Director, Magid Center for Writing
Daniel Khalastchi is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A former fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, he is the author of three books—American Parables (University of Wisconsin Press, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry), Tradition (McSweeney’s), and Manoleria. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Believer Logger, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, The Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, The Rumpus, and Best American Experimental Writing. Daniel has taught advanced writing and literature courses at Augustana College, Marquette University, and—most recently—the Iowa Writers' Workshop where he was a Visiting Assistant Professor. He currently serves as Director of the University of Iowa’s Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing and is the cofounder and managing editor of Rescue Press. His recent awards include a residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat. More information can be found at danielkhalastchi.com.
Director, Iowa Youth Writing Project
Mallory Hellman (she/her) has served as the Director of the Iowa Youth Writing Project since 2015. Prior to that, she received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a BA in English and American Literature from Harvard. Mallory's nonfiction has appeared in Tuesday Magazine, Forbes, and elsewhere. She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, the Duke University Talent Identification Program, and at K-12 schools, community centers, residential rehabilitation facilities, and shelters throughout the Midwest.
Director, Iowa Young Writers' Studio
Stephen has been the Director of the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio since 2005. He has led nineteen sessions of the program and hosted more than 1200 students. Stephen attended Kenyon College, where he majored in English, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he studied with Deborah Eisenberg, Margot Livesey, Ethan Canin, and Frank Conroy. His first novel, Irreplaceable, was published by Hyperion/Voice in 2009 and translated into German, Dutch, and Chinese. Irreplaceable received the Dana Award for the Novel and a James Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award. Stephen lives in Iowa City, and is working on a second novel.
Director, Iowa Summer Writing Festival
Amy Margolis has run programs for writers at The University of Iowa for 29 years. She joined the staff of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in 1990 and has served as Director since 2000. Amy received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow in fiction. She did her undergraduate work at Bard College and Northwestern University, where she earned a B.A. in the History and Literature of Religions. Her honors include membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Amy has taught fiction and nonfiction writing in the Festival, at The University of Iowa, and elsewhere as a visiting writer. Her short fiction appears in The Iowa Review. She is currently at work on a memoir-in-shards about her life as a modern dancer in the late seventies, at the onset of the AIDS crisis.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Jorge Guerra received his B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing at CSULB. He is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was a Dean's Graduate Research Fellow. He currently lives in Iowa City and is working on a novel and researching the Guatemalan Coup D'état of 1954 and disappearance of leftists during the Guatemalan Civil War.
Administrative Services Coordinator
Tracy Meginnis has worked as an editor, writing instructor, English Language Arts test developer, and research project manager prior to their current role as Administrative Services Coordinator in the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs. Tracy has an M.F.A. in Fiction from New Mexico State University and a B.A. in English with a Middle-Secondary Education concentration from Butler University. Their academic and personal projects have centered on folklore and oral history, creative writing pedagogy, print and online publishing, and video game development.
Amy Parker received her MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a Meta-Rosenburg Fellow and a Teaching Writing Fellow. She has been awarded grants from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Marble House Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Clarion Foundation for her work in fiction. Her debut collection Beasts and Children was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2016, and she is currently at work on a novel. She has taught fiction and creative writing at the University of Iowa and Wichita State University.
Associate Director, Iowa Youth Writing Project
Camille Socarras (she/her) is a word nerd who earned her BA and MA from the University of Iowa, focusing her studies on French and Francophone language, literature, and culture. She has taught a wide range of ages and levels - young elementary school through early graduate-level and beyond - and was as surprised as. anyone at how much she loves to teach. While her personal and academic interests are quite varied, Camille feels strongly about working toward social advancement in educational settings, holding the ultimate goal of making the classroom experience challenging, fun, engaged, and empowering.
Departmental Administrator, Magid Center for Writing
Lindsay Vella is the Departmental Administrator for African American Studies, American Studies, Classics, the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, the Magid Center for Writing, and Religious Studies. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa.
Online Course Management Specialist
Danielle was the 2010-2011 Rona Jaffe fellow in poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she earned her MFA. Since that time, she's been an instructor of rhetoric, creative writing, and business writing at several institutions, both online and in-person, including IWYP, IYWS, and the Department of Rhetoric here at the University of Iowa.
Program Coordinator, Iowa Summer Writing Festival
Alisa Weinstein received a BFA in Drama and MA in Educational Theatre from New York University, and a PhD in Anthropology from Syracuse University; she also studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and conducted dissertation research on a Fulbright-Nehru scholarship. Among her other writing, she authored scripts for India’s Sesame Street, Galli Galli Sim Sim, and is currently at work on an ethnography on tailors working in Jaipur, India. A co-founder of Home Ec. Workshop in Iowa City, she often teaches knitting and sewing to crafters of all ages. At the University of Iowa, she teaches an anthropology course on fashion and culture, and previously served as youth programs coordinator for the International Writing Program.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Erin Sherry received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2022, during which time she was awarded an Iowa Arts Fellowship, an MFA Summer Fellowship, and served as a teaching fellow at the Iowa Youth Writing Project and Magid Center for Writing. She holds a BFA in fiction from Emerson College, where she was awarded the Travis Parker Rushing Memorial Writing Award and the first place senior thesis prize for her collection of short stories. Prior to joining the Magid Center, Erin taught Fiction Writing and Creative Writing Studio Workshop, as well as speculative fiction courses at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. She was previously the Publishing and Programs Specialist at the youth writing organization 826 Boston, has worked and volunteered for several literary and publishing nonprofits throughout Boston and beyond, and has served as an Editorial Assistant for journals such as The Iowa Review and The Nashville Review. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming in The Masters Review, The Adroit Journal, Always Crashing, and elsewhere.
Program Manager, Iowa Summer Writing Festival
Becca Klaver is the author of several poetry collections and has taught at colleges, universities, and community programs such as Iowa City Poetry, the Midwest Writing Center, and the University of Chicago’s Writer’s Studio. She directed the Center for the Literary Arts at Cornell College, helped run the BA and MFA creative writing programs at Columbia College Chicago, and has independently hosted salons, talk series, and reading groups. As an editor, Becca co-founded Switchback Books and is co-editing the anthology Electric Gurlesque.
Josh Parkinson is a writer from Texas who received an M.A. in fiction from Johns Hopkins University. Over the last dozen years he has written feature originals or rewrites for Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, Paramount, and Media Rights Capital, as well as held TV staff-writing positions on the HBO comedy Eastbound and Down and the AMC horror series The Terror. He has also during that time sold both hour-long drama and half-hour comedy pilots to NBC, CBS, AMC, USA, Showtime, and most recently, Peacock. He continues to live and work in Los Angeles.