Katherine Serna


Katherine is a recent graduate from the University of Rochester, where she majored in English: Creative Writing and Dance: Creative Expression, with a minor in Latin American Studies. She is an emerging writer whose work has been published in West Trade Review, Abandon Journal, and Outrageous Fortune. In addition to her position at Writers and Books and creative pursuits, Katherine works at Mt. Hope Family Center as a dance instructor for the PATHS children’s therapy program.

Lily Brunner


Lily is a former Writers & Books volunteer, intern, and SummerWrite camper. She graduated from Houghton College in 2017 with a degree in Communication and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University at Buffalo.

Almeta Whitis

Almeta Whitis is a renowned storyteller, theatre artist, author, and poet who has taught on five continents. Combining diverse stories and traditions, alongside history, she encourages students to explore movement, dance, film, and the visual arts; and helps them gain knowledge of academic subjects and the world at large. Her experience as an educator, university professor, and Master Teaching Artist has resulted in many awards, among them, Phi Delta Kappa’s 1995 Lay Teacher of the Year, National Endowment for the Arts’ Most Skilled and Experienced Community Artist, and Governor Mario Cuomo’s 1993 Decade of the Child Award. She is featured in Rochester Museum and Science Center’s “CHANGEMAKERS: 200 Rochester Women Who Have Changed The World” exhibition. Photo credit: Annette Dragon

Vanessa Fulmore

Vanessa graduated in fall 2021 with a double degree in Childhood Education and Special Education from The College of Saint Rose (Albany, NY). A former SummerWrite camper and apprentice, she returned to Writers & Books in 2020 and 2021 in the role of Junior Apprenticeship Mentor, and in 2022, was promoted to Youth Education Associate. Currently, she is studying for her Masters degree in Education at University at Albany, specializing in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology.

Clara O’Connor


After attending youth camps, working as a SummerWrite Intern (2016) and SummerWrite Coordinator (2019), Clara was proud to join the Writers & Books team full time in 2020 as Bookstore Coordinator of Ampersand Books. She graduated from Ithaca College in 2018 with a degree in Culture and Communication, and served with AmeriCorps, 2018-19.