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 Cutting Teeth, published in 2014 and called “a comically energetic debut” by The New Yorker, and The Gypsy Moth Summer forthcoming in June 2017. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in 2002, now a creative home to over 3,000 writers and named “New York City’s best writing class” by Time Out NY, 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 Poets & Writers, Buzzfeed, Glamour, Psychology Today, and other publications, and she has been profiled in the L Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, The Observer and The Economist.
She lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
Erika Anderson writes essays, and is working on a memoir about the commune where she was born. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Gawker, Creative Nonfiction, Buzzfeed Books, Interview Magazine, The Rumpus, Dame Magazine, Midnight Breakfast and has been twice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Brooklyn.
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.
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 with his wife and children.
Polly Duff Bresnick
Polly Duff Bresnick is the author of two chapbooks, Old Gus Eats (Publishing Genius, July 2012) and MIRROR POEMS (O’Clock Press, December 2012). Her writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Collagist, The Brooklyn Rail, elimae, The Agriculture Reader, Dossier, and The Fiddleback. She is the founder, curator, and host of the monthly reading series Writers Reading to Writers Listening to Writers Reading to Writers. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.
Born in Virginia, Jamel Brinkley was raised in Brooklyn and the Bronx, New York. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University and has worked as a high school academic advisor and English teacher. He has attended the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and has been awarded scholarships from the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He graduated as a Dean’s Fellow from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, was the 2015-16 Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writer in Fiction at the University of Iowa, and is a Kimbilio Fellow. He is also the 2016-17 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His short stories have appeared in A Public Space. His debut collection, A Lucky Man and Other Stories, is forthcoming in Spring 2018 from Graywolf Press.
Kim Brooks is the personal essays editor at Salon. Her 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 lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
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/Penguin 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 writers’ conferences.
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. She lives in Oakland, CA.
Nicole Dennis-Benn‘s debut novel, HERE COMES THE SUN, will be published by W. W. Norton/Liveright (JULY 2016). Her writing has been awarded a Richard and Julie Logsdon Fiction Prize; and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has received fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Hurston/Wright Foundation, Lambda Foundation, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers, and Kimbilio. Her work has appeared in ELLE Magazine,Electric Literature, Ebony, the Feminist Wire and other publications. Nicole was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and is a graduate of Cornell University, has an MPH from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the Founder and Director of Stuyvesant Writing Workshop and teaches for the City University of New York. She lives with her wife in Brooklyn, NY.
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 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 New York, 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 (Rare Bird, 2014) and The Epiphany Machine (forthcoming from Putnam). 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. He teaches fiction writing at Manhattanville College.
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 is forthcoming from 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.
Jessica Gross’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review Daily, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Longreads, New York Magazine’s Vulture, Kirkus Reviews, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Electric Literature, The Morning News, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She received her Master’s in cultural reporting and criticism from NYU, and her Bachelor’s in anthropology from Princeton University.
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.
Taylor Larsen is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction writing. Taylor has taught fiction writing at Columbia University and the Sackett Street Writers Workshop, as well as literature courses for Pace University. Taylor recently become a new author at Scout Press/Gallery Books, imprints of Simon & Schuster for her novel Stranger, Father, Beloved published July of 2016.
Rachel Lyon‘s fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in a number of literary journals, including The Portland Review, The Baltimore Review,Toad, Hobart,The Saint Ann’s Review,SmokeLong Quarterly, Two Cities Review, Arts & Letters, and Works & Days. She has been a fellow at Ledig House International Writers Colony and a scholarship student the New York State Summer Writers Institute; in 2014, she was the winner of the short story contest held by Southern Pacific Review. Rachel has written book, art, and event reviews for Publishers Weekly, Indiana Review,LitWrap, ArtCritical, and the NPR member station WFIU. A graduate of the Indiana University MFA program, she is the copywriter and content strategist for Velocidi, a digital content marketing agency. Now and then she writes meditations about strangers for the online magazine Luna Luna.
