Amy Loftus is passionate about hosting her podcast "Something Better" and creating music for film and television. Originally from Chicago, she did improv at the legendary Second City.  She has  seven albums on iTunes and toured solo while living in Nashville. Now she sings while cooking or driving her kids to Lacrosse, but is still known to go play a show because it is her absolute happy place. In somewhat stolen moments, she's been working on a novel and is looking forward to being able to focus on it completely at Dorland.

Fall & Winter 2017

Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Frances Greenslade has since lived in Winnipeg, Regina, Vancouver, Chilliwack and Penticton, BC. She has a BA in English from the University of Winnipeg and an MFA in Creative Writing from University of British Columbia. By the Secret Ladder and A Pilgrim in Ireland (Penguin) are her first two books, both memoir. Her novel, Shelter, was published in Canada by Random House in 2011, in the US by Free Press and the UK by Virago in 2012. It has been translated into Dutch, German and Italian. She has taught English and Creative writing at Okanagan College since 2005.

Nathan Rivera is a native of the Writing words and music on the accordion, guitar, voice, piano, what else? Traveling to share the gift of music with those willing to accept it. Spreading positivity and joy one note at a time. 

Mailing address: P.O. Box 6, Temecula, CA 92593 ~ Physical Address: 36701 Highway 79 South, Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 302-3837 ~ ~
A California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

In 2011, after working for the U S Postal Service as an Executive in Washington D.C., Jim Schlett “refocused” on his love for the National Parks and photography. His photographs have been published in the Washington Post, Reston Magazine, Fairfax Times, Elan Magazine, annual reports, newspapers, exhibited in local galleries and art shows, and won numerous competitive awards. One of his images was displayed in the Art Takes Times Square Exhibition in New York City in June 2012 and he was the Artist in Residence at the Whiskeytown National Recreational Area in northern California in 2016. He was also selected for two exhibitions scheduled for 2018 with images of the National Parks.

Sakae Manning has published poetry in anthologies including Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings by and about Asian American Women (Asian Women United), as well as short stories including Sammy's Shitkickers, which was previously published by The Salt River Review. She is an alumnus of Mills College and the U.S.C. Annenberg School of Communications and resides in Southern California with her family. During her residency at Dorland she is developing her novel, Kimono Blues, about “two families, told by women of color, who have immigrated across land and sea to take hold of a safe haven for their children only to have it disrupted by war, cultural beliefs, classism, and racial divides.” After Dorland she will be hosting "Reading Identities" at the Annenberg Community Beach House as the Writer-in-Residence.

Dina Fiasconaro is a Baltimore-based filmmaker. Her feature documentary, Moms and Meds, is available on Amazon. Her short films have screened at a variety of festivals, including Portland Underground, BlackStar, and NYC International, and she is a recipient of the ‘Generation Next’ screenwriting grant. Dina was awarded a production grant from the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media at Johns Hopkins University to direct the short film Commercial for the Queen of Meatloaf. She has a MFA in filmmaking from Columbia University, and a BS in TV, Radio and Film from Syracuse University. Dina is co-founder of the Baltimore Chapter of Film Fatales (, a national organization working towards gender parity in the film industry.

Alexandra Sokoloff and Craig Robertson-Writers

Hiroko Tsuchimoto is a visual/performance artist based in Stockholm. She holds an MFA at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, and she also studied at Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Going back and forth between ethnographic curiosity and critical distance, Tsuchimoto investigates the cultural constructions of personal and collective identity. She approaches sites, situations, and people with both critical eyes and a disinterested gaze in her artistic practice. She also uses her self-representation as analytical tool towards social problems of gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality. 

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett is founder and host of "Writers on Writing," which airs every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. PT on KUCI-FM. She's author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within (Harcourt) and has stories in Orange County Noir and USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series. She's also written essays and articles for the Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, The Writer, Writers' Digest, The Authors Guild Bulletin, Orange Coast magazine and more. She teaches an online class for Gotham Writers Workshop, and two private workshops in Southern California where she lives with her husband and son, both musicians, and 13 typewriters, and counting.  


New Jersey artist Heidi Curko produces non-representational works with masses of dark energetic forms. Ms. Curko has had numerous exhibits from LA to India to New York.

Susan Marshall holds degrees in education and film from The University of Iowa and in writing from The University of Texas, Michener Center for Writers. A former Michener Fellow and ACA Associate Artist working with Ishmael Reed, her publications have included work in Borderlands, CALYX, Cider Press Review, Cream City Review, From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, LUNGFULL! Magazine, The Midwest Quarterly, Nassau Review, Quarterly West, and The Straddler. She has worked as an instructor, consultant, writing center director, workshop facilitator for programs including Arts Share and SpeakOut!, editor and interviewer, radio DJ, cultural resources board member, and AmeriCorps VISTA for a mental health agency in Moab UT. She is currently working on memoir and themes of connection/disconnection between inner and outer landscapes.

