Our Instructors

We have a great team of highly trained professional instructors who are themselves published writers and editors. Click on their names to view their full bio. Note: This is not a comprehensive list, and as we continually update this new site, more will be added. 


Andrea Vlahakis 



Karen Orfitelli 



Linda Brennan


Lori Mortensen



Michael Cooper



Pam Beres




Shirley Raye Redmond



Sue Ford


Susan Ludwig


Trinka Enell



Kris Franklin

Kris Franklin is a former English teacher who got his start writing freelance magazine articles. He eventually became a feature writer for a Colorado newspaper, specializing in fitness and outdoor activities. He has 100 short publishing credits, including many outdoor/humor pieces.
      His first novel, Silvercat, published by Bantam, was described as “an edge-of-the-seat thriller by an exciting new talent.” It was followed by The High San Juan.
      His most recent book, Relentless, was described by best-selling author Stephen Coonts as “...a damn good novel. Franklin can write suspense.” Another reviewer wrote, “(Franklin) just keeps getting better.”



 Tom Hyman

Tom Hyman was an articles editor at LIFE magazine and wrote articles for LIFE, The Saturday Evening Post, Argosy, Washington Post Book World, and New York Magazine. He also served as a senior editor at Atheneum, Doubleday, and G. P. Putnam’s.
      He has published six novels: Jupiter’s Daughter (Viking Penguin, 1994), Prussian Blue (Viking, 1991), Seven Days to Petrograd (Viking, 1988), Riches and Honor (Viking, 1985), The Russian Woman (St. Martins, 1983), and Giant Killer (Marek, 1981).
      Mr. Hyman also writes for film, and has completed a screen adaptation of his novel, Jupiter’s Daughter, for Paramount Pictures.


Donna Ippolito

Donna Ippolito has been writing, editing, and teaching others to write for more than 20 years.
      From 1985 to 2001, she was editor-in-chief at FASA Corporation, a Chicago publisher that packaged best-selling science fiction and fantasy novel lines for Penguin Books and Time-Warner. These included the popular BattleTech, Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and Vor series.
      Prior to that, Ms. Ippolito was an editor at the Swallow Press, a prestigious publisher of both literary and commercial titles. Writers published by Swallow include celebrated novelist Anaïs Nin; Jungian analyst Linda Leonard; futurist Robert Theobald; Zen poet Lucien Stryk; and distinguished anthropologist W. Y. Evans-Wentz. She also worked as a senior editor forConsumer Digest and was a founding editor of Black Maria, a quarterly journal of women’s writing. Today, she is a freelance editor whose clients include Powersuasions, Inc., Ohio University Press, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Publications International, and the American Library Association.
      Ms. Ippolito’s own fiction and articles include stories and reviews published in Sunday Clothes, East West Journal, Small Press Review, Journal of the West, and others. She has been listed in Contemporary Authors, Encyclopedia of Short Fiction Writers, and Poets & Writers. 


Lynne Smith

Three-time RITA Award nominee Lynne Smith, writing primarily as Lynn Michaels, has published 16 books for Avon, Dell, Fawcett, Harlequin, and Ballantine. Two were Regencies written as Jane Lynson; one was a paranormal romantic suspense written as Paula Christopher.    
      Ms. Smith’s latest release, Marriage By Design (Ballantine, 2006), was described by Fresh Fiction as “a great mystery with a perfect blend of romance and danger. Michaels writes with fun and flair.” It was named a Top Pick by Romantic Times magazine.
      Her other books include Honeymoon Suite (Ivy Books, 2005), called “…a well-told romp that will delight fans of Jenny Crusie’s Bet Me” by Booklist; and Mother of the Bride (Ivy Books, 2002), which won a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance of 2002. Publishers Weekly described it as a “humorous romantic comedy [that] warms the heart with its zany yet believable characters and snappy dialogue.”



Linda Triegel

Linda Triegel’s first foray into publishing began as a writer, with a short story that appeared in Yankee magazine. At about the same time, however, she discovered her affinity for editing, and spent five years as an editor of the New Book of Knowledge.
      Her first novel, a Regency romance called My Lord Guardian (Walker & Company, 1982), was published under her pen name, Elisabeth Kidd. Kirkus Reviews described it as “airy and easy…with more frolics and quips than most of the genre.”
      She subsequently completed eight more romances under her Elisabeth Kidd pen name. Lady Lu (Walker, 1990) was described by Booklist as a “highly entertaining, intelligent romance [that] stands above the crowd…a satisfying story.”
      In addition to books, Ms. Triegel has published numerous travel articles and newspaper features, as well as a long-running theater review column for her hometown newspaper. She has also taught literature at the college level and participated in writers’ workshops in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She continues to freelance as an editor.


Carolyn Wheat 

Carolyn Wheat’s first mystery, Dead Man’s Thoughts (St. Martin’s Press, 1983; Dell, 1984; Berkley Prime Crime, 1996), was nominated for an Edgar award by the Mystery Writers of America.
      A practicing lawyer at the time, she based her series detective, Cass Jameson, on her own life as a defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York. Five books followed, and the fourth, Mean Streak (Berkley Prime Crime, 1996), which Kirkus Reviews called “dazzlingly plotted,” was also nominated for an Edgar.
      Ms. Wheat’s short stories have also won awards and critical acclaim. “Accidents Will Happen” (Malice Domestic 5, Pocket Books, 1996) won both the Agatha and Macavity awards. “Love Me for My Yellow Hair Alone” (Marilyn: Shades of Blonde, Tor Books, 1997) won the Shamus award. Her single-author collection of short stories, Tales Out of School (Crippen and Landru, 2000), was nominated for an Anthony Award.