Meet the Staff
You see their names scrawled at the bottom of your edited stories, email them for publishing advice, and enjoy their beautiful designs on the site, but who are these mysterious TBL staff members? Finally! All is revealed...
TBL employs a staff of dynamic writers, editors, graphic designers, and artists who are all passionate about the written word. With forces combined, TBL’s diverse staff serves writers across the globe with quality editing, pristine publications, and engaging graphics.
CEO, Tethered by Letters
Dani Hedlund published her first novel, Threads of Deception, at the age of eighteen. Experiencing the difficulties of breaking into the market, she founded TBL in 2007 to help other new writers perfect and publish their works. Offering free writing coaching, editing, and publishing guidance, Hedlund expanded TBL into a global community of writers, editors, and artists. In 2010, she pushed the company to new heights, creating TBL's literary journal, Tethered by Letters Quarterly Literary Journal which has since evolved into F(r)iction Series (published by Sheridan Press), a literary and art collection that pushes the boundaries of conventional storytelling.
When not working with the TBL staff, Hedlund spends her days writing, consuming an ungodly amount of caffeine, and binge reading comics.
Random Facts: She loves the Oxford comma (and not just because she went to school there). She hates people who rage against split infinitives (and not just because Star Trek can do no wrong...though, clearly, it cannot).
Senior Editor, F(r)iction
Leah lives in Denver, where she is very preoccupied with literature, sour beer, friendship, and the Rocky Mountains. Her poetry manuscript With Scissors & a Tiny Saw won the University of Denver’s Mary Cass Award in 2015. You can find her in the virtual realm on Instagram (@miss.teamountain) and Twitter (@snoggingleah).
Random Fact: In fourth grade, Leah won the schoolwide spelling bee (against seventh and eighth graders! Eighth graders!) with the word "marionette."
Contact Leah at email@example.com.
Senior Editor, F(r)iction
Stefanie lives in California in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she spends her days technical editing and her evenings reading and editing glorious TBL fiction. She’s one of those maddening people who buys five new books and then rereads Harry Potter instead. These days, Stefanie is more focused on editing than writing, although she used to dabble in experimental fiction and remains fascinated by magical realism.
Random Fact: Stefanie is really interested in non-traditional war fiction, and did her creative thesis on the experiences of a female, mixed-heritage Marine during the early Iraq War.
Contact Stefanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Editor, F(r)iction
Mia lives in Queens, New York and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Hofstra University. Her poems have appeared in multiple journals, and her essay, “Leap of Faith,” won Honorable Mention in the 2014 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. When she’s not writing, Mia is most likely a) editing other people’s writing, b) making spectacular road trip playlists, c) watching obscene amounts of reality TV, or d) setting her friends up on blind dates.
Contact Mia at email@example.com.
Publishing & Editorial Assistant, F(r)iction
LeeAnn (pen name L. N. Holmes) is a Midwestern writer. Her writing has appeared in F(r)iction, Dually Noted, Vestal Review, STARK, GERM Magazine, Garbanzo Literary Journal, and several other publications. She’s received the Katherine B. Rondthaler Award for Poetry, the President’s Prize for Creative Writing, and a first place nonfiction award from the North Carolina College Media Association. Currently, she’s a half-fellowship student in Creighton University’s MFA program for creative writing, where she serves as a fiction editor for Blue River. She hopes to one day publish a novel (or a series of novels).
Random fact: LeeAnn has been hypnotized, but no she’s not going to talk about it or let you swing your locket in front of her face.
Contact LeeAnn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Junior Editor, F(r)iction
Helen Maimaris earned her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. She recently returned from eighteen months in Latin America during which she dived the deep blue, gaining a professional qualification in the process, hung out with humpback whales and wrote about local folklore and mythology she encountered along the way, such as the Incan Trinity (snake, puma and condor). For now, she’s staying put on dry land in Norwich, UK, where she is working on a number of short stories.
Contact Helen at email@example.com.
Josie Sigler’s collection of stories, The Galaxie and Other Rides, was awarded the Ruby Pickens Tartt First Fiction Award and published by Livingston Press in 2012. Her book of poetry, living must bury, winner of the 2010 Motherwell Prize, was published by Fence Books. Sigler’s very short story, “The Compartment,” won the 2012 Barthelme Prize. Other work has appeared in journals such as Story Quarterly, Prism International, Fugue, Water-Stone, Hunger Mountain, and Redivider. Sigler was awarded a 2011 PEN Northwest Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Residency, which afforded her the opportunity live on a remote homestead near the Rogue River in southern Oregon, as well as a Sitka Center for Art and Ecology Residency. She attended College of the Atlantic and University of Maine, and holds a dual Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California.
