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Advisory Board

Mia Ayumi Malhotra
Marisa Catalina Casey
Grant Faulkner
Lee Kravetz
Hannah Michell

Mia Ayumi Malhotra


Mia Ayumi Malhotra is the author of Mothersalt (Alice James Books, forthcoming 2025) and Isako Isako, California Book Award finalist and winner of the Nautilus Gold Award, Alice James Award, National Indie Excellence Award, and Maine Literary Award. Her chapbook Notes from the Birth Year won the Bateau Press BOOM Contest, and her work has been recognized internationally with the Hawker Prize for Southeast Asian Poetry and the Singapore Poetry Prize. She is a Kundiman Fellow and founding member of The Ruby SF, a gathering space for women and nonbinary artists.


Mia's poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Yale Review, Indiana Review, and Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience.

Helena Brantley


Helena Brantley is a communications professional in the publishing industry who specializes in promoting non-fiction books by scholars, subject experts, and publishers. After managing publicity campaigns for HarperCollins and Nolo Press, Helena began promoting books independently in 2010. Red Pencil Publicity + Marketing is a Company of One where Helena collaborates with a hand-selected team of independent subcontractors, including graphic designers, editors, writers, and researchers, to create effective promotional campaigns. Helena is a proud native of New Jersey, having lived in Fort Lee, Princeton, and Paterson. She began her career at public relations and marketing agencies in New York City and Washington, DC. Helena currently resides in Alameda, CA with her husband and two daughters.

Marisa Catalina Casey


Marisa Catalina Casey writes about young people struggling to fit in when they have not yet found a place to belong. For twenty years, she worked in nonprofit management and mission-based marketing communications amplifying the stories of individuals and organizations working to eradicate modern-day slavery, diversify the tech sector, and promote education for a socially just world. She’s been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, Executive Director of the community-based arts center Starting Artists in Brooklyn, and Co-Director of the Teen Ink Summer Writing Program in New York City and London. A current Las Musas Books Hermana, her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, The Providence Journal, UMass Amherst College of Education Magazine, Brown University Alumni Magazine, The Peace Corps Times, and Columbia University’s TC Today. Marisa lives in Berkeley, CA with her family where she is editing her debut middle grade and young adult novels.

Grant Faulkner


Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. 


He recently published The Art of Brevity: Crafting the Very Short Story. Other books include Fissures, a collection of 100-word stories; All the Comfort Sin Can Provide; Nothing Short Of: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story; and Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative MojoGrant's stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including Tin House, The Southwest Review, and The Gettysburg Review. His essays on creativity have been published in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, Writer’s Digest, and The WriterListen to his podcast Write-minded and subscribe to his newsletter Intimations: A Writer's Discourse.

Laleh Khadivi 


Laleh Khadivi is a novelist, essayist and short story writer. Her projects include The Kurdish Trilogy, a series of books that follows the fate of three generations of Kurdish-Iranian men as they leave the land of their tribe and take on new identities in the rest of the world. The first book in the series, The Age of Orphans, received the Whiting Award for Fiction, the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, and was long listed for the Dublin IMPAC award. Laleh is the recipient of a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Grant, a Pushcart Prize and the Stein Visiting Writer Fellowship at Stanford. Her work has appeared in the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, VQR, Stranger's Guide, and Lithub, among others. She lives in Oakland and is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco MFA program. 

Lee Kravetz

Lee Kravetz is the author of the national bestselling novel The Last Confessions of Sylvia P., as well as acclaimed nonfiction, Strange Contagion and SuperSurvivors. He has written for print and television, including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Psychology Today, The Daily Beast, The San Francisco Chronicle, and PBS. He lives in Berkeley.

Hannah Michell

Hannah Michell is a writer and lecturer based in Berkeley and is the author of The Defections (Quercus, 2014) and Excavations (One World, 2023). Her short stories and essays have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Mslexia, and the Asian Review of Books.


Hannah teaches at UC Berkeley in the Asian American and Asian Diasporas program.

Rachel Richardson
Shanthi Sekaran

Kate O'Shaughnessy

Kate O'Shaughnessy is a book nerd, animal lover, former chef, and an outdoor enthusiast. Her three middle grade novels are The Lonely Heart of Maybelle LaneLasagna Means I Love You, and the forthcoming The Wrong Way Home


When she’s not writing, you can find Kate in her garden, eating good food, hiking with her dog, and chronically mispronouncing words she’s read but never heard said aloud. She lives in California with her family.

Rachel Richardson

LML Co-founder Rachel Richardson is the author of two books of poetry, Copperhead and Hundred-Year Wave, both selections in the Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford University. Her poetry and prose appear in The New York Times, Guernica, New England Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.


Rachel earned an MFA from the University of Michigan and an MA in Folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has taught creative writing to elementary school kids, incarcerated adults, and university students around the country. She currently teaches as a Distinguished Visiting Writer in the MFA program at St. Mary's College. Rachel is a Berkeley native and, after 18 years away, now lives half a mile from where she was born. 

David Roderick


LML Co-founder and Director David Roderick has published two poetry collections, Blue Colonial (Winner of the APR/Honickman Prize) and The Americans (Winner of the Julie Suk Award). David’s writing has been awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

David has taught creative writing and literature classes at Stanford, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and most recently at the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he was an Associate Professor in Creative Writing. He serves as the Director of Content for The Adroit Journal

Shanthi Sekaran


Shanthi Sekaran is a novelist and television writer. Her most recent adult novel, Lucky Boy, was named an Indie Next Great Read, an Amazon Editor's Pick and a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Barnes & Noble, Library Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and Salon.


In 2021, Shanthi's middle grade debut, The Samosa Rebellion, won the Northern California Book Award and was named an Amazon Editor's Pick for readers aged 9-13. Her second middle grade novel, Boomi's Boombox, came out in Spring 2023. She recently wrapped up her work on the acclaimed NBC medical drama, "New Amsterdam". She lives in Berkeley, California with her family and a cat named Frog.

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Father’s Day (Copper Canyon, 2019), as well as the prose books Why Poetry (Ecco, 2017) and Story of a Poem (Unnamed, 2023). He is editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations.


From 2016-7 Matthew held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine, and was the Editor of Best American Poetry 2022. He teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California.


We choose our faculty for their excellent teaching as well as their writing and publishing accomplishments. All of our instructors have published books and/or won major awards in the genre in which they teach. 

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