Officers for 2022-2023
Tania Moore, President. Tania's Pushcart-nominated fiction has appeared in The Madison Review, Foundling Review, Pithead Chapel, and many others. She earned her BA from Yale College and her MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts, where she was the recipient of the C. Woolrich Fellowship for fiction. She’s completed one upmarket literary fiction novel and is at work on another. In addition to serving as President of Columbia University’s Fiction Foundry, she is the founder of Contemporary Fiction Collective in New York City and teaches creative writing through her Stories Alive! Writing Workshops. Visit her at www.taniamoore.com
Margaret (Margie) Winslow, Vice President. Margaret is Professor emerita of Earth Sciences at CUNY. National Geographic funded her fieldwork which appeared in the PBS series “Fire on the Rim.” She published two award-winning travel/adventure memoirs about southern South America, Over My Head (2012) and The Cusp of Dreadfulness (2016), plus a best-selling animal companion memoir, Smart Ass (2018). In addition to CFF, she is a member of the International Women Writers Guild and Sisters in Crime. Visit her at www.margaretwinslow.com
Steven B. Rosenfeld, Secretary. Steve (Columbia College ’64, Columbia Law School ’67) is a retired NYC lawyer who began writing short fiction in 2015. Since then, his work has appeared in The City Key, Jewish Fiction.net, Good Works Review, Flatbush Review, Reflex Fiction, Magnolia Review, and Sunspot Literary Journal, among others. His story, “Separation,” was a Finalist in the 2018 Short Story America Prize contest and appeared in Vol. VII of the SHORT STORY AMERICA ANTHOLOGY. Blueline Magazine, Volume 43, published in July 2022, features his short story, “Oarsman,” which he workshopped at the Columbia Fiction Foundry.
Michael Hirsh, Communications Director. Michael is a 1990 graduate of SIPA and a career journalist based outside of Washington, D.C. He is a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine and the former foreign editor, chief diplomatic correspondent and national economic correspondent for Newsweek as well as a former national editor of Politico magazine. He has also written for The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, Foreign Affairs, and Harper's. Hirsh shared in two National Magazine Awards for Newsweek's coverage of the war on terror and was co-winner of the Overseas Press Club award for best magazine reporting from abroad. He is the author of two nonfiction books, At War with Ourselves: Why America Is Squandering Its Chance to Build a Better World (Oxford University Press, 2002), and Capital Offense: How Washington's Wise Men Handed America's Future over to Wall Street (Wiley, 2010).
Lisa Melilli, At-Large Executive Committee Member. Lisa (MPH, DrPH Mailman School of Public Health) was a finalist for the Alexander Capon prize in fiction. Also, she was a finalist for her first publication from Soundings Review. She received Honorable Mention twice from Glimmer Train, as well as being a semifinalist for the Pirate Alley Faulkner Society emerging writer award series. Her latest published stories were in Nivalis Review and Midway Journal. She is the recipient of an Arts Fellowship from the Drisha Institute. She holds an MFA from Goddard College and has taught creative writing in the greater New York City area.
Ken Schept, At-Large Executive Committee Member. After receiving his MFA from Columbia University, Ken sharpened his writing skills as a journalist and business writer, traveling extensively in the US and abroad. Around ten years ago, he returned to writing fiction and has since completed many short stories, two novels, and a children’s picture book, A Gift of Feathers, published by Feiwel & Friends, a Macmillan imprint. Jewish Fiction.Net published his short story The Crimson Cap.
Margrét Ann Thors, At-Large Executive Committee Member. Margrét is a writer and doctoral candidate based in Reykjavík, Iceland. She holds a BA from Barnard College, MA from Teachers College, and MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts and currently teaches in the English department at the University of Iceland. Her doctoral research is on literature and
culture after 9/11. Her creative writing has appeared in Glamour, Creative Nonfiction, Una Publishing House, Ós Pressan, Storychord, and other outlets. She's an aspiring novelist.
Linda Raymond Ellison, At-Large Executive Committee Member. After graduating from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia, Linda worked on the Fredericksburg Virginia Free-Lance Star before moving to New York and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (class of 1971). She spent a 30-year career as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Louisville Kentucky Times and The Courier-Journal newspapers. She retired to teach college writing (non-fiction), mostly at Bellarmine University, for almost 15 years. She is now Writer-In-Residence at Simmons College of Kentucky, a tiny HBCU in Louisville. Linda and her husband, William L. Ellison Jr., also worked together on two non-fiction books involving local history. Linda joined Columbia Fiction Foundry last year, and is working on her first novel.
Minutes from the Columbia Fiction Foundry
Minutes of Annual Meeting of Columba Fiction Foundry - October 14, 2023
The annual meeting of the members of Columbia Fiction Foundry was held on October 14, 2023. The President, Tania Moore, called the meeting to order at approximately 10:15 a.m. Attending in person at the Alumni Center, 622 W 113th St, New York, NY 10025 were the following members: Tania Moore, Ken Schept, Steven Rosenfeld, Margaret Winslow, Mike de Rosa, Ralph White, Jack Burger, Amy Heebner, Micaela Perry Conners, Courtney Ren, and Jinna Wang. Members attending via Zoom were Anne Taranto, Linda Raymond Ellison, Michael Brown, Michael Hirsh, Ed Evans, Jack Rosenbluth and Elaine George. Non-member guests attending the meeting were Tom Anderson, Havilah Giannetta, Robbin Johnson, Brandie Lustbader, Mohith Manohar, Deb Johnson, and Mauricio Matiz.
