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.
Teacher, University of Washington Continuum and Hugo House Seattle, Winter 2018-2019
Teaching “Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay” at University of Washington Continuum, which takes adult students through each essential phase of the process: generating topic ideas, developing a first draft, revising and editing, and submitting for publication. This course explores the thriving market for personal essays and analyzes the various outlets for students’ writing. Guest speakers from online and print publications will offer strategies and insider tips for pitching and submitting work.
Teaching “Taming the Beast: the Work-Writing Balance” at Hugo House Seattle, which will help students harness strategies to find the time and energy to write “on the side”; try out forms designed to get into and out of writing groove quickly and easily; and guide students in reading works by writers who have managed to make art—sometimes directly inspired by their day jobs—while working, caretaking, and otherwise “feeding the beast.”
Writer Ambassador, On the Boards, 2016-2018 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.
Creative writing teacher, guest speaker, and panelist, various locations, 2012-present
- Panelist, AWP Annual Conference and Book Fair, Portland, “Writing Away, Writing Toward: Belonging as a Narrative Force in Memoir,” March 2019.
- Guest speaker, University of Washington Continuum, BISIA 311 Art of Writing, May 2018.
- Guest speaker, University of Washington, Bothell, Creative Writing-Prose, May 2018.
- Panelist, “Place as Character,” April 2018, University Bookstore, Seattle.
- Panelist: “Women Writing the Body: A Reading and Panel,” February 2018, Seattle University.
- Teacher, St. James community kitchen creative writing group for students experiencing homelessness, winter 2018, Seattle.
- Speaker, English 211 Memoir, March 2018, Cascadia Community College, Bothell.
- Developed and taught the class “How to Pitch an Editor, Not Piss Her Off” at media and writing conferences and universities, including Mom 2.0 Summit, and Doe Bay Writers Retreats, 2014-2015, and University of Washington Extension/Professional and Continuing Education, 2015-2018.
- Panelist, “MFA Careers and Writing Futures,” University of Washington, Bothell, 2017.
- Visiting teacher, Hugo House, Seattle, 2015 and 2016, “Fragment Make the Whole: Variations of Form in Memoir.”
- Visiting teacher, Hugo House, Seattle, 2017, 2018, “How to Pitch Successfully.”
- Guest teacher, University of Washington, Bothell, course BIS 2017: Introduction to Creative Writing, 2016. Guest lectured, worked directly with students 1:1, and lead critique groups.
- Guest teacher, University of Washington, Bothell, course BISIA 311: Creative Writing: Prose, 2016. Guest lectured, worked directly with students 1:1, and lead critique groups.
- Guest lecturer, University of Washington Communications Department, “Working as a Journalist in Today’s Market,” 2016.
- Panelist, University of Washington Continuum, “Exploring the MFA,” 2016.
- Guest teacher, University of Washington Continuum, 2016 and 2017, “Pitching the Personal Essay.”
- Panelist, University of Washington Continuum, 2014, “Where Are They Now?”
- Moderator, keynote author panel featuring Wild author Cheryl Strayed, Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat, 2013.
- Contest judge, Alligator Juniper and Pacific Northwest Writers Association writing contests, multiple years.
Readings and performances
- Reader, San Francisco Litquake, Oct. 14, 2018: Of Demons and Dreams: A Night of Memoir.
- Reader, Why There Are Words Sausalito, CA, Oct. 11, 2018.
- Fall Convergence MFA reading, Elliott Bay Books Seattle, September 2018.
- Why There Are Words reading series, May 2018, Portland.
- Reading, March 2018, Seattle Lit Fix.
- Book launch and reading, March 2018, Powell’s World of Books, Portland.
- Book launch and reading, March 2018, Elliott Bay Books, Seattle.
- Reading and event organizer: Father, Mother, Other, October 2016, Seattle Lit Crawl.
- Reading, Spring Festival, June 2016, University of Washington, Bothell.
- International Women’s Day reading, March 2016, Northwest Film Forum Seattle.
- Reading, Ballard Writers Collective, November 2015, Seattle.
Publications & Awards
- Author, California Calling: A Self-Interrogation, Hawthorne Books, March 2018.
- Contributing author, Love and Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life, Switch Press, 2015.
A selection of other publications
- Self interview, The Nervous Breakdown, 2018.
- Excerpt, Proximity magazine, 2018.
- Book Notes, Largehearted Boy, 2018.
- Essay, “Searching for California,” Northwest book Lovers, 2018.
- Essay, “Border Crossings,” Powell’s Books, 2018.
- Artistic responses, On the Boards, 2016-2018.
- Interview, “The Information Is In the Flesh: An Interview With Jessica Jobaris.”
- Critical essay “Bernadette and Me,” Literary Mama, October 2015.
- Articles, essays, interviews, ParentMap magazine, 2012-2017.
- 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.
- Essay, “How to Be Analog,” Alligator Juniper, 2013
- Articles, essays, marketing writing, various publications: Contently portfolio, 2010-present.
Awards and honors
- Artist Residency, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, 2019
- Artist Residency, Playa, alternate, 2019
- Contest First Runner Up, Red Hen Press Nonfiction Book Award, 2017.
- Contest Finalist, Autumn House Press Nonfiction Book Award, 2016.
- Honorable mention, 2016, AWP Writer’s Chronicle
- Contest Winner: Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2013 literary contest, first place Memoir/Nonfiction.
- Contest Winner: Alligator Juniper national writing contest, first place, nonfiction.
- Contest Winner, nonfiction, Torrey House Press, 2011.
- Writing residency, On the Boards Seattle Writer Ambassador program, 2016-2018
- Creative Nonfiction Podcast
- The Rumpus: Emboldened to Ask
- Proximity Magazine’s True column
- The Brooklyn Rail
- The Nervous Breakdown
- XRAY FM Portland radio interview (1:02:28)
- Writing Is My Drink
- Hypertext Magazine
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, University of 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.