Get to know the DIY MFA team and all the awesome people who help create the resources on this site. Also, if you’re interested in writing a guest article for us, check out our Guest Article Submission Guidelines. Many of our columnists and core team members started out writing guest posts for us.
Gabriela Pereira, Instigator and Founder
Instigator and creative mastermind behind DIY MFA, Gabriela spearheads all content creation both online and off and is the author of DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community. She tours the country, speaking at writing conferences and college campuses, and has appeared on various radio shows. Check her speaking page for upcoming speaking engagements and to learn more about Gabriela as a speaker.
Email: gabriela [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Phone: (646) 820-8149
Bess McAllister, Web Editor and Podcast Producer
Email: bess [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Jeanette Smith, Curriculum Director and Ask the Editor Columnist
Jeanette is an editor, coach, and freelance writer who wants to help others demolish their editing fears and finish their manuscript. She has worked with authors, speakers, coaches, and entrepreneurs—empowering them with the right mindset, knowledge, and tools to help them reach their goals. You can learn more about Jeanette by visiting JeanetteTheWriter.com.
Email: jeanette [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Lori Walker, Operations Maven
Lori Walker is the Operations Maven at DIY MFA. Though she’s fallen off the wagon as a writer, she’s hoping to return to writing essays (perhaps even a novel!) through her involvement with DIY MFA. She also teaches yoga part-time in Smalltown, Oklahoma, where she lives with her husband and their cat, Joan Didion. You can check out her yoga website (a work in progress!).
Email: lori [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Angela McAffee-Yeh, Community Happiness
Angela McAffee-Yeh lives and works in Texas – after her liberal arts degree she wandered into Corporate America but managed to escape. Now she has a husband, two kids, two dogs and two feral cats that swing by for treats. She teaches gardening and yoga to pre-kindergarten children by day, and spends her nights fantasizing about being the next JK Rowling. Sometimes she even manages a sentence or two. She is thrilled to be a part of the team at DIYMFA and to be contributing as a community helper. There isn’t anything more important than community – especially for writers.
You can follow her blog at thepluckycanadian.com.
Email: angela [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Helen J. Darling, Self Publishing: Methods, Mindset, and Magic
Rebecca Fish Ewan, Books with Pictures
Rebecca Fish Ewan, a poet/cartoonist/writer and founder of Plankton Press, teaches in The Design School at Arizona State University. She grew up in Berkeley, California, and now lives in Arizona with her family. Her cartoon/free verse memoir, By the Forces of Gravity, was published in 2018 through Books by Hippocampus. You can connect with her at rebeccafishewan.com.
Bronwen Fleetwood, Oh, the Kidlit You’ll Write!
Bronwen Fleetwood writes fiction for young adults, and nonfiction for writers. Bronwen studied creative writing at Eugene Lang,The New School for Liberal Arts, has acted as leader of the Princeton Writing Group, and as a Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month. Bronwen currently lives on the Whale Coast of South Africa, between the mountains, the sea, and a lake. You can connect with her at bronwenfleetwood.com.
Sara Letourneau, Theme: A Story’s Soul
Sara Letourneau is a freelance editor and writing coach based in Massachusetts. She’s currently taking clients with manuscripts in speculative fiction, literary fiction, or YA, though she’s open to other genres as well. She’s also a poet whose work has appeared in Amethyst Review, Canary, Muddy River Poetry Review, Soul-Lit, and elsewhere. A Massachusetts resident, she can often be found performing her poems at local open mic nights, reading good books, and enjoying a cup of tea. Learn more about how Sara can help you with your writing at Heart of the Story Editorial & Coaching Services. You can also connect with her at her writer website, Twitter, Goodreads, or Instagram.
Tammy Lough, Let’s Fall in Love
Tammy Lough is an award-winning author who loves writing romance and creating unique characters who burst with personality and frequent sprinklings of humor. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Romance Writers of America, Saturday Writers, and Missouri Writers Guild where she serves as liaison. You can connect with Tammy on her website www.TammyLough.com.
Melanie Marttila, Speculations
Melanie Marttila creates worlds from whole cloth. She’s a dreamsinger, ink alchemist, learning mutt, and SFF novelist-in-progress.
Brenda Joyce Patterson, Writing Small
Brenda Joyce Patterson is a poet, writer, librarian, and lover of short writing forms. Her poetry and flash fiction have been published in Vayavya, Gravel Magazine, and Melancholy Hyperbole. Along with works by Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Alice Walker, her travel essay “The Kindness of Strangers” appeared in Go Girl: The Black Woman’s Guide to Travel and Adventure.
Abigail K. Perry, Let’s Talk Books
Abigail K. Perry is a Certified Story Grid Editor with professional teaching, literary agency, and film production experience. In addition to writing masterwork guides that help people learn how to write, read, and edit like a writer, she works as a freelance developmental editor/book coach and diagnostic editor, and is a monthly columnist for DIY MFA. Abigail also teaches Genre-Focused writing workshops for the genres she specializes in, which include Women’s Fiction, YA Fantasy, Upmarket Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Scripts. As a podcaster, she’s a passionate advocate for the butterfly effect stories have on the individual and world, which she shares with listeners on her podcast, STORY EFFECT. Visit Abigail’s website if you’re a writer looking for an editor who will help you grow as storyteller, and who has experience in differentiated instruction, traditional publishing, and film.
Leanne Sowul, Be Well, Write Well
Leanne Sowul is a writer, teacher and creativity activist living in the Hudson Valley region of New York. She writes historical novels, literary short stories, and personal essays for a variety of publications. Connect with Leanne on her website leannesowul.com.
Pamela Taylor, Past Perfect
Pamela Taylor’s inspiration for her first book turned out to be that final straw that pushed her to leave the corporate world behind for the world of words and imagination. Now an author and an editor, she loves helping others polish their stories almost as much as she enjoys writing her own. She’s a member of the DFW Writers Workshop and the Editorial Freelancers Association and is in her second year on the judges panel for the Ink & Insights Contest. You can learn more about her books at secondsonchronicles.com, and about her editing services at editing4you.com.
Jenn Walton, Cultivating the Creative
Jenn Walton is a writer, editor and storyteller based in Washington, D.C., whose fiction works are housed mainly in the speculative genre. She is currently working on her first novel project that explores, through the lens of a failing utopia, what happens when society gives in to its fear of “the other.” She previously wrote for a communications firm where she drafted and edited sponsored and organic content for top-tier academic institutions, Fortune 500 companies and leading philanthropic organizations that has run in The Washington Post, USA Today and the Atlantic. For more from Jenn, please visit her at her website jcwalton.co.
Emily Wenstrom, Pixels to Platform
By day, Emily Wenstrom is an author social media coach and content marketing specialist. By early-early morning, she is E. J. Wenstrom, an award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author whose debut novel Mud was named 2016 Book of the Year by the Florida Writers Association.
Manuela Williams, Build Your Brand
Manuela Williams is a Las Vegas-based writer and editor. She is the author of Ghost In Girl Costume, which won the 2017 Hard To Swallow Chapbook Contest. Her second poetry chapbook, Witch, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. When she’s not writing, Manuela is busy drinking coffee and spending time with her blind Pomeranian, Redford. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Pinterest.