Blazing Laptops June 8: Join the Marathon or Support a Writer

Our Instructors

Did you take a class awhile ago by “That One Guy, He Was Great, What Was His Name?” Or maybe you’re interested in taking a class and want to read up on the possibilities? Peruse our library of talented instructors.


Drusilla Campbell

Drusilla Campbell is the author of more than 16 published novels. Her recent works include the best-selling Bone Lake and Blood Orange and the critically acclaimed Wildwood, Edge of the Sky and most recently, The Good Sister. Critics and fans describe her novels as “piercing” and “intense.” They “surprise and capture” with characters so real you’ll want to “call them up and invite them to coffee.” Before she started school she had crossed the Pacific Ocean three times. In her twenties she lived in Europe and Central America. Today she’s happy to stay at home in San Diego with her husband, the attorney and poet Art Campbell, two rescued dogs, and four horses. An in-demand teacher and lecturer, Drusilla is the creator of NovelCram, a weekend boot camp for fiction writers and has taught and mentored writers in San Diego for more than twenty years (including classes on the Novel and Science Fiction/Fantasy Writing for San Diego Writers, Ink where she was the Board President).

Mark A. Clements

markclementsMark A. Clements has been leading read and critique groups at the Southern California Writer’s Conference since 1989, and at the La Jolla Writer’s Conference since its inception. He believes that the best results come with a group managed with loose reins, humor, and an emphasis on the positive.

Carlos de los Rios

Carlos de los Rios is a working screenwriter and producer who has written acclaimed films for Academy Award winners Lauren Bacall, Harvey Fierstein, Elliot Gould and others.  Carlos has worked on over 30 films and has written and/or produced 7 films.  Carlos lectures throughout California and is a sought after script doctor, writing coach and story consultant.

Mona de Vestel

Bio_shot1Mona de Vestel is a writer, performer and professor. She has a BS in languages & linguistics from Georgetown University, a MPS in New Media (ITP) from NYU and a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She has nine years of experience teaching college creative writing. Mona’s work has been published in various journals and anthologies. She is the author of King Leopold’s Daughter a memoir; she is also at work on a novel One String Guitar about the Rwandan genocide. Mona recently performed in Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo – a show about tribal reconciliation in the Congo.


Margaret Dilloway

margaretMargaret Dilloway is the author of The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, Winner of the American Library Association’s Literary Tastes for Best Women’s Fiction; How to Be an American Housewife; and the upcoming Sisters of Heart and Snow, all from Putnam Books.

Marni Freedman

Marni Freedman is a produced, published and award winning writer. After graduating as an award winning student from the USC School of Filmic Writing, Marni began her career with her play, “Two Goldsteins on Acid,” which was produced in Los Angeles.  She worked as a script doctor for Fox Searchlight, Disney, and other film companies and worked as a script agent for the Mary Sue Seymour Agency.  One of her plays was made into a film, “Playing Mona Lisa,” and was produced by Disney. She has published articles in several magazines and online sites, worked as a ghost writer for a “how to” book series and is currently in demand as a book editor and script doctor.  Currently, around San Diego, you can find Marni teaching writing workshops at San Diego Writers, Ink, UCSD Extension and running the popular San Diego Screenwriter’s group, The Writer’s Circle.

T. Greenwood

TGreenwood-nov-20111_200x2781T. Greenwood is the author of six novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. Two Rivers was named Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards last year. Four of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks; This Glittering World is a January 2011 selection. She teaches creative writing at both UCSD’s Extension Program and at The Ink Spot. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA with their two daughters. She is also an aspiring photographer. More information on T. Greenwood can be found at her website: and her blog:

Lisa Kessler

Lisa Kessler has published multiple short stories in print anthologies and magazines.  Her vampire short story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award and has been reprinted in the Dead Souls anthology by Morrigan Books.  After meeting Ray Bradbury she took up his challenge to write 52 Short Stories in 52 Weeks and one of the stories grew into her novel, Moonlight, became a finalist in the Kensington/RT Writing with the Stars contest.

Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Fantasy-SciFi-Horror and the Hearts Through History for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.

Steve Kowit

Steve Kowit was born in Brooklyn and moved to San Diego over twenty-five years ago, where he teaches at Southwestern College. He earned his BA from Brooklyn College, his MA from San Francisco State College, and his MFA from Warren Wilson College. In addition to authoring several books of his own poetry, he has edited a poetry anthology, The Maverick Poets; written several works on the subject of writing poetry, including the highly praised In the Palm Of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop. He is distinguished by his many awards for poetry, some of which include the National Endowment Fellowship in Poetry, two Pushcart Prizes, the Atlanta Review Poetry Prize, the Ouroboros Book Award, the 2006 Tampa Review Poetry Prize, and most recently the San Diego Theodore Geisel Award. His collection of poems, The Dumbbell Nebula, was a San Francisco Chronicle’s Notable Book of the Year, and his most recent books of poems, Gods of Rapture and The First Noble Truth have attracted rapt attention and praise from reviewers.

Jennifer Lane

jenniferlaneJennifer Lane received her MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University, and her BA with a focus in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work includes Harlowe (developed under the mentorship of Sarah Ruhl, winner of the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at Singers Forum); The Seer and the Witch (nuVoices for a nuGeneration Festival 2013, Nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Sue Nims Distinguished Playwriting Award, a Semifinalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference);Psychomachia (recipient of the Gatsby Grant); The Would-Be Room (performed in New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C.)and Convergence (premiered at the soloNOVA Festival); Her short plays have been workshopped with Anne Bogart, and performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre, LiveGirls! Theatre, the Culture Project Women Center Stage Festival, and at the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival. Jenny is the Administrative Director for the League of Professional Theatre Women and a Teaching Artist with the Playwrights Project. For more information, visit

Thomas Larson

Thomas Larson is the author of Memoir and the Memoirist and, most recently, The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” He writes personal essays, memoir, nonfiction, and music and literary criticism. He is also the editor of A Year in Ink, the Ink Spot’s first anthology in 2008. He is a contributing writer for the San Diego Reader where, since 1999, he has specialized in narrative nonfiction and profiles. Larson’s work has appeared in many literary magazines and journals, among them The Missouri Review, The Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Antioch Review, Agni, Counterpunch, Chicago Reader, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and New Letters Anchor Essay Annual: The Best of 1997.


Kyle Minor

kyleKyle Minor is the author of two collections of stories:  In the Devil’s Territory (2008) and Praying Drunk (forthcoming, 2014). He is the winner of the 2012 Iowa Review Prize for Short Fiction and the Tara M. Kroger Prize for Short Fiction, one of Random House’s Best New Voices of 2006,and a three-time honoree in the Atlantic Monthly contest. His work has appeared online at Esquire, Salon, and Tin House, and in print in The Southern Review, The Iowa Review, Best American Mystery Stories 2008, Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers, Forty Stories: New Voices from Harper Perennial, and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013.

Laura Preble

Laura Preble has published three young adult novels (Queen Geek Social Club, Queen Geeks in Love, Prom Queen Geeks) with Penguin/Berkley Jam. She is the recipient of a Kurt Vonnegut Fiction Prize, and has had work published in the North American Review, Writer’s Digest, and other magazines. She’s a blogger for and has her own blog at

Judy Reeves

Judy Reeves is a writer, teacher and writing practice provocateur whose books include A Writer’s Book of Days; Writing Alone, Writing Together; A Creative Writer’s Kit and The Writer’s Retreat Kit. Other works include two plays written with the Second Story Writers, a women’s writing ensemble; and a chapbook of poetry, The Kind of Woman She Is. Her nonfiction work has appeared in the San Diego Reader and Personal Journaling magazine where she was a columnist for three years. In addition to leading private writing workshops, Judy teaches creative writing at UCSD Extension and speaks at writing conferences internationally. She is a board member of San Diego Writers, Ink. A Tenth Anniversary edition of A Writer’s Book of Days was released recently.

