Our Director

 
 

 

 

ALEX HENDERSON

 

Areas of Interest
Fiction
Novel Writing
Speculative / Sci-Fi
Journalism
Essay
Grammar / Mechanics

Alex has enjoyed working with writers young and old for more than ten years, across three U.S. states and two continents. Raised up in North Carolina, he’s been living and writing in New York City since 2014. Before that he earned his MFA from George Mason University studying fiction, where he was also the 2013-2014 Thesis Fellow. These days you can mostly find him riding the subway with a notebook balanced on his knees, or re-arranging the books in his Brooklyn apartment for the n+1th time. His fiction has appeared in Harper-Perennial's Fifty-Two Stories, Ekleksographia, and elsewhere online. He is currently at work on a novel about crocodiles and moon rocks. Really.


Our Instructors

 
 

GINA STEVENSEN 

Areas of Interest
Playwriting
Screenwriting
Television Writing
Solo Performances

 

Gina Stevensen is a playwright, performer, and teaching artist who grew up in the beautiful state of Maine. Her plays have been produced at such NYC venues as the Signature Theatre, Urban Stages, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center, as well as regionally at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Hartford Stage. She has been a finalist for numerous awards including the Kennedy Center’s MFA Playwrights Workshop, the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, and the international Jewish Playwriting Contest. She holds a BFA in Drama from NYU and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found in Riverside Park with a good  science fiction or history book.

 

YELENA AKHTIORSKAYA

Areas of Interest
Literary Fiction
Experimental Fiction
Memoir
Humor
Psychology

Yelena Akhtiorskaya was born in Ukraine and raised in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. She received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University. She is the author of the novel, Panic in a Suitcase, which was named a Notable Book of 2014 by the New York Times and was a National Book Foundation "5 under 35" honoree. Her short stories have appeared in N+1, The American Reader, Triple Canopy, and elsewhere. She is currently at work on her second novel and in training to become a psychoanalyst.

 

HENRY KOPERSKI

Areas of Interest
Jazz
Musical Theater
Sketch Comedy
Improv
Vocal Performance

Henry Koperski is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from Grand Rapids, MI. Since 2011, he has been regularly performing all over New York City as a saxophonist, pianist, singer, and accordionist. He has played for dozens of notable performers from TV, theater, and film in venues including Joe's Pub, 54 Below, Town Hall and Carnegie Hall. He has composed music for Comedy Central, Refinery29, and many other projects. He most often performs in various NYC comedy theaters such as Upright Citizens Brigade, The PIT, and the Magnet, and also hosts musical events at the Duplex Piano Bar & Cabaret. The combination of music and comedy is his favorite thing in the world.

 
 

EVE YOHALEM

Areas of Interest
Middle Grade
Young Adult
Historical Fiction

Eve Yohalem is the author of middle grade novels Cast Off: The Strange Adventures of Petra De Winter and Bram Broen (Dial Books for Young Readers) and Escape Under the Forever Sky (Chronicle Books), as well as Grandpa Hates the Bird, a series for younger readers. Her short story “The Accompanist” is part of Starry-Eyed: 16 Stories that Steal the Spotlight, an anthology of coming-of-age tales by young adult writers and Broadway performers. Eve lives in New York City and is a proud Writopia Lab parent!

 

ARIANNA REBOLINI

Areas of Interest
Literary Fiction
Personal Essays
Cultural Criticism
Romance
Memes

Arianna is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. Previously a deputy editorial director at BuzzFeed, her work — primarily personal essays, cultural criticism, and trend features — has also appeared in The GuardianEaterAtlas ObscuraThe FADERThe Hairpin, and elsewhere. Her debut novel, Public Relations, a romantic comedy co-written with Katie Heaney, will be published by Grand Central in May 2017. She is also executive editor at Nightingale, a web publication merging health, social justice, and the arts. She’s still holding out for a One Direction reunion.

