Meet the Editors & Readers


kip_avatarKip Wilson Rechea
Editor in Chief 2016-17, & Poetry Editor

I have a Ph.D. in German Literature and wrote my dissertation on Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry. Some of my accomplishments include a Fulbright teaching teens in Austria, several years working at language-learning and voice recognition software companies, and hundreds of thousands of words on paper. My work has been published in the “Timeless” and “Spain from a Backpack” anthologies, as well as in several magazines for children. I have a passion for languages, history, and diversity, and am drawn to poetry and gorgeous, lyrical prose.

I live in Boston with my cute and geeky Spanish husband and mischievous twin girls, and am hard at work on a historical novel for young adults. If I’m not writing or revising at my desk at 5am, I’m off doing countless laps in the pool.

Photo by Peter Su

Photo by Peter Su

Kerri Majors
Founder & Essays 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.  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. I’ve been working on a novel about Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, fourth of the famed Kennedy kids, who goes and falls in love with a Protestant future duke on the eve of World War II. I’m represented by the marvelous Margaret O’Connor of Innisfree Literary.

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.


Laura McCaffreyLaura Williams McCaffrey
Fiction Editor

Let’s see. I primarily write speculative fiction short stories and novels. I’m a YARN alum, most recently in 2016 when YARN published “Crow’s Face.” Also published by YARN — “Into the Vast,” which SCBWI awarded a 2014 Magazine Merit Award for fiction. Additionally, I’ve published stories in Cicada, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Soundings Review. In 2016, Clarion Books released “Marked,” my dystopian novel for teens with graphic novel-style vignettes. I’m also the author of two children’s fantasy novels, “Water Shaper,” selected in 2007 for the NYPL Books for the Teen Age list, and “Alia Waking,” an IRA Notable Book and a Teens’ Top Ten Books nominee. I teach at Solstice, the low-residency MFA program at Pine Manor College, as well as at Pacem School, an independent school for middle and high school students that also offers classes to homeschoolers. Essentially, I love reading, I love writing, and I love editing—working with writers so they can grow their ideas into stories.  

I do most of my work in a little witch’s tower, a small corner room in my house in Vermont. My dog and my cat sleepily stand guard with one eye half-open for ghost and fairy visitors.

For more information about me or my work, you can visit my website:


Yoshi Makishima
Visuals Editor

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.


Readers and Social Media Staff:

Photo by Dwayne Boyd (cut by us)

Photo by Dwayne Boyd (cut by us)

Justin Barisich, Poetry

Though I originally hail from New Orleans, I earned my poetry chops at Vanderbilt University (where I majored in English Literature and Secondary Education) in Nashville before moving to Atlanta. And as an inaugural member of Vandy Spoken Word, the school’s only performance poetry group, I grew from a mediocre poet (and a rather pitiful performer who knew absolutely nothing of stage poetry) into the group’s president in just 3 short years – all the while learning the art form from those wiser and more experienced. I’d go on to perform my poetry for over 6,500 folks; mentor more than 30 other collegiate poets; spearhead and formalize the creation and publication of the Baton Rouge area’s first-ever a city-wide anthology of youth poetry; and teach poetry workshops, organize events, and start a scholarship for many of Nashville’s Southern Word youth poets.

Outside of the mentoring, coaching, and organizing I now do with Atlanta Word Works and their youth poets, I run my own freelancing company, Little Writing Man, apply to MFA programs, and attempt to convince other literary journals to print my words.

My poetics have been influenced by various spoken word artists such as Rives and Rudy Francisco, and by poets such as W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin, Philip Levine, Sylvia Plath, and Tyehimba Jess. I am forever learning from my writing – both about myself and about others. I hope that you do too.


jessi-headshotJessi Cole Jackson, Fiction

I live and work in the prettiest part of New Jersey, but I’m not from there. By day, I build costumes for a Tony Award-winning theatre. By night, I study Children’s Literature in a low-residency MFA program at Hollins University. Somewhere in between, I write. My short fiction can be found at Crossed Genres Magazine, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and at Cast of Wonders. You can read more about my sometimes exciting (but mostly just normal) life at or on twitter @Ms_ColeJackson.


