Sondra Hall is the Founding Director of "Take My Word For It!". Her inspiration as an artist-educator is fueled by her belief in the power of the written word to transform both teacher and student. She’s seen first hand that when kids’ imaginations are ignited, they're more engaged and enthusiastic about learning. Because she thinks a lot of students spend too little of their school day crafting stories, swimming in their imaginations and applying their creative spark to the page, she conceived of "Take My Word For It!" as a way to bring the adventure that is writing to elementary school kids.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA INSTRUCTORS
Douglas Luman is an MFA candidate specializing in poetry at George Mason University. His past lives have included professional marathon timing, corporate education and recruitment, and a brief stint running a lunchbox store. Now, he writes book reviews for the Found Poetry Review, edits So to Speak, is Poetry Editor of Stillhouse Press, and assists fellow TMWFI instructor Q Wang with the journal Phoebe. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
PJ Magellan is a fiction writer from the Washington, DC area. He did his undergraduate work in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. After graduating, he lived in Buenos Aires for four years working as an English teacher and freelance translator. In addition to teaching and traveling extensively throughout Uruguay and Argentina, he also attended writing workshops in a small used bookstore on the cobblestoned streets of San Telmo, where he began to craft his first novel. He is currently in his first year of the MFA program at George Mason University.
Alexandra Schwartz is a first-year student in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. She completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Virginia. After having witnessed exemplary teaching and having taught classrooms herself, she realized how powerful learning can be for kids with an engaging and motivated instructor at the helm. She has always been an avid reader and found a unique voice of her own after having been inspired by great works of literature over the years. Experience has taught her that children are most marvelously masterful in the art of creative writing and she looks forward to learning from them while partaking in their adventures. She loves oxymorons and adverbs, and is unreasonably excited to be a part of the program.
Qinglan "Q" Wang is an MFA candidate in poetry at George Mason University. Originally from Honolulu, she traded her surfboard for a BA from Bates College in Maine. She spent the last couple of years teaching elementary school children the meaning of 'Ohana in southern Rhode Island. In addition to poetry, she loves making silly faces to go along with great rhymes.