Janene Roberts

janeneJanene Roberts has planned media for top ad agencies in San Diego on projects for companies like Metabolife, The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Omni Hotels, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, National City Mile of Cars and a long list of others.  She self-published a guide to wineries and promoted it herself with sales and distribution of over 5,000 copies–all with little or no promotional budget.  She is a part-time staff member of San Diego Writers, Ink and can often be found at food and wine events, playing volleyball at Mission Bay or hovered over her computer at coffee houses around town working on her memoir.

Jim Ruland

Jim Ruland is the recipient of numerous awards, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a scholarship from Bread Loaf. He is the curator for the LA-based reading series Vermin on the Mount, a freelance book reviewer for the Los Angeles Times, and the author of the short story collection, Big Lonesome. Find out more at Jim’s website: Big Lonesome.

Lisa Shapiro

Lisa Shapiro is the author of three published novels as well as numerous published short stories. Her most recent book, co-authored with Deborah Reed, is The Chamber and the Cross. To research this book, Lisa and Deborah explored the English countryside, walked historic battlegrounds, studied the procedures for exhuming human remains and visited dozens of English manors, castles and medieval ruins. Lisa teaches creative writing at Grossmont College.

Jennifer Silva Redmond

Jennifer Silva Redmond is Editor-in-Chief of Sunbelt Publications, an award-winning small press, and was prose editor for the San Diego Writer’s Ink Anthology A Year in Ink, Vol 3. Co-founding editor of the critically-acclaimed Sea of Cortez Review (1998-2001), Redmond joined Sunbelt, an independent publisher, as Acquisitions Editor in 2000, and was named Editor-in-Chief in 2004. Also an author, she has sold stories, poetry, and essays to many publications and was featured in Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature. She enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and guiding both well-known and first-time authors through the acquisition, editing, and production of their books, and is on the staff of the Southern California Writers conference. Her website and blog is

Tim West

Tim West has been a San Diego-based  theatre artist for more than 25 years. He is a noted actor with 40+ area professional credits in theatres from Lambs Players to ion. As a playwright, he has had more than a dozen of his plays produced, including multiple works commissioned by both Scripps Ranch Theatre and Sledgehammer Theatre, as well as one by the San Diego Zoo. He has taught writing for general audiences at Cygnet Theatre and the resident ensemble master class at Sledgehammer as well as for the talented kids of San Diego Junior Theatre, kids building skills at San Diego City Schools, and adult speakers of English as a Second Language. These techniques are universally effective in freeing the writer’s voice in each of us. Tim draws from a variety of sources, but his techniques are based primarily in the communal work of Obie Award winner Deb Margolin, with whom he studied the Audrey Skirball- Kenis Foundation in Los Angeles. Tim is a graduate of San Diego State University.

If you are interested in teaching a class or workshop with San Diego Writers, Ink, please contact


Instructors who have worked for us in the past:

Sydney Brown

Sydney Brown is the Co-Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Grossmont College where she has been teaching creative writing for over ten years. Currently she facilitates a popular poetry-writing workshop. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Sonoma ReviewSouthern Anthologytwo girls reviewHawaii Pacific ReviewredSunshine/NoirHOW2: Contemporary Innovative Writing Practices by Women, and Hunger and Thirst.

Sydney believes that most writers need other writers for inspiration, constructive criticism, and camaraderie; she looks forward to working in The Ink Spot’s intimate setting with a small group of serious poets.

