Kathy Crutcher

Founder, Executive Director


Kathy has been mentoring young writers since 2003 and is passionate about empowering others to tell their stories. She loves words and loves to teach. She has been pursuing this love all over the place -- from elementary schools in rural Japan to college classrooms in the American South to inner-city high schools in Washington, DC -- and with many different communities: adult literacy learners, refugees, gifted writers, reluctant writers, kids, teens, college students, those who've written many stories, and those who are writing their very first. Prior to founding Shout Mouse, Kathy was the DC Director for Writopia Lab as well as the regional affiliate for the Scholastic Writing Awards, through which her students have won national recognition every year. Her own writing has earned recognition from places like the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities as well as fellowships to writing programs in Kenya and Prague. Kathy received her BA from Duke University and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She has also completed the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at Georgetown University. Kathy is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and enjoys running, hiking, reading, traveling, and dreaming big dreams for Shout Mouse and its authors! 

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Story Coach / Outreach Associate 


Sarai Johnson is a 2014 graduate of Howard University, where she earned a BA in Print/Online Journalism and minored in English. She also holds an MA in Literature from American University and teaches College Writing there. Sarai has worked for several newspapers and magazines including The Indianapolis Star, DC Modern Luxury, and the Alexandria Gazette. She loves writing creative nonfiction and fiction, and reading everything. Her favorite authors are Haruki Murakami, Lorraine Hansberry and the writers who work with Shout Mouse.

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Greg Langen

Operations Associate


Greg Langen is a reader, a writer, and community member. Prior to joining Shout Mouse Press Greg has worked for multiple community-centered literary organizations, including the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, where he served as Director for their Writers in Schools program, and the Odyssey Project, where he served as a college humanities instructor for adults in Chicago living below the poverty line. He also worked as a Senior Editor for Colloquium Magazine in Chicago, IL and has written for numerous magazines and newspaper publications. Greg earned a BA in English and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MA in American literature from the University of Chicago. He is currently reading The Need for Roots by Simone Weil and Our Lives Matter: The Ballou Story Project, Vol. 2.


Lana Wong

Photo Coach

Lana is based in Washington, DC after living abroad for 17 years in London, Nairobi, and Paris. She has diverse work experience as a photographer, educator, television broadcaster, and creative director. In 1997, Lana founded Shootback – a youth photography and development project in the Nairobi slums that harnessed the creative voices of young Kenyans so they could tell their own stories. The youth’s powerful photos and words became the basis of a book, an international touring exhibition, a documentary film, and more. Over 15 years later, the project continues, offshoot slum photography and film groups have developed, and many Shootback students are now professional photographers and filmmakers. Inspired by this experience and her creative collaborations with international organizations, local NGOs, foundations, youth, and artists, Lana is thrilled to be working with Shout Mouse to utilize the power of words and images for advocacy, education, and development. Lana earned a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and a Master’s in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London.


Evan Keeling

Comics Coach

Born and raised in Washington DC, Evan Keeling received a BFA in graphic design from the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Evan is an accomplished illustrator who has worked with a variety of clients. He is a founding member of the DC Conspiracy a collective of Washington, DC area comic book artists and writers. He has been published and self-publishes comic books for print and for the web. He recently colored the Eisner and Harvey nominated graphic novel “Captive of Friendly Cove” from Fulcrum and developing comic book based programing as well as creating mini-comics for the Smithsonian. For the last 12 years Evan has been an exhibit specialist in graphics at the Smithsonian Exhibits. His work can be seen here.


Liz Laribee

Comics Coach

Liz Laribee is a writer, illustrator, and organizer. She has taught creative writing, found-poetry and reuse methods of art-making to students of all ages. Liz was granted the Spectrum Arts Award, the YWCA Emerging Leader Award, and the title of Artist in Residency for the City of Harrisburg.  She launched The MakeSpace Arts Collective, Sprocket Mural Arts, and DCBA Lawyers for the Arts in pursuit of arts advocacy. Her most recent comic project, “Amira in America,” serves as an illustrated story and reference guide on refugee resettlement.   

Santiago Casares

Comics Coach

Santiago Casares is a Mexican writer and illustrator who has produced webcomics for over 10 years. He is the creator of Chili's World, Lunatic Tales, and is currently illustrating adaptations of nursery rhymes. Santiago has an MFA in illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.



