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, also a native Nashvillian, is a fiction writer, a teacher, and for the past seven years, a total devotee to all-things-Porch. She earned a BA at Colorado College, and her MFA in Fiction Writing at Colorado State University. Her short stories have appeared in BarcelonaReview.com and in Storyglossia.com. Katie’s writing awards have included a four-week writing residency at the Kimmel•Harding•Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska, Association of Writers and Poet Intro. Journals Award Nomination for Colorado State University, the Paul Gillette Writing Contest Finalist, and runner up for the Betty Gabehart Prize. She is currently in the process of finding a home for her second novel, Lady of the Lake.

Katie has over twenty years experience as a teacher and mentor of literature and creative writing. After leaving the traditional classroom, she worked as the Master Teacher in Residence at The Island School in the Bahamas. She has coordinated writing workshops, ranging from the annual one-day Nashville Young Writers Workshop to the week-long Sense of Place Workshop with Richard Bausch at Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas. When not at her desk, she can be found hiking, hammocking, or nibbling on Clif Bars, ideally somewhere with a view.

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 .

Lisa Bubert

Program Assistant
Lisa Bubert is a writer and librarian based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Puerto del Sol, Washington Square Review, Carolina Quarterly, and more. Her story, “Kitten,” which appeared in Pidgeonholes, was nominated for Best Small Fictions 2020. Her story, “The Coma,” which appeared in the final issue of Natural Bridge journal, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also wants to point out that she’s a sixth-generation Texan and, yes, the Texas pride is real, y’all.

Emily Masters

Development Consultant,
Grant Manager
Emily Masters has an MA in English, and she is a graduate of the Summer Fellowship program of the Peabody Professional Institute at Vanderbilt University. Her first job in Nashville was as a Resolution Writer for the Tennessee General Assembly. She then spent eight years as a Program Officer and then a Program Director for Humanities Tennessee. In 2009 she began work as a freelance fundraising consultant, and since then she has worked with many wonderful organizations, including Tennessee State Library and Archives, Fannie Battle Day Home for Children, Metro Arts, NashvilleHealth, The Educators' Cooperative, and of course The Porch Writers’ Collective. Emily founded DanceEast in 2008 and built the community dance studio from an initial enrollment of eight to more than 500 students of all ages by 2018. She is an active community volunteer and currently serves as an elected representative on the Metro Nashville Public Schools Board of Education.

Rochelle Spencer

Community liason
Rochelle Spencer is author of AfroSurrealism: The African Diaspora's Surrealist Fiction (Routledge 2019) and co-editor, with Jina Ortiz, of All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (University of Wisconsin 2014).  Rochelle's work appears in The Believer, TriQuarterly, Callaloo, The African American Review, Poets and Writers, New Southern Fugitives, The Crab Orchard Review,Cosmonauts Avenue, The Women's Review of Books, So to Speak, Lithub, The Millions, The Rumpus,Art Practical, Easy Street, The Carbon Culture Review, and Mosaic. She was co-curator of the NEA-funded Digital Literature Garden and the Afrofuturist exhibition, Let's Play.  Rochelle is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, a former board member of the Hurston Wright Foundation, a mentor with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, a member of The Clearing (the writers' group founded by Serena Simpson), a founding member of the AfroSurreal Writers Workshop, and a former griot with Bucknell University's Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives and Cultures directed by the late critic and scholar Dr. Carmen Gillespie.

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

Jessica Pearson, Board President

Penguin Random House

Tracy Dunn, Treasurer

co-founder, Hip Hues

Karen Hayes, Secretary

co-owner, Parnassus Books

Lauren Charles

Ingram Content

Megan Fletcher

CM Group

Whitaker Elledge

Dualtone Music Group, Director of Artist Development

Diana Wiles Johnson

Country Music Hall of Fame, retired

Neil Krugman


Tyler Middleton

Graffam Middleton

Vince Morelli

Meharry Medical /independent film producer

Casey Mulligan


Kerry O’Neil

Big Yellow Dog Music/O’Neil Hagaman

Major Jackson

director of creating writing, vanderbilt UNIVERSITY

Ciona Rouse

poet and author of Vantablank

Julie Schoerke Gallagher

founder of JKS Communications and BooksForward

Ben Tran

Associate professor of english and asian studies, vanderbilt university

emeritus board members

Kim Bundy


Scott Chambers


Tiana Clark


Whitney Haley


Kendall Hinote


John Lavey


Korby Lenker


Andrew Maraniss


Cindy Olivia


Sandy Solomon


Alex Tapper


Stephanie Koehler


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