Christopher Canaan

Christopher Canaan won an Emmy with Michael Mann for the mini-series, “Camerena: Drug Wars.” He has written and produced movies and mini-series for CBS, NBC, ABC, The Family Channel, Fox, USA, Show Time, Hallmark and Starz Encore, including “Cries Unheard,” with Hillary Swank, “Robinson Crusoe,” starring Pierce Brosnan, and Dashiell Hammett’s “The House On Turk Street,” starring Samuel L. Jackson. Additionally, he has scribed “Gabriel’s Fire,” starring James Earl Jones, and was co-creator of the CBS series, “Walker Texas Ranger.” His screen adaptations include the works of works of Elmore Leonard, Anne Rice and Robert Ludlum. In summer 2008 The Lifetime Network aired his current film, “Little Girl Lost.” Canaan holds an MFA in Theater from University of California San Diego. He has performed in regional theater at the Old Globe Theater, the Los Angeles Music Center and the professional repertory companies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Dartmouth College, and Tufts University. For the last several years, Canaan has taught screenwriting for the Writers Program at UCLA Extension and lectured at various universities, including University of California, Berkeley and California Lutheran University. Canaan is a member of the faculty at the Academy of Cinema in Athens, Greece where he taught the Michael Chekhov Technique and creative writing. He currently teaches screenwriting for National University.

Seth Combs

A native of the south, Seth Combs has been freelance writing for almost a decade. His work has been published in magazines such as SpinMen’s Health and The Sun. Over that time he’s also been the Arts & Culture editor at San Diego CityBeat, the Associate Editor at Riviera Magazine, and most recently, the Editor in Chief of Pacific San Diego and Nouveh magazine.

Billie Dee

Billie Dee is the former Poet Laureate of the U.S. National Library Service. A multi-media artist and writer, Billie is especially interested in haiku and related forms, as well as “main-stream” lyric poetry. She publishes both online and off. Webportal:

Lisa Fugard

Lisa Fugard is the author of Skinner’s Drift, a NY Times Notable Book of 2006, a finalist for the LA Times First Fiction Award, and the runner up for the 2007 Dayton Literary Peace Prize.  Her short stories have been anthologized and featured on “Selected Shorts on NPR.  She has written numerous travel articles and book reviews for the New York Times, and is the recipient of a 2009 fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.

Chantal Gordon

Chantal Gordon is the San Diego style and shopping editor for NBC Universal’s national lifestyle site, She got her start as Vogue’s West Coast Assistant, planning photo shoots (including one of the first-ever stories about Rodarte), assisting Andre Leon Talley during the Oscars, and scouting rising-star designers. She’s the former associate editor for Riviera magazine in San Diego — where she covered local and national trends, boutiques, and designers — and has written for NylonWWDTeen Vogue, and C.

Ryan Griffith

Ryan Griffith received an MA degree in Creative Nonfiction from Fresno State and an MFA degree in Creative Writing from San Diego State.  His stories and poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines such as San Diego Citybeat, and received numerous awards, including the 1997 Editor’s Choice prize for best fiction in The Beacon Street Review and an Honorable Mention award in the 1995 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest.  Most recently, he was a contributor to The Lounge on KPBS radio. He teaches Creative Creative Writing at Grossmont College.

Ken Kuhlken

After borrowing time from his youthful passions, such as baseball, golf, romance, and trying to make music, to earn degrees in literature and writing from San Diego State University and the University of Iowa, Ken Kuhlken got serious (more or less).

Since then, his stories have appeared in Esquire and dozens of other magazines, and anthologies, been honorably mentioned in Best American Short Stories, and earned a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has been a frequent contributor and a columnist for the San Diego Reader.

With Alan Russell, in Road Kill and No Cats, No Chocolate, he has chronicled the madness of book promotion tours.

Ken’s novels are Midheaven, chosen as finalist for the Ernest Hemingway Award for best first novel and the Tom Hickey California Century series:

The Loud AdiosSan Diego and Tijuana, 1943 (Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin’s Press Best First PI Novel); The Venus DealSan Diego, Mount Shasta, and Denver, 1942; The Angel Gang, Lake Tahoe and San Diego, 1950; The Do-Re-Mi, rural Northern California, 1972 (a January Magazine best book of 2006 and finalist for the 2006 Shamus Award); The Vagabond Virginsrural Baja California, 1979; The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, 1926. Visit his website:

In Writing and the Spirit, he offers a wealth of advice to writers and everyone looking for inspiration.

Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder/editor of the popular family travel blog,, and the author of the upcoming book, “The Travel Mamas Guide.” She is also a regular contributor to the TODAY Show travel blog on Her articles have appeared in such print publications as Parenting MagazineSan Diego Family Magazine, and 101 Things To Do San Diego.


