We get starry-eyed over good sentences, compelling stories, powerful voices. Our to-be-read stacks tower over us, and we’re big fans of Pilot Precise V5s.

our team

Susannah Felts

Co-Founder & Co-Director
Susannah is a fiction writer, freelance writer, teacher, editor, and native Nashvillian, with roots planted firmly on the East side since 2009. She has been awarded the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction and the Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Susannah is a contributing writer for Chapter 16, Humanities Tennessee’s site devoted to literary culture, and a columnist for BookPage, where she occasionally has too much fun writing about lifestyle books. Her essays and fiction have appeared in publications such as The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018, Guernica, Catapult, Literary Hub, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Longreads, StorySouth, The Oxford American, and others, and her first novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, was published by Featherproof Books. She’s currently seeking representation for a second novel, aka developing an armadillo hide and the patience of Job.

Susannah holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in whose undergraduate program she taught writing classes for years before heading back down South. She has also taught writing at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and in several youth and community settings. She will happily split a basket of fries with you.

Katie McDougall

Co-Founder & Co-Director
Katie McDougall, CO-FOUNDER & CO-DIRECTOR, is a native Nashvillian, a fiction writer, and a teacher. She earned a BA at Colorado College and her MFA in Fiction Writing at Colorado State University. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Litmosphere, Chaper16, Barcelona Review , and Storyglossia . She was a runner-up for the Kentucky Women’s Writers; Betty Gabehart Prize in 2019 and a finalist in the 2023 Lit/South Awards. Katie has over twenty years of experience as a teacher and mentor of literature and writing, and has deep experience coordinating writing retreats. After leaving the traditional classroom, she worked as the Master Teacher in Residence at The Island School in the Bahamas. In 2023, she piloted and spearheaded The Porch’s Writing for Good program. When not at her desk, she can be found trail-running with her Golden Retriever, Homer, hammocking, or nibbling on Clif Bars, ideally somewhere with a view.

Bonnie St Martin


Bonnie St. Martin is a Western Massachusetts native who has called Nashville home for the past decade. Her passion for creative writing, storytelling, and advocacy has guided her both personally and professionally her entire life. She comes to The Porch from Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, where as the Marketing & Grants Manager she administered over 2 million in grants annually, while implementing a communication strategy to highlight how development directly impacts our community. Prior to Boys & Girls Clubs, Bonnie ran her own freelance communications agency where she helped craft and convey the stories of small businesses and artists across Middle Tennessee and beyond. When she’s not grant writing or advocating for the arts, Bonnie spends her free time collecting vintage coats, wrangling her son Otis, hiking with her dog Buster, and searching for the best cup of coffee in town.

Yurina Yoshikawa

director of education

Yurina Yoshikawa holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and has taught fiction and non-fiction writing at The Porch since 2018. She has lived in Tokyo, Palo Alto, and New York before settling down in East Nashville, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, NPR, Lit Hub, The Japan Times, Litro, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and elsewhere. She was the 2020 Tennessee True Stories Contest Winner, a 2019-20 OZ Art Wire Fellow, and a 2021 recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission. She serves on the boards of two local nonprofits, the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra and API Middle Tennessee. She hosts and curates the virtual book club for the Japan-America Society of Tennessee that focuses on contemporary Japanese novels translated into English. She is also an associate of the U.S.-Japan Council where she is a co-organizer of their Artists & Creatives group.

Her proudest accomplishments at The Porch include launching the Words & Music classes in collaboration with the Nashville Philharmonic, organizing the Nashville AAPI Writers Group, and MCing their inaugural showcase in May 2023 which brought 70 attendees to The Forge. Her favorite authors include James Baldwin, Valeria Luiselli, Yoko Tawada, Elena Ferrante, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Tove Jansson (both her Moomin series and serious novels). In her spare time, she enjoys playing the viola, learning the electric bass, flying kites, and improvising recipes in the kitchen. To learn more about her writing and professional life, visit www.yurinayoshikawa.com.

Halley Corapi

Programs and
Marketing Manager
Halley Corapi is a writer and producer currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. An avid lover of literature and film, she has spent every phase of life involved in content creation—from childhood playwriting, to UT-Chattanooga’s creating writing program, to the world of politics and social advocacy. From 2018 to 2020, she produced over 500 ads and contributed her voice acting skills to multiple radio, television, and digital projects. Her essays on mental health advocacy have been featured by Renewed, a Nashville non-profit for the prevention of eating disorders, for whom she has also appeared on local television to talk about resources and recovery. In addition to writing, she loves drawing (at which she is decent), singing (at which she is not), and her dog Szymborska (the least eloquent member of the family but, thankfully, cute enough to make up for it).

