write | teach | disrupt
Who I Am
I am a Canadian Jewish immigrant who has obsessed over and written about cultural displacement, assimilation, the California Myth, and the poetics of belonging. I am a writing teacher engaged in advocating for at-risk youth and parent artists. My work has won awards and been published in newspapers, magazines and literary journals; my memoir, California Calling, is forthcoming in 2018. My writing has been anthologized, including most recently in the 2015 Love & Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life. I have worked as a newspaper journalist, magazine editor and corporate content strategist. I am a mother who is concerned with the experiences of, and access granted to, parent artists and mothers in particular. In a culture where mothers navigate near-constant tension around our identities as women and caregivers, artist mothers struggle to access the resources available to other artists and which are critical in order to sustain a creative self. Centrally, through my own creative work, and through professional and community connections, I am committed to supporting mother artists so that their voices may be heard and their work elevated.
Masters of Arts, Creative Writing and Poetics, University of Washington, 2016
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, San Francisco State University, 2000
Writing, Teaching, Editing & Speaking
Author, Hawthorne Books
My hybrid memoir, CALIFORNIA CALLING, will be released by Hawthorne Books in March 2018. A lyric, 50,000-word coming-of-age memoir that employs narrative, vignettes, collage and found forms and functions as a self-interrogation, California Calling won First Runner Up in the Red Hen Press nonfiction contest in 2017 and was selected in 2016 as a finalist in the Autumn House Press book contest.
Writer Ambassador, On the Boards, 2016-2017 season
As an invited 2016/2017 Writer Ambassador for On the Boards, a contemporary performing arts collective in Seattle, I aim to create a bridge of dialogue between artists and the community through my critical responses to the season’s performances.
Executive Editor, ParentMap lifestyle magazine & parentmap.com, 2012-2017
I managed a team of creative editors, content producers and freelance writers to deliver inspiring, trustworthy, highly trafficked content that helps local and global communities of parents better navigate and enjoy their families’ journeys. I built a digital content program that tripled traffic across all channels in 24 months. I directed all editorial and social media for digital and print, built marketing campaigns for live events, lectures and authors’ book launches, and wrote and edited magazine stories and blogs.
Poetry teacher, Pongo Poetry Project, 2015-2016
I taught poetry to at-risk youth at the Child Study and Treatment Center, Washington’s only state-operated psychiatric hospital for youth ages 5-18, and inside Seattle juvenile detention facility. Using Pongo’s approach of listening and valuing youths’ stories, I helped young writers to process their own experiences and trauma through the act of finding their voice in poetry.
Guest speaker and writing teacher, 2012-present
- Conference presentation/class: ‘How to Pitch an Editor, Not Piss Her Off’, Mom 2.0 Summit, Doe Bay Writers Retreat, and University of Washington Extension/Professional and Continuing Education.
- In 2016 taught as a guest speaker at Seattle’s Hugo House as part of Theo Nestor’s nine-month memoir course on the short course I developed, ‘Fragments Make the Whole: Variations of Form in Memoir.’
- In 2015 taught as assistant teacher for the undergraduate University of Washington Bothell course BIS 2017: Introduction to Creative Writing. Delivered guest lectures and critical analysis of readings, and worked directly with students as mentor and writing coach.
- In 2016 taught as assistant teacher for the undergraduate University of Washington Bothell course BISIA 311: Creative Writing: Prose. Delivered guest lectures and critical analysis of readings, and worked directly with students as mentor and writing coach.
- In 2015 and 2016 spoke as a guest lecturer at University of Washington’s Communications Department to journalism students on the topics of building a platform, writing a resume and finding a job as a writer in today’s market.
- In 2013 moderated the keynote author panel featuring Wild author Cheryl Strayed at the Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat.
- As a previous contest winner, have served as contest judge in both Alligator Juniper and Pacific Northwest Writers Association national writing contests.
