All Sackett Street instructors are professional writers, teachers and editors, who have taught at major universities and have earned MFA degrees at the most prestigious graduate writing programs in the country. More importantly, they are the most dedicated writing instructors in New York City because teaching the craft of writing is their passion.
Sackett Street founder and director Julia Fierro is the author of the novels The Gypsy Moth Summer, published June 2017, and Cutting Teeth, published in 2014. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in 2002, now a creative home to over 3,500 writers and named “New York City’s best writing class” by Time Out New York, the L Magazine, and Brooklyn Magazine; and a “Top Alternative to MFA programs” by Poets & Writers. Workshops are offered throughout NYC and online. Her work has been published in The New York Times, LENNY, Poets & Writers, Buzzfeed, Glamour, Psychology Today, and other publications, and she has been profiled in The Observer and The Economist.
She lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
Andrew Greenberg, Online Class Manager, received a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Northwestern University and has taught creative writing and English literature in Hong Kong. His first book, Cold Ways, was released in 2016 in collaboration with the German artist duo known as coarse. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is at work on a novel.
Zaina Arafat’s stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Granta, Virginia Quarterly Review, Iowa Review, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, VICE, and NPR, among others. She holds an M.A. from Columbia and an M.F.A. from Iowa, where she also taught writing and was selected as one of the most influential teachers on campus. She has served as an editor for various publications, and currently guest edits for The Margins. She grew up between D.C. and the Middle East and now lives in Brooklyn, where she is working on a novel and a collection.
Jennifer Baker is a writer of fiction & nonfiction, and an editor with over 14 years’ experience in the publishing industry. A native New Yorker she’s a graduate of The New School’s MFA Creative Writing Program. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Eclectic Flash, Boston Literary Magazine, Newtown Literary Journal, Poets & Writers magazine, The Female Complaint (Shade Mountain Press), and The Daily Worth. She has been a contributor to e-zines AroundHarlem.com and DinnerReviews.com, and is currently a contributing writer of monthly articles on books, publishing, and the intersections of media for Forbes.com. She’s received scholarships from the Postgraduate Writers’ Workshop, Napa Valley Writers’ Workshop, and the Glen West Workshop, and has been an artist-in-residence at Jentel Artist Residency, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and Ragdale. Jennifer is a long-time member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books in addition to creating and hosting the podcast Minorities in Publishing. Jennifer has done various interviews/panels on diversity in media as well as podcasting.
Carmiel Banasky is the author of the novel The Suicide of Claire Bishop (Dzanc, 2015), which Publishers Weekly calls “an intellectual tour de force.” Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Guardian, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and on NPR,among other places. She earned her MFA from Hunter College, where she also taught Creative Writing. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, I-Park, and other foundations. After four years on the road at writing residencies, she now teaches, edits, and writes fiction and TV in Los Angeles. She is from Portland, Oregon.
Jensen Beach is the author of two story collections, the forthcoming SWALLOWED BY THE COLD (Graywolf), and FOR OUT OF THE HEART PROCEED (Dzanc Books 2012, 2nd Edition; 1st Edition: Dark Sky Books). He holds an MFA in fiction from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as an MA and BA in English from Stockholm University. He teaches in the BFA program at Johnson State College, where he also is the fiction editor of Green Mountains Review. He’s also a faculty member in the MFA Program in Writing & Publishing at VCFA. His writing has appeared recently in A Public Space, Cincinnati Review, Fifty-Two Stories, Ninth Letter, Sou’wester, Witness, and The New Yorker, and online at Tin House, N+1, Kenyon Review, and American Short Fiction, among others. He’s received scholarships from the Napa and Sewanee Writers’ conferences, and is one of the webeditors at Hobart. He lives in Vermont.
Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories (Graywolf Press/A Public Space Books). His fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Best American Short Stories 2018, A Public Space, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Epiphany, and LitMag. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was also the 2016-17 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His work has received support from Kimbilio Fiction, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Summer Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Beginning this fall, he will be a 2018-2020 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University.
Kim Brooks’ first novel, The Houseguest, will be published in 2016 by Counterpoint Press and her memoir, Small Animals: A Memoir of Parenthood and Fear, will be published in 2017 by Flatiron Books/ Macmillan. Her stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, Five Chapters and other journals and her essays have appeared in Salon, New York Magazine, and Buzzfeed. She was recently the Personal Essays editor at SALON and lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
Daniel Castro‘s work has appeared in Tampa Review, Gambit Weekly, Miami Herald, and Salon. He is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has received awards from the Cintas Foundation, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, and fellowships from the Fulbright Program and the MacDowell Colony.
