Breakthrough Writing Residency

Apply by July 29

Register Now

Spend a full year working one-on-one with a mentor and alongside a cohort of writers to complete a book-length project.


Publishing a book is breakthrough moment in a writer’s career, a transformational step that suddenly makes available a whole host of opportunities, including readings, speaking engagements, teaching and more. But it is very difficult to complete a book-length project without support. It is a long-term process that requires encouragement, feedback, mentorship, and resources. That is why Literary Cleveland created the Breakthrough Writing Residency.

Literary Cleveland’s Breakthrough Writing Residency provides free yearlong mentorship, support, and opportunities to help six emerging writers in Greater Cleveland develop a book-length project.

Residents (two in each genre of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) will work with a mentor to make progress on a manuscript, gain free access to Literary Cleveland programs, take part in professional development opportunities, and present their work at the annual Inkubator Conference. The program is primarily virtual with monthly in-person meetings throughout the year. Thanks to a generous funder, 2024-2025 residents will also receive a monthly stipend of $200 to support their work. Plus new this year we will be able to accept a seventh resident specifically from Mahoning County (see info below).

The Breakthrough Writing Residency is intended for those who demonstrate a passion for writing and a commitment to developing a book-length manuscript but who have not published a book or attended a MFA program.

Applicants are selected for the program based on the excellence of their writing and ability to complete their proposed writing project. Writing projects may include (but are not limited to) completing the first draft of a novel, memoir, poetry manuscript, or similar creative work, or revising and submitting a book-length project for publication. The residency is for personal writing projects (manuscripts) only, not community writing programs.


Apply by July 29, 2024


About the program

Benefits to Residents

  • Mentorship with professional writer for encouragement and accountability
  • A supportive writing cohort and environment
  • Free access to Literary Cleveland classes and programs (with some restrictions)
  • Participation in Inkubator Conference (as reader, presenter, or panelist)
  • Opportunities to develop teaching skills
  • Professional development consultation from working writers, agents, and more
  • NEW: $200 monthly stipend for 12 months

 

What the Program Supports

  • The development of new writing 
  • Personal writing projects that will be completed within one year (manuscripts, not community writing projects)
  • Works not previously published and/or produced (excluding excerpts or individual poems or stories that are part of a larger project)
  • Works of writing, including, but not limited to, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction

 

Who Can Apply

The residency specifically aims to assist emerging writers who have not published a book and have not completed an MFA program.

We are especially interested in reaching writers with low or limited income for whom expensive writing opportunities are out of reach. Additionally, we encourage writers who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander, or multihyphenate, those who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other members of communities historically underrepresented by and in the literary community to apply.

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Resident of the Greater Cleveland/NortheastOhio area at the time of application and through completion of the residency period
  • Age 18 or older
  • Cannot be a current staff, board, or committee member of Literary Cleveland
  • Cannot be a graduate or undergraduate student in any degree program during the residency
  • Cannot already have and MFA or a traditionally published book  

 
Do not reject yourself! Don’t stop yourself from applying because you don’t want to take the opportunity away from someone else who needs it more. Apply and let us sort that part out! If you have any questions, email info@litcleveland.org.

Applications for the 2024-2025 residency are open now through July 29, 2024.

NEW: Mahoning County Resident Spot

Thanks to special funding as well as support from Lit Youngstown, we will have one additional resident in 2024-2025 from Mahoning County. If you currently live or work in Mahoning County please check the appropriate box on the application form to be considered for this spot (regardless of genre).

Mentors

Residents will work year round with the mentor in their genre. These mentors have experience with publishing, teaching, attending residencies, and receiving fellowships. They will help set your work plan for the year and will keep you accountable to writing deadlines and goals.

2025-2025 Mentors

FictionClaire McMillan

NonfictionAthena Dixon

PoetryTeri Ellen Cross Davis

Learn more about the 2024-2025 mentors below.

How to Apply

 

Application Materials

  • Application form
  • Artist biography
  • Artist résumé or CV
  • Personal statement
  • Project description
  • Writing sample and description

Selection Process & Criteria

Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of writers working in a variety of disciplines. The panel will select finalists based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic excellence of work samples
  • Quality of the proposed writing project (manuscript)
  • Feasibility of and ability to complete the writing project (manuscript) 

Mentors will then select participants from the list of finalists.

