Come to The Muse for Writing Workshops in Norfolk, Virginia (VA)
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the muse's facilitators & teachers

  • Millicent Borges Accardi
  • Jennifer Adams
  • John Aguiar
  • Jeff Andrews
  • Liz Argento
  • Robert Arthur
  • Erin Beaty
  • Jeff Becker
  • Remica L. Bingham-Risher
  • Angela Blue
  • Ellen Bryson
  • Jason Carney
  • Lin Kaatz Chary
  • Robbie Ciara
  • Leslie Clements
  • Gregg Clifford
  • Linda Carol Cobb
  • Shannon Curtin
  • Christina Dalcher
  • Christopher De Matteo
  • Eddie Dowe
  • Dan Duke
  • Nicole Emmelhainz
  • Leslie Entsminger
  • Patrick Evans-Hylton
  • Rick Fischer
  • Lamar Giles
  • Shawn Girvan
  • Dexter Gore
  • Jennifer Graham
  • Noa Greenspan
  • Will Harris
  • Wesley Harper
  • Evan Hartley
  • Jeffrey Hecker
  • Heather Hildebrand
  • Patti Hinson
  • Emily Howell
  • Joseph Hoyt
  • Charlotte Walker Hurley
  • Lauren Hurston
  • Amanda Huynh
  • Luisa Igloria
  • Joe Jackson
  • Victoria Kelly
  • Michael Khandelwal
  • Jean Klein
  • Matthew Larrimore
  • Danielle Leibovici
  • Sylvia Liu
  • Michael Lovely
  • Michal Mahgerefteh
  • Jennifer Malia
  • Catherine Malley
  • Chris Maples
  • Al Markowitz
  • Karla Martin
  • Lucian Mattison
  • Sarah McCall
  • John McCarthy
  • Kindra McDonald
  • Kristin Mehaffey
  • Renee Olander
  • Lydia Netzer
  • Gavin Pate
  • Susie Pedigo
  • Michelle Pepino
  • Peter Porosky
  • Maya Porten
  • Sarah Pringle
  • Eric Ramseier
  • Noah Renn
  • Charles Rhodes
  • Suzanne Rhodes
  • Nathan Richardson
  • Mira Roberts
  • Christine Rucker
  • Tim Sanderson
  • Colin Sargent
  • Alison Schoew
  • Tim Seibles
  • Sheila Sheppard
  • Melissa Sipin
  • Kelly Sokol
  • Melissa M. Stewart
  • Lauran Strait
  • Karen Tatum
  • Leah Thiessen
  • Kenneth Tomasits
  • Mae Lynn Walker
  • Tammy Wartell
  • Geoff Watkinson
  • Donna Wynn
  • Tom Yuill
  • Skye Zentz
  • Past Teachers & Facilitators


  • Millicent Borges Accardi

    Millicent Borges Accardi is the author of four poetry books: Injuring Eternity, Woman on a Shaky Bridge, Only More So, and Practical Love Poems. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, Creative Capacity, the California Arts Council, Fundação Luso-Americana, and the Barbara Deming Foundation (Money for Women), Accardi has been in residence at Yaddo, Milkwood in Cesky Krumlov, Fundación Valparaíso in Spain; Jentel, and Vermont Studio Center. She holds degrees in English literature and writing from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the University of Southern California (USC). She has been a visiting writer at Keystone College in Scranton, PA; Nimrod Writers Conference at Oklahoma University; The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia and the University of Texas at Austin. Her individual poems have appeared in Tampa Review, New Letters, Nimrod, Verdad; Babalonia and Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism & Translation.

    Classes taught: The Poetry Studio.
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    Jennifer Adams

    Jennifer Adams has an M.F.A. from Cornell University, where she was most recently a Lecturer in Creative Writing (poetry, fiction) and an Assistant Editor at Epoch Magazine. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in journals such as the Southwest Review, Sonora Review, and Stone Canoe, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, The Memoir Workshop, NaNoWriMo Workshop, Young Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week.
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    Jeff Andrews

    Jeff Andrews is a retired U.S. Marine, a member of the Society of Civil War Historians and the author of two historical novels, The Freedom Star and The Gandy Dancer. He is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College (now Baldwin-Wallace University) and holds a MS in Administration from George Washington University. Jeff has traveled the world, serving in such exotic locations as Vietnam, Japan, Egypt, Morocco, Denmark, Brazil, and Lebanon, but his first love is exploring the battlefields and historic sites of the Old Dominion with his wife, Mary Lou. In addition to teaching at The Muse Writers Center, Jeff also offers workshops at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference and the Christopher Newport University Writers Conference. He enjoys speaking to local book clubs and writers’ groups.

    Classes taught: How to Self-Publish Your Book.
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    John Aguiar

    John Aguiar earned a Master's in marine biology from ODU and a Ph.D. in wildlife biology from Texas A&M. His doctoral research focused on the biogeography and conservation of small mammals in the Brazilian Amazon. He has worked as an editor at several international journals, where he shepherded manuscripts in three languages—English, Spanish and Portuguese—through every stage of the publication process. He has also worked as a science writer for the Cousteau Society and other environmental groups. He writes in a variety of fiction and nonfiction formats, although people tell him that his short stories really need to be thousand-page novels.

    Classes taught: Beyond Earth: Geography of the Galaxy, Building a Real World, Imagined.
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    Liz Argento

    Elizabeth Argento holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She completed her undergraduate work at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she was a Ford Apprentice Scholar of Literature. She is currently an Adjunct English Instructor at Old Dominion University. In the past, she has worked as a writing consultant, a tutor, and a Barely South Review editor. Her work has appeared in The Eckerd Review, Howard Magazine, and Superstition Review. She lives with a Jack Russell Terrier who never tires of her.

    Classes taught: The Memoir Workshop.
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    Robert P. Arthur

    A finalist for Poet Laureate of Virginia in 2008 and 2010, Robert P. Arthur is currently the President of the Poetry Society of Virginia and a Writer in low Residence in the graduate creative writing program at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. He has published fourteen books of poems and poem/plays and produced seven shows of poetry and music. His poem/play with music, Hymn to the Chesapeake, has played in Virginia and Maryland, Washington D.C., New York City, and St. Petersburg, Russia. His numerous awards and honors include the Most Innovative Play Award for Hymn to the Chesapeake and the Best Play Award for his play in verse, Phaedra. He has founded three literary journals, three theatres, and is the owner, with Jeff Hewitt, of the San Francisco Bay Press. His best-known books of poetry or poem/plays, other than Hymn (as both poem/play and poem book) and Phaedra, are Vija’s War, Crazy Horse’s Woman, Robert Arthur’s Eastern Shore, and Horse Hammock Point. He has taught for over thirty years as Professor of Creative Writing and English. He was awarded his M.F.A. at the University of Arkansas, where he studied under Miller William and Maxine Kumin.

    Classes taught: How Does a Poem Mean?, Poetry in Performance, The Sea as Metaphor: Poetry of the Sea.
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    Erin Beaty

    Erin Beaty has a B.S. in rocket science from the US Naval Academy (no, really!). She served as a fleet weapons officer and a leadership instructor before resigning to pursue her side hobby of populating the Church of Rome. Once all five kids were in school, she started letting the crazy out in the form of writing. Erin is represented by Valerie Noble of Donaghy Literary Group, and her first novel, a young adult fantasy adventure, will be published in Fall 2017 by Imprint, Macmillan. When she’s not imagining ways to torture her characters, Erin can usually be found training for her next half marathon.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, Giving Your Characters Personality, Let Your Story Shine: Avoiding Mistakes that Kill Your Prose, The Picture of Your First 1000 Words, Time is on Your Side.
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    Jeff Becker

    Jeff Becker is a defense futurist and international security analyst and is currently supporting the Joint Concepts Division of the Joint Staff J7. Mr. Becker has over 18 years experience conducting and managing future military studies, analysis, and experimentation projects. He has provided analytic support focused on considering the implications of strategic and military change for the structure and function of military forces and national strategy for a wide range of organizations including the Joint Staff J-7, U.S. Joint Forces Command, NATO/Allied Command Transformation, OSD/Net Assessment, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Army and Navy. Mr. Becker has worked with a wide range of foreign partners on joint analytic projects abroad, including the NATO Alliance, the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Chile, Peru, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan. Jeff was the primary author of the Joint Staff’s 2016 deep futures study, Joint Operating Environment 2035: The Joint Force in a Contested and Disordered World which surveys science and technology, human, and geopolitical trends and develops their military implications for the Joint Force. He has written numerous articles on future military challenges. Jeff has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa and a Masters in International Studies from Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: The Future of Society and Conflict.
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    Remica L. Bingham-Risher

    Remica L. Bingham, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, is an alumna of Old Dominion University and Bennington College as well as a Cave Canem fellow. Among other journals, her work has been published in The Writer's Chronicle, New Letters, Callaloo and Essence. Her first book, Conversion (Lotus Press, 2007), won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her second book, What We Ask of Flesh (Etruscan, 2013), will be published in February. Currently, she resides with her husband and children in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Classes taught: Inventive Forms: Exploring Formal Poetry, Love Poems: The Hunger of Words, What's Going On? Poetry in Conversation with the News, Writing Across the Lines: Poetry Exploring Race, Culture and Ethnicity
    Website: www.remicalbingham.com.
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    Angela Blue

    Angela Blue is the Associate Editor of Hampton Roads Magazine, Hampton Roads Bride and Virginia Wine Lover magazines. She writes the "Hampton Roads Bride Blog" among various other online articles, provides editorial content for weekly and monthly newsletters sent on behalf of three publications and manages the editorial and web editorial internship programs at HRM. Angela earned a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in journalism from Old Dominion University and has freelanced for local and regional lifestyle publications.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Magazine Writing, The Pitch: Magazine Articles and Features.
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    Ellen Bryson

    Ellen Bryson authored The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno, a novel set in P.T. Barnum's American Museum in the New York of 1865, about human appetites and longings, and what it means to be profoundly unique. Transformation was selected Indie Pick of the Month, Notable, in July 2010, the Book-of-the-Month Club Alternative, 2010, and won the San Diego Book Award for Historic Fiction, 2010. Ellen earned her BA in English from Columbia University and her MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, The Fiction Studio, Bringing Historic Characters to Life, Building Story: Meet the Madman, From the Horse's Mouth: Crafting First Person POV, How to Write Your Novel, Psychic Distance: How Close are Your Characters?, Research for Writers: Tips and Techniques, The Art of a Sentence, The Novel Doctor, The Novel Studio, The Urge, the Ache: Evoking Emotion in Fiction, Words on the Page
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    Jason Carney

    Jason Carney earned his Ph.D. in English from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He teaches at Christopher Newport University and The Muse Writers Center. His creative work has appeared in Beecher's Magazine and the Blue Lake Review among others.

    Classes taught: The Memoir Workshop, Destroying the Ordinary: Writing Supernatural Horror, The Glory of Fantasy: Creative Secondary Worlds, The Salvation of Science Fiction: Imaginary Technology.
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    Lin Kaatz Chary

    Lin Kaatz Chary was a Perry Morgan Fellow in the Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University in Creative Non-Fiction where she is working on an MFA in creative writing. She is currently working on a memoir about her life over forty years as a social justice activist in the anti-war, health care, and labor movements, and several poetry chapbooks. She is the winner of the 2016 ODU College Ruhi Dayanim Poetry Prize. Her work has been published online at Briller Magazine, and Barely South Review and she writes regularly for the The Body Is Not an Apology. Lin is also a non-fiction editor for Barely South Review at ODU, and for FourTies Literary Review. She lives in Norfolk with Flirt, her Sheltie.

    Classes taught: Exploring Our Voice as Women.
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    Robbie Ciara

    Robbie has received both his B.A. in English and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. He is a long-time fixture on the spoken word scene in Hampton Roads as both poet and host. He also serves as Poetry Editor for Barely South Review and host of Old Dominion’s annual Poetry Slam. You can find Robbie acting in and producing independent film and television projects for Motion Arts Media and WTKR.