Bill Cheng is the author of Southern Cross the Dog. His fiction has appeared and been collected in Guernica, The Book of Men, & Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today’s New York. He received his MFA from Hunter College.
Garrard Conley is the author of Boy Erased: a memoir (Riverhead 2016). His fiction and nonfiction can be found in TIME, VICE, CNN, The Common, Lit Hub, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation.
Diane Cook is the author of the story collection Man V. Nature, and was formerly a producer for the radio show, This American Life. Man V. Nature was a finalist for the Believer Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, received Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway award, and was recently longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, Tin House, Granta, and elsewhere and anthologized in Best American Short Stories.
Jessica DuLong is an author, journalist, lecturer, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed merchant marine officer, and one of the world’s only female fireboat engineers. Winner of the 2010 ASJA Outstanding Book Award for memoir, DuLong’s My River Chronicles: Rediscovering the Work that Built America, A Personal and Historical Journey (Free Press, 2009), was lauded by The New York Times as a “very fine and gutsy book.” DuLong’s second book, Escape from Manhattan: The Untold Story of the September 11th Boatlift, is forthcoming from McGraw-Hill/International Marine. Her media appearances include the New Yorker,“CBS Sunday Morning,” USA Today, The New York Times, the “TODAY” show, WNYC, and the History Channel. Her journalism has been published in Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, Psychology Today and more. She also serves as chief engineer of retired New York City fireboat John J. Harvey.
Michele Filgate is an essayist, critic, and freelance writer. She is a contributing editor at Literary Hub and VP/Awards for the National Book Critics Circle. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Slice, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, The Rumpus, Salon, Buzzfeed, The Barnes & Noble Review, Poets & Writers, The Boston Globe, Fine Books & Collections Magazine, DAME Magazine, Biographile, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Time Out NY, The Daily Beast, O, The Oprah Magazine, Vulture, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Capital New York, The Star Tribune, Bookslut, The Quarterly Conversation, The Brooklyn Rail, and other publications.
Xeni Fragakis received her BA in English from Yale University and her MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa. At Iowa, she was awarded an Iowa Arts Fellowship and taught Creative Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and Salon, and she is a winner of the Moth GrandSLAM Championship.
David Burr Gerrard
David Burr Gerrard is the author of the novels Short Century (2014) and The Epiphany Machine (Putnam, 2017). He received an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University, and his work has appeared in The Awl, The LA Review of Books,The Barnes and Noble Review, Full Stop, Specter, and other publications.
Kaitlyn Greenidge is originally from Boston. She’s a graduate of Hunter College’s MFA program and has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Fortnight Journal. Her work has appeared in The Believer, American Short Fiction, At Length Magazine, Afrobeat Journal, Green Mountains Review and The Feminist Wire, and been reprinted in The Believer‘s collection Always Apprentices. Her debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, was published in 2016 by Algonquin Press.
Brian Gresko is the editor of When I First Held You: 22 Critically Acclaimed Writers Talk About the Triumphs, Challenges, and Transformative Experience of Fatherhood. His short fiction has appeared on Joyland Magazine and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and his essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including Salon, The Atlantic, VICE, Guernica Magazine, the Literary Hub, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Brooklyn Rail, and Poets & Writers Magazine. He runs the “authors in conversation” series for Slice Literary Magazine, and is the co-host of Pete’s Reading Series. Brian received his MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, and studied film and literary theory at Oberlin College.
Anna Hecker holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School. She is the author of When the Beat Drops (Sky Pony Press, May 2018) as well as several young adult ghostwriting projects for Penguin/Razorbill, Alloy Entertainment and HarperTeen. Her articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Gawker, DailyCandy, Refinery29, and VICE Broadly. She is represented by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary.
Yahdon Israel is a writer from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn who has written for Avidly, The New Inquiry, Brooklyn Magazine, LitHub, and Poets and Writers. He graduated from the MFA Creative Non-Fiction Writing program at the New School and is the Awards and Membership VP of the National Book Critics Circle. Yahdon runs a popular Instagram page which promotes literature and fashion under the hashtag Literaryswag, and hosts a web show for writers called LIT. Yahdon is the Editor-in-Chief of Brooklyn Magazine.