Timeline

  • July 29, 2024 – Applications due  
  • September, 2024 – Responses sent, residents publicly announced and introduced 
  • November, 2024 – Orientation and first meetings with mentors
  • November 2024-October 2025 – Regular weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with mentors, quarterly residents meetings
  • October 2025 – Final reading 

Apply by July 29, 2024

Info Session

Learn more about the program at our free info session, Sunday, June 30 from 1-3pm at Literary Cleveland (13002 Larchmere Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44120).

Questions? Email info@litcleveland.org

2023-2024 Residency Cohort

We are pleased to announce the Breakthrough Writing Residency cohort for 2023-2024. Literary Cleveland received 113 qualified applications across all three categories. This year’s recipients are Patricia Brubaker and Maureen McGuirk for fiction, Libby Chaney and Elizabeth O'Donnellfor nonfiction, and Kristin Gustafson and Jenna Martínez for poetry.

Finalists for the residency include Catherine Fields, Julieanne Lopresto, and Christopher Richards for fiction; Kevin Bain, Meghan Cliffel, and Kristi Majni for nonfiction; and El Bentivegna, Sylvia Clark, and Rosary Kennedy for poetry.

2023-2024 Breakthrough Writing Residents

Fiction Residents

Patricia Brubaker has been writing in some form most of her life. She grew up in a single parent household and worked to save enough money to attend Cleveland State University and receive degrees in English Literature. While getting her degrees, she became the mother of three children but continued to find ways to write. Over twenty years ago she received an Ohio Arts Council Grant, published stories in literary journals, and seemed on her way to a writing career, but life got in her way when she became the guardian of her brother's three children in addition to her own. She began teaching English, earned a counseling degree, and worked as both a school counselor and mental health counselor for the next twenty-some years. Retiring in 2019 has allowed her to return her focus to her first love, writing.  She is currently working on a novel about three high school friends, now in their sixties, whose lives are altered when they learn that the bodies of two of their friends who disappeared in 1970 have been found.


Maureen McGuirk earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in writing for film and television from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her short story “Miss Fortunate” was published in quiet Shorts, a Seattle-based arts journal. Her one-act play “A Private Conversation” earned an honorable mention in the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest in 2016, and was published in Two Sisters Writing & Publishing Second Annual Anthology in 2019. In December 2021, her short story “Rule 49” was included in B-Cubed Press’s anthology Alternative Deathiness. Recently, her short story "Last of My Kind" was accepted into Ohio Writers Association's anthology House of Secrets due out this fall. She is at work on a novel about Jason and Morgan, a newly engaged couple in a world where married couples share not only their lives but a single body.


Nonfiction Residents

Libby Chaney has always been an artist and writer. She was born, raised and educated in Ohio, but she  wandered off to California in her 20’s. There she inadvertently stayed for 47 years.  She taught, traveled a bit, married and had 2 children. After her son suddenly died, she was drawn back to her Ohio and the edge of Lake Erie —  Cleveland, exactly — where she lives in a studio made from a converted mid-century medical center. She changed its large parking lot into a huge garden. During COVID Libby had a surprise triple bypass heart surgery and might not have survived without the care and love of her third and final husband, Paul Waszink. Neither would the garden. She is at work on a memoir in stories about everything from her high school days when girls were not allowed to take Mechanical Drawing to the 60's in Los Angeles to the loss of her son.


Elizabeth O'Donnell was born and raised in England and is a triplet, one of seven children of a single mother. She left the United Kingdom at age eighteen and emigrated to Canada as a nanny, a job she held for three years while studying part-time to earn acceptance into the University of Toronto, from which she graduated with a degree in physical therapy. Liz later moved to the United States with her partner and raised two sons, attended graduate school where she earned her MSE and PhD in Counseling and currently works full-time as a clinical psychotherapist. Liz is raising yellow- lab, Delta, for Guiding eyes for the Blind until she is sixteen months old when Delta will return to GEB's Canine Development Center to complete her formal seeing-eye dog training. She is at work on a memoir about growing up poor in England in the late 50's and 60's as one of seven children of a single bi-racial mother.


Poetry Residents

Kristin Gustafson is a poet and editor from Cleveland Heights, Ohio. She received her bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Otterbein University in 2019, and her poetry has been published in over a dozen literary magazines. She currently lives in Cuyahoga Falls with her partner and small dog. Her work infuses her love of internet culture with her struggles with mental illness.


