Season 20 Mentors

AWP is grateful to the twenty-five writers volunteering their time in Season 20 of the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program. We selected mentors for this session based on their experience and their commitment to supporting their mentees’ writing goals through this journey.

Interested in mentoring? Email for more info!

  • Headshot of Doug Sutton-Ramspeck

    Neema Avashia

    Creative Nonfiction

    Neema Avashia is the author of Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place (West Virginia University Press, 2022). She has spent the past two decades working as an educator in the Boston Public Schools. She lives in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain with her partner, Laura, and her daughter, Kahani.

    Neema Avashia is working with Kait Hatch.

  • Headshot of Laura Carney

    Laura Carney

    Creative Nonfiction

    Laura Carney is a writer and copyeditor in New York. Her work as a copyeditor has been primarily in magazines, for twenty years, including Good Housekeeping, People, Guideposts, Vanity Fair, and GQ. Her book My Father’s List: How Living My Dad’s Dreams Set Me Free was published by Post Hill Press in June 2023.

    She’s @myfatherslist on Instagram and @lac30 on X (formerly Twitter), and her website is

    Laura Carney is working with Anne Marie Wells.

  • Headshot of Tracy Crow

    Tracy Crow

    Creative Nonfiction

    Tracy Crow, a former Marine Corps officer, is a literary agent and the publisher of MilSpeak Foundation’s two imprints, MilSpeak Books and Family of Light Books. She is the author/editor of six books and currently teaches in the Queens University of Charlotte and Southern New Hampshire University MFA programs.

    Tracy Crow is working with Alisa Bohling.

  • Headshot of Amy Goldmacher

    Amy Goldmacher

    Creative Nonfiction

    Amy Goldmacher is a traditionally published nonfiction author and Author Accelerator–certified nonfiction book and proposal coach. She has coached writers from book idea to polished, pitch-ready proposals and manuscripts that get agents and book deals. An excerpt from her flash memoir in the form of a glossary won the 2022 AWP Kurt Brown Prize in Creative Nonfiction. Her website is, and she can be found on social media at @solidgoldmacher.

    Amy Goldmacher is working with Patty Morris.

  • Headshot of Hannah Grieco

    Hannah Grieco

    Creative Nonfiction

    Hannah Grieco is a writer and editor in Washington, DC. She edits novels and prose collections for Alan Squire Publishing, where she is also the editor in chief of the ASP Bulletin, and she teaches writing at American University. Her own work can be read in the Washington Post, Al Jazeera, CRAFT, Shenandoah, The Rumpus, Brevity, Poet Lore, Fairy Tale Review, and more. Find her online at @writesloud.

    Hannah Grieco is working with Christina Berke.

  • Headshot of Jessica Handler

    Jessica Handler

    Creative Nonfiction

    Jessica Handler is the author of the novel The Magnetic Girl, winner of the 2020 Southern Book Prize; the memoir Invisible Sisters; and Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss. She teaches creative writing and lives in Atlanta with her husband, novelist Mickey Dubrow.

    Jessica Handler is working with Andalyn Young.

  • Headshot of Suphil Lee Park

    Suphil Lee Park

    Creative Nonfiction

    Suphil Lee Park (수필 리 박 / 秀筆 李 朴) is the author of Present Tense Complex (Conduit Books & Ephemera, 2021), winner of the Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize, and Still Life (Factory Hollow Press, 2023), winner of the Tomaž Šalamun Prize. She’s also the translator of If You’re Going to Live to One Hundred, You Might As Well Be Happy by Rhee Kun Hoo, forthcoming from Union Square Books and Ebury (Penguin UK), to be translated and published in sixteen territories and counting. She has received fiction prizes from Indiana Review and Writer’s Digest and had a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2022.

    Suphil Lee Park is working with Vesna Jaksic Lowe.

