2015 CAST


Paula Chapman

Paula Chapman was a journalism major, spending many years in the world of corporate communication before taking a detour into the world of finance. Today, she enjoys writing personal essay and memoir and has performed some of her pieces at Litquake and The Mama Monologues. Her story, “The Heritage Doll,” was published in the Mamas Writes anthology in 2014.

Watch Paula read, "The Change Of Life Baby" >>


Emily Cornell

Emily Cornell lives a life fueled by coffee and big dreams. Born in Texas and raised in Hawaii, Minnesota, and Colorado, she was never really sure where to call “home” until she moved to Minneapolis in 2006. Prior to that, Emily earned a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder because it was the one major that allowed her to justify spending her book money on novels. Today, she’s an account director at a data-driven marketing consultancy and also volunteers on Twin Cities in Motion’s comms/PR committee. Emily is the favorite daughter of Amy and best big sister to Gaelan (it should be noted that she has no competition in either category). She and her boyfriend, Bob, live in Woodbury with Hector the Cat.

Watch Emily read, "Despite Everything" >>


Jeanne Gallaher

Jeanne Gallaher, aka the Colorbitch®, is a color & design consultant ( who utilizes her color synesthesia for the benefit of her clients’ homes and businesses. Jeanne is also a writer working on her first novel. Her poem “We’re All Here” was published in Open to Interpretation in 2014.

Watch Jeanne read, “My Own Best Mother” >>


Lindsey M. Henke

Lindsey Henke is the founder and editor of Pregnancy After Loss Support an online magazine and peer-to-peer support service provider for women pregnant again after a loss as well as a writer, clinical social worker, wife, and most importantly a mother to two beautiful daughters. Tragically, her oldest daughter, Nora was stillborn after a healthy full-term pregnancy in December of 2012. Since then, she has turned to writing on her personal blog, Stillborn and Still Breathing, to soothe her sorrow and has found healing in giving voice to her grief. Lindsey is also a monthly contributor to Still Standing Magazine, an online magazine for bereaved parents and was featured as Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine’s Knocked Up Blogger during her pregnancy with her second daughter, Zoe who was born healthy and alive in March of 2014.

Watch Lindsey read, "Invisible Motherhood" >>


Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew

Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew writes, loves, teaches, and urban homesteads in South Minneapolis. When she’s not chasing her gregarious daughter around the neighborhood or dancing with her partner, she’s doing her best to support the spiritual life of writers. Her books are Swinging on the Garden Gate:  A Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), Writing the Sacred Journey:  The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), On the Threshold:  Home, Hardwood, and Holiness (Westview Press), and the novel, Hannah, Delivered (Koehler Books).

Watch Elizabeth read, "Another Mother" >>


Patsy Kahmann

Patsy Kahmann, memoir writer and filmmaker, currently lives near her favorite spot in the state, Minnehaha Falls, but she has called many places home. She was born in Kansas City, the second of twelve children. By age thirteen she and her family were on the move, coming to the frozen plains of southwestern Minnesota in the back of a pickup truck. Her memoir, House of Kahmanns, is about tender family bonds, forged and fractured, through hardships and happenstance.

Patsy was first published last year in the 2014 Saint Paul Almanac and is deeply appreciative of the support from publisher Kimberly Nightingale, who gave Patsy’s byline its first home. As a filmmaker, Patsy and her crew twice won awards from the Minnesota History Center’s documentary film series. Recently retired from the University of Minnesota Women’s Basketball program, Patsy now haunts numerous coffeehouses, working on her memoir, hoping to fulfill her parents’ wish that she write what happened. Her birthstone is opal, like her mother’s.

Watch Patsy read, “The Alleyway to Sweeney's” >>


Marsha Partington

Marsha Partington is a freelance writer who enjoys writing real life stories about her children. Meeting Ed, about her daughter’s recovery from a life-threatening eating disorder was published in the anthology, Easy to Love but Hard to Raise, in 2012. Susie’s Story, highlighting the service work she engaged in after the death of her infant daughter, was featured in Today’s Health and Wellness Magazine in 2007. Marsha’s piece, When a Baby Dies…How you can help, appeared in multiple bereavement newsletters. A frequent contributor to the Sun Sailor newspaper, she has also worked as a reporter for a sustainable community project in the Twin Cities. A memoir about her parenting years is currently a work in progress.

Cara, who inspired the piece for LTYM 2015 now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their loving, nurturing relationship continues flourishing despite the distance.