ChelseaChelsea DeAngio, Fiction, Non-Fiction, & Facebook

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.


lauren-harkawik-headshotLauren Harkawik, Fiction

I’m a writer and a designer. I live in southern Vermont, where I share a house atop a hill with my husband and baby daughter, our dog Murgatroyd (,Heavens To), and our cat Minnie. I’m a writer, currently working on a new draft of my middle grade detective novel while flirting with the YA novel that’s been rattling around upstairs for a while. I have a BFA in Dramatic Writing from Purchase College and professionally, I have a background in screenwriting, ghostwriting (novels and non-fiction), and copywriting.

A little snapshot of my life outside of work: I love to embrace all that Vermont has to offer, from the Farmer’s Market and campfires (with s’mores) in the summer to cozy fireplaces and snowy views in the winter (and all of the beautiful leaves, pumpkins, and cider donuts in between). Other interests include picking wildflowers, cooking (I’m sure I’ll master the perfect coconut curry sauce, someday), and traveling.

kimberly-headshotKimberly Kreines, Fiction

Let’s see, currently I’m a creative designer and writer on the Story Team for the fantasy property, “Magic: the Gathering”—a popular trading card game. I’m very lucky in that I get to spend my days building new fantasy worlds, developing aspirational and diverse characters, writing art concepts, designing cards for the game and—my absolute favorite—writing the Official Magic Story serialized saga for our young adult (and adult) readers. About a year and a half ago, I championed the efforts of the Story Team to launch this new form of serialized fiction. I had the honor and pleasure of leading the effort as the Writer’s Room “showrunner” for our very first story “season.” We now have two seasons under our belts and are moving into our third! You can find all the stories I’ve written for Magic, along with the link to the eBooks I’ve created for “binge reading” our seasons, on my archive page. If you’re interested in hearing me talk about Magic or worldbuilding and writing you can check out The Mary Sue, Gadgette, or the World Building or Voice for Vorthos panels from Pax Prime in 2015. Prior to working at Magic, I was out in Los Angeles working as a screenwriting professor and writing screenplays. I’ve also written hundreds of thousands of words for my own personal projects, which are still all stored on my computer—I hope someday some of them will see the light of day 🙂 I have an MFA from Solstice (my writing and heart’s home), and a master’s in biomedical engineering and neuroscience. In what seems like another life, I designed a brain computer interface device to aid in stroke rehabilitation. It ended up being the inspiration for all of the science fiction and fantasy writing that was to follow.

When not writing or reading, you can find me running, or hiking the snowcapped mountains of Washington state. I don’t have a cat, but I desperately want one—or maybe two!


JacquiJaqueline Lipton, Fiction

I’m a wife and mother of three and I’m obsessed with reading and writing, with a particular passion for young adult fiction. Under my pen-name (K.C. Maguire), I write a regular column on YA lit for the Luna Station Quarterly blog as well as blogging regularly on my own website ( and for the Space City Scribes blog (Houston-based independent author collective). My flash fiction has appeared in publications including Writers Type, Delta Women, Tough Lit, Black Petals Magazine, Six Minute Magazine, Midlife Collage, Everyday Fiction, and Luna Station Quarterly. I’ve published three e-novellas with Seattle-based Books To Go Now: Destiny, Dear John, and Ivory Tower. I’ve also placed a couple of times in the Houston Writers’ Guild fiction writing contest, children and young adults category. My short story, In For A Penny, published in 2014 in the Space City 6 anthology placed in the Writers Type second quarter short story contest in 2014; and my YA short story There’s No Such Thing as Sleepskating received an Honorable Mention in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge in 2015. My debut YA novel, Inside the Palisade, was released in August 2015 by Lodestone Books in the U.K. I’ve has completed the Fiction Writing Certificate program at UCLA Extension and the Online Writing Certificate program at Stanford, and I’m currently a student in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. I’ve lived in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia (and now have a really weird accent!), but home is wherever my family is.


cathy parillaCathy Parilla, Poetry

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.


lauren-p-headshotLauren Paquette, Poetry & Facebook

I am a teen writer, reader, visual artist, and Bananagrams champion from Massachusetts. I have loved fantasy and adventure for as long as I can remember and my interest in writing dates back to my elementary years. My first finished book was titled The Dragon Boy and was complete with hand-drawn illustrations and an eight-year-old’s creative spelling. Although I fear I peaked in second grade and may never top this creation, I continue to write whenever I can. Despite my love for composing short stories and novels, my true passion lies in poetry. Scarcely a day goes by that I haven’t recorded at least a wacky combination of words in the margins of a notebook. Although I love science and logic and I follow NASA on Instagram, a part of me still believes that my wardrobe will lead me to Narnia and that, if I focus hard enough, I will be able to perform legilimency on a passing squirrel.


