Founder & Editor
Writing stuff: I have an MFA from Columbia University, and some of my own writing can be found in Guernica, So To Speak, Midwest Quarterly, and Poets and Writers Online. I’ve been the recipient of the Carolyn Doty Memorial Scholarship to the Squaw Valley Writers Community, and for six years I was a writing professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I may have written a novel or two, and I’m represented by Penn Whaling of the Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. My YA writing memoir, “This is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World” came out with Writer’s Digest Books in 2013. You can find out more about it at my website.
Personal stuff: While I’m still a California girl at heart, the fact is I’ve lived most of my life on the wrong coast. My parents whisked me away to Massachusetts right after I was born, so I spent the first 8 years of my life there, before the family moved back to California. After graduating from UC Berkeley, I moved to Brooklyn, NY, where I spent 6 years doing various jobs to support my writing habit (working as a nanny, bookstore clerk, personal assistant, manager of an olive oil shop…). While in grad school, I met my now-hubby Mike and we moved to Greenwich, CT, where we lived for six years. In the summer of 2010, we moved to Weston, MA and had a baby girl named Elena. When I’m not hanging with Elena, writing, or YARNing, I’m probably reading, cooking, or with friends. I might also be gardening, wasting time on Facebook, or watching something from the ol’ Netlflix queue.
I write YA novels featuring globetrotting teens, international intrigue, and more than a dash of mystery. They iclude ”Tokyo Heist“ (2012), “Latitude Zero” (2014) and “Blue Voyage” (coming Fall 2015, all from Viking/Penguin). I’ve been working in the word business for a long time, juggling various jobs to support my writing habit. I’ve been an editor in educational publishing, a textbook writer, a script writer for language instruction videos, an ESL teacher, a college writing instructor, a bookseller, and a comic book shop salesclerk. (Can you guess which was the most fun?) Despite my tendency to take on long projects, short stories are my real passion. I learned to write by reading and writing stories . . . . and I continue to do so. Over the years I’ve published many stories for adults, children, and teens, and I’m a former YARN contributor. I love how short fiction offers glimpses of different lives or new perspectives in just a few pages. And I love the potential for stories to surprise us—with language, with plot, or with meaning.
In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my husband and our young son. I love traveling and long-distance bike riding.
Editor at Large
I am a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a minor in Spanish Language and Literature. I was an assistant editor, then co-editor, of the campus’s literary magazine Knightscapes, completed an honor’s thesis languidly entitled, “The Odyssey of the YA Label: From Ambiguity and Certainty,” and worked for three years as an Assistant to the Children’s Librarian at a public library.
Now, I live in Uruguay where “Fringe” lives on my computer screen and the ocean is only a park away. Reading YA, or anything really, is one of my absolute passions followed closely behind talking to myself out loud while fulfilling my day-to-day activities. You can imagine the stares I get now that I live in a predominatly Spanish speaking country. It is quite hilarious.
I spend most of my time reading about imaginary people, being imaginary people, or creating imaginary people. As a Smith College student studying English, Theater, and Film, I’m always reading, writing, acting, directing, taking photographs and making films–my specialty being animation. When I was nine, I made my first movie, a buddy comedy about the adventures of a flying car and a dancing robot. My more recent projects include a live-action short about a girl trapped in an invisible box, and a series of animated Spanish-language detective stories. I have acted in over 20 plays, including three separate productions of Romeo and Juliet, and I am currently developing and all-female version of The Tempest.
Assistant Fiction Editor
I live in Wilmington, NC with my wonderful husband, Kyle, and our adorable hound mix, Lily. I am in my third and final year of the MFA program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where I am at work on my thesis, a yet-to-be-titled YA novel about female friendship and brainwashing. I work at UNCW as a graduate assistant in the College of Education, a writing tutor in the University Learning Center, and an on-call copyeditor for Ecotone magazine.
YA is my first literary love, and I am so thrilled to be part of the YARN editorial staff! My YA short stories have appeared in Youth Imagination and right here at YARN. Favorite YA authors include Courtney Summers, Melina Marchetta, and Jaclyn Moriarty, though narrowing it down is difficult; I try to read widely within YA and am always on the lookout for new writers to fall in love with. I look forward to reading your submissions!
