Badgerdog Teaching Artists

Celia Bell is an Austin-based writer whose fiction has appeared in VQR, Sewanee Review, Bomb Magazine and other venues. She holds an MFA from the New Writers Project at the University of Texas, and is a recipient of a Fulbright-Nehru grant.

Emily Beyda is a recent graduate of Texas State’s MFA program in fiction. She does freelance food journalism work for local outlets including Thrillist and the Texas Chronicle, and is in the process of shopping her debut novel. Emily Beyda has been a Badgerdog teaching artist since she arrived in Austin three years ago. Aside from her passion for fiction, she writes about food for publications like Thrillist and The Austin Chronicle.

John Bosworth is a poet living in Austin, Texas. He attends to the University of Texas, where he is currently studying 20th century American poetry. His favorite season is spring, and he loves long walks along the creek, especially during spring.

Sam Boyer is a writer from Rockville, MD. He received his BA in Film Production and BS in Business from the University of Southern California. He is currently a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin.

Elizabeth Chao received her BA in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley and hold nursing degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of California at San Francisco’s School of Nursing.  She worked for several years as an oncology nurse in California before moving to Texas, where she earned an MFA in Poetry from the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. Her poems have appeared in Narrative, Rattle, The Journal, Juked, and others.

Adam Edelman’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Narrative Magazine; Forklift, Ohio; decomP; Bridge; Metazen; and The Rusty Nail. His chapbook, Outpost, was a semi-finalist for the 2017 Verse Magazine Tomaž Šalamun Prize. He holds an MFA in poetry from the New Writers Project at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a fellowship from the Michener Center for Writers. He lives in Chicago, Illinois, where he is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Marilyse V. Figueroa is the current artist-in-residence at The Writing Barn in Austin, Texas. She received her MFA in Fiction and her BA in English from the University of Oklahoma. She has short stories published or forthcoming in Acentos Review, St. Sucia, and Southwestern American Literature. She has taught creative writing workshops for Austin Bat Cave and is the Director of the San Marcos, Texas chapter of Barrio Writers Workshop.

Tracey Lander-Garrett holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Connecticut and an MFA from Brooklyn College. She has had poetry and prose published in Mid-America Poetry Review, Brooklyn Review, Connotation Press, and others. After thirteen years of teaching at Brooklyn College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and others, she relocated to the Austin area in 2016. She absolutely adores living in Pflugerville, Texas with her husband and five recalcitrant cats.

Emily Gogolak is a freelance journalist and writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Politico Magazine, the Nation, the Guardian, and, among other publications, and in the anthology “City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis.” Before moving to Texas, she worked on the editorial staff at the New Yorker and was a grantee at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. She received her BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University. She also translates books.

Meg Griffitts received her MFA in Poetry from Texas State University where she teaches. Her work has appeared in Crab Fat, White Stag, The Fem, Us For President, Luna Luna, Hypertrophic, Evening Will Come, The Colorado Independent, and BlazeVox. She believes in black cats, air conditioning, and Audre Lorde. In addition to writing poetry, she enjoys writing essays and hanging out with her two cats.

Jasmine Skye Gulick is an eclectic writer who enjoys expansive world-building, swords & sorcery, and plot-driven adventures. She’s a voracious reader who also loves dressing up as characters and attending geeky conventions. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts with a minor in Anthropology (specializing in Indigenous Studies) and an honors thesis in Creative Writing. While there, she played on the muggle quidditch team and was the resident assistant for the LGBTQIA+ floor. After college, she gained life experience as a special education instructional aide and a volunteer editor for the Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine. She’s currently an MFA Student at Stonecoast through the University of Southern Maine, a teaching artist with Badgerdog through the Austin Public Library Friends’ Foundation, and a professional nanny.

Jessica Hincapie is a creative writer and teacher living in Austin, Texas. She received her BA in Writing and Rhetoric from St. Edward’s University, before working as Program Assistant at The Writing Barn, in Austin, TX. She has her MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Texas (2018) where she served as Bat City Review’s Online Content and Web Editor. She is an experienced teacher and workshop facilitator. She is the recipient of numerous poetry awards, including The University of Texas' Michael Adam's Thesis Prize and honorable mention for The Gulf Coast Prize in Poetry (2017). You can find her work in print and online in The Indiana Review, Four Way Review, Gulf Coast Online (2018), Ruminate Magazine, Sorin Oak Review, and more. She’s currently working on her first collection of poetry.

Mike Herr was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In high school, he became interested in writing poetry and started trying to write it. In college, his interest deepened, and Mike tried his hand at writing fiction as well. When he graduated, the writing slowed and music took its place for a few years. He took jobs bartending and working as a line cook in restaurants, but the itch to write never went away though. In 2017, Mike applied to MFA writing programs everywhere and was lucky enough to be admitted to the Michener Center at the University of Texas, where he is currently entering his second year.

Originally from Cleveland, Maggie Ilersich is a graduate of The George Washington University, where she received a BA in English and Creative Writing, and the MFA program at Texas State University. Her work has appeared in Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Austin Review, Front Porch Journal, and elsewhere. Recently, she has worked as a camp counselor, a copywriter, an editor, a business writing coach, and a Composition professor.

