Our Writers


Lenore (Lennie) Barnes moved to Charleston from Cape Cod, after raising her son and daughter outside of Boston, with a several-year stint in Geneva, Switzerland. She graduated from the College of Holy Cross with a B.A. in European Literature and has written for the Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch and numerous New England-based magazines. She completed a certificate in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto and is thrilled to turn her full attention to writing fiction as a member of CoC’s MFA program. She loves exploring the low country with her husband Jeff and 17-year-old Westie, Lucy.

Katie Chea is a Chinese-Khmer poet from Rock Hill, South Carolina. She recently graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and a minor in Data Science. With a passion for poetry, she turned towards the arts and curation as a path to pursue post-grad. She hopes to combine her knowledge of technology with art in future projects. Outside of writing, you can usually find her painting, thrifting, or taking pictures of her sister’s dog.

Tanner Crunelle studied cultural theory, literature, and the U.S. South as a student at the College of Charleston Honors College, and since graduating in 2020 has shared his critical humanities research internationally. He now returns to his hometown as the 2022-2024 Woodfin Fellow in the College of Charleston poetry MFA. He concurrently studies at the European Graduate School, as an MA student in Philosophy, Art, and Social Thought. In his free time, he mentors LGBTQ+ student leaders at CofC through an eponymous scholarship and serves on the College of Charleston Foundation Board of Directors. He prefers tea to coffee and—of course—mustard BBQ sauce.

Annie Grimes is a writer from Conway, Arkansas. In 2022, she received her B.A. in Creative Writing and Sociology from the University of Central Arkansas, where she served as the assistant editor of her college’s undergraduate literary magazine, Vortex. She is a first-year M.F.A. fiction student at the College of Charleston, as well as a Hall Director in the Department of Residence Life. When she is not writing or working, she can be found reorganizing her bookshelf, exploring Charleston with an overstuffed tote bag, or posting rambling reviews of books on her personal blog.

Suzannah “Suz” Guthmann was born and raised in Waxhaw, North Carolina. She graduated from Covenant College in 2020 with a BA in English writing and a minor in political science, having served as the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Bagpipe. After graduation, Suz interned with Our State magazine, moonlighted as a social media manager, and adopted two travel size panthers, Brillo and Dulce. She will be studying poetry, focusing on the interaction between writing and healing from trauma, and learning with the arts and cultural management program. When Suz is not writing, she enjoys thrift shopping, Bevi Bene kombucha, and true crime podcasts.

Ellen Gwin is a poet from Jackson, Mississippi, who graduated cum laude from Loyola University New Orleans with a B.A. in English and a concentration in Writing. During her undergraduate degree, she spent a year studying French, history, and classical ballet at Sorbonne University. In March 2021, 805 Lit + Art Mag published Ellen’s poem “I Am Fermenting.” In September 2021, Humankind Zine published her poems “Birth of a Beer Bottle” and “Choosing Happiness.” Ellen writes poetry about universal truths and morality using literary and historical allusions as well as imagery found in the natural world. She draws inspiration from various hobbies such as ballet, fashion, and painting. While at College of Charleston, Ellen will work as an editorial assistant at swamp pink.

Lexi Lilly is a writer from Murray, Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Louisville in 2021 with a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Sustainability, and a minor in Global Health. She is a first-year M.F.A. fiction student at the College of Charleston where she works as an Editorial Assistant for Swamp Pink and as a Marketing and Communications Assistant for the College of Charleston Libraries. She has spent the last year travelling and living in Australia and is excited to continue her journey in Charleston.

Rachael Mockalis is a fiction writer from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. She obtained her BA in English from Columbus State University, where she won several awards for her writing, performed some readings, and struggled to learn French. She aspires to plan literary events, publish a literary journal, and become a dirt witch who lives in the woods. Besides reading and writing, her interests include her dog, nature, still struggling to learn French, mythology, and figuring out how to live in the woods.

Peyton Niemeyer is an aspiring novelist from Aitkin, MN. She received her BA in Writing Studies with a philosophy minor from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, just off Lake Superior. In her spare time, she loves to read, write, take walks, listen to music, and watch thought provoking films.



Michela Polito is a writer from Italy, who graduated cum laude at Universita` di Firenze with a B.A. in Literature and a concentration in Music, Theater, and Cinema. Then she attended Scuola Holden in Turin, Italy, the most popular school of Story Telling of the country. After graduation she worked as an advertising executive, selling ads for a digital platform in the group buying field, and migrated to the United States seven years ago. She published her first novel Nico in 2020 with WomenPlot, an international media publisher which focused mainly on women issues, after 13 years of struggles to find her way to publication.

Hanna Reynditskiy was brought up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied narrative at USC (the Southern Californian one) and found spiritual ecstasy in the book stacks of Doheny. She is currently working on becoming one with the all-knowing eye and all its paradoxical biases; in other words, she will be focusing on writing a variety of short stories at CofC as a fiction student. Part of her personality lies between the want for spontaneity and need for meticulous adherence. She’s also a nut about plant-focused cooking and throwing down a groove to anything remotely silly.

Emilie Ross was born in Santa Cruz, California and earned her B.A. in creative writing from the University of Colorado Denver. She edits for C.U. Denver’s literary magazine, Copper Nickel, and now pursues her M.F.A. in creative fiction writing at College of Charleston, South Carolina. She also paints.



Campbell Sullivan hails from Columbia, South Carolina. She graduated from Furman University in 2019 majoring in English and Visual Art. Before starting her graduate studies, Campbell has worked at an alpaca farm, a pottery studio, and Walt Disney World. She is studying fiction and participating in the Arts and Cultural Managment opportunity within the program. Campbell enjoys writing about living along the Carolina Coast, life’s daily whimsies, and what makes being on this planet as a human so interesting and complex. Campbell loves the feel of sand between her toes and a brand new pen in her hands.