    Classes taught: Start Writing, Keep Writing... Write Now, Teen Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week.
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    Leslie Clements

    Leslie Clements graduated from Old Dominion University with a Master of Fine Arts in fiction. She served as a fiction editor for the first year of ODU's premiere online literary journal, Barely South Review, and writes for the Fiction Writer's Review. She teaches English and academic writing at Virginia Wesleyan College and Tidewater Community College. Currently, she is working on a novel and cheating on that novel with a collection of short stories.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, Reading For Writers: A Summer Fling with Fantasy, Learn to Knit.
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    Gregg R. Clifford, M.D., F.A.C.P.

    Dr. Clifford earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, in 1982 after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in the Humanities with Honors at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, in 1978. He served his internship and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN, in 1983 and 1985 respectively. He then went on to join the Faculty Staff of General Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical Center and a practice at the Central Virginia Community Health Center to complete his NHSC Scholarship. Currently, Dr. Clifford serves as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Clifford is professionally associated with the American College of Physicians and is a Member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Clifford is married and has three children, Jay, Lauren and Adam. He enjoys the great outdoors, running, golf, biking and computers.

    Classes taught: Doctors & Disease, Patients & Prescriptions: Research for Writers.
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    Linda Carol Cobb

    A professed grammar nerd, Linda is a retired high school teacher with an M.A. in communications. She coached forensics, sponsored Shore Lines, Bayside High's award-winning newsmagazine, and taught journalism, advanced composition and public speaking among other English electives. Linda has taught sessions at Columbia Scholastic Press Association and Virginia High School League conferences, Evenings at Saint Patrick and for ODU's Career Switcher Program. Linda is a free-lance copyeditor and a public speaking coach. She is writing a collection of short, true stories about her quirky Tennessee family and personal experiences.

    Classes taught: A Grammar Refresher, Preparing for Your Reading ((January Session), A Punctuation Refresher ((December Session), Crafting the College Application Essay.
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    Shannon Curtin

    Shannon J. Curtin is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two collections of poetry, Motherland (forthcoming from Anchor and Plume Press), and File Cabinet Heart (ELJ Publications, summer 2014), Her poetry has been featured in a variety of literary magazines including Short, Fast, and Deadly, The Muddy River Review, Vox Poetica, and The Camel Saloon. She holds an MBA, competitive shooting records, and her liquor. She would probably like you.

    Classes taught: How to Submit Your Work to Magazines and Journals.
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    Christina Dalcher

    Christina Dalcher is a full-time writer of both the short and long form. Her flash fiction appears in Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, Maudlin House, After the Pause, among others. Alec Shane of Writers House represents Christina's novels, which include a middle-grade adventure centered on America's eugenics movement, a young-adult retelling of The Return of Martin Guerre, and an adult thriller featuring a curmudgeonly phonetician. When she isn't writing, Christina channels Shirley Jackson and Roald Dahl and practices the hula-hoop. Christina earned a B.A. in Drama from the University of Virginia, M.A. in English from George Mason University, and Ph.D. in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, Flash Fiction: The Art of Condensed Storytelling.
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    Christopher De Matteo

    Christopher De Matteo holds a BA in History and a BA in Political Science from the University of Virginia's College at Wise, and a MA in History from Old Dominion University, where he worked as a Teacher's Assistant. He currently works for Virginia Beach History Museums as a docent and program planner. Chris has presented research at undergrad and graduate research conferences, and has been published in several journals, in both history and fiction. He has a love of science fiction and an obsession with world building; he is working on his first novel.

    Classes taught: The Nuts and Bolts of Scrivener, Advanced Scrivener, Making Historical Writing Real.
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    Eddie Dowe

    Eddie Dowe is in his 17th year teaching high school English and Creative Writing, while also teaching English at Tidewater Community College. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. He has poems previously published in Mannequin Envy, Boiling River, The Strange Fruit, Lunarosity, Shape of a Box, and Simply Haiku, among others.

    Classes taught: Surrealist Poetry and Word Play
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    Dan Duke

    Dan started playing guitar as a teenager in the previous century, digging into rock and the blues. A visit to a Muse Jam in 2010 rejuvenated his interest in performing. Since then, he's been playing at open mics and has had a few paying gigs—Mojo Bones on St. Patrick’s Day being the wildest of the lot. He wants to keep the Muse Jam alive and continue the spirit of openness to music, poetry and whatever else people are interested in sharing. He has worked at The Virginian-Pilot for 20 years as an editor for the night copy desk, business section and features section, and currently is a copy editor on the features desk.

    Host of the 2nd Friday Muse Jam
    Classes taught: Copy Editing ((December Session), Copy Editing 2
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    Nicole Emmelhainz

    Nicole Emmelhainz earned her Ph.D. in Writing History and Theory from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She also holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Ohio University, where she focused on poetry and creative non-fiction/memoir writing. She is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Christopher Newport University, where she teaches, among other writing courses, Memoir/Nonfiction Workshops. She is currently working on publishing a collection of her poetry, as well as writing a part nonfiction, part memoir of Galloway, Ohio and the Darby Creek watershed, where she was born and raised.

    Classes taught: The Memoir Studio.
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    Leslie Entsminger

    Leslie Entsminger graduated from Purdue University in 1979 in Interdisciplinary Engineering. She worked for Mobil Oil as a geophysicist before retiring in 1986 to raise three children. While in Houston from 2000 to 2011, she worked as an artist in oil painting and printmaking. She graduated this May from Old Dominion University’s MFA program in Creative Writing/Fiction. Her recent work can be found in The Cincinnati Review, the Barely South Review, and Shark Reef Journal. She received an Honorable Mention for the 2015 ODU Ruhi Dayanim Poetry Prize and was nominated for a Pushcart by The Cincinnati Review in 2016.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop.
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    Patrick Evans-Hylton

    Patrick Evans-Hylton is a banker-turned-Johnson & Wales trained chef. He has been an award-winning food writer since 1995, and is currently senior editor for food and wine at Hampton Roads Magazine. He is also executive editor for Virginia Wine Lover Magazine, and author of six books, including two food history books and a cookbook, Popcorn. Evans-Hylton appears monthly on a food news/issues-themed episode of HearSay with Cathy Lewis on 89.5 FM, public radio on Hampton Roads. He has made several national appearances on ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates, the Food Network and Martha Stewart Living radio. A food educator and historian, Evans-Hylton teaches a variety of classes with a local twist through the Casual Gourmet program at Culinary Institute of Virginia. He is a board member with Culinary Institute of Virginia, Tidewater Community College's culinary arts program, Careers through Culinary Arts Program—Hampton Roads, Hampton Roads March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction and Slow Food Hampton Roads. Nationally, he is involved with the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Evans-Hylton, a native of Atlanta, Ga., has lived in Virginia since 1991.

    Classes taught:Bites and Blogs, Expressions in Food, Food Writing: From Elemental to Exceptional, Hashbrowns and Hashtags, Noodle, Nibble, and Scribble, Noshes and Knapsacks, Savor and Share, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Bites, Writing Cookbooks.
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    Food Blog: www.patrickevanshylton.com.
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    Rick Fischer

    Rick Fischer has been making films, of one sort or another, since he was fifteen. In 1979, Rick was accepted into New York University’s Graduate Institute of Film and TV Production. He wrote an original screenplay for his thesis film, Rest Stop, which won three awards in student film categories from the Atlanta, San Francisco and NYU film festivals. After graduation, Rick worked in New York City’s freelance film community as an editor on independent features, short films and regional TV commercials. He worked as second assistant camera on independent filmmaker John Sayles’ 1984 feature film The Brother From Another Planet. For two years, Rick served as a juror for HBO’s Festival of Independent Films. After relocating back to Norfolk, his hometown, Rick produced and directed healthcare training films for the federal government. Working with subject matter experts, Rick wrote the scripts that he directed, using local actors and actual long-term care facilities as the locations. For NASA’s NESC Academy, Rick produced, directed, and wrote the scripts for promotional videos for each of the Academy’s 9 classes. These recent training and promotional videos that Rick wrote, produced and directed have won more than 14 national awards, including the Telly, Pegasus, Hermes, Communicator, and Digital Video Awards. Rick also conceived of and teaches a college-level course on the visual means of storytelling elements utilized in Hollywood narrative films, "The Visual Vocabulary of Film."

    Classes taught: Introduction to Screenwriting, Screenwriting, The Screenwriting Workshop, The Visual Vocabulary of Film, Teen Writers Week, Screenwriting Seminar for Teen Writers.
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    Lamar Giles

    Fake ID, the 2016 Edgar® Award Nominee Endangered, and the forthcoming YA mystery/thriller Overturned. He is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and resides in Chesapeake with his wife.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, Reading for Writers: Fake I.D., Writing Young Adult Fiction, How to Find & Query an Agent
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    Shawn Girvan

    Shawn Girvan received his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. His work has been published in The Pitkin Review, and he has served as a guest editor for The Quotable. Shawn has also produced a critically acclaimed documentary film, has owned a wedding videography business, and studied and performed improvisation at the Second City and IO Theaters in Chicago. Shawn currently resides in Virginia Beach where he is finishing his first memoir and watching Jeopardy with his lovely wife.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, The Creative Nonfiction Workshop, Short Memoir: Narratives in a Flash, The Memoir Workshop, Narrative Nonfiction in a Flash, Advanded Narrative Nonfiction in a Flash, Building Your Memoir: From Blueprint to Book.
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    Dexter Gore

    Dexter Benjamin Gore is a native to Aynor, South Carolina but has spent the past year working on his MFA at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. His work has appeared in Deep South Magazine, TEMPO, Lavender Bluegrass: LGBT Writers on the South, Inklette, Archarios, and is forthcoming in Four Chamber Heart Press. When he's not reading or writing, Dexter serves as a member of the ODU Safe Space committee. Dexter currently lives in Ghent and is working on his first novel and collection of short stories.

    Classes taught: Young Writers Week, Teen Writers Week.
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    Jennifer Graham

    Jennifer Lynn Graham, a native of Virginia Beach, holds a B.A. in Psychology from Virginia Wesleyan College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (poetry) along with a Graduate Certificate in Literature from Old Dominion University. An interview about her poetry appeared in the RED OCHRE LiT journal in February 2011. She has had poems published in RED OCHRE LiT and in Noctua Review. Jennifer is currently training to become a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator, to work in the poetry therapy field, which combines her love of psychology, literature, and creative writing together to lead people toward positive change and to healing.

    Classes taught: Finding Yourself at the Intersection of Dreams & Imagination.
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    Noa Greenspan

    Noa Greenspan is a student at Norfolk Academy and a member of the Literacy Fellows, a program through which she tutors children in fluency, reading comprehension, and creative writing. She enjoys writing realistic fiction and has received recognition for creative writing from her school and local competitions. A Muse intern, Noa loves the idea of expanding the teenage writers community through open mics.

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    Will Harris

    Will Harris is a full-time freelance pop culture journalist who lives in Chesapeake, VA with his wife and daughter, both of whom just smile and nod as he giddily tells them about whatever great interview he’s just done. He is a regular contributor to the Onion A.V. Club, Rhino.com, The Virginian-Pilot, and TV Week Magazine in Vancouver, BC, and he has also written for EW.com, Vulture, Indiewire, The Dissolve, Bullz-Eye, Popdose, and the New York Post. Having typed out all of these outlets, he now has a better understanding as to why he’s so tired all the time.

    Classes taught: The Art of the Interview.
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    Wesley Harper

    Wesley Harper currently attends Maury High School and has been at the Muse for three years as a teen writer. He has a passion for reading and writing poetry and occasionally non-fiction. He loves chai tea/coffee and hopes being an intern at the Muse will help prepare him for a future in the literature field.

