institution employees in the area of bank security. Sgt. Lovely is currently assigned to his department’s intelligence unit where he continues to instruct new and senior police officers in a wide range of police related topics. During his career, he has received numerous commendations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Officer of the Year, and the department’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. Lt. Lovely has handled many high profile cases, and has been featured on the Live with Regis and Kelly show and the Virginian-Pilot.

    Classes taught: Active Shooters, Terrorists, and Lone Wolves: Getting it Write; Detecting Deceptive Behavior; Getting it Write: Terror, Terrorism, and Terrorists; Hostages Crisis and Negotiations; How to Stage a Crime Scene; Police Procedures and Investigation; Witnesses and Suspects: Police Interviews, Interrogations, and Investigation; In the Courtroom; Creative Writing Camp for Adults
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    Jennifer Malia

    Jen Malia is Associate Professor of English at Norfolk State University, where she teaches literature and creative writing. She earned her Ph.D. in English and M.S. in Teaching Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Southern California. Her debut children’s picture book, Too Sticky: A Story About an Autistic Girl with Sensory Issues (Albert Whitman, spring 2020), is about a girl who has to overcome her fear of sticky hands to participate in her second-grade slime experiment. The main character is based on both her own and her daughter’s experiences living with autism and sensory issues. She is currently working on a mother-daughter memoir about her journey with her daughter on the autism spectrum. Her personal essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Catapult, Glamour, and Woman's Day, among others. She has traveled to twenty countries around the world, including four years in the United Arab Emirates working as Assistant Professor of Writing Studies at the American University of Sharjah. Visit her at or on Twitter @momwithautism.

    Classes taught: The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop.
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    Catherine Malley

    Catherine Malley holds a BFA from Mississippi University for Women and an MS in Education from Old Dominion University. She is an artist, a poet, and an elementary school teacher.

    Classes taught: Calligraphy: The Modern Alphabet, Calligraphy Workshop: The Modern Alphabet, Calligraphy: The Uncial Alphabet, Explore Calligraphy: The Art of Elegant Handwriting, Young Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week, Calligraphy for Teens: The Art of Elegant Handwriting.
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    Christina Marable

    Christina Marable studied Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside, as well as Old Dominion University, where she completed her Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in Fiction. A alumni of VONA's Travel Writing Workshop, she's also a former Gluck Fellow and taught ESL in Asia. She's passionate about writing short stories and teaching creative writing, because she believes that anyone can share their story, and voice their truth through writing.

    Classes taught: First, Second, Third: Point of View in Fiction>, Reverse! Reverse!: Reversals and Plotting in Fiction.
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    Al Markowitz

    Al Markowitz is a local essayist, poet and publisher. His writing appears regularly in Veer Magazine. His poetry has been published in small press journals including Main Street Rag, Red Lantern, the Powhatan Review, Pemmican, Black Bear Review, and many others. He heads Partisan Press, a not-for-profit publisher of working class poetry and has edited and published the Blue Collar Review, Journal of Working Class Literature for over 19 years.

    Classes taught: Writing the Working Class.
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    Malcom Massey

    Malcom Massey is a graduate of Old Dominion University, grew up in Norfolk, VA and has taught writing classes in the US & Mexico. He has teaching experience at NSU, local business colleges, and The Muse Writers Center. Malcom writes fiction as The Martin Culver Series, action thrillers based on experiences living in Central and South America, as well as his interests in history & archaeology.

    Classes taught: 12 Steps to Finishing Well, Back on Track: Your Key to Writing Success, Create Your Own Book Trailer, Managing Your Characters Over the Course of A Series, Publishing An Audiobook, Researching Your Novel, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    John McCarthy

    John McCarthy likes to write and read. More important, he likes to read good stuff, and is willing to share the experience and expertise he gained in a lifetime of reading and writing, in teaching writing and in writer's groups to help writers achieve their goals. He enjoys helping writers make good writing great. John earned his Ph.D. in Composition & Rhetoric from Miami University.

    Classes taught: Pictures into Words; Planning and Strategies for Authors; Project, Planning, & Logistics: Getting the Results you Want; Storyboarding and Other Graphic Tools for Writers; Writing Through Writer’s Block.
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    Patti McCracken

    McCracken spent 15 years in the newsrooms of the St. Petersburg Times, U.S. News & World Report, and the Chicago Tribune before moving to Europe. She seeks out the story behind the fray of the headlines, and has written eloquently and expertly on everything from the pain of post-war Bosnia, to the struggling Republic of Georgia, the club of female serial killers in Hungary, the last remaining leper colony in Europe, and the marvelous madness of the streets of Saigon. McCracken was twice a Knight International Press Fellow. She was a foreign correspondent and international journalism trainer based in Austria for 17 years. Her articles appear in various USA and UK publications, including Smithsonian, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Afar, and more. She is at work on a historical creative nonfiction (true crime) book. Her publisher is Simon & Schuster. She is represented by The Gersh Agency. She moved back to the U.S. in 2016 and currently resides on Martha’s Vineyard. She is spending the summer in Ghent.

    Classes taught: Agents and Publishers: Demystifying the Process; Breaking Into Freelancing; How to Write True Crime; How to Write Suspense; Techniques to Overcome Writer’s Block; Creative Writing Camp for Adults
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    Karrie McDaniels

    Karrie McDaniels writes under the name Karrie Loomis and is the author of The Rocking Horse a stranger-danger middle grade fiction and is currently writing a women's fiction novel. She is a U.S. Navy Veteran and holds a B.S. in psychology with a minor in world religions from Old Dominion University. Karrie is an advisory board member of The Hampton Roads Writers Organization, an assistant organizer of the Tidewater Writers critique group, and on the admin team in an online group that has a membership of over 3000 authors. She discovered The Muse in 2015 and continues to be a regular student. Karrie volunteers her time at The Muse because she is grateful for the information, motivation, and fellowship provided to her and numerous other writers, and she wants to support The Muse’s growth so our literary center can continue to inspire and benefit writers for many more years to come.

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    Kindra McDonald

    Kindra McDonald is the author of the poetry collections Fossils published by Finishing Line Press and In the Meat Years by Aldrich Press, both in 2019 and the chapbooks Concealed Weapons (2015) and Elements and Briars (2016.) She received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and her BA from Virginia Wesleyan University. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies to include Rise up Review, Twyckenham Notes, Muddy River Poetry Review and the anthology, The Nearest Poem. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for Bettering American Poetry. She lives in the city of mermaids with her husband and cats where she bakes, hikes, and changes hobbies monthly. She is thrilled to teach at the Muse Writers Center and loves seeing her students grow with the power of words.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry; Finders Keepers: The Art of Found Poetry; Poetry and Nature: Poets Exploring the Outdoors, Poetry in the Morning; Shape Shifting: Persona Poems and Shifting Voice; Traveling Abroad with Poetry; Young Writers Week; Young Writers Workshop; Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Kerry McNamara

    Kerry McNamara is a Canadian citizen who lives in Chesapeake, VA with her husband, two children and dog, Hero. She is a part time student in the MFA program at Old Dominion University and will graduate in spring 2019. Kerry teaches College Composition at Tidewater Community College and Senior English at Grassfield High School. She is currently writing a biography on her father who was a Catholic missionary in Guyana in the 1950s. Her work has been published in Blue River Journal, Equus Magazine, and The Font, and she has two podcasts recorded on WHRO. She is excited to share her love of writing with the Muse community.

    Classes taught: The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop, Craft of Biography.
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    Kristin Mehaffey

    Kristin Mehaffey has been teaching How to Write Comics at the Muse since 2016. Her students range in all ages and experience levels, whether they are adults taking the 101 course or children engaging in workshops. She got her start making comics in middle school for the school newspaper, and since then, she has been published in Whurk Magazine, employed at a comic shop, and can be found tabling her comics at conventions. She currently freelances for sequential artwork and character design, with clients such as The Virginia Zoo, Studio Center, and The Governor's School for the Arts.

    Classes taught: How to Write Comics & Graphic Novels, The Comic Book & Graphic Novel Workshop, Young Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week, Teen Writers Workshop, Teen Writers Week, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Derek Nelson

    Derek Nelson is the author of ten books, most recently Off the Map: The Curious History of Place-Names and The American State Fair. He has also published nearly two hundred freelance articles, notably for the Washington Post, the Virginian-Pilot, and Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine. He has forty years of experience as an editor, writing instructor and speaker.

    Classes taught: How To Craft a Query for Nonfiction Writers, Nonfiction Research: Digging In.
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    Lydia Netzer

    Lydia Netzer lives in Norfolk with her husband and two children. She received an MA in English Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago's Program for Writers. Her novel, Shine Shine Shine, was published by St. Martin's Press in 2012. It is a New York Times Notable Book for 2012, an Amazon Spotlight Book of the Month, and was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, The Fiction Studio, How Many Plots Are There?, NaNoWriMo Workshop, Flash Fiction Seminar, Reading for Writers: Shine, Shine, Shine, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    AJ (Andrea) Nolan

    AJ Nolan has published two narrative guidebooks, Sea Kayaking Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and Sea Kayaking Virginia, and has had essays and stories listed as "Notable" in both The Best American Essays series and in The Pushcart Prize. Their stories, poems and essays have appeared in journals such as Whitefish Review, Flyway, Alligator Juniper, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and Gris-Gris. Previously working as an environmental educator, and then as the owner of a sea kayaking company, AJ now works as a lecturer of English at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Classes taught: Point of View: It’s All a Matter of Perspective.
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    Renée Olander

    Renée Olander is the award-winning author of American Dangerous, a collection of poems forthcoming from Backlash Press (Brighton, England) in September 2018, as well as the chapbooks A Few Spells (Finishing Line Press, 2010) and Wild Flights (Black Bird Press, 2000). Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared on the 89.5/WHRV-FM Writer's Block broadcasts and podcast, in the recent anthology Forgotten Women (Grayson Books, 2017), the Split This Rock/Blog This Rock Poem of the Week, and in The Writer's Chroicle, The Chronicle of Higher Education Poetry Month Blog, The Virginian-Pilot, The Tulsa Review of Women's Literature, and in many other journals, anthologies, and blogs. New poetry and prose are forthcoming in Feminine Rising (edited by Andrea Fekete and Lara Lillibridge, 2019), and Olander's "Conversation with Richard Hoffman" will appear in The Writer's Chroicle in fall 2018. A longtime teacher of literature and writing at university, K-12 and community levels, Olander is also an associate vice president an assistant professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Classes taught: Drum-taps, Lullabies & Barbaric Yawps: Revisiting Walt Whitman in the 21st Century; Mary Oliver Walkabout and Write; Poems of Witness: A Poetry Workshop; Saturday Morning Sonnets; Villanelle Summer Seminar.
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    Gavin Pate

    Gavin Pate's novel, The Way To Get Here, was published by Bootstrap Press, and other work can be found in places such as The Collagist, The Southeast Review, Barrelhouse, Lantern Journal, and Rain Taxi, among others. He has an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University, where he studied with writers such as Brian Evenson, Laird Hunt, and Anne Waldman. Gavin is currently an associate professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan College, where he teaches classes on fiction writing, experimental fiction, and the mystery and horror genres.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, The Fiction Studio, Writing the Next Draft.
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    Susie Pedigo

    Susie Pedigo, a native Virginian, earned her BA in English with certification in English, social studies, art history, drama and French. She received her masters degree from the University of Virginia. She taught in public and private high schools in Tidewater and college classes on the bases. After thirty-five years she retired to pursue her creative interests. She writes poetry, fiction, memoir, and nonfiction. Painting in water colors and acrylics became her first new hobby. She has danced since she was four and continues to take classes, choreograph and perform with the Lakewood Tap Club. She also enjoys sewing, gardening, knitting, and decorating. Her latest field of study and practice is the development of creativity.

