Alumni Ambassadors

Meet the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics Alumni Ambassadors

Alumni Ambassadors are alumni representatives who embody the values and aims of the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics program. As alumni working across diverse roles and sectors, they support prospective students, current students, and fellow alumni by sharing how they’ve translated their degrees and navigated their careers.

Connor James, 2021 Cohort

Connor James is a writer whose work explores different narrative structures and forms, collaborative storytelling through interactive play, and is often in conversation with the English history of speculative fiction. As part of the UW Bothell MFA program, he has explored his relationship with his family and authors, served as a peer facilitator for Dr. Ching-In Chen’s Labor Stories Creative Writing Class, and developed writing workshops for the King County Library System. His prose and poetry have been published in ARTIFEX and Clamor.

Raelynne Woo, 2021 Cohort

Raelynne Woo is a writer and emerging editor from the greater Seattle area. She graduated with her MFA in creative writing and poetics from the University of Washington Bothell in June 2023. Her writing interests include poetry, articles/blogs, and children’s literature. Her work has been published in the University of Washington journals, namely Tahoma West and The CROW. Much of her professional experience includes editing, tutoring college students, planning or assisting UW affiliated events, and presenting research at academic conferences around the U.S. In her free time, she likes to engage in creative outlets which include dancing, baking, crocheting, and visiting her local library to read another stack of picture books in the “children’s section.”

Tricia Fuentes, 2020 Cohort

Tricia Fuentes is a civil servant by day and writer by night. She graduated with her MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics from the University of Washington Bothell in June of 2022. As the daughter of a refugee and descendant of a long line of strong women (and the world’s most caring dad), she draws strength and inspiration from her family. When not working for the man or writing for herself, you will often find her lazing in front of the tv with her partner and her kids. You can visit her online at []

Amy Hirayama, 2020 cohort

Amy Hirayama is a concerned with how writing can be used as a tool for social justice and self care, and her writing interests include Okinawa history, culture, and literary traditions, Hapa identity, pedagogy, the art and craft of writing workshops, food and identity, poetry, prose, and graphic novels/comics. Other interests include travel (and the ethics of travel), Japanese cooking, running, cycling, hiking, the music of Kishi Bashi, Hawaii (the Hapa homeland), and crochet.

Sky O’Brien, 2020 cohort

Sky O’Brien lived in Perth, Western Australia, until his mom found a way to get him out of the house. In 2015 she said, smartly, Why not study in the United States? She had heard of a nice college in Illinois. Sky said sure. He left his job roasting chickens at Red Rooster and transferred to Principia College. He stayed there for the next four years, reading all kinds of modern and postmodern American fiction that got him real hyped about American letters (Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Grace Paley, Robert Coover, etc.). After graduating in 2018 he worked as a TA for a year and since then he’s been back and forth between Australia and the United States, slowly losing himself above the Pacific. He is a correspondent for Dispatches Magazine, where he writes about land, landscapes, and climate.

Jessica Hagy, 2016 cohort

Jessica Hagy is the artist and writer best known for her Webby award-winning webcomic, Indexed ( She is the author of the nonfiction books The Humanist’s Devotional (Freethought House), The Art of War Visualized (Workman), How to Be Interesting (Workman), and Indexed (Viking), the novel One Morning (Tartarus), and the poetry collection Here in Line for Security (Ribbon Pig). How to be Fearless (Sasquatch Books), will be published in 2021 and AETUI: Pentagram Poems (Inside the Castle), will be released in 2022. She has contributed essays, cartoons, and illustrations to more than 20 other books.

Jessica has been prolifically illustrating, consulting, exhibiting, and speaking internationally since 2006. Her work has been described as “deceptively simple,” “undeniably brilliant,” and “our favorite reason for the Internet to exist.” She received her MBA in 2007 and her MFA in 2018. Her work has been flatteringly featured in Wired, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Publisher’s Weekly and Forbes, among many others. It has also been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Dylan Hogan, 2016 cohort

Dylan Hogan earned his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Poetics from UW Bothell in June of 2018. A teaching practicum from UWB where he facilitated a creative writing workshop for housing-insecure individuals materialized into a job doing social outreach at St. James Cathedral following the completion of his degree. In that role, he founded a soup kitchen, directed an urban farm, and acted as a support for volunteers at various Seattle-area outreach programs. He has since stepped into doing volunteer management in the field of substance use recovery at local nonprofit Peer Seattle.

Dylan is one of the founding editors of samfiftyfour_literary, an English-language magazine that was created using nothing but a dream and an iPhone in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The inaugural issue is forthcoming at the end of September 2020. Follow them on Instagram at @samfiftyfour_literary.

Joseph Niduaza, 2019 cohort

Joseph Niduaza is a writer from Salinas, California. He has held numerous jobs and professional hobbies throughout the years, including: shoe salesman, freight hauler, “hemp” farmer, cardplayer, house painter, unlicensed contractor and equipment operator. He received a BA in English from Humboldt State University in 2014, proudly served as a Machine Operator for the Mad River Brewing Company in Blue Lake, California from 2015 to 2018, and earned an MFA at the University of Washington Bothell in 2021. Through historical and speculative fiction, with the aid of magical realism, his work explores the sociopolitical, economical, and lingual building blocks of cultural identities, cyclical patterns of generational violence, forms of government, macroeconomic cycles, class consciousness, modes of sociability, and the role of the individual identify within culture. He is currently working on a novel, based on his MFA thesis, Chimera (Listen to an excerpt via YouTube). His work has appeared in Clamor and The Homestead Review.