Meet the Teachers
Register for Spring Classes below:
How Classes Work
Brave Writer’s Online Classroom
Julie is responsible for the creation of the classes Brave Writer offers and has trained all instructors according to the Brave Writer philosophy. To read more about Julie’s background, please visit her bio page.
Homeschooling her four children since 1997, Susanne joined the Brave Writer team in 2002. She earned her B.A. in Literature from Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) and her Master of Arts in English from the University of San Diego (USD) before teaching freshman composition, German, and ancient/medieval world literature at PLNU and other universities. Susanne has taught writing courses for late elementary through high school students at her homeschool independent study program in San Diego since 1997 and currently teaches Intermediate (college prep) and Advanced (Honors) Writing courses to high school students. In addition to co-editing two scholarly books (a collection of essays by a former English professor at Harvard University and a trial version of The Book of Common Prayer for the Reformed Episcopal Church), Susanne’s poetry and essays have been published in various venues. For the past few years, she has been publishing stories and serialized novels online where her work has garnered a devoted readership, plus she has been a dedicated blogger since 2006. In 2012, she was spoke at the Women’s Spring Conferences and the Mother/Daughter Conference at Pine Valley Bible Conference Center as a workshop leader on the topics of journaling and blogging. At various times, Susanne has also contributed to Brave Writer’s Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot issues, and she recently gained the title of Senior Teacher, Staff Writer, and Curriculum Developer with Brave Writer.
Back in 1986, Deb Bell taught in an impoverished public school where her work through the National Writing Project, including her presentation of that work at national conferences and the publication of her writing in Social Issues in the English Classroom, got the school named as an National Council of Teachers of English Center of Excellence. Then her first child was born. When her daughter was one year old, Deb became a “homeschooler.” First, she ran a daycare, a toddler program, a preschool, and a tutoring business, and then she homeschooled her children. Her youngest son is currently in tenth grade and is in a public charter school, and her older son is starting college. Deb has been a fellow of the Central California Writing Project for twenty- five years, acting for a time as their editor as well as attending and helping to lead a total of eight Invitational Summer Institutes. She has been very active in the Central Coast homeschool community: she co-founded, edited, published, and wrote articles for “Bridges Homeschooling Newsletter”; taught fiction and essay writing classes to middle-and high-school homeschoolers at a homeschool program in Santa Cruz; and since 2005 has been working full-time as a consultant-teacher in a district homeschool program with K-8 students and their families, where, among other things, she works with kids to write and produce plays and films. She joined Brave Writer in 2011. Deb writes poetry, novels, articles, essays, plays, and even co-wrote an opera! She plans to start a blog if she can only find the time. She is “in the middle” of five novels, two poetry collections, and three picture book manuscripts, with plans for many more.
With a Master of Arts in Speech and Language Therapy, Rita brings nearly thirty years of specialized writing and educational experience to Brave Writer. Over the years, she has worked in the field of speech rehabilitation, both in hospital facilities as well as in private practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist/Therapist. Before opening her current private practice in speech and language therapy in Ohio in 1995, Rita owned a similar private practice in Maryland. She has received extensive training in dyslexia and various reading and spelling programs for children with weak reading and writing skills. Rita is passionate about encouraging children in all school settings and improving their foundational skills across all areas of language: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. With this goal in mind, she has created strategies for supporting kids’ memory, handwriting, attention, and social language skills through reading and writing. In addition to teaching online classes here at Brave Writer since 2004, Rita has developed the language arts subscription, The Wand, which focuses on early elementary language arts skills, using research-based strategies while teaching parents how to integrate reading, spelling, grammar, writing, and vocabulary into each week of lessons. During her impressive tenure at Brave Writer, she has revolutionized families’ understanding of the power of copywork, dictation, and freewriting in developing robust writing and language arts programs. Currently Rita has two daughters in college and a son in high school, all of whom she homeschooled for five years.
