Meet Team Awesome!

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.

The Founder     |     The Team     |     The Columnists

The Team

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
Twitter: @DIYMFA

Bess Cozby, Web Editor

Bess Cozby writes epic stories in expansive worlds from her tiny apartment in New York City. By day, she’s an Editor at Tor Books, and Web Editor for DIY MFA. Her work is represented by Brooks Sherman at Janklow & Nesbit Associates.

Email: bess [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Twitter: @besscozby



Marielle Orff, Content Strategist

Marielle Orff is a freelance writer, audio editor, and podcast producer from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She is the producer for DIY MFA Radio, as well as the Web Mistress for DIYMFA. In her free time she writes stories of science-fiction and fantasy for young adults while drinking mountains of coffee. To connect with Marielle check out her website at


Email: marielle [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Twitter: @Marielle_Orff




The Columnists

Kayla Dean, Let’s Write: Nonfiction

Kayla Dean is a Vegas-based writer, who has written for publications like Electric Literature, Darling, and Bella Grace. She has several stories and essays in the works and also blogs about writing and creativity on her personal website. Currently at work on a literary nonfiction thesis, she will receive her MA in English Literature this May. 

Twitter: @kayladeanwrites


Terri Frank, Your Personal Librarian

Terri Frank is a professional librarian and holds a Master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working in a library, she’s probably visiting a library with her husband and two kids. Her current writing projects include a novel about a tuberculosis sanitorium.

Twitter: @librarylore

Elisabeth Kauffman, Ask the Editor

Elisabeth Kauffman is an author, an editor, and an artist. She is an avid bird watcher and a vegetarian. She grew up reading Mary Stewart, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and the like, and never lost her love of stories. Now she writes fantasy fiction, and runs a freelance editing business called Writing Refinery, where she edits novels for independent clients as well as publishing companies.

Email: elisabeth [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Twitter: @WritingRefinery, @fairbetty, @WritersGrimoire

Sara Letourneau, Theme: A Story’s Soul

Sara Letourneau is a fantasy writer in Massachusetts who devours good books, loves all kinds of music, and drinks too much tea. In addition to writing for DIY MFA, she is a Resident Writing Coach at Writers Helping Writers and is hard at work on a YA fantasy novel. She also freelanced as a tea reviewer and music journalist in the past. Her poetry has appeared in The Curry Arts Journal, Soul-Lit, The Eunoia Review, Underground Voices, and two print anthologies.

Twitter: @SaraL_Writer


Robin Lovett, Let’s Write: Romance

Robin Lovett writes contemporary romance in her debut novel, Racing To You. Her next series of dark romances will release the summer of 2017 through SMP Swerve.

Twitter: @LovettRomance

Melanie Marttila, Let’s Write: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

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 VayavyaGravel 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.

Twitter: @BJoycePatterson

Abigail K. Perry, Let’s Talk Books

Abigail K. Perry is a commercial fiction writer living in Massachusetts where she teaches creative writing and film production. She received her B.S. in TV, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University and her Master’s in Education from Endicott College. She has worked as a creative production intern in for Overbrook Entertainment and as a marketing and sales intern for Charlesbridge Publishing.

Abigail is a member of the DIY MFA street team and a loyal follower of Writer’s Digest. You can read more about her work on her website

Twitter: @A_K_Perry

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

Twitter: @sowulwords



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.

Email: emily [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Twitter: @ejwenstrom


Stacy Woodson, Let’s Write: Thrillers

Stacy Woodson writes romantic suspense and is a contributor to DIY MFA’s 5onFri. She is a VA Fool for Love Romantic Suspense Winner, Claymore finalist, and is represented by John Talbot of the Talbot Fortune Agency.

Twitter: @SbWoodson





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Carmen Ortiz

Finished reading the starter kit. Only one thing that I did NOT like. “To those about to write, I salute you. Everyone else? I suggest you stay our of our way.” Really? Sorry, but I can write fine, my issue is trying to overcome years of people close to me treating like I’m not good enough for anything. (Although I have a doctorate, among other things.) So I have to begin from the start, in other words the basics (as in learning as much as I can and reading as much as I can, from the information in your site and the book which I should be receiving on Friday. Then, when I feel good about myself, I can continue to do something I know I can do, which is write. The last thing I needed was that “stay out of our way”. I’ve been staying out of every ones way for the last 69 years, to my own detriment.

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