Joe Kane

Youth Program Director
J. Joseph Kane is a Michigan native who now calls Nashville home. He has an MA in poetry from Central Michigan, where he taught English composition and served as editor-in-chief of Temenos literary journal. His poems and stories have found many homes, including RHINO, Elimae, theEEEL, Clapboard House, The Splinter Generation, Cricket Online Review, Psychic Meatloaf, Right Hand Pointing, and the NPR podcast Versify. From a family of educators, helping young people express themselves is a cause close to Joe’s heart. Before moving to Nashville, he taught creative writing in Detroit public schools through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project. Since joining the Porch family in 2015, he has helped the Porch’s youth programs become regular features at schools, libraries, after school programs, and arts spaces across Metro-Nashville. He loves the way that student writing keeps surprising him every day.

Nina Adel

Immigrants Write
Nina Adel is a writer, artist, musician, and educator originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Nina studied songwriting and vocal performance at Berklee College of Music and holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from Belmont University and MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. Her lyric essay Refugere  won the 2020 Bellevue Literary Review’s Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction. She has been published in Sweet Tree Review, matchbook, Selcouth Station, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, The Tennessean, Louisiana Folklife Studies Journal, New Sun Rising, and Storm Cycle, among others, and is a Glimmer Train honorable mention recipient. She has recently completed a hybrid, fictionalized memoir composed of linked flash pieces in prose and poetry. Nina speaks several languages, is a published translator and has written, co-produced, recorded and toured behind three albums of original music. She lives in the heart of Nashville alongside her two native Nashvillian children and two boisterous hounds and teaches writing at a local college. Read more of Nina’s work at http://ninaadel.com/ and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @writethinkspeak .

Eliana Ramage


Eliana Ramage is a Cherokee Nation citizen born and raised in Nashville. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2018, and holds an MA in creative writing from Bar-Ilan University and a BA in English literature from Dartmouth College. Her stories and essays have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, CRAFT, The Baltimore Review, and The Masters' Review Anthology. She is at work on her first novel.

Grant Emerson

Web developer

Grant Emerson is a musician and web developer from North Carolina. Grant studied music at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and full-stack web development at Vanderbilt University. His band, Delta Rae, has toured the world, played late night television shows, released 6 full-length records, and released several music videos with millions of views. Humangoodkinddesigns is where Grant continues to flex his creativity helping companies and business owners craft a digital presence that they love.

L. Sotolongo

Vanderbilt Div. Fellow

L[oren] Ileana Sotolongo is a Queer, Trans, Cuban American poet originally from Southern California, where they received their BA in English Writing. After living in a handful of US cities (namely Washington DC, Tucson, and Louisville), they eventually made their way to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt Divinity School. You can find L’s poems in forgotten college collections and community zines, or  shared amidst late-night dinners with their friends. Practically, you can watch a panel they hosted through Vanderbilt on Cuban Memory and Identity ("Healing Memorias") in January 2023, or find their work via Instagram, a small and local publishing house (@loren.sotolongo). They are currently reading Chen Chen’s Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced An Emergency, along with too many academic articles to name or count.


I'm so thankful to be a part of this community. I have learned so much about writing and the publishing industry. Writing has gone from being a dream to a true reality.

our instructors

Porch instructors know intimately the rewards and challenges of the writing life, and are dedicated to sharing their enthusiasm and experience with writers at all levels, from total newbies and dabblers to folks working on MFA applications or book drafts. They’re called both to write and teach. 

They’re right here in the trenches with you, actively pursuing the craft of writing. Among their credentials: a strong track record of publication, advanced degrees in writing (MA, MFA, or PhD), and thorough classroom experience. 

Our instructors bring an empathetic, constructive eye to students’ work, and aim to meet your particular needs, making the pursuit of writing a rewarding one.


The Porch does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

our board

Emily Masters, Board President

Launch TN

Heather Dixon, Treasurer


Karen Hayes, Secretary

Parnassus Books, RETIRED

Tim Bartlett

Parks real estate

Paul Burch

producer / singer / songwriter

Pratik Dash

tennessee immigrants & refugees rights coalition

Susan Edwards

executive director & ceo, frist ARt museum, retired

Trina Frierson

mending hearts

Jing Geng


Major Jackson


Diana Johnson


Anne Stark Locher


Jessica Pearson


Ben Tran


Allison Kiser


emeritus board members

Kim Bundy


Scott Chambers


Tiana Clark


Ciona Rouse


Whitney Haley


Kendall Hinote


John Lavey


Korby Lenker


Andrew Maraniss


Cindy Olivia


Sandy Solomon


Alex Tapper


Stephanie Koehler


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