The Flatiron Writers are a literary critique group that has been meeting in Asheville, North Carolina since 1993. Currently composed of eleven writers, the group focuses primarily on fiction, and members also serve as an informal advisory board to the Flatiron Writers Room.


A.K. Benninghofen grew up in the Mississippi Delta. She spent the first part of her adult life living in New York City and Los Angeles pursuing a career as an actress, which is to say, she has a lot of restaurant experience. Since 2008, A.K. has happily made her home in Asheville, along with her husband, two children and a dog named Juliet. A.K.’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Passages NorthEvergreen ReviewMonkeybicycleNecessary FictionDeep South Magazine and elsewhere. She has been a fiction contributor at Sewanee Writers' Conference, a writing fellow at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities and Wildacres Retreat. In 2012, she was awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant by the North Carolina Arts Council. Currently, she is at work on her first book, a collection of linked stories titled Landmine Maps of the Hospitality State.


Maryedith Burrell is a show business veteran. Her TV career began when she derailed from Shakespeare into improv with The Groundlingsand Second City  in LA. She went on to star in the ABC late-night comedy Fridays, the sitcom Throb, Ron Howard’s Parenthood and The Jackie Thomas Show. She also enjoyed recurring roles on Seinfeld and Home Improvement as well as numerous guest-star turns on everything from SNL to Murder She Wrote. Meanwhile, she was honing her skills as a dramatist and author. Ms. Burrell has written revue, musicals and operas in the U.S., Britain and Australia as well as screenplays for all the major networks and film studios. At present, she enjoys a career as a script doctor.  A published journalist, her essay “An Affair To Forget” appears in the bestseller What Was I Thinking? (St. Martin’s Press.) She is currently working on a collection of short stories, Garlic Girl, and a screenplay, Black Angel



Tessa Fontaine is the author of The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, an Amazon Editors' Best of the Month featured debut & Best Books of 2018 (so far), an iBooks favorite, and more. Other work can be found in Glamour, LitHub, The Believer, FSG's Works in Progress, Creative Nonfiction, The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, and [PANK]. Raised outside San Francisco, she has an MFA from the University of Alabama and is currently a doctoral student in creative writing at the University of Utah. She won the AWP Intro Award in Nonfiction, and fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Taft Nicholson Center, Writing by Writers, and Squaw Valley Community of Writers. In addition to teaching for the New York Times summer journeys and at the Universities of Alabama and Utah, she has also taught for five years in prisons in Alabama and Utah. Read the New York Times Book Review of The Electric Woman HERE.


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Marjorie Klein's first novel, Test Pattern (Wm. Morrow Publishers, 2000) was a Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection, and is being re-released by HarperCollins as an eBook. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications, including 20 years of free-lance work for Tropic, the Miami Herald's Sunday magazine. She has taught at the University of Miami, Warren Wilson College, and Florida International University (where she received her MFA), and has led workshops at the Florida Center for Literary Arts at Miami Dade College, UNCA’s Center for Creative Retirement and the Great Smokies Writers Program. Recipient of a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in 2007, and honorable mention in 2002, she served as a preliminary judge in the writing category for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts from 1991-2006, until she moved to Asheville. She has recently completed two new novels, Shifting Gears and Time In A Bottle.


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Kim Winter Mako lives in Asheville and is a Jersey-girl turned Appalachian Enthusiast. She attended Syracuse University and the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center for Theatre, and was an actor briefly in Los Angeles and for many (too many) years in New York City, where she was a founding member of ATHEATRECO, a non-profit theatre that focused on original works. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Sou’westerCosmonauts AvenueThe Nervous Breakdown and others. Kim won the inaugural Ramsey Library Community Author Award in 2017. She has been a continuing Writer-in-Residence at The Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities since 2009 and just completed a residency at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). Her former life as an actor has greatly informed her writing. Kim is currently at work on a thematically linked short story collection about characters on the edge of economic stability and the mirage of the American dream.



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Maggie Marshall moved to Asheville from Los Angeles in 2006. Her first career was as a professional actress, some twenty-odd years of which she spent performing on regional stages throughout the U.S., as well as Broadway, Los Angeles, and Dublin, Ireland. She then segued into screenwriting, eventually landing in television and writing for numerous cable and syndicated one-hour drama series. She is the recipient of the Carl Sautter Memorial Screenwriting Award and a Scriptapalooza Award, both for One-Hour Drama. She has been a fiction contributor at the Tin House Writer's Workshop, a fellow at the Hambidge Creative Residency Program, and a Writer-in-Residence at the Weymouth Center for the Arts. She is currently at work on a novel, The Gondolier’s Wife, and has had fiction and nonfiction pieces published in The Great Smokies Review. Maggie is the co-founder and co-owner (along with fellow Flatiron Heather Newton) of the Flatiron Writers Room.


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Heather Newton is a founding member of the Flatiron Writers. Her debut novel Under The Mercy Trees (HarperCollins 2011) won the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as a Great Group Reads Selection and by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as an Okra Pick (“great southern fiction fresh off the vine”). Her work has appeared in The Carolina Table27 Views of Asheville, The Drum, Crucible, Encore Magazine, Lonzie’s Fried Chicken and elsewhere, been recognized in numerous creative writing competitions, and earned her fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. She has taught creative writing workshops for the Great Smokies Writing Program and the N.C. Writers Network. An attorney and mediator, she focuses her Asheville law practice on employment law, education law, ERISA disability benefit claims and small business advice for writers, artists and entrepreneurs. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.


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Joanne O’Sullivan’s YA novel, Between Two Skies, was published by Candlewick Press in 2017. She traveled the world teaching English as a Second Language and meeting fascinating characters before settling with her husband and two kids in Asheville, where she writes about books and artists as a journalist, researches science and social studies as a non-fiction author, and armchair travels while planning her next big trip. 



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A native of Georgia, Jude Whelchel joined the Book of the Month Club at age 11. Carting boxes of books, she moved with her family to the mountains in 1996 where she occupied herself as an Episcopal priest, mother, and grower of, among other glories, heirloom tomatoes.  Earning an MFA from Warren Wilson College, Jude is a writer before dawn and reader in every spare moment. Winner of 2016 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, (Co) Winner of the 2014 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, she is the recipient of grants from the North Carolina Regional Artist Commission and Money for Women/The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Her work has appeared in the Potomac ReviewThe North Carolina Literary Review, among others. Jude is at work on her first novel.