    Classes taught: The Big Art: Living Creatively, Spark Your Creativity, Seven Habits of Creative People.
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    Leslye Penelope

    L. Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance author. Her novel Song of Blood & Stone was chosen as one of TIME Magazine's top fantasy books of 2018. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents.

    Classes taught: Tools of the Trade: Building a Fantasy World.
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    Princess Perry

    Princess Perry holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University where she currently teaches general education and creative writing courses. Her fiction has appeared most recently in Kweli Journal and All About Skin: An Anthology of Short Fiction by Women Writers of Color (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014). Princess is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a returned Peace Corps Panama Volunteer.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop.
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    Zachary Piggott

    Bio coming soon.

    Classes taught: The Art of Writing Fighting, Creating an Alien Race and World, The Punks of Speculative Fiction, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Peter Porosky

    Peter Porosky has taught fiction writing at the University of Arizona, the University of Maryland (College Park and the European Division), Johns Hopkins University, and Elizabeth City State University. In addition, he created and directed the Creative Writing Institute at the University of Maryland. He has published four novels, many short stories and poems. His novel The Sins of Major Lord, was a best-seller in translation in Germany, and his novel trilogy of The Venturi Principle, as well as three major textbooks on fiction writing are available on He also owns Porosky-Kremer Communications, a professional writing consultancy and has helped countless writers gain success in their writing careers. He has attracted the positive attention of Nelson DeMille, one of America's best selling authors. Prior to returning to the United States, he was a Major in the United States Army Counterintelligence corps. He lives with his wife in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop; Novel Creation & Structure Workshop; Beginning the Novel; Continuing the Novel in Progress; The Fiction Studio; Business and Technical Writing; Create Stories from Everyday Life: Tell the Truth the Way a Liar Would; The Elemental Characteristics of Story; The False Promise of Show Don’t Tell, How to Create the Crucial Central Conflict in Fiction; How to Understand and Use Aesthetic Distance; How Villains Are More Important Than You Think; Point of View: the Under-Estimated Technique; Techniques of Narration in Fiction Writing Genres; Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Maya Porten

    Maya Leigh Porten is in eigth grade at Ghent Montessori School and has been writing since the 5th grade. She has been a student at the Muse for two years, but it already feels like a second home. She loves to write teen fiction and fantasy and to read creative nonfiction and teen fiction. She is an intern at The Muse Writers Center.

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    Lauralyn Prince

    Lauralyn Prince is a seventeen-year-old junior at Norfolk Christian High School. She has been taking classes at The Muse Writer Center since the summer of 2016 and has been interning at The Muse since August 2017. She especially enjoys the teen creative writing classes and the ukulele class. She loves that The Muse is a creative and safe environment to read and workshop pieces and meet fellow writers.

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    Sarah Pringle

    Sarah Pringle, a dual citizen of Canada and the US, teaches at The Muse Writers Center. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University, where she also taught English for a number of years. Sarah is a Golden Key International Honor Scholar, and holds a TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certificate for teaching English as a second language. Sarah loves to participate in writing events, including judging poetry slams and writing contests. She can also be found performing with one of her two bands, as well as on the soccer field or doing yoga. Sarah’s goals in life are to travel, spread positivity, publish a manuscript, and see as much live music as possible.

    Classes taught: Write Anything; Introduction to Writing Poetry, Ekphrastic Poetry: Write from Art, The Poetry Workshop, Poetry Evolution: Write, Edit, Revise, Repeat; Young Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week, Fiction Workshop for Teen Writers, Teen Writers Workshop, Teen Writers Week.
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    Abi Putnam

    Abigail Putnam, Editor-in-chief of Penultimate Peanut Magazine, is from Suffolk, VA where the humidity just might kill you and the nearest museum keeps a hundred-year-old ham on display. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Arcadia University and her fiction has appeared in Maudlin House, Five on the Fifth, the Dirty Pool, and Frostfire Worlds.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Flash Fiction Short Workshop, Magical Realism: It’s Just Weird, but that’s Normal, Mystery Writing, Young Writers Workshop, Teen Writers Workshop, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Lisa Ray

    Originally from Flat Rock, North Carolina, Ray finished an undergraduate degree in English and secondary education at Appalachian State University in 1987 and stayed at ASU as a graduate assistant until 1989, completing a Master’s Degree in English with a concentration in community college and technical college teaching. She moved to Hampton Roads in 1989, and over the following years, taught at Commonwealth College, Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University, and Thomas Nelson Community College. She has been with Thomas Nelson full-time since 2000, and enjoys teaching all levels of composition and rhetoric courses as well as American literature, film and literature, and science fiction and fantasy. She has self-published two urban fantasy novels through Amazon and is working on the third of that series.

    Classes taught: How to Self-Publish Your Book (August Session).
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    Noah Renn

    Noah Renn received an MFA from Old Dominion University 2011. His chapbook, Sinking City was released in 2019 from Finishing Line Press. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. His poetry can be found in The Ekphrastic Review, Whurk, 30 North, Blue Collar Review, The Quotable, and New Verse News, among others. His nonfiction can be found in Cezanne’s Carrot and Full Grown People. Currently, he teaches literature at Old Dominion University. While themes of environmental conservation remain present in his work, he is writing a memoir in essays about the effects of war and deployment on members of the military and their families.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, The Poetry Workshop, Poetic Coding: Writing Our Identities and Our Poetic D.N.A., Poetry Workshop for Teen Writers.
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    Charles Rhodes

    After four years in the Air Force, Charles chose to go to college. Although he loved literature, it was the early '80s and a bleak outlook for liberal arts majors, so he chose science. Fast forward 22 years and a lay-off... His partner encouraged him to pursue writing and The Muse... and now he's a poet. He grew up in California, landed in Virginia, fell in love and stayed. he has one published piece, a humorous essay in Orchids Magazine. He's trying for more... He is an intern at The Muse Writers Center.

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    Suzanne Rhodes

    Suzanne Underwood Rhodes is the author of five books of poetry and creative prose, her most recent being a chapbook, Hungry Foxes (Aldrich Press). She has recent poems in ARTS, Spiritus, Midwest Quarterly, and Poetry East. Currently, she's working on a second full-length collection of poems. She's taught writing and literature as an adjunct instructor at Old Dominion University, Tidewater Community College, King University, and other colleges and universities. She earned an MA degree from Johns Hopkins University in the Writing Seminars and a BS degree from James Madison University. She was a resident fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and is an associate editor for the Sow's Ear Poetry Review.

    Classes taught: A Certain Slant of Light, Cut from the Same Astonishing Cloth: Writing a Series of Related Poems, Encountering the Other, Pictures that Shimmer: The Art of Lyrical Prose, The Rose and the Thorn: Poems that Please and Pierce, Silver Trails: Experimenting with a Range of Poetic Styles, Sing Darker: Strengthen the Emotional Pulse of Your Poetry, Clarity through the Mask: Writing the Persona Poem, To See the World in a Grain of Sand: An Exploration of Nature Poetry, Getting Your Poetry Chapbook Ready: A How-To Workshop, The Art of Ghostwriting.
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    Mira Roberts

    Mira studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in Media and Marketing with
    PARADE, Portfolio, AltDaily and skirt!. A mother of two, an avid journal writer, and closet poet, Mira works as a freelance writer in Norfolk. She writes a daily blog:

    Classes taught: Journaling for Creative Growth, Journaling for Creative & Personal Growth, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Tom Robotham

    Tom Robotham is an award-winning journalist with nearly 40 years of experience. He began his career as a reporter and columnist for The Staten Island Advance, a New York City daily. From there he went on to work for Esquire and subsequently became a freelance contributor to Cosmopolitan. Currently, he divides his time between teaching English and Mass-Media Studies at both Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College, and writing for Coastal Virginia Magazine, VEER, and other publications. He is also the author of five books on American history and culture.

    Classes taught: Making Your Case: Writing Persuasive Opinion Pieces, Spiritual Writing, Magazine Feature Writing, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Christine Rucker

    Christine Rucker is an artist and educator based in Norfolk, VA. Her specialties include bookmaking, printmaking, and drawing. She received her BFA from Pratt Institute in Painting and Art History, and has been a resident artist at the Manhattan Graphics Center and Governor's Island Art Fair in New York City. Between 2012 and 2018, she ran the fine art press QbyQ Press and organized events in NYC and Hampton Roads. She currently teaches at The Muse Writers Center and the Norfolk City Jail.

    Classes taught: Bookmaking; Bookmaking: Accordion Books; Bookmaking: Blank Journals; Bookmaking: Real Self-Publishing; Bookmaking: Stab Binding; Memories Found and Bound: Making Recycled Covers for Books; Visual Journaling: Exploring the Imagination; Visual Journaling Workshop: Exploring the Imagination; Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Tim Sanderson

    Tim Sanderson is a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1980 and of the Psychiatric Residency at EVMS in 1984. He has been in private practice since 1984. He received certification as a Jungian Analyst from the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts in 1991. He has been teaching in the EVMS Graduate Art Therapy program since 1990, and was certified as an Art Therapist in 1997. Tim has been studying Jung for more than 52 years now, and he recently served four years as President of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, which is the largest group of Jungian Analysts in the United States.

