Creative Writing at The New School


As part of the 20th anniversary of the MFA in Creative Writing Program, we are rolling out new initiatives featuring alumni. We're pleased to announce the launch of Alumni Skill-Share Seminars, a series of panel discussions and classes taught by alumni, for alumni. New School Creative Writing graduates are a talented group—not only are they great writers, they're are also experts in many fields related to writing and publishing. These workshops are for MFA alumni only. To register, please email

the-new-school-merch_laptopskin_A-TL1-R_larger_1440011171_e1005de4-3137-4dd1-8b07-267cf62e9176_grandePixels to Platform: Marketing for Creative People

Gabriela Pereira
February 4, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Savvy writers know that producing a great book is just the first step. To make an impact, you need to build an author platform so you can get your work in the hands of your readers. Yet oftentimes it can feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions. With new social networks popping up every day, it’s easy to get distracted by latest marketing gimmick—or worse, give up on building a platform altogether. Don’t worry. Platform doesn’t have to be painful and you don’t have to sell out to sell books. In this session, you will learn concrete steps for building your online brand so you can forge meaningful connections with your readers. You’ll also discover a game-changing technique that will help you understand and research your audience, whether your platform is huge or nonexistent. Finally, you’ll learn strategies to help you focus your energy and resources on the things that matter most, so your platform will be sustainable for the long term

Gabriela Pereira is a writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed word nerd who wants to help writers craft great books and connect with their readers. As the founder and instigator of, her mission is to empower writers to take an entrepreneurial approach to their professional growth. Gabriela earned her MFA in creative writing from The New School and teaches at national conferences, regional workshops, and online. She is also the host of DIY MFA Radio, a popular podcast where she interviews bestselling authors and offers short audio master classes. Her book DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community is out now from Writer’s Digest Books.

Glossy Magazines

Joyce Chen
February 25, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM

The worlds of journalism and literature often seem at odds with one another in the sense that one purportedly deals with objective facts while the other is focused more on subjective, personal truths. But the blurring of fact and fiction (and all the shades in between) has particularly come to light in this past election season, with the role of glossy magazines and websites coming under even more scrutiny in an ever-changing journalism industry. While the future of more traditional institutions of journalism and publishing is uncertain, that same uncertainty also lends itself to new possibilities that fuse the two: think long-form journalism, creative non-fiction and political satire.

In this session, we’ll compare and contrast glossy magazines ranging from Time to The Atlantic to People to Fast Company with lit mags like n+1, Guernica and newer iterations like The Seventh Wave. We’ll examine the role of art and creative writing within both realms, and discuss how we as readers and writers can critically consume the news, essays, prose and poetry in a world of information that feeds off of clicks and viral content and SEO. We’ll tackle questions of how our own writing can play a part in the bigger conversation of the news, and address the importance of words as a way to tell our own stories and others’. Get ready to brainstorm and discuss!

Joyce Chen is a writer and editor based in New York City. She is one of the co-founders of the literary and arts non-profit organization, The Seventh Wave, and a staff editor at Us Weekly. Her words have appeared in the New York Daily News, People magazine, the Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles magazine, and Hyphen magazine, as well as in LitHub, Narratively, Flux Weekly, and Handwritten, among others. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California, and an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School.


Book Publishing: A Panel Discussion with Literary Agents and Editors

Alexandra Franklin, Michael Goldstein, Stephanie Nikolopoulos
April 1, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Do you have to have an agent to submit to a publishing house? What does an agent look for in a manuscript? Should you hire an editor on your own before submitting your work? What does an editor do all day besides look for misspellings? What is an Oxford comma, and should you use it?  MFA alums Alexandra Franklin, Michael Goldstein, and Stephanie Nikolopoulos will discuss their experience working as agents and editors in their industries—as well as their experience as writers working with publishing professionals.

 Alexandra Franklin earned a BA in English Literature at the University of Alabama in 2010 and an MFA from The New School in 2016. She joined the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency after internships and assistant experience at Scholastic's Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency, and Writers House. She is also Associate Editor of the literary journal Poet's Country.

Michael Goldstein received his MFA in Creative Writing from the New School in May 2016. He also earned his Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Clark University in May 2013. For the past year, he has written articles for several media outlets, and he has worked as a manuscript proofreader for a long list of publishers, including Penguin Random House, Verso Books, and Kensington Publishing. He is also the proud author of two published books on Japanese folklore, both of which are currently available on Amazon.

Stephanie Nikolopoulos received her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School in 2012. She earned her BA in English from Scripps College and a certificate in editing from New York University. With more than a decade of experience working as a book editor in publishing houses, she has also worked as editor in chief of a weekly print newspaper and visual arts editor of a blog. For more information, visit


Teaching in Different Settings

Marissa Anne Ayala, Amy Kurzweil, Taylor McGraw, Sarah Smetana, Jacob Suskewicz
April 22, 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Marissa Anne Ayala is a writer and artist based in New York City. She received her BA from Naropa University and an MFA from The New School. Her collaborative project Inside/Outside: a Map of Self and Place was featured in Handwritten and exhibited at Pen & Brush gallery in Manhattan. She designed and taught creative writing workshops at The Battery Conservancy and Pen and Brush Gallery. You can find her on Twitter @MarissaAAyala

Amy Kurzweil’s graphic memoir Flying Couch debuted with Catapult/Black Balloon in Fall of 2016. Her comics have appeared in The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, The Awl and other publications. Her prose has appeared in The Toast, Hobart, Washington Square Review and elsewhere. She teaches writing and comics at Parsons The New School for Design and at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She lives in Brooklyn. You can find her work at

Taylor McGraw (Nonfiction, 2016) is a high school writing teacher at a charter school in Brooklyn. He also leads writing workshops with high school seniors from around the city through the nonprofit Sponsors for Educational Opportunity. While at The New School, Taylor served as a teaching assistant for Illuminated Manuscripts undergraduate course, taught by Luis Jaramillo and John Reed. He is the founder of The Bell podcast, which seeks to amplify the voices of students in the conversation about education in New York City. When he isn't teaching or working on his podcast, he is usually working on his nonfiction book project about the "chess hustlers" in Washington Square Park.

Sarah Nicole Smetana received her BFA from Chapman University and her MFA in fiction from the New School. Her debut novel, The Midnights, will be out from HarperTeen (HarperCollins) in early 2018.

Jacob Suskewicz holds an MFA degree (Fiction, 2009) from The New School, and has been teaching Creative Writing at Rutgers University since 2010, as well as having served as Director (and founder) of the Rutgers Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) Writing Program, an interdisciplinary doctoral curriculum that he helped build. He has served in the administration of the Rutgers Writing Program, the Plangere Writing Center, and as a faculty member of the Rutgers School of Social Work, where his research interests included narrative case studies and narrative theory, with a focus on developing a pedagogy for teaching writing to healthcare clinicians using a traditional writing workshop approach, combined with digital literacy and multimedia composition. Mr. Suskewicz is at work on his debut novel, Set a Fire Burning, the first chapter of which was selected by Benjamin Percy as the winner of The New School’s Graduate Writing Program Chapbook Contest, and was published by The New School Chapbook Series. Email:

 For MFA alumni only. To register, please email

About The Author


Founded in Greenwich Village in 1931, Creative Writing at The New School continues to promote, engender, and shape innovative literature.