Program Manager, The Writopia Music Lab
Creative Writing and Songwriting Instructor
Malcolm Knowles has been part of the Writopia Lab team since 2018. He is a writer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Houston, Texas, where he learned to record and release music during his teenage years. He later attended Sarah Lawrence College with a focus in Jazz Guitar, Composition, and Radio. During the summer, Malcolm teaches Creative Writing and Songwriting at both the Writopia Full Day camp and WriCampia, and is the Division Head of Upper Boys at WriCampia. After two years of developing the Writopia Songwriting Studio and its camp electives, Malcolm co-designed, launched, and began overseeing the Writopia Music Foundry in 2021. Both programs are offered as part of Writopia's Music Lab. During the school year, Malcolm helps young and teen writers navigate the process of Essay Writing, Creative Writing, and Songwriting. When not teaching, you can often find Malcolm next to the closest musical instrument.
Tasnim Hussain is a creative writing and essay writing instructor at Writopia Lab, where she offers support to young writers throughout their writing process. Tasnim graduated as salutatorian from Hunter College, where she majored in English with minors in Education and Sociology. She has taught in public schools throughout the city, working with students in many different contexts and settings in English classrooms. In awe of the creative genius of Writopia Lab writers, she finds herself constantly learning from their passion and enthusiasm. In her free time, Tasnim enjoys writing short fiction and free verse poetry, and she has been published in GRLQUASH, a bi-annual literary magazine, and Hunter College's The OliveTree Review.
Manager of Digital Media and Communications
After moving to New York City from Louisiana, Will landed his first post-college job as a video editor and counselor at WriCampia in 2018. He graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design with a BFA in Digital Filmmaking, and has years of experience working in film production. His set experiences include driving a 20-foot grip truck through Times Square, filming in a Staten Island prison, lighting music videos for 88rising, and camera assisting on a Kevin Smith film.
Rachel Aronson is thrilled to join Writopia Lab as the Enrollment Manager. Rachel brings a decade of experience educating and managing operations for education programs. Before coming to Writopia, Rachel organized field trips to the world's largest landfill, taught elementary schoolers how to build robots, and managed a sustainability certification program for organizations. She has a Masters of Science in childhood education from Hunter College and a Bachelor of Arts in cultural anthropology and environmental studies from the University of Vermont. She is excited to support Writopia Lab's amazing mission as part of the Registration Team!
Part Time HR & Payroll Associate
Tammy Scozzafava is thrilled to be joining Writopia Lab as the Part Time HR & Payroll Associate. Her varied professional experience spans the industries of arts/entertainment, media, and nonprofit organizations, with a focus on operations and human resources. Highlights of her career have been serving as an NBC Page; AEA Stage Manager; Talent Acquisition Partner & HR Generalist for New York Magazine; COO of a boutique theatrical general management & producing firm where she worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional, and international productions, amongst other projects; and as a member of the global recruitment team for Open Society Foundations, the world's largest private funder of individual groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. Tammy graduated with honors from Vassar College with a BA in Drama and holds a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University. Growing up in a large Italian-American family fostered her deep love for food and tradition; and she is passionate about learning about other cultures through those pillars. Her two mottos for life are: “Eat well, travel often” and “Food is love”.
Madeline Stevens has taught writing to adults and children for over ten years! At Writopia Lab, she leads creative and essay writing as well as graphic novel workshops. Madeline holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Portland State University and an MFA from Columbia University. Her first novel was published by Ecco Press in the US, Faber & Faber in the UK, and translated into six languages. Her essays, stories, and other writing have appeared in places such as The Guardian, Electric Literature, CrimeReads, and Monkeybicycle. For three years she was host and curator of the Brooklyn reading series Sundays at Erv’s and is excited to be organizing events along with teaching and program coordinating for children and teens in Los Angeles through Writopia Lab!
Artistic Director of Writopia Plays Festival
Playwriting and Screenwriting Specialist
Dan Kitrosser has been teaching year-round at Writopia Lab since 2007. He teaches musical theater, playwriting, language play, and fiction workshops, and also produces and directs Writopia Lab's annual Best Playwrights' Festival. Dan is the resident storyteller at Central Park and an award-winning playwright. His plays and musicals have appeared at Urban Stages, 45 Bleecker Theatre, The Ohio Theatre, The Brooklyn Lyceum and American Place Theatre. His children's musical, Night of the Butterfly, has been declared "a winning original musical!" by TimeOut Kids, and had an extended Off-Broadway run. He was the recipient of the 2010 Brooklyn Arts Council Grant for his one-man musical The Legend of Ichabod Crane (Halloween Pick - Village Voice) which he continues to tour around the city. At Writopia, six of Dan's students have won "Best Play" in Stephen Sondheim's 2008, 2009, and 2010 Write a Play! contests, and many others were named finalists or won honorable mentions. A graduate of NYU, Dan's screenplays include Old Days, directed by Matt Shapiro and starring Brad Oscar (Tony Nomination, The Producers) and Mary Beth Piel (Dawson's Creek) and Bodybuilder Island, directed by Matthew Kliegman. Dan has been a final committee judge for the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival for four years (this coming summer will be his fifth). Dan's play Be Here Now won this festival and was a finalist in Stephen Sondheim's National Playwriting Competition.
