Columbia College – Chicago

Throughout my time as a fiction writing teacher at Columbia College Chicago I have developed the core curriculum for each of the courses I teach: Exploring Fantasy Genre Writing (fall and spring semesters 2013-current); Fantasy Writing Workshop (spring 2007-current); Special Topics: Advanced Fantasy Writing Workshop (fall 2015); Jazz, Blues, Slavery & Voodoo: Reading & Writing in New Orleans (J-term 2009). I was an early adaptor within Columbia to the Moodle LMS. I fully integrate it into both in and out-of-classroom activities, creating a paperless classroom.

I currently serve as the Faculty Adviser to the Myth-Ink (formerly known as Columbinomicon) student writing group for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror (fall ’15-current), as well as serving as a Directed Studies Adviser for multiple students working on book-length fantasy works, and Intern Adviser for 1-2 interns per semester for the Gumbo Fiction Salon Reading Series, (fall 2011-current).

To date, I’ve produced two fundraisers within the Columbia College Creative Writing Department (with the help of working with interns) through Gumbo Fiction Salon to benefit Columbia College Creative Writing Department’s scholarship funds and Story Week conference. I’ve also been a guest lecturer or substitute in various Columbia College-Chicago classes, including: Story in Graphic Forms, Young Adult Fiction, Writing Historical Fiction, Thriller Writing, and Science Fiction Writing. In addition, I’ve served as Director to the Writers at Lunch student- open mic event for two semesters, with some of my endeavors including booking speakers for the event and publicizing it across the campus.


In the span of my writing career I have written & sold more than 75 short stories, fiction-related articles, poems, short plays, and a multi-award nominated/winning first novel to major New York and small regional presses.


I founded Gumbo Fiction Salon a monthly reading series that frequently includes featured readers, such as (I was thinking here we could include at least two prolific readers?) and open mic to all attendees, a crowd that usually includes many of my students. My duties here run the gamut of booking guests, promoting the show, running social media publicity and the online community (links here to the pages?), and heading the sales table. (Oct. 2011-current)

Before the above, Twilight Tales was a weekly series with featured readers from across the fiction genres including authors on national book tours, special event shows, monthly open mic, and author development seminars. We hosted the reading track and numerous national conventions, and sales tables at conventions and book fairs. I also served as the editor/publisher of our small press. (1993-2007). Dark Chronicles was another weekly series that I ran at a variety of Chicago cafes and bookstores (1991-1993).


June 2015-current

At BLACK GATE MAGAZINE: Under the title “Things Your Writing Teacher Never Told You.” I have written several articles primarily focused on the craft of writing and editing. I also solicit advice from professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery authors from across the US & Canada, with an emphasis on women, POC, and other voices of diversity in a segment called “Pro-Tips.”. You can find links to my blog on my BLOG page.


(selected examples)

“Write the Great American Novel –How to Begin” & “How to Get Published”  were 3-hour presentations I gave alongside NY Times best-selling author (The Walking Dead novels)  Jay Bonansinga, during multiple semesters at the Latin School of Chicago and Francis W. Parker School. These were pro bono events to raise money for their scholarship programs. We also conducted the workshop at College of DuPage and many metro Chicago libraries.

“They’re Alive!: Building Three Dimensional Characters” —was a seminar presented for about a dozen writer’s groups and metro Chicago libraries, in addition to some college and high school writing classes, including Bloomtrail Iowa Writers Conference, Columbia College & Southeast Iowa Community Arts Center.

At the Waterloo, Iowa school district I was a guest 3-day lecturer speaking to English & creative writing classes for 3rd-12th grades during the Spring  of 2005.