Anna Leahy and Doug DeChow-Writers


Kayla Allen’s writing has appeared in The Yale Review, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, The Christian Science Monitor and Purple Fiction, among other anthologies.  She’s also a PEN USA Emerging Voices fellow.  She’s nearing completion of her novel, Rapture Dummy, a fictional account of her years as a child evangelist ventriloquist in Louisiana.  She lives in California with her husband and three children, and she’s obsessed with jazz accordion.  

Helen Georgas is a reference librarian and associate professor at Brooklyn College (CUNY). She is a literary editor of Silent Beaches, Untold Stories: New York City’s Forgotten Waterfront (Damiani, 2016) and an editor of the digital arts platform Underwater New York. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College


Heather King is an essayist, memoirist, blogger and former lawyer. Raised on the coast of New Hampshire she struggled for many years, got sober in 1987, and converted to Catholicism in 1996. She has written and recorded several slice-of-life commentaries for National Public Radio and is the author of numerous essays[3] and three memoirs. She lives in Los Angeles and contributes to the Catholic magazine Magnificat and the Catholic portal of Patheos and her column "The Crux" appears in Angeles. One of her essays in Magnificat, "The Sacred Heart of Jesus", received Honorable Mention in 2014 from the Catholic Press Association. She is the author of the books Parched, a memoir, Redeemed, and Shirt of Flame.

Susanna Knittel is a Swiss American artist, filmmaker, writer, somatic educator and innovator. After many years of teaching and designing /producing / licensing a patented child carry bag, she has returned to film making with two shorts Falling for the Mountain, premiered at Wild and Scenic in Nevada City and The last vaquero, in edit. Her recent writing documents the process of finding water with bare hands in the Swiss Alp.  As a Continuum Movement teacher she leads her students into the fluid world of embodiment. She is a long time meditator and at Dorland will be writing  a podcast for young people about living in the improvisation of the present moment. 


Katharina Holstein, was born in 1968 in Hamburg, studied Graphics Design in Würzburg and spent time as a resident artist in London with the Shoreditch Photobiennale. She is a member of the German Artists Association BBK and of GEDOK, the German women's artist association and has had numerous exhibitions in Germany and Europe. She lives and works in a small village close to Hamburg. Her work can be seen in the US at the JCO Gallery in Los Gatos.

Connie Sommer- Writer

Other Residents ​(under construction)

Sharon O'Brien, Meryl Peters, Dale Trumbore, Amy Cannon, Kim Fay, Bonnie Ellison, Demetria Kalodimos, Verlon Thompson, Amanda Hawkins

Danielle Birrittella-Musician

Sherri C. Perry​ is the author of Venn, a collection of short stories, Letters to Cadence, Musings of a Modern Grandmother and Slice, a collection of poetry. Her work has been featured in Streetlight Magazine, Tigershark Publishing, GNU Literary Journal, Dragon Poet Review, The Bayou Review, Emerge Magazine and The Storyteller Magazine. Her awards include the Write Partners of North Arkansas Award, Ozark Creative Writers Editor’s Award, Clouse Literary Arts and Theater Award, Saturday Writers Creative Non-Fiction Award, Porter Art Enterprises Award and The Caudle Memorial Award for Excellence in Storytelling. She is the head speech and debate coach at an all-girls college preparatory high school in Houston, Texas.


Douglas DeChow is the co-author of Generation Space: A Love Story and The Craft of Librarian Instruction and the co-editor of Intertwingled: The Life and Influence of Ted Nelson. His writing has appeared at The Atlantic, Scientific American, The Post Game, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Curator, and others. He is the Digital Humanities and Science Librarian at Chapman University, the Curator of the Boisjoly Challenger Disaster Collection, and actively involved in the Center for American War Letters. 

Natasha Harrison uses glass as a medium to express feelings about fear, fragility and intensity present within relationships. She is also the Executive Director of the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Paradise Valley, Middletown, Rhode Island. 

Neelanjana Banerjee's poetry, fiction, and non-fiction has been published in Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Chicago Literary Review, PANK Magazine, Nimrod, and in anthologies like Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion (Aunt Lute Press). She is the co-editor of the poetry anthologies Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press) and The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles (Tia Chucha Press). She is the Managing Editor of Kaya Press, an independent publisher dedicated to innovative Asian Pacific American and Asian diasporic literature. She also teaches writing in the Asian American Studies Department at UCLA and through Writing Workshops Los Angeles. She is working on a novel and lives in El Sereno, Los Angeles with her husband, son and dog. 

Mary Robertson-Writer

Noëlle Sickels is the author of four historical novels, all set in different eras: Walking West, The Shopkeeper’s Wife, The Medium, and Out of Love.  She has also written a memoir, Searching for Armando, and has had short stories and poems published in a number of anthologies and literary journals.  Her work examines the nature of truth; the impact of secrecy; the slipperiness of communication, especially between men and women; and the pull of passion.  Sickels is also intrigued by how historical events and social conditions play out in the daily lives of ordinary people. 