  • Headshot of Cat Pleska

    Cat Pleska

    Creative Nonfiction

    Cat Pleska is an award-winning writer, educator, and storyteller. Her memoir Riding on Comets was published by West Virginia University Press in 2015. Her second memoir will be released in spring 2024 from Uncollected Press. Her personal essays have appeared in many literary magazines.

    Cat Pleska is working with R. Murphy Fox.

  • Headshot of Elsa Sjunneson

    Elsa Sjunneson

    Creative Nonfiction

    Elsa Sjunneson is an award-winning Deafblind author and editor living in Seattle, Washington. She has been a Hugo Award finalist nine times and has won three Hugo Awards, an Aurora Award, and a British Fantasy Award for her editorial work. When she isn’t writing, Sjunneson works to dismantle structural ableism and rebuild community support for disabled people everywhere. Her work includes her debut memoir, Being Seen: One Deafblind Woman’s Fight to End Ableism; her Assassin’s Creed Valhalla novel, Sword of the White Horse; and her episode for Radiolab, “The Helen Keller Exorcism.”

    Elsa Sjunneson is working with Aimee Seiff Christian.

  • Headshot of Nishant Batsha

    Nishant Batsha


    Nishant Batsha is the author of the novel Mother Ocean Father Nation, which was named a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, longlisted for a Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award, and listed among the best books of 2022 by NPR. His next novel, A Bomb Placed Close to the Heart, is forthcoming in 2025.

    Nishant Batsha is working with Charles Stephens.

  • Headshot of Diane Marie Brown

    Diane Marie Brown


    Diane Marie Brown is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing Program, where she studied fiction. Her writing has appeared in BOMB Magazine, Hear Our Voices, Scary Mommy, Women Writers, Audible Blog, and the Daily Bruin. Her 2023 debut novel, Black Candle Women, was a Read With Jenna book club selection.

    Diane Marie Brown is working with Tanya Robertson.

  • Headshot of Shay Galloway

    Shay Galloway


    Shay Galloway is the author of the Depression-era novel The Valley of Sage and Juniper. She received an MFA from Roosevelt University and now teaches English composition in Washington State, where she resides with her husband and son.

    Shay Galloway is working with Heather Bailey Terrell.

  • Headshot of Joseph Holt

    Joseph Holt


    Joseph Holt is the author of the story collection Golden Heart Parade (Santa Fe Writers Project, 2021). His writing has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Sun, and the Iowa Review. He teaches at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he also directs the Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series.

    Joseph Holt is working with Noel Torres.

  • Headshot of Ciera Horton McElroy

    Ciera Horton McElroy


    Ciera Horton McElroy is an author, CEO, and film communications consultant based in St. Louis. Her past film projects have grossed a collective $147 million at the box office. Atomic Family (2023) is her first novel.

    Ciera Horton McElroy is working with Laura Nagle.

  • Headshot of Jennifer Savran Kelly

    Jennifer Savran Kelly


    Jennifer Savran Kelly (she/they) lives in upstate New York, where she writes, binds books, and works as a production editor at Cornell University Press. Savran Kelly’s debut novel Endpapers won a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, was a winter/spring 2023 Indies Introduce pick, and has been shortlisted for the Over the Rainbow bibliography of the American Library Association. Savran Kelly’s short work has been published in Potomac Review, Black Warrior Review, trampset, and elsewhere.

    Jennifer Savran Kelly is working with Sayantani Roy.

  • Headshot of YvonneVentresca

    Yvonne Ventresca


    Yvonne Ventresca is an award-winning author with an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her published work includes the young adult novels Pandemic and Black Flowers, White Lies, as well as two nonfiction books and several short stories for tween, teen, and adult readers. You can find her on social media at @YvonneVentresca or visit, where she features resources for writers and blogs about creative productivity.

    Yvonne Ventresca is working with Andrea Silen.

