OUR STAFF

kate reuther author

Kate Reuther is the Founder and Director of Uptown Stories.  She has taught writing for over fifteen years, in both public and private schools, including Calhoun, Fieldston, and Bank Street.  Her own fiction has appeared in The Madison Review, Brain ChildSalamander, and The Ledge.  She has a BA in English from Yale and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  Kate is a life-long New Yorker and has been living in Washington Heights since 2003 with her husband and two boys.

Lydia Headshot

Lydia Villaronga is the Assistant Director of Uptown Stories. She’s been writing for about as long as she’s been able to hold a pencil and hopes to one day publish a science fiction novel. When she isn’t busy crafting her dystopia, you can find her with her amazing pit bull Fury at the dog run in Fort Tryon Park. Sharing much of Kate’s geographic origin story, Lydia is a native New Yorker and has been living in Washington Heights intermittently since 2009 after growing up on the Upper West Side.

Glendaliz Camacho , a Washington Heights native, has been writing for ten years, but making things up for much longer. She has been an Artist in Residence at several arts organizations including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She has taught workshops for Goodwill, the Central Queens YM & YHWA, Lanesboro Arts, BinderCon, and The Anderson Center, as well as online and out of her studio. Her work appears in The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women, All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color, The Brooklyn Rail, The Butter, and Kweli Journal, among others.

Bobby DeJesus the Actor/Screenwriter/Director was born to Dominican parents and raised in New York City’s Washington Heights.  He is a graduate of The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and is a practicing artist as well as a teaching artist.  His work as a screenwriter can be seen on YouTube in the short film comedy “Fifi Patelito Goes to the DMV” and soon on the film festival circuit with his directorial debut “Indentured Servant.” Bringing over thirteen years of experience in the teaching artist field, he is fosters confidence in his students to write and perform beyond their imagined abilities.   

Jane LeCroy is a poet, performance artist and educator who fronts the band The Icebergs and was a part of Sister Spit, the famed west coast women’s poetry troupe. Since 1997 Jane has been publishing student work and teaching writing, literature and performance to all ages through artist-in-the-schools organizations such as Teachers & Writers Collaborative and DreamYard, and as adjunct faculty at the university level. Her poetry book, Names was published by Booklyn as part of the award winning ABC chapbook series, purchased by the Library of Congress along with her braid!  Signature Play, her multimedia book from Three Rooms Press, features a poem that was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Josh Bayer is visual artist whose work has appeared in print, video, posters, and exhibitions internationally. His graphic novel Theth was featured in The Best American Comics 2015, and he is the editor and head writer for All Time Comics, a 2017 imprint from Fantagraphics Books.  He can be found in New York City in teaching to students at the 92st Y Art CenterParsons Illustration DepartmentJobPath and Visiting Nurses Services.

Shamie Cuthbert is a teacher, writer, and local mom. After teaching creative writing workshops for about a decade, she attended Bank Street College of Education, where she received a Master’s in Early Childhood and General Education. She has been teaching in New York City independent schools for the past five years. Passionate about both teaching and writing, her main focus is to enhance the natural creative abilities of children, while facilitating the development of skills and strategies to execute ideas. As a freelance writer, Shamie has published several social perspective pieces for the independent publication, Circle Magazine. She is currently working on a collection of New York City based short stories for children.

Monica Wendel’s first book, No Apocalypse, was selected by Bob Hicok as the winner of the Georgetown Review Press Poetry Manuscript Contest. She is also the author of three chapbooks, most recently English Kills, which won the Autumn House Press Coal Hill Review Chapbook Contest. She holds an MFA from New York University, where she was awarded Goldwater and Starworks teaching fellowships. After a brief stint in Orlando, Florida, as Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence, she is now an assistant professor of composition and creative writing at St. Thomas Aquinas College.

danica drawing

Danica Novgorodoff is an artist, writer, graphic designer, horse wrangler, and marathon runner who lives in New York when she’s not traveling the world. Her books include A Late Freeze, Slow StormRefresh, Refresh (included in Best American Comics 2011), and The Undertaking of Lily Chen. She has been an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Wildfjords Artist Residency, and Blue Mountain Center.

Zetta Elliott

Born in Canada, Zetta Elliott moved to the US in 1994. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and her plays have been staged in New York and Chicago. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. She is the author of over twenty-five books for young readers, including the award-winning picture book Bird. Elliott is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

Join Our Team

Uptown Stories, a federally approved non-profit creative writing program in Washington Heights, is hiring rock-star writing teachers to develop and lead new afterschool workshops. We are looking for teachers who write terrific curriculum, who are dynamic and engaging in the classroom, who are self-reliant and responsible, who can differentiate instruction for different ages and different abilities, who enjoy teaching middle-school aged kids (8-14), and who, most of all, feel passionate about the craft and the art of writing.  

We want our teachers to follow their passions, and we’re open to any genre or form — if you have a great idea, tell us about it. All classes should be structured primarily as workshops, where the students read and discuss each other’s writing, creating a community of young authors. Workshops meet on a ten-week cycle, with nine two-hour-long classes followed by a celebratory reading in the evening for friends and family.  To ensure our workshops are accessible to all children, families pay tuition at a self-determined rate, from $500 for full tuition to $1. 

Teachers are expected to help set up and break down the classroom space, to email weekly writing assignments to families and post them on the website, and to be available by email during the week for questions from students. Uptown Stories will handle enrollment, billing, space rental, and provide materials and snacks.

Applicants must have professional experience teaching and writing.
If you’re interested, please send a resume and description of your proposed workshop to Kate@UptownStories.org.
Thanks so much,
Kate Reuther

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