Jenna Martinez is a queer, Mexican-American femme originally from San Antonio, Texas living in Cleveland, Ohio. Her writing has appeared in Homology Lit and Femme, Collectively Zine 0.1. Her poem, “Elemental”, was the third place winner of the 2023 One Page Poetry contest. Jenna is a recipient of the Support for Artists grant from the Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center funded by Cuyahoga Arts. Her art is influenced by curanderismo, the cosmos, and community. She is at work on a collection of poems exploring how the places she has lived alchemize her intersecting identities including her queerness, Mexican heritage, Texas roots, and Midwestern home.

2023-2024 Mentors

Fiction: Mary Grimm

Nonfiction: Raechel Anne Jolie

Poetry: Danny Caine

2022-2023 Residency Cohort

We are pleased to announce the inaugural Breakthrough Writing Residency cohort for 2022-2023. Literary Cleveland received 113 qualified applications across all three categories. This year’s recipients are Sonia Feldman and Andrea Imdacha for fiction, Silk Allen and Michael Loderstedt for nonfiction, and Ricardo Brown and Corey Miller for poetry.

Finalists for the residency include Tiffany Graham Charkosky, Bernard Harris, and Jessie Motts for fiction; Arykah Carter, Michelle Droll, and Cindy Illig for nonfiction; and Kristin Gustafson, Terre Maher, and Tierra Tramble for poetry. 

2022-2023 Breakthrough Writing Residents

Fiction Residents

Sonia Feldman is a writer from Cleveland, Ohio. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in journals like The Missouri Review, The Southern Review and Beloit Poetry Journal. She runs Sonia’s Poem of the Week, an email newsletter sharing one good poem a week plus commentary. She is at work on a literary coming-of-age novel that explores ways of loving—amicable, familial, romantic and sexual—their profound commonalities and powerful, intangible differences.

Andrea Imdacha is a writer and poet of Sri Lankan and Hungarian heritage who hails from Savannah, GA. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in Literary Mama and Mash Stories. Her short story “Mohini Baba” was a finalist for North American Review’s 2022 Kurt Vonnegut Prize in Speculative Literature and is forthcoming in their Fall 2022 edition. Her novel manuscript, Tiberius, was a semi-finalist for the James Kirkwood Prize in Fiction. Andrea lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and son. She is currently working on a speculative novel that weaves together elements of global folklore, fairy tales, and gothic tropes, filtering them through a modern lens.

Nonfiction Residents

Silk Allen is a storyteller and personal stylist from Cleveland, Ohio whose influences range from fashion, history and music to the words of Iceberg Slim and Lil Kim. Silk received a degree in journalism from Central State University and an associate’s in fashion merchandising from Virginia Marti College, and she has written for local publications like BFly Magazine, The Plain Dealer, The Plain Press, and currently The Destination Cleveland Visitor’s Guide. Silk was accepted into the Twelve Literary Arts Baldwin House Urban Writing Residency in 2021 and has attended many Lit Cleveland events over the years, using the workshops to help hone her writing skills. She’s currently working on a collection of essays titled “I Write How I Talk Vol. 1” about coming of age in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Michael Loderstedt is Professor Emeritus of Kent State University where he taught printmaking and photography. He continues to explore new studio and writing projects that investigate the geography, histories, or the natural phenomena of place. His recent manuscript entitled The Yellowhammer’s Cross received a 2020 Ohio Arts Council Fellowship in Non-Fiction Literature, and his recent work has been published in Neighborhood Voices, Muleskinner Journal, and the NC Literary Review (receiving the 2021 James Applewhite Prize for Poetry) and was featured in the CAN Triennial. He is currently working on a memoir of his time living on the Outer Banks of NC.

Poetry Residents 

Rico Brown is an artist and writer living in NE Ohio. He started writing poetry as part of trauma therapy, and it has since become a passion. Rico is currently working on a collection of poems about his life as a queer man of color, trauma survivor, and recovered drug addict living with depression.

Corey Miller’s writing has appeared in Booth, Pithead Chapel, Atticus Review, Hobart, X-R-A-Y, and elsewhere. He reads for TriQuarterly, Longleaf Review, and Barren Magazine. When Corey isn’t brewing beer for a living in Cleveland, he likes to take the dogs for adventures. Corey is currently working on a manuscript of environmental poems that pair with photographs.

2022-2023 Mentors

Fiction: Laura Maylene Walter

Nonfiction: Eliese Colette Goldbach

Poetry: Kelly Harris-DeBerry

  

Spend a full year working one-on-one with a mentor and alongside a cohort of writers to complete a book-length project.


Publishing a book is breakthrough moment in a writer’s career, a transformational step that suddenly makes available a whole host of opportunities, including readings, speaking engagements, teaching and more. But it is very difficult to complete a book-length project without support. It is a long-term process that requires encouragement, feedback, mentorship, and resources. That is why Literary Cleveland created the Breakthrough Writing Residency.

