MEET THE CLASS
"Having to face yourself and the guild and self-punishment that comes from falling short of expectations--that's courageous."
--Noelle Hancock, My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
ANDREA ASKOWITZ is the author of My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy (Cleis 2008) and the editor of Badass: True Stories (Lominy Books 2015). Her stories have appeared in places such as the New York Times, Salon.com and The Rumpus. In 2006, she created Lip Service, the Knight award-winning, true-stories reading series. After taking writing classes for 15 years, she started teaching her own, which is now Writing Class Radio.
CHAPLIN TYLER is a gender fluid model, fashion designer, and artist. Chaplin attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and has worked for designers such as Calvin Klein and Reebok. After living in New York for 8 years, Chaplin has returned home to Miami in search of true love and a more even tan.
CYNTHIA CASTILLO is a teacher, life coach, mentor, intuitive healer and writer. She likes to live her life with as few rules as possible.
JAHN DOPE is a student at Miami Dade College in pursuit of an AS for Addiction Studies. Lead singer in the shower.
BO hails from a small town in the South rife with religious zealotry and hypocrisy. He enjoys traveling and reading. He has always been a storyteller but only recently began writing.
KAREN COLLAZO was made in Cuba, born in Venezuela and raised in Hialeah. A communicator by trade, she can sell ice to an eskimo. Armed with compelling charts, pithy personal stories and film in her Nikon camera - she navigates through life in search of answers to life's existential questions, like: Who said there are free donuts in the break room?
PATRICIA CARLIN, affectionately known in our class as Frenchy, spends her days working with developers, architects, and testers. By night, she tries to pound out the occasional short story in between piano practice and ballroom dance classes. Sometimes a single word will cause her to break into song.
MISSY HERNANDEZ is a lover of writing, books, school & music. She believes every conflict can be resolved with Writing Class Radio episodes, a proper dance break or an order of cheese fries. One day, she will be best friends with Melissa McCarthy and win the Best New Artist Grammy. In the meantime, she keeps busy with Gilmore Girls re-runs.
NICKI POST is and artist, writer and traveler. She spent her 20's living abroad and has found a new home here in Miami. She works with international students at UM and does social media marketing for writing class radio.
MICHELLE MASSANET is an artist with a logical mind and love for all things geek. She loves pink, little animals, and stories that make thoughts sparkle. For money, she makes content people like to watch on the telly or the web.
LIS MESA is a Cuban living in Miami who works the corporate world by day. When she's not sipping wine or vacation planning, she's howling at the full moon while dancing at a drum circle. She writes non-fiction on the side.
LIZ MARQUARDT is an accountant, who also happens to be an attorney, but she doesn’t usually admit that. She is obsessed with dancing, football, Latin pop music, reading, and sports cars. She has lived in Miami for the past 14 years with her husband and two dogs, and spends her free time baking cookies, volunteering, and bartending at a comedy club. She started her journey into memoir writing two years ago.
VIRGINIA LORA is a bilingual radio producer with a passion for storytelling and social justice. She conducted intake interviews with kids in immigration detention, traveled all over the U.S. collecting oral histories with StoryCorps, and did community outreach for a homeless shelter. Eventually she found radio, trained at Transom, and came home to Miami. Virginia also helps produce Writing Class Radio.
MARGERY BERGER is the mother of 2 grown children who lives in the Grove with her 2 mutts. Before attempting to write personal stories, she wrote a blog mostly about food and a little bit about shopping. She loves to bake, is an active volunteer and spends way too much time reading the Style Section of the NY Times.
ALLISON LANGER, MBA, travelled the States taking pictures, later worked for a ski photographer, then took pictures of her friends and their babies. This was the start of a 20-year photography business. She also taught high school photography and entrepreneurship. As her students wrote their business plans, she wrote hers to create a podcast about her writing class, which is now Writing Class Radio. Allison also teaches memoir writing at the Dade Correctional Institution with Exchange for Change, an organization that brings writing and education into the prisons. Her stories have appeared in The Washington Post, Mutha Magazine, Scarymommy, Ravishly, She'SAID' and 50GS Magazine. See Allison perform "Fakers."
TOBI ASH is a developing South Florida writer grateful for her family, philanthropy and her unnatural blonde hair.
WENDI ADELSON is an immigration lawyer, mama of two scrumptious boys, maker of soup and merriment who has found a home in Miami, Florida.
DANNY is a writer who cares deeply about his underwear collection. He enjoys jogs on the beach and general mischievous behavior.
TERRY DEMEO is a former trial lawyer, now working as a personal and executive coach specializing in relationships, leadership and work/life balance. Her definition of fun includes yoga, dance and writing about her most awkward and vulnerable moments, which she shares on her website and at Lip Service. See Terry performing "Fifty Shades of Gray"TOBI ASH is a developing South Florida writer grateful for her family, philanthropy and her unnatural blonde hair.
GABBY (a.k.a. Gabrielle Pelicci, Ph.D.) is the author of Blissful Business: A Gorgeous Guide to Creating Your Dream Career in Health & Wellness and Founder of Women-in-Wellness.com. Her writing has appeared in places such as Huffington Post, Elephant Journal and Natural Awakenings Magazine
MISHA MEHREL is a film editor musician, photographer, and kids soccer coach living in Miami with a cat named Xanax.
DIEGO SALDANA-ROJAS is a bilingual multi-media journalist and independent audio producer. He graduated from the FIU School of Communications and is currently being driven crazy by two beautiful women trying to create the best podcast ever!
NILSA RIVERA, also known as LR Castro, is the author of the psychological thriller Raging Need to Kill and short stories that deal with modern women issues. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two sons, and her black labrador, Milo. Her day is divided between her family, a social work career, and writing her next novel. In her spare time, you can find her art journaling, reading, or walking on the beach.
YADDRYA PERALTA is a poet, adjunct faculty at Miami Dade College/Broward College. She is also the assistant director for the Palm Beach Poetry Festival.
JD (JENNIFER DERTOUZOS) is a cyclist, house wife, tree climber, volunteer -- also known as a work in progress. JD splits her time between Miami and Dallas.
VICCY SIMON is a paralegal who specialized in disparate impact issues in education and juvenile justice. She continues to work for individual attorneys and for the Suwannee County NAACP. She has three grown children, an incredible granddaughter, and lives with her husband in Miami.
AARON CURTIS is an author, blogger, and bookseller, who has worked at South Florida's largest independent bookstore, Books & Books, since 2004. He wrote a monthly column called "Book Junky" for Moxxi Magazine and also wrote for Miami blog collective The Heat Lightning. Look for his book musings soon on Coral Gables Love.
MAYA KIEFFER was born in Minnesota. She has a degree in flute and teaches the LSAT. She is also a bookseller, blogger and teaches poetry in prison.