Amelia Kahaney is the author of The Brokenhearted and The Invisible, the first books in a young adult novel series published by Harper Collins. Her short stories have appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, One Story, Crazyhorse, Joyland Magazine, and other publications. She earned her MFA from Brooklyn College, where she studied with Michael Cunningham, and she has taught writing at Brooklyn College and The New School.
Lauren Kate is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of nine novels, including the Fallen and the Teardrop series. Her books have sold over ten million copies worldwide and have been translated into over thirty languages. The feature film of her novel, Fallen, was released by Sony Pictures in the fall of 2017. She holds a terminal MA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from UC-Davis and worked previously as an acquiring editor at HarperCollins Publishers.
Rachel Lyon’s debut novel, Self-Portrait with Boy, was published by Scribner in February ’18 and was longlisted for the Center For Fiction Debut Novel Award . Her short stories have appeared in Joyland, Iowa Review, Saint Ann’s Review, and other publications. She is a cofounder of the reading series Ditmas Lit in her native Brooklyn NY.
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the new collection Music for Wartime — six stories from which have appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca has taught at the Tin House Writers’ Conference and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is currently on the faculty of the MFA programs at Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University.
Madeline McDonnell is the author of There Is Something Inside, It Wants To Get Out (Rescue Press, 2010), a collection of three stories, and Penny, n. (Rescue Press, 2013), a novella/lexicographic experiment. Other stories have recently appeared inHarvard Review, Kenyon Review Online, and CutBank. She has taught writing at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, Cornish College of the Arts, and The University of Iowa; she has also worked as an editor and lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Sophie McManus is the author of the novel The Unfortunates, published by FSG in June 2015. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Memorious, Tin House, and other publications. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Saltonstall Foundation, and the Jentel Foundation.
Heather Aimee O’Neill
Heather Aimee O’Neill‘s most recent collection of poetry, Obliterations, is co-authored with Jessica Piazza and forthcoming by Red Hen Press. A recent Lambda Literary Poetry Fellow, her poetry chapbook, Memory Future, won the University of Southern California’s Gold Line Press Award, chosen by judge Carol Muske-Dukes. She is a freelance writer for publications such as Time Out New York, Parents Magazine and Salon.com.
Tracy O’Neill is the author of The Hopeful. In 2015, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize, and was a Narrative Under 30 finalist. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction’s Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, LitHub, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Literarian, New World Writing, Narrative, and Guernica. She has published nonfiction in The Atlantic, the New Yorker, Bookforum, Rolling Stone, Grantland, Vice, The Guardian, VQR, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her column Body Language appears in Catapult. She currently teaches at the City College of New York and is editor-in-chief of the literary journal Epiphany.
Anna Qu is a Chinese-American writer. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Kartika Review, Kweli Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, XOJane, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Anna currently serves as the Nonfiction Editor at Kweli, and formerly worked in the publishing on the agency side. She lives in Brooklyn and is working on a memoir.
Austin Ratner is the author of the novels In the Land of the Living and The Jump Artist, winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine andThe Wall Street Journal and his short fiction has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize. He attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is co-author of the textbook Concepts in Medical Physiology.
Josh Rolnick’s debut short story collection, Pulp and Paper, was the recipient of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, selected by Yiyun Li. His stories have also won the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize and the Florida Review Editor’s Choice Prize, and have been published in Harvard Review, Western Humanities Review, Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast, and Storyville. Rolnick was a 2012 writer-in-residence at the Chautauqua Institution, and he has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa and the Patient Voice Project. He currently serves as fiction editor of Unstuck, a literary annual based in Austin, Texas, and publisher of Sh’ma, a journal of Jewish ideas. Rolnick holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Mike Scalise’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Agni, Indiewire, Ninth Letter, Paris Review Daily, and other places. He is an 826DC advisory board member, has received fellowships and scholarships from Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and the Ucross Foundation, and was the Philip Roth Writer in Residence at Bucknell University. His memoir, The Brand New Catastrophe, was the recipient of the Center for Fiction’s 2014 Christopher Doheny Award.
Amy Shearn is the author of the novels The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is The Ocean From Here. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, DAME, Poets & Writers, Real Simple, Electric Literature, Five Chapters, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the University of Minnesota, and has taught at NYU and Gotham Writers Workshops. She currently hosts an author interview series at the Brooklyn Public Library called BOOKISH: Writers Talking.
