Mira Ptacin, Founder & Director
Mira Ptacin is a creative nonfiction and children’s book author, as well as a New York Times Bestselling ghostwriter. Her compositions have appeared in Guernica, The Morning News, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Rumpus, Smith Magazine, Anderbo.com, Nerve.com, Epiphany Literary Magazine, LUMINA, CommonDreams.org, and more.
She was born and raised by two freerange-thinking parents in Battle Creek, a small city in the southwestern part of the Michigan mitten where a certain Dr. John Harvey Kellogg invented cornflakes. After Michigan, she embarked on a dig in Mongolia to pursue archaeology, but soon learned that she’d much rather write about the living than the dead. After Mongolia, Mira headed to Maine to study at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, where she produced and published “Working for the Living”, a written documentary about the life of family-run funeral homes.
She earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and is the former editor-at-large of their literary magazine, LUMINA. She’s led creative writing workshops at the Valhalla Women’s Correctional Facility, was a writer-in-residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters, served as guest faculty at Sarah Lawrence College’s Summer Writers Seminar for adults, and taught writing at CUNY-York College in Jamaica, Queens. In the summer of 2012, she moved to Peaks Island, Maine, where she resides with her husband and their two dogs. She currently teaches writing at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
Michelle Koufopoulos, Managing Editor
Michelle Koufopoulos is a writer and editor based in New York. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a B.A. with Honors and studied writing at Oxford University. Michelle is also the Assistant Managing Editor of Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Feministing, Freerange, The Faster Times, and The Isis, among other places. Michelle has moonlighted as a freelance manuscript reviewer, a journalist for a Fairfield County weekly, and the social media researcher for Oprah’s talk show guests. She currently works as an editor in the World History/Classics department of Oxford University Press. To reach Michelle, email: michelle (at) freerangenonfiction (dot) com or follow her on Twitter @_belletristic_
Claire Jeffers, Senior Editor
Claire Jeffers is the senior editor at Freerange Nonfiction. She was born in Alexandria, Virginia and received her BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She recently attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine where she produced three pieces of writing, one of which was a personal essay about her family’s experience with mental illness. She still lives in Portland, where she’s worked and works as an editor, photographer, writer, cook, server, and babysitter. She wouldn’t be surprised to have a seventh job before winter’s end. It’s cold in Maine – you have to stay busy. To reach Claire, email: Jeffers (dot) Claire (at) gmail (dot) com.
Marie-Hélène Westgate, Interviews Editor
Marie-Hélène Westgate is a writer and editor of nonfiction, fiction, and romance. She started out as Freerange Nonfiction’s senior editor, then discovered her passion for asking nosy questions, and became the interviews editor. She is at work on a novel, as well as a collection of essays, and writes a secret column for The Huffington Post. Besides Freerange, Marie-Hélène’s work has appeared in Tin House, The Rumpus, Lumina, One Cool Word, Guernica, and The Believer.
Marie-Hélène grew up in Montreal, moved to Toronto in high school, then to Vancouver for university. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in Brooklyn, where she spends as much time as possible locked alone in a room.
To reach Marie-Hélène, email: mhwestgate (at) gmail (dot) com
Gabriel Sistare, Editorial Intern
Gabriel Sistare is a writer and editor most comfortable steaming vegetables or sitting in the public library. He prefers to sit next to the oversized Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture and write about his philosophical opposition to the automobile. To reach Gabriel email gabriel (at) gabrielsistare (dot) com.
Allie Rosenthal, Submissions Intern
Allie Rosenthal is a sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College. She comes from suburban Massachusetts and dreams of making it big in the food journalism industry. Her writing has appeared in the Westchester Review and she is the layout editor of SLC’s newspaper The Phoenix, but more importantly she bumped elbows with Emeril Lagasse on the sidewalk one time. She is overjoyed to join the Freerange team this fall, and looks forward to reading all your fabulous submissions! To reach Allie, email: ARosenthal (at) gm (dot) slc (dot) edu.
Tadiwanashe Madenga, Submissions Intern
Tadiwanashe Madenga is writer and a radio host for WSLC’s The Dark Side. She is currently studying literature and LGBT studies at Sarah Lawrence College for her B.A. She was born in Zimbabwe, raised in Tanzania, and later shipped off to boarding school in New York where she learned that it is indeed possible, and quite tasty, to have a bagel with both cream cheese and jelly. To reach Tadiwa, email: TMadenga (at) gm (dot) slc (dot) edu.