Our Writers

Rebecca McKeown

becky2Rebecca McKeown is a new media specialist by day and a poet and fiction writer by night (and sometimes day) who prefers fine poetry over fine wine and Chinese food over most everything. In 2012, McKeown founded The Rampallian literary magazine after deciding she simply needed another project to tackle. Her book of poetry Bless the Bitter Night: Poems about Failed Love in the Modern World was released in 2013. She blogs at http://www.RebeccaMcKeownWrites.com. You can also find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

Kurt Schweitzer

creepy kurtKurt Schweitzer brings a broad experience to his writing. A former vampire logistics facilitator, past purveyor of Italian-style transportation, and Y2K disaster preventer, he’s experienced in such arcane pursuits as analyzing cellphone billing data, patent reading, valve sizing, timber framing, and teaching teen-agers how to drive. Schweitzer has written works in over forty different languages, most of which are not human-readable. As the administrator of this website he is the one who gets blamed when the links don’t work. You can get more insights into him by visiting his First Draft Fiction blog or KurtSchweitzer.com.

Penny Higgins

RocNaNo HeadshotPenny Higgins came to call herself a writer by, most innocently, joining NaNoWriMo for the first time in November of 2011. Since November of 2012, Penny has served as the Rochester regional Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo. Though as yet unpublished as a fiction author, she continues to write daily working on the Herongarde trilogy that came from that original NaNoWriMo, and preparing daily posts for her blog Paleopix. Professionally, Penny is a vertebrate paleontologist and an isotope geochemist, neither of which ever enter into her fictional works, but are often showcased on her blog. Penny has a Facebook page, on which she only discusses her fictional works, and a Twitter account, in which she reveals all about her life.

Rachel A. Dowling

Rachel A DowlingRachel A. Dowling writes speculative poetry and prose from her home in Western New York. So far, her love of language has earned her degrees in literature and linguistics and led her to careers in localization and marketing. In addition to the RocNaNo blog, you can find her work in Gone LawnNewMyths.com, and at www.radowling.com. Whether or not she has ESP is still under debate.

Shannon I. Hicks

ShannonShannon I. Hicks began her writing journey in the back of her ninth grade biology class, where she chose to delve into the world of a girl and her camera rather than learn the differences between cells.  In 2011, she graduated with a dual degree in English and adolescent education, continuing her love of the written word.  When not writing, she can be found behind a cash register, feeding her various fandom obsessions, and following the demands of her two exceptionally needy cats.  Her current words in progress range from various types of fanfiction to Victorian era steampunks and fantasies.  Additional information can be found at her blog.

Emily Heiden

emily flowersEmily Heiden is a college student by day, a writer by trade and a geek every other minute of the day and night. She’s been a writer since as long as she can remember and is rarely ever seen outside of her apartment without at least a pen and paper; if not her laptop. Her pen-name, S.Varia, comes from her love of owls (especially barred owls!) and obscure references. Desiring to be a writer and also a college professor you can catch up on her going ons on her blog.

Eric Scoles

eric-scoles-nanoblog-2013-06-cropped-200xEric Scoles lives in Irondequoit in a reality augmented by his wife, stepson, and two cats. By day he builds websites for a marketing firm; by night he builds stories. He’s influenced in about equal measure by the new wave, the cyberpunks, Cli-Fi and Andre Norton space opera, and is a firm believer in believing you can pull off whatever it is you’ve set out to write.

Sean-Allen Parfitt

Sean-AllenSean-Allen is a software engineer by profession, but when not at work, he dabbles in creative writing, music composition, gourmet cooking, and fashion design. Though he’s started about 10 novels, and even a few web series, he is yet to be published. He tried NaNoWriMo 3 different years, but has not won – yet! He also participates in a collaborative story for the last 4 or 5 years. Sean-Allen and his boyfriend Paul sing with the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus.

J. Sean Daly

JS Daly 2J. Sean Daly lives in Rochester, New York, and writes about horror for kids at his blog Awake at Midnight. He earned a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from Rutgers University, though he spends his days fixing computers, and finds inspiration for his writing in Old Time Radio shows.