 

ERIC BRODIE

Areas of Interest
Musical Improv
Long Form Improv
Musical Theater
Musical Composition
Acapella Music

Eric Brodie is a musician and improviser living on the Upper West Side. Eric has been playing, writing, and arranging music for over 10 years—instrumental, improvised, and acapella. Since 2013 he has performed in and accompanied musical and long form improv, and he has played in festivals across the country as both a performer and musician. He has been teaching improvisers since 2015, acting as both coach and accompanist. He’s performed at the Magnet, the PIT, and the Del Close Marathon in New York, the WIT, LIT fest, and Improvapalooza in D.C., the Miami Improv festival, and a musical variety show at Muchmore's in Brooklyn. He is looking forward to helping you bring your musical ideas to life!

 
 

MIMI HAYES

Areas of Interest
Humor Writing
Improv / Sketch Comedy
Memoir
Short Fiction
Poetry

Mimi is a writer, comedian, and popsicle stick craft enthusiast living in a 20-person house in Brooklyn. She insists it's not a commune. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Mimi's bits about public school teaching and being brain injured have graced the stages of places like Denver Comedy Works and the Broadway Comedy Club. Mimi has studied improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy for eight years and is currently training at Reckless Theater and is a member of the team Big Shot. Jokes aside, Mimi's not a bad writer. She just finished her debut memoir I'll Be Okay, It's Just A Hole In My Head (A Memoir on Heartbreak and Head Trauma), set to publish Fall 2018 from Animal Media Group, and her mom's totally proud of her for it. Several of her fiction short stories have appeared in published collections including Boned Every Which Way 2016: A Collection of Skeletal Literature, and The Tall People. Both are available on Amazon and her mom is still super proud.

 

OLUGBEMISOLA RHUDAY-PERKOVICH

Areas of Interest
Children’s Literature
Memoir
Motherhood
Social Justice

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is a mom, wife, sister, friend, and library-lover.  She's also an author: Two Naomis received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, an was named a Junior Library Guild Selection; 8th Grade Superzero was an Amazon Book of the Month, a Notable Book for a Global Society, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, and received a starred review from Publishers Weekl. Olugbemisola has a MA in Education, holds a PD certificate in the teaching of writing from the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, and has 15+ years of experience as a teaching artist in schools and after school programs. She believes in the power of a good book, a long walk, and a nice cup of tea. She lives with her family in NYC where she writes, makes things, and needs to get more sleep.

 

CHARLES WATERS

Areas of Interest
Children's Poetry Writing
Poetry Performance
Solo Performance

 

Charles Waters is a children's poet, actor and educator who has performed in schools and universities across the country.  His work has appeared in various textbooks and anthologies including The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by former Children's Poet Laureate of the United States, J. Patrick Lewis. His first book, CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship co-written with Irene Latham, will be released by Carolrhoda, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, on January 1, 2018.

 
 

DAVID HOLMBERG

Areas of Interest
Journalism
Literary Fiction
Theater
Satire / Criticism
True Crime

David Holmberg is an “old school” journalist who worked for 40 years as a reporter in New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, and other cities. He covered the civil rights and anti-war movements, the war in El Salvador, and the AIDS crisis in New York, among other major stories. As a freelancer, he’s written for The New York Times Magazine, the Times regional edition, culture and travel sections, The Nation, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Village Voice (where he was also senior editor), Huffington Post, New Jersey Monthly, and Book Slut. He taught journalism at New York University, and has taught English composition at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark and Edgewood College in Madison. Since 2015, David has been involved in off off Broadway theater. His full-length plays, “I’m Dying Now and I Did Not Kill Emmett Till” and “A Cop Shot My Son!” were produced in Midtown venues in 2015 and 2017, and his short play “White Woman, Black Boy: Carolyn Byrant and Emmett Till” was produced in September, 2018. His novel, The Hurricane Murders was published in 2010, and his first novel, The Tinderbox was published by Smashwords in 2012.

 

TARA MOKHTARI

Areas of Interest
Poetry
Screenwriting / Playwriting
Fiction
Non-Fiction
Adaptations

Tara Mokhtari is a Persian writer and academic based in New York City. Tara has a PhD in Creative Writing and Master of Creative Media/Poetry. Her book, The Bloomsbury Introduction to Creative Writing, has been adopted by undergraduate writing programs internationally and is based on more than a decade as a professor of creative writing and communication. Tara's first book of poems, Anxiety Soup, was published by Finlay Lloyd Press in 2013, and her co-edited book of essays, Testimony, Witness, Authority: The Politics and Poetics of Experience, was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing the same year. Tara moonlights as a screenwriter on assignment for independent producers in L.A, London, and New York, and she has a background in theatre as a writer and director. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Communication Arts at Bronx Community College, and she's also collaborating on a translation of all 495 of Hafez's ghazals with her mom!

