Learn more about Writopia in Los Angeles.
Kimberly Faith Waid is Writopia Lab's Los Angeles regional manager, where she is an educator, registrar, marketing lead, and director of regional partnerships. She also is a part of the national communications team with a focus in social media. For over thirteen years, she has taught creative writing, Language Arts/English, and arts enrichment to all age-levels and is passionate to continue growing confidence and literacy skills in young writers. Her Writopia students have received Scholastic recognition on regional and national levels. A community builder, Kimberly worked for five years with the founder of The Moth, George Dawes Green, on The Unchained Tour, a storytelling series which brought storytellers and musicians to small towns across the American South to support local literary communities and their independent bookstores. At Writopia, in addition to creative writing, she teaches screenwriting, drawing on her experience as a script coverage consultant for high-level filmmakers and on the set of Breaking Bad. She holds a BFA in Media and Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art & Design and an MFA from New York University, where she was selected as a Goldwater Fellow. She’s been shortlisted for the 2019 Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest and the 2012 William Faulkner Wisdom Competition. Her written work has appeared in Abe’s Penny and ArtSlant. She's twice been a resident in fiction writing at Vermont Studio Center where she began work on a historical novel set primarily in her home state of Alabama.
Jacquelyn Stolos can barely contain her excitement about joining the Writopia team in Los Angeles this spring! Jacquelyn began her writing career as an elementary schooler filling up spiral-bound notebooks while perched on a mossy rock in the woods behind her childhood home. Her habits have barely changed since. She studied English and French literature at Georgetown University, where she completed an honors thesis of short stories and won the Annabelle Bonner Medal for short fiction. For her masters, Jacquelyn was awarded the Writers in the Public Schools fellowship to study fiction in New York University’s MFA program. She has also workshopped at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, and the New York Summer Writers Institute. Her short fiction has appeared in The Atticus Review, Conte Online, and The Oddville Press. Jacquelyn is an ardent believer in the power of story and is always looking for ways to spread the love through education. She previously worked as a teaching artist at Teachers and Writers Collaborative, leading creative writing workshops in elementary and middle school classrooms, as well as an adjunct professor at New York University. Jacquelyn's first novel, Edendale, will be released by Creature Publishing, a feminist horror press, in the spring of 2020.
Michelle Kim Hall is thrilled to be a part of the Writopia community and is committed to honoring young voices and the power of self-expression. She believes that writing is serious fun. She wrote her first poem at age five after breaking her arm: "casts are white / paper can tear / this thing hurts / more than you care." She hasn't stopped writing since. After graduating summa cum laude from UCLA with a concentration in creative writing, she went on to earn her JD from Harvard Law School. Her thesis explored a troubling human rights issue through the short story form. Michelle practiced law in both California and New York before deciding to return to academia. She got an MFA in fiction from New York University, where she taught creative and expository writing. Her poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in periodicals including The Rumpus, Open Letters Monthly, and The Margins. With almost two decades of teaching experience, Michelle loves working with writers of all ages.
Madeline is so excited to join the Writopia Lab team this summer! She has been crafting stories, essays, screenplays, and poetry since she learned to write. Her stack of diaries is roughly the height of an average first grader. She received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and has had her work published in a variety of literary magazines. She is the founder of the reading series Sundays at Erv's, and in August 2019, her debut novel will be released from Ecco Press. She has also worked as a nanny for seven years and taught creative writing to middle and high school students through Columbia's Writer As Teacher Program and the former DC nonprofit WVSA Arts Connection.
Brendan is excited for the opportunity to guide young filmmakers at Writopia Lab as they begin their own cinematic journeys with their unique voices. His own love for cinema began when he was in middle school! He’s a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking, where he studied Film Directing and has taught film to younger generations at their summer camps. He’s written and produced critically acclaimed independent films including Dance Party USA, the Spirit Award-nominated Quiet City, and Cold Weather. In 2013, he co-wrote and produced the short documentary, The Great Imposter, as part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. It was among the group of documentaries awarded a Primetime Emmy in 2014 for Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program. Brendan is currently developing projects for film and television.
Brady couldn't be more excited to join the Writopia Lab team as an assistant instructor. Brady graduated Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, where he spent his time studying for classes in a hammock on the beach. After earning his BA in Creative Writing, Brady worked in podcasting for WBEZ, Chicago, and as an Associate Producer for the PleasureTown show, a fictional narrative podcast set in Old West Oklahoma. In Chicago, Brady studied comedy and won the Second City Original Sitcom competition and placed in a few others as well. Brady can't wait to use his experience to inspire Writopians.
Sandra Ramirez is excited to share her love of writing with young people this summer at Writopia Lab! Sandra is a former Pen Emerging Voices Fellow and holds an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars. Her poems have been published in The Laurel Review and Puerto Del Sol. She also was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received a Notable Mention in Best American Essays in 2014 for her essay "Strays.” She’s currently at work on a screenplay and a poetry collection.
Caitlin is so happy to join the Writopia Lab community this summer! Caitlin has an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she participated in the faculty selected 6x6 reading series. Her writing has appeared in Bookforum, Los Angeles Review of Books, Adroit Journal, and The Leveler. She worked as a research assistant at the Getty Research Institute for the past two years and is currently working on her first collection of essays about artists in periods of transition and doubt.
Will is very excited to join the Writopia Lab team! He graduated with a BA in English from Pomona College, where he received the Dole-Kinney Prize in Creative Writing and the Matthew Klopfleisch Prize in English. While at Pomona, he wrote for the student newspaper and taught creative and expository writing to children through the Weekly Writing Workshop. More recently, he is a finalist for the 2019 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction. In the near future, he plans to pursue an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Will loves to read and write across all genres!
Brittany is thrilled to be a part of the Writopia Lab team. She has been observing the world and writing about her findings ever since she found comfort and solace in the character of Harriet from Harriet the Spy. Her thoughts and notes, kept secret in a notebook, turned into essays and stories on her laptop as she grew up and decided to be a writer. Brittany holds a BA in English from Indiana University, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University. Her work has been featured in a wide array of literary magazines, and she has attended writing residencies across the country and even as far as Chamonix, France. Brittany enjoys investigating the family dynamic and writing about relationships with her parents and siblings in order to better understand herself and the world around her. Her first book, The Perpetual Motion Machine, is a collection of essays that won the Nonfiction Award for Red Hen Press in 2017. She is currently at work on a novel.
Cassandra is tickled pink to be working with Writopia Lab in LA after starting at the Chicago region! While in Chicago, Cassandra worked as a professional playwright for over a decade. From 2013 to 2017 she wrote 300 micro-plays for The Dictionary Project, a challenge she created for herself to write short plays for all her friends based on their dramatic suggestions and random words she found in the dictionary. Her longer plays include The Amen Trilogy, The Battle of Charlottesville, Billy to his Friends, and The Volunteer. Her work has been developed and produced by Broken Nose Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Jackalope Theatre Company, The New Colony, and Stage Left Theatre. She earned her BA in playwriting from Columbia College Chicago, and she was a Tutterow Fellow at Chicago Dramatists (an MFA alternative program). Now that she's in LA, she's transitioning into TV Writing with help from UCLA's Professional Program in Writing for Television and Upright Citizen Brigade's sketch writing program. She's looking forward to working with LA's young writers!
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