Instructors
2025 Workshop Leaders

Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels, including The Book of Aron, and five story collections, including most recently The World to Come and Like You’d Understand, Anyway, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won The Story Prize. His short fiction has appeared in, among other magazines, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, One Story, The Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Tin House, the New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope: All Story, and Playboy, and five of his stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories, two for the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and one for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at Williams College.

Dani Shapiro is the author of eleven books, and the host and creator of the hit podcast Family Secrets. Her most recent novel, Signal Fires, was named a best book of 2022 by Time MagazineWashington PostAmazon, and others, and is a national bestseller. Her most recent memoir, Inheritance, was an instant New York Times Bestseller, and named a best book of 2019 by ElleVanity FairWired, and Real Simple. Dani’s work has been published in fourteen languages and she’s currently developing Signal Fires for its television adaptation. Dani’s book on the process and craft of writing, Still Writing, was reissued on the occasion of its tenth anniversary in 2023.

Ruth Ozeki is a writer, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest, whose novels have been translated and published in over thirty-five countries, garnering international critical acclaim for their ability to integrate issues of science, technology, religion, environmental politics and global pop culture into unique, hybrid, narrative forms. Her most recent novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness, won the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Massachusetts Book Prize, among others. Her novel, A Tale for the Time Being won the LA Times Book Prize and was a finalist for the 2013 Booker Prize and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. Her nonfiction work includes a memoir, The Face: A Time Code, and the documentary film, Halving the Bones. A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Ruth was ordained as a priest in 2010 and received dharma transmission from her teacher, Norman Fischer, in 2023. She is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foun­dation. She is Professor Emerita of English Language & Literature at Smith College, where she was the Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities. In 2024, she was the Margaret Bundy Scott Distinguished Visiting Professor at Williams College.

Rumaan Alam is the author of four novels: Entitlement, Leave the World Behind — a finalist for the National Book Award — That Kind of Mother, and Rich and Pretty. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. He’s taught at Columbia University, Pace University, been an instructor at the Aspen Summer Words Writing Conference, and led master classes with A Public Space and Chicago’s StoryStudio.

2025 Additional Instructors

Karen Shepard is a Chinese-American born and raised in New York City.  She is the author of four novels, An Empire of WomenThe Bad Boy’s WifeDon’t I Know You?,  The Celestialsand the collection of stories, Kiss Me Someone.  Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic MonthlyTin House, and Ploughshares, among others.  Her nonfiction has appeared in MoreSelfUSA Today, and the Boston Globe, among others.  She teaches writing and literature at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where she lives with her husband, novelist Jim Shepard, and their three children.

Michael Maren is a former  journalist and current filmmaker. He has worked for The Village Voice, and New York Magazine and contributed to The New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, and The New Republic among other publications. He is the author of The Road to Hell, which The New Yorker has labeled “the seminal critique of foreign aid.” As a filmmaker he has written scripts for HBO, Sony Pictures and Killer Films. He wrote and directed A Short History of Decay and his most recent film, Shriver, stars Michael Shannon, Kate Hudson, Don Johnson, Zach Braff, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. It was released in March 2023.

Hannah Tinti is the author of the bestselling novel The Good Thief, which won The Center for Fiction’s first novel prize, and the story collection Animal Crackers, a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her latest novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, is a national bestseller and is in development with Netflix. She teaches creative writing at New York University’s MFA program and co-founded the Sirenland Writers Conference. Tinti is also the co-founder and executive editor of One Story magazine, which won the AWP Small Press Publisher Award, CLMP’s Firecracker Award, and the PEN/Magid Award for Excellence in Editing.

Past Instructors
& Guest Speakers

  • André Aciman
  • Mia Alvar
  • Jennifer Finney Boylan
  • Peter Cameron
  • Ron Carlson
  • Alexander Chee
  • Scott Cheshire
  • Susan Choi
  • Anthony Doerr
  • Andre Dubus III
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Kate Gray
  • Andrew Sean Greer
  • Mira Jacob
  • Brad Kessler
  • Nam Le
  • Krys Lee
  • Sarah Manguso
  • Daniel Mendelsohn
  • Liz Moore
  • Susan Orlean
  • Karen Russell
  • Richard Russo
  • Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
  • John Burnham Schwartz
  • Dalia Sofer
  • Dana Spiotta
  • Jess Walter
  • Meg Wolitzer
  • Tobias Wolff
  • Lila Azam Zanganeh