OliviaOlivia Romano, Essays

I am a teen YA writer who spends a majority of my time reading and writing; that is, when I have finished my mountain of homework. My main focus is on mystery and adventure. Hopefully someday I will see my novels on a Barnes and Noble shelf between my role models, Marissa Meyer and J.K. Rowling. I also love playing volleyball and spending time with my friends and family. I attend a high school in Massachusetts while I wait for my Hogwarts letter – I am sure it will come next year.


Fatima Toturgul, Fiction & Twitter

Hello, fellow YARNer! Like many of us here at YARN, I’m a longtime bookworm and have a background in history and literature, with a concentration in creative writing. As a graduate student, I’ve continued to study the awesomeness of books, particularly the benefits of reading graphic novels and comics. I am a big fan of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of literature, and in addition to pursuing my research interests through the liberal studies program at NSSR, I’ve continued to develop my writing through the children’s literature department at Hollins University. When I’m not reading or writing, I might be playing video games, drawing, or sprucing up my home with a Pinterest inspired DIY project.


lynns-headshotLynn Vande Stowe, Fiction & Twitter

A YARN Alum, I write stories about smartass outsiders on the cusp of adulthood–proud nerds channeling their inner rebels as they dynamite a place in the world. My story “Winterim” won the 2016 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Young Adult Fiction. My work has also been published by Georgetown Review, Quantum Fairy Tales, and Dogzplot, among others. I’m currently at work on a new YA novel about the 1969 moon landing. I live in Glen Ridge, New Jersey with my very patient husband, three adorably manic children, and two cats who bear a striking resemblance to Mr. Bigglesworth. To read my work or check out my current reading list visit me at


Rachael Conrad

Rachael Conrad, Twitter

Hello fellow reading and writing enthusiasts! My name is Rachael and I recently graduated from Manhattanville College with an MFA in creative writing. I’m currently working as a book seller at an independent bookstore just outside of Boston. I’ve loved reading all of my life (especially fantasy, science fiction, and mysteries) and hope to one day see my own work on shelves next to my favorites. When I don’t have a book in hand I can be found spending time writing, listening to various podcasts, playing video games, or spending time outdoors.


kelly-photoKelly Kandra Hughes, Twitter

I earned my Ph.D. in Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill (GO TAR HEELS!). After 9 years in academia, I realized my professional passions lay outside higher education and since quitting my job as an associate professor I’ve never been happier. I now spend every day writing, reading, wandering, and dreaming.



alex torres

Alexandria Torres, Tumblr

I live in New York City with my family. I graduated from the Columbia Publishing Program in 2015, and now that I’m no longer in school, I’m currently trying to figure out how to adult. I work as a college prep tutor for Kaplan. The older I grow, the more I find myself gravitating toward YA. If you see the girl in the pizzeria holding the Patrick Ness book, try to save your hellos for the chapter break.




Bio_Photo_LKeochgerienLourdes Keochgerien
Editor at Large

I have a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a minor in Spanish Language and Literature. I wrote for the campus’s newspaper and was co-editor of its literary magazine, Knightscapes. During my non-academic hours, I worked as an assistant to the Children’s Librarian at a New Jersey Public Library.

I moved to Uruguay at the tail end of 2011, when John Green in Spanish was still difficult to come by, and “Stranger Things” was not really a thing. I am currently an ESL teacher in the public elementary school system where my daily teaching struggles include reminding myself to pronounce the “t” at the end of “twenty” and to not attempt the monkey bars. I also dabble from time to time in writing Readers’ Guides for YA/MG novels when I am not reading all the YA books I can get my greedy, vein-y, hands on.

Shannon Marshall
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!

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