Officers for 2021-2022
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
Will Hughes, Vice-President. Will earned his BA in journalism from The University of Albany, his MFA in writing from Columbia University School of the Arts, and his Ph.D. in communication from UMASS-Amherst. Will, former President of the Columbia Fiction Foundry, taught at the university level for 30 years. He is currently Executive Producer & Showrunner at BIGTV which creates scripted content for the web. BIGTV’s web series, Patty & Patty, Cooking with Grace, Adventures of El Cabon, and Legend Hunters have had over 16 million views on social media. He is the author of Bannerkill (Amazon), four screenplays, and dozens of reality and scripted television shows and is hard at work on two new projects. [email protected]
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 will appear in Vol. VII of the SHORT STORY AMERICAN ANTHOLOGY.
Rebecca Sealfon, Communications Director. Rebecca is a 2012 graduate of Columbia's Master's program in Computer Science, through SEAS. She presently works as a social media consultant and freelance writer. Rebecca started and maintains a popular Israel-Palestine peace forum called Unity is Strength, which receives more than 1,000,000 views per year and attracts writers from all over the world. She has published in the New York Daily News, Smithsonian magazine, the Daily Beast, and LA's Jewish Journal. Rebecca lives in Harlem, a short walk from the University's Morningside campus, and enjoys reading books and hiking in the woods. [email protected]
Margaret (Margie) Winslow, At-Large Executive Committee Member. 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
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.
Mike DeRosa, Director of Virtual Fiction Foundry.
Minutes from the Columbia Fiction Foundry
2021 Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of Columbia Fiction Foundry was held via Zoom on October 2, 2021. The President, Will Hughes, called the meeting to order at approximately 10:10 a.m. Members present were: Will Hughes, Margie Winslow, Tania Moore, Steven Rosenfeld, Richard Nochimson, John Burger, Charles Wendell, Joan Faier, Jack Rosenbluth, Rebecca Sealfon, Mike DeRosa, Ed Evans and Ken Schept.
Will Hughes presented the President’s Annual Report, a copy of which is annexed hereto.
Steven Rosenfeld, Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented the Committee’s Report, which had been emailed to all Members on August 27, 2021 (copy annexed hereto). He asked whether the President had received by email any additional nominations, and Will Hughes replied that none had been received. Accordingly, on motion made and seconded, the following were unanimously elected, to serve until the 2022 Annual Meeting:
President – Tania Moore
Vice President – Will Hughes
Secretary – Steven Rosenfeld
Communications Director – Rebecca Sealfon
Members At Large of the Executive Committee – Margie Winslow and Lisa E Melilli
Under “Other Business,” in response to a member’s request, Mike DeRosa and Will Hughes reported on progress to date regarding the Virtual Fiction Foundry. They described the anticipated format for the VFF. Will said he hoped it would be ready to be “Beta tested” within a few weeks.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:35 a.m.
Steven B. Rosenfeld, Secretary
2020-21 Columbia Fiction Foundry Annual Report
Will Hughes, President
It has been my great honor, the honor of a lifetime in fact, to serve as President of the Columbia Fiction Foundry these last two years. We have survived and prospered during the most challenging epoch in our organization’s history.
In spite of a global pandemic and shuttered buildings in Morningside Heights, we were able to continue our Saturday and build up our Wednesday workshops without interruption using modern technology.
Additionally, we have continued our workshops – for the very first time – over the summer months. This has enabled continuity to our mission of helping one another achieve our shared goal of the creation of quality, literary fiction and seeing that work published.
We are proud of our many members who have published notable works of fiction and non-fiction in various genres and found audiences for their work with main street publishers, small craft publishers, literary magazines and other new modes of publication. We share great joy in their successes.
We have built a collaborative executive committee and we are proud that more people than ever are involved in assisting the Columbia Fiction Foundry in our mission.
We have attracted many new active members of all age groups, genders and cultures and will continue to do so moving forward.
We have greatly improved our relationship with the Alumni Organization and the other Special Interest Groups by working closely with the alumni staff and being present at meetings and other alumni functions. We will continue to build these relationships.
We have even cracked the code of getting updated information on our Nation Builder web page in a timely manner, making us optimistic about building the Columbia Fiction Foundry brand.
We have enhanced our social media presence by hosting and posting informational videos of our events – a number of successful events were held pre-Covid and via Zoom. Moving forward we will continue to capitalize on the Columbia Fiction Foundry brand by not only attracting talented, Columbia writers but also gaining the attention of literary agents and publishers.
Social media presence is de rigueur today for anyone with realistic expectations of publishing. Hopefully, we will be able to provide support for our members throughout the publishing process, beginning with polished manuscripts, professional query letters and guidance on utilizing social media to establish a writer’s personal brand.
We have a vast and powerful platform through our great university. This is an asset we hope to develop moving forward by publicizing our members’ successes and getting more deciders involved with our group.
While we have made some progress with the Virtual Fiction Foundry – we will actually be rolling out our first virtual (not in real time) workshops in the next several weeks – we are still of the mind that the Virtual Fiction Foundry will eventually allow creative writers globally to workshop in various genres asynchronously.
Toward that end, we have created an executive position of Virtual Fiction Foundry director. We are proud to have appointed Mike DeRosa to that position. He and I will be working diligently over the next year to bring our vision of the Columbia Virtual Fiction Foundry to fruition.
Our most important achievement is we have established a collegial and collaborative culture of cooperation and mutual respect for writers, providing constructive criticism and practical advice while preserving the heritage of the School of Arts, MFA Writing workshops.
We would like to acknowledge the giants on whose shoulders we stand, our previous presidents: my friend and classmate, Richard Hensley, and Ralph White, one of our founding members.
Finally, thank you, everyone. It has been a privilege and honor to serve as your president.