Who We Are

Author Bios7
David Jacobsen
lives in central Oregon where he teaches, edits, and writes. He is the author of Rookie Dad and his website is

Tara McDonald is a washingtonian. temporary teacher. sometimes writer. traveler. thinker. distracter. lover of good humor, delicious beer, ugly canines, the world.

Jo Anna Gaona Albiar enjoys a good pair of cowboy boots, Texas country music, classic rock, planting flowers, driving across Texas to visit her family, painting (walls), and eating pasta from Olive Garden. Her writing career began when she tried out a Memoir class at Texas Tech University where she received a Master’s in English and fell in love with telling all of her secrets in a secretive way. She teaches English, mostly research papers, and reads trash.  She used to teach high school students and now teaches college students, which is very different but almost the same. Teaching was pegged as her calling when she was five years old by both her mother and her piano teacher. If you knew her personally, you might not warm up to her very easily; but if you saw her in a classroom, you’d want to be her friend. That must mean she loves it.

Jack Kennedy: After 30 years teaching English and advising school publications, Jack now torments college students at Metro State College of Denver and at Colorado State University, focusing on their writing (and thinking).

Lindsey Jones is a beauty junkie. prefers questions to answers. slightly more rebellious than she seems. bibliophile. classic middle child. pessimist, cynic, or realist? writer. editor. aspiring photographer, painter, foodie, and fifty-other-things. scared of the phone. loves snail mail. is unafraid to report bad service to the proper authorities. has a noisy brain. wants her children to have funny names. hangs out in coffee shops but hates coffee.

Cathy Warner recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. A Californian for 50 years, Cathy now hosts a writing retreat and leads writing workshops on Bainbridge Island, Wash. She blogs about her midlife move and remodeling adventure at This or Something Better.

Dr. Danielle Jones teaches writing and literature at the University of Montana Western. She has a Ph.D in Poetry from SUNY-Albany and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Seattle Pacific University. For the 2012-2013 academic year, she has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Grant to Russia, where she will teach literature and work on her memoir, Mother Russia, Father Time.

Amanda Slavinsky currently teaches writing at an English immersion elementary school in Seoul, South Korea. Most of her time is spent searching the capital city, usually with little luck, for the three things she misses most from the USA: avocados, sour cream, and good Italian food. She recounts tales of her travels on her blog, Farsickness.

Miss Darkside is the supreme dictator of Room 312. She spends most of her time pretending she lives in a tropical location using the magic of google earth street level view, and watching bad British comedies. She spends her spare time teaching sophomore world history and carefully cultivating her crazy cat lady image.

Cate Glass is a bike-commuting queer girl who has lived on both coasts. When she is not writing, teaching, or riding in the rain, she enjoys paddling her canoe and reading entire books in one sitting. Cate is passionate about gender justice and equality in education and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest. Find her online at

Megan is a twenty-something liberal arts school graduate with a pair of fairly useless liberal arts degrees. As such, she’s spent the last few years whoring around with career field after career field. Currently in a serious relationship with Functional Medicine, she still remembers fondly her year-long affair with exotic international beau Teaching English in South Korea (the steamy details of which can be found in The Wanderlust Diaries). For accounts of her present escapades, visit heartofsnarkness.

Jessica Eddings-Roeser is a writer with several years experience teaching under-privileged students in the Texas public school system. She’s taught English, Language Arts, ESOL, Creative Writing, College Reading, and Spanish levels 1-4AP at both the middle and high school levels. She founded and ran an adult ESOL program for her church, and contributes to the AVID program at her former high school. Currently she is at home with her baby and writing during naptime, but dreams of volunteering to teach creative writing in the Texas juvenile prison system. Maybe she’s crazy… she has an MFA in fiction.

Ross Gale is a writer and creative consultant from Portland, Oregon. He’s brilliant and will change your life. You can reach him at and

Ajane’ Burnley is a junior at Western Washington University. Her 20th birthday was on Easter this year and she bought a yellow North Face vest. She knows sleeping in class is a waste of tuition but sometimes the Econ professor talks too much. Writing is one of the things she enjoys most, and she should make more time to write that science fiction novel. It features a young Black female heroine, because she says so.

