The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Creative Writing Instructors

Creative Writing Instructors

Juniper's Creative Writing Instructors are professional teachers, published authors, and graduate students pursuing their PhD or Masters of Fine Arts degrees in creative writing at UMass Amherst. Below are the fantastic and brilliant Instructors for the Juniper Young Writers Online Winter Workshops.

Sarah Ahmad

Sarah Ahmad (she/her)

Sarah Ahmad was born in Delhi and grew up across the Indian subcontinent. She has been a graduate student in the women’s history and writing programs at Sarah Lawrence College, taught in the CUNY Start program, and was the 2018–19 Editorial Fellow at Poets & Writers. She is poetry editor at Guernica, a PhD candidate in literature at UMass–Amherst where she works on feminist-queer architextures in contemporary queer-diasporic literature, and writes in-between poem-prose beings. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the minnesota review, Gulf Coast, Plume, MUSE India, and Latin American Literature Today amongst other places.

Larry Flynn

Larry Flynn (he/him)

Larry Flynn is a teaching associate and MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has received fellowships and scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conferences, Columbia University’s Klingenstein Institute, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and has attended workshops at Tin House and The Kenyon Review. His writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is published or forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, New Letters, West Branch, StoryQuarterly, The Greensboro Review, The Normal School, Portland Review, Sports Illustrated, several Massachusetts newspapers, and others.

Larry received degrees from Villanova University (BA) and Northwestern University (MS), where he reported and produced a documentary selected as a finalist for a Midwest/Chicago Emmy. He has taught in various year-round and summer programming at UMass Amherst, Culver Academies, Northfield Mount Hermon, Phillips Academy Andover, and Villanova University.

As a teacher, Larry enjoys cultivating generative and generous classroom spaces. As a writer, he often situates nature, education, history, and family dynamics at the heart of his work. Read his work at

Sara HetheringtonSara Hetherington (she/her)

Sara Hetherington grew up in Florida and has lived in Western Massachusetts and NYC. She holds a B.A. from Williams College and is currently enrolled in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst, where she also teaches College Writing. She is working on a collection of linked short stories.








Riley JonesRiley Jones (she/her)

Riley Jones is a current poetry candidate in the UMass Amherst MFA for poets and writers. She is from a very small town in Massachusetts and now lives in Northampton, a slightly larger town in Western Massachusetts. She has been working for the Juniper Institute in various capacities for the last five years. She likes rivers, dried flowers, and empty vases. One day she'd like to teach poetry to children in a large grass field.

Joan Tate (she/it)Joan Tate

Joan Tate is a trans writer from Virginia whose often maximalist work deals with the grappling of the human spirit with its own impermanence, growth, and ecstasies. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University in Creative Writing Poetry and is currently studying at UMass Amherst’s MFA Program for Poets and Writers. Its work has been featured in Ratrock, Quarto, 4x4, and The Gadfly. When she’s not too busy watching horror movies and yearning for a good New York bagel she can be found walking the graveyards of Western Massachusetts, reading to whatever entities reside therein.