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Léna Roy

Director of Teen Programs

Lena Roy

Léna has been part of the Writopia world since 2009 and has been working with kids and teens in New York City's northern suburbs since 2010. In 2018, she launched our pre-college program for teens, Creative Portfolio, which became national in 2020.  From 2014 to present, Léna has been recognized by the Scholastic Awards "as an outstanding educator whose dedication, commitment, and guidance are represented by student work selected for national honors." Léna earned her BA from Barnard and her MA in Drama Therapy from NYU. Mentoring has long been the connective tissue in Léna's life, whether through her work with at-risk adolescents as a creative arts therapist; or through her own writing discipline, as fostered by her late grandmother, author Madeleine L'Engle, teaching her to transform the solitary nature of writing into a sacred sense of community, where her art and the art of others can flourish. Léna is the author of Edges (FSG), and several essays and books including co-authoring Becoming Madeleine, a Biography of the Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Her Granddaughters

Sophia Marie Lee


Sophia is thrilled to be joining Writopia Lab, Westchester as a Writing Instructor. 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. Sophia wanted to be many things growing up: doctor, teacher, ballerina, ninja, crime-fighting international spy, wizard, time traveler, journalist, and lawyer. She likes to think she can be all these things through writing. She studied creative writing at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and is currently a Creative Writing MFA Candidate with a concentration in Writing for Children and Young Adults at The New School in New York City. You can find her online at

Justin Allen

Justin Allen

Justin Allen is excited to be an instructor at Writopia Lab. Justin is the author of two novels, Slaves of the Shinar and Year of the Horse. He is also the author of three plays. Murder at the Masque: The Casebook of Edgar Allen Poe and Gilbert and Sullivan, The Ballet! were both commissioned and produced by Dances Patrelle. The Beatitudes was commissioned by Eidolon Ballet in Concert and was produced for the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival. Justin is curently formulating a new script, which he wants to call Superhero: The Legend of the Lightning Defender. Justin earned his MFA at Columbia University and studied Comic Book Scripting at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He loves fantasy and science-fiction, mystery and alternate history, love stories and comic books, and he adores work that defies classification. He has taught writing as a part of the Columbia Writing Workshops at Bank Street College of Education, led a seminar focusing on graphic novels and comic books at Bethesda Academy, and spent years as a children's ballet master in New York City. He looks forward to reveling weekly in the work of the talented and creative young writers that make Writopia Lab a special place.

Joe Wallace

Volunteer Mentor

Joe, who will be joining Writopia Lab as a volunteer writing mentor, is the author of three novels; nonfiction books on science, natural history, and baseball; and a bunch of mystery short stories. He's also worked as a mentor for writing students (everything from middle schoolers through adults) for many years, and may love that part of his life the most. He lives in Westchester with his family, which currently includes two kittens and a patient old dog.

Paulina Tesnow


Paulina Tesnow

Paulina Tesnow is excited to join the Writopia Lab team. She is passionate about writing and fostering creativity in young people. Paulina holds a degree from Kent State University, where she majored in Digital Filmmaking and minored in Creative Writing. Before moving to New York to pursue her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Paulina spent two years in the AmeriCorps program City Year. During her time in City Year, she served as a student success coach, building students’ social-emotional learning skills and assisting in an English Language Arts classroom. Paulina has also spent years working as a teaching artist, facilitating creative writing workshops for all grade levels. Outside of writing, Paulina also enjoys film, music, and theatre.

Zoe Donovan


Zoe Donovan

Zoe Donovan is a Writopia Lab alum, a former high school intern, a WriCampia counselor and Co-Division Head, and is thrilled to continue to be a part of the Writopia community! Originally from Westchester County, NY, Zoe spent her high school years writing music, performing in and directing plays, and exploring poetry and playwriting at Writopia. As an undergraduate at Brown University, Zoe worked as a music mentor at New Urban Arts, founded an online zine dedicated to publishing work by young LGBTQIA+ writers, and continued her involvement in theater and music. She recently graduated with a B.A. in Africana Studies and Music, and plans to continue working as an aspiring producer, songwriter, and playwright.

Colleen Martin

Assistant Instructor

Colleen Martin

Colleen Martin is excited to join the Writopia Lab team as an Assistant Instructor. She is currently working toward her master’s in English education at Fordham University. She graduated from Boston College in 2021, where she was the editor of the student newspaper. Before Writopia, Colleen worked as a Writers’ Room Fellow at 826 Boston, where she led the journalism club and worked with students on college essays, academic papers, and creative writing. Colleen has worked as a journalist, writing stories about Boston marathoners, a python on the loose, and the oldest cat in Montgomery County, Maryland. Most recently she produced an episode for Boston Stories and Numbers, an audio documentary project dedicated to telling the stories of Boston residents. Outside of writing, Colleen enjoys baking, hiking, and the beach.

Ivory Butler


Ivory Butler is delighted to be on the Writopia Lab team! Ivory first discovered her love of writing in elementary school when she was tasked with writing a short story that soon evolved into a 50-page novella, and she has adored writing ever since. Throughout her teenage years, Ivory took workshops at Writopia Lab and won golden keys for her poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature and an M.A. in Child and Adolescent Development. Currently, Ivory is represented by Brent Taylor of Triada Literary Agency and her young adult murder mystery novel is on submission to publishers. Her master's thesis on sensory processing disorder and her undergraduate conference paper on mother-infant attachment can be found on Sarah Lawrence College’s Digital Commons. Ivory loves to help young writers feel more confident in themselves and in their writing. She hopes to help young writers at Writopia Lab find joy in the written word.

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