James Meetze

James Meetze’s book Dayglo was selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and published by Ahsahta Press. He is also the author of I Have Designed This For You (2007), and editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010). The recipient of the 2001 Poet Laureate Award from the University of California, he has taught poetry and creative writing at the University of California, San Diego, California State University, San Marcos, and in the MFA Program at National University. He lives in San Diego with his wife and son.


Naia is a fifth generation native Californian. She attended college at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obisbo. Naia’s poetry and haiga have appeared in books, anthologies, e-journals, newsletters, and magazines in the U.S. and internationally. She belongs toa number of haiku and tanka poetry associations, is a long-standing member of the Southern California Haiku STudy Group (SCHSG), and is co-founder of Haiku San Diego. Naia edited two SCHSG Haiku Anthologies: above the tree line in 2008, and shell gathering in 2009. She currently serves as Haiku Society of America Regional Coordinator for California. Naia’s website, featuring some of her published work:

Susan Rich

Susan Rich is the author of three collections of poetry, The Alchemist’s Kitchen (2010), Cures Include Travel (2006), and The Cartographer’s Tongue / Poems of the World (2000) which won the PEN Award for Poetry. She has received awards The Times Literary Supplement, Peace Corps Writers and the Fulbright Foundation. Her appearances include the Cuirt Literary Festival in Galway, Ireland and the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia. Recent poems have been published in The New England Review, Harvard Review, Poetry International, TriQuarterly and The Southern Review. Although born a Bostonian, she has recently been included as a New Poet of the American West – happily so. Visit her website:

Kelly Sonnack

Kelly Sonnack is a Literary Agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and represents all realms of children’s literature. In picture books, Kelly looks for a good sense of humor, stories that stretch a young reader’s imagination, and an authentic voice. In young adult and middle grade fiction, she appreciates literary voices and character-driven stories with heart but is also drawn to dystopian fantasy and well-crafted fantasy. In non-fiction for children, she enjoys projects that inspire and stimulate the minds of our younger generations. Kelly also represents character-driven graphic novels. Some of the recent and upcoming titles Kelly has represented include: Steve Watkins’ 2009 SCBWI Golden Kite Winner Down Sand Mountain and his upcoming YA entitled Goat Girl (both with Candlewick); Neil Johnson & Joel Chin’s The Falling Raindrop (Tricycle Press); Candace Ryan’s picture books Animal House and her upcoming Ribbit Rabbit (both with Walker); and James Burks’ graphic novel Gabby and Gator (Hachette/Yen Press).

Tom Spanbauer

Tom Spanbauer is the author of four novels including In the City of Shy Hunters, and the beloved classic, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon. Tom’s most recent novel, Now is the Hour, was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and Publishers Weekly chose it as one of the best 100 books of 2006. About Now is the Hour, Natalie Goldberg said, “There is no one like Tom Spanbauer writing in America. I dare you to read this and still hold onto the old way you see the world.” A new edition of Tom’s first novel, Faraway Places, has recently been released by Hawthorne Books.

Robin Tung

Robin Tung’s writing has appeared in Daily Serving, INK Magazine, The Labletter, The Montreal Review, NANO Fiction, Sugar House Review, Surface Magazine, The San Diego Reader, This Recording, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her honors include the 2006 Milton A. Saier Award in Fiction from UC-San Diego, a 2011 Pushcart Prize nomination, and a 2012 honorable mention from the New Millenium Writings Award. She earned her MFA from Johns Hopkins University and teaches writing in San Diego.

Nicole Vollrath

Nicole Vollrath earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College in Boston. She served as prose editor for the literary journal Beacon Street Review, director of Phone-A-Poem, and as a reader for Ploughshares and Agni. She regularly teaches at UCSD Extention, and serves on the board of San Diego Writers, Ink. Nicole also hosts Room to Write, the writer’s answer to Study Hall–a quiet time to write in community with other members of San Diego Writers, Ink. Every first and third Sunday at The Ink Spot.