Kate Reuther is the Founder and Director of Uptown Stories. She has taught writing for over fifteen years, in both public and private schools, including Calhoun, Fieldston, and Bank Street. Her own fiction has appeared in The Madison Review, Brain Child, Salamander, and The Ledge. She has a BA in English from Yale and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Kate is a life-long New Yorker and has been living in Washington Heights since 2003 with her husband and two boys.
Lydia Villaronga is the Assistant Director of Uptown Stories. She’s been writing for about as long as she’s been able to hold a pencil and hopes to one day publish a science fiction novel. When she isn’t busy crafting her dystopia, you can find her with her amazing pit bull Fury at the dog run in Fort Tryon Park. Sharing much of Kate’s geographic origin story, Lydia is a native New Yorker and has been living in Washington Heights intermittently since 2009 after growing up on the Upper West Side.
Danica Novgorodoff is an artist, writer, graphic designer, horse wrangler, and marathon runner who lives in New York when she’s not traveling the world. Her books include A Late Freeze, Slow Storm,Refresh, Refresh (included in Best American Comics 2011), and The Undertaking of Lily Chen. She has been an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Wildfjords Artist Residency, and Blue Mountain Center.
Miranda K. Pennington is the author of A Girl Walks Into a Book, a hybrid of biography, criticism, and memoir forthcoming from Seal Press in Spring 2017. Her work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, the Ploughshares Writing Blog, and The Catapult podcast. She has taught essay-writing and academic writing at Touro College, Empire State College, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), the Columbia Summer High School Program, and is currently a University Writing instructor at Columbia University, where she received her MFA. She lives in Inwood.
Amy Greenhouse is a New York City public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She is dedicated to shaping her students into lifelong learners who have the skills and curiosity to read and write outside the classroom. She has a Masters in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford University and a Master of Science Degree in Education from Queens College. Amy’s students inspired her to write two middle grade novels: Rat Trap! tells the story of 7th graders from Hollis, Queens, as they take on our city’s rodents. In A Brooklyn Tail, Hurricane Sandy washes a mermaid baby onto Coney Island’s shores. She lives with her toddler son and husband in lower Manhattan.
Shamie Cuthbert is a teacher, writer, and local mom. After teaching creative writing workshops for about a decade, she attended Bank Street College of Education, where she received a Master’s in Early Childhood and General Education. She has been teaching in New York City independent schools for the past five years. Passionate about both teaching and writing, her main focus is to enhance the natural creative abilities of children, while facilitating the development of skills and strategies to execute ideas. As a freelance writer, Shamie has published several social perspective pieces for the independent publication, Circle Magazine. She is currently working on a collection of New York City based short stories for children.
Max Arnaud is an actor, writer, director and teacher. He studied at Tulane University (BA) and West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts (MFA). He teaches for New York City Children’s Theater, PS 87 Afterschool, and Young Playwrights. He directs plays for young people at the Brooklyn Players Summer program as well as full-length productions for adults at of Brooklyn Players Community Musical Theater. At Greenbrier Valley Theatre he led student playwriting workshops culminating in fully produced showcases of new work. As an actor, he has performed in over 50 plays. Recently, Max played a leading role in Upstate, an independent feature film by Ground Glass Productions. His play Daydream toured the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit in 2010.
Greg Farrell is a cartoonist and writer from Long Island, New York. In 2014 he published On the Books, a first person account of a labor struggle in New York City. In 2015 he adapted and illustrated the prison diary of Ho Chi Minh, and self published Golden Age, a collection of autobiographical essay comics. When not making comics he has been known to record rap albums and play drums in local rock bands. His work has been featured in Smoke Signal and WW3 Illustrated.
Carlo Quispe is a New York based cartoonist and educator, making comics and illustrations in the US and internationally since graduating from the School of Visual Arts. His experience also includes animation, advertising and performance. He has been an art teacher for the NY Department of Education since 2013. Most recently, he created a new multilingual community mural at 184th St and Overlook Terrace.
Chris Williams received his BA from Yale University and his MFA in fiction from the Columbia University School of the Arts. His short fiction is featured in Of a Monstrous Child: An Anthology of Creative Writing Relationships. He has taught creative writing, essay writing, mathematics, and science at the middle, high school, and university levels for more than seven years. Currently, he teaches at Columbia University, Baruch College, and LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America).
Join Our Team
Uptown Stories, a federally approved non-profit creative writing program in Washington Heights, is hiring rock-star writing teachers to develop and lead new afterschool workshops. We are looking for teachers who write terrific curriculum, who are dynamic and engaging in the classroom, who are self-reliant and responsible, who can differentiate instruction for different ages and different abilities, who enjoy teaching middle-school aged kids (8-14), and who, most of all, feel passionate about the craft and the art of writing.
We want our teachers to follow their passions, and we’re open to any genre or form — if you have a great idea, tell us about it. All classes should be structured primarily as workshops, where the students read and discuss each other’s writing, creating a community of young authors. Workshops meet on a ten-week cycle, with nine two-hour-long classes followed by a celebratory reading in the evening for friends and family. To ensure our workshops are accessible to all children, families pay tuition at a self-determined rate, from $500 for full tuition to $1.
Teachers are expected to help set up and break down the classroom space, to email weekly writing assignments to families and post them on the website, and to be available by email during the week for questions from students. Uptown Stories will handle enrollment, billing, space rental, and provide materials and snacks.
Applicants must have professional experience teaching and writing.
If you’re interested, please send a resume and description of your proposed workshop to Kate@UptownStories.org.
Thanks so much,
See what parents, teachers and students have to say about Uptown Stories.
Mara – Parent
I think Sofia's writing has become clearer, stronger and more sophisticated, both in what she's written for the writing class, and what she's written for school assignments. Uptown Stories has helped her tune in to her writing in a way she was not doing before.
Catherine – Parent
My son can sometimes struggle with feedback, even constructive feedback, and he never seemed discouraged or disappointed. He loved to go to the class, but the class was also very focused.
Cecilia – Parent
We are so grateful that we found Uptown Stories! It's a wonderful place for young writers to explore their craft in our neighborhood.
Beatrice – Student
It's an outlet for a lot of feelings I don't really have anywhere to express otherwise. It feels like a private space for me that I only I can really understand--no one other than me really knows what I mean in what I write. Writing helps me express to other people feelings I wouldn't know how to tell in another manner.
Miriam – Parent
Thank you so very much for contributing such a positive writing experience for my son. He truly loved his time with the class. His eyes were so lit up and happy when he returned home each evening from class. Through your class his love of writing was reignited.
Annie – Parent
Her writing has improved tremendously. She´s more descriptive in her scenes. Her imagination travels far more that what she herself expects. She loves writing. She can sit for hours and let her imagination fly. She’s happy when she has to attend her writing workshops.
Uptown Stories offers a stimulating and encouraging refuge and outlet for her students. The weekly assignments offer different approaches for my son to consider how to tell his stories and how to develop his characters. They also offer insights into their own creative process while also providing ways for him to learn about the structure and forms that contribute to storytelling.