Spring 2012 Workshop Leaders
- Katya Apekina teaches fiction writing at Washington University. Her stories have recently been published in The Iowa Review, among other places. Her poetry translations have appeared in Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky, which was short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. She also co-wrote the screenplay for New Orleans, Mon Amour, which starred Elisabeth Moss and Christopher Eccleston. She lives in South City with her boyfriend and their dog.
- Alexa Beattie has an MA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and writes both fiction and nonfiction. A past editor and food writer for The Washington Post, she is a regular contributor to St. Louis Magazine's At Home. Alexa grew up in London and loves to paint and take photographs. She and her husband have three children, three dogs, two cats, two hamsters and one fish.
- StudioSTL is happy to have Cheree Berry back, leading her popular "Tea with Cheree" workshop. Cheree designs custom stationery on behalf of her company, Cheree Berry Paper. Prior to moving back to St. Louis, she worked as the artistic director for Kate Spade in New York and designed custom wedding stationery and personalized stationery lines.
- Chris Brennan is an Elementary School teacher at Mary Institute Country Day School (MICDS) and English editor of the Berlin-based Papua-Solar Brandenburg Initiative Project. An avid traveler, he has observed and taught elementary education in the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Germany, and Australia. He enjoys writing nonfiction short stories, reading Pablo Neruda, laughing often, and using the Oxford comma as often as possible.
- Renee Callies is a writer and former secondary teacher who has been involved in writing, education and communication for 20 years. She served as a co-director of the Third Coast Writing Project at Western Michigan University from 1997 to 2006. She loves to get students excited about learning and believes everyone can improve their language arts skills (reading writing, speaking and listening) with practice. For her, the best part of writing is the revising-it may be tough, but it is always worth it!
- Anton DiSclafani received her BA from Emory University and her Master of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis. She teaches fiction, historical fiction, sudden fiction, and nonfiction at Washington University, where she also directs the Summer Writers Institute. Anton likes reading, walking her dog, and cooking. She lives in University City with her husband, the aforementioned dog, and two cats.
- Writer Deborah Gregory knows a lot about showing her spots. Born in Brooklyn, she became homeless at age three and was raised in the foster care system in New York City. Led by her imagination and desire to rise from her circumstances, she earned her associates degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology and her bachelor's degree in English literature and writing from Empire State University. She began her writing career at Redbook magazine and has written for Essence and Entertainment Weekly. She lives with her beloved pooch, Cappuccino, in New York City.
- Emma Hand spent her childhood on a Missouri farm, her teen years in St. Louis, and her early adulthood in Boston and California. Intrigued by patterns in nature, Emma studied biology in college, yet always nurtured her passion for handwriting, wordplay, and design. She is the author and illustrator of Snap Stories, a new breed of photo storybooks. She believes a photo really IS worth a thousand words, and the emotion a simple photo can evoke is beyond words.
- Bill Keaggy is the author of two books, Milk Eggs Vodka: Grocery Lists Lost and Found and 50 Sad Chairs. His projects have appeared in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bon Appetit and more, including NPR, CBC, and the Jimmy Kimmel Show as well as many books, lots of blogs and at least one documentary film.
- Katherine Mitchell has taught the Alexander Technique professionally for over twenty years. She works with a broad range of individuals from musicians and teachers to lawyers and sign-language interpreters. She is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at University of Missouri Saint Louis. Katherine has a background in dance and teaches Argentine Tango at Washington University.
- Ben Moeller-Gaa led the StudioSTL's Fall 2011 Dinotopia playwriting workshop. He received his degree in Creative Writing from Knox College and works for Sigma-Aldrich Corp. A poet and contributing editor for River Styx literary magazine, Ben is a founding member of the Tin Ceiling Theater Company and served as the playwright-in-residence at the Ravissant Winery. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, Jessica, and cats Otto and Flitwick.
- Michelle Parrinello-Cason is an academic coordinator for the McNair Scholars Program and adjunct English instructor at Saint Louis University who is working toward her PhD in rhetoric and composition. She lives in South City with her husband, one-year-old daughter, two cats, and two dogs. In her free time, she loves to write creative non-fiction and read everything she can get her hands on.
- Erin Quick is a mother and poet, and has been a bookworm all her life. She holds a BA in English-Creative Writing from Webster University, and spent many years managing at Left Bank Books. She currently volunteers as Librarian at The Soulard School, where she teachers poetry to the 4th-5th graders. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and of course, bedtime stories.
- Jennifer Raymond, the president of the board of directors at StudioSTL, is an attorney and partner at Stolar Partnership. She has also taught English composition at Washington University. Jennifer, her husband, and 8-year-old son share their South City home with two rescued pets, a schnoodle named Harry and a tuxedo cat named Baby Tracy. They like baking, karate, reading, basketball, and MythBusters.
- Angela Renkoski is a freelance editor, writer, and project manager. She has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and taught magazine journalism for eight years at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Her passions are visiting her two grown sons and their wives, the St. Louis Cardinals, all things Mizzou, biking, movies, and words, words, words.
- Daniel Tkach co-directs the studio's after-school programs. He earned his BA in English from the University of Southern California, after which he worked for an independent publisher and at a local newspaper before teaching abroad. He recently relocated to St. Louis and says he enjoys teaching because of the profession's abundant fame, fortune and groupie fans.
- Jeff Weigel is a book illustrator, designer, and comic book genius with years of experience leading workshops at StudioSTL. Among his many works, he has written and illustrated Thunder From The Sea, Atomic Ace (He's Just My Dad), Atomic Ace and the Robot Rampage, and has illustrated the forthcoming book The Monster Alphabet.
- Aimee Dunne Zander works as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University. A transplant to the region, Aimee is proud to be a part of the exciting things happening here, being involved with organizations like StudioSTL, YWCA, St. Patrick Center and Innovate Venture Mentoring Service and speaking often on topics including how to make effective presentations, networking for ventures, social enterprise and business planning.
Pentimento Video Storytelling
- Dan Parris is the owner of Speak Up Productions LLC and is the award winning director of Give A Damn? and Hit Man to Hero. Dan graduated magna cum laude from Biola University with a B.A. in Film Production, and is currently pursuing the dream he has had for nearly a decade, to make feature films that will have ground-breaking impact in the world.
- Beth Ketcher is the founder and Executive Director of StudioSTL, a literary arts center dedicated to helping youth, ages 6 to 18, discover, develop, and celebrate their voices through writing. Following her graduation from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1990, Beth practiced civil litigation with the St. Louis law firm of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. In 1993, she became the first attorney to serve as Communications Counsel for the Missouri Supreme Court. Beth now "advocates" full-time for children through the development of StudioSTL, which has provided over 1200 youth with free, one-of-a-kind writing programs and publishing opportunities.