Meet Our Team


Stephanie Pearmain

Stephanie Pearmain received an MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hollins University. She has worked in the English Department at UA since 2001 where she currently teaches courses in Children's and Young Adult Literature & Publishing and is the Coordinator of Undergraduate English Internships. She has been a Reader for the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and the award-winning online young adult literary magazine YARN. Her first children's book was published in 2012 by Scholastic and her writing has been published in anthologies and magazines, including the Nancy Drew Anthology.

Stephanie Pearmain

Director
Joe Buckler

Joe Buckler is an author of adult and children's fiction, a blogger, and a reviewer. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, and is a current M.F.A. Candidate at Emerson College. A gluttonous reader, cinephile, and gamer, Joe is a lover of all things immersive, especially in the realms of the strange and unusual. Instagram: @imwithjoebuckler

Joe Buckler

Writer
Julian Esquer

Julian Esquer is a recent graduate from the University of Arizona and obtained a BA in political science. He is passionate about reading and enjoys analyzing works in order to go beyond the common scope of writing in order to develop a better understanding of the author and their purpose. After obtaining his Masters degree in legal studies he plans to attend law school in order to practice medical law and later receive his Masters in English literature in order to teach courses that combine both English Literature and Law. 

Julian Esquer

Assistant Director, Lead Editor
Kevin Sanchez

A native Tucsonan, Kevin Sanchez, is a Senior double majoring in English and Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. He is passionate about reading and writing poetry, earning the First Honorable Mention from NFSPS’ National Undergraduate Poetry Competition for his chapbook manuscript Mosaics. Aside from poetry, Kevin enjoys science fiction and YA literature. During his free time, Kevin likes to travel, read, and explore Tucson’s many hiking trails. He aspires to study abroad in London in the spring. After graduation, Kevin plans on teaching English abroad.

Kevin Sanchez

Writer, Web
Mandy Becker

Mandy Becker is a senior student at the University of Arizona majoring in English, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Spanish. She is a native Tucsonan and loves spending time out in the desert. She tries to work with people—especially kids—and animals whenever she can and is the proud mama of a goldfish named Watney. When she isn’t in class or in the library, you can find her watching superhero movies, reading books in the vein of Harry Potter or learning about the ocean.

Mandy Becker

Writer
Adrienne Park

Adrienne Park is a senior at the University of Arizona majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in Film and Television. She has always had a love for both writing and film. In her spare time, she usually is watching a Netflix series, movie, or writing for pleasure. Adrienne also enjoys spending time with her dog, or with her family and friends. She enjoys reading young adult fiction, romance, and dystopian novels. Adrienne hopes to work in the publishing industry, but also hopes to become an author of young adult fiction herself.

Adrienne Park

Writer
Caroline Ross

Caroline Ross is a senior at the University of Arizona studying English and creative writing. When not in class, she works as an assistant in a photography library and archive. While Caroline enjoys a variety of genres, young adult is her favorite, especially LGBTQ+ books. Caroline hopes to attend grad school next and eventually become a youth services librarian.

Caroline Ross

Writer, Editor, Web
Leah Kist

Leah Kist is a Sophomore English Major minoring in French and Marketing at the University of Arizona. She is a podcast enthusiast and will always talk about books when given the chance. Her interests include reading, dance concerts. Leah hopes to enter the publishing industry after graduation.

Leah Kist

Social Media, Writer, Podcast Producer
Machaela Raney

Machaela Raney is a Junior at the University of Arizona majoring in English with a minor in Spanish. After graduating, she hopes to teach English as a second language in a Latin American country to combine her passions of learning other languages and helping others. Eventually, she hopes to obtain her PhD in English Literature and have the opportunity to enter the publishing and editing industry or teach English at the university level. Outside of her love of reading and writing, Machaela enjoys tutoring lower level Spanish students, writing poetry and music, and playing fetch with her beloved German Shepherd.