Assistant Poetry Editor
I am a librarian who specializes in youth services. I received my Master’s in Library Science from Queens College. As an undergraduate, I studied at Mount Holyoke College where I majored in Asian Studies and minored in English. I possess a lifelong love of literature and knowledge, which is what led me to become a librarian. I do not have the room to list all of my favorite authors and poets, but two of my absolute favorites are Madeleine L’Engle and Emily Dickinson. I have enjoyed creative writing, poetry in particular, since I wrote my very first poem at the age of seven. In addition to reading and writing, I spend my spare time watching Japanese anime, collecting My Little Pony toys, and taking care of my two dwarf rabbits.
I’m Tori Chester, Twitter dork, aspiring YA writer, and burrito enthusiast. I recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Now, in between stints at my job as a marketing assistant, I write, tutor English, run, read, and watch way too much television. I love Disney trivia and make a mean spaghetti and meatballs dish. I aspire to be Laurie Halse Anderson, Libba Bray, John Green, and Shannon Hale.
Diana Clark, Fiction
I’m a graduate of Lynchburg College, where I majored in English with emphasis on Creative Writing. While in school, I worked at the campus’s writing center and as a fiction editor for the school’s literary magazine, the Prism. Since having graduated, I’ve participated in the New York State Summer Writers Institute, a two-week program held annually at Skidmore College.
My ultimate aim in life is to become a novelist. I’m currently working on what I hope will be my first published novel, a collection of linked stories. As I would love to teach creative writing at a college level one day, another goal of mine is to earn an MFA in fiction, which I hope to be working toward by this time next year. You can find my work in the St. Sebastian Review.
If I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, obsessing over TV shows, or spending time with my best friend and roommate. I absolutely love to travel, and have been to France, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. I hope to visit both England and Greece this summer, and am working a full-time and part-time job until then.
Lori Coleman is a YA writer, editor, and educator. She currently is working at Arcadia Charter School in Northfield, Minnesota, where she lives with her family. In her free time, she keeps busy caring for her horses, cooking, and reading.
Chelsea DeAngio, Fiction & Non-Fiction
I’m a librarian at a middle school in Washington, DC, so I eat, sleep and breathe young adult literature. As a kid, I wanted to be a writer, then a dentist, then a basketball player (Space Jam was hugely influential), and then a writer again. I studied Creative Writing at Old Dominion University and later received my MLIS from UNC Greensboro. I dabble in film, feminism, and fiction. In my free time, I’m often found eating pepperoni pizza, devouring newly released YA novels, and watching Gilmore Girls reruns. Leslie Knope is my patronus.
I came to writing poetry late in my teaching career. If someone had said to me that I would become a poet, I’d say he was crazy. Yet, here I am completing my first manuscript of poetry, ”Shadows Lie.” My poems have appeared in Poem, Wisconsin Review, Compass Rose, descant, Eureka Literary Journal, Eclipse, Green Hills Literary Latern, Painted Bride, Diverse Voices, and Pisgah. I stopped teaching academic and creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University in May, so that I could devote all of my time to my poetry. If truth be told, I also hope to explore creative nonfiction. I’ve completed three pieces and they are circulating the journal market now.
I’m a graduate of The University of Albany, where I received a Bachelor’s in Journalism and English. My love of reading—and subsequently of YA—dates back to the third grade. As soon as I heard my teacher read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone aloud to my class, I was hooked. Ever since, I’ve been a voracious reader, devouring as much as I possibly can. Harry Potter is also the story that inspired me to write. In recent years, I’ve written personal essays, short stories, comedy sketches, television pilots, and am a regular contributor to the pop culture blog: www.nowherebutpop.com.
Since graduating, I have worked in the television field, covering both news and entertainment. I’m currently a Freelance Producer and Contributing Writer for Time Inc. When I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably discovering a new favorite TV show or spending time with my family and friends.
Rachel Troy, Fiction Reader & Facebook Manager
I’m a senior at a boarding school in rural New Jersey. Living away from home, I have found that books are the perfect remedy for homesickness. I have loved reading ever since I was a little girl. My guilty-pleasure books are the original “Nancy Drew” novels! I hope to write a novel someday – maybe the next great mystery series?
Aside from reading wonderful submissions at YARN, I enjoy cooking gluten-free treats, visiting museums, and spending time with my amazing twin sister.