    Classes taught: Psychologists, Psychology, and Psychotherapy: Getting it Write.
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    Colin Sargent

    Colin W. Sargent, Ph.D., teaches writing at The College of William and Mary. His novel The Boston Castrato was nominated for the Man Booker Prize by Barbican Press of London and the fiction prize for the 2017 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. He’s the founding editor and publisher of Portland Monthly magazine, praised by MediaBistro for coverage "beyond the usual." Virginian Pilot: "Boston Castrato Explores the Beauty of the Outcast." Colin's next novel, Red Hands, is coming out in early 2020 from Barbican Press of London.

    Classes taught: Crafting the Elevator Pitch, Demystifying Voice; Dynamic Settings to Drive Your Stories, How Editors Detect a Novice: Avoiding Common Mistakes in Your Work; The Juicy Opposition Characters Your Readers Crave, Loglines as Geiger Counters for Your Story, Subliminal Dialogue; Subtext: the "Thing" and the "Other Thing" in a Story, Tense: Moments and the Shades of Time; Who Is That? Developing a Strong Voice in Fiction.
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    Jesse Scaccia

    Jesse Scaccia is the editor of Hampton Road's alternative news and culture web magazine, and is a columnist for His journalism has been published in various periodicals, including The New York Times, The Virginian-Pilot, and The San Diego Union-Tribune. He also developed, pitched, and produced a documentary series for B.E.T. Here in Norfolk Jesse is on the Public Arts Commission. He has been a part of numerous public art, activism, and community betterment projects in the City.

    Classes taught: The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop, The Joy of Travel Writing, Travel Writing for the Passionate Adventurer, Writing About Social Issues, Writing Letters to Dead People, Writing Through Anxiety, Writing Through Depression, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Alison Schoew

    Wordsmith Alison Schoew is fascinated by language. She holds an MA in Applied Linguistics (study which only further fueled her passion for language and dialect), and has taught both at ODU and at The Muse Writers Center. Some of her favorite moments are spent writing with a roomful of people to a specific cue, and then listening (as they share) to the spectrum of voices that that specific prism provokes. Her aim is to help students jumpstart their writing in a positive, engaging, immediate, and not-even-slightly-threatening environment.

    Classes taught: Start Writing, Keep Writing... Write Now, Writing a Resume that Works, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Tim Seibles

    Tim Seibles, born in Philadelphia in 1955, is the author of several poetry collections including Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock, and Buffalo Head Solos. His first book, Body Moves, (1988) has just been re-released by Carnegie Mellon U. Press as part of their Contemporary Classics series. His latest, Fast Animal, was one of five poetry finalists for the 2012 National Book Award. In 2013 he received the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award for poetry—also for Fast Animal. Tim was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Misericordia University for his literary accomplishments. Most recently, he received the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award for Fast Animal, a prize given triennially for a collection of poems.

    During the spring semester of 2010, Tim was poet-in-residence at Bucknell University. A National Endowment for the Arts fellow, he also enjoyed a seven-month writing fellowship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center in Massachusetts. His poetry is featured in several anthologies; among them are: Rainbow Darkness; The Manthology; Autumn House Contemporary American Poetry; Black Nature; Evensong; Villanelles; and Sunken Garden Poetry. His poem "Allison Wolff" was included in Best American Poetry 2010 and, most recently, his poem "Sotto Voce: Othello, Unplugged" was featured in Best American Poetry 2013.

    He has been a workshop leader for Cave Canem, a writer’s retreat for African American poets, and for the Hurston/Wright Foundation, another organization dedicated to developing black writers. Tim lives in Norfolk, Virginia and is a Professor of English at Old Dominion University where he teaches literature as well as classes in the MFA in writing program. He is also a member of the board of directors of Norfolk’s The Muse Writers Center where he also teaches advanced workshops in poetry.

    Classes taught: Adding Fuel to The Fire; Fire & Frost, Odes & Elegies; The Good Walk: Narrative Poetry and Voice as Character; The Persona Poem: A Poetry Workshop; Persona Poems: The Mask Beneath The Mask, Stoking Good Fire: Rough Drafts and Revision; The Shorter Poem: Sure as a Karate Chop; Weekend Intensive Poetry Workshop: Remembering to Remember; Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Sarah Sheppard

    Sarah Sheppard, a Michigan native, received a BA in English Literature and Writing from Saint Mary's College (IN), and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University (MA). She worked for a publishing house in Boston for nearly five years and is now a freelance writer and editor. She currently writes for a marketing agency, a news site, and various organizations. She teaches writing classes in Metro Detroit, volunteers at Soroptomist International, promoting human trafficking awareness, and has published her fiction and poetry in NarrativeNortheast, The Juggler, Chimes, and The Avenue. She has completed two collections of short stories and is working on her first novel.

    Classes taught: The Importance of Backstory: When to Use It and How to Write It, Publishing 101: Learn The Basics of Traditional Publishing, Unleash Your Creative Thoughts.
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    Sheila Sheppard

    Sheila Sheppard is pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at ODU and studied English, Music, and Art at the College of William and Mary. She is writing a memoir about hiking the Appalachian Trail, and has been experimenting with poetry, short fiction, and filmmaking. A professional musician, Sheila plays violin for weddings and special events, and plays fiddle and sings with Grassafras, a string band. Sheila is trained in Reiki and GIM (The Bonney Method of Guided Imagery and Music), and offers these therapeutic modalities to her clients at Paloma Healing, her practice on the Eastern Shore. Against sage advice she is following her three passions—music, writing, and healing—and is mostly okay with not knowing yet where they will lead. She lives in Cape Charles with her pre-schooler, Aven, and can often be found flatfootin' at Lemon Tree Gallery.

    Classes taught: Journaling for Creative & Personal Growth, Unlock your Creative Voice with Guided Imagery and Music, The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop.
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    Dean Silkstone

    Dean Silkstone was born in Oldham, England. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in linguistics. Dean is currently in pursuit of a master's degree in applied linguistics at Old Dominion University. When he isn't busy futilely attempting to herd his young children he enjoys composing poetry as well as studying Anglo-Saxon literature and the Old English language.

    Classes taught: Old English: Then and Now.
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    Kelly Sokol

    Kelly Sokol is a 2018 National Parks Artist-in-Residence. She is the author of The Unprotected, published in 2017 by Skyhorse Publishing. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Her work has appeared in Alpinist, The Manifest-Station, AltDaily, Connotation Press and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, The Fiction Studio, A Mother of a Voice: Writing Motherhood, Introduction to Creative Non-fiction, Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, The Creative Nonfiction Workshop, Between the Book Deal and Your Publication Date, How to Read Like a Writer, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Dana Staves

    Dana Staves earned her MFA in Fiction at Old Dominion University. She currently lives in Norfolk with her wife, their son, and their cat. Dana is a contributor at Book Riot, and she is hard at work on her first novel, a romance about a celebrity chef and the hometown girl who woos her.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, Introduction To Romance, Creating a Vision Board for Your Story, Happily Ever After Pretty Darn Quick: The Romance Short Story, Feeding The Story: Food as Story Element, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Melissa M. Stewart

    Melissa M. Stewart has served as editor-in-chief of Hampton Roads Magazine and Virginia Wine Lover magazine. She also helps develop and update ancillary publications such as HRM Bride, the HRM Beauty Book and HRM PrimeTime. After earning degrees in magazine journalism and English and textual studies from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, she worked as a reporter, lifestyle editor and magazine/special sections editor for a New Jersey newspaper group and also a freelance writer before moving to Hampton Roads in 2005. She quickly learned to embrace her new Southern surroundings and is now proud to be a Virginian (Jersey does get a bad rap, after all). When she's not on deadline in her Virginia Beach office, she likes to spend time wine tasting (research!), tending to her community garden plot, trying to re-create haute cuisine at home with her husband, and fixing up her house in Norfolk's Colonial Place.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Magazine Writing, The Pitch: Magazine Articles and Features.
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    Lauran Strait

    Lauran Strait has edited close to 175 full-length manuscripts (fiction and nonfiction) in the last 18 years. She taught various writing classes and ran three popular and long-standing writer workshops at the Adult Learning Center in Virginia Beach for seven years, until she stopped teaching in order to found Hampton Roads Writers. As HRW's president and conference director, Lauran now only edits, as time permits, for a select few authors.

    Classes taught: Self-Editing Seminar.
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    Grace Tazewell

    Grace Parker Tazewell is a local life coach and mediator. As a writer she has published short stories, non-fiction magazine articles, essays, and poetry, and a blog for The Virginian-Pilot online ("Moments of Grace"). She also self-published a small book of short stories called Redemption.

    Classes taught: Writing About Family Drama, Courts, and Mediation.
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    Wyatt Thacker

    Wyatt Thacker is a Junior at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. Because he has learned super heightened awareness and observance, he is anything but far from gullible. Wyatt cares deeply about the emotional well-being of others and likes to both feel and spread positive energy throughout the environment. He is eager to be helping out at the Muse.

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    Jeffrey Walker

    Jeffrey K. Walker is a Midwesterner, born in what was once the Glass Container Capital of the World. A retired military officer, he served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, planned the Kosovo air campaign and ran a State Department program in Baghdad. He’s been shelled, rocketed and sniped by various groups, all with bad aim. He’s lived in ten states and three foreign countries, managing to get degrees from Tulane, Syracuse, Harvard and Georgetown along the way. An attorney and professor, he's taught legal history, criminal law, and international law. He's been a regular contributor on NPR and a speaker at federal judicial conferences. Finally succumbing to a long-held desire to write fiction, Jeff has published two historical fiction novels in his Sweet Wine of Youth trilogy--the award-winning None of Us the Same and Truly Are the Free. He's currently finishing the third, No Hero’s Welcome, due out in early 2019. He dotes on his wife/editor/publicist/manager, with whom he lives in Virginia, and his grown children, who are spread across the United States. Jeff has never been beaten at Whack-a-Mole.

    Classes taught: Care and Feeding of Your Characters: Dialogue, Description, and Voice, Putting More than History in Historical Fiction, Using Military Experience to Inform Your Fiction, Writing Law and Lawyers.
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    Tammy Wartell

    Tammy Wartell has a BA in English from Hawaii Pacific University. Her work has been featured in Boating Times, Mysterious Ways, Nexgenmilspouse, and Military Spouse. Her poetry has been featured in Poets Domain, Eskimopie, and Scarlet Leaf Review. She is a mom and military spouse. When she’s not writing, she’s volunteering and substitute teaching.