Laitie Montai

LaitieBorn and raised in Rochester, NY, Laitie has led quite the average life. But a look into her imagination would make you believe otherwise. Stories are bursting out of her mind, begging to be shared. From fairies to dragons, magic and legends, Laitie would love to share it all with you! Help her accomplish this by following her on Twitter, Facebook, and/or her blog.

Julian Butcher

JulianJulian Butcher is a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, studying physics. He has always enjoyed inventing stories, and creative writing is both a passion and a creative outlet for him when he is not focused on his studies. He is a member of Storytellers, a writing group at RIT. He is sometimes an irreverent and blunt critic, but only ever with the intent of helping fellow writers, and asks that no one ever take him too seriously. He is an ardent bookworm, baker, foodie, punwright, Whedonite, and music buff.

Armando Alemán

armandoArmando Alemán is a student at RIT. When he’s not writing, you can find him either gaming or spending far too much time on tumblr for his own good. Armando is a laid-back guy, and a member of and frequent reader at Storytellers at RIT. He’s somewhat of a walking book of odd writing wisdom, not by virtue of being a wise or incredible writer, but by his sense of osmosis and rationalization of numerous sources of writing advice. He is also an impromptu singer, and a raging feminist.

Melanie A Billings

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAMelanie wrote her first book in 7th grade: The Case of the 7th Grade Murders. It has yet to be published. Melanie survived high school and the final head spin that culminated in a BA from Roberts Wesleyan College in 1997. Currently, she holds a senior staff position as Acquisitions Editor for Whiskey Creek Press. Writing happens as time allows—interesting vignette-style short stories and poetry. Melanie’s two published books of poetry (Climbing the Mountain, and Whispers…Poetry That Breaks The Silence) are available onAmazon.com in both print and E-book format.

Lily Serrentino

LilyLily is an illustration student at RIT. She has a passion for storytelling, whether it’s the written word or visually. She loves making comics and drawing dinosaurs. You can find out more about her via her art blog serrentinoart.

Meghan Denny

meghanMeghan is a Biology major at Nazareth, aspiring to be a veterinarian. She likes to write and read romance or fairy tales, although lately she’s been branching into science fiction. A lot of her writing expanded with NaNoWriMo when she surprisingly accomplished it in 2009 on her first try … and people are still reading this fanfiction. She is an avid book collector, with over 500 books in her collection. She’s also a musicologist, having played the French horn since she was eight and also picked up piano, guitar, and flute. She loves just about any kind of music, along with the arts and sciences. You can find her on Facebook, her personal blog, her book review blog, and the blog for her 2012 NaNoWriMo story.

Zelda Wasser

Zelda WasserZelda Wasser was raised in a Chasidic Ultra-Orthodox Jewish home in Brooklyn, NY, and only recently moved to Rochester, Zelda has a love for all things electronic and any form of social media. Zelda embraced 2013’s NaNoWriMo (her first attempt) and ended up with a 90k document in 3 weeks! Zelda is currently editing and shopping for an agent for her The House of Zane saga- a Vampire story told like none ever before. Zelda Wasser can be reached via FacebookTwitter, or on her website.

Robert Chandler

Robert ChandlerRobert R. Chandler is an author living in Rochester, New York. A native of the area, he spent the first 30 years of his career in graphics and advertising, then shifted his focus to writing novels and since 2005 has been working to make it his full time vocation. He has two original novels to his credit — I Miss Your Purple Hair (with Elizabeth A. Chandler) and Minus the Imple (with Frances M. Reed). During his lifetime, he has always passionately applied his creativity to his endeavors. You can find him on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and his two blogs, PRIVILEGED.PRODUCTIONS and synchromium.

Divya M. Persaud

Divya M. PersaudDivya M. Persaud is an undergraduate student pursuing a double degree in geology and music composition at the University of Rochester. She is also an active writer, having completed five novels and an extensive collection of poetry, a book of which she has recently self-published to benefit the Lupus Cooperative of New York. Her poetry has won local awards and both her poetry and fiction have recently gained the attention of publishers. Her blog is Divya Does The Thing.

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One Response to Our Writers

  1. Pingback: July Camp NaNoWriMo | RocNaNo

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