About Me


Who am I?  I WRITE books.  I EDIT other people’s stories.  I TEACH students how to write their own novels. And I BAKE.

WRITE. My first novel, MoonPies & Movie Stars was a Los Angeles Times Bestseller. My second book is a memoir titled, When We Were Ghouls and is forthcoming from the American Lives series at University of Nebraska Press in 2017. It’s the story of growing up in Nigeria, Peru and Bolivia and trying to figure out what kind of people are my family. An excerpt from my memoir was published in The Gettysburg Review in January 2016 issue. Several of my essays have been published in The Normal School, Country Living and other national magazines. I am working on two other novels, and an essay about my visit to the men’s prison in Vacaville. And a cookbook.
EDIT. I am the Senior Writer-in-Residence at the New York State Summer Writers Institute each summer. I work with the students providing one-on-one novel tutorials. As a result, I love giving feedback on the big picture of novels. As of the summer of 2016, I am also the Associate Director of the Institute.
TEACH.  I teach at the Novel Writing classes at UCSD Extension. I guess you could say, I love working with novels in any shape or size. I work one-on-one with folks writing a novel and want the big picture and on the page review in order to get the damn thing done. This brings me to the Manuscript Workshops I’ve been hosting with guest of honor, David Ulin for the past three years–memoir and novels accepted. David and I love the work and weekends are thrilling and productive every time. Students have gone on to get agents from our workshop.
BAKE. As a kid I was a chicken pot pie fanatic. Today I bake any kind of pie. If you can dream it, I will bake it. Savory Salons is my way of bringing pies and writing together. I host salons with authors and a small intimate guest list of folk with a conversation surrounding everyone that stems from the author’s latest work. Check out my website for that endeavor at savorysalons.com
ALSO. I am currently serving on the Advisory Board of the new UCSD Extension Creative Writing Program which starts Fall 2016. I am in love with the world’s cutest dog, Hazel, a dachuahua with big ears and an even bigger personality. I also have a cat, Mr. B, who is adorable and sweet, but well, is lacking in personality. I keep thinking, any day now, he’ll surprise me with something. But nope, he just likes to stare and eat. And, I live with the full-of-personality Mr. Eber Lambert who eats any pie I bake.
Contact me:  amyliz@amywallen.com