Learn more about Writopia in Washington, D.C.
Rita has been a part of the Writopia Lab team since 2015. She received her MFA from Oregon State University, where she taught composition and creative writing. Her work has appeared in The Cossack Review, Permafrost, and Grist, among other publications, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets. Life on Dodge, her debut poetry chapbook, is available from Brain Mill Press. She lives with her husband, who is a lawyer, and her dog, who is not.
Peter Quinn-Jacobs started at Writopia Lab as a Dungeon Master in 2020 and is excited to work full time at the Washington, D.C. office starting in 2022. He has run role-playing games since he was seven years old and enjoys games both in-person and over the internet in a variety of fantasy and science fiction settings. In his free time, he designs his own board games and murder mystery parties. His science fiction has earned an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future competition (2008) and his scholarly work won the William Hamilton Prize at William & Mary Law School (2018) and was a finalist in the American Indian Law Review Competition (2018). He's excited to work with Writopia to spur the imaginations of writers and players through fantasy gaming!
Christina McDowell is thrilled to be joining Writopia Lab in Washington DC as a writing instructor. She is the author of the critically acclaimed books After Perfect: A Daughter’s Memoir and The Cave Dwellers: A Novel, both published by Gallery Books/Scout Press at Simon & Schuster. In 2018, After Perfect was optioned by Valparaiso Pictures and is currently being adapted for the screen. Christina’s work has appeared in The Washington Post; the Los Angeles Times; The Guardian; O, The Oprah Magazine, LA Weekly, Marie Claire, USA Today, and The Village Voice, among other publications. Christina is also an advocate for children impacted by prison. She taught creative writing to teenage girls at Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles with InsideOUT Writers and served on the advisory board of POPS The Club, the first high school club in the U.S. that uses the written word to transform, heal, and empower youth harmed by mass incarceration. She was awarded for her outstanding advocacy work in 2018. To read more about her work, you can find her at christinamcdowell.com. Christina is currently at work on a new novel and when she is not spending her days writing and rewriting, she loves spending time with her little Havanese, Zelda Fitzgerald.
Melanie Howard is excited to join Writopia Lab as an instructor in the Greater Washington DC area. Melanie is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared online and in print in Time.com, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, SELF, Seventeen, Parenting, Good Housekeeping and other major publications. She is the co-author of the satirical novel, Queen of the Court (2013) and her second novel, a mystery set at a girls’ boarding school in 1963, is in the publication process. Melanie is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in General and Comparative Literature. She loves writing for a living for many reasons, but mostly because she gets to stay home with her dog, Rocket.
Niki Fakhoori is beyond ecstatic to be joining Writopia Lab as an instructor. A student of both Sequential Art and Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Niki has experience as an independent comic artist, freelance writer, and teacher. She writes feature articles, essays, and reviews for digital publications about various subjects, predominantly video games and eSports, and also enjoys recording podcasts and video reviews. She unabashedly believes in the limitless power of collaboration and communication, of which writing is the cornerstone. When she isn’t writing, she’s likely playing video games, after which she will undoubtedly write about them.
Kellie Watkins is a writer and co-owner of Jahphut, a small publishing company. She is the author of If These Shoes Could Talk: The Awakening and Savvy Diva’s Take On…44 Days of Random Thoughts & Observations, under her pen name, Jahzara the Savvy Diva.
Kellie possesses her MFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University and a BA in Journalism/Mass Media and Communications from the University of the District of Columbia. If Kellie isn’t sleeping or devouring her favorite cupcakes, she’s writing and pitching screenplay ideas, sharing random thoughts and observations through her blog and social media platforms, teaching creative writing workshops, or empowering the youth through community engagement. Kellie is also a ghost writer and provides book consulting services to aspiring writers who are stalled in their journeys. In between inhaling and exhaling, she pauses to appreciate her family of humans, lions, and wolves.
Jordan K. Casomar is delighted to be joining Writopia Lab as an instructor! Jordan is a prose writer with essays in The Kenyon Review, Catapult, and elsewhere. He received a MacDowell Fellowship in 2021, was the nonfiction runner-up in The Pinch’s 2018 Spring Literary Awards, and is an alum of the VONA conference for writers of color. Jordan has an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Minnesota. His first novel—a dramedy about high schoolers, toxic masculinity, and the so-called friendzone—is forthcoming. Jordan loves teaching writing workshops and running D&D games. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their two cats, Tuleg Rasputin III and Little Girl.
Emma is overjoyed to return to Writopia Lab as an instructor after volunteering at Writopia and working at WriCampia since 2018. She is a recent graduate of Smith College, where she was the president of the creative writing club and led writing workshops for other campus organizations. In June of 2022, she was in residence at the Dylan Thomas Summer School in Wales. She writes memoir, short fiction, and poetry about themes including disability, queerness, history, and place. To her, the best part of writing is sharing it with others through teaching and collaboration.
Cameron "Camii" Dickerson first joined Writopia Lab ten years ago as a teenager at WriCampia. She is now a Programs and Operations Assistant year round! Camii has grown up in the Writopia community, publishing several pieces in small literary sites. She is a native Washingtonian who now works in our Tenleytown, DC Lab. Her hobbies include making everyone laugh, crocheting, reading, and—obviously—writing. She is the proud mother of her kitten Winnie Salem Eloise Peterson, who is an avid reader as well.
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