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    Evan Hartley

    Evan Hartley attends Old Dominion University where she is studying theater and film. She enjoys writing screenplays and fiction and participates in improv and sketch comedy. She also spends her time working on local short films and owns a production company, Fatty Bread Productions, LLC. In addition, Evan enjoys baking a mean chocolate chip cookie and all night Netflix binges. She is a Muse intern.

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    Jeffrey Hecker

    Jeffrey Hecker is the author of Rumble Seat (San Francisco Bay Press, 2011) & the chapbooks Hornbook (Horse Less Press, 2012), Instructions for the Orgy (Sunnyoutside Press, 2013), & Before He Let Them Guide Sleigh (ShirtPocket Press, 2013). Recent work has appeared in Mascara Literary Review, Atticus Review, La Fovea, Zocalo Public Square, LEVELER, Spittoon, decomP, Entropy, & BOAAT. He holds a degree from Old Dominion University. He resides in Norfolk with his wife Robin.

    Classes taught: Surrealist Poetry and Word Play
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    Heather Hildenbrand

    Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs. Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit www.phoenixauthorink.com and find out how to create your own OutRAGEous Life. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman. You can find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com and Facebook.

    Classes taught: How to Market Your Writing & Yourself.
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    Patti Hinson

    Patti Hinson holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University where her collection of personal essays, Pulls Like Gravity, was awarded the Myra Sklarew Prize for Outstanding Thesis. Her prose and poetry have been featured in a variety of venues, literary and otherwise, including past and current photography exhibits at The Mariners' Museum. She is a member of the board of directors of The Muse.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, The Poetry Workshop, The Prose Poem Workshop, Personal Narratives: An Introduction to Memoir, The Memoir Workshop, Short Memoir: Narratives in a Flash, Poetry Workshop for Teen Writers, Memoir Workshop for Teen Writers: Life Stories
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    Emily Howell

    Emily Howell is a writer, photographer, and lover of sushi, traveling, and the Peanuts Gang. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Old Dominion University where she teaches English Composition and Introduction to Literature. She also serves at the Assistant Editor for Barely South Review. Before moving to Virginia Beach, she lived in Chicago and received her BA in Photography and Teaching Artistry from Columbia College. She loves photojournalism, travel, and documentary photography. Her photographic work can be found at emilyhowellphoto.com.

    Classes taught: Art Journaling for Creative & Personal Growth, Journaling for Creative & Personal Growth, Journaling in Many Forms Personal Narratives: An Introduction to Memoir, Young Writers Week, Teen Writers Week.
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    Joseph Hoyt

    Bio coming soon.

    Classes taught: Shipwrecks and Underwater Archaeology.
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    Charlotte Walker Hurley

    Charlotte Walker Hurley attends Norfolk Christian High School and has been a member of the Teen Writers Workshop for three years. She loves to bike, read, write, be outside, skateboard, listen to music, and watch movies. Her favorite place in the world is Alaska; she travelled there two summers ago and has been in love with it ever since. Last summer, she biked the length of Vermont in two weeks, and this past summer, she biked Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. In two years time, she plans on biking across the United States. Charlotte loves the Muse, and is excited to be an intern and take even more classes at the new center.

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    Lauren Hurston

    Lauren Hurston received her BA in English from James Madison University, her MA in English and Publishing from Rosemont College, and her Creative Writing MFA from Old Dominion University. She has contributed to Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, VA, Ticket Weekly in Montgomery County, PA, and Philadelphia Style Magazine. Her fiction has been published in Midwest Literary Magazine and is featured in the anthology Bearing North; her nonfiction has won the William Brenner Nonfiction Prize and the Agnes L. Braganza Award.

    Classes taught: Personal Narratives: An Introduction to Memoir, The Memoir Workshop, Fiction Workshop for Teen Writers, Teen Writers Workshop.
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    Amanda Huynh

    Amanda Huynh is a native Texan living in Virginia. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas & Arlington with a Biology and English degree. Currently, she attends the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. She was a finalist for the 2015 Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize. Her work is published or forthcoming in the following journals: Huizache, The Healing Muse, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and .

    Classes taught: Young Writers Week, Young Writers Day, Teen Writers Workshop.
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    Luisa Igloria

    Luisa A. Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world's first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (selected by Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015.

    Classes taught: Don't Look Away: Poetry and the Work of Witness; Here and in the World: Writing Poetry About Inner and External Landscapes; Inside the Room, the Ceiling will be the Sky: A Workshop in Poetry Forms; A Little Fire, A Little Salt, A Little Need: Transformations in the Poem; Living and Writing the Poetry of the Ephemeral: A Workshop on Ecopoetry; Love Child: The Prose Poem; Rewriting the World, from the Margins: Poetry, Exile, and Displacement.
    Website: www.luisaigloria.com.
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    Joe Jackson

    Joe Jackson is the author of one novel and seven nonfiction titles, including The Thief at the End of the World, named one of Time magazine’s Top Ten Books for 2008, and Leavenworth Train, a finalist for the 2002 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. Jackson holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas and was an investigative reporter for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot for twelve years, covering criminal justice and the state's Death Row. His journalism has resulted in the acquittal of a man wrongly convicted of murder, the federal investigation of a jail in which sixteen prisoners died of medical neglect, and the recantations of two men whose testimony helped send men to Death Row. He is currently the Mina Hohenberg Darden Endowed Professor of Creative Writing in Old Dominion University’s MFA creative writing program. His biography of Sioux holy man Black Elk, known from the oral history Black Elk Speaks, was released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in October 2016.

    Classes taught: The Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Studio.
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    Victoria Kelly

    Victoria Kelly received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her B.A. summa cum laude in English from Harvard University and her M.Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin, where she was a United States Mitchell Scholar. Her fiction has appeared dozens of journals including Colorado Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Fiction, and The Idaho Review, and her poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Southwest Review, American Poetry Review, Hopkins Review, and Barrow Street. Her first chapbook, Prayers of an American Wife, is forthcoming by Autumn House Press. She teaches Creative Writing at Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: Flash Fiction, Beginnings and Endings, Young Writers Week.
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    Michael Khandelwal

    Michael Khandelwal is an award-winning writer and teacher. He writes poetry and fiction as well as editorials, profiles, and feature articles for Coastal Virginia Magazine, Alt Daily, and others. He teaches poetry and fiction workshops for the Norfolk-area literary center, The Muse Writers Center (for which he is a founder and serves as Executive Director), is a past web content management specialist for The American Council on Education, and is the past President of the 2008 Electoral College of Virginia.

    Michael attended USC as an undergraduate and graduate student (MPW with three theses: fiction, poetry, screenplay) and has studied under poets James Ragan, William Matthews, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko and writers Betty Friedan, Shelly Berman, Paul Gillette, John Rechy, Ben Masselink, Sy Gomberg, Shana Alexander, and Gay Talese.

    In Los Angeles, he worked in film and on the radio while teaching neuroscience at USC and poetry writing, drama, and acting in the city.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, The Poetry Workshop, The Poetry Studio, Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, The Fiction Studio, Fiction Workshop for Teen Writers.
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    Jean Klein

    A non-fiction writer and playwright, Jean Klein holds an MA and an MFA from the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa and studied playwriting at the U of I and at Carnegie-Mellon University. She currently teaches playwriting in the MA and MFA program at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. As a free-lance writer and editor, she has won awards for magazine articles, plays, and television scripts. For three years, she served as Contributing Editor for Metro magazine and for one year as Cultural Editor for Portfolio. She has also published three books on writing skills and customer service. Her short play, Snapshots was a winner in the Kernoble Contest at the University of Arkansas in 2010 and her full length play, The Refraction of Light is scheduled for production during the Summer Playfest in Norfolk in 2012. She is co-owner of a dramatic publishing company, HaveScripts and ScriptWorks Press.

    Classes taught: Developing Characters: Getting Started, The Film: An Autopsy, Flashing Back: Bringing the Past to the Present, Making Stories Move: Plot & Action, Marketing Your Work, Mind Mapping for Plot and Character, Our Characters: Creating & Exploring Their Inner Dimensions, Point of View: Whose Story is it?, Settings: Give Your Characters Somewhere to Go, The Short Story: An Excavation, Technical Writing: Opportunity for Freelancers, Turn Your Fragments into Stories, Write Great Sentences, You Talkin’ to Me? Writing Great Dialogue, Writing Great Scenes That Push Your Story Forward, X-Ray Your Characters: What Makes Them Tick?
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    Matthew Larrimore

    Matthew Larrimore was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, but spent 2007-2013 in the West. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in English in 2010 from the University of Northern Colorado and his Master's degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing in 2012 from Northern Arizona University while working as a Graduate Instructor and then Faculty Instructor. He is currently working on his MFA (Poetry) at Old Dominion University where he teaches 100 and 200 level composition. An active volunteer in the literary community, he's a veteran of six annual literary journals, including serving as the managing editor of Thin Air Magazine (2011-2012); and he currently serves as a Poetry Editor of Barely South Magazine. He also publishes FourTiesLitReview.com.

    Classes taught: Creating a Web Presence and Blog, How to Start an Author Blog/Website, Launching an Online Magazine.
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    Danielle Leibovici

    Danielle Leibovici LM FT was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, speaker, advocate, mom, and Amazon best selling author of the multi award-winning Under The Tree children’s picture-book series. She is one of the Author’s Show’s Fifty Writers You Should Be Reading. Danielle's experiences as a psychotherapist and parent have inspired her writings and speaking engagements. She is attuned to the subjects both children and adults respond to. Danielle’s best-selling titles include If You Love Me So Much, Under the Tree, With You Always, and Waiting For Emma: A Brother’s Story (for siblings and families with babies in the NICU). All her stories connect and inspire readers, young and old, on the power of human experience. Danielle’s passion is to help children and adults everywhere gain a healthier, universal perspective in life. Danielle is also busy at work on her first screenplay; she currently resides with her husband, three children, and dog in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Classes taught: Let's Be Honest: A Personal Growth Group for Women, Let's Be Honest: A Personal Growth Group for Women 2.
    Website: DanielleLeibovici.com.
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    Sylvia Liu

    Sylvia Liu is a picture book author and children’s illustrator. Her debut picture book, A Morning With Grandpa, illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books) comes out on May 1. It won the Lee & Low New Voices Award and has received excellent reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and others.

    Classes taught: Writing Children's Picture Books, Writing Children's Picture Books Studio.
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    Website: www.enjoyingplanetearth.com.
    Blog: www.sylvialiuland.com.
    Her Kid Lit Resource Website: www.kidlit411.com.
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    Michael Lovely

    Lt. Michael Lovely is an active member of the public safety community in Virginia. He has several years' experience investigating violent crimes, to include over 500 robbery investigations and 42 bank robberies. He is a Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Gang Specialist and General Instructor, and has been certified as an expert in suspect identification. His specialized training includes all aspects of criminal investigation including crime scene forensics, blood spatter and analysis, and interviews and interrogation. He is also a licensed polygraph examiner, and conducts training for financial institution employees in the area of bank security. Sgt. Lovely is currently assigned to his department’s intelligence unit where he continues to instruct new and senior police officers in a wide range of police related topics. During his career, he has received numerous commendations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Officer of the Year, and the department’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. Lt. Lovely has handled many high profile cases, and has been featured on the Live with Regis and Kelly show and the Virginian-Pilot.

    Classes taught: Detecting Deceptive Behavior, Police Procedures and Investigation, Crime Scene Investigations, Witnesses and Suspects, Police Interviews and Investigation, In the Courtroom.
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    Website: www.innercirclesolutions.net.
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    Michal Mahgerefteh

    Michal Mahgerefteh is an award-winning poet and artist from Israel, living in Virginia since 1986. She is publisher and editor of Poetica Magazine and the author of three poetry collections, In My Bustan, Sipping Memories: A Poetic Journal to Morocco, and What's Left Behind. Michal is the webmaster and contest judge for The Poetry Society of Virginia. She is currently working on her forth poetry collection.

