Meet The Team
Dara Lusk (She/Her)
Dara Lusk is an English Major pursuing an emphasis in Technical Writing as well as a minor in Psychology, though her true love will always be creative writing. She is originally from the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC and is eager to continue exploring the West coast. When not in class, her head is mostly likely lost in fantasies of Europe, second hand books shops, and pizzas. She loves binge-reading classics, spontaneous adventures that make her shoes even more dirty than they already are, and hopes to one day be a published author.
Hannah Lee (She/Her)
Hannah Lee is a senior English Creative Writing Major at USU. She loves studying ocean-based folklore, scouting antique stores for diamonds in the rough, and sitting by the sea. Currently, she is working on a YA fiction novel series inspired by her love of pirate lore and she looks forward to a life filled with storytelling.
Mckayla Beauchamp (She/Her)
Mckayla is finishing up her time at USU as a Creative Writing major. She is passionate about fairytales stemming from Europe and South East Asia, and is currently working on a novel that she hopes to publish someday. When she's not writing or doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, Mckayla can be found spending time outside with her husband and their dog, Newt.
Kyler Tolman (He/Him)
Kyler is a Biology and English double major with minors in Chemistry, Sociology, and Public Health, and his current plan is to pursue a career in publishing. When he isn't blasting Taylor Swift's discography at an alarming volume, he enjoys reading, watching movies, and traveling.
Jay Paine (He/Him)
Jay Paine has too many curiosities to finish his undergrad in a timely manner, but he’s currently sold on this creative writing thing. An enthusiast of philosophy, Jay often overindulges in existentialism. When he’s not grappling with the meaning of life, you can find him reading a sci-fi novel or penning a poem.
Poetry Co-Editor and Design Managing Editor
Claire Mayfield (She/Her)
Claire is a Technical Communication major with a minor in Folklore. She has lived in California, Ohio, North Carolina, and now Utah. She is currently working on a compilation book of poetry and a novel. She enjoys playing lots of Animal Crossing and listening to the Bleachers.
Alexandra Jensen (She/Her)
Alexandra is a farm girl from small-town Idaho who loves words spoken, sung, and written. Remember that one kid in every elementary class who would sit in the library and read during recess? That was her, which can either be embarrassing or endearing. Her love for reading has only grown since then, and she put her obsession to good use by becoming a literature major.
Fiction Reader and Blog Editor
Deren Bott (He/Him)
Deren is an aspiring author currently studying at USU. He loves to read everything that he can get his hands on, but has a soft spot for fantasy. He believes that everyone has a story to tell, and he wants to help those aspiring writers in every way he can. When Deren isn’t reading, you can find him watching movies or working on books that he hopes will one day be published.
Karissa Benson (She/Her)
Karissa is an undergraduate student at Utah State studying Creative Writing. Born and raised in Cache Valley, Utah, the only mountains she has ever known are those swaddling the valley. She is an aspiring writer, professor, ceramic artist and editor. Outside of writing, she enjoys reading, jewelry and napping.
Brian Cole (He/Him)
When Brian isn't writing, he's usually stressing about writing. Because that's how writing works. His other interests include piano, robotics, and stupid amounts of Minecraft. Brian is a former mechanical engineering student who is now trying to figure out his life.
Melissa Cook (She/Her)
Melissa is an English Literature major at Utah State University. She loves writing, reading, and music. Melissa always has a list of books to read that is a mile long, and a writing project complete with its own playlist of classic rock (anything Tom Petty, really).
Mya Bethers (She/Her)
Mya is a Creative Writing major with a minor in Film Studies at Utah State University. Her passion for storytelling has blossomed into love for other interests such as gaming, the fine arts, animation, fashion, and music. In her spare time, Mya enjoys smelling candles, people-watching, binging tv shows to an unhealthy extent, and obsessing over the existence of pigs.
Danielle Bucio (She/Her)
Danielle is an English Technical Writing Major at Utah State University with a minor in Folklore. She has always loved stories and has tried to absorb them throughout her life by either reading, writing, or watching TV. When she isn’t bogged down with schoolwork she also enjoys sports and being outdoors as well as traveling anywhere in the world she can go.