Jem is a former student of Writopia Lab’s creative writing workshops and is incredibly excited to rejoin the Writopia family as a registration associate. Jem is a graduate of Ithaca College, where he studied writing and theater. Inspired by Writopia Lab, Jem founded a student theater group at Ithaca College that focused on workshopping and producing original plays and musicals. With this group, Jem produced five shows and workshopped many more. Jem enjoys writing magical realism, absurdism, and urban fantasy. He is well studied in writing many forms, such as novel writing, short story, playwriting, screenwriting, poetry, and more. He is currently working on two novel projects. Jem is also an accomplished musician and composer, having played the flute for nearly 12 years, and is currently learning piano. Outside of writing and playing music, Jem enjoys watching movies, playing video games, and seeing what New York City has in store for him.
Amy Dupcak is the author of Dust, Short Stories (2016) and co-editor and designer of Words After Dark: A Lyrics, Lit & Liquor Anthology (2020). After studying Creative Writing and Film History at Sarah Lawrence, she earned an MFA in Fiction from The New School. She has worked as a music and culture journalist, assistant editor, adjunct English professor, and high-school creative writing teacher. Amy has been a Writopia instructor since 2012, primarily working with teens in different capacities. She also works with adults across genres at The Writer’s Rock as an instructor, mentor, editor, and manager.
Amy's fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Sonora Review, Entropy, Phoebe, Fringe, Litro, Hypertext, Bookanista, and other literary journals, while her poetry has appeared in Pangyrus, Passengers, District Lit, The Night Heron Barks, The Blue Mountain Review, American Writers Review, and Alternative Field & Avenue 50 Studio’s “In Isolation” anthology. She is currently working on a second story collection as well as a novel.
Sarah Bernstein is an award-winning teacher and playwright. Sarah studied playwriting with Paula Vogel at Brown University, and her work has been produced and/or developed with companies throughout the country, including the Lark Play Development Center, the Amoralists, Forward Flux Productions,The Motor Company, the Source Festival, FullStop Collective, Caps Lock Theatre, the American Globe Theatre, Project Y, and the New Voices Project. Her play, Perpetuation, and her adaptation of Les Miserables, will be published by Playscripts, Inc. next year. After falling in love with Writopia Lab through her work on the Worldwide Plays Festival, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Writopia's brilliant students and staff as an instructor.
Alison Doherty loves working with writers of all ages at Writopia Lab. She also teaches writing classes to freshman at The New School. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School in 2016 with a concentration in writing for children and teenagers. For undergrad, Alison studied English Literature at Smith College and The University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Before moving to New York, Alison worked as a classroom teacher and a curriculum consultant at Harvard EdLabs. Now, when she isn't teaching, Alison is working on her first YA novel and writing about books for Book Riot.
Samantha Stone began with Writopia Lab as a JLA volunteer in 2016 and has taught creative writing and essay workshops since the summer of 2017. In the Fall of 2019 she joined the administrative team part-time, helping with registration, and is delighted to work more closely with the team. Samantha is a New York City based playwright and theatre artist, who focuses on creating theatre for social change in both national and international platforms. She received finalist status for the Leah Ryan Fund For Emerging Women Writers in 2019 and for the Ivoryton Playhouse’s POWER PASSION PROSE Women Playwrights’ Initiative for 2018. Her work has been produced at the Walkerspace at Soho Rep, Primary Stages, and as part of the 20th annual New York International Fringe Festival. In 2013, she earned a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the George Washington University. She has an MFA from the Fordham/Primary Stages Playwriting program, which she earned in 2018, and currently teaches as an adjunct professor in Fordham’s English department.
Jane Young began teaching Writopia Lab workshops in 2019. She is a writer, editor, and teacher, whose plays have been seen in over a dozen Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theaters in New York, as well as Ohio and Colorado. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she served as a non-fiction editor for its literary magazine, Lumina. Her fiction debuted in the premier issue of the magazine, and a book of poetry she’s written with Thomas Keith, The Histories of Gladys, was published by Mellon Poetry Press. Jane recently completed her first novel, War Cry of the Good Angels. Her teaching credits include State University of New York at Purchase College, the Women’s Correctional Facility at Bedford Hills, and LEAP. She is thrilled to be working with Goddard-Riverside Community Center and Writopia Lab!
Madeleine Cravens is very happy to join Writopia Lab as an Instructor. She began at Writopia as a Write to Recognition Mentor, where she worked with youths, guiding many aspects of their creative writing. Madeleine is a graduate of Oberlin College, where she studied Creative Writing. In fall 2020, she will be the Max Rivto Poetry Fellow at Columbia University. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Best of the Net, the Adroit Journal, IMAGE Journal, Folio, Frontier, and the New Ohio Review. Madeleine lives in Brooklyn and looks forward to continuing to work with the inventive and dedicated writers at Writopia.