    Classes taught: Collage: Your Words with Images.
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    Website: www.michalmahgerefteh.com.
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    Jennifer Malia

    Jennifer Malia earned her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature at the University of Southern California. She teaches writing and literature courses at Norfolk State University, where she is an Assistant Professor of English. Before joining NSU, she spent four years as an Assistant Professor of Writing Studies at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She is a regular contributor to the travel section of Maniac Magazine and is currently working on a memoir about her time living and working in the Emirates.

    Classes taught: The Creative Nonfiction Workshop.
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    Catherine Malley

    Catherine Malley holds a BFA from Mississippi University for Women and an MS in Education from Old Dominion University. She is an artist, a poet, and an elementary school teacher.

    Classes taught: Calligraphy: The Art of Elegant Handwriting, Young Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week, Calligraphy for Teens: The Art of Elegant Handwriting.
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    Chris Maples

    Dr. Maples grew up outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where he majored in biology and chemistry. He briefly studied cellular signaling and transport at the University of Pittsburgh before being accepted to Temple University School of Medicine. There, Chris became a commissioned officer in the United States Navy and, on graduation, moved to Norfolk, Virginia to complete an internship at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. He then underwent training to become an Undersea Medical Officer and served as Medical Department Head for two fast attack submarine squadrons based at Naval Station Norfolk. Following this tour, Chris left active duty and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. Currently, Chris is a partner in the Emergency Physicians of Tidewater and works primarily at a large community hospital in Suffolk, VA where he is the assistant medical director. Dr. Maples has special interests in Emergency ultrasound, resident education and patient satisfaction strategies. He is married with three children and enjoys running.

    Classes taught: Emergency Room Procedures and Treatment: Research for Writers.
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    Al Markowitz

    Al Markowitz is a local essayist, poet and publisher. His writing appears regularly in Veer Magazine. His poetry has been published in small press journals including Main Street Rag, Red Lantern, the Powhatan Review, Pemmican, Black Bear Review, and many others. He heads Partisan Press, a not-for-profit publisher of working class poetry and has edited and published the Blue Collar Review, Journal of Working Class Literature for over 19 years.

    Classes taught: Writing the Working Class.
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    Karla Martin

    Karla Martin is a teacher, writer, and journalist. She is a former producer of radio and television programs at WHRO/WHRV, the PBS/NPR station in Norfolk, as well as WAVY-TV and WVEC-TV. Karla is a graduate of The Ohio State University's School of Journalism and a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Karla has written articles for several publications. She is the co-author of the children's book, Logan's Journey (Dove Foundation Seal, Mom's Choice Awards; Gold Recipient, Book Sense Children's Pick). Karla lives in Chesapeake with her family and is now fulfilling her dream of teaching English. A graduate of the ODU Career Switchers Program, Karla currently teaches English at Oscar Smith Middle School.

    Classes taught: Writing Children's Literature, Children's Picture Book Writing Workshop, Young Writers Creative Workshop: Create your own Children's Picture Book.
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    Lucian Mattison

    Lucian Mattison is the author of Peregrine Nation (Broadkill River Press, 2014) which won the 2014 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in Bodega, The Boiler, Everyday Genius, and Hobart, among others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He edits poetry for Green Briar Review and Barely South Review. He is currently pursuing his MFA at Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: Teen Writers Workshop.
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    Website: lucianmattison.com.
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    Sarah McCall

    Sarah McCall worked for many years as both English teacher and bartender, and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Old Dominion University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals including Whurk, Barely South Review, Jet Fuel Review, Cargo Literary, and Fields Magazine. She and her husband and their two dogs live in Norfolk, VA.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, Odes, Praise Songs, and Prayers: Poems of Gratitude, Poetry of Desire, Teen Writers Workshop.
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    John McCarthy

    John McCarthy earned a Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric from Miami University of Ohio. He taught writing (composition, business writing and technical writing) at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX, where he also directed the Writing Across the Disciplines Program. For the last 18 years, Dr. McCarthy has been a Technical Proposal Manager and writer for companies in various industries, including construction and government services. An interest in combining words and pictures to communicate more effectively led him to start cartooning about five years ago. Dr. McCarthy has published and presented professionally, and his poetry and short stories have been selected for juried publications. He was also the Publicity Director of the Houston Poetry Fest and edited their annual publication.

    Classes taught: Get Unstuck! Managing Writer’s Block
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    Kindra McDonald

    Kindra McDonald graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College and received her MFA in poetry from Queens University of Charlotte. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Writing for University of Maryland University College and is cofounder and editor of Copaiba Press. Her work has appeared in various journals to include Portfolio Weekly, The Quotable, New Fraktur Art Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review and the anthologies The Nearest Poem and "B." She was a finalist for the Press 53 Open Awards in 2011. Her first book, Concealed Weapons is forthcoming from ELJ Publications. She is beyond thrilled to be teaching at The Muse Writers Center and whole heartedly believes in the power of words.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, Finders Keepers: The Art of Found Poetry, Poetry in the Morning, Young Writers Week, Young Writers Workshop.
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    Kristin Mehaffey

    Kristin Mehaffey is a local writer and illustrator who is excited to bring the art form of comics into light. Her beginnings in translating scripts to a visual medium started in film school. She would storyboard for fellow directors, developing a relationship between a writer and illustrator. From there, she would write her own ideas, but bring them into fruition as comics. Kristin would go on to work at a business called Geeksboro, which attracted professional illustrators such as Dan Dos Santos, Thomas Boatwright, and Brian "Smitty" Smith who have worked for Dark Horse Comics, Marvel, and DC. In one example, she facilitated an artist talk with Marvel Comics illustrator Erica Henderson of Squirrel Girl. After her time at Geeksboro, she did freelance work as a digital illustrator, continuing to work with clients to bring about their vision. She is excited to bring her experience as a storyteller who understands both sides of the fence of comic making to her class.

    Classes taught: Writing Comic Books & Graphic Novels.
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    Lydia Netzer

    Lydia Netzer lives in Norfolk with her husband and two children. She received an MA in English Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago's Program for Writers. Her novel, Shine Shine Shine, was published by St. Martin's Press in 2012. It is a New York Times Notable Book for 2012, an Amazon Spotlight Book of the Month, and was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Workshop, NaNoWriMo Workshop, Flash Fiction Seminar, Reading for Writers: Shine, Shine, Shine.
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    Renée Olander

    Renée Ellen Olander was born on a military base in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has lived in Detroit, Michigan, Honolulu, Hawai'i, New York City, and southeastern Virginia. She earned a B.A. from Mary Baldwin College (1984), an M.A. from Old Dominion University (1987), and an M.F.A. from University of Southern Maine (2005). Olander is a widely published writer whose poems, essays, reviews, and interviews have appeared journals and anthologies including The Writer's Chroicle, Verse and Universe—Poems About Science and Mathemetics, The Chronicle of Higher Education Poetry Month Blog, The Virginian-Pilot, The Cafe Review, and many others. A Few Spells, a chapbook collection of her poems, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2010. Olander has taught poetry, writing, and the teaching of poetry in the Hampton Roads region and at Old Dominion University for more than twenty-five years.

    Classes taught: Poems of Witness: A Poetry Workshop, Saturday Morning Sonnets.
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    Gavin Pate

    Gavin Pate's novel, The Way To Get Here, was published by Bootstrap Press, and other work can be found in places such as The Collagist, The Southeast Review, Barrelhouse, Lantern Journal, and Rain Taxi, among others. He has an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University, where he studied with writers such as Brian Evenson, Laird Hunt, and Anne Waldman. Gavin is currently an associate professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan College, where he teaches classes on fiction writing, experimental fiction, and the mystery and horror genres.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Studio.
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    Susie Pedigo

    Susie Pedigo, a native Virginian, earned her BA in English with certification in English, social studies, art history, drama and French. She received her masters degree from the University of Virginia. She taught in public and private high schools in Tidewater and college classes on the bases. After thirty-five years she retired to pursue her creative interests. She writes poetry, fiction, memoir, and nonfiction. Painting in water colors and acrylics became her first new hobby. She has danced since she was four and continues to take classes, choreograph and perform with the Lakewood Tap Club. She also enjoys sewing, gardening, knitting, and decorating. Her latest field of study and practice is the development of creativity.

    Classes taught: Spark Your Creativity, Seven Habits of Creative People.
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    Michelle Pepino

    Michelle Pepino is a singer-songwriter and an intern and student at The Muse Writers Center. She was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is currently a senior at George Mason University with a major in English with a concentration in film and media studies and a minor in music technology.

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    Peter Porosky

    Peter Porosky has taught fiction writing at the University of Arizona, the University of Maryland (College Park and the European Division), Johns Hopkins University, and Elizabeth City State University. In addition, he created and directed the Creative Writing Institute at the University of Maryland. He has published four novels, many short stories and poems. His novel The Sins of Major Lord, was a best-seller in translation in Germany, and his novel trilogy of The Venturi Principle, as well as three major textbooks on fiction writing are available on Amazon.com. He also owns Porosky-Kremer Communications, a professional writing consultancy and has helped countless writers gain success in their writing careers. He has attracted the positive attention of Nelson DeMille, one of America's best selling authors. Prior to returning to the United States, he was a Major in the United States Army Counterintelligence corps. He lives with his wife in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Classes taught: The Fiction Studio, Beginning the Novel, Continuing the Novel, Business and Technical Writing.
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    Maya Porten

    Maya Leigh Porten is in eigth grade at Ghent Montessori School and has been writing since the 5th grade. She has been a student at the Muse for two years, but it already feels like a second home. She loves to write teen fiction and fantasy and to read creative nonfiction and teen fiction. She is an intern at The Muse Writers Center.

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    Sarah Pringle

    Sarah Pringle received her MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University in May 2014. Sarah is the coordinator of the Teen Writers Program at the Muse Writers Center where she also teaches poetry and multi-genre workshops for adults. In addition, Sarah teaches undergraduate English at ODU and was awarded a Shining Star Teaching Award in January 2016. Sarah is a poetry editor for Green Briar Review as well as Four Ties Lit Review, and serves as a judge for poetry slams and writing contests. Sarah is a Golden Key International Honor scholar. In graduate school she was vice president of Sigma Tau Delta Nu Upsilon, an ODU Writing Center tutor, coordinator of the non-profit project Writers in Community, and a Barely South Review poetry editor. Sarah holds a TESOL/TESL/TEFL Teacher Certificate, and prior to graduate school taught high school English and ESL. Sarah is a citizen of the USA and Canada, and her goal in life is to travel as much as possible! Sarah has recently completed her first poetry manuscript and is actively seeking publication.

    Classes taught: Let Your Words Flow: Write Anything, Introduction to Writing Poetry, The Poetry Workshop, Young Writers Workshop, Young Writers Week, Fiction Workshop for Teen Writers, Teen Writers Workshop, Teen Writers Week.
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    Eric Ramseier

    Eric earned a Master's Degree in English Literature from Kansas State University and an MFA from Old Dominion University. He has had short stories published in Specter, Shaking Like a Mountain, Huron River Review, Stone's Throw Magazine and others.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop.
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    Noah Renn

    Noah Renn received an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University in May 2011. His poetry has been published in several literary journals, including Cezanne's Carrot, North Central Review, New Verse News, Blue Collar Review, The Quotable, and Undressed. He is currently teaches composition and literature at ODU and TCC.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Writing Poetry, The Poetry Workshop, Poetic Coding: Writing Our Identities and Our Poetic D.N.A., Poetry Workshop for Teen Writers.
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    Charles Rhodes

    After four years in the Air Force, Charles chose to go to college. Although he loved literature, it was the early '80s and a bleak outlook for liberal arts majors, so he chose science. Fast forward 22 years and a lay-off... His partner encouraged him to pursue writing and The Muse... and now he's a poet. He grew up in California, landed in Virginia, fell in love and stayed. he has one published piece, a humorous essay in Orchids Magazine. He's trying for more... He is an intern at The Muse Writers Center.