Elizabeth L. Silver is the author of the memoir, The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty (Penguin Press, 2017) and the critically acclaimed novel, The Execution of Noa P. Singleton (Crown, 2013), which was the Amazon Best Debut of the Month, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, Kirkus Best Book of the Summer, and published in seven languages. Elizabeth’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Lenny Letter, New York Magazine, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review, The Millions, The Dallas Morning News, among others, and she has been awarded residencies at Ragdale, Ucross Foundation, Byrdcliffe Artist Colony, A Room of Her Own Foundation, and the British Centre for Literary Translation. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the MA program in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in England, and Temple University Beasley School of Law, Elizabeth lives with her family in Los Angeles.
Chandler Klang Smith
Chandler Klang Smith is a graduate of the MFA creative writing program at Columbia University. Her new novel The Sky Is Yours (Hogarth/Crown, 2018) was listed by Entertainment Weekly as a “Best New Book.” The Wall Street Journal called it “mesmeric… a great and disturbing debut,” and NPR described it as “a wickedly satirical synthesis that underlines just how fractured our own realities can be during periods of fear, unrest, inequality and instability.” Chandler has worked as an editorial assistant at literary agencies and as a ghostwriter. She is currently serving as a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards for the second year in a row. She teaches and tutors in New York City.
Tim Taranto is a writer and visual artist from upstate New York. He is the author of ARS BOTANICA and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, Buzzfeed, FSG’s Works in Progress, Harper’s, The Iowa Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Paris Review Daily, The Rumpus, and The Saint Ann’s Review. Tim is a graduate of Cornell University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Ted Thompson is the author of The Land of Steady Habits, which was published by Little, Brown in 2014 and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. The novel is being adapted by Nicole Holofcener for a feature film starring Ben Mendelsohn, Edie Falco and Connie Britton, to be released in late 2017. His short stories have been published in Tin House, American Short Fiction, One Teen Story and Best New American Voices, and he’s had fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Ted has proudly taught for Sackett for over six years, as well as at Amherst College and in the Brooklyn College MFA program. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.
Jeanne Thornton is the author of The Dream of Doctor Bantam (a Lambda Literary Award finalist) and The Black Emerald. She is the copublisher of Instar Books and creator of the web comics The Man Who Hates Fun and Bad Mother. She lives in Brooklyn.
Lena Valencia is the managing editor of One Story. She has held positions at A Public Space and BOMB Magazine, and served as a bookseller and events coordinator at The powerHouse Arena. Her writing has appeared in StoryChord, BOMB, The Masters Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in Fiction from The New School and hosts the HiFi Reading Series in Manhattan.
Myung! Joh Wesner
Myung! Joh Wesner graduated with an A.B. in English from Harvard, where she studied creative writing with Brad Watson. In 2008, she received her MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia, where she studied as a Henry Hoyns Fellow with Chris Tilghman, Deborah Eisenberg, Ann Beattie, and John Casey, and taught undergraduate fiction workshops. She has had short stories published in Juked, Yisei, and Two Thirds North, an essay published in Iris, and was awarded a fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center. She’s currently at work on a YA novel.
Casey Walker is the author of the novel Last Days in Shanghai. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he has a PhD in English Literature from Princeton University. His writing has appeared in The Believer, Boston Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Sackett Street instructor and novelist Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles.
Khaliah Williams is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction has been published in Hawaii Women’s Journal, Frontier Psychiatrist, and Day One, and her non-fiction at Buzzfeed, American Short Fiction and Book Country. She is a current fellow at the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction and an Instructor and Advisory Board member of Writers in Baltimore School. Originally from Philadelphia, she lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She is at work on a novel and collection of short stories.
Alisson Wood‘s creative nonfiction has been published in places including The New York Times, Catapult, and Epiphany. She won the inaugural Breakout 8 Writers Prize, chosen by Alexander Chee, Hannah Tinti, and Tracy O’Neill on behalf of Epiphany magazine and the Author’s Guild. A graduate of NYU, she is a Professor of Creative Writing for undergraduates at her alma mater. Alisson has edited award-winning literary magazines including Washington Square Review and Dovetail. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the NYC literary reading series and online prose journal, Pigeon Pages. Her memoir, Being Lolita, is forthcoming from Flatiron Books (Macmillan) in 2019.