    Classes taught: Young Writers Day, Folktales and Fairytales: Young Writers Day, Young Writers Week.
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    Fran Walsh Ward

    Fran Walsh Ward (pen name: Frances Ellen Walsh) is an author, artist, and world peace visionary. Born in Cambridge, MA, she immerses herself in experiences and loves to share them through her writing. Graduating from UMass, Amherst, Fran was among the first class of women at Dartmouth, earning a masters degree in Liberal Studies. She has received a PhD in Metaphysics, a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality--the body, mind, spirit connection. A teacher for over 25 years of English literature and creative writing (at prep schools and on the faculty at William and Mary), she now teaches writing classes at The Muse, conducts seminars, and gives sermons. An advocate for the Arts, she has a creative spirit, has been a columnist of art and music reviews, has directed plays, and displayed 3 and 4-dimensional art internationally. She has published two novels. Her latest published book is creative non-fiction. She has written for spiritual leaders in India and the U.S. Traveling the world, she has learned her best lessons from people she has met along the way. Fran believes that what we see in others is a reflection of what is within ourselves and that we are all connected (on the peace grid). When we are happy and our authentic selves, it is uplifting to the world. She wishes everyone love, courage and beauty. Her peace initiative to say "I DECLARE PEACE!" attracts participants throughout the world annually. One person makes a difference. You make a difference.

    Classes taught: Metaphysical Secrets, Secrets: Using Metaphysical Tools to Reveal Depths in Your Writing, Writing Art Reviews, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Wendi White

    Wendi White is a poet and educator currently musing among the herons and egrets of Coastal Virginia's tidewater region. She earned her MFA from Old Dominion University's Creative writing program and was awarded the graduate Academy of American Poets Prize at Old Dominion. In her day job she works to end violence and develop women's leadership. At home she keeps one spouse, two teens, a garden where tomatoes abound every other year, and a naughty puppy named Rafiki.

    Classes taught: Giving Voice: A Creative Writing Workshop for Women.
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    Jonathan Woods

    Jonathan is a novelist and slam poet who specializes in dark romance. They has ghost-written several dozen novels and short stories for various publishers, as well as working on their own manuscripts. Jonathan also graduated Magna cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Health Promotion, and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer.

    Classes taught: Florid Prose: Using the Language of Flowers in Writing; Health and Wellness for Writers, The Ins and Outs of Good Erotica, Erotica Workshop, Quick 'n' Dirty Photoshop Hacks for a Stunning DIY Book Cover, Writing Romance for Feminists, Writing Good Romance, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Donna Wynn

    Donna Wynn has been teaching Zentangle® here at the Muse for a long time (even at our old location) and she enjoys the opportunity to share this meditative drawing process with others. She teaches the process in public schools, to senior adults, art retreats, in museum studio classes as well as in private instruction. She is a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) here in the Tidewater Area since 2013. Donna is passionate about this art form and leading others to this magical and meditative drawing process--leading by just "one stroke at a time." In her spare time she also loves writing and sharing her poetry with others.

    Classes taught: Zentangle for Beginners, A Zentangle Workshop, A Zentangle Workshop 2, Word Prompt in a Jar, Young Writers Week, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    Michele Young-Stone

    Michele Young-Stone is the author of three novels: Lost in the Beehive, an O Magazine 2018 Book Pick, Above Us Only Sky, and The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, which the Boston Globe called "an exceptionally rich and sure-handed debut." She is at work on a fourth novel. After teaching high school English for seven years, Michele earned her MFA in fiction writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her husband and son.

    Classes taught: Finding the Literary Agent Who’s Right for You, Creative Writing Camp for Adults
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    Tom Yuill

    Tom Yuill's first book of poetry, Medicine Show, was published by the University of Chicago Press. Of it Robert Pinsky writes, "the book's brilliant imitations and adaptations cast a raking eye on Texas versions of the quasi-Byronic hero." Rosanna Warren writes, "Yuill wrings his own tunes from Texas stomp, the Rolling Stones and the lyric masters of English. He's reinventing fireworks." He has new poems and translations published or forthcoming in, among others, Dalhousie Review, Great River Review and the anthology Devouring the Green: Fear of a Human Planet, An Anthology of New Writing, edited by Sam Witt. He also has an interview with Tim Seibles forthcoming in Dalhousie Review next winter. He has taught poetry at Boston University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and University of Iowa, among others. This year he is teaching at Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: Black Hat, White Magic: Outsiders Bringing in Gold; Cover Versions; The Craft of Poetry; Coarseness, Valor, Visions, and Love; Creations and Armageddons: Poems of the Endings and the Beginnings; Bards and Romantics: Poetry of the Public and Personal; Here Are Your Waters: Poetry of Alchemy; Kicks and Bliss: Poetry of Pleasure and Happiness; Masks and Windows: Dramatic Monologues, and The Poetry of Voice and Ventriloquism; No Poem, No Life: Orpheus, Marsyas, Sappho, and the Poetry of Urgency; Poetry and Inspiration; Poetry & Myth; Poetry of Ancestries; Writing Through Crisis, Revising to Live.
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    Skye Zentz

    Skye Zentz is a second generation singer songwriter and ukulele player from Norfolk, VA. A hometown gal, Skye's love for her city inspired a grassroots music video for her original song "The Tide", which won the 2016 Veer Music Award for Music Video of the Year. Her eclectic, soulful music is singable and warm, once described as a "cozy home with many wildly decorated rooms". In 2017, Skye composed the original music for the new play "Alice", which made its debut in April 2017 at Old Dominion University, where Skye served as Music Director. Several of her educational children's songs, including the Telly Award winner "Cut the Sugar", can be seen regularly on PBS Kids. Skye delivers Singing Telegrams year-round in the Hampton Roads area and has been teaching at The Muse Writers Center since 2012.

    Classes taught: Creative Block Breakers, Songwriting: The Lyrical Craft, Ukulele for Beginners, Ukulele Performance Workshop, Start Songwriting Saturday, Summer Jams: The Art of the Pop Anthem, Young Songwriters Workshop, Songcraft for Teens, Young Writers Week, Teen Songwriters Week, Pop Songwriting Crash Course for Teens, Creative Writing Camp for Adults.
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    the muse's past facilitators & teachers

  • Millicent Borges Accardi
  • Jennifer Adams
  • Jeff Andrews
  • Liz Argento
  • Tara Shea Burke
  • T Campbell
  • Ed Carden
  • Sarah Jo Carter
  • Lin Kaatz Chary
  • Leslie Clements
  • Gregg Clifford
  • Tony Delateur
  • Sean Devereux
  • Gillian Durham
  • Greg Eatroff
  • Gregory Epps
  • Chad Faries
  • Alan Flanders
  • Pete Freas
  • Barbara Gardner
  • Caroline Garrett
  • Colin Ginks
  • Wesley Harper
  • Evan Hartley
  • Lisa Beech Hartz
  • Caitlin Hayes
  • Heather Hildebrand
  • Rick Hite
  • Jess Horton
  • Emily Howell
  • Lauren Hurston
  • Matthew Hutchinson
  • Amanda Huynh
  • Luke Iha
  • Victoria Kelly
  • Tori Kerr
  • Tarin Kovalik
  • Janine Latus
  • Aaron Lawhon
  • Danielle Leibovici
  • Tracie Liguid
  • John Robert Mack
  • Michal Mahgerefteh
  • Chris Maples
  • Deb Markham
  • Karla Martin
  • Lucian Mattison
  • Claudia Mazur
  • Sarah McCall
  • Lewis McGehee
  • Brad McMurran
  • Jim Morrison
  • Daniel Pearlman
  • Michelle Pepino
  • Ken Phillips
  • Tench Phillips
  • Eric Ramseier
  • Sheri Reynolds
  • Nathan Richardson
  • Steve Rosenthal
  • Tony Ruggiero
  • Rich Santoro
  • Melissa Sipin
  • Jack Sommers
  • Lisa Suhay
  • Michael Tarpey
  • Karen Tatum
  • Leah Thiessen
  • Rachel Thompson
  • Kenneth Tomasits
  • Dillon Tripp
  • Mae Lynn Walker
  • Geoff Watkinson
  • Kip Watson
  • Heather Weddington
  • Mary Westbrook
  • Roberto Westbrook
  • Valerie Wilkinson
  • Leona Wisoker
  • Alba Woolard
  • Kristina Wright

  • Millicent Borges Accardi

    Millicent Borges Accardi is the author of four poetry books: Injuring Eternity, Woman on a Shaky Bridge, Only More So, and Practical Love Poems. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, Creative Capacity, the California Arts Council, Fundação Luso-Americana, and the Barbara Deming Foundation (Money for Women), Accardi has been in residence at Yaddo, Milkwood in Cesky Krumlov, Fundación Valparaíso in Spain; Jentel, and Vermont Studio Center. She holds degrees in English literature and writing from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the University of Southern California (USC). She has been a visiting writer at Keystone College in Scranton, PA; Nimrod Writers Conference at Oklahoma University; The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia and the University of Texas at Austin. Her individual poems have appeared in Tampa Review, New Letters, Nimrod, Verdad; Babalonia and Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism & Translation.

    Classes taught: The Poetry Studio.
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    Jennifer Adams

    Jennifer Adams has an M.F.A. from Cornell University, where she was most recently a Lecturer in Creative Writing (poetry, fiction) and an Assistant Editor at Epoch Magazine. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in journals such as the Southwest Review, Sonora Review, and Stone Canoe, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, The Memoir Workshop, NaNoWriMo Workshop, Young Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week.
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    Jeff Andrews

    Jeff Andrews is a retired U.S. Marine, a member of the Society of Civil War Historians and the author of two historical novels, The Freedom Star and The Gandy Dancer. He is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College (now Baldwin-Wallace University) and holds a MS in Administration from George Washington University. Jeff has traveled the world, serving in such exotic locations as Vietnam, Japan, Egypt, Morocco, Denmark, Brazil, and Lebanon, but his first love is exploring the battlefields and historic sites of the Old Dominion with his wife, Mary Lou. In addition to teaching at The Muse Writers Center, Jeff also offers workshops at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference and the Christopher Newport University Writers Conference. He enjoys speaking to local book clubs and writers’ groups.

