I have an MFA in film from New York University and a diploma in Advanced Creative Writing: Nonfiction from Cambridge University.
I've taught English 201: The Art of the Personal Essay, optioned original screenplays to Hollywood studios, worked as a writer-for-hire for Academy Award winning producers and DGA-award winning directors, and as a treatment writer on thousands of commercials.
I freelance as an Assistant Editor for short form and flash literary nonfiction journals, like Brevity and Creative Nonfiction, and publish essays in magazines like Insider, Under the Gum Tree, Brevity Blog, and Longridge Review.
My diverse background in visual, dramatic, and literary art allows me to look at your story through a wide lens of possibility and scale.
Narrative nonfiction depends on a search for what is already there.
I will help you develop a narrative arc organically drawn from real events. We then incorporate your research to flesh out the world of the story.
Your unique voice and visual imagination hold your research and investigation together.
Tell your story
• 2023 - 24: Granta Memoir Workshop: Unlocking Memory & Shaping Experience (UK)
Memoir with Midge Gillies
• 2022: Kenyon Review Summer Online Workshop
Creative Non-Fiction with Lia Purpura, Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint, Anne-Marie Oomen
• 2022: Story Board - A Year-Long Class for Fact-Based Creative Projects
Creative Non-Fiction/Journalism with Lauren Markham & Chris Feliciano Arnold
• 2022: Arvon Foundation (UK)
Poetry: On Shame with Rachel Long and Richard Scott
• 2021: Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers Conference
Creative Non-Fiction with Sue William Silverman
• 2020: Curtis Brown Creative (UK)
Memoir Intensive with Cathy Rentzenbrink
Diploma in Advanced Creative Writing: Nonfiction
Cambridge University, UK.
Master of Fine Arts in Film
Tisch School of the Arts / New York University
Bachelor of Arts / Summa Cum Laude
Hunter College / City University of New York
I practice vinyasa yoga and do Crossfit, and I’m not athletic at all.
I played bass guitar and sang in a glam/grunge band called Runway Model.
I was in a hot tub with Oprah once, but I can’t get you a meeting with her.
The only truth you control is the truth you tell. Gimme some.
Besides looking at my artist statement, she helped me polish my writing sample by posing a simple question: What if you cut this down by one third, and made it into a love story? This gave me clarity as to where the heat was in my piece and made revising fun—as well as effective. I not only got into the workshops, but the essay was published soon after."
- Flávia Monteiro, Writer
The goal for my business proposal was to pull at the heart strings of investors. They see tons of sterile decks asking for support, and I wanted to put myself on paper, as if they were having a conversation with me. Michelle read an early draft in a Strategy Session and pointed out relevant details that could be expanded, as well as areas that needed research and data as back-up. She also considered how the text would work in a visual layout."
- Ras Langford Johnson, Entrepreneur
Whether it’s a personal essay in first or final draft, a pitch or book proposal, Michelle’s incisive questions and detailed comments guide and strengthen my work toward acceptance in literary magazines, newspapers, and book publication. Michelle helps me clarify my ideas and write the story in an artful way. She is not only an extraordinary writing coach but also a savvy marketer with her “ear to the ground” for publication opportunities. I highly recommend Michelle’s services.
- Carole Duff, Writer
Michelle not only became interested in the story, but was very passionate and personally invested in it. You could tell that she did thorough research before even having each meeting. She took incredible notes, jotted down a slew of great anecdotes, asked good questions. Michelle is always so detail oriented. She is meticulous about the sequence of events and how important each is to the story. I would highly recommend Michelle for any “based on a true story” projects.
- Grace Koo, Writer