Education, Teaching Experience, and Professional Writing Experience


University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
M.F.A., Creative Writing, May 2006
Primary genre of fiction with additional coursework in creative nonfiction
Thesis: Brendan Wolf (novel) published by St. Martin’s Press, 2007
Advisors: Charles Baxter, Patricia Hampl, and Julie Schumacher

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
B.S., Youth Studies, 1982.


Excellence in Teaching Fellowship - Loft Literary Center, 2017
Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, 2015
Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, 2011
Minnesota Book Award for Twelve Long Months, 2009
Book Sense pick for Twelve Long Months, 2008
National Finalist, Ferro-Grumley Award (Publishing Triangle), for Brendan Wolf, 2008
New York Times “New and Noteworthy” paperback selection for The Year of Ice, 2003
American Library Association Alex Award for The Year Of Ice, 2003
National Finalist, Violet Quill Award (Bookspan), for The Year of Ice, 2003
National Finalist, Ferro-Grumley Award (Publishing Triangle), for The Year of Ice, 2003
Jerome Foundation Travel/​Study Grant for Writers, 2003
Booklist “Editors’ Choice for the Best of 2002” for The Year of Ice


Twelve Long Months, Scholastic, June 2008.
Brendan Wolf, St. Martin’s Press, April 2007.
The Year of Ice, St. Martin’s Press, June 2002.


“Needles & Lies.” OUT magazine, April, 2005.
“The Outsiders.” ISO Calendar of Days (Bookspan), 2004
“Make It One for My Baby.” The Readerville Journal, 2002
“Things I Never Told My Father.” The Man I Might Become, Marlowe & Co., 2002.


Emerson College, Boston, MA

Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop (2006, 2007)
Introduction to Fiction Writing Workshop (2006, 2007)
U.S. Multicultural Literature (2006, 2007)
Young Adult Fiction Directed Study (2006, 2007)

Hamline University, St. Paul, MN

Advanced Fiction (2015)
Forms & Elements of Fiction I (2016)
Forms & Elements of Fiction II (2016)
Grounding in the Craft of Fiction (2008, 2015, 2016)
The Coming of Age Novel (2008)

Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis, MN

A Novel Idea (2014 - present)
Advanced Fiction Workshop (2013 - present)
Fiction Basics (2013 - present)
Fiction Writing Crash Course (2015 - present)
Introduction to Creative Writing (2004, 2013, 2014)
Introduction to Fiction: Short Story (online, 2012 – present)
Novel Writing Boot Camp for Adults (2010 - present)
Novel Writing Boot Camp for Teens (2015)
Seek Publication Like a Pro (2002 - present)
Starting Your Writing Project at 55+ (2014 - present)

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop Visiting Writer

Writing Fiction Step-by-Step at MN Correctional Facility - Lino Lakes (2015)

Our Savior's Homeless Shelter

Creative Writing (2016)

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Intermediate Fiction Writing (2006)
Introduction to Creative Writing (2003, 2005)
Introduction to Fiction Writing (2004, 2005)
Introduction to Modern Fiction (2011)
MFA Practicum (2008, 2009, 2011, 2013)
North Star Literature: Reading Minnesota (2015)


Children's & YA Literature Conference (Emily Easton and Pete Hautman Keynotes) 2009
Children's & YA Literature Conference (Krista Marino and Andrea Welch Keynotes) 2010
Children's & YA Literature Conference (Arthur A. Levine and Stacey Barney Keynotes) 2011
Children's & YA Literature Conference (David Small and Donna Bray Keynotes) 2013
Creative Nonfiction (Toi Derricotte Keynote) 2011
Creative Writing for Beginners (Selden Edwards Keynote) 2010
Creative Writing for Writers 50 and Better (Molly Peacock Keynote) 2012
First Pages Day (Susan Power Keynote) 2013
Graphic Novel & Comic Book (Gene Luen Yang Keynote) 2010
Memoir Writing Conference (Bernard Cooper and Patricia Hampl Keynotes) 2009
Mystery, Crime & Thriller Conference (Vince Flynn Keynote) 2009
Mystery, Crime & Thriller Conference (William Kent Krueger and Marcus Sakey Keynotes) 2013
Nature & Environmental Writing Conference (Scott Russell Sanders Keynote) 2012
Novel Writing Conference (Charles Baxter Keynote) 2010
Novel Writing Conference (Pam Houston Keynote) 2011
Teen Novelist Conference (John Corey Whaley Keynote) 2012
Teen Writers' Conference (Dessa Keynote) 2011
Teen Writers Conference (Geoff Herbach Keynote) 2013


Grant Writer, Open Book Capital Campaign, 1998 – 2001. Sample grants awarded: The McKnight Foundation ($1 million), Bush Foundation ($550,000), Kresge Foundation ($500,000), Target Foundation ($500,000), and General Mills Foundation ($150,000).

Development Director, The Loft Literary Center, 1997 – 2003. Responsible for over $1 million in contributed income annually.

Program Manager, The Minneapolis Foundation, 1990 – 1997. Secured private and public funding for re-granting programs, including the Minneapolis Emergency Fund, Minnesota Lesbian & Gay Community Funding Partnership, and the Minnesota Futures Fund.

Grant and Contract Proposal Writer, The Minnesota AIDS Project, 1987 – 1990.


The Bush Foundation, General Mills Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Minnesota Book Awards, Minnesota Council on Foundations, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Land Trust, Minnesota State Arts Board, The Saint Paul Foundation, and United Arts.