Social Media Team:
I am an avid reader, student, wife, and mom. My favorite authors are John Green (duh!), Sara Zarr, and Jennifer Mathieu. I enjoy reading engaging YA fiction where smart kids overcome bullying and come to know their authentic self. I write contemporary YA and love getting my hands dirty in the high school drama that surrounds my young adult characters and new found friends. I am currently working on my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University. Check out my website http://www.janellefila.com/ for more information about where to find my work or to connect with me on social media.
Tara Hackley, Tumblr & Twitter
I’m Tara and I’m a senior set to graduate in December. I’m earning my undergrad in creative writing major while pursuing an interest in entrepreneurship, and I aspire to start a digital lifestyle publication hopefully sooner rather than later. I’m also a social media and Internet nerd so when I’m online, I can almost guarantee I’m doing more than staring at cat memes; though, I have been known to do that on occasion. I aspire to be a YA novelist, too. Check back with me in a few years on that front.
In addition to working for YARN, I write for YA Interrobang, an online magazine that celebrates YA literature, intern with my university’s literary magazine as well as with a digital marketing company doing social media and SEO work, and work at my university. When I’m not doing something related to my classes or internships, I’m looking for new books, catching up on TV shows, or hanging out with my dog.
Jake Moore, Social Media Manager & Tumblr
I was born in Northern Indiana, and have been cutting my teeth in libraries from age 18 until now. I love reading (Chuck Klosterman, David Levithan, Andrew Smith, and Chuck Palahniuk are some of my favorites), watching baseball, and thinking of ways to make myself laugh (anyone else laughing is considered a bonus). I now spend my days in the Cincinnati area, earning my keep as a librarian with the Boone County Public Library. You can randomly find my musings on Twitter @librarycynic.
Brianna Robinson, Twitter
My name is Brianna and I am a rising senior at Sarah Lawrence College. I’m also an aspiring YA novelist but that’s only one thing on a long list of what I’d like to do when I grow up. I chose Sarah Lawrence College because I didn’t have to make a decision about what I wanted to study (I’m horrible at decision making) and so I’m concentrating in both psychology and writing. After I graduate, I hope to work in publishing, journalism, TV writing/production or psychology. It is my firm belief that I can do all of these things if I really want to. And trust me, I really do. In addition to working at YARN, I work for an international literary magazine called First Inkling. We publish the best student writing at an undergraduate and graduate level. I also work at a library, which is the best job that an aspiring writer and lit nut can have.
In my spare time, which is becoming sparer and sparer, I’m a nerd. I spend a lot of time catching up and starting new television shows and then going online to discuss them. I also love traveling to new bookstores, especially if they’re abroad and going to book sales. If I could I would go back to Paris or London just to go to Shakespeare and Company or Foyle’s for an afternoon. And I’d probably add owning a bookstore/coffee shop to my list of things I’d love to do at some point in my life.
Brittany Smith, Facebook
Hello everyone! Though my family and I have lived in the Washington DC area for the past twelve years, I still think of myself as a Georgia peach. I’ve been told that I have a Southern accent and I’ve learned to ignore my friends’ stares whenever I call a shopping cart a ‘buggy.’ I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013 with a degree in Political Science and Italian. I currently work as a Literacy Tutor in a nearby elementary school, but I plan to go back to school soon and earn a MFA in Creative Writing.
I love to read, especially YA! I enjoy books and stories of all natures, though fantasy novels will always have a special place in my heart. If I’m not reading, I’m most likely writing or playing video games. I’m excited to work with the YARN team and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for us!
Co-founder, Contributing Editor
My love of storytelling first took me down the path toward theater. I studied drama at the California State School of the Arts, San Joaquin Delta College, and Yale University prior to graduating from the University of California Los Angeles School for Theater, Film and Television. Then, I figured out that I would much rather write stories then act in them. So, I ditched theater to become a high school English teacher and married an astrophysicist/Math Dude. When I’m not reading, teaching, or traveling, I am writing. My recent screenplay, “Follow Me” placed in the semi-finals of the 2010 UCLA Screenwriting Competition.
Co-founding and co-editing YARN with Kerri in 2010/2011 was a dream come true! How many people get to work on a project they love, surrounded by literature they adore, with a person who has been a close friend for twenty years?! In August of 2011, I decided to enter the MFA in Creative Writing program at National University (while maintaining my job as a high school English teacher), forcing me to step back a bit from my YARN duties. (I’ve officially petitioned for more hours in the day–apparently, it’s a no-go.) I’m not leaving YARN entirely, however, I’ll be regularly blogging the ins-and-outs of an all-online MFA experience in the future!