Jeannette homeschooled her four children for their entire school careers (K-12)—more than 25 years of home education. She’s worked as a freelance writer, contributing literature reviews and feature articles to Homeschooling Magazine between 1995-2003. Jeannette participated actively in online home education communities for the better part of the 1990s and early 2000s, contributing her wisdom and expertise to discussions of unschooling, homeschooling, natural learning, and the value of the arts as playing a chief role in creating well-rounded human beings. Jeannette is the definition of “auto-didact.” Her home has been a well-stocked library of 100’s of classic works of literature which Jeannette has read and discussed in countless online contexts over the last twenty years. She’s become passionately involved in the arts as past SODA Board Co-Managing Director of the University of Louisville Dance Academy, plus she participates in the local community theater and supports local artists whenever possible. Her depth of trust in the educational journey initiated and continued as both homeschooling mother and individual is what makes her a special resource to Brave Writer’s community. For all those who believe our children can become deeply invested, highly educated human beings without the certifications of the state, Jeannette stands as a brilliant example of the success of that journey. Plus, she’s a terrific writer, mother, and writing coach.
Christine Gable is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in numerous venues including national magazines, trade publications, and a variety of websites. She became a member of the Brave Writer team in 2007 and enjoys teaching the Kidswrite Basic class in addition to creating and teaching the Nature Journaling and Mini Reports classes. With fourteen years of homeschooling experience, Christine feels that one of the best parts of life is spending time with her kids (now 14 and 19) and making new discoveries together. She has a background in art education and operates a used book selling business in addition to teaching with Brave Writer. A resident of Pennsylvania, Christine also enjoys spending time outdoors, biking, reading and mosaic-making.
When she’s not teaching Passion for Fiction for Brave Writer, Nancy O. Graham does her own writing and illustrating, some freelance editing, some acting, and quite a lot of hanging out with her children, born in 1997 and 1999, who have learned joyfully outside the school setting since birth. Before having a family, Nancy worked in New York City for various nonprofits devoted to alternative media and the literary arts, moonlighting as a freelance writer of book and film reviews, essays, and interviews for various publications, including Publishers Weekly and Scholastic’s Literary Cavalcade. Her poetry and short prose have been published online and in anthologies. She has been a writing resident at Blue Mountain Center and Byrdcliffe Colony.
Nancy holds a B.A. in English literature from Muhlenberg College and an M.A. in cinema studies from New York University, and studied writing at the YMCA-based Writer’s Voice Project, the New York State Writer’s Institute, and the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. But she still believes that the best way to learn to write is to read widely, write daily, and share your work.
Jean started writing professionally at Midwestern State University, working as a newspaper reporter and literary magazine editor. She also taught English to non-native speakers at MSU’s Intensive English Language Institute. After graduation, she switched to part-time work as a substitute teacher and then freelance journalism to stay home with her growing family. She and her husband, Jim, homeschooled their three children from the start and graduated their oldest last year. Now aged 19, 16 and 14, they continue to amaze her and lead her into new adventures. Currently, she channels her enthusiasm for words by leading writing classes and a drama club for local homeschoolers, and by teaching for Brave Writer (which she began in 2007).
Karen is an award-winning author of more than 75 books for children and adults, a popular speaker, and currently a writing mentor for the Christian Writers Guild and Brave Writer. Karen has taught creative writing courses at the University of California Extension for fifteen years, the Long Ridge Writers Group for twenty years, and the Learning Annex for five years. Encouraging new and aspiring writers is one of her passions. Karen was named Writer of the Year by the San Diego Christian Writers Guild in 1997, and in 2002 she received the Special Recognition Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference for writing and mentoring. In 2004 Karen accepted the International Reading Association Award for her article for children on Kurdish refugees which was published in Highlights for Children magazine. In addition to her highly successful writing and inspirational teaching career, Karen is the mother of Brave Writer creator and owner, Julie Bogart.