Will Byrne is a second year MFA student from Colorado, becoming accustom to calling himself a poet. His favorite poets include CK Williams, Louise Gluck, and Robert Hass. He also loves sports and sports writing, and has served as a contributing editor for “Field Hockey Life.”
Buddy Cassidy is a first-year MA student from Northern Virginia. When writing he enjoys puns, rhymes, word games, and the occasional long and winding sentence. He is fascinated by poetry of all kinds, particularly that of the Early Modern period, as well as critical theory.
Bryan Collins was born and raised in Falls Church, VA. He is a first-year MFA student, and moonlights as an outreach worker in HIV prevention. He used to hate revision, but now kind of enjoys it. His favorite authors are J.M. Coetzee, Colson Whitehead, and Robertson Davies.
Claire Conklin is a second- year MA student from the small, coastal town of Astoria, Oregon (think Goonies). Her favorite authors generally tend to whatever she is currently reading, but the ultimate bookshelf includes Virginia Woolf, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sylvia Plath and William Stafford. She fosters a certain obsession with parentheses and semi-colons and struggles against the call for simplicity.
Meridian Ganz-Ratzat is a senior Literature major from the DC suburbs. She loves to read—anything from philosopy to children's fantasy, but her favorite genres are critical Victorian lit and flash fiction. Her favorite part of writing is the "Aha!" moment when everything comes together—but she still struggles to remember all those grammar rules.
Marsail George is a second year MA student in TESOL. Her biggest struggle with writing is the use of fragments. Her favorite authors are: Leo Tolstoy, Agatha Christie, and Hans Christian Anderson for literature; Rod Ellis, Teresa Pica, Peter Skehan, and Pauline Foster in nonfiction.
Priyanka Joseph is a first year MFA student who has spent her twenties writing her way out of situational post-post-colonialism. Having spent seven years away from her hometown, she hopes she can still order a road-side sweet-lime and not be charged tourist rates. Ondaatje, Suskind, Baricco, Marquez, Beckett and the wonderful Nicola Barker (Darkmans is an epic palimpsest that communicates myth, history and the human condition) are among the most-thumbed in her bookshelf.
Lilly McGee is a junior Literature major from Illinois. Her biggest struggle with writing is ending her abysmal reliance on spellcheck. Her favorite writers include Kazuo Ishiguro, Emily Dickinson, and J.K. Rowling.
Joellyn Powers is a first-year MFA student in fiction from Lititz, PA, but she spent the past four years completing a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her favorite authors include mostly contemporary writers, such as Lorrie Moore, Aimee Bender, and Robert Boswell, but she enjoys work by older writers as well, especially Flannery O’Connor and Jane Austen. She loves the absorbing experience of writing a good story, but sometimes has trouble staying focused and determined to finish.
Emily Prince is a first-year MA student from Baltimore. She loves writing vivid descriptions, but has a tendency toward verbosity when unchecked. Her favorite authors include Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway.
Sarah Sansolo is a first-year MFA student who has lived most of her life in the DC area. Her favorite authors are Jeanette Winterson and Joyce Carol Oates. She loves putting her thoughts down in words, but she struggles with writing that tricky first paragraph and tends to overuse commas.
Nate Shelter is a senior in the School of Communication. His biggest struggle in writing is finding a balance between lyricism and simplicity. He'll freely admit this problem stems from reading too much John Updike when he should be free-writing. Besides Updike, he'll read anyone else who writes well about people and families. Lately this has included Alice Munro, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, and the odd one out -- David Foster Wallace.
Helle Slutz has spent the last two-and-a-half years editing regulations for the federal government and is very excited to be back in academics. She is a first-year MA student, and her favorite author will always be J.K. Rowling. Her biggest struggle with writing is forcing herself to sit down and start.
Devin Symons is a first-year MFA student from right here in Washington, DC. He went to the University of Pittsburgh for undergrad, and has spent the time since working, living in Japan, and traveling the world. He loves writing and teaching and is looking forward to meeting you.
Beth TeVault was born in Crown Point, Illinois, and has lived in Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. She’s a first-year MA student, and her favorite authors include Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Rhoda Broughton, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and the Brontës. She enjoys research, but has trouble knowing when to stop reading and how to
Keigh-Cee Welsch is a second year MFA student from the St. Louis area. Her biggest struggle with writing is procrastination. Her favorite authors include Adrienne Rich, Edgar Allan Poe, Emma Donoghue, Sylvia Plath, Kate Chopin, and many, many more.
Carolyn White is a third-year MFA student hailing from Northern California originally, but tidewater Virginia most recently. She particularly enjoys the works of Carson McCullers and Annie Proulx. She envies them their shared ability to satisfyingly end their stories, a constant challenge in her own work.
Join the Staff
The Writing Center is only as good as its staff of talented Writing Consultants. We train and support our staff and set up a schedule that is right for them. So if you are an AU student with an interest in writing and in helping other people, we have an internship for you!
If you are a rising junior or senior or a grad student here at AU, and you have a solid GPA and good writing skills, the Writing Center offers you 3 hrs. undergraduate or graduate course credit and a chance to try out a teaching interest.
After an initial intensive training period, interns work regularly scheduled hours each week in the Writing Center, meeting one-to-one with AU undergraduates to advise them on their writing projects.
Interns also complete a semester-long research project concerning an academic writing topic of their choice and present the results to Writing Center staff at an end-of-semester gathering.
Simply stop by the Center in Battelle 228 to request more information and an application.