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,” “Ellipsis,” and “Poets and Writers.” 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,” is slated to come out in July of 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. My first novel, ”Tokyo Heist“ was published by Viking/Penguin in 2012, and I have two more novels coming out from Viking. 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 stories for adults, kids, 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. And sometimes when I’m not slinging words, I can be found wielding large sticks—as a taiko drummer. I study taiko and occasionally perform with a group outside of Boston.
I started writing as soon as I knew I could get people to laugh. My first “publication” was when my letter to Santa was broadcast on my local radio station in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania. I made some jokes about Mrs. Claus that I thought were hilarious. (I was eight.) I tried not to be an English major in college and majored first in art, but my drawing teacher pointed out that my sketchbook was filled up with poems instead of
pictures. (I hadn’t really noticed.) I switched majors four times in college. I kept writing even though I had my doubts (many doubts). ”Is POET even a job?” people would ask me, later, when I told them I was going to graduate school to get an MFA in Poetry. When I became a teacher (and that took up much of my time), and became a mother (that took up even more), I had trouble telling people I was a writer. ”What have you written lately?” they would ask. I would explain (actually, I would mumble) about works in progress and about 24-hours-in-a-day.
Along the way, some publications were kind enough to publish my poems and stories (Gettysburg Review, Missouri Review, Grey Sparrow, and Fiction are a few). And then in 2009 I had this idea for a story about a girl who accidentally steals Emily Dickinson’s dress from the museum in Amherst, where it was always kept. After many years of works in progress taking a long time, I finished that book in 6 weeks. (I should probably add that it was two years of rewriting after it was sold.) In 2012 “Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things,” a novel for young adults, was released into the world.
Daily, I am the Acting Director of the Writing Program at Boston University’s College of Communication. Miscellaneously, when people come to my house, I make them homemade pizza. Sadly, I secretly wish I could sing, but I have only one vocal chord that works. Another tragic thing about me and music is that I have never been able to whistle. On the upside, I did not abandon the visual artist deep inside me: When I have writer’s block I draw in my notebook.
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.
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 travelling 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.
In the fall I will begin my final year at Emerson College where I am pursuing a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a minor in Philosophy. I grew up in Connecticut where I spent a lot of time either lost in books or scribbling about magic realms in one of my many notebooks. Over the years, I’ve learned to always keep a book on me for those moments where I find myself with free time and a pen on me for whenever inspiration strikes. In between studying for exams and writing essays, I spend time exploring the Young Adult section of the bookstore I work at and trying to write my own YA series. I love all things fairy-tales (but Snow White is my favorite) and I have a secret desire to fight crime as Batgirl in Gotham City. I hope to one day work in the publishing industry where I can put my love of books to good use.
I’m a 20 something booklover from Manchester, England. For the past five years, I’ve worked across several local libraries which has fueled my book habit and helped me develop a certain talent for recommending books and authors. I’ve recently graduated from The University of Manchester with a BA in English Language, where I spent three years translating Old English texts, studying child language development, and reading far too many books about grammar. So, any spare moments I had to settle down with the latest in YA, were cherished. It was at University that I was given the opportunity to take lessons in British Sign Language, which I loved; I’ve since continued learning BSL and volunteer with local deaf charities. Stepping into the world of work, I’m currently pursuing a career in publishing or the media industry. Aside from reading, my big love is traveling; whether it’s exploring the UK or venturing abroad, recent destinations include Italy, Australia and New Zealand – an added bonus of long journeys is the opportunity to discover a new favorite read.
I’m a writer, caffeine addict, and cat enthusiast from Philadelphia. I can’t do math, but I can quote everything Chandler Bing ever said on Friends. I graduated from the University of the Arts with a degree in Writing for Film and Television and earned my MFA in Creative Writing from American University.
My writing’s been in First Inkling Magazine and Wilderness House Literary Review. I won the Honorable Mention in the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Intro Journal Awards. I’m currently channeling my best inner Peggy Olson, working as a copywriter in Philadelphia.
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 a senior in high school in Massachusetts. I don’t know what I want to study yet in college – I’m excited to take subjects that I have never studied before. Right now, English and Psychology are my two favorite classes. I’ve always loved to read and write. When I was younger I was sick all of the time and I missed a lot of school and had to quit the sports teams that I loved playing on. Reading was a way to keep my mind off all that I was missing out on. I love that good books and stories are not only entertaining, but can help people with their own problems.
When I’m not reading all of the great submissions at YARN, I work at an ice cream store that makes the best ice cream. It’s hard work but tasting all of the different flavors is a definite perk! I love to travel, my dream is to travel the world someday!
I have been teaching on the college level for more than 20 years, presently full-time at Fairleigh Dickinson University, teaching creative and expository writing. My scholarship in literary theory and dramatic texts always shared a place with my creative writing which had been short story. Not until a colleague asked me to give her feedback on her poetry, did I ever feel inspired to write poetry. This inspirational moment came about ten years ago, and I have never turned back. My poems have appeared in “Poem,” “Wisconsin Review,” “Compass Rose,” “descant,” “Eureka Literary Journal,” and are forthcoming in “Eclipse” and “Green Hills Literary Lantern.”
I’m a junior 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.
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!