Tania Moore welcomed everyone to the meeting, and delivered the President’s Annual Report, a copy of which is annexed to these minutes.
The next order of business was the election of officers for the 20232-24 year. Ms. Moore called upon Ken Schept, Chair of the Nominating Committee. In response to Mr. Schept’s questions, Ms. Moore confirmed that she had not received any nominations by email, nor had she received any emailed ballots. Mr. Schept then presented the Committee’s Report and placed the following names in nomination:
President – Tania Moore
Vice President – Margaret Winslow
Secretary – Steven Rosenfeld
Communications Director – Michael Hirsh
Members At Large of the Executive Committee – Lisa E Melilli, Ken Schept, Linda Raymond Ellison and Margrét Thors.
Mr. Schept reviewed the bios and qualifications of the new nominees, Ms. Ellison and Ms. Thors.
There being no questions regarding the nominees and no other nominations, Ms. Moore called for a vote. All members voting voted in favor of the Committee’s slate, whereupon the above-mentioned nominees were elected.
Ms. Moore asked if there was any further business, at which point Mr. Rosenfeld and Ms. Winslow paid tribute to the extraordinary job done by the President during the past year. Ms. Moore then welcomed new members attending for the first time and invited all present to remain for an Open House, featuring conversation and refreshments.
There being no further business, the Annual Meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:35 a.m.
Steven B. Rosenfeld, Secretary
2022-2023 Columbia Fiction Foundry Annual Report
Tania Moore, President
It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as President of the Columbia Fiction Foundry this year. I’ve loved hearing from many of you, so please feel free to reach out.
Columbia Fiction Foundry has had a fantastic year. Our membership has increased steadily, and both the Wednesday and Saturday workshops have enjoyed unprecedented attendance. The quality of writing and feedback have been excellent, and many members have volunteered to help in a variety of ways. We’ve also hosted several successful events.
One of our goals has been to make CFF an inclusive environment where writers of all ages and backgrounds will feel welcome. We’re delighted by the variety of writing and the diversity of voices in our workshops, and we look forward to continuing to grow in this area. We also look forward to welcoming many of our new members to our workshops and events.
We continue to run our workshops via Zoom. Post-COVID, the Alumni Center is no longer open on the weekends, which is when we run our monthly Saturday workshop. While this scheduling change has in some ways been disappointing, one of the benefits of meeting virtually is that members from across the US and as far afield as Kentucky, DC, Chicago and Iceland have been able to attend.
As we look for new ways for our members to meet in person, we’ll be offering several live events in the coming year, starting with our Open House/Annual Meeting today. The next in-person event will be our December Saturday workshop, which will take place at the Alumni Center, and will be a hybrid in-person/Zoom event, with some holiday treats, so look out for that.
Last February, we hosted a highly attended panel discussion with agents from DeFiore & Company. Participants gained insights into the publishing business and learned how to navigate the crucial step of getting an agent. Events with publishing professionals are always popular, and our next event is scheduled for October 26th. If you’re on our mailing list, you’ve received an invitation, and if not, you can sign up for both our mailing list and the event on the Columbia Fiction Foundry website.
We are proud of our many members who have published work this year with large and small presses, as well as literary magazines. Under the leadership of our Communications Director, Michael Hirsch, we post publication news from our members in our newsletter, so check out our News page on our website. If you have publication news to share, be sure to reach out to Michael.
Columbia Fiction Foundry is a team effort. In addition to Micheal Hirsch, who I’ve already mentioned, I’d like to thank Lisa Melilli, under whose care and leadership the Wednesday workshop continues to flourish. Thank you to Steve Rosenfeld, CFF Secretary, for his critical role in all matters of CFF governance, and Margie Winslow, who helps with everything from moderating meetings to keeping us all on track. As she’s been known to say, “it’s like herding cats”. Lastly, but not least, thank you to Ken Schept, who, among other initiatives, forged a valuable connection with the School of the Arts and is running our next event. We have a great leadership team, and today we will vote on our slate that includes two fantastic new members for the Executive Committee.
As always, I would like to thank Genna Farley Fleming, Senior Associate Director of Diversity Engagement at Columbia’s Office of Alumni. Genna has been our go-to for pretty much everything. I’m delighted that she now has a fantastic new Assistant, Stanley Clark, who’s already been wonderful to work with. We couldn’t do it without you guys.
CFF could not exist without our members, those of you who share your writing, who offer feedback and support your fellow writers, who participate in events and volunteer your time and enthusiasm to help keep CFF running. So thank you to all of you. For anyone who would like to get more involved, whether moderating a meeting or anything else, please reach out to any of us.
Lastly, thank you for the privilege of serving as your President this year. I look forward to working with our Executive Committee and all of you to continue to make CFF a thriving community of writers who come together to support one another in our shared goal of creating exciting, quality fiction with the goal of publication.
We’re going to have an amazing year.