Diana Hartel provides a fresh perspective linking the current conflict over water, dams, agriculture and fisheries to local and US history, including her personal family history, as well as to the diabetes epidemic affecting Indigenous Native communities in the Klamath River Basin and nation-wide.

In 1993, while working in environmental sciences and epidemiology, she founded a non-profit for urban arts, eco-restoration, and nutrition called Planet Hot Plate. In 1999, a passion for painting emerged over the course of over three years of residential training at Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskills. 

 All the elements of her life merge in art, permeated with meditation practice.

Angela Cybulski is a writer, editor, and teacher who lives in Southern California. She is currently  the Managing Editor for Wiseblood Books, a small literary press specializing in works of fiction, criticism, and non-fiction that seeks to find its aesthetic bearings in the great literary tradition of the mid-twentieth century. Angela teaches English and creative writing and is also an experienced literacy and special needs consultant/advocate. She is helping to develop the fine arts program at St. Michael’s Preparatory School and will teach drama there next year. Her writing appears on the blogs Persephone Writes, one tiny violet, Dappled Things/Deep Down Things, and Wiseblood Books. During her residency, Angela is revising her first novel The Spectre of a Rose, a retelling of the Persephone myth, and completing work on a personal essay about getting her first tattoo.

Violinist Jeff Thayer is currently the concertmaster of the San Diego Symphony as well as concertmaster and faculty member of the Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara). Previous positions include assistant concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, associate concertmaster of the North Carolina Symphony, and concertmaster of the Canton (OH) Symphony Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and the Juilliard School's Pre-College Division. His teachers include William Preucil, Donald Weilerstein, Zvi Zeitlin, and Dorothy DeLay.

Awards include the Stephen Hahn/Lillybelle Foundation Award in Violin from the Music Academy of the West, the Starling Foundation Award, the George Eastman Scholarship, and the Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.

Robert Chamberlin lives in Burlington, Vermont. By day he walks to his work as an engineer. By evenings,  weekends, and travel, he enjoys art, particularly paintings of all types. He is a co-author of The Confluence: Fly-fishing and Friendship in the Dartmouth College Grant . 

Anna Leahy is the author of the nonfiction book Tumor and the poetry collections Aperture and Constituents of Matter and the co-author of Generation Space: A Love Story, Conversing with Cancer, and What We Talk about When We Talk about Creative Writing.Her essays have appeared at The Atlantic, Pop Sugar, The Southern Review, The Pinch, and elsewhere and won the top awards from Ninth Letter and Dogwood in 2016. She directs the MFA program at Chapman University, where she edits the international journal TAB and curates the Tabula Poetica reading series. 

Bruce Trinkley taught composition and orchestration and conducted the Penn State Glee Club from 1970 to 2006, and was music director for Penn State's Centre Stage from 1970 until 1995. He received degrees in composition from Columbia University where he studied with Otto Luening, Jack Beeson and Charles Wuorinen. Professor Trinkley's music has been performed in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and China

Recent works include The Last Voyage of Captain Meriwether Lewis, a cantata for men's voices; One Life: The Rachel Carson Project, a multi-media work for women’s chorus, soloists, and instrumental ensemble; and York: the Voice of Freedom, a music drama about the life of the only African American on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. His operas for young people include The Prairie Dog That Met the President and Chicken Little.

Winnie Swalley, founder of Mission Jazz, is a polymath educator, musician, screenwriter, and production, interface and interior designer who studied her curiosities at Columbia University, UCSB, UCLA, LA Film School and a decade in the private vocal arts studio of the great Mrs. Elizabeth Mannion. She enjoyed a short career as a concert singer, but preferred a quiet life where she could teach, raise children and build a large range of other artistic projects.  She has designed mobile apps, written screenplays, and produced, designed and directed short films and documentaries.

Christine Huhn grew up less than five miles from the Delaware River, in North Eastern Pennsylvania. Her deep connection to the landscape is reflected in her work through medium format film and historic photographic processes. Her work focuses on preserving the great American landscape and our nation’s cultural heritage through photography.

Christine received a BFA in photography from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and a MA in historic preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design. She is currently living in San Francisco, CA while working in the libraries at the University of California Berkeley.

Veteran journalist Pamela K. Johnson is Digital Content Editor for the National Writers Union. As a freelancer, her work often focuses on health. As an author, she co-wrote Santa & Pete, a novel based on a legend that Santa had a partner. It was adapted into a CBS-TV movie starring James Earl Jones and Hume Cronyn. Pamela co-edited Tenderheaded: A Comb Bending Collection of Hair Stories. The book became the basis of a stage play. She was a grand prize winner in the International 'Write Beijing' Competition, where she received $10,000 to shoot her short film “Morning Song” on location in Beijing, China.