The writer's hotel 2019 teaching assistants
TWH Teaching Assistants provide substantial help to their fellow writers in all three genres, Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry, giving manuscript readings pre-conference and on-site meetings in NYC. TWH TAs are distinguished working writers and terrific and helpful readers and editors. TAs were individually nominated by TWH Editors to fill these special positions. Each TA attended TWH in a previous year, so that this group may help foster a healthy and vibrant TWH literary community. Together we are writers helping writers. We are writers for writers' sake.
From top left (to right): Scott Branks del Llano, Lisa Ellison, Sarah Jewell; Lucas Hanft, Cindy Huyser, Parks Kugle; Elieen Lynch, Lyndsie Manusos, Scott McDaniel; Gwen Mullins, Robert Spiotta and Lesley Meirovitz Waite.
Teaching Assistant Biographies (alphabetical, citing TWH genre focus)
Scott Branks Del Llano (Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry) is a poet, story teller, and avid traveler. He grew up in Colombia where he was raised among indigenous peoples. He completed his PhD in Humanities at University of Texas at Dallas. He teaches creative writing and coordinates peace and global human rights programs. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction are published in various education monographs, Sojourn, and Reunion: The Dallas Review for which he served as artistic editor. He is writing a novel, Song of Managraça, set near his home in the forested dunes of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique where he spends summers writing, reveling in nature, and contributing to the local community.
Lisa Ellison (Nonfiction) is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach. She teaches classes in memoir, creative nonfiction, and storytelling at WriterHouse, a nonprofit writing center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her essays have been published or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Rumpus, Streetlight, Gravel Literary Journal, and The Rusty Nail. She is currently working on two memoir projects. In the Land of Flood and Slaughter is a coming-of-age memoir about believing you’ve escaped a fate only to have it find you. Lucky Me is about how traveling with a heavy metal band into a country that committed genocide gave her the courage to live after her brother’s suicide. To learn more, please visit her website: www.lisacooperellison.com
Sarah Jewell (Poetry) is a Jersey poet who runs a weekly writing workshop as a part of Jersey City Writers. Her poetry chapbook How to Break Your Own Heart was published by dancing girl press in April 2017. She was also instrumental in launching the first Jersey City Poetry Festival in April 2018, a nine day celebration in honor of National Poetry Month. Her poems have appeared in Bird’s Thumb, Halfway Down the Stairs, Barking Sycamores and other journals. The audio of one of her poems has been incorporated into a dance work, choreographed by Hana Kozuka and performed at Dixon Place in New York, NY. Links to her work can be found at www.stjewell.com.
Lucas Hanft (Fiction) The rare upper-middle class Jew from Long Island who aspires to be a writer, Lucas attended Yale University before becoming a journalist, working at an early incarnation of Radar Magazine (back when it aspired to be a contemporary version of Spy). He’s also been published in the Boston Globe, New York Observer, Salon, Inc., and the Barnes and Noble Review, among others. Currently he works in marketing and branding, consulting for a wide range of clients, both big and small. His mother would never forgive him if he failed to mention he was an Intel Science Talent Search Top-40 finalist.
Cindy Huyser (Poetry) is the author of Burning Number Five: Power Plant Poems, which was named co-winner of The Blue Horse Press Poetry Chapbook Contest in 2014. She has edited several volumes of poetry, including “Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems” (Dos Gatos Press, 2016, with Scott Wiggerman), and seven editions of the Texas Poetry Calendar. Her work has been twice nominated the Pushcart Prize, and she’s participated in a number of juried readings, including the Scissortail Literary Festival, Houston’s Public Poetry series, and the Houston Poetry Fest, where she has also been a featured reader. https://cindyhuyser.wordpress.com/
Parks Kugle (Fiction) writes in a variety of styles, including fantasy, magical realism, and historical fiction. He is currently attending Sarah Lawrence College for his MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction. He has lived in Austin and New Orleans where he has worked for media companies and non-profits. In New Orleans, he edited and published a small ‘zine titled Provocative. He is in the process of redrafting his first novel. He lives in the Bronx.
Eileen Lynch (Fiction) is a writer, editor, and teacher who has lived in New Mexico and Illinois. After managing an ethics program for an international association, she switched careers to teach in a suburban Chicago high school. In addition to TWH, she has participated in writing workshops at the University of Chicago, Albuquerque, and Taos, New Mexico. She is pitching a novel dealing with children and gun violence while completing a new novel inspired by special education students. The city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs are a backdrop for her work.
Lyndsie Manusos' (Fiction) fiction has appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Apex Magazine, PANK, A Cappella Zoo and other notable publications. Her work of flash fiction, "Clean Team" won 2017 Write to Publish Contest by Ooligan Press in partnership with The Masters Review. She was a shortlist finalist for the 2014 Ploughshares Emerging Writers contest and a finalist in the 2017 River Styx Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction contest. Lyndsie holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her present work in progress is a collection short stories titled Encyclopedia of the Unexplained. Lyndsie lives and works in Chicago and serves as web producer for The Poetry Foundation.
Scott McDaniel (Poetry) The work of Pushcart Prize nominated poet Scott McDaniel has been featured or is forthcoming in Mad Swirl, Deep South Magazine, Oberon Poetry Magazine, Common Ground Review and The New Guard. He has read throughout his home state of Arkansas as well as Castletownroche, Ireland and Manhattan. Scott began writing poetry at an early age and was encouraged to do so by his cousin, award-winning inaugural poet Miller Williams. He lives and works in his hometown of Jonesboro, Arkansas; a city outside of Memphis that is highly influenced by the culture of the Mississippi Delta. His writings reflect the unique hues, quirks and broken promises of the modern south.
Gwen Mullins (Fiction) is a prose writer who finally quit the corporate world after giving it a try for 19 years. She reads for Hunger Mountain, blogs at Honey Slant, and she founded The Hemlock Review, a fine arts journal for Chattanooga high school students. Her work has appeared in The Bitter Southerner, PANK, Green Mountains Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and Talking River, among other publications. Gwen received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award as well as the Frank O’Connor Fiction Award from descant. Gwen holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is currently pitching her first novel and she lives in Chattanooga, TN.
Robert Spiotta (Nonfiction and Fiction) has worked widely in the fields of art, design, and education, and contributed articles to Verandah and Antiques Monthly. In 2011 he published a reflection on the theme of God and human pain in Conversations Journal: A Forum for Authentic Transformation. He’s currently at work on a novel called Southern Boy--based on his young adulthood as a Tennessean in New York--as well as a collection of personal essays about his longstanding relationship with music and the South. Spiotta is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Parsons School of Design, and lives in Atlanta with his wife Yvonne and one indifferent cat named Walker, after novelist and philosopher Walker Percy.
Lesley Meirovitz Waite (Fiction and Poetry) Author, playwright and poet Lesley Meirovitz Waite is currently completing her latest novel, and pitching to agents. Her novel, “Walking on Train Tracks,” published in 2013, was met with critical acclaim and described as “a compelling read” with “characters authentic and easy to love.” Kirkus Review wrote, “Young-adult readers may be fascinated to learn about a relatively recent era when parents had no way to track or communicate with their wandering children, and some parents may react with horror at the same freedoms they had as teenagers.” Lesley has published her poetry in various independent journals and has read both her fiction and poetry in NY cafes, pubs and libraries. She has a BA from UMASS and an MA from NYU, and has studied writing at Sarah Lawrence, The New School, and Smith College. From Boston, Lesley moved to New York in her early 20’s and still resides there.
Photo of Underwood portable typewriter by Nathan Eldridge.