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Our Team

We are writers and authors of all genres and styles, who love teaching our craft and guiding others through the writing process!

We are writers and authors of all genres, who love teaching and helping others with the craft and process of writing! 

JOY BAGLIO ​is the founder/director of Pioneer Valley Writers' Workshop (PVWW). Her short stories have appeared widely, in journals such as The Missouri Review, Tin House, American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, The Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere. Recent honors include fellowships, scholarships, and grants from Yaddo, Ragdale, The Elizabeth George Foundation, Bread Loaf,  Sewanee, The Speculative Literature Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, The Kerouac Project, and Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Joy holds an MFA from The New School and is currently at work on both a collection of short stories and two novels. She's represented by Peter Steinberg at United Talent Agency (UTA). In her free time, she plays the bagpipes. Follow her on twitter at @JoyBaglio or visit her online at

​KIM ADRIAN is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet, Sock (a Bloomsbury's Object Lessons book), and Dear Knausgaard, which James Wood (literary critic for The New Yorker) described as “a delight from start to finish.” She edited The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms, and wrote the libretto for the chamber opera "The Strange Child." Several of her short stories and essays have been listed as Notable or Distinguished in the Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, and Pushcart Prize anthologies. Her work has garnered many awards and recognitions, including, most recently, a fellowship from the Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus in Bavaria, Germany.

MIRA BARTÓK is the author/illustrator of the New York Times bestselling memoir, The Memory Palace, which won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her writing has appeared in many places, including the Massachusetts Review, Jubilat, Another Chicago Magazine, Fourth Genre, the Kenyon Review, Psychology Today, Tikkun, the Bellingham Review, among others. She has also written and illustrated over 35 books for children, most recently, The Wonderling: Songcatcher, which was long listed for the UK’s Carnegie Medal and is currently in development for a feature film. The sequel, The Wonderling: Singing Tree, is forthcoming from Candlewick Press and Walker Books UK. Mira holds an MFA in painting and film from the University of Illinois and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts in Fiction. She has been a professor and lecturer at numerous institutions, including Smith College, the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago’s Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, among others. She is also a Fulbright Scholar in Folklore and Anthropology, specializing in the oral traditions of indigenous circumpolar peoples. She believes that stories are the lifeblood of a culture and would love to help you tell yours.

​LIZ BEDELL's recently completed novel, The Space Between, was shortlisted in the 2019 William Faulkner William Wisdom Competition, Novel-in-Progress category. She is a co-editor of Embody, a weekly feature column at The Maine Review. She holds an MFA Fiction and Translation from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and an MA in English from Middlebury College. She writes and teaches in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.

DUNCAN BIRMINGHAM is a writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles. The feature film he wrote and directed, Who Invited Them, was named one of the best horror films of 2022 by The Hollywood Reporter. He's written on various TV shows including as an executive producer and writer on Maron (starring Marc Maron) on IFC and co-executive producer and writer on Blunt Talk on Starz. His screenplay Swingles was featured on The Black List and his short films have premiered at festivals including Sundance and AFI. 

ANDERS CARLSON-WEE is the author of Disease of Kings (W.W. Norton, 2023), The Low Passions (W.W. Norton, 2019), a New York Public Library Book Group Selection, and Dynamite (Bull City Press, 2015), winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Prize. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, BuzzFeed, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other publications. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, he is the winner of the Poetry International Prize. His work has been translated into Chinese. Anders holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and is represented by Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents. Find him at

OLIVIA KATE CERRONE's writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, and New South, among other publications. Her novella The Hunger Saint won an American Fiction Award and was praised by Kirkus Review as “a well-crafted and affecting literary tale.” She won Crab Orchard Review's Jack Dyer Fiction Prize and various other honors, including fellowships from the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers (Scotland), the Ragdale Foundation, VCCA, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, where she received a "Distinguished Fellowship" from the National Endowment for the Arts.

SARAH JANE CODY is a Marketing Assistant at PVWW, in addition to her role as an instructor. Her stories and essays have appeared in journals such as in The Common, Gulf Coast, and The Cincinnati Review, among others. She is a contributing prose editor at Pigeon Pages. She was a finalist for Pleiades’s 2018 G.B. Crump Prize in Experimental Fiction. She’s a graduate of the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College and an alumnus of Tin House’s Summer Workshop. Currently, she’s at work on a novel. Find her online at

Joy Baglio
Liz Bedell
Olivia Kate Cerrone
Sarah Jane Cody
Kim Adrian
Anders Carlson-Wee
Mira Batok
Duncan Birmingham
Kim Coleman Foote

KIM COLEMAN FOOTE is the author of the novel, Coleman Hill (SJP Lit/Zando, September 2023). She has received writing fellowships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Phillips Exeter Academy, Center for Fiction, Yaddo, MacDowell, Hedgebrook, and elsewhere. She also received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research for a novel in Ghana. Her fiction appears most recently in The Best American Short Stories 2022.