    Classes taught: How to Self-Publish Your Book.
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    Liz Argento

    Elizabeth Argento holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She completed her undergraduate work at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she was a Ford Apprentice Scholar of Literature. She is currently an Adjunct English Instructor at Old Dominion University. In the past, she has worked as a writing consultant, a tutor, and a Barely South Review editor. Her work has appeared in The Eckerd Review, Howard Magazine, and Superstition Review. She lives with a Jack Russell Terrier who never tires of her.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Memoir and Creative Nonfiction, The Memoir Workshop, The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop, Teen Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week, Teen Writers Week.
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    Tara Shea Burke

    Tara Shea Burke earned her MFA in poetry from Old Dominion University in 2012. She also holds a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, and has traveled to South Africa and Senegal to work with non-profits and offer service to NGOs. She has served as poetry editor for Barely South Review, and is the current poetry editor for The Quotable. She teaches literature and writing at ODU and The Muse Writers Center, and is finishing a teacher training in Hatha Yoga. Burke has an essay in the forthcoming book Loving The L Word: The Full Series in Focus, and her poems are featured in The Quotable, Switched-on Gutenberg, Rougarou, and forthcoming in Sinister Wisdom. She placed 2nd in Split This Rock’s 2013 Poetry Contest, judged by Mark Doty.

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    T Campbell

    T Campbell has been an award-winning comics scriptwriter for nearly a decade, writing over 3000 pages of graphic novels, manga, comic strips and webcomics, both independently and with publishers like Tokyopop and Marvel—including titles such as Fans, Cool Cat Studio, Penny and Aggie, Divalicious, Sketchies, Rip and Teri, Exploding Stills, and other comics.

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    Ed Carden

    Ed Carden has a degree in theatre from Old Dominion University. He's been acting and performing comedy for more than a decade, and has appeared in nearly 30 local theatrical productions, as well as a handful of commercials and short films. He is a founding member of The Pushers Sketch/Improv Comedy Group, in which he serves as a performer, writer, and producer. With The Pushers, he has performed up and down the east coast. By day he works for Virginia Beach Public Schools. In addition to writing and performing, he enjoys cheeseburgers, sushi, and science fiction—not necessarily in that order.

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    Sarah Jo Carter

    Sarah Jo Carter writes poetry and fiction, writes about and reviews films, and is an intern and student at The Muse Writers Center. She is a graduate student at Old Dominion University in the Occupational and Technical Studies program focusing on instructional design technology and technical writing (her undergraduate degree was in Sociology and Human Services). She currently works at Old Dominion University (Tri-Cities location) in office administration and satellite technology as well as at the Virginia Living Museum as a Volunteer Services Assistant.

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    Lin Kaatz Chary

    Lin Kaatz Chary was a Perry Morgan Fellow in the Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University in Creative Non-Fiction where she is working on an MFA in creative writing. She is currently working on a memoir about her life over forty years as a social justice activist in the anti-war, health care, and labor movements, and several poetry chapbooks. She is the winner of the 2016 ODU College Ruhi Dayanim Poetry Prize. Her work has been published online at Briller Magazine, and Barely South Review and she writes regularly for the The Body Is Not an Apology. Lin is also a non-fiction editor for Barely South Review at ODU, and for FourTies Literary Review. She lives in Norfolk with Flirt, her Sheltie.

    Classes taught: Exploring Our Voice as Women.
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    Leslie Clements

    Leslie Clements graduated from Old Dominion University with a Master of Fine Arts in fiction. She served as a fiction editor for the first year of ODU's premiere online literary journal, Barely South Review, and writes for the Fiction Writer's Review. She teaches English and academic writing at Virginia Wesleyan College and Tidewater Community College. Currently, she is working on a novel and cheating on that novel with a collection of short stories.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, Reading For Writers: A Summer Fling with Fantasy, Learn to Knit.
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    Gregg R. Clifford, M.D., F.A.C.P.

    Dr. Clifford earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, in 1982 after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in the Humanities with Honors at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, in 1978. He served his internship and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN, in 1983 and 1985 respectively. He then went on to join the Faculty Staff of General Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical Center and a practice at the Central Virginia Community Health Center to complete his NHSC Scholarship. Currently, Dr. Clifford serves as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Clifford is professionally associated with the American College of Physicians and is a Member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Clifford is married and has three children, Jay, Lauren and Adam. He enjoys the great outdoors, running, golf, biking and computers.

    Classes taught: Doctors & Disease, Patients & Prescriptions: Research for Writers.
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    Tony DeLateur

    Tony is an MFA candidate on the fiction track at Old Dominion University. Before moving to Norfolk, he taught high school and college in Los Angeles.

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    Sean Devereux

    Sean Devereux is the executive producer and co-head writer of the sketch comedy group, The Pushers and a member of the board of directors of The Muse. He graduated with a B.A. in English from George Mason University and has studied improv at The Upright Citizen's Brigade in New York. With The Pushers, he has performed up and down the east coast, most notably headlining The Charleston Comedy Festival and The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival. In his civilian guise, Sean is an Emmy Award winning writer/producer at WVEC-TV 13.

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    Gillian Durham

    Gillian is an instructor of English as a Second Language at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, where she teaches all academic language skills but has a particular fondness for the wild complexities of English grammar. Once a world traveler, she now stays mostly in one place and instead enjoys playing host to the world in her classroom, which is sort of like traveling but much less expensive. She holds a B.A. in English from Elon University and a M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Old Dominion University. Oh, and the swooping, winged figure on the Muse homepage? That's Gillian.

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    Greg Eatroff

    Greg Eatroff is a writer, actor, editor, and historian. He has written two scripts for local history documentaries which have gone into production. His non-fiction has appeared in the Old Dominion Historical Review. Since the late 1990s he has edited and co-scripted comics for both print and web markets. He loves the collaborative nature of comics production, and hopes to share that love and experience with Muse students.

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    Gregory Epps

    Gregory Epps is a freelance journalist and 10-year veteran of weekly film criticism whose work has appeared in a variety of print and web publications. As critic and essayist for PortFolio Weekly, Greg published over 500 reviews, covered local film festivals, and interviewed A-list film directors and actors. Greg subsequently wrote and broadcasted weekly film reviews for Norfolk's public radio affiliate, WHRV-FM, as part of Cathy Lewis's award-winning HearSay program. Greg is currently writing for several freelance clients, has a novel in-progress, and still believes that all of life's riddles are answered, in the movies.

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    Chad Faries

    Chad Faries has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from UW-Milwaukee and has taught writing and literature in the United States and Europe. His poetic memoir, The Border Will Be Soon, was the winner of the 2006 Emergency Press book competition which went on to win the 2006 Gran Prix Prize for poetry from the International Academy Orient-Occident in Romania. His memoir, Some Houses, is seeking a commercial publisher. One of The Muse's most popular teachers, Chad recently moved to Savannah, Georgia where he is an Assistant Professor of English.

    Classes taught: Photography & Writing Workshop, Memoir Writing Workshop.
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    Alan Flanders

    Alan Flanders has an M.A. in English from Hollins College with an emphasis on Creative Writing, a Ph.D. and an advanced degree in English Local History from Oxford. He has also been a poetry and non-fiction contributor at the Breadloaf Writers Conference, Middlebury College. For the last 25 years he has written a column for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper. Flanders also hosted Century, an Emmy award winning public television documentary on Hampton Roads history. His contributions to local and national television productions include serving as naval historian for a live CBS News broadcast worldwide of the JFK, Jr. burial at sea and numerous commentaries on local, regional and national history topics. He has published eight books and numerous articles in American Heritage, Gourmet, and American History Magazine.

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    Pete Freas

    Pete Freas is a retired Navy helicopter pilot with a BA degree in English and History, an MA degree in Communication, and an MSEd. He has studied German and taught for two and a half years at the German Command and Staff College in Hamburg, GE. He has taught Middle-School Special Ed, and High School English in Portsmouth and Smithfield. Pete often hosts open-mic events and workshops, and appears as visiting writer in area schools. The poems in his chapbook Boots tell of his VN War experience. Several of his poems and stories have been published in regional publications, and he has edited five volumes of Skipping Stones, a Hampton Roads poetry anthology. He and his artist wife are the adoptive parents of two working adults who were once twin infants.

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    Barbara Gardner

    Barbara Gardner, a native of Germany, loves poetry and people and is the former facilitator of the First Friday Poetry Salon. She feels equally at home in the US and Germany but also enjoyed very much living in the UK and Norway. Barbara has participated in several poetry workshops and hopes to someday publish a collection of her own work. She lives in Norfolk.

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    Caroline Garrett

    Caroline S. Garrett's first picture book, Sarah's Bead, was published in 2000. Her second, Jeremiah, in 2003. She is the illustrator of a series of "Forest Friends" tales which were published between 2005 and 2007. She earned her MFA in printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, and a second Masters degree in Art Education from Ohio State. She gives workshops in children's picture books, art and spirituality, and mandalas.

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    Colin Ginks

    Colin is a published novelist, short-story writer, translator and visual artist from the UK. He has also lived in Marseille, Johannesburg, and Lisbon, and recently moved to downtown Norfolk from New York City. Creative writing is his life, and his love: his second novel, You Choose, is currently under review in Europe, and his most recent project, Swimming on the Edge Of, is awaiting review with agents in the US, upon completion. He is also to translate two recent novels by Irvine Welsh, Crime and If You Like School. You'll Love Work into Portuguese in 2009 and 2010.

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    Wesley Harper

    Wesley Harper currently attends Maury High School and has been at the Muse for three years as a teen writer. He has a passion for reading and writing poetry and occasionally non-fiction. He loves chai tea/coffee and hopes being an intern at the Muse will help prepare him for a future in the literature field.

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    Evan Hartley

    Evan Hartley attends Old Dominion University where she is studying theater and film. She enjoys writing screenplays and fiction and participates in improv and sketch comedy. She also spends her time working on local short films and owns a production company, Fatty Bread Productions, LLC. In addition, Evan enjoys baking a mean chocolate chip cookie and all night Netflix binges. She is a Muse intern.

    Send Evan a message.
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    Lisa Beech Hartz

    Lisa Beech Hartz was a founder and a co-director of The Muse until 2014, when she founded and now directs Seven Cities Writers Project. Seven Cities brings creative writing workshops to underserved communities. Lisa guides an ongoing workshop in the Norfolk City Jail. A poet, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, Blackbird, Redivider, Poet Lore, Mud Season, Thrush and elsewhere. She lives in Portsmouth with her husband and four sons.

