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
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. Lori is the writer behind the Book Nook column. She also teaches yoga part-time in Smalltown, Oklahoma, where she lives with her husband and their cat, Joan Didion.
Email: Lori [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Jeanette Smith, Curriculum Unicorn
Jeanette is a freelance writer, editor, and coach who joined the team in 2018. Today, she is the Curriculum Director, Editor’s Corner columnist, and lead Book Coach for DIY MFA. Jeanette has worked with authors, speakers, coaches, and entrepreneurs—empowering them with the right mindset, knowledge, and tools to help them reach their goals. In her spare time, you can find her teaching a scuba diving class or posting pictures of her cats on Instagram. You can learn more about Jeanette by visiting JeanetteTheWriter.com.
Email: Jeanette [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Angela McAffee-Yeh, Community Welcome Dragon
Angela Yeh hails from Atlantic Canada but lives and works in Texas – after her liberal arts degree she wandered into Corporate Canada but managed to escape. She is a fantasy author who is gobsmacked she gets to work for and with writers from all over the world at DIYMFA.com. She considers it a personal challenge to find an article or podcast that will answer any question you ask us. Bring it on!
She lives with her family, big Texas pine trees, and three cranky fur babies.
Adam W. Burgess, LGBTQ Lit & Craft
Adam W. Burgess is Professor of English at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. He holds a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University, with emphases in LGBT Studies and American Literature. His first book, From a Whisper to a Riot: The Gay Writers Who Crafted an American Literary Tradition, was published in 2019. Adam’s shorter works can be found in Towers Magazine, Variant Literature, America’s Emerging Writers, and Watermark Journal. When he is not spending time with his husband or getting lost on the mountains and trails of southern Nevada, Adam loves to explore all things related to the art and craft of reading and writing. You can connect with him at www.roofbeamreader.com.
Amanda Polick, Food Writing
Amanda Polick is a writer and book coach, who guides food folks through the writing process. Her work has been featured by Cooking Light, Food & Wine and Time. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee now, but a piece of her will be in California forever. To connect with Amanda, you can find her at http://amandapolick.com.
Ambre Dawn Leffler, Mind/Body Wellness for Writers
Ambre Dawn Leffler is a Tai Chi instructor, gardener, and weather geek who writes about vegetables, seasons, communing with nature, and the interconnections of mind/body. She loves trees and cherishes time in their presence. Learn more about her tree time, garden residents, and wellness practices at her website ambredawnleffler.com. Sign up to get seasonal inspiration from her newsletter here.
Anita Ramirez, YA Lit
Anita Ramirez is a writer and teacher who transforms dispassionate teens into lovers of books — one reader at a time. When she’s not teaching Hispanic/Latinx literature and composition to her high school students or linguistics at the college level, she’s revising her first novel, a YA contemporary featuring bilingual characters. She loves the poetry of Pablo Neruda, teen movies from the 1980s and café con leche. Visit her website at anitawritesbooks.com/
Carol Van Den Hende, Your Author Marketing Toolkit
Carol Van Den Hende is the award-winning author of Goodbye, Orchid, a public speaker, and MBA with 20+ years experience in marketing, strategy and insights. Carol is passionate about simplifying marketing concepts into actionable steps that authors need for publishing success. Please sign up for Carol’s newsletter at https://carolvandenhende.com/contact or linktr.ee/cvdh
Colice Sanders, It’s Messy In The Middle
Colice Sanders is a blogger and motivational speaker. Colice writes YA, poetry, and memoir. Her blog areasontorise.com chronicles her journey of radical self-acceptance through the lens of childhood trauma.
Disha Walia, Worldly Wise
Disha Walia is a lifelong storyteller and an enthusiastic writer and editor in love with the idea of exploring the creative world of words. While making her space in the world of non-fiction and fiction alike, Disha loves to spend even her free time daydreaming about what next to write. Connect with her on www.quillinary.com.