Literary Cleveland’s Breakthrough Writing Residency provides free yearlong mentorship, support, and opportunities to help six emerging writers in Greater Cleveland develop a book-length project.

Residents (two in each genre of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) will work with a mentor to make progress on a manuscript, gain free access to Literary Cleveland programs, take part in professional development opportunities, and present their work at the annual Inkubator Conference. The program is primarily virtual with monthly in-person meetings throughout the year. Thanks to a generous funder, 2024-2025 residents will also receive a monthly stipend of $200 to support their work. Plus new this year we will be able to accept a seventh resident specifically from Mahoning County (see info below).

The Breakthrough Writing Residency is intended for those who demonstrate a passion for writing and a commitment to developing a book-length manuscript but who have not published a book or attended a MFA program.

Applicants are selected for the program based on the excellence of their writing and ability to complete their proposed writing project. Writing projects may include (but are not limited to) completing the first draft of a novel, memoir, poetry manuscript, or similar creative work, or revising and submitting a book-length project for publication. The residency is for personal writing projects (manuscripts) only, not community writing programs.


Apply by July 29, 2024


About the program

Benefits to Residents

  • Mentorship with professional writer for encouragement and accountability
  • A supportive writing cohort and environment
  • Free access to Literary Cleveland classes and programs (with some restrictions)
  • Participation in Inkubator Conference (as reader, presenter, or panelist)
  • Opportunities to develop teaching skills
  • Professional development consultation from working writers, agents, and more
  • NEW: $200 monthly stipend for 12 months

 

What the Program Supports

  • The development of new writing 
  • Personal writing projects that will be completed within one year (manuscripts, not community writing projects)
  • Works not previously published and/or produced (excluding excerpts or individual poems or stories that are part of a larger project)
  • Works of writing, including, but not limited to, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction

 

Who Can Apply

The residency specifically aims to assist emerging writers who have not published a book and have not completed an MFA program.

We are especially interested in reaching writers with low or limited income for whom expensive writing opportunities are out of reach. Additionally, we encourage writers who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander, or multihyphenate, those who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other members of communities historically underrepresented by and in the literary community to apply.

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Resident of the Greater Cleveland/NortheastOhio area at the time of application and through completion of the residency period
  • Age 18 or older
  • Cannot be a current staff, board, or committee member of Literary Cleveland
  • Cannot be a graduate or undergraduate student in any degree program during the residency
  • Cannot already have and MFA or a traditionally published book  

 
Do not reject yourself! Don’t stop yourself from applying because you don’t want to take the opportunity away from someone else who needs it more. Apply and let us sort that part out! If you have any questions, email info@litcleveland.org.

Applications for the 2024-2025 residency are open now through July 29, 2024.

NEW: Mahoning County Resident Spot

Thanks to special funding as well as support from Lit Youngstown, we will have one additional resident in 2024-2025 from Mahoning County. If you currently live or work in Mahoning County please check the appropriate box on the application form to be considered for this spot (regardless of genre).

Mentors

Residents will work year round with the mentor in their genre. These mentors have experience with publishing, teaching, attending residencies, and receiving fellowships. They will help set your work plan for the year and will keep you accountable to writing deadlines and goals.

2025-2025 Mentors

FictionClaire McMillan

NonfictionAthena Dixon

PoetryTeri Ellen Cross Davis

Learn more about the 2024-2025 mentors below.

How to Apply

 

Application Materials

  • Application form
  • Artist biography
  • Artist résumé or CV
  • Personal statement
  • Project description
  • Writing sample and description

Selection Process & Criteria

Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of writers working in a variety of disciplines. The panel will select finalists based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic excellence of work samples
  • Quality of the proposed writing project (manuscript)
  • Feasibility of and ability to complete the writing project (manuscript) 

Mentors will then select participants from the list of finalists.

Timeline

  • July 29, 2024 – Applications due  
  • September, 2024 – Responses sent, residents publicly announced and introduced 
  • November, 2024 – Orientation and first meetings with mentors
  • November 2024-October 2025 – Regular weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with mentors, quarterly residents meetings
  • October 2025 – Final reading 

Apply by July 29, 2024

Info Session

Learn more about the program at our free info session, Sunday, June 30 from 1-3pm at Literary Cleveland (13002 Larchmere Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44120).