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    Caitlin Hayes

    Caitlin Hayes holds an MA in English Literature from the University of New Hampshire and is in her third year of teaching English at Norfolk Academy. Before moving from New England to Virginia, she freelanced for two newspapers, worked in book design, and administered a writing center. She is a student in the MFA program at Old Dominion University, and in the fall, will enter the MFA program at Syracuse University where she will continue working on a collection of short stories.

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    Heather Hildenbrand

    Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs. Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit and find out how to create your own OutRAGEous Life. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman. You can find out more about Heather and her books at and Facebook.

    Classes taught: How to Market Your Writing & Yourself.
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    Rick Hite

    Rick Hite is Professor Emeritus of Theater/Communications at Virginia Wesleyan College. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College (B.A. Spanish), The Johns Hopkins University (M.A. Romance Languages and Literatures), and Michigan State University (Ph.D. Theater/Communications). His theater career as actor, director, producer, translator, and playwright spans more years than he wants to admit. He has published plays, translations, and poetry in the U. S. and Spain and has had works produced both here and abroad.

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    Jess Horton

    Jess Horton is a runner, social media/marketing expert, and blogger. She is a graduate of Radford University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education. After teaching elementary school for several years, Jess turned her passion for education into training and teaching businesses about marketing. Jess spends her time running or writing. She has used her knowledge of running and fitness to develop, a health and fitness website. Jess also is a running ambassador and coach for J&A Racing. Her blog documenting her healthy lifestyle journey and race reports is featured on her website. Jess is also a contributing blogger for and the Hampton Roads American Marketing Association. Her blog has been recognized nationally by Girls on the Run International.

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    Emily Howell

    Emily Howell is a writer, photographer, and lover of sushi, traveling, and the Peanuts Gang. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Old Dominion University where she teaches English Composition and Introduction to Literature. She also serves at the Assistant Editor for Barely South Review. Before moving to Virginia Beach, she lived in Chicago and received her BA in Photography and Teaching Artistry from Columbia College. She loves photojournalism, travel, and documentary photography. Her photographic work can be found at

    Classes taught: Art Journaling for Creative & Personal Growth, Journaling for Creative & Personal Growth, Journaling in Many Forms Personal Narratives: An Introduction to Memoir, Young Writers Week, Teen Writers Week.
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    Lauren Hurston

    Lauren Hurston received her BA in English from James Madison University, her MA in English and Publishing from Rosemont College, and her Creative Writing MFA from Old Dominion University. She has contributed to Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, VA, Ticket Weekly in Montgomery County, PA, and Philadelphia Style Magazine. Her fiction has been published in Midwest Literary Magazine and is featured in the anthology Bearing North; her nonfiction has won the William Brenner Nonfiction Prize and the Agnes L. Braganza Award.

    Classes taught: Personal Narratives: An Introduction to Memoir, The Memoir Workshop, Fiction Workshop for Teen Writers, Teen Writers Workshop.
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    Matthew Hutchinson

    Matthew Hutchinson is the president of Miravalles Culture and Adventure Center, a tour center located in the rainforest of northern Costa Rica, that specializes in Eco-tourism and cultural exchange for students and small groups of adventurers. He founded and runs UrbanXChange, a chain of retail stores and tattoo shops in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Newport News. He received degrees in Journalism and Latin American Literature from UW-Madison, and he studied in Lima Peru (1988–89) and worked in Managua and Esteli, Nicaragua (1986–87). In 1990 and 1991, he taught with Teach for America in the ESL programs at Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles and Park West in New York City. He's a musician and singer-songwriter who performs at open mics in the area, and is currently working on the second draft of his novel, Sandino's Bones and milling about Ghent at any pub that serves O'Connor's new IPA, el Guapo. He has been a facilitator of The Muse Writers Center's 2nd Friday Acoustic Jam.

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    Amanda Huynh

    Amanda Huynh is a native Texan living in Virginia. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas & Arlington with a Biology and English degree. Currently, she attends the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. She was a finalist for the 2015 Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize. Her work is published or forthcoming in the following journals: Huizache, The Healing Muse, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and .

    Classes taught: Young Writers Week, Young Writers Day, Teen Writers Workshop.
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    Luke Iha

    Luke Iha is an un-schooling seventeen year-old whose interests include philosophy, psychology, and—of course—writing. He has worked on the KUNM Generation Justice Youth radio program as a host and DJ and has volunteered with the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. As the Muse's second intern, Luke has become a notable expert in promotional fliering, and after completing his internship, he hopes to travel and further pursue his literary career.

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    Victoria Kelly

    Victoria Kelly received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her B.A. summa cum laude in English from Harvard University and her M.Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin, where she was a United States Mitchell Scholar. Her fiction has appeared dozens of journals including Colorado Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Fiction, and The Idaho Review, and her poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Southwest Review, American Poetry Review, Hopkins Review, and Barrow Street. Her first chapbook, Prayers of an American Wife, is forthcoming by Autumn House Press. She teaches Creative Writing at Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: Flash Fiction, Beginnings and Endings, Young Writers Week.
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    Tori Kerr

    Tori Kerr studies English and Creative Writing at The George Washington University, where she is a rising sophomore. As The Muse Writers Center's first intern, Tori has assisted in all areas of operations from publicity and promotions to outreach and fundraising. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career as a writer, editor, and teacher.

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    Tarin Kovalik

    Tarin Kovalik is completing her MFA in creative nonfiction at Old Dominion University. She received her B.A. in English with concentrations in Creative Writing and Professional Writing and Editing from West Virginia University. Tarin is the nonfiction editor for Barely South Review, and she teaches English composition at ODU. Her work has appeared in Roar: Literature and Revolution by Feminist People and Barely South Review, among others.

    Classes taught: The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop.
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    Janine Latus

    Janine Latus is the award-winning author of If I Am Missing or Dead, a memoir that made both the New York and London Times bestseller lists and which was written scene-by-scene in workshops just like the one she's teaching at the Muse. She has taught writing across the country, including at the University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin and East Carolina University. She has written for O, the Oprah magazine, Woman's Day, Family Circle, Parents, Attache, American Way and many other magazines and websites. She currently is fishing around for her next book idea.

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    Aaron Lawhon

    Aaron Lawhon spent most of his life in Austin, TX, where he worked as a chef before completing his B.A. in English at The University of Texas in 2013. He was a Perry Morgan Fellow in creative writing at Old Dominion University, where he completed his MFA in 2017. His work has appeared in And/Or and Barely South Review, and he is a fiction editor for Barely South and Four Ties Review. He currently lives in Norfolk, VA.

    Classes taught: Young Writers Week.
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    Danielle Leibovici

    Danielle Leibovici LM FT was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, speaker, advocate, mom, and Amazon best selling author of the multi award-winning Under The Tree children’s picture-book series. She is one of the Author’s Show’s Fifty Writers You Should Be Reading. Danielle's experiences as a psychotherapist and parent have inspired her writings and speaking engagements. She is attuned to the subjects both children and adults respond to. Danielle’s best-selling titles include If You Love Me So Much, Under the Tree, With You Always, and Waiting For Emma: A Brother’s Story (for siblings and families with babies in the NICU). All her stories connect and inspire readers, young and old, on the power of human experience. Danielle’s passion is to help children and adults everywhere gain a healthier, universal perspective in life. Danielle is also busy at work on her first screenplay; she currently resides with her husband, three children, and dog in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Classes taught: Let's Be Honest: A Personal Growth Group for Women, Let's Be Honest: A Personal Growth Group for Women 2.
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    Tracie Liguid

    Tracie Liguid is studying to become an elementary school teacher through the ODU Career Switchers program. A former producer for and Pilot Online, she was a coordinator and chapter writer for the oral history project, "In Our Aunties' Words: The Filipino Spirit of Hampton Roads" by the Filipino American National Historical Society. The James Madison University grad loves the beach, yoga, and pralines & cream ice cream. Tracie has loved writing since she began reading Peanuts, Archie, and Betty & Veronica comics and the Choose Your Own Adventure and Encyclopedia Brown children's book series.

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    John Robert Mack

    John studied writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, published the short story, "Jonny Hates Jazz," wrote a column, "Dancing The Rainbow,: for two years in the regional Texas dance periodical, The Dancer’s Guide,, and has written and produced five plays (one on commission). His play Talking With Jacob won statewide recognition in Wisconsin. He produced an adaptation of the Ray Bradbury story, "The Better Part of Wisdom" with the author’s input and blessing. He also self-published (before it was cool and edgy) a book called, Keep Breathing: Zen and the Art of Social Dance. For the past twenty years, John has worked as a dance teacher. He has choreographed musicals like West Side Story and helped create and coach the original Radio Disney dance team in San Antonio, TX. John now resides in Virginia in semi-retirement to focus on his writing. As a dance teacher, he has been featured twice in the international education periodical Quality in Action. John has self-published one novel, that dance book which is live on Amazon. He has three more projects about to hit the market. The first two novels in his "Tango Tritych" series are Tango with a Twist and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. There is also a collection of shorter works in the same world called Stretches. John does all his own design and formatting, including covers for both ebooks and paperbacks. He also designs covers for other independent authors.

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    Michal Mahgerefteh

    Michal Mahgerefteh is an award-winning poet and artist from Israel, living in Virginia since 1986. She is publisher and editor of Poetica Magazine and the author of three poetry collections, In My Bustan, Sipping Memories: A Poetic Journal to Morocco, and What's Left Behind. Michal is the webmaster and contest judge for The Poetry Society of Virginia. She is currently working on her forth poetry collection.

    Classes taught: Collage: Your Words with Images.
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    Chris Maples

    Dr. Maples grew up outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where he majored in biology and chemistry. He briefly studied cellular signaling and transport at the University of Pittsburgh before being accepted to Temple University School of Medicine. There, Chris became a commissioned officer in the United States Navy and, on graduation, moved to Norfolk, Virginia to complete an internship at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. He then underwent training to become an Undersea Medical Officer and served as Medical Department Head for two fast attack submarine squadrons based at Naval Station Norfolk. Following this tour, Chris left active duty and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. Currently, Chris is a partner in the Emergency Physicians of Tidewater and works primarily at a large community hospital in Suffolk, VA where he is the assistant medical director. Dr. Maples has special interests in Emergency ultrasound, resident education and patient satisfaction strategies. He is married with three children and enjoys running.

    Classes taught: Emergency Room Procedures and Treatment: Research for Writers.
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    Deb Markham

    Deb Markham works as an online community producer (online speak for "editor") for and, where she manages about 35 community bloggers. She also has built and maintained several Websites in her spare time over the years. She is in the midst of redesigning The Ghent Reader, an online literary magazine founded in 2002. You can follow her and her personal musings via She is a former host of the Muse's First Friday Poetry Salon, which is now part of The Muse Jam.