Emily Wenstrom, Pixels to Platform
By day, E. J. Wenstrom is a content marketing and public relations expert. By early early morning, she’s the award-winning author of the Chronicles of the Third Realm War series. Join her email list for bookish news and a free download of the TRW series prequel RAIN at www.ejwenstrom.com.
F.E. Choe, Building Your Own Boat
The elder daughter of Korean-Canadian and Austrian immigrants, F.E. Choe currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina. When she is not at her desk trying to craft true and beautiful sentences or piecing together her latest short story, you will find her feeding the dog scraps under the table, reading, or training her backyard flock of hens to walk backwards.
Kris Hill, Writing with Collective Storytelling
Kris Hill is the Tech Goblin at DIY MFA. She is working on several genre fiction novels, though she has difficulty sticking to writing one project at a time. She is hoping that her work with DIY MFA with help equip her with some tools to focus on one project. Kris is the mind behind much of the social media posting and data management for DIY MFA. Kris also attempts to navigate the corporate world as a data analyst. When Kris is not working, she can be found sprawled on a couch reading or running tabletop adventures for her friends. She lives in Canada’s capital city with her husband, her best friend, and four cats.
LA Bourgeois, Unlocking Your Creativity
LA (as in tra-la-la) Bourgeois empowers you to embrace JOY as you manifest your creative goals through her Creativity and Business Coaching. Battle resistance, procrastination, and overwhelm with her at your side, gently encouraging with humor and heart. Discover more at her website, labourgeois.biz
Lauren J. Sharkey, Publishing
Lauren J. Sharkey is a writer, teacher, and transracial adoptee. Inconvenient Daughter is her debut novel, and loosely based on her experience as a Korean adoptee. You can find her on her website at ljsharks.com.
Manuela Williams, Poetry Craft
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.
Marina Barakatt, Not Just Dudes in Tights
Marina is a West Coast native living in Washington, DC. She loves writing anything, from sci-fi to creative non-fiction to romance, often drawing inspiration from the frequent travel required by her day job. Her work has appeared in such literary magazines as DistrictLit and Corner Bar Magazine. When she’s not writing, you can find her hosting bar trivia, baking something involving peaches, or bothering her extremely patient dog, Daisy. You can read more of her work at marinabarakatt.com.
Melissa Haas, Leisure Learning
Melissa Haas is the author and illustrator of Catula: The Misadventures of Dracula’s Cat and The Night Before Christmas (NOW WITH CATS), among other books. Follow Catula’s whereabouts on Instagram @CatulaTheCat or download a free coloring page at www.catulathebook.com.
Olivia Fisher, Kid Lit Craft
Olivia Fisher is a children’s lit writer and freelance editor with an English degree from BYU-Idaho. When she isn’t dreaming about living in a treehouse or chasing down her two young boys, she enjoys curling up with a book, watching Star Wars, writing her next adventure, and trying to live in the state of child-like wonder that we all secretly, or not so secretly, miss. Hire her for your next editing escapade on Fiverr.
Richelle Lyn, Writers, Choose Your Own Adventure
Richelle Lyn is a compensation & benefits attorney and HR executive, who is now chasing a career as a writer. Her favorite reads are suspense, mystery, and contemporary women’s fiction. She is writing her first YA suspense novel. She loves her tea hot and her coffee iced. She calls South Florida home, but her favorite place to be is on a trip.
Sara Farmer, Cozy to Cold-Blooded
Sara Farmer lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, three kids, and two cats. When she’s not chasing kids and cats, she reads and writes mysteries. You can find her at www.kittymomma.com.
Stephanie BwaBwa, Indie Author Insider
Stephanie BwaBwa is the Jesus-centered, YA Fantasy Author and Entrepreneur, creator of fantasy world Elledelle, and Co-Host of the Indie Author Lifestyle Show, who’s enjoying building a legacy through the lens of story. You can usually catch her going for a walk through a park, or simply binging Disney+ with too many snacks. Get in contact with Stephanie directly on her website stephaniebwabwa.com.
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 an active member of the Missouri Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the Missouri Writers Guild. You can connect with Tammy on her website www.TammyLough.com.