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.




Founder       |       Team       |       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

Lori Walker, Operations Maven

Lori Walker

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

Angela McAffee-Yeh, Community Welcome Dragon

Angela is the DIY MFA community welcome dragon (and protector of the realm). She also serves a supportive role as the HUB community curriculum advisor and social media fun time meme coordinator. In her spare time, Angela is a short, tall-story-teller who loves to garden, write about magic, and eat cake. She will send you frosting if you’d like to check out her first published novel, A Phoenix Rises. You can follow her antics on her website.

Email: Angela [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Twitter: @thatpluckygirl 

Meloni Vignali, Launch Lizard and Stats Sage

Meloni Vignali is the Launch Lizard and Stats Sage at DIY MFA. She’s a novelist and scriptwriter who revels in writing fantasy and non-fiction books aimed at helping others succeed. Meloni provides data management and launch support for DIY MFA. A firm believer in giving back to the community that fostered her, she’s active in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Association (SFWA) and the Romance Writers of America (RWA) as both a member and a volunteer. When not writing, Meloni enjoys TTRPGs. She lives in Ohio with her husband, son, and two giant breed dogs.

Email: Meloni [at] DIYMFA [dot] com
Twitter: @melonivignali

AK Nevermore, Editorial Imp and Daemon of Design

AK Nevermore is the DIY MFA Editorial Imp and Daemon of Design tinkering on the columnist side of things. She writes science fiction and urban fantasy with spice. On the side, she enjoys operating heavy machinery, freebases coffee, and gives up sarcasm for Lent every year. Unable to ignore the voices in her head, and unwilling to become medicated, she writes about dark worlds, perversely irreverent and profound, and always entertaining.

You can read all about her and Mr. Nevermore hanging out on the East Coast with their kids, a cat, and far too many chickens on her website.

Email: Alysen [at] DIYMFA [dot] com

Facebook: aknevermore
Twitter: @aknevermore

Christa Vande Vegte, Course and Curriculum Logistics Elf (Keeper of The Precious)

Christa Vande Vegte is the DIY MFA Course and Curriculum Logistics Elf (Keeper of The Precious). She makes sure all content is where it needs to be. She loves spending time with her family in both Iowa and Florida. In addition, she enjoys world-building, inventing new fantastical lands/realms, and unique characters for her Middle-Grade Fantasy Fiction writing. For more info, visit her website.

Email: Christa [at] DIYMFA [dot] com


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 on his website.

Twitter:  @adambwriter

Abigail K. Perry, Mind/Body Wellness for Writers

Abigail K. Perry is the host of the podcast Lit Match and a certified developmental editor who specializes in Upmarket/Commercial fiction, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, MG/YA fiction, and YA fantasy. Abigail holds a B.S. in TV, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University and a Masters in Secondary Education from Endicott College. Abigail worked as an editorial intern and the Agency Relations Assistant for P.S. Literary Agency, is fluent in book and movie quotes, and loves a long walk with good company, which includes audiobooks and two- and four-legged loved ones and buddies. You can find her on her podcast.

Instagram: @abigailkperry
Twitter: @abigailkperry

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 on her website.

Sign up to get seasonal inspiration from her newsletter here.

A.H. Plotts, Short Form Fiction Fun

A.H. Plotts writes and watches horror and dark sci-fi stories. She also likes playing in her garden, catching the waves, and eating delicious food on the California coast. Find her rantings on her website.

Instagram: @ahplottsthecoast
Twitter: @ahplotts

Amy Christine Parker, Crafting Chills and Thrills

Amy Christine Parker is the critically acclaimed author of the thrillers Gated, Astray, Smash & Grab, and Flight 171. Find more info on her website.

Facebook: AmyChristineParker
Instagram: @amychristinepar

A Discovery of Writers

Bio coming soon!

Casey Cooper, Speculative Matters

Casey Cooper is a writer and a modern day bard.

Facebook: Casey.cooper.94

Colice Sanders, It’s Messy In The Middle

Colice Sanders is a blogger and motivational speaker. Colice writes YA, poetry, and memoir. Her blog chronicles her journey of radical self-acceptance through the lens of childhood trauma.