Vanessa Couto Johnson first became a Badgerdog Teaching Artist in summer 2014. She is the author of Pungent dins concentric, her first full-length book, forthcoming from Tolsun Books later this year. “Try the yen relish,” a sixteen-page prose poem sequence, was released in a first BoxSet from Oxidant | Engine in early 2018. Softblow, Thrush, Field, Blackbird, Cheat River Review, Cream City Review, and other journals have featured her poetry. Her third chapbook, speech rinse, won Slope Editions’ 2016 Chapbook Contest; her second chapbook is rotoscoping collage in Cork City (dancing girl press, 2016); and her first chapbook, Life of Francis, won Gambling the Aisle’s 2014 Chapbook Contest. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she is currently a Lecturer at Texas State University, where she earned her MFA.

As an instructor with Badgerdog Literary Publishing Jena Kirkpatrick works in schools teaching creative writing to be submitted for publication in the anthology Rise. She is also a creative writing instructor for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas, editor and publisher of the poetry anthology Writing for Positive Change.

Jenny Elder Moke writes young adult fiction in an attempt to recapture the shining infinity of youth. She was a finalist in the 2017 Austin Film Festival Podcast Competition, and studied children’s writing with Liz Garton Scanlon. When she is not writing, she’s gathering story ideas from her daily adventures with her two irredeemable rapscallions and honing her ninja skills as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Jenny lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two children. Her debut novel, HOOD, about the daughter of Robin Hood and Maid Marien, will release from Disney/Hyperion in Spring 2020.

Jane Morton is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, where she is an assistant poetry editor for the Black Warrior Review. She primarily writes environmental poetry. Aside from writing, she likes to spend her time outdoors, hanging out with as many dogs as possible.

Shannon Perri is a writer whose words have appeared in fields magazine, FiddleblackHouston Chronicle, and elsewhere. Her short story, “The Resurrection Act,” was selected as a 2016 Joyland Magazine Publisher’s Pick, and her story, “Orientation,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Most recently, she’s been at work on a novel titled Disgraceland set in Big Bend National Park, which The Writer’s League of Texas awarded as a finalist in their fiction manuscript contest. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of Texas and an MFA from Texas State University, where she teaches in the English Department. She’s also taught creative writing classes to children through Austin Public Library and female inmA native Texan, she lives in Austin with her husband and menagerie of pets.

Gayleen Rabakukk holds a master of fine arts in writing and an undergraduate degree in journalism. Her articles have appeared in a number of state and national publications and she has published two books, Frontiers of Healing and Art of the Oklahoma Judicial Center. She is an active member of Austin’s children’s literature community.

Terri Schexnayder discovered her writing voice through neighborhood plays and class short stories while growing up with nine siblings in Houston. After graduating from St. Edward’s University, summa cum laude, with a BA in English Literature, she launched her freelance writing and marketing business. She writes for Texas Highways and Texas Coop Power magazines, among other local and regional publications, and teaches other adults how to find their voices. She relishes the excitement her elementary students experience when they become first-time published authors.

Amanda Scott lives in San Marcos, Texas, where she teaches writing at Texas State University. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, The Common, Gulf Coast, and Word Riot. She is currently at work on a novella and collection of personal essays.

Erin Salada holds an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Texas State University, where she was also awarded the Rose Fellowship and C.D. Marshall Scholarship. Over the years, she’s taught many ages and subjects, ranging from middle school science (Washington, D.C.) to high school persona poetry workshops (Lockhart, TX) to a magical realism camp (with the Austin Bat Cave). In the fall of 2018, she will be hard at work on her novel during a grant-funded residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Eva Suter is a writer and theatre artist based in Austin, TX. Hailing from the Great NorthWest, she was a founding member of The Working Theatre Collective, a DIY based company dedicated to the production of new and devised works, in Portland, Oregon. An alum of the Great Plains Theatre Conference and the WildWind Performance Lab, Eva was Theatre Masters' Visionary Playwright of 2015. Medusa, A Perfectly Normal Girl was awarded the Portland Drammy for best new play in Spring 2011 and the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Drama in 2012. Back here in Austin, Eva is a frequent collaborator in the 14/48, and Hold Me Well (Bay Area Playwright’s Finalist) received its premier in 2015 with Shrewd Productions. By night she concocts concoctions, slings fine fare, and repeats the same dumb jokes til they don’t work no more.

Katherine Stingley is a poet and educator from San Antonio, Texas. She earned her MFA in Poetry from Texas State University, where she teaches and where she once served as the Poetry Editor for Front Porch Journal. She was a Juried Poet for the 2017 Houston Poetry Fest, and will return as a Featured Poet in 2018. She is a Virgo, a birdwatcher, and regularly practices magical thinking.

Noah Weisz received his MFA in fiction from UT Austin’s New Writers Project, where he focused on writing for children and young adults. He has been a winner of the F(r)iction short story contest and was shortlisted for the international Bath Children’s Novel Award. His fiction for young readers appears in YARN, Stew Magazine, Highlights, and other publications. Noah currently teaches language arts at an elementary school and creative writing at St. Edward’s University, and has loved teaching workshops with Badgerdog for the past three years. You can learn more at

Brittany Worthington is a writer from Grand Rapids, Michigan, America’s high-five. She earned her BA in English and Creative Writing from Kalamazoo College (yes, there really is a Kalamazoo!) and recently completed her MFA in Screenwriting in the Radio-Television-Film school at the University of Texas in Austin. She is the recipient of the 2018 Robert Foshko Memorial Scholarship in Screenwriting from UT and her scripts have advanced in the Austin Film Festival’s Screenplay Competition. She loves a good book, a warm cookie, and a hot cup of tea.