Photo by Sylvie Rosokoff, 2017

I have taught workshops, freelance writing classes, memoir seminars, and other courses for Mediabistro.com, NYU, Pratt Institute, The New School, Franklin & Marshall College, and Columbia University's School of the Arts and the Graduate School of Journalism.

I am currently an Assistant Professor of English and Director of Publishing Studies at Hofstra University, NY. I teach in the undergraduate creative writing and MFA programs and am Editor-in-Chief of Windmill: The Hofstra Journal of Literature & Art.

Current Classes:


Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Literarary Criticism


Intro to Creative Writing

The Essay

Life Writing

Writing & Publishing: An Overview

Publishing Studies Capstone

Past Classes:

Contemporary Literature of Loss & Longing | F&M College, Lancaster, PA

Advanced Writing Workshop (multi-genre) | F&M College, Lancaster, PA

Writing Nonfiction: Magazine Essays | F&M College, Lancaster, PA

Introduction to Creative Writing | F&M College, Lancaster, PA

Select Past Classes:

Book Seminar | Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, NYC

Advanced Memoir Class | Mediabistro.com, online

More Than Memoir | Columbia University, NYC 

Senior Nonfiction Workshop | Columbia University, NYC

Advanced Nonfiction Workshop | Columbia University, NYC

Intermediate Nonfiction Workshop | Columbia University, NYC

Structure + Style (multi-genre intro writing course) | Columbia University, NYC

Writer in the World | NYU Gallatin, NYC

Freelance Writing | NYU Gallatin, NYC

Art in the Everyday: Nonfiction Seminar | The New School, NYC

Master Class in Memoir | mediabistro, online

Character Development in Nonfiction | Summer Literary Festival, mediabistro, online

Mining For a Memoir: What's Your Story? | Summer Literary Festival, mediabistro, online


I work with writers on essays, book proposals and manuscripts on a consulting basis. I am happy to deliver whatever level of editing and guidance needed, from big-picture structural questions to line-editing to finalizing pitch letters. References available upon request. 


Is your book group reading Welcome to Shirley? I'd love to hear your thoughts and, time and location permitting, stop by for a visit!

I'm frequently asked to sit on panels, give talks, visit book clubs and speak on topics including Welcome to Shirley, memoir, essays, freelance writing, and more. Here are a few past talks and panels:

  • Profits & Losses Panel, 2012 Sundance Film Festival
  • authors@google, NYC hdqtrs
  • Sam Freedman's Book Seminar, Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism
  • Freelance Writing Panel, Columbia's School of the Arts
  • ms399, Bronx, NY (middle school)
  • William Floyd High School, Mastic Beach, LI
  • Writing Dept lecture, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas
  • Trinity Church, Princeton, NJ
  • The Long Island Museum, Stony Brook, LI
  • Personal Essay Writing Panel, The Writers & Editors Group of the Wellesley Alumnae Club of NYC
  • Smithtown Library Book and Author Luncheon
  • Women's Studies Lecture Series, Nassau Community College
  • Pilcrow Litfest, Chicago
  • Panelist, PEN New England
  • Cultural Geography Dept, Suffolk Community College


I'm often asked to recommend books about personal narrative writing. Here are a few of my favorites:

Thinking About Memoir, by Abigail Thomas

Reading Like A Writer, by Francine Prose

The Memoir Project, by Marion Roach Smith

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

The Art of Personal Essay Writing, by Philip Lopate

Follow the Story, by James Stewart

For more information on workshops, private editing, or speaking engagements, please contact

me at kelly at kellymcmasters dot com.