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    Suzanne Rhodes

    Suzanne Underwood Rhodes is the author of five books of poetry and creative prose, her most recent being a chapbook, Hungry Foxes (Aldrich Press). She has recent poems in Edgar Allan Poe Review, Spiritus, Aethlon, Anglican Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. She is an adjunct instructor of writing at Tidewater Community College and has taught creative writing for many years to students of all ages. She earned an MA degree from Johns Hopkins University in the Writing Seminars and a BS degree from James Madison University. She was a resident fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and is an associate editor for the Sow's Ear Poetry Review.

    Classes taught: A Certain Slant of Light, Cut from the Same Astonishing Cloth: Writing a Series of Related Poems, Encountering the Other, Silver Trails: Experimenting with a Range of Poetic Styles, Sing Darker: Strengthen the Emotional Pulse of Your Poetry, Clarity through the Mask: Writing the Persona Poem, To See the World in a Grain of Sand: An Exploration of Nature Poetry, Getting Your Poetry Chapbook Ready: A How-To Workshop.
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    Nathan Richardson

    Nathan M. Richardson is an accomplished performance poet and published author. His published collections are Likeness of Being and Twenty-one Imaginary T-shirts. He has also contributed to the following anthologies: The Poets Domain, The Cupola, The Channel Marker, and Skipping Stones. Nathan is the Head Coach of the Hampton Roads Youth Poets a division of the youth empowerment organization: Teens with a Purpose. he Hampton Roads Youth Poets placed 2nd out of 53 teams at the 2016 Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Festival. Demonstrating his ability to switch hats from poetry and storytelling to history and theater, Nathan is now in his second year of The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour, in which he delivers a remarkable portrayal of the former slave, writer, orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. A short list of Nathan's other affiliations include the Poetry Society of Virginia, Young Audiences of Virginia, and the Suffolk Arts League.

    Classes taught: The Oral Tradition of Poetry: Spoken Word.
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    Mira Roberts

    Mira studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in Media and Marketing with PARADE, Portfolio, AltDaily and skirt!. A new mother, an avid journal writer, and closet poet, Mira starts each morning with her journal and her yoga mat. This has made all the difference. She writes a daily blog: www.mydailypresent.com

    Classes taught: Journaling for Creative & Personal Growth.
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    Christine Rucker

    An artist and instructor; Christine started QbyQ Press as a means to connect to writers and artists to engage in collaborative relationships. She is immersed in immersion, possible and virtual worlds, material science, and above all, poetry. "I could hate this place, but I like to be immersed in it. I hope to paint a better picture of the idea of it." While in New York, her time was balanced between oil painting, intaglio, and art history classes at Pratt Institute and work-partying at noise and rock shows. Presently, Christine's 9-5 is project management at The Prince Ink Co. She is an instructor at the Governor’s School for the Arts and freelance at locations sprinkled throughout the Hampton Roads area. Her artwork has been shown at CultureFix Gallery, Governor’s Island Art Fair, Shea Stadium, other places in New York City and Norfolk, VA.

    Classes taught: Bookmaking: Accordion Books, Bookmaking: Blank Journals, Bookmaking: Real Self-Publishing, Bookmaking: Stab Binding.
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    Tim Sanderson

    Tim Sanderson is a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1980 and of the Psychiatric Residency at EVMS in 1984. He has been in private practice since 1984. He received certification as a Jungian Analyst from the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts in 1991. He has been teaching in the EVMS Graduate Art Therapy program since 1990, and was certified as an Art Therapist in 1994. Tim has been studying Jung for over 48 years now, and he recently served four years as President of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, which is the largest group of Jungian Analysts in the United States.

    Classes taught: Psychologists, Psychology, and Psychotherapy: Research for Writers
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    Colin Sargent

    Colin W. Sargent, Ph.D., is a novelist, magazine publisher, playwright, and poet. His new novel The Boston Castrato is just out from Barbican Press of London and Hull, United Kingdom.

    Classes taught: The Juicy Opposition Characters Your Readers Crave, Tense: Moments and the Shades of Time
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    Alison Schoew

    Creative writer by night, technical writer and adjunct instructor of English at ODU by day, Alison Schoew is fascinated by language. She holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and is a veteran of the Write Now and Write at the Beach workshops. Some of her favorite moments have been spent writing with a roomful of people to a specific cue, and then sitting back to hear the spectrum of voices that that specific prism provoked. Her aim is to help students jumpstart their writing in a positive, engaging, immediate, and not-even-slightly-threatening environment.

    Classes taught: Start Writing, Keep Writing... Write Now
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    Tim Seibles

    Tim Seibles, born in Philadelphia in 1955, is the author of several poetry collections including Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock, and Buffalo Head Solos. His first book, Body Moves, (1988) has just been re-released by Carnegie Mellon U. Press as part of their Contemporary Classics series. His latest, Fast Animal, was one of five poetry finalists for the 2012 National Book Award. In 2013 he received the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award for poetry—also for Fast Animal. Tim was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Misericordia University for his literary accomplishments. Most recently, he received the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award for Fast Animal, a prize given triennially for a collection of poems.

    During the spring semester of 2010, Tim was poet-in-residence at Bucknell University. A National Endowment for the Arts fellow, he also enjoyed a seven-month writing fellowship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center in Massachusetts. His poetry is featured in several anthologies; among them are: Rainbow Darkness; The Manthology; Autumn House Contemporary American Poetry; Black Nature; Evensong; Villanelles; and Sunken Garden Poetry. His poem "Allison Wolff" was included in Best American Poetry 2010 and, most recently, his poem "Sotto Voce: Othello, Unplugged" was featured in Best American Poetry 2013.

    He has been a workshop leader for Cave Canem, a writer’s retreat for African American poets, and for the Hurston/Wright Foundation, another organization dedicated to developing black writers. Tim lives in Norfolk, Virginia and is a Professor of English at Old Dominion University where he teaches literature as well as classes in the MFA in writing program. He is also a member of the board of directors of Norfolk’s The Muse Writers Center where he also teaches advanced workshops in poetry.

    Classes taught: Adding Fuel to The Fire, The Good Walk: Narrative Poetry and Voice as Character, The Persona Poem: A Poetry Workshop, Stoking Good Fire: Rough Drafts and Revision, The Shorter Poem: Sure as a Karate Chop, Weekend Intensive Poetry Workshop: Remembering to Remember.
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    Sheila Sheppard

    Sheila Sheppard is pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at ODU and studied English, Music, and Art at the College of William and Mary. She is a copywriter for Ridgeline Writing and Midlothian Web Solutions and has a background in nonprofit communications and leadership. When she's not journaling or writing short stories, she's working on a memoir about her Appalachian Trail thru-hike and its aftermath. She has studied with Robert Arthur, Carrie and John Gregory Brown, Nicole Emmelhainz, Farideh Goldin, Patti Hinson, Michael Khandalwal, Sheri Reynolds, and Nancy Zafris. She enjoys swimming in the Chesapeake Bay, playing the violin, and learning profound life lessons from her toddler, Aven.

    Classes taught: Journaling for Creative & Personal Growth.
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    Melissa Sipin

    Melissa R. Sipin is a writer from Carson, California. In 2013, she won First Place in the March Glimmer Train Fiction Open and Honorable Mention in the September Glimmer Train Fiction Open. Her writing is published or forthcoming in Glimmer Train Stories, PANK Magazine, Fjords Review, Quiet Lightning's sPARKLE+bLINK, Hyphen Magazine, 580 Split, Lantern Review, and Kweli Journal, among others. Cofounder of TAYO Literary Magazine, she was the Community Engagement Fellow at Mills College and the Tennessee Williams Scholar at the 2013 Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her short fiction received the 2014 Amanda Davis MFA Thesis Award (Runner-Up), the 2013 Ardella Mills Prize, the 2011 Miguel G. Flores Prize, and, in 2012 and 2013, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. As a Kundiman Fiction Fellow, VONA/Voices Fellow, and U.S. Navy wife, she teaches at ODU and Tidewater Community College. She blogs at www.msipin.com and is currently working on a novel.

    Classes taught: Start Writing, Keep Writing... Write Now, The Middle: Writing the Heart of Your Story
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    Kelly Sokol

    Kelly Sokolearned an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Her work has appeared in ConnotationPress, The Pitkin Review, and The Quotable. She contributes regularly to Tidewater Women. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, The Unprotected, will be released in April 2017 by Skyhorse Publishing.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing, The Fiction Workshop, A Mother of a Voice: Writing Motherhood, Introduction to Creative Non-fiction, Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, The Creative Nonfiction Workshop, Between the Book Deal and Your Publication Date.
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    Melissa M. Stewart

    Melissa M. Stewart has served as editor-in-chief of Hampton Roads Magazine and Virginia Wine Lover magazine. She also helps develop and update ancillary publications such as HRM Bride, the HRM Beauty Book and HRM PrimeTime. After earning degrees in magazine journalism and English and textual studies from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, she worked as a reporter, lifestyle editor and magazine/special sections editor for a New Jersey newspaper group and also a freelance writer before moving to Hampton Roads in 2005. She quickly learned to embrace her new Southern surroundings and is now proud to be a Virginian (Jersey does get a bad rap, after all). When she's not on deadline in her Virginia Beach office, she likes to spend time wine tasting (research!), tending to her community garden plot, trying to re-create haute cuisine at home with her husband, and fixing up her house in Norfolk's Colonial Place.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Magazine Writing, The Pitch: Magazine Articles and Features.
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    Lauran Strait

    Lauran Strait has edited close to 175 full-length manuscripts (fiction and nonfiction) in the last 18 years. She taught various writing classes and ran three popular and long-standing writer workshops at the Adult Learning Center in Virginia Beach for seven years, until she stopped teaching in order to found Hampton Roads Writers. As HRW's president and conference director, Lauran now only edits, as time permits, for a select few authors.

    Classes taught: Self-Editing Seminar.
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    Karen Tatum

    Dr. Karen E. Tatum has a PhD in English from the University of Alabama and twenty years of experience teaching college composition and literary analysis. She has published in The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, The Journal of Medical Humanities, and The Journal of Popular Culture. Her book Explaining the Depictions of Violence Against Women in Victorian Literature was published in 2005. She teaches part-time at Old Dominion University while completing her memoir, Eczematic, a coming of age story about a woman trying to understand what independence means against a backdrop of eczema, abuse, and addiction.

    Classes taught: Moves Writers Make: A Writer’s Toolbox, Writing with Style.
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    Leah Thiessen

    Leah Thiessen, a past intern at The Muse Writers Center, graduated from University of Iowa where she completed the Undergraduate Creative Writing Track in addition a Bachelors of Arts in English in 2013. She studied abroad in Durban, South Africa at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in the spring of 2011. She was the nonfiction editor of Closed Captioned Magazine, winner of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Annual Journalism contest, and a volunteer for two years with Iowa Youth Writing Project, a non-profit outreach collective, founded by University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduates in 2010, that aims to join Iowa City’s unique literary heritage with Iowa’s larger community, empowering, inspiring, and educating Iowa’s youth through language arts and creative thinking. In 2013, she became the Geographical Outreach Summer Intern.

    Classes taught: Young Writers Week.
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    Kenneth Tomasits

    Kenneth Tomasits attended Penn State University where he received a bachelors degree in Media Studies with a focus on Film and Television. After working 10-plus years in the commercial film industry in New York City, he went on to earn an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College in Vermont. His short stories have appeared several times in the Pitkin Review and he has several others under consideration from multiple literary journals. He is currently working on several stories as well as his first novel. When he is not writing and reading he teaches the Craft of Fiction, The Short Story, Introduction to Creative Writing, Technical Writing, Introduction to Literature, and English Composition at Old Dominion University as well as English Composition and Humanities at ECPI University.