Cayla Cappel (She/Her)
I am an English major pursuing an emphasis in creative writing. I am originally from the suburbs of Georgia, about an hour north of Atlanta. When I'm not in class, I'm a typical nerd with nerdy friends. When I hang out with them, we typically binge watch shows or eat out and discuss our creative pursuits like writing or art--though it's mostly my friend that does the art. I am excited to join this team and gain some experience before I graduate and head out into the world!
Isabelle Scott (She/Her)
Isabelle is majoring in English at Utah State University. She has been writing short stories and poetry since she was in elementary school. She enjoys playing the piano, painting, and has a newfound love for skiing. Art, nature, and literature are some of the best gifts in her life.
Jenni Cooper (She/Her)
Jenni enjoys days spent at home playing Animal Crossing, reading, embroidering, or singing. She recently returned to Utah after working as a safari driver in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and now knows copious amounts of African animal facts. Jenni is a Theatre Arts major and enjoys nothing more than being on stage, but writing and reading are a very close second. She is especially drawn to poetry and can usually be found scribbling something in one of the 30 notebooks she owns.
Stefani Ames (She/Her)
Stefani is a mash up of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Emily Dickinson. When she gets done with her homework she is either sucking the marrow out of life or the mountains are calling her. Her hope is to infect as many people as she can with a love for literature and basketball.
Preston Waddoups (He/Him)
Preston is a student of philosophy and English literature at USU. He enjoys making various teas and soups, writing poetry, and reading. He particularly likes continental philosophy and modernist literature.
Jake Perry (He/Him)
Jake Perry is an undergraduate, studying creative writing and philosophy. Off campus, Jake enjoys collecting and caring for his orchid children. Jake also finds peace in painting with watercolors while listening to his favorite podcasts. Jake also has fun playing board, video, and tabletop role-playing games.
Henry Hales (They/Them)
Henry Hales is an English Creative Writing Major and web novel writer with an affinity for poetry and science fiction. While they love the variety of forms that poetry comes in, they have a special fondness for the high-emotion, performance aspect of slam poetry in particular. Being from Kansas, they aren't quite used to the rocky terrain and lofty elevation of Utah, but they find the unfamiliar site of mountains to be beautiful nonetheless. They can usually be found performing a poem at Po-Bev, writing edgy gay space operas, or drinking Dr. Pepper at their computer.
Andrea Giles (She/Her)
Andrea Giles is an Animal Science Major pursuing an emphasis in Biotechnology as well as a minor in English. She is originally from Logan, Utah but has also spent several years in southern Maine. Her current hobbies include baking, needlepoint art, playing the violin, and writing short stories. She also loves anything to do with reading and writing, long drives, animals, and genetics. Her dream is to become a published author and work with an endangered species program.
Russ Beck (He/Him)
Russ co-authored the book On Fly-Fishing the Northern Rockies: Essays and Dubious Advice. He received the Frederick Manfred Award for creative writing from the Western Literature Association, and both edits and contributes to howsmallatrout.wordpress.com and Braidedbrook.com. His essays have appeared in Eat Sleep Fish and The Huffington Post. He teaches writing at Utah State University.
CW Contest and Fiction Advisor
Charles Waugh (He/Him)
Charles Waugh is the co-editor and co-translator of an innovative new collection of short fiction by young Vietnamese writers called Wild Mustard: New Voices from Vietnam (Curbstone 2017). He earned his Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Denver and teaches fiction writing at USU. His stories, essays, articles and translations have appeared in journals such as The Literary Review, Words Without Borders, Foreign Policy, ISLE, Sycamore Review, Flyway, and saltfront.
Millie Tullis (She/Her)
Millie Tullis is a poet and folklorist from Northern Utah. She received an MFA from George Mason University in 2021 and is currently studying Mormon Folklore at Utah State University. Her creative work has been published in Sugar House Review, Rock & Sling, Cimarron Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Psaltery & Lyre, an online journal publishing literature at the intersection of faith and doubt.
Robb Kunz (He/Him)
Robb Kunz hails from Teton Valley, Idaho. After receiving his MFA in creative writing from the University of Idaho, Robb returned to his parent’s farm to cut grain and hay, fix fence, and hone his skills as a small-town barista. He currently teaches writing at Utah State University. Robb enjoys television, books, seltzer water, and cross-stitch.