  • Headshot of Kristen Witucki

    Kristen Witucki


    Kristen Witucki is the author of two books: The Transcriber, a Gemma Open Door Book for Young People, and Outside Myself, her first novel. Her shorter fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Brain, Child; Literary Mama; Exceptions: The Art and Literary Journal for Students with Disabilities; Wordgathering; and LightHouse Interpoint, the literary blog of LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco. She works as the curriculum and content editor for Learning Ally’s College Success Program for students who are blind or visually impaired, as a teacher for VISTAS Education Partners, and as a mentor for New Jersey’s EDGE Program, and, during the pandemic, she worked as a homeschooling mother. She lives with her husband and three children in Highland Park, New Jersey, and is beginning to dabble in poetry.

    Kristen Witucki is working with Kolina Cicero.

  • Headshot of Millicent Borges Accardi

    Millicent Borges Accardi


    Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese American writer, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Quarantine Highway (2022). Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright, CantoMundo, California Arts Council, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (COVID grant), Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana (Portugal), and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She lives in Topanga Canyon, California, where she curates the popular Kale Soup for the Soul literary series.

    Millicent Borges Accardi is working with Nina Colette Peláez.

  • Headshot of Wendy Barnes

    Wendy Barnes


    Wendy Barnes’s first full-length book, Landscape with Bloodfeud (2022), was awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry from the University of Massachusetts Press. She received a 2022 Fellowship in Prose from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She is an associate professor of English at Union College in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and was recently a visiting artist in residence at the University of Central Oklahoma.

    Wendy Barnes is working with Abi Pollokoff.

  • Headshot of Angela Gabrielle Fabunan

    Angela Gabrielle Fabunan


    Angela Gabrielle Fabunan is the author of Young Enough to Play (University of the Philippines Press, 2022). She was born in the Philippines and raised in New York. She teaches at the Department of English and Literature at Silliman University.

    Angela Gabrielle Fabunan is working with Camille Hernandez.

  • Headshot of Keith Kopka

    Keith Kopka


    Keith Kopka received the 2019 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry for his collection of poems, Count Four (University of Tampa Press, 2020). He is also the author of the critical text Asking a Shadow to Dance: An Introduction to the Practice of Poetry (Great River Learning, 2018). Kopka is a senior editor at Narrative and the director of the low-residency MFA at Holy Family University in Philadelphia.

    Keith Kopka is working with Alana Pedalino.

  • Headshot of Amy Lerman

    Amy Lerman


    Amy Lerman lives with her husband and cats in the Arizona desert, where she is an English faculty member at Mesa Community College. Her chapbook, Orbital Debris, won the 2022 Jonathan Holden Poetry Chapbook Contest, she has been a Pushcart nominee, and her poems have appeared in Book of Matches, the Madison Review, Midwest Review, Radar Poetry, Rattle, and other publications.

    Amy Lerman is working with Mikaela Hagen.

  • Headshot of Michelle Menting

    Michelle Menting


    Michelle Menting is the author of three collections of poetry and teaches creative writing and poetry at the University of Southern Maine. Some of her recent poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in Passages North, the Cincinnati Review, West Trestle Review, Tar River Poetry, ONE ART, and others. She lives in rural Maine, where she also directs a small-town library.

    Michelle Menting is working with Betsy Merbitz.

  • Headshot of Emily K. Michael

    Emily K. Michael


    Emily K. Michael is a blind poet and writing teacher from Jacksonville, Florida. She is currently the poetry editor for Wordgathering at Syracuse University. Her book Neoteny: Poems is available from Finishing Line Press.

    Emily K. Michael is working with Lindsey Schaffer.

  • Headshot of Karen Rigby

    Karen Rigby


    Karen Rigby is the author of Chinoiserie (Ahsahta Press) and Fabulosa (JackLeg Press, forthcoming 2024). A National Endowment for the Arts literature fellow, she has poems published in Poetry Northwest, the London Magazine, and other journals. She is a freelance book reviewer.

    Karen Rigby is working with Magdalena Arias Vásquez.

Previous Participants

See lists of previous Writer to Writer participants.