    Classes taught: Introduction to Fiction Writing.
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    Mae Lynn Walker

    Mae Lynn earned her MFA from ODU with a concentration in poetry studying with The Muse's own Tim Seibles. In 2002 she was awarded Honorable Mention in the Non-rhyming Poem category by Writer's Digest Magazine in a contest hosted by Robert Pinsky that received over 19,000 entries. More recently, she was awarded first place in The Barbara Dunn Hartin Memorial Poetry Prize and first place in The Hampton Roads Writers Nonfiction Prize. Mae Lynn has taught Literature and Women's Studies at Tidewater Community College. Currently, she works full time and is raising two young boys. She still finds time to blog, write poetry and fiction, and work on a YA novel—the first chapter received the Edith Thompson Award for Juvenile Fiction. The manuscript is now with an agent.

    Classes taught: Young Adult Fiction Workshop, Open Studio, Outlining and Plot.
    Send Mae a message.
    Blog: www.maelynnwalker.blogspot.com.
    Follow Mae Lynn on Twitter @ml_walker, where she tweets her daily word count.
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    Tammy Wartell

    Tammy Wartell is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University with a major in English. She teaches at Trinity Lutheran—she has taught second grade and currently teaches preschool. She has been published in NexGenMilspouse, Mysterious Ways, and Boating Times. She just began writing for The Daily Mom.

    Classes taught: Young Writers Day, Young Writers Week.
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    Geoff Watkinson

    Geoff Watkinson has an MFA (creative nonfiction/memoir) from Old Dominion University, where he teaches, and an MA from Seton Hall University, where he was a teaching fellow. He also works as a technical writer for an engineering firm and has contributed to Guernica, The Virginian Pilot, Moon City Review, and The Good Men Project, among others. He's received residencies from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center and Wildacres. He founded the literary journal Green Briar Review in 2012.

    Classes taught: Creative Nonfiction Workshop, The Memoir Workshop.
    Send Geoff a message.
    Website: geoffwatkinson.com.
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    Donna Wynn

    Donna Wynn lives with a purpose to live creatively each and every day. She is a Licensed Optician here in the Tidewater area, Co-Founder and Teacher of The Artful Spirit Workshops. She is the newly elected Vice-President of the Poetry Society of Virginia for the Southeast Region. She teaches Senior Adults art and creative writing at the beautiful Harbors Edge here in Norfolk . Donna is a CZT, Certified Zentangle® Teacher here in the Tidewater area. You can find her writing at her own blog at www.gentlethreads.blogspot.com. Donna is passionate about the Zentangle art form and leading others to this magical and meditative drawing process. ... "just one stroke at a time". Donna strongly believes that Zentangle and writing go hand in hand in the creative process. She loves teaching this drawing process to all ages!

    Classes taught: A Zentangle Workshop, A Zentangle Workshop 2, Word Prompt in a Jar, Young Writers Week.
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    Tom Yuill

    Tom Yuill's first book of poetry, Medicine Show, was published by the University of Chicago Press. Of it Robert Pinsky writes, "the book's brilliant imitations and adaptations cast a raking eye on Texas versions of the quasi-Byronic hero." Rosanna Warren writes, "Yuill wrings his own tunes from Texas stomp, the Rolling Stones and the lyric masters of English. He's reinventing fireworks." He has taught poetry at Boston University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and University of Iowa, among others. This year he is teaching at Old Dominion University.

    Classes taught: Cover Versions, The Craft of Poetry, Creations and Armageddons: Poems of the Endings and the Beginnings, Poetry and Inspiration, Poetry & Myth, Writing Through Crisis, Revising to Live.
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    Skye Zentz

    Skye Zentz is a singer-songwriter with thick folk music roots. She grew up in Norfolk, playing in the practice rooms of her father's music store and listening to Mariah Carey on the radio. Skye began writing songs by ear on her grandmother's piano, and later picked up the guitar and ukulele. Her debut album, Legitimate Bohemia, was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2008 Portfolio Music Awards. Since then, Skye has taught ukulele and songwriting workshops, performed at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California, and married a tall, sweet man who bakes her banana bread. Skye is currently recording her sophomore studio album in Norfolk, and plans to release it in June.

    Classes taught: Songwriting: The Lyrical Craft, Ukulele for Beginners, Songcraft for Teens, Start Songwriting Saturday, Start Songwriting Saturday for Teens.
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    the muse's past facilitators & teachers

  • Tara Shea Burke
  • T Campbell
  • Ed Carden
  • Sarah Jo Carter
  • Alicia Dekker
  • Tony Delateur
  • Sean Devereux
  • Gillian Durham
  • Greg Eatroff
  • Gregory Epps
  • Chad Faries
  • Alan Flanders
  • Pete Freas
  • Barbara Gardner
  • Caroline Garrett
  • Colin Ginks
  • Farideh Goldin
  • Lisa Beech Hartz
  • Caitlin Hayes
  • Rick Hite
  • Jess Horton
  • Matthew Hutchinson
  • Luke Iha
  • Tori Kerr
  • Janine Latus
  • Tracie Liguid
  • John Robert Mack
  • Deb Markham
  • Claudia Mazur
  • Lewis McGehee
  • Brad McMurran
  • Jim Morrison
  • Andrea Nolan
  • Daniel Pearlman
  • Ken Phillips
  • Tench Phillips
  • Sheri Reynolds
  • Tom Robotham
  • Steve Rosenthal
  • Tony Ruggiero
  • Rich Santoro
  • Jesse Scaccia
  • Jack Sommers
  • Dana Staves
  • Lisa Suhay
  • Michael Tarpey
  • Grace Tazewell
  • Rachel Thompson
  • Dillon Tripp
  • Kip Watson
  • Heather Weddington
  • Mary Westbrook
  • Roberto Westbrook
  • Valerie Wilkinson
  • Leona Wisoker
  • Alba Woolard
  • Kristina Wright


  • Tara Shea Burke

    Tara Shea Burke earned her MFA in poetry from Old Dominion University in 2012. She also holds a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, and has traveled to South Africa and Senegal to work with non-profits and offer service to NGOs. She has served as poetry editor for Barely South Review, and is the current poetry editor for The Quotable. She teaches literature and writing at ODU and The Muse Writers Center, and is finishing a teacher training in Hatha Yoga. Burke has an essay in the forthcoming book Loving The L Word: The Full Series in Focus, and her poems are featured in The Quotable, Switched-on Gutenberg, Rougarou, and forthcoming in Sinister Wisdom. She placed 2nd in Split This Rock’s 2013 Poetry Contest, judged by Mark Doty.

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    T Campbell

    T Campbell has been an award-winning comics scriptwriter for nearly a decade, writing over 3000 pages of graphic novels, manga, comic strips and webcomics, both independently and with publishers like Tokyopop and Marvel—including titles such as Fans, Cool Cat Studio, Penny and Aggie, Divalicious, Sketchies, Rip and Teri, Exploding Stills, and other comics.

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    Ed Carden

    Ed Carden has a degree in theatre from Old Dominion University. He's been acting and performing comedy for more than a decade, and has appeared in nearly 30 local theatrical productions, as well as a handful of commercials and short films. He is a founding member of The Pushers Sketch/Improv Comedy Group, in which he serves as a performer, writer, and producer. With The Pushers, he has performed up and down the east coast. By day he works for Virginia Beach Public Schools. In addition to writing and performing, he enjoys cheeseburgers, sushi, and science fiction—not necessarily in that order.

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    Sarah Jo Carter

    Sarah Jo Carter writes poetry and fiction, writes about and reviews films, and is an intern and student at The Muse Writers Center. She is a graduate student at Old Dominion University in the Occupational and Technical Studies program focusing on instructional design technology and technical writing (her undergraduate degree was in Sociology and Human Services). She currently works at Old Dominion University (Tri-Cities location) in office administration and satellite technology as well as at the Virginia Living Museum as a Volunteer Services Assistant.

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    Alicia Dekker

    Alicia Wright Dekker is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee and a member of the board of directors of The Muse. Her short stories and micro fiction can be found in The Quotable, The Treehouse: A Magazine of Possibilities, and Barely South Review among others. Alicia has a degree in drama from Syracuse University. She also studied at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) and was an intern at The Gate Theatre, in London, England. She, herself, can usually be found in one of Norfolk’s many coffeehouses—but that's another story.

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    Tony DeLateur

    Tony is an MFA candidate on the fiction track at Old Dominion University. Before moving to Norfolk, he taught high school and college in Los Angeles.

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    Sean Devereux

    Sean Devereux is the executive producer and co-head writer of the sketch comedy group, The Pushers and a member of the board of directors of The Muse. He graduated with a B.A. in English from George Mason University and has studied improv at The Upright Citizen's Brigade in New York. With The Pushers, he has performed up and down the east coast, most notably headlining The Charleston Comedy Festival and The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival. In his civilian guise, Sean is an Emmy Award winning writer/producer at WVEC-TV 13.

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    Gillian Durham

    Gillian is an instructor of English as a Second Language at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, where she teaches all academic language skills but has a particular fondness for the wild complexities of English grammar. Once a world traveler, she now stays mostly in one place and instead enjoys playing host to the world in her classroom, which is sort of like traveling but much less expensive. She holds a B.A. in English from Elon University and a M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Old Dominion University. Oh, and the swooping, winged figure on the Muse homepage? That's Gillian.

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    Greg Eatroff

    Greg Eatroff is a writer, actor, editor, and historian. He has written two scripts for local history documentaries which have gone into production. His non-fiction has appeared in the Old Dominion Historical Review. Since the late 1990s he has edited and co-scripted comics for both print and web markets. He loves the collaborative nature of comics production, and hopes to share that love and experience with Muse students.

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    Gregory Epps

    Gregory Epps is a freelance journalist and 10-year veteran of weekly film criticism whose work has appeared in a variety of print and web publications. As critic and essayist for PortFolio Weekly, Greg published over 500 reviews, covered local film festivals, and interviewed A-list film directors and actors. Greg subsequently wrote and broadcasted weekly film reviews for Norfolk's public radio affiliate, WHRV-FM, as part of Cathy Lewis's award-winning HearSay program. Greg is currently writing for several freelance clients, has a novel in-progress, and still believes that all of life's riddles are answered, in the movies.

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    Chad Faries

    Chad Faries has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from UW-Milwaukee and has taught writing and literature in the United States and Europe. His poetic memoir, The Border Will Be Soon, was the winner of the 2006 Emergency Press book competition which went on to win the 2006 Gran Prix Prize for poetry from the International Academy Orient-Occident in Romania. His memoir, Some Houses, is seeking a commercial publisher. One of The Muse's most popular teachers, Chad recently moved to Savannah, Georgia where he is an Assistant Professor of English.

    Classes taught: Photography & Writing Workshop, Memoir Writing Workshop.
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    Alan Flanders

    Alan Flanders has an M.A. in English from Hollins College with an emphasis on Creative Writing, a Ph.D. and an advanced degree in English Local History from Oxford. He has also been a poetry and non-fiction contributor at the Breadloaf Writers Conference, Middlebury College. For the last 25 years he has written a column for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper. Flanders also hosted Century, an Emmy award winning public television documentary on Hampton Roads history. His contributions to local and national television productions include serving as naval historian for a live CBS News broadcast worldwide of the JFK, Jr. burial at sea and numerous commentaries on local, regional and national history topics. He has published eight books and numerous articles in American Heritage, Gourmet, and American History Magazine.

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    Pete Freas

    Pete Freas is a retired Navy helicopter pilot with a BA degree in English and History, an MA degree in Communication, and an MSEd. He has studied German and taught for two and a half years at the German Command and Staff College in Hamburg, GE. He has taught Middle-School Special Ed, and High School English in Portsmouth and Smithfield. Pete often hosts open-mic events and workshops, and appears as visiting writer in area schools. The poems in his chapbook Boots tell of his VN War experience. Several of his poems and stories have been published in regional publications, and he has edited five volumes of Skipping Stones, a Hampton Roads poetry anthology. He and his artist wife are the adoptive parents of two working adults who were once twin infants.