Westchester Instructors

 
 

TOM MOOSEKER

Areas of Interest
Poetry
Short Fiction
Essays
Screenwriting
Science Writing

Tom is a poet and short fiction writer currently living in lower Westchester County. He has earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he won the Maytag Prize for outstanding poetry and worked as an instructor and program coordinator for an undergraduate community of young writers. You can find a few of his poems published in Two Peach, and more forthcoming in other places. Originally from New Haven, CT, he has lived all around the NY metro area for a cumulative 8 years, and recommends bird watching in Inwood Hill Park, where he once spotted a scarlet tanager.

 

VEERA HIRANANDANI

Areas of Interest
Middle Grade
Young Adult
Picture Books
Short Fiction
Novel Writing 

Veera Hiranandani is the author of the middle grade novel The Whole Story of Half a Girl (Delacorte Press), which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book, a South Asian Book Award Finalist, and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly. She is also the author of the chapter book series, Phoebe G. Green (Grosset & Dunlap), and The Night Diary, forthcoming in 2018 (Dial). Veera earned her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at The Writer's Rock, Writopia Lab, and Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in Westchester with her husband, two kids, and her adorable cat who unfortunately has some anger issues.

 

KATE LONG

Areas of Interest
Playwriting
Screenwriting
Improvisation
Memoir
Short Stories 

Kate is a playwright member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, where much of her work has been developed and produced.  Her plays include: Unseen Friends, Two Part Harmony, Ariel Bright, Sedalia Run, and Casting Cordelia. Her work has been published by Samuel French, Broadway Play Publishing, and The Westchester Review and been included in Applause Books’ collection of Best Short Plays. She has been working with both young and adult writers for over thirty years; serving as a Teaching Artist in the NYC public school system and mentoring adults through such programs as The Ensemble Studio Theatre Institute, Playwrights Horizons, Gotham Writers Workshop, Marymount Manhattan College and Larchmont/Mamaroneck Continuing Ed. Since moving to Westchester, Kate has discovered the inspirational oasis of Writopia Lab, where she’s been teaching for the past two years. She is the proud mother of two amazing humans and one outstanding dog.  

 
 
 
 

SOPHIA MARIE LEE

Areas of Interest
Children’s Literature
Middle Grade
Young Adult
Fiction
Personal Essays

Sophia is an author of books for children and young adults. Her first book, What Things Mean, is a young adult novel published by Scholastic Asia (2016). This work won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Scholastic Asian Book Awards and is one of the first young adult stories about the Philippines to have been published by Scholastic. What Things Mean was included in the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Top 10 Books of 2016. Her second book, a children's picture book titled Soaring Saturdays, won 2nd Prize at the Samsung KidsTime Authors' Awards (2015). It was digitized into an interactive e-book app in 2016 and is set for print release by Scholastic Asia in 2018. She received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at The New School in New York City. Growing up, she wanted to be many things: doctor, teacher, ballerina, crime-fighting international spy, wizard, time traveler, journalist, and lawyer. She likes to think she can be all these things through writing.

BREN KAHN

Areas of Interest
Poetry
Memoir
Songwriting
Motherhood
Picture Books

Bren is a poet, recording artist, memoirist and writing teacher based in South Salem, NY. She loves teaching and is always discovering creative ways to inspire her students to dig deep into their personal stories and uncover their unique voice. She lives with her husband, two teenage boys, and several pets who served as inspiration for her recent book of poetry Ode to Chores: the Good, the Bad, and the Laundry (available January 2019). Over her twenty-year career as a musician and writer, Bren has released seven albums of original music and performed at sold out venues across Germany, France and North America. During her time at Columbia Records, she toured with Bob Dylan, Chrissie Hynde, David Byrne and Jeff Buckley. She holds a BA in Political Science from NYU. Her real education however, came from attending years of open mic nights surrounded by dozens of inspiring poets and musicians at ABC NO RIO and the Fort at Sophie’s Bar on New York’s Lower East Side.