Lunch Hour with MFA in Creative Writing Alumni

Date & Time:
Friday, January 22, 2021 - 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Join a conversation with MFA in Creative Writing program alumni and learn more about life after the MFA. Panelists will talk about their paths into PhD programs, working in tech, publishing and more. Bring your questions and your lunch.


Featured Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing alumni:

Amanda Kuehn (A.K.) Carroll (Creative Nonfiction, '15): Amanda is a freelance writer and content strategist based in San Francisco. She earned her Bachelor’s in Writing & Rhetoric at Northwestern College and MFA in creative nonfiction writing at St. Mary’s College of California. Among other things, Amanda has worked as a test prep tutor, yoga instructor, ESL teacher, food journalist, and UX writer. Her work has been published in San Francisco magazine, 7x7, Food Network, Diablo, Sincerely Kindred, and in the anthology Women Experiencing Faith. She currently works as a content strategist at Google and guides yoga and meditation at Peacebank Yoga in Redwood City.

Cielo Lutino (Creative Nonfiction, '07): Cielo Lutino is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Los Angeles, California. Select clients have included Facebook, Bloomberg Businessweek,, and Soho Press, and her writing has been featured in The Carolina Quarterly, Cold Mountain Review, Los Angeles Review, and Portland Monthly. She received her MFA from St. Mary's College of California.

Caroline O'Connor Thomas (Poetry, '14): Caroline O’Connor Thomas is a writer and artist whose poems have appeared in Tin House, Salt Hill, Ghost Proposal and others. In 2018 her first chapbook Unusual Light Source was published with White Stag Publishing. Caroline lives and works as a freelance and full time content writer in Oakland, CA. 

Joseph Schneider (Creative Nonfiction, '15): Joseph Schneider grew up in Los Angeles and studied theater arts at UCLA. After working as a magician throughout his twenties, he enrolled in the MFA program in creative nonfiction at Saint Mary's College. His professional affiliations include Mystery Writers of America, The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and the Crime Writers Association. His latest novel, What Waits for You, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. 


Briana Swain (Poetry, '18): Briana Swain believes in herself and the power of her words. She received her MFA in Creative Writing degree from Saint Mary’s College of California and BA in Theatre from CSU Sacramento. She writes, ultimately, to further invest in her relationship with self and the “other,” whatever that means. Swain has received a scholarship to The Juniper Summer Writing Institute and currently lives in her hometown of Sacramento grappling with how to extend her creative practice beyond a degree. 


Moderated by a current MFA degree student in Creative Writing

Jo Unruh (Creative Nonfiction, '22) served years in the military and private sector before breaking out from her external programming to pursue her dream of being a writer. Jo has a B.S. in English from Annapolis and an MBA from ASU. Through her writing, she hopes to empower others to speak up and to be authentic.

MFA in Creative Writing Alumni Panel