Mallory Hellman | Director

Mallory Hellman

Mallory Hellman received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a BA in English and American Literature from Harvard. Her nonfiction has appeared on the Forbes Booked Blog and in the Indiana Review, and her short story "October, Forest River" was a finalist for the Room Of Her Own Foundation's Orlando Prize. She has taught writing courses at Indiana University, the University of Iowa, the Duke Talent Identification Program, and elementary and secondary schools throughout Eastern Iowa. Her favorite part of life with the Iowa Youth Writing Project is hearing students read their work aloud: each and every time, it's an inspiration.


Jane Huffman | Grants and Funding Manager

Jane Huffman

Jane Huffman is a 2019 recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. In addition to her role at the Iowa Youth Writing Project, Jane is an instructor for the Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing and the Iowa Young Writers' Studio at the University of Iowa. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and is the editor-in-chief of Guesthouse, an online literary journal.

Michelle Wiegand | Associate Director

Photo of Michelle Wiegand

Michelle Wiegand is a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Social Work. She earned her MSW from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where she specialized in management with a concentration on community development for youth and families. Michelle’s experience includes more than 17 years of facilitating youth development and experiential learning programing, regional and national organization management, fundraising and development, and extensive community partnership development. Michelle serves as the Associate Director of the Iowa Youth Writing Project.



Madeleine Ackerburg

Madeleine Ackerburg is a junior at the University of Iowa studying English/Creative Writing on the Publishing Track with a minor in History. Summed up, she would consider herself a pretty passionate person–she gets intensely interested in something for a few weeks and then somehow move on to the "Next Best Thing." At the moment, her current interests are: learning "Clair de Lune" on the piano (1:22 minutes in and she's already regretting everything), journaling about current events (pretty hard to sum up in one composition notebook), and calling her mom whenever she needs instructions on doing "adult things" (she's one call away from being blocked forever). She also loves to read–her favorite book is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens!


Hannah Gorsline

Hannah Gorsline is a junior at the University of Iowa on a pre-law track studying marketing and management with a minor in rhetoric. She is very passionate about writing and working with non-profits, which has led her to the IYWP. She loves cooking, reading, traveling (once it’s safe), and spending time with friends and family. She is super excited and grateful to be a part of the IYWP's Development team! 

Evelyn Shumway

Evelyn Shumway is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in English and Creative Writing. She works in the after-school program at Helen Lemme Elementary in Iowa City and has recently started trail running. She loves Big Macs and taking naps and is really excited to be interning on the IYWP's Development Team!



Ashton Hooley

Ashton Hooley was born and raised mostly in Ohio, but has lived in 6 different states. He chose the University of Iowa to pursue his dreams of becoming a well-known writer, but also found along his journey a love of philosophy. He is in his second year now, and in his first year he published both a short story and a poem. Over this past summer he successfully wrote and published a book through Amazon called Unseen, under the name of Ashton Chase. He hopes to continue growing as an author, and believes the IYWP is a great opportunity to learn much more, and inspire the future readers and writers of the world.

Emily Hott

Emily Hott  is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa studying English and Communication Studies. She spends her free time reading and baking. You can usually find her sitting in her apartment because COVID is still at large. 


Alia Mnayer

Alia Mnayer cries a lot! She is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in English and creative writing, and this is her second year as an Events & Communications intern. She's excited to be part of the team!


Maya Penning

Maya Penning is a 3rd year student at the University of Iowa, studying English and Creative Writing. When she's not buried in her books, she enjoys tending to her plants (all 30+ of them) and taking care of her pet snails. She's super excited to be a part of the Events & Communications Team!