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    Karla Martin

    Karla Martin is a teacher, writer, and journalist. She is a former producer of radio and television programs at WHRO/WHRV, the PBS/NPR station in Norfolk, as well as WAVY-TV and WVEC-TV. Karla is a graduate of The Ohio State University's School of Journalism and a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Karla has written articles for several publications. She is the co-author of the children's book, Logan's Journey (Dove Foundation Seal, Mom's Choice Awards; Gold Recipient, Book Sense Children's Pick). Karla lives in Chesapeake with her family and is now fulfilling her dream of teaching English. A graduate of the ODU Career Switchers Program, Karla currently teaches English at Oscar Smith Middle School.

    Classes taught: Writing Children's Literature, Children's Picture Book Writing Workshop, Young Writers Creative Workshop: Create your own Children's Picture Book.
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    Lucian Mattison

    Lucian Mattison is the author of Peregrine Nation (Broadkill River Press, 2014) which won the 2014 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in Bodega, The Boiler, Everyday Genius, and Hobart, among others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He edits poetry for Green Briar Review and Barely South Review. He is currently pursuing his MFA at Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: Teen Writers Workshop.
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    Claudia Isler Mazur

    Claudia Isler Mazur earned an MA in English from Bucknell University in 2004 and an MFA from Old Dominion University in May 2011. She has written and published both short fiction and nonfiction, and has been teaching writing since the early 1990s. She is a lecturer in the English department at Old Dominion University as well as a freelance copy editor.

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    Sarah McCall

    Sarah McCall worked for many years as both English teacher and bartender, and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Old Dominion University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals including Whurk, Barely South Review, Jet Fuel Review, Cargo Literary, and Fields Magazine. She and her husband and their two dogs live in Norfolk, VA.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, Odes, Praise Songs, and Prayers: Poems of Gratitude, Poetry of Desire, Teen Writers Workshop.
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    Lewis McGehee

    Lewis McGehee, a Richmond VA native, graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Philosophy. Later, while performing in New York's Greenwich Village, Lewis was "discovered" by Terry Cashman and Tommy West (Jim Croce's producers). Lewis' debut album on Lifesong Records was released worldwide.

    Voted "Best Musician" and a top acoustic act by various publications, including Port Folio Weekly, Hampton Roads Magazine, and 9Volt, he gained much experience touring with such artists as Ry Cooder, Neil Sedaka, and Al Stewart. On the strength of his live shows, McGehee went on to perform with many national acts such as John Prine, Robert Palmer, Talking Heads, Christopher Cross, and Christine McVie. Lewis also completed a 15-city tour as an opening act for Bruce Hornsby.

    McGehee has extensive experience in the recording studio as a session guitarist and vocalist, as well as composing, producing and performing on many regional radio and television commercials, and his aggressive approach to acoustic guitar has made him a prominent force in the Virginia music scene. He has composed more than 200 songs and has been teaching guitar and personal composition in the Hampton Roads area for more than 25 years.

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    Brad McMurran

    Brad McMurran is the founder, co-head writer, and performer in the sketch/improvisation group, The Pushers. He is a member of the board of directors of The Muse. He studied long form improvisation at the heralded Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City and studied history and acting at Old Dominion University. McMurran and The Pushers have performed all up and down the east coast, and have headlined numerous comedy festivals, most notably The Charleston Comedy Festival and The North Carolina Comedy Festival. He has acted in numerous plays, done stand up comedy, and will be starring in a one man show touring across America this winter. He likes pizza and describes himself as "adorable and pudgy."

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    Jim Morrison

    Jim Morrison has flown barrel rolls with the Navy's Blue Angels (he didn't barf), climbed and slept overnight in a 243-foot-tall redwood (he didn't fall), and gone one-on-one with Muhammad Ali (he didn't flinch). His award-winning stories have appeared in Smithsonian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Private Clubs, This Old House, National Wildlife, and numerous others. He has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has taught numerous seminars on journalism. He is the past president of The American Society of Journalists and Authors, a trade association of 1,300 freelance writers.

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    Daniel Pearlman

    Daniel Pearlman Pravda was born in Norfolk and raised in Virginia Beach. He blossomed into an English major at the University of Maryland and did his M.F.A. in poetry at George Mason. His concentration in poetry has seeped into other genres such as fiction and music. His work, published in numerous journals, including The Washington Review, Phoebe, Grasslands Review, Poet's Domain, Beltway, and others, shows attention to small detail from natural to urban settings. He was interviewed on NPR's "With Good Reason" in June 2006 as part of their Virginia Poets series. He has taught English and Creative Writing at Norfolk State University since 1996.

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    Michelle Pepino

    Michelle Pepino is a singer-songwriter and an intern and student at The Muse Writers Center. She was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is currently a senior at George Mason University with a major in English with a concentration in film and media studies and a minor in music technology.

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    Ken Phillips

    Creative Producer, Ken Phillips, has 25 years experience in the film and television industry as well as a successful track record in advertising, marketing, and promotions from New York to Los Angeles.

    A graduate of James Madison University with a degree in film, radio, and television, Ken worked in radio and TV for several years as a writer, producer, videographer, editor, and talent. In 1984, Ken co-founded the Comedy Zone, which grew to be one of the largest comedy club circuits in North America as well as a talent agency for colleges and corporations from coast to coast. Aside from marketing, branding, and selling the Comedy Zone franchise and booking talent, Ken also promoted major concerts with top stars including: Jerry Seinfeld, David Copperfield, Sam Kinison, Ron White, Ellen DeGeneras, Carrot Top, Rodney Carrington, Sinbad, Paul Reiser, Drew Carey, Brian Regan, Louie Anderson, Phyllis Diller, Pat Paulson, Gallagher, Rich Hall, Emo Phillips, and many more.

    Along with partner Brad Greenberg, Ken took charge of a promising young comedian with the unlikely name of Carrot Top. Under their guidance, Carrot Top went from club performer to national concert act in a very short time. Ken booked Carrot Top on every major comedy TV show in the country including NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno; ABC's Arsenio Hall Show, Regis and Kathy Lee, and America's Super Showcase; A&E's Evening at the Improv and Comedy on the Road; FOX's Comic Strip Live and Sunday Comics; Showtime's Jonathan Winter's Special and Comedy Club Network; and MTV's Half Hour Comedy Show. Ken was instrumental in a Simon & Schuster book deal entitled Junk in a Trunk and produced Carrot Top's first long-form video of his live show, Twist Ties and Duct Tape.

    Ken's film and television credits include: Co-Executive Producer for the Trimark Pictures Chairman of the Board; Producer for AM Mayham on the Cartoon Network, Co-Creator, Writer, Producer for So You Think You're Funny a TV pilot sold to Team Entertainment; In My House with Kevin Meaney a pilot sold to GRB Entertainment; and Banana Skins, pilot sold to TVD Productions; and Segment Producer for the Donnie and Marie Show.

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    Tench Phillips

    Tench Phillips is co-owner and ticket taker at the Naro Cinema.

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    Eric Ramseier

    Eric earned a Master's Degree in English Literature from Kansas State University and an MFA from Old Dominion University. He has had short stories published in Specter, Shaking Like a Mountain, Huron River Review, Stone's Throw Magazine and others.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop.
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    Sheri Reynolds

    Sheri Reynolds is the author of the novels Bitterroot Landing, The Rapture of Canaan, A Gracious Plenty, Firefly Cloak, The Sweet In-Between, and The Homespun Wisdom of Myrtle T. Cribb, and the play Orabelle's Wheelbarrow. She teaches creative writing and literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where she serves as the Ruth and Perry Morgan Chair of Southern Literature. In 2003, she won the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia. In 2005, she received a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts in playwriting. She has also taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, The College of William and Mary, and Davidson College. Sheri lives on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

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    Nathan Richardson

    Nathan M. Richardson is an accomplished performance poet and published author. His published collections are Likeness of Being and Twenty-one Imaginary T-shirts. He has also contributed to the following anthologies: The Poets Domain, The Cupola, The Channel Marker, and Skipping Stones. Nathan is the Head Coach of the Hampton Roads Youth Poets a division of the youth empowerment organization: Teens with a Purpose. he Hampton Roads Youth Poets placed 2nd out of 53 teams at the 2016 Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Festival. Demonstrating his ability to switch hats from poetry and storytelling to history and theater, Nathan is now in his second year of The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour, in which he delivers a remarkable portrayal of the former slave, writer, orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. A short list of Nathan's other affiliations include the Poetry Society of Virginia, Young Audiences of Virginia, and the Suffolk Arts League.

    Classes taught: The Oral Tradition of Poetry: Spoken Word.
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    Steve Rosenthal

    Steve Rosenthal, Ph.D., is a retired sociologist who taught for three decades at Hampton University, having taught courses in sociological theory that emphasized the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, and has engaged in research, writing, and social activism on issues relating to racism and war.

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    Tony Ruggiero

    Tony Ruggiero is best known for his dark fantasy thrillers about vampires being used by the US military. Ground breaking and fast paced, the novels are a characteristic mixture of the vampire lore of Anne Rice and the clandestine secrets of the military found in Tom Clancy novels. The concept led to a series of books released in 2006 through 2010, labeled the Team of Darkness Declassified Files. The books include: Operation Immortal Servitude, Operation Save the Innocent, Operation Face the Fear, and Operation Endgame.

    A longtime favorite for Tony is the old style of "space opera" (character rather than technology oriented) type stories which is the center of his two book series: Alien Deception and Alien Revelation. The series deals with an alien organization that has infiltrated the American political system. The series runs the gauntlet from humorous and light hearted to deadly serious as a young man and woman search for answers.

    Short stories are also a big favorite and in Aliens and Satanic Creatures Wanted: Humans Need Not Apply, Tony has a collection where the center character is not human. It includes his award winning story, "Lucky Lucifer's Car Emporium," as well as "Electronic Bliss," "Invasion or Subversion," and "Going up?"