Scott O’Connor was born in Syracuse, New York, and lives with his family in Los Angeles. He is the author of the novella Among Wolves, and the novels Untouchable and Half World. He has been awarded the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, and has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times/EFG Story Prize. Additional work has appeared or is forthcoming in Zyzzyva, The Rattling Wall, VLAK, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.
David Abrams is the author of Fobbit (Grove/Atlantic, 2012), a comedy about the Iraq War that Publishers Weekly called “an instant classic” and named a Top 10 Pick for Literary Fiction in Fall 2012. It was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, an Indie Next pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a Montana Honor Book, and a finalist for the L.A. Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Abrams’ short stories have appeared in the anthologies Watchlist (O/R Books, 2015), Red, White and True (Potomac Books, 2014), Fire and Forget (Da Capo Press, 2013) and Home of the Brave: Somewhere in the Sand (Press 53, 2013). Other stories and essays have appeared in Esquire, Narrative, Salon, High Desert Journal, Salamander, Connecticut Review, F(r)iction, The Greensboro Review, Consequence, and many other publications. Abrams earned a BA in English from the University of Oregon and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. He retired from active-duty after serving in the U.S. Army for 20 years, a career that took him to Alaska, Texas, Georgia, the Pentagon, and Iraq. He now lives in Butte, Montana with his wife. He blogs about books at The Quivering Pen.
Isaac Marion grew up in the mossy depths of the Pacific Northwest, where he worked as a heating installer, a security guard, and a visitation supervisor for foster children before publishing his debut novel in 2010. Warm Bodies became a #5 New York Times bestseller and inspired a major Hollywood film adaptation. It has been translated into twenty-five languages worldwide. Isaac lives in Seattle with his cat and a beloved cactus, writing fiction and music and taking pictures of everything.
Sonya Minner is the new Marketing Assistant for TBL (where she does a little bit of everything), after both successfully graduating from California University of PA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and also completing her Publishing Internship with TBL. If she's not writing, she's probably watching, talking, or tweeting about hockey. One day, she hopes to both pay off her student loan debt and publish a best-selling young adult novel, just maybe not in that order.
Contact Sonya at SMinner@tetheredbyletters.com.
S.J. Dymerski is the name given to a resident spectre of the vague and inactual TBL halls; while most know of 'him' through whispered hearsay, only a couple witness accounts have bubbled to the surface regarding the spirit's errant activity on the site overall. Purportedly, you can contact him through Ouija Board, or at SDyme@tetheredbyletters.com.
Ray enjoys writing about himself in the third person—he is the most qualified person in the world to speak about himself, and it’s nice to be an international expert in something. In addition to this singular talent, Ray is also a compulsive writer and obsessive reader who has been swallowing oeuvres and breathing back his own scribblings since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He is very happy to be in a position where he can do what he loves, and to be able to share this love with so many people. He currently resides at DU where he majors in Creative Writing and Computer Science.
Contact Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaley was born a U.S. military brat, and she has spent the majority of her life moving, on average, every two years. The travel bug bit her when she was young! In 2012, she went to Lugano, Switzerland to study Literature, Creative Writing, and ELT Certification at Franklin University Switzerland. She also has a background in cultural studies and journalism. During undergrad, she spent a lot of time involved in queer studies, queer performance, and related writing projects. This summer, she interned with RGNN Madrid; currently, she is attending Emerson College for her graduate degree in Publishing. In her down time, she enjoys boxing, weekend trips, and her collection of caffeine-making devices.
Contact Kaley at email@example.com.
Rachel is originally from Maryland and now lives in Southern California. She mostly writes short stories that lean towards the horror side of things, but tend to be grounded more in the surreal than the supernatural. She’s currently at work on a collection of short stories.
Contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna recently graduated from Colorado College with an English major, Creative Writing track. You might be wondering how you pronounce her last name and she wants you to know this easy jingle: Sue broke her Shin on the Ski mountain (sue-shin-ski). She currently lives in Denver and loves to ski, hike, read, write magical realism, and help her mom in the studio. You will often find her in an ice cream shop with a cone the size of her head or scanning flights to obscure places.
Contact Anna at email@example.com.
Rachel lives in Central NJ with her parents and brother, who, among other things, convinced her to lick a battery cell when they were kids. She originally planned to double-major in Creative Writing and Psychology but changed to a minor in the latter after realizing she’d rather analyze fictional people. She spends a lot of her free time reading, daydreaming, and trying not to sound as pithy as she feels. She’s also convinced she’d make an excellent tree.
Contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole Bartley is a speculative fiction and new adult writer. She obtained a master's degree in fiction from Chatham University with a concentration in literary publishing. She is an avid reader, a copy editor—and a better editor than a writer—and proudly a nerd and a geek. She hopes to maintain jobs around books—be it writing, editing, publishing, reviewing, or selling them. She currently works at Half Price Books. Her creative work has appeared in Separate Worlds, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and The Holiday Café, and her review work was posted online for Coal Hill Review and Weave Magazine.
