2020 Residents

Sarah Sheppard

In residence: January 3 – 17, 2020

Sarah Sheppard, born and raised in Metro Detroit, spent five years living and working on the East Coast before returning to Michigan. She earned a BA in English Writing and Literature from Saint Mary’s College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. A former senior rights manager, she works as a writer, editor, and copywriter.

In her day-to-day work, Sarah helps individuals, writers, and businesses bring their stories to light through collaboration, ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, and proofreading. She writes about health, well-being, relationships, female entrepreneurship, and what it means to be successful.

In her free time, Sarah supports anti-human trafficking efforts, practices yoga, and travels. In 2016, she traveled the U.S. for two months by train. Sarah has taught writing classes on the East Coast and in the Midwest. She was a writer-in-residence at the Gullkistan Artist Residency in 2018 and is working on her first novel.

At Good Hart, Sarah will dedicate her time to short story writing. She loves to write about the questioning of and the struggles with social constructs. Her fiction is often inspired by the people she meets and the places she inhabits. Some of her favorite short story writers are Jhumpa Lahiri, Adam Haslett, Elizabeth McCracken, and James Baldwin.

Sarah looks forward to spending uninterrupted time collaborating with the community, engaging with the beautiful landscape, and focusing on her craft.

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Michael Fischer

In residence: January 17 – 21, 2020

Michael Fischer Headshot

Michael Fischer is a Moth StorySlam winner, a Luminarts Cultural Foundation Fellow, and a mentor for incarcerated authors through the Pen City Writers program. His work appears in SalonThe SunBrevityOrionGuernicaThe Rumpus, and elsewhere, and his audio essays have been broadcast on CBC Radio’s Love Me and The New York Times‘s Modern Love: The Podcast.

At Good Hart, Michael will continue working on a memoir-in-essays that deals with his time as a state prison inmate. The manuscript studies the quieter, often overlooked moments that constitute prison life; Good Hart is the perfect environment to look deeply into those moments. As someone who embraces social justice work and the liberating power of creative writing, he’s looking forward to engaging with members of the local community and being inspired by their stories as well.

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Zora O’Neill

In residence: January 29 – February 12

Raised in New Mexico and now based in Queens, New York, Zora O’Neill studied Arabic literature in college and graduate school. After a decade as a travel writer, she returned to the subject in the memoir All Strangers Are Kin: Adventures in Arabic and the Arab World, which received the Society of American Travel Writers Lowell Thomas Award for best travel book of 2016. Her writing on refugees in Greece, for publications as diverse as Parnassus: Poetry in Review and USA Today, has also earned praise and awards. More broadly, she has written about food, travel and even plumbing for the New YorkerThe New York Times and The Art of Eating.

At Good Hart, Zora will be working on a novel informed by the experiences of contemporary Syrian refugees, as well as the family histories of Greeks and Turks affected by the Population Exchange of 1922-23. 

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