Tommy Dean

TOMMY DEAN is the author of two flash fiction chapbooks Special Like the People on TV (Redbird Chapbooks, 2014) and Covenants (ELJ Editions, 2021). He lives in Indiana where he currently is the Editor at Fractured Lit and Uncharted Magazine. A graduate of the Queens University of Charlotte MFA program, he is currently working on a novel. A recipient of the 2019 Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction, his writing can be found in Best Microfiction 2019 and 2020, Best Small Fiction 2019, Monkeybicycle, and the Atticus Review. He has taught writing workshops for the Gotham Writers Workshop, the Barrelhouse Conversations and Connections conference, and The Lafayette Writer’s Workshop. Find him at and on Twitter @TommyDeanWriter. 

Leonora Desar

LEONORA DESAR's fiction has appeared in places such as River Styx, Passages North, The Cincinnati Review, Black Warrior Review, and Columbia Journal, where she was chosen as a finalist by Ottessa Moshfegh. She has been selected for The Best Small Fictions 2019 and 2021, Best Microfiction 2019, 2020, 2021, and the Wigleaf Top 50 (2019, 2020, 2021). She was a runner-up/finalist in Quarter After Eight’s Robert J. DeMott Short Prose Contest, judged by Stuart Dybek, and Crazyhorse’s Crazyshorts! contest. Her journalism has appeared in Psychology Today,, Parenting magazine,, Business Insider, and others. She holds an MFA in fiction from NYU, where she taught creative writing, and an MS from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Melenie Freedom Flynn

MELENIE FREEDOM FLYNN’s memoir-in-progress is currently being supported by grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation and Massachusetts Cultural Council. She is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship, Djerassi Artist-in-Residence Fellowship, Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency, and scholarships to the Community of Writers Workshop. Her essay “Message from Your Inmate” won the annual nonfiction contest at Vela Magazine and her recent work can be seen in Provincetown Arts Magazine and the Straw Dog Pandemic Poetry and Prose Journal. A graduate of the MFA Acting Program at California Institute of the Arts, Melenie has performed in theatres across the country including the New York Theatre Workshop, the Kitchen (NY), Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre (MA), and Majestic Theatre (MA). Visit her online at

Dorian Fox

DORIAN FOX's essays, articles and stories have appeared in a wide range of literary publications, including Brevity, The Rumpus, Gay Magazine, Atticus Review, Under the Gum Tree, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, december, Creative Nonfiction’s Sunday Short Reads and others. His work has also been honored in various competitions and received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. A longtime Massachusetts resident, he now lives in Brighton, MA. Find him online at

Anita Gill

ANITA GILL is a Fulbright Scholar whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Kweli, Prairie Schooner, The Offing, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her writing has been listed as Notable in Best American Essays and has won The Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction. She holds an MA in Literature from American University, and an MFA in Writing from Pacific University. She currently serves as Nonfiction Editor for Hypertext Review while working on a novel. 

Joan Kwon Glass

JOAN KWON GLASS is the author of NIGHT SWIM (Diode Editions, 2022) & three chapbooks including IF RUST CAN GROW ON THE MOON (Milk & Cake Press, 2022). She serves as poet laureate for Milford, CT, as Editor in Chief for Harbor Review & as a Brooklyn Poets mentor. Joan teaches on the faculty of Hudson Valley Writers Center, Brooklyn Poets, Maine Writers Alliance & the International Women’s Writing Guild. Joan’s poems have been published in or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Asian American Writer’s Workshop (The Margins), Rattle, RHINO, Dialogist & elsewhere. ​

Neil Richard Grayson

NEIL RICHARD GRAYSON was raised in the woods of upstate New York. Since then, he’s been a schoolteacher, video game designer, rock climbing instructor, bartender, and cross-country hitchhiker. He holds degrees in English & Education from SUNY Potsdam, and an MFA from Ohio State University. His fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in CutBank, HOBART, StoryScape Journal, Fiction Southeast, among others. He’s been awarded fellowships from The Kenyon Review, Community of Writers, and Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart.

Simon Han

SIMON HAN is the author of Nights When Nothing Happened (Riverhead Books). His stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Texas Observer, Guernica, The Iowa Review, Electric Literature, and LitHub. He has received scholarships and fellowships from MacDowell, the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Bread Loaf, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and Vanderbilt University, where he received his MFA. Born in Tianjin, China, he lives in Carrollton, TX.