Marsha has been a scholarship recipient at Madeline Island School of the Arts Writers Retreat, and often takes classes at The Loft Literary Center. She works as an Addictions Counselor and enjoys time with her two dogs.

Watch Marsha read, "Tattoo" >>


Sarah Pelinka

Sarah Pelinka is a devoted wife and mother of two spirited girls, Poppy and Holiday – they are her heart. Married to her high school sweetheart, she and Travis remain as tight as the Girbaud jeans that first caught his attention. As an infertility survivor, Sarah facilitates a local chapter of Resolve’s peer-led support group in Apple Valley. Supporting others in this role has helped heal wounds from the past. Each day is a gift and Sarah surely lives by this. So much so, it remains the only gift she hasn’t yet tried to return without a receipt. While Sarah finds great joy in teaching science to middle schoolers, her passion for the arts is immense. She seeks and appreciates the meaning, beauty and laughter within every situation.

Watch Sarah read, “The Science of Hope and Happenstance” >>


Heather Petri

Heather says she’s a writer, but when it comes to writing her own bio, help is needed. Naturally, she asked two reliable sources: Facebook and her 12 year old son. The son suggested the following, “You should write that I rarely listen.” All evidence purports this to be true. Facebook peeps suggested the following, “Lover of cupcakes and donuts. Guilty of swearing too much. Recovering perfectionist. Aspires to inspire.” Evidence seems to confirm these as well. Lastly, we should report Heather’s self proclamation as a passionate mental health advocate and blogger at Life’s a Disco Ball. In one word, she describes herself as a fighter. But mostly, she just feels like a ginormous goofball that loves to make people laugh and love.

Watch Heather read, "Before the Horizon” >>


Kyrra Rankine

Kyrra Rankine always wanted to be a writer and change the world, ideally while wearing a great pair of boots. After college, she taught middle school English and social studies in the Bronx before becoming a social worker focused on youth development and community organizing in Harlem. After a decade in NYC, she returned to the tundra, dragging her husband and two rescue cats along with her. She currently works at Teach For America-Twin Cities helping educators find positions in low-income schools and organizing community members around social justice in education. Her writing and editing has appeared in Publishers Weekly, Readers Digest, and The Summerset Review, and she has worked in various capacities at Milkweed Editions, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, and Janklow & Nesbit Associates literary agency. Most importantly, she excels at baking apple pies, parallel parking, and reading books to her 4-year-old daughter Zoey and 2-month-old son Miles.

Watch Kyrra read, "Letter to My Newborn Son" >>


Alice Seuffert

Alice Seuffert is an education researcher, food blogger and television foodie but her favorite role is being mom to Stella and Wes and wife to Will. Alice cooks regularly on television as the Kitchen Star on Twin Cities Live and as the Family Food Expert on The Happi House. She has also appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, World News Tonight, Twin Cities Public Television, Fox 9 and KARE 11. Alice competes annually in the Minnesota State Fair cooking competitions, is often found drinking craft beer at a local taproom and has trained her kids to be excellent egg crackers with the hopes that one day they will make her breakfast in bed. Alice is currently writing her first ebook on freezer meals for moms. Alice blogs about creative comfort food and her parenting adventures at Dining with Alice. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and

Watch Alice read, “Minivan to Motherhood” >>


Kris Woll

Kris Woll is a writer, mother, and pen hoarder with a thing for lakes, the fall, and fresh cinnamon rolls.  She writes about parenting, about places, about home and laundry and fish-shaped crackers and other sources of inspiration.  Her work has appeared in publications including Minnesotamagazine, Edible Twin Cities, and on the Brain, Child blog, and she recently authored her first nonfiction books for young readers. She lives with her lovely family in a little house in Minneapolis.

Watch Kris read, "A Little Cheer" >>

Lorna LTYM 2013.png



Lorna has written eight novels including Angry Housewives Eating Bon BonsThe View From Mt JoyOh My Stars and Patty Jane’s House of Curl.

Lorna is a Minneapolis native that spent several years in California. After returning to Minneapolis years ago with her husband and first-born daughter, she had her second daughter and became a cast member of Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, a comedy and improvisational theater. She has written and starred in several plays, including On the Lam with Do and Re, The Smelt Princess and Glamour Queen.  She continues to work as an actor and playwright, most currently in a one-woman, all-improvised show called, Party in the RecRoom.  She is also a co-host of Reading Goddess Radio, an on-air book club which should soon have a radio home.

Watch Lorna read, "What A Bitch Taught Me About Mothering" >>