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    Barbara Gardner

    Barbara Gardner, a native of Germany, loves poetry and people and is the former facilitator of the First Friday Poetry Salon. She feels equally at home in the US and Germany but also enjoyed very much living in the UK and Norway. Barbara has participated in several poetry workshops and hopes to someday publish a collection of her own work. She lives in Norfolk.

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    Caroline Garrett

    Caroline S. Garrett's first picture book, Sarah's Bead, was published in 2000. Her second, Jeremiah, in 2003. She is the illustrator of a series of "Forest Friends" tales which were published between 2005 and 2007. She earned her MFA in printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, and a second Masters degree in Art Education from Ohio State. She gives workshops in children's picture books, art and spirituality, and mandalas.

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    Colin Ginks

    Colin is a published novelist, short-story writer, translator and visual artist from the UK. He has also lived in Marseille, Johannesburg, and Lisbon, and recently moved to downtown Norfolk from New York City. Creative writing is his life, and his love: his second novel, You Choose, is currently under review in Europe, and his most recent project, Swimming on the Edge Of, is awaiting review with agents in the US, upon completion. He is also to translate two recent novels by Irvine Welsh, Crime and If You Like School. You'll Love Work into Portuguese in 2009 and 2010.

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    Farideh Goldin

    Farideh Goldin was born in 1953 in Shiraz, Iran, to a family of dayanim, judges, and leaders of the Jewish community. She studied English literature at Pahlavi University and earned an MA (humanities) and MFA (creative nonfiction) from Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia. Her first book, Wedding Song, concerns her struggle to reconcile her Western education with her deeply rooted Iranian Jewish upbringing. A forthcoming volume, Burying Yehetzkel, chronicles her life as a new immigrant to the United States and her father’s struggle to leave Iran and rejoin the family in Israel. She teaches literature and is the director of the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University.

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    Lisa Beech Hartz

    Lisa Beech Hartz was a founder and a co-director of The Muse until 2014, when she founded and now directs Seven Cities Writers Project. Seven Cities brings creative writing workshops to underserved communities. Lisa guides an ongoing workshop in the Norfolk City Jail. A poet, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, Blackbird, Redivider, Poet Lore, Mud Season, Thrush and elsewhere. She lives in Portsmouth with her husband and four sons.

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    Caitlin Hayes

    Caitlin Hayes holds an MA in English Literature from the University of New Hampshire and is in her third year of teaching English at Norfolk Academy. Before moving from New England to Virginia, she freelanced for two newspapers, worked in book design, and administered a writing center. She is a student in the MFA program at Old Dominion University, and in the fall, will enter the MFA program at Syracuse University where she will continue working on a collection of short stories.

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    Rick Hite

    Rick Hite is Professor Emeritus of Theater/Communications at Virginia Wesleyan College. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College (B.A. Spanish), The Johns Hopkins University (M.A. Romance Languages and Literatures), and Michigan State University (Ph.D. Theater/Communications). His theater career as actor, director, producer, translator, and playwright spans more years than he wants to admit. He has published plays, translations, and poetry in the U. S. and Spain and has had works produced both here and abroad.

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    Jess Horton

    Jess Horton is a runner, social media/marketing expert, and blogger. She is a graduate of Radford University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education. After teaching elementary school for several years, Jess turned her passion for education into training and teaching businesses about marketing. Jess spends her time running or writing. She has used her knowledge of running and fitness to develop www.TheFitPetite.com, a health and fitness website. Jess also is a running ambassador and coach for J&A Racing. Her blog documenting her healthy lifestyle journey and race reports is featured on her website. Jess is also a contributing blogger for www.VeryBestofVirginia.com and the Hampton Roads American Marketing Association. Her blog has been recognized nationally by Girls on the Run International.

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    Matthew Hutchinson

    Matthew Hutchinson is the president of Miravalles Culture and Adventure Center, a tour center located in the rainforest of northern Costa Rica, that specializes in Eco-tourism and cultural exchange for students and small groups of adventurers. He founded and runs UrbanXChange, a chain of retail stores and tattoo shops in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Newport News. He received degrees in Journalism and Latin American Literature from UW-Madison, and he studied in Lima Peru (1988–89) and worked in Managua and Esteli, Nicaragua (1986–87). In 1990 and 1991, he taught with Teach for America in the ESL programs at Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles and Park West in New York City. He's a musician and singer-songwriter who performs at open mics in the area, and is currently working on the second draft of his novel, Sandino's Bones and milling about Ghent at any pub that serves O'Connor's new IPA, el Guapo. He has been a facilitator of The Muse Writers Center's 2nd Friday Acoustic Jam.

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    Luke Iha

    Luke Iha is an un-schooling seventeen year-old whose interests include philosophy, psychology, and—of course—writing. He has worked on the KUNM Generation Justice Youth radio program as a host and DJ and has volunteered with the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. As the Muse's second intern, Luke has become a notable expert in promotional fliering, and after completing his internship, he hopes to travel and further pursue his literary career.

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    Tori Kerr

    Tori Kerr studies English and Creative Writing at The George Washington University, where she is a rising sophomore. As The Muse Writers Center's first intern, Tori has assisted in all areas of operations from publicity and promotions to outreach and fundraising. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career as a writer, editor, and teacher.

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    Janine Latus

    Janine Latus is the award-winning author of If I Am Missing or Dead, a memoir that made both the New York and London Times bestseller lists and which was written scene-by-scene in workshops just like the one she's teaching at the Muse. She has taught writing across the country, including at the University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin and East Carolina University. She has written for O, the Oprah magazine, Woman's Day, Family Circle, Parents, Attache, American Way and many other magazines and websites. She currently is fishing around for her next book idea.

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    Tracie Liguid

    Tracie Liguid is studying to become an elementary school teacher through the ODU Career Switchers program. A former producer for HamptonRoads.com and Pilot Online, she was a coordinator and chapter writer for the oral history project, "In Our Aunties' Words: The Filipino Spirit of Hampton Roads" by the Filipino American National Historical Society. The James Madison University grad loves the beach, yoga, and pralines & cream ice cream. Tracie has loved writing since she began reading Peanuts, Archie, and Betty & Veronica comics and the Choose Your Own Adventure and Encyclopedia Brown children's book series.

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    John Robert Mack

    John studied writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, published the short story, "Jonny Hates Jazz," wrote a column, "Dancing The Rainbow,: for two years in the regional Texas dance periodical, The Dancer’s Guide,, and has written and produced five plays (one on commission). His play Talking With Jacob won statewide recognition in Wisconsin. He produced an adaptation of the Ray Bradbury story, "The Better Part of Wisdom" with the author’s input and blessing. He also self-published (before it was cool and edgy) a book called, Keep Breathing: Zen and the Art of Social Dance. For the past twenty years, John has worked as a dance teacher. He has choreographed musicals like West Side Story and helped create and coach the original Radio Disney dance team in San Antonio, TX. John now resides in Virginia in semi-retirement to focus on his writing. As a dance teacher, he has been featured twice in the international education periodical Quality in Action. John has self-published one novel, that dance book which is live on Amazon. He has three more projects about to hit the market. The first two novels in his "Tango Tritych" series are Tango with a Twist and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. There is also a collection of shorter works in the same world called Stretches. John does all his own design and formatting, including covers for both ebooks and paperbacks. He also designs covers for other independent authors.

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    Deb Markham

    Deb Markham works as an online community producer (online speak for "editor") for HamptonRoads.com and PilotOnline.com, where she manages about 35 community bloggers. She also has built and maintained several Websites in her spare time over the years. She is in the midst of redesigning The Ghent Reader, an online literary magazine founded in 2002. You can follow her and her personal musings via DebMarkham.com. She is a former host of the Muse's First Friday Poetry Salon, which is now part of The Muse Jam.

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    Claudia Isler Mazur

    Claudia Isler Mazur earned an MA in English from Bucknell University in 2004 and an MFA from Old Dominion University in May 2011. She has written and published both short fiction and nonfiction, and has been teaching writing since the early 1990s. She is a lecturer in the English department at Old Dominion University as well as a freelance copy editor.

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    Lewis McGehee

    Lewis McGehee, a Richmond VA native, graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Philosophy. Later, while performing in New York's Greenwich Village, Lewis was "discovered" by Terry Cashman and Tommy West (Jim Croce's producers). Lewis' debut album on Lifesong Records was released worldwide.

    Voted "Best Musician" and a top acoustic act by various publications, including Port Folio Weekly, Hampton Roads Magazine, and 9Volt, he gained much experience touring with such artists as Ry Cooder, Neil Sedaka, and Al Stewart. On the strength of his live shows, McGehee went on to perform with many national acts such as John Prine, Robert Palmer, Talking Heads, Christopher Cross, and Christine McVie. Lewis also completed a 15-city tour as an opening act for Bruce Hornsby.

    McGehee has extensive experience in the recording studio as a session guitarist and vocalist, as well as composing, producing and performing on many regional radio and television commercials, and his aggressive approach to acoustic guitar has made him a prominent force in the Virginia music scene. He has composed more than 200 songs and has been teaching guitar and personal composition in the Hampton Roads area for more than 25 years.

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    Brad McMurran

    Brad McMurran is the founder, co-head writer, and performer in the sketch/improvisation group, The Pushers. He is a member of the board of directors of The Muse. He studied long form improvisation at the heralded Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City and studied history and acting at Old Dominion University. McMurran and The Pushers have performed all up and down the east coast, and have headlined numerous comedy festivals, most notably The Charleston Comedy Festival and The North Carolina Comedy Festival. He has acted in numerous plays, done stand up comedy, and will be starring in a one man show touring across America this winter. He likes pizza and describes himself as "adorable and pudgy."

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    Jim Morrison

    Jim Morrison has flown barrel rolls with the Navy's Blue Angels (he didn't barf), climbed and slept overnight in a 243-foot-tall redwood (he didn't fall), and gone one-on-one with Muhammad Ali (he didn't flinch). His award-winning stories have appeared in Smithsonian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Private Clubs, This Old House, National Wildlife, and numerous others. He has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has taught numerous seminars on journalism. He is the past president of The American Society of Journalists and Authors, a trade association of 1,300 freelance writers.

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    Andrea Nolan

    Andrea J. Nolan is the author of Sea Kayaking Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and Sea Kayaking Virginia. She has a MFA in fiction from Old Dominion University, and has fiction and essays published in journals such as Flyway, Dogwood, Alligator Juniperthe Potomac Review. Her essay, "Edges," was acknowledged as a "Notable Essay" in Best American Essays 2009 and is being reprinted in the Potomac Review's 50th anniversary issue, "Best of 50." She teaches at Old Dominion University.

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    Daniel Pearlman

    Daniel Pearlman Pravda was born in Norfolk and raised in Virginia Beach. He blossomed into an English major at the University of Maryland and did his M.F.A. in poetry at George Mason. His concentration in poetry has seeped into other genres such as fiction and music. His work, published in numerous journals, including The Washington Review, Phoebe, Grasslands Review, Poet's Domain, Beltway, and others, shows attention to small detail from natural to urban settings. He was interviewed on NPR's "With Good Reason" in June 2006 as part of their Virginia Poets series. He has taught English and Creative Writing at Norfolk State University since 1996.

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    Ken Phillips

    Creative Producer, Ken Phillips, has 25 years experience in the film and television industry as well as a successful track record in advertising, marketing, and promotions from New York to Los Angeles.