Liz Harmer

LIZ HARMER is the author of the novels The Amateurs (2018) and Strange Loops (2023). Her stories, essays, and poems have been published at the Globe & Mail, The Walrus, Best Canadian Stories, The New Quarterly, Hazlitt, Image Journal, and elsewhere. A recent fellow at the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, she was also the runner-up for the Mitchell Prize in poetry. She’s the winner of a National Magazine Award for Personal Journalism, a CRAFT Literary Creative Nonfiction Award, and the WAGs-ProQuest Award Distinguished Masters Thesis, among other prizes. She teaches in the MFA program at Chapman University.

Blair Hurley

​BLAIR HURLEY is the author of THE DEVOTED, which was longlisted for The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Her second novel, MINOR PROPHETS will be published in 2023. Her work is published in New England Review, Electric Literature, The Georgia Review, Guernica, Paris Review Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere. She is a Pushcart Prize winner and an ASME Fiction award finalist.

Celia Jeffries

CELIA JEFFRIES is the author of the award-winning novel Blue Desert. Her work has appeared in numerous newspapers and literary magazines including Westview, Solstice, and Puerto del Sol, as well as the anthology Beyond the Yellow Wallpaper. She holds an MA from Brandeis and an MFA from Lesley University. Find her online at

Drew Johnson

DREW JOHNSON's stories have appeared in Harper's, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Literary Review, The Cupboard, Gulf Coast, New England Review, and elsewhere. Reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming at Literary Hub, Guernica, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. He received his MFA from the University of Virginia.

Fred Lambert

FRED LAMBERT's work has been featured in Ghost Parachute, War, Literature & the Arts, and Warrior Writers: After Action Review as well as United Press International and the Orlando Weekly. He works as a writing tutor at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, and is currently crafting two memoirs related to his time as a U.S. Marine in Iraq. 

Ashley Lopez

ASHLEY LOPEZ is a literary agent and rights manager at Waxman Literary Agency, in NYC. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and is a founder and the managing editor of Pigeon Pages Literary Journal. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Cosmonauts Avenue, Columbia Literary Journal, and elsewhere, and her work has been nominated for Best American Short Stories. Ashley represents literary and young adult fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir. She seeks authors with a strong point of view, a unique story, and an eye for language. ​

Peter Medeiros

PETER MEDEIROS teaches writing and Kung Fu--though never at the same time. His teaching in and around Boston remains a major inspiration for much of his fiction. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. He been publishing fiction since 2013, and was most recently featured in the July 2022 issue of GigaNotoSaurus.  Peter is represented by Susan Velazquez Colmant at JABerwocky Literary Agency. 

Ken Modschein

A poet, editor, and occasional critic, MICHAEL MERCURIO lives and writes in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. His poems, interviews, and reviews have been published or are forthcoming in Palette Poetry, Thrush, The Common, Cream City Review, Sierra, and elsewhere. Michael founded and curates What The Universe Is: A (Virtual) Reading Series, where established and emerging poets read together monthly on Zoom. You can learn more at

KEN MONDSCHEIN is a writer, scholar, and college professor, as well as a professional fencing coach. He received his PhD in history from Fordham University, was a Fulbright scholar to France and has taught, inter alia, at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. His work has appeared in print publications such as Renaissance Magazine and the late, lamented New York Press; online outlets such as McSweeney's and; and in Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland's DODO files. He's written around a dozen academic and non-academic books, including On Time: A History of Western Timekeeping (Johns Hopkins), Game of Thrones and the Medieval Art of War (McFarland), several translations of medieval and early modern fencing treatises, and also introductions to Canterbury Classics literature.

Naila Moreira

NAILA MOREIRA's middle-grade novel THE MONARCHS OF WINGHAVEN, about two children who bond over their love of nature-watching as they try to save a plot of land in their town, while recording their observations in illustrated journal pages throughout, is forthcoming from Walker Books US in spring 2022.  Moreira teaches at Smith College and has been writer-in-residence at the Shoals Marine Laboratory and Forbes Library in Northampton MA.  Her second chapbook, Water Street, won the New England Poetry Club Jean Pedrick Prize. She’s also worked as a journalist, environmental consultant, and Seattle Aquarium docent, and holds a doctorate in geology.

