I get to work with brilliant, beautiful, organized souls every day who make Story Is a State of Mind fly as if by magic. We each have different job descriptions, but the one thing that we have in common is taking care of you and your Story Is a State of Mind experience. If you’re here, you’re in our community, and we aim to be excellent hosts. We provide the level of service—either directly or behind the scenes—that you might expect at a Four Seasons Hotel that has the heart of an ashram, only we’re a boutiquey writing school (and not a stuffy institution).
You can learn a little more about each of us below.
Creator & Writer
I make decisions about programming, create the lesson plans for our core instruction, mentor our teachers, collaborate with authors on special programs, and write and curate the content of this website. I want you to feel inspired by the mystery and uncertainty of creative writing, and to learn everything you can about craft, so you can write brilliant literary fiction. I also want you to feel safe here, and connected to a community of smart, generous, and thoughtful writers. I love that this school is non-competitive and committed to excellence, that writers can devote themselves to their practice and give themselves permission to enjoy their art and can finally stop indulging their dysfunctions. Creativity flourishes here; when writers can acknowledge their fears and insecurities without feeling controlled by them, magic happens.
Three book crushes: Thunderstruck, by Elizabeth McCracken (every story makes me catch my breath), Spinster, by Kate Bolick (revolutionary—I am buying a copy for all of my friends), and Look at Me, by Jennifer Egan (I have a crush on anything by Jennifer Egan, really).
You can find out more about me on my website.
Director of Programs
I have been involved in SSM since its beginning, completing whatever task was needed to help run the School. Now, with our expanded team of people, I can focus on the part that I truly love—offering the highest calibre of programs that we can. As soon as you pass through the virtual doors of the school, I want you to feel supported, and cared for; I want your experience to be intuitive and beautiful and transformative; I want to offer you permission and freedom to let your creative mind flourish. This School is a special one, and it seems to attract only the most special people. It houses a rich community of caring, generous, and talented writers who continue to amaze me with their bravery and brilliance. I hope that your experience here is a prosperous and joy-filled one.
Three book crushes: Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything is staggering. Jonathan Letham’s Motherless Brooklyn is an all-time win. Recently, I dropped fairly deep into Lev Grossman’s Magicians Trilogy, and want to stay in the hole. Too bad I’m almost finished.
Director of Marketing & Operations
Managing Story Is a State of Mind’s Marketing and Operations means I wear a lot of hats. I get to be creative and play with marketing strategy and social media, and I get to be technical and logistical managing operations and our day-to-day workflow. I brainstorm crazy ideas with Sarah and puzzle out tricky coding problems with Ryan. It’s fun! And even though I spend all my work hours (and many, many non-work hours) online, my ultimate goal for our students is that the school provide you with the inspiration needed to get off the Internet and get writing. That’s what’s so special about Story Is a State of Mind—how it gives people the confidence to get back to the beautiful daily practice of writing. I know how much my morning scribble time means to me, and I know how much it takes to commit to finding that joy. The fact that Story Is a State of Mind helps writers do that every day is magic.
Three book crushes: Just three? Come on! Anything and everything by Jo Walton. Tana French’s mysteries; she is an absolute genius. Any good, long, epic multi-generational family story (I’m looking at you, John Irving, Donna Tartt, Michael Chabon, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). For pure comfort, Harry Potter or the Anne series—the most nourishing books.
Community Manager, Support
Besides some behind the scenes work, the main thing I do is take care of the support mailbox and the Story Is a State of Mind community; answering questions, requests, and making sure that everyone is happy. I want everyone to feel taken care of, to know that we’re here to help out with anything you need so that you can enjoy the program and the school, everything we have to offer. Story Is a State of Mind is such a wonderful place for creativity and writing, for people to be, meet, reflect, and get satisfaction from their creative work. As an artist myself, I love being involved with something that brings out people’s talents and passion. This is such a special school and community, and I’m so grateful to be able to be a part of it.
Three book crushes: The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova, and The Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz. (I love funny books!) Anne of Green Gables is my favourite go to whenever I’m in between books.
Copy Writer & Consultant
I collaborate with Sarah on Story Is a State of Mind’s website copy—figuring out what goes where, upcycling, and creating an overall narrative. I want you to be able to move smoothly through each website page, feeling at home within a lovely ambience, and finding everything you need. I’m also a writer-writer, so it feels extra-jammy for me to work with the school. As someone who’s taken writing classes right up to the MFA level, I can tell you firsthand that this little school has a certain je ne sais quoi that you won’t find anywhere else (thank goodness for that).
Three book crushes: A Field Guide to Getting Lost, by Rebecca Solnit, Pulphead, by John Jeremiah Sullivan, and Dept. of Speculation, by Jenny Offill.
I am the web designer for Story Is a State of Mind. It has been such a delight to collaborate with SSM to craft an intuitive and vibrant experience for visitors of the website and for students of the school.
By working exclusively with colour, typography and white space, my intention was to create an environment that would inspire your creativity and also allow you space to breathe and imagine.
I love the spirit in which SSM has been created. The generosity, love and attention to detail is unlike anything I have seen elsewhere.
Three book crushes: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.