Questions? Email info@litcleveland.org

2023-2024 Residency Cohort

We are pleased to announce the Breakthrough Writing Residency cohort for 2023-2024. Literary Cleveland received 113 qualified applications across all three categories. This year’s recipients are Patricia Brubaker and Maureen McGuirk for fiction, Libby Chaney and Elizabeth O'Donnellfor nonfiction, and Kristin Gustafson and Jenna Martínez for poetry.

Finalists for the residency include Catherine Fields, Julieanne Lopresto, and Christopher Richards for fiction; Kevin Bain, Meghan Cliffel, and Kristi Majni for nonfiction; and El Bentivegna, Sylvia Clark, and Rosary Kennedy for poetry.

2023-2024 Breakthrough Writing Residents

Fiction Residents

Patricia Brubaker has been writing in some form most of her life. She grew up in a single parent household and worked to save enough money to attend Cleveland State University and receive degrees in English Literature. While getting her degrees, she became the mother of three children but continued to find ways to write. Over twenty years ago she received an Ohio Arts Council Grant, published stories in literary journals, and seemed on her way to a writing career, but life got in her way when she became the guardian of her brother's three children in addition to her own. She began teaching English, earned a counseling degree, and worked as both a school counselor and mental health counselor for the next twenty-some years. Retiring in 2019 has allowed her to return her focus to her first love, writing.  She is currently working on a novel about three high school friends, now in their sixties, whose lives are altered when they learn that the bodies of two of their friends who disappeared in 1970 have been found.


Maureen McGuirk earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in writing for film and television from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her short story “Miss Fortunate” was published in quiet Shorts, a Seattle-based arts journal. Her one-act play “A Private Conversation” earned an honorable mention in the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest in 2016, and was published in Two Sisters Writing & Publishing Second Annual Anthology in 2019. In December 2021, her short story “Rule 49” was included in B-Cubed Press’s anthology Alternative Deathiness. Recently, her short story "Last of My Kind" was accepted into Ohio Writers Association's anthology House of Secrets due out this fall. She is at work on a novel about Jason and Morgan, a newly engaged couple in a world where married couples share not only their lives but a single body.


Nonfiction Residents

Libby Chaney has always been an artist and writer. She was born, raised and educated in Ohio, but she  wandered off to California in her 20’s. There she inadvertently stayed for 47 years.  She taught, traveled a bit, married and had 2 children. After her son suddenly died, she was drawn back to her Ohio and the edge of Lake Erie —  Cleveland, exactly — where she lives in a studio made from a converted mid-century medical center. She changed its large parking lot into a huge garden. During COVID Libby had a surprise triple bypass heart surgery and might not have survived without the care and love of her third and final husband, Paul Waszink. Neither would the garden. She is at work on a memoir in stories about everything from her high school days when girls were not allowed to take Mechanical Drawing to the 60's in Los Angeles to the loss of her son.


Elizabeth O'Donnell was born and raised in England and is a triplet, one of seven children of a single mother. She left the United Kingdom at age eighteen and emigrated to Canada as a nanny, a job she held for three years while studying part-time to earn acceptance into the University of Toronto, from which she graduated with a degree in physical therapy. Liz later moved to the United States with her partner and raised two sons, attended graduate school where she earned her MSE and PhD in Counseling and currently works full-time as a clinical psychotherapist. Liz is raising yellow- lab, Delta, for Guiding eyes for the Blind until she is sixteen months old when Delta will return to GEB's Canine Development Center to complete her formal seeing-eye dog training. She is at work on a memoir about growing up poor in England in the late 50's and 60's as one of seven children of a single bi-racial mother.


Poetry Residents

Kristin Gustafson is a poet and editor from Cleveland Heights, Ohio. She received her bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Otterbein University in 2019, and her poetry has been published in over a dozen literary magazines. She currently lives in Cuyahoga Falls with her partner and small dog. Her work infuses her love of internet culture with her struggles with mental illness.


Jenna Martinez is a queer, Mexican-American femme originally from San Antonio, Texas living in Cleveland, Ohio. Her writing has appeared in Homology Lit and Femme, Collectively Zine 0.1. Her poem, “Elemental”, was the third place winner of the 2023 One Page Poetry contest. Jenna is a recipient of the Support for Artists grant from the Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center funded by Cuyahoga Arts. Her art is influenced by curanderismo, the cosmos, and community. She is at work on a collection of poems exploring how the places she has lived alchemize her intersecting identities including her queerness, Mexican heritage, Texas roots, and Midwestern home.