Story Coach

Hayes Davis holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland. He is a former Bread Loaf working scholar as well as a founding member of Cave Canem, a writer's center with a focus on African American poets and writers. His work has appeared in New England Review, Poet Lore, Gargoyle, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and several anthologies. Hayes teaches English at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, where he also serves as the Upper School Coordinator for Equity, Justice & Community. He is excited to work with Shout Mouse to promote diverse voices within children’s literature!

marisa kwaning

Story Coach

Marisa Kwaning is a writer, teacher, and editor who is passionate about cultivating and promoting diverse young voices in literature.  As an educator, Marisa has developed curricula to strengthen the language arts skills of students from all walks of life.  She has also facilitated writing workshops for non-profit organizations as well as for senior military personnel within the U.S. Department of Defense.  Marisa is currently working on her first children’s book for middle grade readers: a fiction story, loosely based on her early childhood in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Marisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Writing and Rhetoric from Pepperdine University and a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University.  She is thrilled to be a part of the Shout Mouse Press community. You can connect with her online at www.finaldraftwriting.com and follow her on Twitter @FreetownMarisa.

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Jennie BERman Eng

Story Coach

Jennie Berman Eng is a 2014 and 2016 Theater J Locally Grown Playwright. Recently, she was the playwright/director of the play, Whenever You’re Near Me I Feel Sick, which was produced by Thelma Theatre for the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Other plays include Don Q, adapted from Don Quixote for young audiences, commissioned by University of Colorado-Boulder, Bethesda (Capital Fringe 2014), Spectacular Women (In Their Natural Habitat) at Theater J, H is for Holy (Intersections Festival, Atlas Performing Arts Center), A Family of Lobsters (LiveArt DC’s Play in A Day), Exit Carolyn at The Drilling Company in New York, and Cherry (Naked Angels’ First Monday reading series, New York.) Jennie is currently the Lead Teaching Artist at Ford’s Theatre. MFA, The New School for Drama. Member, The Dramatists Guild.

Sheila McMullin

Story Coach

Sheila McMullin is author of daughterrarium, winner of the 2016 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize chosen by Daniel Borzutzky. She is a community organizer with a focus on working with youth to amplify their voices through storytelling and civic participation. She holds an M.F.A. from George Mason University and volunteers at her local animal rescue. Find more about her writing, editing, and activism online at www.moonspitpoetry.com.


Alison Klein

Story Coach

Alison received her MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York, and is in process of earning a PhD in English literature at the City University of New York. She currently teaches writing classes at American University, and she has also taught writing at Georgetown University, City College, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Her fiction and essays have been published in several magazines and journals, including The Sun and The Columbia Review. She is excited to be working with Shout Mouse!

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Stacey Picard

Story Coach

Stacey Picard has been involved with the Theatre Lab Life Stories program at N Street Village in Washington, DC since 2013, and has directed that program since 2015. She has also directed similar stories programs for formerly incarcerated women in a transitional re-entry program andmiddle school children in the inner-city of Cleveland, Ohio, including a program specifically designed to empower young women.  Inspired by this work, she launched The Urban Stories Project in 2017. She holds a Masters degree from John Carroll University and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Case Western Reserve University. She is a graduate of the Theatre Lab’s Life Stories Institute, and has apprenticed under Thom Workman and Elizabeth Pringle. She has a lifelong passion for theatre and for community work, especially with the poor and marginalized, and has served on numerous boards of organizations supporting those communities. She has taught in the immigrant community of Northern Virginia since moving to the area in 2012, and is super excited to join the Ballou Story Project Team at Shout Mouse Press this year.


Holly Bass

Story Coach

Writer and performance artist Holly Bass has been published in Callaloonocturnes (re)viewBeltwayRoll Call and The Ringing Ear. Her performances have been presented at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museums, the Seattle Art Museum and the South African State Theatre. A Cave Canem poetry fellow who has received numerous grants from the DC Arts Commission, Bass was one of twenty artists to receive a Future Aesthetics grant from the Ford Foundation/Hip Hop Theater Festival. She is a founding member of DC WritersCorps and continues to work nationally and internationally as a teaching artist in schools, colleges and community centers. In 2011, she was named one of the “Top 30 Black Performance Poets” by The Root. Since 2014, she has directed a year-round creative writing and performance program for adjudicated youth in DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.

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Thembi Duncan

Story Coach

Thembi Duncan is playwright, teaching artist, director, producer, and actor with a nearly 20-year history of theater experience in the Washington, D.C. area. Past positions include Creative Programs Director of Young Playwrights’ Theater, Producing Artistic Director of African Continuum Theatre Company, and Lead Teaching Artist at Ford’s Theatre. Her artistic focus is intersectionality. Check out her latest projects at thembiduncan.com.