    A graduate of James Madison University with a degree in film, radio, and television, Ken worked in radio and TV for several years as a writer, producer, videographer, editor, and talent. In 1984, Ken co-founded the Comedy Zone, which grew to be one of the largest comedy club circuits in North America as well as a talent agency for colleges and corporations from coast to coast. Aside from marketing, branding, and selling the Comedy Zone franchise and booking talent, Ken also promoted major concerts with top stars including: Jerry Seinfeld, David Copperfield, Sam Kinison, Ron White, Ellen DeGeneras, Carrot Top, Rodney Carrington, Sinbad, Paul Reiser, Drew Carey, Brian Regan, Louie Anderson, Phyllis Diller, Pat Paulson, Gallagher, Rich Hall, Emo Phillips, and many more.

    Along with partner Brad Greenberg, Ken took charge of a promising young comedian with the unlikely name of Carrot Top. Under their guidance, Carrot Top went from club performer to national concert act in a very short time. Ken booked Carrot Top on every major comedy TV show in the country including NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno; ABC's Arsenio Hall Show, Regis and Kathy Lee, and America's Super Showcase; A&E's Evening at the Improv and Comedy on the Road; FOX's Comic Strip Live and Sunday Comics; Showtime's Jonathan Winter's Special and Comedy Club Network; and MTV's Half Hour Comedy Show. Ken was instrumental in a Simon & Schuster book deal entitled Junk in a Trunk and produced Carrot Top's first long-form video of his live show, Twist Ties and Duct Tape.

    Ken's film and television credits include: Co-Executive Producer for the Trimark Pictures Chairman of the Board; Producer for AM Mayham on the Cartoon Network, Co-Creator, Writer, Producer for So You Think You're Funny a TV pilot sold to Team Entertainment; In My House with Kevin Meaney a pilot sold to GRB Entertainment; and Banana Skins, pilot sold to TVD Productions; and Segment Producer for the Donnie and Marie Show.

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    Tench Phillips

    Tench Phillips is co-owner and ticket taker at the Naro Cinema.

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    Sheri Reynolds

    Sheri Reynolds is the author of the novels Bitterroot Landing, The Rapture of Canaan, A Gracious Plenty, Firefly Cloak, The Sweet In-Between, and The Homespun Wisdom of Myrtle T. Cribb, and the play Orabelle's Wheelbarrow. She teaches creative writing and literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where she serves as the Ruth and Perry Morgan Chair of Southern Literature. In 2003, she won the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia. In 2005, she received a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts in playwriting. She has also taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, The College of William and Mary, and Davidson College. Sheri lives on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

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    Tom Robotham

    For 10 years, Tom Robotham was the editor-in-chief of Port Folio Weekly—he now works as a freelance writer and serves as an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University. His weekly column, "Editor's Notebook," (available on his website: www.tomrobotham.com) frequently explores spiritual themes. Before moving to Hampton Roads, Tom worked as a freelance writer, book packager and video producer. During this period, he wrote several books on American history and culture and produced a companion volume to the A&E television series Charlton Heston presents the Bible. He holds a B.A. in English from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh and an M.A. in American Studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is currently at work on a book about Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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    Steve Rosenthal

    Steve Rosenthal, Ph.D., is a retired sociologist who taught for three decades at Hampton University, having taught courses in sociological theory that emphasized the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, and has engaged in research, writing, and social activism on issues relating to racism and war.

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    Tony Ruggiero

    Tony Ruggiero is best known for his dark fantasy thrillers about vampires being used by the US military. Ground breaking and fast paced, the novels are a characteristic mixture of the vampire lore of Anne Rice and the clandestine secrets of the military found in Tom Clancy novels. The concept led to a series of books released in 2006 through 2010, labeled the Team of Darkness Declassified Files. The books include: Operation Immortal Servitude, Operation Save the Innocent, Operation Face the Fear, and Operation Endgame.

    A longtime favorite for Tony is the old style of "space opera" (character rather than technology oriented) type stories which is the center of his two book series: Alien Deception and Alien Revelation. The series deals with an alien organization that has infiltrated the American political system. The series runs the gauntlet from humorous and light hearted to deadly serious as a young man and woman search for answers.

    Short stories are also a big favorite and in Aliens and Satanic Creatures Wanted: Humans Need Not Apply, Tony has a collection where the center character is not human. It includes his award winning story, "Lucky Lucifer's Car Emporium," as well as "Electronic Bliss," "Invasion or Subversion," and "Going up?"

    Tony retired from the United States Navy in 2001 after twenty-three years of service. He and his family currently reside in Portsmouth, Virginia. While continuing to write, Tony teaches at Old Dominion University, Saint Leo University, Tidewater Community College, and The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA

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    Rich Santoro

    Rich Santoro is an award-winning journalist and video producer. Most recently, he worked as a scriptwriter and producer for the Christian Broadcasting Network while completing a fiction novel. His independent documentary, After the Cloud Lifted, aired on PBS stations across the country and won a first place award at the Chicago International Film Festival. While living in Hiroshima, Japan, he had a short story published in Japanophile magazine. His diverse communications background includes teaching public speaking at Tidewater Community College, newspaper reporting, direct marketing, industrial training and technical writing, and teaching ESL. He received his Masters degree in Communication at Regent University.

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    Jesse Scaccia

    Jesse Scaccia is the editor of Hampton Road's alternative news and culture web magazine, AltDaily.com. His journalism has been published in various periodicals, including The New York Times, The Virginian-Pilot, and The San Diego Union-Tribune. He also developed, pitched, and produced a documentary series for B.E.T. Here in Norfolk Jesse is on the Public Arts Commission. He has been a part of numerous public art, activism, and community betterment projects in the City.

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    Jack Sommers

    Jack Sommers teaches at the TCC-Norfolk campus: world history, social ethics, western philosophy, world history, critical thinking, and survey courses in the humanities. He especially enjoys teaching 20th century arts, culture, and politics. He has master’s degrees in humanities, European history, and did his Ph.D. on the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. While he did a bit of acting at The Little Theatre of Norfolk, the classroom is his stage where he instructs and entertains his students.

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    Dana Staves

    Dana Staves is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing at Old Dominion University, where she studied fiction. She now teaches writing at Old Dominion University and The Muse Writers Center. She writes a weekly food column called "How I Spent My CSAcation" for AltDaily, where she also serves as a food editor. Her work has appeared in The Virginian-Pilot, Fiction Writers' Review, and her first short story publication is forthcoming in Shaking Like a Mountain.

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    Lisa Suhay

    Lisa Suhay is the author of eight books for children, including fables, picture books and a work that has become an internationally performed symphony (ala Peter and the Wolf). She is the author and publisher of the Norfolk mermaid book series as well as a veteran journalist whose commentaries appear regularly in The Virginian-Pilot and Christian Science Monitor.

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    Michael Tarpey

    Michael Tarpey is an instructor of philosophy at the Norfolk and Chesapeake campuses of Tidewater Community College. He regularly teaches introductory courses in general philosophy, logic, ethics, and religion, and his main academic interests include metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of culture.

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    Grace Tazewell

    Grace Tazewell lives in the Ghent area of Norfolk. She sometimes writes poetry, and writes a blog for Pilotonline.com. Grace works as a conflict mediator in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Norfolk, and occasionally teaches a Dreams and Meditation class at the Cayce Reilly Massage School. When she's not working, she travels to the Arctic Circle in winter to indulge her love of beautiful scenery and cold, cold weather. But mostly she just likes getting together with intelligent and creative people and sharing ideas and the beauty of writing, which is what she did as one of the former hosts of the Muse's First Friday Poetry Salon, which is now part of The Muse Jam.

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    Rachel Thompson

    Rachel Thompson is a traveler, educator, and writer who works in fiction and translation. After living in Spain for nearly four years, Rachel graduated summa cum laude from Saint Louis University in Madrid, and has spent the last ten years teaching Spanish in an International Baccalaureate high school and exploring the planet in her free time. Rachel holds an MFA in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is an educational travel consultant for Walking Tree Travel. She recently completed her first collection of short stories and is working on several translation projects.

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    Dillon Tripp

    Dillon Tripp is a graduate of the MFA (creative nonfiction) program at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where he attended as the Perry Morgan Fellow. Tripp is originally from Northeast Texas, on the Arkansas line, and his work attempts to show the world the Blue-Collar pride of growing up in the backwoods of the South. He has been published in journals such as Prick of the Spindle, The Rectangle, Dew on the Kudzu, and was Runner-Up for Gulf Stream Magazine's 2011 Literary Nonfiction Award.

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    Kip Watson

    Kip Watson is a Tidewater native who picked up his first movie camera at age 15. In 1984, he attended VCU in Richmond where he earned a B.A. in filmmaking and film history. His senior project was a music video airing on MTV's 120 minutes. Kip worked on many feature films shot regionally and was involved in local television. He studied feature screenwriting at Regent University in the early 90's. From 1999 to 2003, Kip worked in Los Angeles as a script reader for independent producers and as a creative executive. He has written 5 scripts and was a finalist in Paramount Studios' prestigious Chesterfield Screenwriting competition. While in Los Angeles he studied with industry guru Michael Hauge and read hundreds of screenplays for consideration. IFC West (now Film Independent) hired him to cover scripts for their screenwriting and directing labs. Since returning to Norfolk, Kip has produced, shot and appeared in many commercials and infomercials. Currently he freelances as a script doctor and story developer. Kip also recently became licensed by the Darden School of Education to teach elementary school, and hopes to teach the next generation the value of storytelling.

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    Heather Weddington

    Heather Weddington is a graduate of ODU's MFA program in creative nonfiction. While at ODU, she served as both Poetry Editor and Nonfiction Editor for Barely South Review, as well as a staff editor for the twitter-based journal Escarp. She currently teaches science writing and science fiction literature as an adjunct professor at ODU.

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    Mary Westbrook

    Mary Westbrook earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University in May 2010. She was a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in the summer of 2009 and served as the director of Old Dominion University's Writers in Community program from 2009 to 2010. She is working on a collection of short stories.

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    Roberto Westbrook

    Before settling in Norfolk with his wife, Roberto Westbrook worked as a photographer in Washington DC and then Buenos Aires, Argentina. His photographs of South America have been exhibited at the American Embassy in Lima, Peru and at the University of Florida. Roberto has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Time, The New York Times and others.

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    Valerie Wilkinson

    Valerie Wilkinson earned her MFA in fiction from ODU in May 2013. She has published short fiction in Water~Stone Review and in Yemassee Journal as a runner-up in the 2012 William Richey Short Fiction Contest. In nonfiction, she co-authored Whispers from Our Soul, a book of creative nonfiction, and served as a quarterly essay contributor to Moondance.org. She’s currently revising a collection of short stories set in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Her teaching experience includes multiple craft seminars offered by Hampton Roads Writers and student teaching Advanced Craft of Fiction with Sheri Reynolds and ODU.

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    Leona Wisoker

    Leona Wisoker's work is fueled by coffee and conviction, and has appeared in such diverse outlets as Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Futures: Fire to Fly, Anotherealm.com, and more. Her debut novel, Secrets of the Sands, and its followup, Guardians of the Desert, both set in a wholly fictional world, have gathered critical praise for the strong characters, compelling prose, and intricate worldbuilding.

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    Alba Woolard

    Alba Woolard has been a performer and writer of the sketch and improv comedy group The Pushers since the summer of 2009. As a member of the group, she also performs, writes, co-produces and co-directs for "Panties in a Twist: The All Female Sketch Comedy Show." She graduated with a BFA in Acting from Old Dominion University. She has studied Improv with the Pushers as well as several regional improvisers. With the Pushers, she has performed up and down the east coast. By day, Alba is a Standardized Patient Educator at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

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    Kristina Wright

    Kristina Wright holds a B.A. in English from Charleston Southern University and a M.A. in Humanities from Old Dominion University. She is the editor of several erotica anthologies for Cleis Press, including Fairy Tale Lust, Dream Lover, Steamlust, Lustfully Ever After, and the Best Erotic Romance series. Her fiction has appeared in over 100 anthologies and she is the author of the forthcoming erotic romance Seduce Me Tonight for HarperCollins Mischief. She has taught College Composition and World Mythology at Tidewater Community College.

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