Christian Cerone was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  After a boring stint in the corporate world, including a few good years at the Los Angeles Times, Cerone was hired as a language arts/social studies teacher in the LA Unified School District, where he survived a year and a half at a middle school and eight years at El Camino Real High School. After spending a few years away from teaching in Portland, he enjoyed a one-year stint at Taipei American School in Taiwan. He has since settled with his family in Seattle and teaches language arts at Renton High School. He has a wife, two children, and a nagging desire to figure out what he wants to be when he gets older.

Jordan Hartt is a writer, writing teacher, and community organizer. He has taught at Peninsula College for five years.

Sheryl Cornett currently teaches English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She has also taught high school French in Kenya, East Africa, homeschooled her own kids, and conducted creative writing workshops in the public schools. Her recent poems, stories, and essays appear in the North Carolina Literary Review, Image, Pembroke Magazine, Mars Hill Review, and The Independent Weekly among other journals, magazines, and anthologies. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University.

Kolby Kerr lives and teaches high school English in Dallas.  He holds an MFA in Poetry from Seattle Pacific University and has appeared in Relief journal.

Steve VanderStaay is Professor of English and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Western Washington University. An educational scholar, he has published research on effective teachers, high-achieving students of color, research methods, and the shaping influence of literacy and schooling upon public health and crime prevention. VanderStaay taught high school in urban, rural and bilingual settings before earning his Ph. D.

Tim Knudson currently teaches at Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, Wash., where he has been madly scrawling on white boards since they were chalkboards, and plans on madly scrawling on iPads for years to come.

Paul J. Willis is a professor of English at Westmont College and the former poet laureate of Santa Barbara, California. His most recent collections of poetry are Rosing from the Dead (WordFarm, 2009) and Say This Prayer into the Past (Cascade Books, 2013). He is also the co-editor of the anthology In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare (University of Iowa Press, 2005).

Jennifer Mercede is an artist, writer, musician, and seeker who specializes in myriad forms of teaching: babysitting, running low ropes courses at summer camps, instructing snowboarding, kayaking, leading backpacking adventures, showing people how to rock climb, crochet, knit. She has guided adjudicated teens on month long canoeing trips through the Everglades and currently travels around the country teaching others about painting.

Elizabeth Kalman is the great-great-great granddaughter of a Cherokee Indian maiden picked up by a wagon train on its way from the Trail of Tears in Texas to the Kentucky coal fields. Her great-great grandfather was one of the first merchants to bring silk worms to the U.S.  He kept a detailed hand-written journal that Elizabeth recently transcribed and is in the process of editing. She frequently wishes she could have accompanied Henry David Thoreau on his excursions to Cape Cod.  She grew up on Nantucket Island and is now an adjunct English instructor at Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina, with an MFA from Seattle Pacific University.

Evin Shinn is a reality television connoisseur who teaches middle school Language Arts and AVID as a side job. Besides knowing who was voted off the island or received the last rose, Evin balances life by renewing his faith, developing his friendships, focusing on his fitness, and becoming a champion teacher and role model for his 7th and 8th graders. An advocate of students learning core knowledge, Evin believes the Myth of the Magical Teacher isn’t a myth at all—it happens everyday in classrooms around the world. You can find out how he wants education to change at or follow his life on Instagram or Twitter.

Breanne Robirds is: a  Wyomingite. A volleyball player and coach. A teacher of high school Language Arts, simultaneously her favorite thing and the bane of her existence. She loves to read. Seriously. So many books. Everything from Harry Potter to Anna Karenina to The Satanic Verses” to Omeros and beyond. She also loves: Sunshine. Playing Diablo III. Bright Colors. Running. Unicorns. Coffee. Laughing. Flowers. Vampires (NOT the sparkly kind). Sleeping in. Gardening. Earl Gray tea with honey. Making lists. And having excessive amounts of enthusiasm about everything.

James Boutin teaches language arts and social studies just south of Seattle, Wash. He has previously taught in New York City; Washington, DC; Renton, Wash.; and Knoxville, Tenn. He blogs about education at An Urban Teacher’s Education.