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Nicole Cox

Story Coach

Nicole Cox is a writer who teaches writing. After earning her MFA in Poetry from Emerson College, she moved to Chicago and taught in the First-Year Writing Program at the University of Illinois in Chicago for over a decade. While teaching, she continued to write poetry, book reviews, creative non-fiction, and plays. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Hanging Loose, Another Chicago Magazine, Briar Cliff Review, Split Lip MagazineElectric Literature, and others. Her plays have been developed at the Chicago Dramatists Theatre and the Sewanee Writer’s Conference. Since moving to the D.C. area, Nicole has participated in the National 1-Minute Play Festival and the Page-to-Stage New Play Development Festival at the Kennedy Center. 

Mira Ko


Mira is an illustrator residing in Richmond, VA. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Communication Arts with a minor in Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her passion is for illustrating narratives, whether children’s books, adult literature, magazine publications, or animation scripts. Mira is available for illustration projects and welcomes inquiries. See more of her work at www.behance.com/mirako

Mira's Shout Mouse book credits:

Lucia Liu


Lucia is a Painting & Printmaking major at Virginia Commonwealth University. She creates paintings, screenprints, etchings, lithographs, and illustrations and has exhibited in numerous shows in the Richmond area. In addition to art, she is a longtime participant in various musical ensembles as a violinist, and enjoys playing guitar and writing creatively in her free time. See more of her work here: http://cargocollective.com/lucialiu

Lucia's Shout Mouse book credits:


Illustrator / Design Intern

Zoë Gatti is an illustrator, graphic designer, web designer and photographer based in Brooklyn, New York and Washington, D.C. She is currently pursuing a BFA at Pratt Institute in Communications Design with a concentration in Illustration and a minor in Creative Writing. Her passions include narrative illustration, freelance illustration, medical illustration, animation and photography--both digital and darkroom. You can see her work at www.zoegatti.com.

Zoe's Shout Mouse book credits:

Nathaniel oliver


Nathaniel is a Painting major at the Rhode Island School of Design. He enjoys creating art through a range of mediums – drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, sculpting, and printmaking. He is a perpetual learner and loves challenging himself to gain depth in his craft. When not painting and drawing, he enjoys writing poems and short stories. Nathaniel is available for illustration projects and welcomes inquiries. He is excited to be a part of Shout Mouse! 

Nathaniel's Shout Mouse book credits:

Noam Paris


Noam is a Baltimore-based illustrator and student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. They are passionate about art. storytelling, and making children's media diverse and accessible. In their free time, they write stories and poems for all ages and continues their never-ending quest to pet every dog on the eastern seaboard. Their work can be viewed at colorfullparis.wixsite.com/noamparis.

Noam's Shout Mouse book credits:

Leslie pyo


Leslie graduated from VCUarts with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking in 2016. She is in love with words and pictures, and her favorite picture books are those that make you cry — happy or sad tears are fine. She works with oils, colored pencils and crayons, or cut paper, always with a focus on color. She is currently trying to get her first original children's book published and is an assistant editor with F&B publications. See more of her work, learn about her other endeavors, and start a conversation at www.lesliepyo.com.

Leslie's Shout Mouse book credits:



Jamilla Okubo is a 2016 graduate of Parsons School of Design, where she earned a BFA in Integrated Design, a self-driven interdisciplinary program where she integrated Fashion and Fine Arts. Jamilla is a mixed-media artist and combines collage, painting, and print design. Her work has a consistent theme of exploring the intricacy of belonging to an American, Kenyan, and Trinidadian identity. These identities help her explore the cross-cultural exchange in the African Diaspora and how fashion provides the African Diaspora methods of self-expression, identity, and self-authorship in attempts of reclamation. She has exhibited her work at Busboys & Poets (in Washington, DC), Studio 301 (in New York), Weeksville Heritage Center (in New York), Stanford University, and the Dray Walker Gallery (in London).  This is her first time illustrating a children's book and is very excited to work with Shout Mouse!  You can see some of her work at cargocollective.com/JamillaOkuboart  

Jamilla's Shout Mouse book credits:

  • Time For Change: The Lion and Hyena Story

Carson mcnamara


Carson McNamara is an illustrator based in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. She’s a Communication Arts student at Virginia Commonwealth University, a bookseller, and an avid reader who thinks all books would be better with pictures. She loves using illustration to clarify and enhance someone’s story, and working on projects with groups like Shout Mouse where illustration can represent all people and be a force for good. You can see her work at carsonmcnamara.com.