Creative Publications, Contest Awards, Readings
- Debut book forthcoming, Hawthorne Press, March 2018
- First Runner Up, Red Hen Press Nonfiction Book Award, California Calling, January 2017
- Book contest finalist, Autumn House Press nonfiction manuscript contest for my memoir, California Calling, fall 2016
- 2016 LitCrawl Reading: Father, Mother, Other. October 2016, Seattle
- Contributing anthology author: Love and Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life, 2015
- April 2016, honorable mention, “There Is But One Choice: Confession or Some Form of Extinction,” AWP Writer’s Chronicle
- MFA Spring Festival reading, June 2016. Bothell, WA
- Public reading, March 2016, International Women’s Day, Northwest Film Forum Seattle
- Public reading of “Lucky 13,” November 2015, Ballard Writers Collective
- Creative/critical essay “Bernadette and Me,” Literary Mama, October 2015
- Poetry/word play, Clamor: “Mother,” “Does California Know How to Party?”
- Essay, “My Husband Was Laid Off …” Washington Post, September 2015
- Essay, “Babyshusher,” Full Grown People, August 2015
- Essay, “Movie Night,” Brain, Child, July 2015
- Essays, Huffington Post, 2014
- Contest winner: Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2013 literary contest, first place Memoir/Nonfiction
- Contest winner: Alligator Juniper national writing contest, first place, Nonfiction
- Story, “How to Be Analog,” Alligator Juniper, 2013
- Contest winner, Nonfiction, Torrey House Press, “A Kingdom Like No Other,”
- Regular reported articles, essays and art/show reviews published at ParentMap
Professional Journalism Experience
Communications Manager, Microsoft, present
I work as the home page and Inside Stories editor for MSW, Microsoft’s internal news portal used by more than 120,000 employees worldwide. I select and curate owned and earned content daily and help drive a broader content strategy focused on helping employees live the Microsoft culture. As editor for MSW’s storytelling program, I develop and edit original feature stories on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to product development that illuminate the fascinating ways people at Microsoft are evolving technology.
NWJobs Blogger, The Seattle Times, 2011-2012
Blogged weekly at The Seattle Times NWJobs Career Center Blog about sticky workplace issues, work/life balance, employee hacks, market trends and self-employment. Helped drive traffic by providing voice-driven niche content.
News Reporter, The Seattle Times, 2002-2008
Nimble and organized storytelling within a fast-past, daily news publishing environment. Expertise in research methods, reporting, writing, sourcing, data analysis, social media cross-promotion and community engagement.
Demographics and government/politics reporter, The Desert Sun, 2000-2002
Reported on immigration, the Coachella Valley’s booming Latino population, the gay and lesbian community, aging issues, low-income families and growth. Led Census 2000 coverage. Manipulated and interpreted raw data to find trends.
Arts reviewer and reporter, San Francisco Independent, 1999-2000
Covered news, film, art and theater; compiled and edited arts and events calendar.
Reporter, Union Democrat, 1999
Covered government, the forest beat, cops and courts and general assignment at this Northern California daily newspaper.
Board member, Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington, 2015-present
MFA Student Ambassador (September 2015-June 2016), MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics, University of Washington, Bothell
MFA Alumni Ambassador (September 2016-present), MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics, Universityof Washington, Bothell
- University of Washington Extension Memoir Certificate Program, 2010
- University of Washington Extension Fiction Certificate Program, 2011
- IN NW social media summit 2015
- Doe Bay Writer’s Retreat, 2014, 2015
- Wild Mountain Writers Retreat, 2013
- Mom 2.0 conference, 2013, 2014
- MediaNEXT, 2012 and 2013
- PNWA Conference 2013
- Parenting Media Association conference
- Social Media One Night Stand, 2013
- National Writers Workshop, multiple years
- Multiple Hugo House classes, Seattle
- Writers on the Sound, 2010
- Northwest Writers Conference, 2008-2010
- Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Calif., “Law School for Journalists”
- Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, Los Angeles, Calif.
- National Press Foundation, Washington, D.C., “Our Aging Society”
- Pew Center for Civic Journalism, Pasadena, Calif.
- Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Fla.