    Tony retired from the United States Navy in 2001 after twenty-three years of service. He and his family currently reside in Portsmouth, Virginia. While continuing to write, Tony teaches at Old Dominion University, Saint Leo University, Tidewater Community College, and The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA

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    Rich Santoro

    Rich Santoro is an award-winning journalist and video producer. Most recently, he worked as a scriptwriter and producer for the Christian Broadcasting Network while completing a fiction novel. His independent documentary, After the Cloud Lifted, aired on PBS stations across the country and won a first place award at the Chicago International Film Festival. While living in Hiroshima, Japan, he had a short story published in Japanophile magazine. His diverse communications background includes teaching public speaking at Tidewater Community College, newspaper reporting, direct marketing, industrial training and technical writing, and teaching ESL. He received his Masters degree in Communication at Regent University.

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    Melissa Sipin

    Melissa R. Sipin is a writer from Carson, California. In 2013, she won First Place in the March Glimmer Train Fiction Open and Honorable Mention in the September Glimmer Train Fiction Open. Her writing is published or forthcoming in Glimmer Train Stories, PANK Magazine, Fjords Review, Quiet Lightning's sPARKLE+bLINK, Hyphen Magazine, 580 Split, Lantern Review, and Kweli Journal, among others. Cofounder of TAYO Literary Magazine, she was the Community Engagement Fellow at Mills College and the Tennessee Williams Scholar at the 2013 Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her short fiction received the 2014 Amanda Davis MFA Thesis Award (Runner-Up), the 2013 Ardella Mills Prize, the 2011 Miguel G. Flores Prize, and, in 2012 and 2013, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. As a Kundiman Fiction Fellow, VONA/Voices Fellow, and U.S. Navy wife, she teaches at ODU and Tidewater Community College. She blogs at and is currently working on a novel.

    Classes taught: Start Writing, Keep Writing... Write Now, The Middle: Writing the Heart of Your Story
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    Jack Sommers

    Jack Sommers teaches at the TCC-Norfolk campus: world history, social ethics, western philosophy, world history, critical thinking, and survey courses in the humanities. He especially enjoys teaching 20th century arts, culture, and politics. He has master’s degrees in humanities, European history, and did his Ph.D. on the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. While he did a bit of acting at The Little Theatre of Norfolk, the classroom is his stage where he instructs and entertains his students.

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    Lisa Suhay

    Lisa Suhay is the author of eight books for children, including fables, picture books and a work that has become an internationally performed symphony (ala Peter and the Wolf). She is the author and publisher of the Norfolk mermaid book series as well as a veteran journalist whose commentaries appear regularly in The Virginian-Pilot and Christian Science Monitor.

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    Michael Tarpey

    Michael Tarpey is an instructor of philosophy at the Norfolk and Chesapeake campuses of Tidewater Community College. He regularly teaches introductory courses in general philosophy, logic, ethics, and religion, and his main academic interests include metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of culture.

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    Karen Tatum

    Dr. Karen E. Tatum has a PhD in English from the University of Alabama and twenty years of experience teaching college composition and literary analysis. She has published in The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, The Journal of Medical Humanities, and The Journal of Popular Culture. Her book Explaining the Depictions of Violence Against Women in Victorian Literature was published in 2005. She teaches part-time at Old Dominion University while completing her memoir, Eczematic, a coming of age story about a woman trying to understand what independence means against a backdrop of eczema, abuse, and addiction.

    Classes taught: Moves Writers Make: A Writer’s Toolbox, Writing with Style.
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    Leah Thiessen

    Leah Thiessen, a past intern at The Muse Writers Center, graduated from University of Iowa where she completed the Undergraduate Creative Writing Track in addition a Bachelors of Arts in English in 2013. She studied abroad in Durban, South Africa at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in the spring of 2011. She was the nonfiction editor of Closed Captioned Magazine, winner of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Annual Journalism contest, and a volunteer for two years with Iowa Youth Writing Project, a non-profit outreach collective, founded by University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduates in 2010, that aims to join Iowa City’s unique literary heritage with Iowa’s larger community, empowering, inspiring, and educating Iowa’s youth through language arts and creative thinking. In 2013, she became the Geographical Outreach Summer Intern.

    Classes taught: Young Writers Week.
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    Rachel Thompson

    Rachel Thompson is a traveler, educator, and writer who works in fiction and translation. After living in Spain for nearly four years, Rachel graduated summa cum laude from Saint Louis University in Madrid, and has spent the last ten years teaching Spanish in an International Baccalaureate high school and exploring the planet in her free time. Rachel holds an MFA in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is an educational travel consultant for Walking Tree Travel. She recently completed her first collection of short stories and is working on several translation projects.

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    Kenneth Tomasits

    Kenneth Tomasits attended Penn State University where he received a bachelors degree in Media Studies with a focus on Film and Television. After working 10-plus years in the commercial film industry in New York City, he went on to earn an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College in Vermont. His short stories have appeared several times in the Pitkin Review and he has several others under consideration from multiple literary journals. He is currently working on several stories as well as his first novel. When he is not writing and reading he teaches the Craft of Fiction, The Short Story, Introduction to Creative Writing, Technical Writing, Introduction to Literature, and English Composition at Old Dominion University as well as English Composition and Humanities at ECPI University.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing.
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    Dillon Tripp

    Dillon Tripp is a graduate of the MFA (creative nonfiction) program at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where he attended as the Perry Morgan Fellow. Tripp is originally from Northeast Texas, on the Arkansas line, and his work attempts to show the world the Blue-Collar pride of growing up in the backwoods of the South. He has been published in journals such as Prick of the Spindle, The Rectangle, Dew on the Kudzu, and was Runner-Up for Gulf Stream Magazine's 2011 Literary Nonfiction Award.

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    Mae Lynn Walker

    Mae Lynn earned her MFA from ODU with a concentration in poetry studying with The Muse's own Tim Seibles. In 2002 she was awarded Honorable Mention in the Non-rhyming Poem category by Writer's Digest Magazine in a contest hosted by Robert Pinsky that received over 19,000 entries. More recently, she was awarded first place in The Barbara Dunn Hartin Memorial Poetry Prize and first place in The Hampton Roads Writers Nonfiction Prize. Mae Lynn has taught Literature and Women's Studies at Tidewater Community College. Currently, she works full time and is raising two young boys. She still finds time to blog, write poetry and fiction, and work on a YA novel—the first chapter received the Edith Thompson Award for Juvenile Fiction. The manuscript is now with an agent.

    Classes taught: Young Adult Fiction Workshop, Open Studio, Outlining and Plot.
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    Follow Mae Lynn on Twitter @ml_walker, where she tweets her daily word count.
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    Geoff Watkinson

    Geoff Watkinson has an MFA (creative nonfiction/memoir) from Old Dominion University, where he teaches, and an MA from Seton Hall University, where he was a teaching fellow. He also works as a technical writer for an engineering firm and has contributed to Guernica, The Virginian Pilot, Moon City Review, and The Good Men Project, among others. He's received residencies from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center and Wildacres. He founded the literary journal Green Briar Review in 2012.

    Classes taught: Creative Nonfiction Workshop, The Memoir Workshop.
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    Kip Watson

    Kip Watson is a Tidewater native who picked up his first movie camera at age 15. In 1984, he attended VCU in Richmond where he earned a B.A. in filmmaking and film history. His senior project was a music video airing on MTV's 120 minutes. Kip worked on many feature films shot regionally and was involved in local television. He studied feature screenwriting at Regent University in the early 90's. From 1999 to 2003, Kip worked in Los Angeles as a script reader for independent producers and as a creative executive. He has written 5 scripts and was a finalist in Paramount Studios' prestigious Chesterfield Screenwriting competition. While in Los Angeles he studied with industry guru Michael Hauge and read hundreds of screenplays for consideration. IFC West (now Film Independent) hired him to cover scripts for their screenwriting and directing labs. Since returning to Norfolk, Kip has produced, shot and appeared in many commercials and infomercials. Currently he freelances as a script doctor and story developer. Kip also recently became licensed by the Darden School of Education to teach elementary school, and hopes to teach the next generation the value of storytelling.

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    Heather Weddington

    Heather Weddington is a graduate of ODU's MFA program in creative nonfiction. While at ODU, she served as both Poetry Editor and Nonfiction Editor for Barely South Review, as well as a staff editor for the twitter-based journal Escarp. She currently teaches science writing and science fiction literature as an adjunct professor at ODU.

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    Mary Westbrook

    Mary Westbrook earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University in May 2010. She was a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in the summer of 2009 and served as the director of Old Dominion University's Writers in Community program from 2009 to 2010. She is working on a collection of short stories.

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    Roberto Westbrook

    Before settling in Norfolk with his wife, Roberto Westbrook worked as a photographer in Washington DC and then Buenos Aires, Argentina. His photographs of South America have been exhibited at the American Embassy in Lima, Peru and at the University of Florida. Roberto has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Time, The New York Times and others.

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    Valerie Wilkinson

    Valerie Wilkinson earned her MFA in fiction from ODU in May 2013. She has published short fiction in Water~Stone Review and in Yemassee Journal as a runner-up in the 2012 William Richey Short Fiction Contest. In nonfiction, she co-authored Whispers from Our Soul, a book of creative nonfiction, and served as a quarterly essay contributor to She’s currently revising a collection of short stories set in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Her teaching experience includes multiple craft seminars offered by Hampton Roads Writers and student teaching Advanced Craft of Fiction with Sheri Reynolds and ODU.

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    Leona Wisoker

    Leona Wisoker's work is fueled by coffee and conviction, and has appeared in such diverse outlets as Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Futures: Fire to Fly,, and more. Her debut novel, Secrets of the Sands, and its followup, Guardians of the Desert, both set in a wholly fictional world, have gathered critical praise for the strong characters, compelling prose, and intricate worldbuilding.

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    Alba Woolard

    Alba Woolard has been a performer and writer of the sketch and improv comedy group The Pushers since the summer of 2009. As a member of the group, she also performs, writes, co-produces and co-directs for "Panties in a Twist: The All Female Sketch Comedy Show." She graduated with a BFA in Acting from Old Dominion University. She has studied Improv with the Pushers as well as several regional improvisers. With the Pushers, she has performed up and down the east coast. By day, Alba is a Standardized Patient Educator at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

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    Kristina Wright

    Kristina Wright holds a B.A. in English from Charleston Southern University and a M.A. in Humanities from Old Dominion University. She is the editor of several erotica anthologies for Cleis Press, including Fairy Tale Lust, Dream Lover, Steamlust, Lustfully Ever After, and the Best Erotic Romance series. Her fiction has appeared in over 100 anthologies and she is the author of the forthcoming erotic romance Seduce Me Tonight for HarperCollins Mischief. She has taught College Composition and World Mythology at Tidewater Community College.

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