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Writing Barn Team

WB Staff:

CRock Ceremony Writing Barnlaire Campbell—Program Manager

Claire Campbell received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She has worked over a decade with NYC-based nonprofits and has taught writing to students of all ages, including NYC public school students and adult writers suffering from early memory loss.

She was thrilled to discover the Writing Barn when she moved back to Texas—at the Barn she has studied with Matt de la Peña, A.M. Jenkins, and in private instruction with owner and founder Bethany Hegedus. Claire writes fantasy and fiction, and is thrilled to merge both sides of her personality—creative and community outreach—to expand The Writing Barn’s offerings to corporations and nonprofits. Claire also offers private writing instruction services to writers of all genres. More info here!


Lucas McGill—Program Assistant

Lucas McGill was born in Dallas, Texas, but made the move to Austin as a teenager and never looked back. Falling in love with great stories and detailed universes at a young age, Lucas began immersing himself in stories from books, films, and video games whenever he could. Studying English at St. Edward’s University, Lucas began his college career with aspirations of being a novelist, but soon developed a passion for visual storytelling while taking a screenwriting class at St. Edward’s. Hoping to one day become a great storyteller, Lucas is grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by the talented and experienced people at The Writing Barn. For kicks, Lucas enjoys scouring Netflix for hidden gems, playing narrative driven video games, grooving to local tunes at the many music venues around town, and doing any of the three while consuming tasty craft beer.


WB Writing Fellows:


AprilJo Murphy – WB Writing Fellow

AprilJo Murphy is a writer, editor, and teacher. Her writing has been published in Women’s Studies QuarterlySinister Wisdom, and Hippocampus, among other journals. She is currently working on a collection of essays.

AprilJo lives in Austin, TX with her dog Roan.



Sonny Regelman – WB Writing Fellow

Sonny Regelman is a 20-year editorial professional. She began writing poetry in the 6th grade and was published frequently in her Pennsylvania hometown newspaper. She has a master’s degree in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. Her work recently appeared in the Di-Vêrsé-City Anthology 2016. She also serves on the board of the Austin Poetry Society.

Rebekah Manley – WB Writing Fellow

After Rebekah studied Public Relations at Grand Canyon University, she worked for Carnival Cruise lines as a Social Hostess and an Assistant Cruise Director. She couldn’t shake the dream of writing to inspire and delight children and earned her Master of Fine Arts in Children’s Literature from Hollins University.

Aside from her Children’s literature career, Rebekah is the Coordinator for the Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission; under the Library of Congress. In Rebekah’s website, Brave Tutu, she hopes readers will “take courage in delight and discover power in small moments.”

Gayleen Rabakukk – WB Writing Fellow

Gayleen Rabakukk holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and an undergraduate degree in journalism. She has published numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and two regional interest books for adults. Now she focuses her energy on inspiring curiosity in young readers through stories of hope and adventure.


Erin Sewell – WB Writing Fellow

Erin Sewell earned her degree from The University of Texas at Austin. Over the last five years, she has studied from amazing authors, mentors, and publishing experts floating in and out of The Writing Barn.

Erin is a middle grade/picture book writer and has found the secret to never growing up: write children’s books.

WB Interns:

Sophie VelasquezSophie Velasquez—WB Intern

Sophie Velasquez is studying English Writing and Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University with a specialization in Creative Writing. Originally from Amarillo, Texas, she moved to Austin to thrive off of the artistic energy. Sophie writes and is the Community Health Manager for the St. Edward’s Chapter of the Odyssey, an online publication allowing young writers to share their voice. Of all of her writing, Sophie is most passionate about poetry and creative nonfiction. In the future, she hopes to attend law school as well as share a memoir and other personal narratives.


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Sydney Elizabeth Chandler —WB Intern

Sydney Elizabeth Chandler is studying Creative Writing and Rhetoric at Saint Edwards University. She is currently working on a middle grade series, and enjoys reading all things sci–fi and fantasy. Along with writing fiction, Sydney enjoys dabbling in the art of poetry and lyric essay. Her favorite pastimes include loving on her dog, biking around Austin, and reading Stephen King … over and over again.




Jillee Sexton—WB Intern

Jillee Sexton is studying Creative Writing and History at St. Edward’s University. She enjoys writing and reading within the fantasy and historical fiction genres and wants to write a novel that encompasses those passions. She also recently started writing screenplays and discovered that it’s fun and hopes to maybe one day do something in that field. When she’s not writing she likes to play with her cat, Lucee, and take long afternoon naps.