If you choose to take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll meet with your editor and receive detailed feedback on your work and ideas for how to take it to the next level. We'll do our best to match you up with somebody who really understands what you're doing and can provide direct and helpful advice.
How much feedback should you expect? You’ll be in touch with your editor beforehand via email, and the two of you can decide what might be the best use of your time together. You could focus on one particular story/poem/essay and really dig into it, and then revise and jump back in, or you could work on two separate pieces, or something you’ve written during camp, or something totally different we haven’t thought of yet.
Like everything else, this is optional. If you're at the point in your writing where you'd rather just have time to write and don't really feel like you need an editor weighing in on your work, that is totally cool with us.
Following is a preliminary list of editors. We'll be adding Visiting Writers and Editors in here as we get closer to the summer.
writer CAmp Staff
Sam Ashworth, Fiction, Nonfiction
Sam Ashworth is an assistant fiction editor at Barrelhouse, but he edits both fiction and nonfiction. He's a regular contributor to the Washington Post Magazine and Eater.com, and his fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in Hazlitt, NYLON, Barrelhouse, Catapult, the Times Literary Supplement, and the Brooklyn Rail. He writes the semi-regular "Dispatches from the Swamp" column for The Rumpus, and his travel writing has appeared in Roads and Kingdoms. He lives in Washington, DC, and teaches creative writing at George Washington University. You can find out more about him at samuelashworth.com.
Working with Sam: "I love working with writers on short or long fiction, or nonfiction--especially anything that involves research or reporting. I tend to emphasize theatricality and audience awareness in prose writing of any genre, i.e., how can you make sure that what you're writing is actually landing with a reader? I'm happy to go line-by-line on a story, or just set down by the water and spend an hour talking about your project on a much more macro level, and digging into resources that might help you. I should say, though, I'm not the right guy for flash. Flash intimidates me."
Sam will attend August camp.
Camp Coordinator, Fiction
Becky Barnard is the Barrelhouse production manager. She holds the whistle and carries the clipboard during camp - if you have a question, need anything, or just want to grab a beer and chat by the fire, find her. She is the co-author of the YA sci-fi novel The Greys (Pandamoon Publishing), written with fellow Barrelhouse editor Dave Housley.
Becky lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she fights off cabin fever by reading, self-propelling sporting equipment around the outdoors, and consuming gallons of pop culture and bourbon.
Becky will attend both camps.
Christina Beasley, Poetry
Christina Beasley is a poet and public servant in Washington, D.C. She is pursuing her M.F.A. in Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars and received her M.A. from Georgetown University. She is one of the poetry editors of Barrelhouse magazine. Her poems have or will appear in Copper Nickel, Hobart, Atlanta Review, Bridge Eight, The Pinch, The Southampton Review, and other publications. Her full-length manuscript was a finalist in the 2019 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.
Christina will attend August camp.
Tyrese Coleman, Fiction, Nonfiction
Tyrese L. Coleman is a writer, wife, mother, attorney, and writing instructor. She is the author of the story/memoir collection "How to Sit." She is also an associate editor at SmokeLong Quarterly, an online journal dedicated to flash fiction. An essayist and fiction writer, her prose has appeared in several publications, including Amazon's Day One, Catapult, Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, and forthcoming at the Kenyon Review. She is an alumni of the Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University, the Tin House and Virginia Quarterly Review writer's workshops, and a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. Reach her at tyresecoleman.com.
Tyrese will attend August camp.
Lilly Dancyger is the Memoir Editor of Narratively, a Contributing Editor and Writing Instructor at Catapult, and Assistant Books Editor at Barrelhouse. Her essays and journalism on sex, politics, and culture have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Rumpus, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, and more. She's the editor of Burn It Down, an anthology of essays on women's anger, forthcoming from Seal Press. Lilly is also at work on a memoir about her father's art and heroin addiction, and the legacy of both in her life.
Lilly will attend June camp.
Erin Fitzgerald, Fiction
Erin Fitzgerald is the author of the novella Valetta78 (Outpost 19), as well as"This Morning Will Be Different," which appeared in Shut Up/Look Pretty (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2012). Her work has also been published in Hobart, The Rumpus, Salt Hill, PANK, and several anthologies. She is the Web Editor for Barrelhouse. She lives in western Connecticut, and online at erinfitzgerald.work.
Working with Erin: “My job is to help you get the best out of the time you’ve carved out for yourself and your work. At previous Writer Camps, that’s included but hasn’t been limited to:
- reading work of any fiction genre, and offering whatever level of feedback you’d like
- suggesting online litmags to check out
- brainstorming the solving of stuck/block issues
- talking about navigating the writing world when one is a parent and/or a 9 to 5er
- commiserating on what a pain it is to come up with names for elves”
Erin will attend both camps.
Chris Gonzalez, Fiction
Chris Gonzalez is a fiction editor at Barrelhouse. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Split Lip Magazine, Pithead Chapel, Hobart, The Acentos Review, and elsewhere. He currently works at a publishing house in New York, and at night he self-medicates with episodes of The Great British Baking Show. You can visit him online at chris-gonzalez.com or follow him on Twitter @livesinpages.