Facebook: coliceareasontorise
Instagram: @areasontorisecom
Twitter: @ColiceSanders

Constance Emmett, Catching Up

Constance Emmett was born in Brooklyn, New York where her mother’s family landed after leaving Belfast, Northern Ireland. Constance’s debut novel, Heroine of Her Own Life (2019) and sequel, Everything Will Be All Right (2022), books 1 and 2 in the Finding Their Way Home series, were published by Next Chapter. A Massachusetts Hilltown dweller, she is writing book 3 in the series and a novel set in 18th c. New York. For more info check out her website.

Instagram: @constanceemmett
Twitter: @ConstanceEmmett

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 her website.

Instagram: @quillinary
Twitter: @quillinary

Dominique Richardson, YA

Dominique Richardson is a Lebanese-Jamaican author and CPA who now uses her number crunching excel skills to plot her stories and do good for the young adult community in Tampa Bay. She is the Executive Director of YA by the Bay, a 501c3 young adult book festival coming to Tampa, FL in October 2023. She spends her free time passing on her love of unicorns to her twin boys, running in the Florida heat, and drinking all the coffee. Raised between Jamaica and the United States, her biracial heritage finds a home in her books. She now lives in Tampa, Florida with her family. Dominique is the coauthor of Red as Blood, Book 1 in the Everbeach Series (Spring 2023).

You can find more on her website. Also, if you love young adult and want to hear from some of the leading authors in the young adult space, sign-up for YA by the Bay’s email list.

Instagram: @domwritesbooks
Twitter: @domwritesbooks
TikTok: @domwritesbooks

Jeanette Smith, Editor’s Corner

Jeanette is a freelance writer, editor, and coach who joined the team in 2018. Today, Editor’s Corner columnist 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 her website.

Instagram: @JeanetteTheWriter

JJ Graham, Introverted Writers Unite

JJ Graham writes spooky romance. Strong character representation of everyone, including queer and neurodivergent characters are important to him because everybody deserves to see themselves in romance stories. Check out his website for more info.

Twitter: @JJGraham_Books
TikTok: @jjgrahambooks
Facebook: @JJGrahamBooks

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.

Twitter: @elawilliams
LinkedIn: manuelawilliams
Pintrest: manuela_williams

Kamm Prongay, Essay: Every writer’s afternoon tea

Kamm Prongay is a writer and veterinarian whose essays intertwine science, nature, people, and place. A child of the South, raised in the Pacific Northwest, Kamm spent time at sea as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer before coming ashore to pursue veterinary school, clinical practice, teaching and research. Kamm lives with her wife, Liz, and two curious cats in Portland, Oregon. You can read more on her website.

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 on her website.

Twitter: @marinabarakatt

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 others. If you’re interested in downloading free coloring pages or seeing Margaret Atwood with a blowtorch, check out more Leisure Learning related content on her website.

Instagram: @CatulaTheCat

Rachel Teferet, Marketing Tips and Tricks for Writers

Rachel Teferet is a marketing copywriter and content manager, novelist, and poet. Their work has been published by Subprimal Poetry Art, Zoetic Press’ NonBinary Review, and more. For more info, check out their website.

Facebook: @art4earthlings
Instagram: @rachelteferet
Twitter: @art4earthlings

Richelle Lyn, Writers, Choose Your Own Adventure

Richelle Lyn is a compensation & benefits attorney and HR executive, who now spends her days focused on the writing life. Her favorite fiction reads involve leading ladies who push boundaries and conquer their fears while preferably digging for secrets, learning magic, and/or saving the World. She’s also a fan of non-fiction reads focused on personal growth and transformation. She loves her tea hot and her coffee iced. She calls South Florida home, but her favorite place to be is on a trip.

Twitter: @Richelle_Lyn_
Instagram: @MindYourGapTrip

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 on her website.


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.

Twitter: @TammyLoughAuthr
Facebook: Tammy Lough, Author

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