2023-2024 Mentors

Fiction: Mary Grimm

Nonfiction: Raechel Anne Jolie

Poetry: Danny Caine

2022-2023 Residency Cohort

We are pleased to announce the inaugural Breakthrough Writing Residency cohort for 2022-2023. Literary Cleveland received 113 qualified applications across all three categories. This year’s recipients are Sonia Feldman and Andrea Imdacha for fiction, Silk Allen and Michael Loderstedt for nonfiction, and Ricardo Brown and Corey Miller for poetry.

Finalists for the residency include Tiffany Graham Charkosky, Bernard Harris, and Jessie Motts for fiction; Arykah Carter, Michelle Droll, and Cindy Illig for nonfiction; and Kristin Gustafson, Terre Maher, and Tierra Tramble for poetry. 

2022-2023 Breakthrough Writing Residents

Fiction Residents

Sonia Feldman is a writer from Cleveland, Ohio. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in journals like The Missouri Review, The Southern Review and Beloit Poetry Journal. She runs Sonia’s Poem of the Week, an email newsletter sharing one good poem a week plus commentary. She is at work on a literary coming-of-age novel that explores ways of loving—amicable, familial, romantic and sexual—their profound commonalities and powerful, intangible differences.

Andrea Imdacha is a writer and poet of Sri Lankan and Hungarian heritage who hails from Savannah, GA. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in Literary Mama and Mash Stories. Her short story “Mohini Baba” was a finalist for North American Review’s 2022 Kurt Vonnegut Prize in Speculative Literature and is forthcoming in their Fall 2022 edition. Her novel manuscript, Tiberius, was a semi-finalist for the James Kirkwood Prize in Fiction. Andrea lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and son. She is currently working on a speculative novel that weaves together elements of global folklore, fairy tales, and gothic tropes, filtering them through a modern lens.

Nonfiction Residents

Silk Allen is a storyteller and personal stylist from Cleveland, Ohio whose influences range from fashion, history and music to the words of Iceberg Slim and Lil Kim. Silk received a degree in journalism from Central State University and an associate’s in fashion merchandising from Virginia Marti College, and she has written for local publications like BFly Magazine, The Plain Dealer, The Plain Press, and currently The Destination Cleveland Visitor’s Guide. Silk was accepted into the Twelve Literary Arts Baldwin House Urban Writing Residency in 2021 and has attended many Lit Cleveland events over the years, using the workshops to help hone her writing skills. She’s currently working on a collection of essays titled “I Write How I Talk Vol. 1” about coming of age in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Michael Loderstedt is Professor Emeritus of Kent State University where he taught printmaking and photography. He continues to explore new studio and writing projects that investigate the geography, histories, or the natural phenomena of place. His recent manuscript entitled The Yellowhammer’s Cross received a 2020 Ohio Arts Council Fellowship in Non-Fiction Literature, and his recent work has been published in Neighborhood Voices, Muleskinner Journal, and the NC Literary Review (receiving the 2021 James Applewhite Prize for Poetry) and was featured in the CAN Triennial. He is currently working on a memoir of his time living on the Outer Banks of NC.

Poetry Residents 

Rico Brown is an artist and writer living in NE Ohio. He started writing poetry as part of trauma therapy, and it has since become a passion. Rico is currently working on a collection of poems about his life as a queer man of color, trauma survivor, and recovered drug addict living with depression.

Corey Miller’s writing has appeared in Booth, Pithead Chapel, Atticus Review, Hobart, X-R-A-Y, and elsewhere. He reads for TriQuarterly, Longleaf Review, and Barren Magazine. When Corey isn’t brewing beer for a living in Cleveland, he likes to take the dogs for adventures. Corey is currently working on a manuscript of environmental poems that pair with photographs.

2022-2023 Mentors

Fiction: Laura Maylene Walter

Nonfiction: Eliese Colette Goldbach

Poetry: Kelly Harris-DeBerry

  

Literary Cleveland

13002 Larchmere Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44120

Our Presenters

Claire McMillan

Claire McMillan is the author of Alchemy of a Blackbird, The Necklace and Gilded Age, which was inspired by Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth. She was the 2017–2018 Cuyahoga County Writer-in-Residence and currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Athena Dixon

Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is a poet, essayist, and editor. She is the author of the memoir in essays The Loneliness Files (Tin House 2023), the essay collection The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Split/Lip Press 2020) and No God in This Room (Winner of the Intersectional Midwest Chapbook Contest, Argus House Press 2018).

Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint (Gival Press, 2016), winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow and works as the poetry coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. She lives in Maryland.

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