D.C. Regional Manager
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 Willow Springs, Salamander Magazine, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among other publications, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets. She is the author of two poetry collections, Life on Dodge and Everything is Real, both from Brain Mill Press. Her debut young adult novel Meet Me in the Fourth Dimension is forthcoming from Page Street Publishing in 2024. When she's not writing, you can find her walking through the woods with her dog The Young Lord Westley of Steeplechase.
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!
Registration and Outreach Coordinator
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.
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.
Programs and Operations Assistant
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.
Jonah was born and raised in the Tennessee Valley, but now he calls Writopia home! He attended Princeton University for history and creative writing, where he’s proud to have studied under writers like Yiyun Li and A. M. Homes. To graduate in 2020, he wrote almost 365 pages: a literary history of J. D. Salinger, which received the C. O. Joline Prize in American History, and the first draft of Little Historian, his first novel. Jonah writes fiction and nonfiction about time. He likes to talk about memory, family, and identity, and his characters–for now–live in Appalachia. His favorite movie is Lilo & Stitch, and he found his dog, Benjamin Franklin Bean, on Craigslist. He likes to talk about him, too.
Brittany Wallace is delighted to be back with Writopia Lab teaching Creative Writing and Essay Writing workshops in Washington, DC. She began her Writopia journey in 2018 as a counselor at WriCampia, where she fell in love with the organization, its mission, and its people. Brittany earned her Bachelor’s degree from Montana State University in 2017, where she majored in English with a minor in Human Development. She spent the following years balancing writing and publishing short fiction with working with kids, first as a preschool teacher in Montana and then as a middle school Behavior Specialist in Milwaukie, Oregon. Now, having finally landed in DC, she feels so glad to be working with Writopia Lab and so lucky to get to work with so many amazing young writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or teaching, Brittany can usually be found exploring her new city with her partner and dog.
Liz Lawson is thrilled to be joining Writopia's DC lab as an instructor! She is the New York Times bestselling author of The Agathas, The Night In Question: An Agathas Mystery (with Kathleen Glasgow) and The Lucky Ones.
Her books have been featured by the Today show, People, Buzzfeed, Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and more, and published in nine countries. The Night in Question is a Today Show 2023 Read with Jenna Jr. pick. The Agathas was the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club pick of May 2022, the Target/Epic Reads Book Club pick of May/June 2022, and named a best book of 2022 by Waterstones. The Lucky Ones was named a "Best Book of 2020" by both Kirkus Reviews and the Chicago Public Library.
She lives in the DC metro area with her family and two very bratty cats.
Danny Berger is so grateful to be re-joining the Writopia Lab team as an instructor after originally interning in the D.C. region in 2018! Danny graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in creative writing, where he spent his time running First Draft, a student club for aspiring writers of all genres. After Hamilton, he spent three years teaching English and Creative Writing in Philadelphia and at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, where he was delighted to have helped revive Patchwork, the school’s literary magazine. Danny writes fiction and poetry, and loves the research-focused aspect of historical fiction. In his free time, Danny is working on finishing the manuscript of his first novel, Malgré Nous, and writing down all the recipes he’s had in his head since high school. Danny is elated at the opportunity to continue the work at Writopia that started his journey as an educator, and cannot wait to share his love of the craft with lots of amazing young writers!
Join the Team!
If you love writing and want to share that love with young writers, apply today to join Writopia Lab! Click here to learn more!