Carson's Shout Mouse book credits:

Evey cahall


Evey Cahall is a DC Native and student at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her work primarily consists of painting, illustration and sequential art. She admires Shout Mouse's vision and hopes to honor its values of inclusion and accessibility, especially as they relate to the art world, story-based media, and her city. You can see her work here.

Evey's Shout Mouse book credits:


Emma Sullivan


Emma Sullivan is an illustrator from Richmond, VA who recently graduated from  VCUarts. Growing up in a household full of elementary school teachers, her passion for kids' books started young. Madison, Sit Down is her first book with Shout Mouse and she's excited to work with young authors to help bring their creations to life. She loves working in unconventional mediums and animates in her spare time. She makes a surprising amount of stickers! Most of them are dogs! Find more of her work at sullivanillustration.com

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Eva Shapiro

Story and Outreach Intern

Eva Shapiro is a student at UC Berkeley and a graduate of Wilson High School in the District. She has been an intern and story coach on Shout Mouse projects including Reach and Beacon House books since 2014. She is an editor for the Cal Literature and Arts magazine and writes short stories. 

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Barrett Smith

Story and Outreach Intern

Barrett Smith is a writer, educator, trapeze artist and faery. She is a Duke Ellington School of Arts alum and a Dedman Scholar at the University of Texas majoring in French and Humanities. Her creative thesis will explore the education of black children with AD(H)D in public schools. She just returned from a year abroad in Dakar, Senegal where she conducted research and interned teaching circus workshops. In addition to teaching, Barrett writes short stories and creative nonfiction and creates literary zines. Her writing has won Best In Grade in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the Horowitz Playwriting Competition. This is her third year working with Shout Mouse; she loves writing with young people and the excitement that comes in the moment they agree on a story that needs to be told. 

Board of Directors

Suzanne Greenfield, a longtime school and social justice advocate, currently services as the  Director of the Citywide Bullying Prevention program in the DC Office of Human Rights. In that capacity she works with all public  and public charter school, nonprofits and city agencies that have youth programming to establish bullying prevention programs that  are holistic and supported by research.   Prior to joining the Office of Human Rights she worked on education policy issues for youth with special needs.  Before that she was at DC Public Schools where she teamed with schools and school leaders to address behavior concerns and create systemic approaches to changing school climates. While at Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) she created a national program to support the needs of LGBTQ youth in schools. Her work focuses on combining evidence based programs with  strong and supportive relationships  to  create safer climates for  youth.

Laura Hayman joined the Shout Mouse board in 2014. She is employed by Booz Allen Hamilton, a global technology and management consulting firm, and oversees the firm’s employee volunteer programs, charitable giving activities, and related marketing and communications efforts. She spends considerable time on Booz Allen’s education initiatives.Laura has long been a student of the nonprofit sector, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and education: she holds a BA and Master’s in Public Policy Studies from Duke University, and a Certificate in Corporate Citizenship Practice from Boston College. Laura is a member of the Junior League of Washington, and volunteers regularly for literacy-related organizations and events in Washington, DC.

Koye Oyedeji is a writer, researcher and educator focused on fostering emerging writers and promoting diverse voices. He is currently an instructor in the Duke Ellington School of the Arts' Literary Media and Communications Department, where he teaches creative writing and multicultural literature.  Koye is dedicated to innovative approaches to teaching and promoting literacy, and in 2012 he was awarded the D.C. Mayors Arts Award for teaching Language Arts. In addition to teaching, Koye applies his passion for Literatures of the African Diaspora to his doctoral research at the University of London, where he is currently focused on the works of emerging Black British authors. He is a frequent panelist for both his research and his pedagogy at conferences such as AWP, MLA, 826National, and the Harlem Book Fair. Koye’s own fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been published widely; he is currently at-work on a novel.

Ben Page is an economist at the Congressional Budget Office, where he specializes in the economic effects of fiscal policy. He received a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Zahir Rahman is a transactional associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, DC. Zahir was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and attended Wake Forest University where he studied political science. Zahir was a finalist for the Truman, Gate-Cambridge, and Rhodes Scholarships, and he was awarded a Fulbright research grant to study the Arab Spring and youth political activism in Morocco from 2010-2011.  While in Morocco, Zahir’s work was published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and by Foreign Policy. Upon returning to the U.S., Zahir attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served on the executive board of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and graduated cum laude in 2015. Zahir is passionate about Shout Mouse Press and its mission, and he hopes to help the organization continue to grow and prosper!