Working with Chris: “The questions I most ask myself when revising are "Is this working?" and "Will anyone else get it?" and "Have I finally lost my mind?" During our editor meeting, I encourage you to bring those questions—the ones firing off in your head like airhorns while you write—to our session. Let's talk about them. This isn't a classroom workshop; there is no gag-rule. My goal here is to help you figure out how to get your writing to where you want it to be. And to reassure you that, no, you haven't lost your mind.”
Chris will attend both camps.
Siân Griffiths, Fiction
Siân Griffiths lives in Ogden, Utah, where she directs the Creative Writing Program at Weber State University. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Cincinnati Review, American Short Fiction (online), Ninth Letter, Quarterly West, Indiana Review, and The Rumpus, among other publications. Her short fiction has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, once by Versal and once by The Georgia Review, and her debut novel, Borrowed Horses (New Rivers Press), was a semi-finalist for the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Currently, she reads fiction as part of the editorial team at Barrelhouse. For more information, please visit sbgriffiths.com
Siân will attend August camp.
Dave Housley, Fiction
Dave Housley is the author of the novel This Darkness Got to Give, and co-author with Becky Barnard on the upcoming sci-fi YA novel The Greys. He has published four story collections: Massive Cleansing Fire, If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home, Commercial Fiction, and Ryan Seacrest is Famous. His work has appeared in Booth, Hobart, McSweeneys, Mid-American Review, Quarterly West, Wigleaf, and some other online and print magazines. He is one of the founding editors of Barrelhouse and co-founders of the Conversations and Connections writer's conference.
Working with Dave: I’m happy to work on a variety of things. I’ve written a paranormal crime novel, a sci-fi young adult novel (or half of one, with Becky), and four collections of increasingly strange short stories. I still think of myself mostly as a short story writer. I’m happy to dig in on a story and do a kind of intense but laid back one-on-one workshop. I’m happy talking about bigger picture projects, or publishing and writing and submitting your work or anything else in that general area.
Dave will attend both camps.
Joe Killiany, Fiction, Nonfiction
Joe Killiany is one of the founding fiction editors of Barrelhouse. He has taught Barrelhouse online workshops and teaches at George Mason University.
Joe will attend August camp.
Mike Ingram, Fiction, Nonfiction
Mike Ingram's stories and essays have appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including The North American Review, Phoebe, December, and EPOCH. He is the Books Editor for Barrelhouse. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, he now lives in Philadelphia, where he teaches at Temple University and co-hosts the weekly Book Fight podcast. You can visit him online at www.mikeingram.net.
Working with Mike: “I'm happy to dig in on a particular piece and offer workshop-style critique and suggestions, though I'm also happy to have more of a big-picture conversation about the direction of your work. Or a little of both! I can offer feedback on creative nonfiction and fiction, and I'm particularly interested in structure--how to locate the center of the story you want to tell, and how to shape it around that center. I'm also up for chatting about submitting your work, publishing, writing habits, etc.”
Mike will attend both camps.
Susan Muaddi Darraj's short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named the winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction; it also won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award. She was name a Ford Fellow by United States Artists in 2018. In January 2020, Capstone Books will launch her debut children’s chapter book series, Farah Rocks, the first to feature a Palestinian American lead character.
Susan will attend June camp.
Matt Perez, Fiction
Matt Perez is a fiction editor at Barrelhouse. He writes and publishes short prose sometimes but not enough. He likes the elderly, the out-of-doors, life's metaphorical roller coaster (but not actual roller coasters), a good party, live music, and his amazing and soulful friends at Barrelhouse and elsewhere. A former lecturer for the English Dept. at Penn State, he now lives in Ithaca. He also likes you just the way you are.
Working with Matt: “I believe good writing is complex, both emotionally and at the paragraph level, and each piece is struggling against itself — its intentions versus its shortcomings — to find its heart and reason for being, just like people. Which is to say it’s really hard to get it “right.” In my head I use an audio engineer analogy: I kind of like to look at the piece and play with the mixing board to try and figure out how to best balance a story without, like, telling your writing how to live its life or whatever.
The atmosphere at camp lends itself to a casual conversation about a project, and I tend to use moments on the page to highlight higher order moments that hold potential successes or shortcomings in the piece that can flow into the bigger conversation. Sometimes those moments are focused at the sentence level and sometimes they’re not. That said, I’ve been a writing instructor for 14 years or so and don’t mind getting down with your beast on the sentence level, but I prefer to do that via editing marks on the draft. Style and punctuation are tools to illuminate meaning and I don’t believe in all the rules when they apply themselves to artistic endeavor.
(Also I’ve been using the wrong dashes my whole life bc I like the way they look. Like here — check this out — doesn’t that look nicer than—I don’t know—that dash stuff right there?)”
Matt will attend June camp.