Fall 2021 Writer's Workshop Selections
After being overwhelmed with submissions for the Fall 2021 Fiction Writers Workshop, we faced the daunting task of making selections. There were some close ones, but we narrowed it down to a list we are proud of and gave our best feedback to the writers we didn’t select but will hopefully return with a vengeance for our next offering.
Until then, we wanted to introduce you to the class for this round and tell you a little bit about them to give everyone a better idea of who submitted work and how their writing style/experience might compare to yours. As a reminder, we made selections blindly. We were only able to view the writing samples and did not allow access to identifying information, including the biography, until after we finalized the class roster.
Cokie is a vituperative redneck who spent his formative years in a seminary, then performed the obvious transition to military service. After doing bang bang things for pew pew people, he picked up a pen and discovered that it was significantly more convenient than the sword (at least regarding his wardrobe). Despite (or perhaps because of) multiple blows to the head, Cokie continues to use the Oxford comma. He lives in the midwest with his beautiful wife and children where he contemplates service to God and the absurdity of braille road signs.
Michael Dangelo is thirty years old and from New England. My passions are reading, writing, and flying.
Nicholas Efstathiou is a husband, father, writer, and veteran living in New England.
Kimberly Evans has worked in the security industry with Homeland Security for over 14 years. She holds over 3 million sky miles from traveling the globe a time or two. Kim prefers an audience of strangers with her writing and is certain that 75% of her followers on social media are bots from Southern Asia, but an audience is an audience, so she’s grateful. Kim’s hobbies include photography, macabre history, folklore, and foreign soil Christmas Markets for the Gluhwein, food and local music. Kim has recently replaced her passports, for bottles and a desk position, focusing on raising her son and her doggo.
Ben Fleming has served 13 years in the British Army as an Infantry Soldier in the Princess Of Wales’s Regiment (PWRR), serving on operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Ben is a new reader and an even newer writer, having found passion in writing alongside fellow Veterans and being encouraged to share his work. He believes our stories are a part of history and we have an opportunity to decide how they are told after we're gone, that future generations might learn who we were, why we served and the tough lessons we learned.
Frank Gonzales is a Marine veteran and former military contractor. He left that world to enjoy the freedoms available in the United States, and to complete his Bachelor's Degree in English. He currently resides in southern Arizona, where he regularly trains Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and signs up for endurance races with zero preparation.
Jamal Hansen discovered his love for writing at 10 years old, however his stories were not age appropriate and were confiscated by the teacher leading him to suppress the writing in him. Eventually picking creative writing back up after years & years of life challenges to learn to cope. Jamal resides in Huntington Beach, California and besides writing, enjoys reading, practicing/teaching Jiu-Jitsu, and playing the drums.
Jordan Laird is a former Chief Scout Sniper, Staff Non-Commissioned Officer, Platoon Commander, Pre-Sniper Instructor, Infantry Squad Leader, and Infantryman in the U.S. Marine Corps. Serving with: 2nd Btn. 23rd Mar., 3rd Btn 25th Mar., 2nd Btn 5th Mar., 3rd Btn 5th Mar. After the Corps, he became a private contractor working both CONUS and OCONUS as a DDM & CSOT Operator (Contingency Special Operations Team.) WPPS instructor in CQC, CQB, Weapons & Tactics, Land Navigation, S.E.R.E and more . He finished his career in the tactical community as a Special Weapons &Tactics Instructor for the DOE Courier program, teaching advanced marksmanship, tactics, and more.
Sean McCaffrey is a human who has experienced the chaos of the Peace Corps, the boredom of the military, and the serenity of life and death in many National Parks.
Diana X. Moga is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and officer in the Marine Corps reserves. She’s a fan of genre and takes to her Instagram account for nerding out on storytelling theory and science fiction. She writes fiction, professional essays on military topics, and contributes reviews for the Coffee or Die entertainment vertical. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and two kids.
Dylan Nassano enlisted in the Marine Corps out of high school and moved to New York City after completing his service. He was a stock analyst for seven years and now works in the solar energy industry. He currently resides in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York where he is working to be a better father, husband, and writer.
Amy Sexauer is a mom, a veteran, a wannabe writer and a lot of other things. She served for nine years on active duty in the U.S. Army and is still serving in the U.S. Army Reserves. She manages a small charity while working to build her writing resume. Amy lives with her daughter and two dogs in Southern Pines, North Carolina.
Scott Smith lives, writes, and balances kiddos in Richmond, Virginia. He earned an MFA in Poetry from the Bennington Writing Seminars and a BA in English from the University of Lynchburg. He currently teaches at Reynolds Community College and Virginia Union University. Scott previously taught at the Art Institutes, Lone Star College, Houston Community College, Southern New Hampshire University, and the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service. He previously served as Poetry Editor of the Tishman Review and Editor in Chief of the Bennington Review. Scott’s poems have appeared in Specter and Julocalypse. He’s probably double-fisting kombucha and espresso right now.
Jerad Wolfrum is a fiction author and former Marine. During Operation Iraqi Freedom he led an infantry squad on missions ranging from the oil fields of Southern Iraq to the streets of Baghdad. After the Marine Corps he wandered down several paths: press operator in a plastics factory, warehouse stocker, confused college student, Certified Public Accountant, confused graduate student, management consultant, data scientist, writer and aspiring guitar player. Jerad Wolfrum lives in San Diego, California, where he writes Western genre fiction and poetry from time to time.