Writing Academy Instructors

Tomasen Carey

Tomasen M. Carey is the Director of the UNH Writers Academy, Field Coordinator for the Learning Through Teaching Program, and Instructor of the New Hampshire Literacy Institutes. Her articles have appeared in the New England Reading Journal and she is the voice behind the blog, conversationeducation.com.

Carolyn Prien

Carolyn Prien is the Administrative Assistant for the Writers Academy. Carolyn has over 15 years of elementary school teaching and leadership experience. Carolyn writes for the Seacoast Moms Blog (seacoast.momcollective.com), and has three daughters ages 7, 5, and 3.

Mark Holt-Shannon

Mark Holt-Shannon has taught middle school in New Hampshire for more than 10 years. He has published a scattering of essays and stories and works as a freelance photographer in the New Hampshire Seacoast.

Alison Mathieu

Alison Mathieu has been an educator at Dover Middle School for eight years. As a Language Arts teacher, she strives to empower all students to find their unique voices through writing and reading.


Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook taught middle and high school students in Roxbury and Brookline, MA, as well as rural Vermont. She was also a GED instructor for the Exeter Adult Education program. She currently teaches middle school in Stratham, NH.

Ashley Healey

Ashley Healey is a proud graduate and educator of UNH. She currently teaches elementary school in Stratham, NH, where she enjoys working with students who share her passion for reading and writing.

David McCormick

David McCormick has been an elementary school educator for more than 20 years. He currently brings his experience to Lee, NH, where he builds learning communities in multi-grade classrooms.

Dennis Magliozzi and Kristina Peterson

Dennis Magliozzi and Kristina Peterson teach at Exeter High School. Kristina has a Masters in teaching and Dennis has an MFA in poetry and is currently enrolled in the Philosophy of Education program at UNH. Together they advise the Poetry Team at EHS and are both avid readers of poetry, YA fiction, and their students’ creative writing.

Lauren de Constant

Lauren de Constant has been a literacy educator for more than 25 years and loves working with young adults as they develop their individual voices through the power of language. She works to develop a sense of community and unconditional support when teaching writing so that young people can take positive risks and express themselves with confidence. The Writer's Academy is the perfect place for young adults to explore and share ideas while making new friends who also love to write!

Sarah Fenerty

Sarah Fenerty has taught English at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (her former high school!) for five years. She received her BA in English at UNH, and has regularly attended the university’s Literacy Institute in the summers. Sarah has a deep love and appreciation for all types of writing, but especially enjoys creative non-fiction. She likes to combine writing and art as often as possible. This is Sarah’s second year as an instructor at the Academy and she is thrilled to be back!

Christian Gompert

Christian Gompert has 14 years of experience as a high school educator, currently teaching literacy skills and movie making at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy.  He believes that choice, risk-taking and positive feedback are essential in bringing the movie of our minds onto the page.

Pam Murphy

Pam Murphy  taught elementary school in Barrington, NH, for more than 20 years. Her classroom was a research site for Donald Graves. She works hard to see and honor the individual strengths in all her students.

Karen Atherton

Karen Atherton was a student of Donald Graves at UNH where she learned to use the Writing Process in her classroom. She has over 30 years of experience teaching elementary and middle school, currently in Barrington, NH.

Branden Wood offers a session on Cartooning. He has been a middle school teacher for more than 15 years and is currently writing the Letters of Charles R. Ziegler, which is accompanied by Brian Defferding and Thomas Mauer (2009 Harvey Award Nominee for Best Letterer).

Maryellen Webb

Mary Ellen Webb strives to make teaching and learning fun for herself and her students. A strong emphasis is placed on creating a community of learners where all are actively involved. She loves to be outdoors whenever possible and loves nature inspired writing.

Shelley Girdner

Shelley Girdner teaches at the University of New Hampshire. Her poems have been published in several journals, including most recently Hunger Mountain and Painted Bride Quarterly, as well as The Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Poet Lore and others. She’s been a featured poet in the Aurorean, a finalist for the Slapering Hol Chapbook Prize, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. More recently, she was featured for PBS News Hour’s Poetry spotlight.

Clark Knowles

Clark Knowles teaches writing at the University of New Hampshire. The Arts Council of the State of New Hampshire awarded him an Individual Fellowship in 2009. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in recent issues of: The New Guard, RE:AL, Outlook Springs, The Collagist, Northern New England Review, Harpur Palate, Conjunctions, Limestone, Nimrod, Eclipse, and Glimmer Train Stories. If you can't find him, he's probably at yoga.