It was 2003. In a noisy restaurant in the theatre district of Boston, three MFA students met regularly to give each other feedback. Somewhere between attending class and sharing brick oven pizzas, they began to realize how important their small community might be. In the next decade, international borders, teaching careers, marriages, and the birth of five children would separate them and challenge the space, mental and physical, they had for writing. Through digital connection and occasional visits to each other’s homes and writers' retreats, the three friends were able to remember that one of the most precious resources for writing is an honest, supportive community of writers. 

Michelle's first book signing brought the friends together again in Mystic, Connecticut in 2014. Once again over a meal, they found inspiration, camaraderie, and the ambition to keep pursuing the writing life. That day, the idea of L'ATELIER was born. We are now five years into the project and more excited than ever.

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Laura McCune-Poplin teaches writing and literature at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Her forthcoming middle grade novel Fatechanger will be released in May 2019. She won the Dialogue New Voices Award for New Writers, Fiction: Excellence in Category in 2004 and her short stories took second and third place in the Irreantum Short Fiction Contests of 2011 and 2006.

Her writing has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Dialogue, Irreantum, Nervy Girl, Exponent II, and in the short story anthology Dispensation: Latter-Day Fiction. She is currently working on the second book in the Fatechanger series. Find her at:

She received her MFA from Emerson College in 2005.

Michelle Bailat-Jones is a writer and translator. Her novel Fog Island Mountains (2014) won the 2013 Christopher Doheny Award from the Center for Fiction and Audible. Her second novel Unfurled just came out in the fall of 2018. She has translated two novels by C. F. Ramuz: Beauty on Earth (2013) and What if the Sun... (2016) as well as work by Claude Cahun, Clarisse Francillon, Laure Mi-Hyun Croset, Timba Bema, and Julia Allard Daudet.

Her poetry, short fiction, translations and criticism have appeared in various print and online journals. She is the Translations Editor for Necessary Fiction and can be found online at:

She received her MFA from Emerson College in 2005.

Sara Johnson Allen is an Associate Professor at Endicott College near Boston. Her academic interests include the role communities and physical space play in the creative process and using service learning in the classroom to foster personal growth and civic engagement.

Her work has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Harpur Palate, Redivider, Byline Magazine, Littoral, and The Bangalore Review.

She was awarded the 2018 Marianne Russo Award for Emerging Writers by the Key West Literary Seminar. She received an artistic grant and a fellowship from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the MacDowell Colony respectively. More at

She received her MFA from Emerson College in 2005.

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On community

“Everywhere in the world, the writer needs to be left alone and at the same time to have a vital connection to others…”

- Nadine Gordimer