Current Fellows (2017-18)

Photo of Shauna BarbosaShauna Barbosa is a 2017 Writers’ Room of Boston Fellow. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Awl, Colorado ReviewVirginia Quarterly Review, RHINO PoetryThe Atlas Review, No Tokens Journal, PANK and others. She received her MFA from Bennington College. Her first book, Cape Verdean Blues is forthcoming in 2018 from Pitt Poetry Series.


Photo of Jonathan EscofferyJonathan Escoffery is the 2017 WROB Ivan Gold Fellow. He is the winner of the 2016 Waasnode Fiction Prize and a 2017 Somerville Arts Council Artist Fellowship. His writing has been selected to appear in Prairie Schooner, Passages North, The Caribbean Writer, Salt Hill Journal, Solstice, Pangyrus, and elsewhere. His song World Tour is featured in the movie Totally Baked. Jonathan has worked as a dishwasher, a server, a loader in three separate warehouses, an unlicensed physical therapist, a leasing agent, a (failed) life insurance salesman, and a hotel night auditor. He earned his MFA in Fiction from the University of Minnesota, and has taught Creative Writing at Minnesota and at GrubStreet in Boston, where he is the Program and Advocacy Manager. Find him at

Photo of Simone JohnSimone John is the 2017 WROB Gish Jen Fellow. Her poetry brings her to classrooms, community events, and campuses to read and lead discussions. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College with an emphasis on documentary poetics. Simone is a contributing editor at Gramma Poetry. Testify, Simone’s first full-length collection, will be published by Octopus Books in 2017.

Photo of Rebecca Mahoney

Rebecca Mahoney, a 2017 Writers’ Room of Boston Fellow. She is a writer of young adult and middle grade fiction, and spins oceanic folklore with her cowriter Alex Brown on the original, independent audio drama, The Bridge Podcast. She holds a BA in East Asian Studies, with a focus in Japanese language and literature, and spent three years in the world of US-Japan relations in Washington DC, where she learned formal Japanese, spent a memorable evening in a diplomatic entourage, and poured a lot of coffee. (These days, she only pours coffee if you ask nicely.) She currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with two roommates and the incredibly powerful sound system of their downstairs neighbors. She can be found on Twitter at @cafecliche.

In 2017, The Writers’ Room of Boston also chose to offer a subsidized award of merit to two Finalists: Carissa Halston and Kristen Paulson-Nguyen.

Photo of Carissa Halston

Carissa Halston is a WROB 2017 Finalist. Her award-winning fiction has appeared in Willow Springs, The Massachusetts Review, Fourteen Hills, and elsewhere. She has received honors and grants for her fiction from The Cincinnati ReviewFourteen Hills, Willow Springs, The New York Book Festival, and The Wesleyan Writers Conference, among others. Halston has been a prose editor at AGNI and she currently edits and designs books for the literary journal apt and the small press Aforementioned Productions, both of which she co-founded in 2005.

KPNWROBphotoKristen Paulson-Nguyen is a WROB 2017 Finalist. Kristen’s reporting has appeared in the Boston Globe. and GrubWrites have published her narrative pieces. The Friends of the West Roxbury Branch Library and poet Mary Pinard awarded her Honorable Mention for her poem “Love Begins.” Her copywriting has earned accolades from Print, Best of New England, CASE and others. She rapturously discovered GrubStreet in the full bloom of middle age, where she completed the Memoir Incubator and a draft of her memoir-in-progress, fulfilling her dream of writing a book. Find Kristen at

The Writers’ Room of Boston Emerging Writers’ Fellowship Program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency funded by the MA Cultural Council, administrated by the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events.