Samantha has been involved with Writopia Lab in various capacities since its inception in Rebecca's studio apartment in 2007 and is so excited to now come onboard as an instructor. Having begun her Writopia journey as a student and later having worked as a WriCampia counsellor, Samantha has witnessed first-hand the incredible impact Writopia Lab has on its young writers and is a passionate believer in its mission to empower children and teenagers through the medium of storytelling.
Samantha’s own writing career kicked off when she was 11 years old when a short story of hers was published in the Anthology of Short Stories by Young Americans. She has since gone on to write essays and opinion pieces that have been published on websites such as Girl With Pen and Forbes.com. After attending drama school in Boston, Samantha graduated with a BA in English Literature with Journalism from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. Samantha now lives in Bath and has most recently been working with high school students on short story and essay writing while completing an MA in Law.
Reuben is ridiculously excited to join the Writopia Lab team! Reuben is a children’s author and the ghostwriter of ten books in the iconic Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mystery series for Simon & Schuster. While Reuben loves writing for kids and young adults, his storytelling experience spans a variety of genres and media. He is an award-winning independent filmmaker and screenwriter whose work has appeared in film festivals around the world. Reuben graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in Media Production and minored in Journalism and Mass Communication. When he’s not writing, you can often find him helping other writers as a university guest lecturer and freelance editor—and now as a Writopia Lab instructor.
Celine Aenlle-Rocha is thrilled to be a creative, essay, and college essay writing instructor at Writopia Lab NYC. She is a writer from Miami and Los Angeles, residing in Washington Heights, New York City. She has contributed to literary magazines HIKA, Luna de la cosecha, Broad! Magazine, The Suburban Review, Pen + Brush, and Salt + Pepper, among others. Celine is pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Columbia University, where she is a volunteer instructor with Columbia Artists as Teachers, the Online Editor for the Columbia Journal, and Co-President of Our Word, the School of the Arts' student organization committed to championing inclusiveness in literature. She previously attended Kenyon College and the Columbia Publishing Course. Before Writopia, she marketed academic books at Oxford University Press for several years. Her writing is inspired by her family history from Havana to New Orleans to Los Angeles, and she loves helping emerging writers discover their own voices at Writopia.
Alex Harris is thrilled to be joining the Writopia Lab team as an instructor! Originally from Davis, California, Alex graduated from Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television with a BA in Film Directing and Screenwriting. During his time at LMU, Alex was one of 12 undergraduate students nationwide to win the Hollywood Foreign Press Grant for Excellence in Student Filmmaking for his short film Memoirs, which went on to play in major film festivals across the country. As a screenwriter, Alex is a Writers Guild of America member and has been hired to write original screenplays, adaptations, and rewrites for Oscar-nominated producers. Most recently, Alex was hired by Dwayne Johnson's Seven Bucks Productions and 101 Studios to write the upcoming sports biopic Unstoppable: The Anthony Robles Story with Emmy-winner Jharrel Jerome attached to star. Alex is a Film Independent Incubator Lab alum ('19) and a Sundance Catalyst Fellow ('21) for his directorial debut, In The Valley of Men, based on a short story by renowned author Joanne Greenberg, which will star Ed Harris and Noah Jupe. He is mentored by acclaimed filmmaker David Lowery and represented by Grandview.
Private Sessions Coordinator
Lizz Mangan (they/them) is thrilled to be with the Writopia Lab team as the Private Sessions Coordinator and an instructor.
Lizz received their BA in Theater Studies with a concentration in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Connecticut. They also attended the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Advanced Playwriting program in Spring 2018. As a playwright, Lizz's work has been seen across the country in Minneapolis, Connecticut, New York, Maine, Colorado, Florida, and Vermont. They are also a founding member of Eleven & One Theatre Collective. In 2023, they were named a finalist for the INKubator series with Art House Productions.
In their free time, Lizz enjoys walks in Central Park, adding to their vibrant earring collection, and touring New York in pursuit of the best bagel in the city (they have a list they are happy to show upon request).
Kendra is so excited to join the Writopia Lab team as a Creative Writing and College Essay Instructor! She is inspired by the energy and imagination of young writers and is thrilled to watch them discover and develop their own unique voices. Originally from the Pennsylvania countryside, Kendra graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a BS in biology, a BA in professional writing, and a minor in creative writing. In 2021, she completed her MFA in nonfiction writing at Columbia University. During her academic career, Kendra was very active in publishing, from leading as an editor-in-chief for a campus newspaper and literary magazine, to serving as a poetry board and nonfiction board member of the Columbia Journal. Kendra is always looking to stay busy and active in the city; she is an NJCAA College Basketball Official, supervises the Intramural Sport program at Columbia University, and is a professional taste tester in SoHo. She’s working on two books: a memoir with focus on her transition to New York City and the social dynamics and unthinkable experiences as a taste tester, and a nonfiction book that combines memoir, history, interviews, and research to examine undocumented historical events with the theme of rewriting one’s own memories.
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!