Machaela Raney

Writer
Michael Goldstein

Michael Goldstein, raised in New Jersey, is a senior at the University of Arizona pursuing a major in Urban and Regional Development with a minor in English. Despite his major, Goldstein has a constantly increasing passion for literature. Similar to most, that passion began with young adult literature. Some of his favorite YA titles are Unwind, Hatchet, and Full Tilt. Along with his blogs and reviews, Goldstein also enjoys writing short stories, screenplays, and novellas.

Michael Goldstein

Writer
Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona with two public school teachers as parents. She now attends the Honors college at the University of Arizona, completing a B.A. in Film & TV producing and studies with dual minors in English and creative writing. In her spare time, you can find her writing fiction, watching a ton Netflix, or binge-reading the newest young adult fantasy or LGBTQIAP+ fiction.

Hannah Miller

Assistant Director, Web
Jon Kresal

Jon Kresal is a senior at the University of Arizona currently pursuing a double major in English and Creative Writing. Jon moved to Tucson twelve years ago from California. He is a veteran of the Marine Corps reserves. Jon enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy novels and seeing how those works project people's views on society. When not in class you will find Jon either Rock Climbing or hours deep into various board games. Jon is graduating this winter and hopes to go to grad school so he can further develop his own fiction writing.

Jon Kresal

Writer, Podcast Producer
Grace Kennedy

Grace Kennedy is an Arizona native who moved from Phoenix to study creative writing at the University of Arizona. She puts emphasis on writing nonfiction essays, but has always had a soft spot for fiction since she was an avid young adult reader. Grace is an honors student entering her junior year, and also minoring in music. When she isn't reading or writing, Grace is usually playing saxophone or piano, and is a member of the UA's Saxophone Studio and Wind Symphony.

Grace Kennedy

Writer
Wendy Waltrip

Wendy Waltrip moved from Kentucky to Tucson in 2017 to begin her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona. She is an Honors student majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in History and Theatre. Books have always been a huge part of Wendy’s life, and since August 2017, she’s been working as a Student Desk Assistant at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library. In her spare time, Wendy is a fiction author writing her ninth and tenth novels. She loves reading young adult and middle grade fiction, acting in theatrical productions, and traveling the country and the world.

Wendy Waltrip

Writer, Editor, Podcast Producer
Jacqueline Balbastro

Jacqueline Balbastro is a senior majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Studio Art at the University of Arizona. She splits her time between writing and her art endeavors. She hopes to combine her passions so she can write and illustrate her own published works, which include a graphic novel already in the works. While she enjoys YA literature she also loves binging movies and shows, drawing and thinking up new story concepts. She aspires to one day own a bookstore where she can offer programs that assist children to write their own stories and improve on their reading skills.

Jacqueline Balbastro

Writer, Podcast Producer

Alumni Staff

Michelle LeBar

Michelle LeBar is a recent UA graduate who has spent much of her life in academia because she just loves it that much. Creative writing is her passion, and Young Adult is her favorite genre to curl up with after a busy day of work and classes. Her favorite book series at the moment is the Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, but she’s always searching for a new favorite. When she’s not at school, she works at Barnes and Noble, and always keeps an eye out for the most interesting new releases.

Michelle LeBar

Social Media, Writer
Christy Duprey

Christy Duprey hails from New Jersey, but fled West after graduating high school, searching for better weather. She majors in English and Creative Writing here at the U of A, and is currently a senior. When not in class, she can generally be found chipping away at the first draft of a novel. Her other interests include the visual arts and theater, having very nearly led her into a theatrical production major. Luckily, writing won out in the end. After graduating, she hopes to go into publishing.

Christy Duprey

Podcast Producer, Writer
Cheyenne Lopex

Once upon a time, Cheyenne Lopex hated reading and was notorious among elementary school teachers for writing book reports on stories she had made up herself. Her reputation changed when she stumbled across a fantasy novel in her middle school library. She went from a book hater to a book lover within a matter of pages. Now, as a senior at the University of Arizona, she is majoring in English and Creative Writing. Although she stopped writing book reports on her own stories, she can be found analyzing her favorite books and writing a page or two of her own.