Contact Nicole at email@example.com.
Johnny Caputo is a pirate, but only part time. He spends the rest of his time teaching, reading comic books, going for the occasional guilt-inspired run, and writing. He received his MFA in creative writing from Chatham University in 2016. His work is forthcoming in The Pea River Journal and the collaborative novel Eslyd’s Awakening. You can read more about his work at johnnycaputo.com or by following him on Twitter @gojohnnycap. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio where there is plenty of loot to be plundered and grog to be drunk.
Contact Johnny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, but currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a recent graduate from Creighton University's MFA program, where she focused mainly on fiction. She enjoys writing stories that emphasize the strangeness of our daily lives and the unique ticks that make us all flaw-fully beautiful human beings. Amanda is also the Non-Fiction Editor for Creighton's literary magazine Blue River. When she isn't busy waiting tables, writing, revising, caffeinating, or interning, Amanda likes to hula-hoop, listen to music, and hang out with her friends.
Contact Amanda at email@example.com.
Patricia McCrystal is a creative writer, editor, and curator living on the outskirts of the Denver Metro Area. She received her degree in Creative Writing from Colorado State University and a Certificate in Publishing from the University of Denver. Patricia has had her work published in Fellow Magazine, Apricity Magazine, Gesture Literary Journal, The “A” Literary Journal, and Garden Level Literary Journal. Patricia likes telling ghost stories almost as much as she likes hearing them. She is an avid reader of graphic novels and avid reciter of Emily Dickinson.
Contact Patricia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zachary Sanfilippo is a recent graduate from the University of Denver with a BA in Political Science and English. Originally from Southern California, he now lives in Denver in an attempt to join the world of ‘adulting’. Of course, to postpone this as long as possible, he enjoys spending his time reading, writing, playing video games, and perpetually watching Friends over and over again. Previously, he worked at the Sturm College of Law and the Colorado State Capitol. His poetry won a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention from Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and a fantasy novel is (hopefully) on the way.
Contact Zachary at email@example.com.
Web Developer and Board Member
From wrangling misplaced commas to aligning graphics with pixel precision, Matt Rahill found his passion for writing, editing, and design when he joined his high school yearbook staff. In college, he set a goal of turning his love for grammar into an editing career by graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing and a minor in leadership from the University of Colorado at Denver. Matt started his career at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as a communications professional writing, editing, and producing Web content. During that time, he developed a passion for building websites. Now, he is a Web developer building dynamic applications, and he offers TBL the technical knowledge to help make the website a better resource for writers. Matt also has a Master of Applied Science in Information and Communications Technology with a concentration in Web design and development from the University of Denver. Since 2010, he has served on TBL's board applying his knowledge of writing, editing, and building websites to help TBL grow.
Contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zachary credits empty refrigerator boxes with first inspiring his imagination. He broke his British art teacher's heart by putting away the sketchbook to pursue music, which was ultimately trumped by creative writing. Zach obtained his B.A. in English & Writing from St. Norbert College, graduating cum laude from the Honors Program. He studied abroad in the United Kingdom at Lancaster University but was profoundly disappointed to have an American professor teaching his Shakespeare course. Afterward, Zach took the advice of his mentors and didn't sell his soul in law school, emerging a lawyer with the desire to do good instead of evil. He oversees communications and outreach for IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. His expertise includes content management, writing, editing, publishing, marketing, media/public relations, and nonprofit development. His other interests include film, dinosaurs, Joss Whedon, changing the world, and psychoanalyzing his cats.
Contact Zach at email@example.com.
As a graduate from the Denver School of the Arts, Ian Leprino has been impacting the Denver art scene from a young age. Since then, he’s gone on to develop a career in business, dance, and philanthropy. With more than eleven years of experience in business management and development, Ian owns and operates Ovation Academy of Dance and works as the COO of Leprino Home Inc. In his free time, he contributes his expertise to an array of Denver-based nonprofits (though TBL is his favorite), fighting for the importance of art in our community.
Contact Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jon Schindehette is an award-winning creative that has had a great impact on the publishing and gaming industries for the past 30 years. Currently, he is nurturing his pet project, ArtOrder Publishing, a space for creatives to bring their publishing and manufacturing dreams to life. He is also the creative director for ThinkGeek Solutions, a division of GameStop where he creates apparel, toys, collectables and accessories for the video game community.
Contact Jon at email@example.com.
If you are interested in joining our amazing team of literary geeks and gurus, check out our internship and staff employment opportunities.