Courtney Elizabeth Mauk
Courtney was born in Rolla, Missouri, and grew up in Copley, Ohio, in a house filled with books. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College before moving to New York City, where she received an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She is the author of two novels, Orion’s Daughters(Engine Books, 2014) and Spark (Engine Books, 2012). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The Literary Review, PANK, Five Chapters and Front Porch, among other venues. Her third novel,The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things, is forthcoming from Little A in October 2016.
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, the 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.
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 ReviewEditor’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.
Julie Sarkissian was born in Los Angeles and raised in Orange County, California. She is a graduate of Princeton University where she won the Francis Lemoyne Page Prize for writing and studied with Joyce Carol Oates, Chang-Rae Lee and Edmund White. She received a MFA in fiction from The New School. Her first novel, Dear Lucy, was published by Simon & Schuster in April 2013.
Amy Shearn is the Assistant Director at Sackett Street and 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.
Rebecca Schiff is the author of the short story collection The Bed Moved published by Knopf in April 2016. Her stories have appeared in The American Reader, Fence, Guernica, n+1, and in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading. Rebecca graduated with an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she received a Berg Fellowship and a Henfield Award.
Chandler Klang Smith
Chandler Klang Smith is the author of the novels The Sky Is Yours (forthcoming from Hogarth, an imprint of Crown/Random House, summer 2017) and Goldenland Past Dark (ChiZine Publications, 2013). Her work explores the intersection between literary and speculative fiction, using surreal imagery and genre elements to comment satirically on our world and to investigate the inner lives of characters. Chandler has worked as an editorial assistant, associate agent, and ghostwriter in the NYC publishing industry and coordinates literary events for the KGB Bar. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.
Lynn Steger Strong
Lynn Steger Strong holds an MFA from Columbia University where she also taught writing.
Her novel, HOLD STILL, was published by Liveright/Norton in 2016.
Ted Thompson received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His stories have been published in Tin House, American Short Fiction, and Best New American Voices, and his debut novel The Land of Steady Habits was published in March 2014 by Little, Brown. He has received a Truman Capote Fellowship from Iowa, several scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and his work has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes.
Tony Tulathimutte is the author of the novel Private Citizens (William Morrow, 2016). His fiction and criticism has appeared in VICE, Salon, The New Yorker online, AGNI, The LA Review of Books, Threepenny Review, The American Reader, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has received an O. Henry Award, as well as MacDowell, Jentel Arts, Truman Capote, and Michener-Copernicus Fellowships.
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.
Orli Van Mourik
Orli Van Mourik writes fiction and nonfiction and holds a Master’s in Journalism from NYU. Her nonfiction has appeared in outlets ranging from Psychology Today to The New York Observer and has been anthologized in The Open Laboratory. Her literary criticism and interviews have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail and Brooklyn Based. Orli is the Pen Parentis 2015-2016 Writing Fellow and is currently working on a novel.
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.
“Last Days in Shanghai is about how easily we live our lives in thrall to our own evasions and how fervently we hope for redemption, and its protagonist, who imagines himself to be hardboiled but is really mostly softheaded, is one of those functionaries who helps our corrupt global system toot along despite being all confusion and hopeless compromise. For all his appeal, he presents himself as yet another Innocent Abroad for the same reason most of us do: to deny our complicity in the damage that follows in our wake.” — Jim Shepard, National Book Award Nominee and author of Like You’d Understand, Anyway
Jenny Zhang holds degrees from Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was awarded a Teaching-Writing Fellowship and a Provost Fellowship. She is the author of the poetry collection, Dear Jenny, We Are All Find (Octopus Books, 2012.) Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in Fence, Rookie Yearbook, Glimmertrain, The Iowa Review, Pen American, Jezebel, The Guardian, and Vice. She’s a regular contributor to Rookie and is currently a writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.