Cheyenne Lopex

Editor, Writer
Alessandra De Zubeldia

Alessandra De Zubeldia is a senior majoring in English and Creative Writing with a minor in Spanish. At seventeen, she left Guadalajara, Mexico, the place she calls home, to begin her upper-educational journey in Tucson. Currently, she is working on her creative thesis, a project that has been equally daunting and rewarding. After graduation, she is excited to go into publishing. She is also interested in someday working as a court translator for Mexican and Central American immigrants and refugees, an interest further fueled after reading Valeria Luiselli’s essay “Tell Me How It Ends,” which she highly recommends.

Alessandra De Zubeldia

Writer
Wala Abushaar

Wala Abushaar was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and has been immersed in the entertainment industry since 1995. A die hard gamer and film enthusiast since birth; he majored in Creative Writing and is currently pursuing a Masters in Computer Science. He began his career as a writer to cover the highs and lows of entertainment and broadcast the beauty of the industry to like-minded individuals.

Wala Abushaar

Writer
Nick Hald

Nick Hald aka NoLimitsNick wasn't always a writer. In fact, it was his worst subject in school. However, his love for video games is what drew him to love storytelling and to study creative writing at the University of Arizona. In his time here he came across the school's Esports club, became an Officer, and even made a team for them. Now, Nick is off to create his own story and find new ones in the realms of science fiction and fantasy.

Nick Hald

Web, Social Media
Bryahnna Butler

Bryahnna Butler grew up in a military family and was traveling the world before she said her first words. By the age of 9, she was settled in Sierra Vista, Arizona and continued to grow her love of traveling, taking trips to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Japan, and all across the United States. In her formative years, she developed her love of theatre, reading, and music. Now, as a sophomore Creative Writing major with a minor in Studio Art, she spends her time with her nose in a book, writing poetry, or tinkering with her ukulele. After graduation, Bryahnna hopes to write self-help children’s books for adults or publish her poetry.

Bryahnna Butler

Writer
Ajia Barnes

Ajia Barnes is an aspiring writer/poet who was raised in Warner Robins, Georgia. She was born in Hampton, Virginia but due to her family being military, she’s gotten to travel overseas and to multiple states. She now attends the University of Arizona where she studies English with a minor in music.

Ajia Barnes

Writer
Allisone Doerner

Allisone Doerner is from Sedona, Arizona. She moved to Arizona when she was five and lived in Sedona for about 15 years. In middle school, she traveled to France, Italy and Greece while on a student ambassador program. Since then, she has always wanted to go back and explore other countries. In high school, she was on her newspaper and yearbook staff where she liked working on the reviews section and making infographics. She currently has a blog called “All Is One Little Book.” She mainly writes book reviews, but she is interested working on other topics to post about.

Allisone Doerner

Editor, Writer
Chris Lee

Chris Lee is a California native that found himself living all around the US. He and his family moved to Tucson a few years ago where he enrolled in the University of Arizona. Chris is an English major with a passion for politics and social commentary. If he’s not reading a classic, he’s either caught up in the newest LGBT novel or buried under research papers. Chris is now a senior at the UofA and is graduating with his BA this spring. He’s looking to continue onto graduate school and one day find his way back to the coast.

Chris Lee

Writer, Editor
Anna Gerwig

A small girl with a big love for big books, Anna Gerwig has a passion for sharing and collecting stories. She is a senior at the University of Arizona's Honors College majoring in English and Creative Writing. While she loves to write, she is also pursuing a career in publishing to come alongside storytellers. Known for always carrying at least one book at all times all over the world, Anna always makes time to read. Anna has also interned for Worlds of Words and looks forward to wherever books will take her next.

Anna Gerwig

Writer
Eleanor Hall

Eleanor Hall is a junior studying Information Science, Technology and Art at the University of Arizona. She works as an IT technician outside of classes for the College of Humanities. While Eleanor enjoys reading for pleasure, she is most likely to be found writing code or practicing web design. Eleanor hopes to continue working in IT or venture into web design after graduating.

Eleanor Hall

Web