Rebecca Hart Olander

REBECCA HART OLANDER is the editor/director of Perugia Press, a nonprofit feminist poetry press. She has taught poetry writing at Amherst College, Westfield State University, and Mass Poetry, and she works with poets in the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. Her poetry and collaborative visual and written work has been published widely, and her books include Dressing the Wounds (dancing girl press, 2019) and Uncertain Acrobats (CavanKerry Press, 2021). She holds a BA from Hampshire College, an MAT in English from Smith College, and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Sara Rauch

SARA RAUCH's prose has appeared in Hobart, Gravel, Split Lip, So to Speak, Luna Luna, and more. She holds an MFA from Pacific University, and her debut story collection, What Shines From It, is forthcoming in early 2019 from Alternating Current Press. She lives with her family in Holyoke MA. Find her online at

Candice Reffe

CANDICE REFFE's book of poems Live from the Mood Board, an insider’s view of the fashion world and corporate power, won Elixir Press’s Antivenom Poetry Award and was published in 2019. Twice a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and a Mass Cultural Council Artist fellow, Candice’s poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Harvard Review, Hotel Amerika, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, Witness and elsewhere. She lives in Northampton, MA.

Kira Rockwell

KIRA ROCKWELL is a neurodiverse playwright and educator for the stage and screen at Georgia State University. She is an Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing with the Mass Cultural Council, a Recipient of Judith Royer Excellence in Playwriting Award, an Elliot Norton Nominee, and more. Selected plays include OH TO BE PURE AGAIN (Actor's Express); THE TRAGIC ECSTASY OF GIRLHOOD (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); and WITH MY EYES SHUT (Original Works Publishing). Her work has been developed with The Kennedy Center, National New Play Network, Great Plains Theatre Commons, among others. Commissions include Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actor's Express, and Moonbox Productions. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance and an MFA in Playwriting from Boston University. As an educator, Rockwell has taught at Brandeis University, Wheaton College, and centers across New England. Before graduate school, Rockwell worked at the intersection of mental health and arts education. Through a trauma-informed, healing-centered lens, she aims to nurture communal spaces that disrupt passivity and empower agency.

Arya Samuelson


ARYA SAMUELSON is the winner of New Ohio Review's 2023 Nonfiction Prize and CutBank’s Montana Prize in Non-Fiction, awarded by Cheryl Strayed. Her work has also been published in Bellevue Literary Review, The Millions, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Mills College, and is working on a novel and a memoir in essays. 

Jyotsna "Jyo" Sreenivasan

JYOTSNA “JO” SREENIVASAN is the author of the short story collection These Americans and the novel And Laughter Fell From the Sky. Both are about Indian Americans in the Midwest. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines, including Copper Nickel, Tampa Review, and Tiferet.  Some of her stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was selected as a Fiction Fellow at the 2021 Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and was a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. For more information about Jyotsna as well as other writers who are children of immigrants, please see

Carolin Belle Stewart

CAROLINE BELLE STEWART's stories can be found in Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Fairy Tale Review, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbook "Husbandly Things" (Factory Hollow) and co-creator of “Mast Year: A Mystical Field Guide" (Mount Analogue). A recipient of fellowships from Monson Arts and MacDowell, she lives in Western Massachusetts.

Gail Thomas

GAIL THOMAS' books are Trail of Roots, Leaving Paradise, Odd Mercy, Waving Back, No Simple Wilderness, and Finding the Bear. Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies including CALYX, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, North American Review, among others. Among her awards are the Charlotte Mew Prize from Headmistress Press, the Narrative Poetry Prize from Naugatuck River Review, the Massachusetts Center for the Book’s “Must Read” for Waving Back, the Quartet Journal’s Editor’s Choice Prize, and Seven Kitchen Press’s A.V. Christie Chapbook Series award for Trail of Roots. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Ucross, and several poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Gail visits schools and libraries with her therapy dog and works with immigrant and refugee communities in Western Massachusetts. You may read more about her work at 

Fungai Tichawangana

FUNGAI TICHAWANGANA is a writer, journalist, and web developer who has lived in Western MA since 2018. In June 2020 he launched Valley of Writers, a project aimed at sharing tools, ideas and success stories with writers in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. He has managed numerous online projects to support art & culture initiatives and in 2015 was awarded a Nieman Journalism Fellowship at Harvard. He is passionate about teaching artists and creatives how to use online tools to expose their work to new audiences. ​

Carolyn Zaikowski

​CAROLYN ZAIKOWSKI is the author of the hybrid novel In Dream, I Dance by Myself, and I Collapse (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press). Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared widely in The Washington Post, Denver Quarterly, The Rumpus, Alaska Quarterly, West Branch, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and is currently an English professor, writing consultant, and volunteer death doula. Find her online at

Pioneer Valley Writers' Workshop

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